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A Bit About Laura

In her formative years, Laura embarked on extensive journeys with her military family, immersing herself in diverse cultures and places that fueled her expansive imagination. As a child, storytelling became her primary source of entertainment when books were not readily available.

Laura's venture into novel writing took root when a compelling character spoke directly to her, posing the intriguing question, "What am I going to do with you?" Since that pivotal moment, characters have continued to assert their influence, dictating their adventures to Laura, who faithfully captures their narratives on paper. This unique intersection of childhood wanderlust and the persistent voices of her characters has shaped Laura's journey as an author, resulting in captivating tales born from a blend of personal experiences and imaginative storytelling.

Questions

1. What is Dangerous Romance?

Dangerous Romance is a blend of romance, suspense, and psychological thriller, where passion and danger collide to create a captivating narrative.

2. Why are your male main characters villains?

Growing up, I was drawn to the complexity of the "bad guy" characters like Darth Vader, The Goblin King from Labyrinth, and Long John Silver in Muppet Treasure Island ect... That fascination has stayed with me.

3. Do you outline your books before you write?

I don't follow an outline. The stories come to me spontaneously, often triggered by everyday observations. A drive past a gate might inspire a tale of a mansion housing a lonely killer, waiting for a fair maiden to save him. Once inspired, I dive into writing, and the characters themselves become my guides, even waking me up at times. The process is an all-consuming obsession to uncover the twists and turns that will lead to the story's conclusion. My family might not see much of me during this creative phase, as I am driven to discover what will happen at the end of the book.

4. Can you share some insights into your writing process?

To maintain a consistent writing routine, I strive to sit at my desk every day. Microsoft Word serves as my primary writing tool. I ensure that paper and pen are always within arm's reach, and I frequently have open photos on my desktop for visual inspiration.

Music is a constant companion throughout my writing journey, with an eclectic mix ranging from Etta James, David Bowie, Panic at the Disco or or Disco face. When others are present in the house, I rely on headphones to fully immerse myself in the writing soundtrack. It's not uncommon for me to become captivated by a single song for several consecutive days.

5. What draws you to explore the darker aspects of romance and psychological thrillers in your writing?

My inclination towards exploring the darker facets of romance and psychological thrillers stems from a lifelong attraction to the shadows. I remember reading Bram Stoker's Dracula in Middle School, the Iliad and Odyssey because it was in reach in study hall, all the required books of my school years. The adventures in Tolkien’s works and Dragons from Anne McCaffery’s universes.

The allure of a compelling antagonist, the "bad guy," has been a constant fascination throughout my life. I find myself drawn to these darker elements, and my writing reflects a desire to delve into the complexities of characters who reside in the shadows. Unlike conventional romances, I've never been content with the notion that these intriguing characters should end up alone.

6. Do you draw inspiration from real-life events or people when crafting the dangerous and suspenseful elements in your novels?

I draw inspiration for the dangerous and suspenseful elements in my novels from various sources. Whether it's a gate along a dirt road, an image flickering on my computer screen, or a melody playing in a store as I walk by.

I rarely incorporate real-life events into my narratives. I use a wide variety of images to choose what a character looks like at the beginning of writing, but they morph and grow as the book proceeds.

7, How do you ensure that your characters, particularly the female protagonists, are portrayed with depth and agency within the context of a dangerous and suspenseful narrative?

I take great care to depict my female protagonists with both strength and empathy, ensuring they are key participants within the context of a dangerous and suspenseful narrative. In my novels, I intentionally include warning signs and obstacles that my female protagonists would try to avoid, if possible. It's essential to note that these scenarios are fantastical and intended solely for the realm of fiction, never to be experienced in real life.

8. Your books often feature morally complex characters. How do you approach creating characters with shades of gray rather than strict heroes or villains?

When it comes to crafting characters, I lean towards the morally complex, finding inspiration in the shades of gray rather than adhering to strict hero or villain archetypes. To put it in superhero terms, I'm more of a Batman fan than a Superman enthusiast, and there is a soft spot for the Joker in there as well.

 In the realm of romance writing, I appreciate the creative license to sidestep traditional red flags and immerse both characters and readers in the intense world of passion.

9. Are there specific themes or messages you aim to convey through your Dangerous Romance novels?

One prevalent theme in my Dangerous Romance novels is the triumph of love amidst adversity, although it comes at the cost of sacrifice and pain.

10. How has your background and upbringing, particularly your experiences traveling with a military family, influenced the settings and atmospheres in your novels?

My upbringing, particularly the extensive travel with my military family, has significantly shaped the settings and atmospheres in my novels. Traveling has not only broadened my imagination, but has also endowed me with the capacity to conjure characters from diverse walks of life that I might never have encountered otherwise. From meeting a king, to witnessing children begging, interacting with cult members recruiting, and engaging with killers in prison, these experiences have indelibly altered my perspective and enriched the authenticity of my storytelling.

11. Your novels often involve characters in unconventional or challenging relationships. How do you approach depicting these relationships realistically while keeping them engaging for readers?

My narrative approach revolves around allowing my characters to guide the story, trusting that they inherently understand their desires. Rather than fixating on strict realism, I aim for a believable suspension of reality.

It may sound unconventional, but I write for myself, rather than tailoring it specifically for readers.

12. What advice do you have for aspiring authors looking to delve into the Dangerous Romance genre?

My best advice would be to read extensively in many genres and to just sit down and write. It might sound simple, but it’s not. Writing is a discipline. Carve out a time and go at it like a job.

Don’t let your moral compass drive the character's decision making process.

13. How do you navigate the fine line between romance and psychological thriller?

Recently, I learned that my appreciation for psychological thrillers aligned with the genre of horror movies, surprising even myself. Similarly, in my writing, I've come to realize that what I initially perceived as a straightforward romance often requires a crucial infusion of thriller elements. I find that the inclusion of psychological tension is essential; it adds depth and challenge, demanding my protagonist to earn her happy ending.

14. Can you share any anecdotes about how your characters have surprised you or taken the story in unexpected directions as you were writing?

When characters veer off the path I've laid out for them, they often dig in their heels, refusing to budge until I acknowledge their desires. In the past, I've found myself compelled to type out a sentence on my computer before the character would release their hold on my imagination, much like a persistent song stuck in one's head.

During the early years of my writing journey, their relentless insistence on having their voices heard left me sleep-deprived and barely able to pause for meals. However, over time, we've reached a mutual understanding, and now, whenever I hear them speaking, I pause to capture their words without delay.

Having a character suddenly decide he needed to die was heart wrenching. I was expecting him to continue in the story and suddenly he was laying on the ground bleeding out from a gunshot wound. I sat crosslegged on my chair sobbing as I wrote his death scene.

15. Do you have a favorite scene or moment from any of your Dangerous Romance novels? If so, what makes it stand out to you?

All of my books have favorite scenes, but the moments of acceptance are my favorite. Witnessing the heroine embrace the love of her damaged man, unconditionally and without reservation, sends my heart aflutter. My desire is for readers to not only witness but also to feel the profound sense of acceptance that permeates these scenes, allowing them to bask in the warmth of love overcoming all obstacles.

16. How do you handle the balance between delivering a satisfying conclusion for readers and leaving room for potential sequels or spin-offs in your Dangerous Romance series?

Sequels or spin-offs aren't something I consciously plan while writing; they unfold organically. Often, I discover that I'm not ready to part ways with a character, and the next book seamlessly begins, catching me by surprise.

17. What inspired you to write and how did you begin?

I’ve written all my life. I enjoyed writing assignments in school and recreational writing, but it never went anywhere with it.

In my forties while visiting the library. I looked at the back of an audio book and the actor on the back had steepled fingers. I heard a voice in my head say. “What am I going to do with you?” It sent shivers down my back and I knew this was my first character.

The sentence didn’t stop repeating until I got it written and the story just continued on.

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