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Monday, October 24, 2011

Welcome Author Laurel Gans

  Where do you hail from and/or  what do you love/hate most about your hometown?

I grew up in Cleveland, Ohio! It’s not as bad as everybody says it is. It’s true we get snow from October through April but we also get snow days and a long ski season!  

I now live in Columbus, Ohio and go to The Ohio State University.

·         Tell us about your books.  Do you have anything new in the works and can you tell us a bit about it?

I’m really excited about my new book Waitlisted.  It’s a humorous young adult novel about the crazy things students will do to get into graduate school. I was doing a practice graduate school interview with my dad when the book idea came to me. I found it so funny that students literally have to rehearse their lines for an interview when the school insists they want us to ‘be ourselves.’

·         Is there anything you find particularly challenging about writing?

I find it challenging to balance the humor and the plot progression. A lot of times the humor comes from the characters’ flaws. Once the characters begin to grow and mature it’s much harder to make the comedy feel natural.  

·         What advice would you give to writers just starting out?

Finish reading this then go write something! The best way to learn is to practice and get feedback. Try to write a little bit everyday and share your work with others. You can’t be shy about showing your work to people if you want to grow as a writer. You need to know your readers in order to write a book for them.

 When I was writing Waitlisted  I would get feedback from the audience at monthly readings. I paid close attention to the lines that got the biggest (and smallest) laughs. I would discuss with the group how they felt about my characters, the storyline, and the overall pacing of the book. Most importantly, hearing the crowd laugh gave me the encouragement and the confidence to finish my book.

·         Do you ever suffer from writer's block?
If so, what do you do about it?

 Oh yes!  Sometimes it helps to just relax and play with the story a little bit. Toss in a new fun character into the mix and see if it helps get your creativity going. Don’t judge your work right away. It’s okay to not end up using your new character as long as you keep writing J

·         How did you deal with rejection letters?

I really focused on not taking it personally. I reminded myself how many people I made laugh at the local readings and how proud of myself I was for finishing a manuscript. To me, the biggest reward was just finishing my book. After that, everything else was a special bonus.

…I also called my mom.

·         What tools do you feel are must-haves for writers?

A schedule and a writing room. I never would have finished without a special place to go write and a schedule. Every night at 9:40 (it was originally 9:30 but I was forced give myself ten minutes of Facebook/YouTube/Twitter time) I knew I had to get writing. I had a little desk in the basement and I would try to get in at least three pages a day.  A book is a lot less daunting to write when you break it down into three pages a day.

·         Don't forget to give us links to your website etc.


Catherine Cavendish said...

Great post and I love your writing philosophy, Laurel. Good luck with the book sales. 'Waitlisted' sounds great fun!

Ute Carbone said...

Nice post, Laurel. The book looks wonderful.

Brinda said...

Congrats on your new release. It sounds like a terrific read! Also, I LOVE the cover.

Tara Lain said...

Wonderful cover, Laurel and the book sounds wonderful. congratulations!
: )

Sue Swift said...

I loved your book and the cover's also cute. Best of luck! I wish you many many sales.