Last week it was my turn to be launching a new release from Crooked Cat Publishing, but today it's new kitty Laura Huntley's shot as she lets her 'Black Eyed Boy' fly onto the vitual bookshelves. She's very busy at her Facebook Launch Party
(there's an open invitation, I believe, to join her - just click)
but has taken the time to be interviewed by me. I'm very pleased this is happening because it was only yesterday that I realised I had made a huge mistake in not sending on the questions to Laura. But the trooper that she is, Laura returned the answers immediately!
Hello Laura, catch your breath from the hectic Facebook partying and have a seat. Let's get to know you a bit better....
Thank you for having me over, Nancy. My first novel, Black Eyed Boy, is released today and I couldn’t be happier. What a dream come true.
Tell us about your writing history. When was the first time you decided to write and when was the first time you did? I have been writing since I discovered that cat rhymed with mat. I used to write a lot of poems when I was a little girl. Then, I wrote a fantasy adventure story, at the age of nine, and I knew that was what I wanted to do. I started sending off my flash fiction and short stories in 2012 and I haven’t looked back.
Tell us about your first book? How did you decide on the characters, plots and title? Firstly, I had a main character in my head. Emily is loosely based on my younger cousin. I had to wait for the plot to land in my lap and I was overjoyed when the idea descended on me from out of nowhere. I longed to write something a little bit different and I very much hope that I have. There was a fair amount of research to plough through before I could make a proper start. The internet was handy, I spent a long time in the library and I listened to a lot of music. The title, Black Eyed Boy, came from the song by Texas. It was an achingly perfect fit.
Did anyone influence you / encourage you to become a writer? Writing has always made me happy. It’s an itch I have to scratch and I end up feeling miserable if I go too long between projects. Teachers were extremely encouraging throughout my school days. I always had glowing school reports for my creativity, way with words and imagination. It was a totally different story with maths …
Who would you hope plays the characters in a movie version? Ooh, good question! Last year, I watched a programme, Glue, on E4. There was a young actress on there and I kept thinking that she could play Emily. (to see Charlotte Spencer from Glue click HERE)
As for Dylan, the only actor I can think of is Jackson Rathbone. He has that sultry smile thing going on and he has lovely eyes.
Other characters: Julianne Moore as Emily’s mum and Daniel Day Lewis as her dad. Jamie Bell as Billy.
Did you have it all planned out before you write your stories or do the characters and story surprise you?
Black Eyed Boy is my first novel and writing it has been an interesting learning curve. Normally, I’m not particularly strict with myself and I tend to write quite freely. This was entirely different. I had precise notes of what needed to happen, chapter by chapter. Once the characters take over though, they can change my plans quite easily and that’s cool too. They know best.
Which character did you most enjoy writing? Hmm, that’s a hard question. As dreamy and charismatic as Dylan is, I would have to choose Emily. She’s a complex character and I came to admire her bravery and determination to be happy under some truly horrific circumstances. She’s my hero. I hope that anyone who reads my book will root for her as I did.
What would your characters say about you?
Wow. I’ve never been asked that before. That’s an intriguing concept. I think Emily and I would get along well. She may find that I am an older version of her in a few ways. I think that Dylan would laugh his head off that I had quite fallen for his charms. That’s okay. One glimpse at that slow, warming smile and I’d be a puddle on the floor anyway.
What do you like best about writing? What’s your least favourite thing?
I love everything. From that initial spark of the idea and I can’t write it all down fast enough … to the final few words of my manuscript when I’m crying like a fool. It’s an escapism, a beautiful retreat and an overwhelming compulsion. I am certainly at my happiest when I’m working on something that I love.
Editing. Oh my. I really do hate it. It’s the bossy older sister. I just had fun creating this brand new world and then I have to come and clean it all up with a mop and bucket. It drives me absolutely crazy. I can sit for hours, sometimes, merely trying to choose between two different words THAT MEAN THE SAME THING! Thank goodness for brilliant editors, I say. I was lucky enough to have Sue Barnard working with me and she was a fantastic breath of fresh air. I hope to work with her again once I submit the sequel.
Thank you, Nancy, for the fascinating questions. They certainly made me think.
About the Author.
Laura has written since childhood, her head has always been constantly filled with story ideas.
Living in Sheffield with her partner and three children, she is a huge fan of the charming and picturesque coastal town of Whitby, a jewel of North Yorkshire.
She runs a writing group at her local library, encouraging like-minded scribblers to put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard.
Laura’s short stories, flash-fiction and poetry have been widely published in many anthologies. Black Eyed Boy is her first novel. Currently she is writing the sequel, Green Eyed Girl. Emily and Dylan will return.
Thank you for coming today, Laura, and the very best wishes for a cracking launch of Black Eyed Boy.