Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Laura Jackson Interview and Giveaway

Today, I'm thrilled to welcome my good friend, and debut author, Laura Jackson to my blog today.

Laura has taught 7th grade Language Arts for several years. In fact, she was finishing up college and started teaching 7th grade when I first met her. She is currently an elementary school librarian.

Laura and I have known each other for at least 10 years, probably longer. We met on a Robin Jones Gunn message board called God Lover's Online. As we chatted via messenger, we realized how close we live to each other. And while it's true that Houston is a large city and we do live on different sides, we discovered that it's not too hard to meet up in the middle and hang out. We typically get together once or twice a year to hang out. I'll be the first to say that when I got the text, followed by a phone call, from Laura when she was offered a book contract, I was thrilled for her.

And I'm thrilled to be able to welcome her here today for an interview. So without further ado, here is Laura.

Dawn: Laura, thank you for joining us here today.

Laura: I'm happy to be here. Thanks for hosting me.

Dawn: Well let's get started shall we?  What made you decide to write a novel?

Laura: 

I missed writing after I quit teaching language arts. When my dad was battling cancer, I would sit with him so that my mom could go to church. He’d often sleep the whole time, and so I decided to start a book, wanting a happy ending since we weren’t going to get one with my dad’s health. (But, his going to be with the Lord is the happiest ending for any of us.)

Dawn: I'm sorry to hear about your dad. I lost mine when I was little. 

I know you did NANO. How did you stay disciplined while working full time?

Laura:
I have no clue! I had the idea of Ellie in my head, and the story just flowed fast. I was off for a week for Thanksgiving, so I did a lot of writing then.

Dawn: Tell about your journey to publication.

Laura:
I wrote Worth the Wait in November and December. In January and February, I had it edited by an author and an editor.
In March, I began to send it off to agents. Some replied with a no, some didn’t reply at all, and one told me to edit some more and re-send it.
During that waiting time, I also sent it to a few small publishers that didn’t require agents.
Two publishers asked to see the whole novel, and HopeSprings Books offered me a contract in May. Then, the fun began.
And by fun, I mean countless rounds of editing! Editing was/is harder than writing the first draft.

Dawn: What authors have influenced your writing?

Laura:

Too many to count as far as the writing!
Betsy St. Amant has been an encouragement to me throughout the whole process and offered me a lot of sage advice.
Erynn Mangum and Kristin Billerbeck have the best blogs and are the models I follow for interacting with readers….keeping it focused on the personal and not pushing the sales constantly.

Dawn: Who are your favorites?

Laura: 
Ally Carter, Jenny B. Jones, and Sarah Dessen for YA.
Kristin Billerbeck and Erynn Mangum for chick lit.
Irene Hannon, Dani Pettrey, and Lynette Eason for romantic suspense.
I could go on and on.

 
Dawn: Why did you target the young adult market?

Laura:
I tried writing a Love Inspired type of book when my dad was sick. It was horrible. So, I thought about it…what did I love to read? YA was the first thing that popped in my head, and I decided to try it. It worked.

Dawn: What's next?

Laura:

Lindsey’s story. She’s the mean girl in Worth the Wait. She’s a hateful heifer. I wanted to figure out why she was that way, so I’m writing and actually starting to like her. :)


Thank you Laura for stopping by. I know I'll be looking forward to Lindsey's story. Maybe you can redeem her. :)

Readers - Laura is offering a print copy of Worth the Wait to one lucky winner. This is open to US residents only. Just follow the instructions in the Rafflecopter giveaway below to enter. The drawing begins at 10:00 AM CST today. (so come back then to enter) There are two options that are leaving a blog post comment. These are the two posts that comments are requested on - Worth the Wait Review - Interview with Laura. Not following the instructions on each option can result in being disqualified from the drawing. Ends on Feb 14, 2014 at 11:59 pm. A winner will be chose on the 15th and notified by email. Please ensure that the email address entered into the rafflecopter giveaway is valid. The winner will have until Monday Feb 17, 2014 at 7:00 pm CST to respond with a mailing address or another winner will be chosen.




a Rafflecopter giveaway

9 comments:

  1. Great interview! :-)
    My favorite YA author is Amber Garza :D

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    1. I've never heard of Amber Garza! I'm going to have to check her books out. Thanks for commenting.

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  2. How fun! My favorite young adult author is lois gladys leppard!

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  3. I have so many favorite YA authors! Melanie Dickerson, Krista McGee, Andrew Klavan, Lisa Bergren... and many more. :)

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    1. I love Krista McGee. I've never heard of Andrew Klavan....going to look for him now!

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  4. I love reading good YA fiction too! Melanie Dickerson is one of my favorites! martha(at)lclink(dot)com

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    1. I keep hearing about Melanie's books! I need to read one soon. Which one would recommend?

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  5. Oh goodness, picking a favorite YA author is like picking a favorite child. YA is one of my favorite genres. A few of my notable favorites are: Julie Kagawa, Maggie Stiefvater, Tahereh Mafi, Michelle Hodkin. I could go on and on :)
    ~Jenny V.~

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I love to read your comments! Feel free to share your thoughts with me and my readers. I will try to reply as I'm able.