Author on the Couch: Laura Trentham
Today I’m conducting a session with… Laura Trentham
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Me: Tell me about an experience that had a profound impact on your life.
Laura: Having a special needs child. We didn’t get an official diagnosis until she was three, but somewhere inside, I knew something wasn’t right. After we found out, I had a difficult time managing my anxiety, and I’d never been a particularly anxious person before. I turned to books. I read at least a book a day, sometimes more for about nine months. Around the same time, my husband bought me my first ereader. A whole new world opened up. As I discovered self published books (some fabulous, some terrible), I decided to try to write a book. I was thirty-eight and had never attempted to write anything.
My daughter got put into a wonderful preschool class for special needs kids which freed up my mornings. The plan was to write three historical romances and self publish them. I didn’t tell anyone—not even my husband—what I was doing until I was around 30k into the book with no sign of a slowdown. Eventually, after many *many* revisions, that book turned into An Indecent Invitation, and got me an agent, a Golden Heart® final, and my first book contract.
Me: What personality trait of yours helps you most as an author?
Laura: Tenacity and resiliency. I’ve always got a plan B brewing.
Me: What personality trait of yours hinders you most as an author?
Laura: Impatience. If you know anything about publishing (traditional anyway), you know it’s slow. Tortoise slow. Sloth slow. Slug slow. It’s common to turn a book in a year before it even releases, then you wait for edits, copyedits, page proofs and finally for its release. But beyond even that, for most of us, building an audience takes time. It’s understanding you have to win over one reader at a time.If you know anything about traditional publishing, you know it’s slow. Tortoise slow. Sloth slow. Slug slow. @LauraTrentham #AmWriting Click To Tweet
Me: What was your high point as a writer—a time when you were happiest, on cloud nine, flying high? What happened?
Laura: Gosh, there have been so many. Getting an offer of representation from my agent. Finaling in the Golden Heart®, getting my first print deal.
Me: What was your low point as a writer—a time when you questioned your path as a writer, a time when you felt really crappy about your writing? What happened? How did you get over it?
Laura: Gosh, there have been so many. Lol. The absolute worst I have felt about my writing was after the release of my first book. Watching my amazon ranking and reviews come in paralyzed me with anxiety, and I questioned why I was torturing myself for minimal financial gain. It took two weeks for my natural resiliency to kick in. Every release seems to get easier, thank goodness. I’ve come to understand that the book market is fickle. It’s difficult to predict which book will take off and which will tank. Unfortunately, it’s not always about quality.It’s difficult to predict which book will take off and which will tank. Unfortunately, it’s not always about quality. @LauraTrentham #AmWriting Click To Tweet
Me: How many books have you written? How long does it typically take you to write a book? What’s the most painful part of the writing process for you?
Laura: Fourteen full length books, four novellas. Some are sitting on my hard drive, but I have plans to release everything one way or another. (See Plan B:)
By far, the most difficult part of the process for me is drafting. I’m a panster so the faster I can vomit all the words onto the page, the faster I can figure out where I’ve gone off on a rabbit trail or left plot holes behind. Instead of fixing things right then, I’ll jot changes to make in a notebook, adjust the direction of my story and keep on going. I have a word count goal every weekday. I don’t care if I’m not in the mood. I write until my brain is exhausted (or I have to pick the kids up from school), knowing I can fix the words on my edit. And, I love editing. It takes me around three months, from first word to when I turn in a complete, polished manuscript to my editor.I write until my brain is exhausted, knowing I can fix the words on my edit. @LauraTrentham #AOTC #AmWriting Click To Tweet
Me: What causes stress in your writing life? Why?
Laura: The business and marketing side of writing. I never feel like I’m doing enough. It’s easy to get so caught up in the business side that you forget to leave yourself enough time to actually create.
Me: Tell me a little bit about your Small town Contemporary Romance novel LEAVE THE NIGHT ON.
Laura: Love, betrayal, and sweet revenge–life in Cottonbloom is about to get a whole lot hotter . . .
Sutton Mize is known for lavishing attention on the customers who flock to her boutique on the wealthy side of her Mississippi town. So when she finds a lace thong in her fiance’s classic cherry-red Camaro, she knows just who she sold it to: her own best friend. In an instant, Sutton’s whole world goes up in flames. . .
Wyatt Abbott has harbored a crush on Sutton since he was a young kid from the other side of the tracks. He witnessed Sutton’s shocking discovery in the Camaro at his family-owned garage–and it made him angry. What kind of man could take lovely, gorgeous Sutton for granted? But then Sutton comes up with an idea: Why not give her betrothed a taste of his own medicine and pretend that she’s got a lover of her own?
Wyatt is more than happy to play the hot-and-heavy boyfriend. But what begins as a fictional affair soon develops into something more real, and more passionate, than either Sutton or Wyatt could have imagined. Could it be that true love has been waiting under the hood all along?
Me: Share with us a favorite paragraph or two from your newest release.
Laura: “Whatever,” Sutton said under her breath. The role of forgiving nice girl who never rocked the boat would have to go to her understudy tonight. Not only was she going to rock the boat, she planned to blow the mother-flipping thing to smithereens.
I like this paragraph because it marks the beginning of Sutton deciding to live her life for herself and not to please the people around her.
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Abbie Roads writes dark emotional novels featuring damaged characters, but always gives her hero and heroine a happy ending… after torturing them for three hundred pages. RACE THE DARKNESS and HUNT THE DAWN are available now! SAVING MERCY Book 1 in the Fatal Truth Series is available now.