Lexi: Which authors inspire(d) you?
Lara: So many! One of my favorite authors is Diana Gabaldon (best known for the Outlander series). I love her descriptive language, and the way she immerses you in a scene so you can practically smell and taste what’s going on! And her characters are so three dimensional and real. I also love Joanna Bourne for her dialogue (and Julia Quinn as well!) and when I want something action-packed, I reach for Karen Marie Moning or J.R. Ward. But really, I could spend all day talking about books and Authors!
Lexi: Everyone has their own writing process…how they come up with ideas, how they name their characters, how they choose the setting. Can you describe your writing process?
Lara: I usually start with a question—normally, it’s a ‘what if?’ thought. As I mull it over, details and pieces of information come to me, and I begin to picture scenes and characters. Once I ‘meet’ a character, I listen to them, learning more about them as I imagine them in different scenes.
Generally, as I write, I’m what you call a pantster, in that I don’t create a detailed outline of what’s going to happen in the book before I get started. I know the general story arc, but I give the characters a lot of latitude to tell me what happens. It’s fun to see what kind of trouble they get into, and how they respond!
Lexi: What are you working on now?
Lara: I’m working on a Colton novella for the next installment of the Coltons of Shadow Creek miniseries from Harlequin Romantic Suspense—it will be released this November. I’m also writing a few proposals for some new books I hope to write later in the year.
Lexi: Why did you choose this sub-genre of romance?
Lara: When I started writing, I initially intended to write contemporary romance. But as I worked on the manuscript, dangerous scenarios kept popping up. Eventually, I realized I don’t know how to write a book without some element of suspense!
Lexi: What are your favorite traits of the two main characters?
Lara: I love Avery’s determination. She’s been hurt very badly by Grant, but she refuses to let that be the defining point of her life. She picked herself up and has tried to move on with her life. It hasn’t always been easy for her, but I love that she wakes up every morning willing to fight for her happy ending.
As for Grant, I love his loyalty. He knows he messed things up with Avery, but he’s never forgotten her or the life they had planned. When he sees her again, he realizes he’s been given the gift of a second chance, and his efforts to earn back her trust show that he never stopped loving her.
Lexi: What is your favorite treat? Why?
Lara: I love an ice-cold Coke. I’m from Texas, so when I say coke, I really mean Coca-Cola (when we say coke here, the next question is usually ‘which kind?’) I also love really good chips and salsa. Queso doesn’t hurt, either. :-)
Lexi: What has been the best piece of advice you ever received for your writing career?
Lara: Don’t stop! Everyone has their own process, but the most important thing is to keep going, even when discouragement sets in.
Lexi: Does your pet help with your writing or distract?
Lara: I have two cats, and they are far more interested in sleeping on my bed than in disturbing me. Unless it’s dinner time. Then they turn into yowling beasts who can only be silenced by a full bowl of kitty food.
Lexi: What does your family think of your writing career?
Lara: My brother thinks it’s hilarious I write romance novels, but he and the rest of my family are very supportive and proud of me. I’m lucky to have such a great family!
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Dr. Do or Die blurb:
Two doctors are on thin ice as they race to save the world from a deadly disease.
Epidemic researcher Dr. Avery Thatcher has studied countless illnesses…but nothing prepares her for what she finds at a remote Antarctic base: the man she never wanted to see again and a mysterious ailment ravaging inhabitants. Avery will do whatever it takes to discover the illness's cause, and she vows to keep her heartbreaking history with Dr. Grant Jones in the past—even if reignited passion brings them dangerously close.
For Grant, ending this outbreak and regaining Avery's trust are vital. As their hunt to contain a lethal pathogen escalates, he'll put everything on the line to avert disaster. But will another insidious threat stop them both cold?
I earned my Ph.D. in microbiology and immunology and worked in several labs across the country before moving into the classroom. My day job as a college science professor gives me time to pursue my other love--writing fast-paced romantic suspense, with smart, nerdy heroines and dangerously attractive heroes. I love to hear from readers! Find me on the web, or contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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