Jacqueline Oliver is an indie perfumer, trying to bury her ravaged childhood by shoveling ground under her own feet. Then she gets a call she dreads—the hippie grandmother she bitterly resents was apprehended when police busted a charlatan shaman’s sweat lodge. Others scattered, but Nellie was slowed by her walker, and the fact that she was wearing nothing but a few Mardi-Gras beads. Jacqueline is her only kin, so like it or not, she’s responsible.
Despite being late developing next year’s scent, she drops everything to travel to Arizona and pick up her free-range grandma. But the Universe conspires to set them on a Route 66 road trip together. What Jacqueline discovers out there could not only heal the scars of her childhood but open her to a brighter future.
Welcome, Laura Drake to Writing Under Fire. Laura is a close friend of mine and I cannot be more excited about this interview or Laura’s new book. So let’s get right to it with you telling the readers a little bit about you.
Laura: I am a city girl who never grew out of her tomboy ways, or a serious cowboy crush. I gave up the corporate CFO gig to write full time. I realized a lifelong dream of becoming a Texan and am currently working on my accent. I’m a wife, grandmother, and motorcycle chick in the remaining waking hours.
I am honored to be a New York and self-published published author of Women’s Fiction and Romance. My debut, The Sweet Spot, was a double-finalist, then won the 2014 Romance Writers of America® RITA® award. I am a founding member of Women’s Fiction Writers Association and the Writers in the Storm blog.
JT: What was the inspiration for this book?
Laura: My motorcycle travels. I’ve ridden the west over 200,000 miles on a motorcycle. I even rode part of the abandoned part of Route 66 on my bicycle! The history of that famous road always intrigued me, so when I thought of doing a ‘road trip’ story, I knew where it would be set!
JT: You are one exciting chick. Tell the readers about your brand and the other books you have written.
Laura: My brand is “Ordinary women at the edge of extraordinary change.” This is my second Contemporary Women’s Fiction, the first being Days Made of Glass. My other eleven novels are small town or cowboy romances. I love writing women’s fiction because they I dig deep into women’s stories, they always stem from deep in their past. I love digging into that.
JT: I loved Days Made of Glass. You are so good at getting into the soul of your characters. How long have you been writing?
Laura: (chuckle) Since about 1998, but it took me fifteen years to sell my first book.
JT: That may be, but I remember well when you won the Rita Award, the most prestigious award for new writers from the Romance Writers of America. We were all cheering.
Let’s talk a little about publishing. How are you published and have you always gone that route.
Laura: Currently I am with a small press. I love the flexibility of it and the amount of input I have. I have mostly been traditionally published with NY presses where you get little to no say on anything like cover design. I’ve also Indie published, so I guess you can say I’ve tried them all.
JT: What do you like best about being an author, and what do you like least?
Laura: When a reader writes me and tells me that my book touched them. That’s why I started writing to begin with! I really dislike the middle (aka: The Pit of Despair). I don’t plot. I know the beginning and the end, when I get to the middle, I get hopelessly lost! Luckily I have friends I can call, and they talk me off the ledge.
JT: I remember I time when you stayed with me and we brainstormed my plot out while walking around the island. Nothing like writers friends to get us through.
How do you market your books?
Laura: Every way I can think of! I’ve been down every publishing road there is, and trust me, no matter if it’s NY, Small Press or Indie, YOU are responsible for marketing! I love Facebook, and have a group where I am my dorky, snarky, genuine self, and I think that helps move the needle. It is: Laura Drake’s Peace, Love & Books.
JT: I love it and am a faithful follower. What kind of advise would you give to a new author?
Laura: It’s easy to get discouraged on this road, no matter what path you take. When that happens, remember why you started. Rediscover the joy of the writing itself. That always helps me!
Where can people find your books?
- https://www.amazon.com/~/e/B001K81L0E https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/247709.Laura_Drake?from_search=true&from_srp=true
Thank you Laura. I just finished The Road to Me. I wanted to immediately, turn back to page one and read it again. Five Stars *****