Welcome to my Wonderful Women Writer Series. Today’s guest is Laurie Brantley.
I met Laurie through NaNoWriMo and it has been a pleasure. Laurie takes a relaxed approach to things, I think I could learn a few things from her. She has a very calm, peaceful presence about her.
1. Tell me a little about yourself.
I live in VA with my husband and our dog. I enjoy cooking, gardening, reading, being with friends and family.
2. What genre do you write?
I’ve written one children’s book and two Christian romance novels.
3. How did you get started?
I got started as an Empty Nester. I was in this “What do I do now?” stage. After a lot of hem-hawing around, I asked myself what it was I enjoyed doing when I was younger – before I had children. The answer quickly came. Writing!! I started writing when I was in the fifth grade and it was interrupted after my first child was born. When I realized this was something I wanted to seriously persue, I enrolled in a couple of writing classes and was on my way. Later, I participated (and won) in NaNoWriMo, where I wrote my first and second novels, writing by the seat of my pants.
4. Describe your writing routine.
My writing routine is not as dedicated as others, as I have learned I prefer to do it as more of a hobby. I love to participate in NaNoWriMo which motivates me to do more and better each year. Little by little I slowly progress. I read a lot of motivational blogs and other works to keep me inspired. But, I really don’t have a daily routine all the time. There will be times when I write and times when I don’t write – depending on what is going on in my life at the time. And when I say “write”, I’m referring to writing articles or books. I usually do some sort of other writing on a regular basis.
5. How do you manage writing with the rest of your life as wife, mother, grandmother, employee and/or any other hats you wear?
Other hats I wear are working in several volunteer positions. I am also currently in the beginning stages of starting up my own virtual assistant business where I will be using my writing to assist others who don’t like to write, such as speakers, planners, professional organizers, small business owners. I’ll use my writing for this target market to help them out with things like blogs, newsletters, etc. People that don’t like to write, need people who enjoy it.
6. How long did it take you to have your first book published?
I’ve had several articles published online and in newspapers and magazines, but I am currently in the slow take-my-time process of getting my first children’s story e-book published. Publishing was very intimidating to me and it has taken me a lot of time and movtivating myself to get the courage up to do this. I’ve recently found an artist for my book cover and I might have found an illustrator. I learn as I go, but I don’t let the upsets keep me down.
7. What method did you choose and why?
I’m not sure what you mean by “method”, but when I wrote my romance novels during NaNoWriMo, I did those by the seat of my pants. I initially participated as a writing exercise for myself. The reason was because I went into NaNoWriMo without intention of completing a novel. I just wanted the exercise of writing more fiction, as I had been doing a lot of non-fiction. But, with patience and persistance, I ended up with a novel by the seat of my pants. The second time I participated, I did it the same way because it just seemed to work for me. When I wrote my children’s book, I was a bit more disciplined.
8. What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
My advicse to aspiring authors is to keep plugging at it. Write something each day – even if it’s just a journal entry. Write! I highly recommend NaNoWriMo as an exercise. It will show you that a little bit each day will bring great results. Plus, there is a lot of support for getting published and continuing on with your writing. And read about writing.
9. Who are your favorite authors?
I have a lot of favorite authors so this list could be long. But, I enjoy John Grisham, Phyllis Whitney, Mary Stewart and Margaret Mitchell, to name a few.
This is where I usually promo the author’s work, and tell you where you can find them. This is what Laurie had to say:
I’m still working on getting an illustrator for my children’s e-book, so I haven’t uploaded it yet on Amazon. I’m very slowly editing my first novel, so it’s a work in progress still. Like I mentioned, I’m very slow so I don’t have any links right now.