Welcome to the Diamond mine Laurie.
Can you share a little of your writing journey?
Jackie, thank you so much for inviting me! It's a pleasure to be here. This year, 2020, is a milestone year for me because I've been a published author for twenty years! Hard to believe. Even as a child I loved writing and reading, so I dreamed of being a writer. Back in the late 90's, when my life was busy as can be with a husband, two small children and a big busy demanding day job, I decided to add to the "crazy" and start writing a book! I plunged forward, committing an hour a day to writing, and within ten months, I had a finished book. I was lucky to find a publisher who liked it as much as I did. Lots of things have changed since then -- what I write, how I write, how fast I write. But one thing that hasn't changed ... I'm still writing! Twenty-two books later!
How did you end up on the coast of South Carolina?
I grew up in Illinois, and that's also where we raised our family. But every summer as a child, we went to Pawleys Island for a heavenly two weeks vacation where family members gathered from all over the country. We eventually stopped going there, but it never strayed far from my memory bank. About five years ago, we took a vacation to Myrtle Beach and I was consumed with trying to find The Old Gray Barn, the old house we used to rent on PI every year. When my husband and I found it, using just my old memories, we celebrated. That planted the seed in my mind of wanting to settle here permanently once the busy day job was done. We moved here a year ago full time.
Why did you choose this area for a book setting? I like to include real-life images and memories in my fiction novels. They really bring the stories to life. When I made the decision to start writing related stories in a series, I knew I needed a location that I wouldn't mind spending a lot of time in. Going back to Pawleys Island just seemed to make sense.
As a reader do you prefer fiction or non-fiction? What are some books in your TBR stack?
I prefer to read fiction. Mostly contemporary, but occasionally historical. Some of the books I have on my TBR pile are The Story of Arthur Truluv by Elizabeth Berg, The Forgiving Kind by Donna Everhart and A Southern Girl by John Warley.
Where do you read the most? Bed, chair, couch, beach?
All the above!
Why did you decide to go into Christian fiction?
I've always been a woman of faith, but when I started writing novels I fell naturally into the romance genre. However, after writing seven novels I knew something was off. I no longer wanted to write easily forgettable love stories, with characters not remembered after the last page was turned. I wanted to write stories that glorified God, and communicated God's message to people who really needed to hear heartwarming, life-changing stories. I prayed for God's help and guidance, and it was then that my creativity and muse really took off.
Since moving to the inspirational romance genre, I've written thirteen books, two of which are award-winners. I know I'm writing the types of stories I was meant to write.
Laurie, can you share what you have planned for 2020?
I'd love to! I'm starting a brand new series called "Matchmaking Moms of Oceanview Church." It features three women who have adult children who, for one reason or another, don't have their game together when it comes to love. Being moms, they want to help. But they know they can't just openly tell their kids who to date. So they create a covert group of matchmakers who, if successful, will lead their offspring to the loves of their lives. It will be a fun, light-hearted series, kicking off with a prologue novella "Meet the Moms," three full-length novels, and then an epilogue novella which throws in an unexpected ending.
Are your books loosely related or standalones?
For this series, I'd recommend readers read the first book first to understand the premise, and the rest can be read in any order.
What has been your favorite series?
I've completed two series, and they both take place at the beach, Pawleys Island Paradise and Murrells Inlet Miracles. "PIP" was my first foray into my new beachy brand of inspirational romance so it will forevermore hold a very special place in my heart.
Which heroine is most like you?
I'd have to point to Lesley, who is the "matriarch" of the Harrison clan who make up the Pawleys Island Paradise series. Although her life is different than mine, I relate to her the most.
Where is your favorite place to write?
When I first started writing, it had to be at my desktop computer in my office with the keyboard and the monitor and the printer, etc. I couldn't seem to start writing without all that was familiar. But now, I literally can write anywhere. I prefer writing on my laptop now, and so I'm mobile. I can write in public, at the dining room table, even in the recliner while my husband's watching TV. If the story's flowing, distractions can't bother me.
Readers, leave a comment for a chance to win and ebook copy of Laurie's award winning book Crescendo.
website: www.authorlaurielarsen.com FB: https://www.facebook.com/authorlaurielarsen Twitter: https://twitter.com/AuthorLaurie Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/laurie-larsen Amazon Author Central: https://www.amazon.com/Laurie-Larsen/e/B007GRLY0A?ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1&qid=1580235142&sr=8-1 Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/412692.Laurie_Larsen