Name: Laura Seeber
Age: I actually stopped ageing at 29, but the calendar says 40
Where are you from: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States/. It is the land of disappearing roads, bridges to nowhere, and undoubtedly the best American football team in existence. Go Steelers!
A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc.
I am trained as a geologist, and in addition to my writing do work as such, as well as own my own business. I have been married to the same wonderful man since 2005, and have some lovely and intelligent parents and brilliant if not incorrigible brothers. To escape from the mundane life, I enjoy the outdoors, martial arts, and drawing and painting. I currently reside (or wreak havoc as the case may be) in Colorado, United States.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
Oh boy- lots! On the writing front, I’m currently working on a number of projects- including a mystery web comic, the second in a science fiction/mystery series that started with my novel The Revelation of Jack, and I’m also putting together a number of short stories to submit to various magazines and other outlets in the hopes of getting my name out there more. I’m also re-organizing my online story showcase The Writer’s Thread Showcase to make it better for 2016. On the non-writing front, I’m helping my husband put together an Etsy store to help sell some of our natural stone, metal and glass jewelry creations. Life is certainly very busy, but very rewarding and fun!
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
Well, I’ve been making up stories and telling them ever since I could talk, probably, but I really didn’t start writing them down until after high school. It wasn’t until about 2003 when the job market was really tight and I got laid off that I realized that I could actually make money writing those stories down on paper and letting other people read them. Since then, I haven’t looked back.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Truth be told, I still don’t identify myself as writer privately. I do to the general public, because by definition that’s what I do to make a living. To me, I always have been, and always will be a storyteller. I don’t care the medium—art, visual, written word. Whatever it is, I get my biggest satisfaction from creating and telling stories. I always have.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
My first novel, The Spring and Autumn Murders was written as a direct result of a writing exercise that I took part in. Essentially, a cork board was divided into three areas. One area had a world map, another area was divided into “the past” “the present” and “the future” and the final area was divided into the various genres like “mystery” “romance” “science fiction” etc. Everyone threw three darts, one for each section. My darts landed on “the past”, “mystery” and the area around the northeastern China/Korea. So I started doing research into that area of the world, and started writing.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
I don’t believe so, but really I never thought too much about it. I certainly have my own writing voice, but as to how I go about writing, or my various writing habits, they tend to change as needed on a regular basis. I am definitely an outliner and planner in my stories. I suppose I do that because the rest of my life is very chaotic, so I need some sense of order in something.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
For my novel The Spring and Autumn Murders I came up with that title because the murders in the story take place during the Spring and Autumn Period in ancient Chinese history. For my novel, The Revelation of Jack, the title is based on the premise that a profound truth or “revelation” is revealed to or about the main character of Jack. Pretty simple stuff, I know.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
I actually get this question quite a bit, and it’s a great one. Truth be told, I don’t write books to send the readers a “message”, either ethical or a moral one like many authors do. If the reader finds a higher meaning or interpretation in my stories, that’s great. My aim however is to simple write a story that they will enjoy and remember fondly.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?
All my stories, whether they are mysteries or science fiction/fantasy (the two main genres I work in) have a very strong realistic feel to them. I am a firm believer in the idea that in order for a story to be enjoyable, the reader must be able to relate to it easily. For me that means making sure my mysteries have a plausible and logical solution hidden within them, and that my science fiction and fantasies have at least some scientific or logical basis to them.
Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Honestly, yes and no. I get a ton of inspiration from the world around me, and people that I know, but most of the material in my book is based on things from my imagination. For example, I might transform a walk in the park where I meet a pair of young kids playing catch into a battle scene between an valiant knight blocking fireballs from a desperate wizard who is trying to kill the knight because he sees him as the last threat to the people that the wizard was sworn to protect.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?
This is actually a hard question to answer—not because I have none, but because I have too many. One of my core beliefs is that everyone and everything has something to teach us, to give us inspiration. As such, I consider practically everything to be an influence. But if we’re talking specific books, I would have to say that Sad Cypress by Agatha Christie, The Tao Te Ching, Dune, by Frank Hubert, The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett, and The Dragons of Eden by Carl Sagan are my most influential books when it comes to writing.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
I just started reading Murder and Brandy Boy by Diane Harman. Hope to have it finished soon so I can post a review of it on my blog, Emerald Musings.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Unfortunately for my wallet, entirely too many! Plus some of them have been on the market for a while, but are just being discovered by yours truly. So far I’m really enjoying the works of C. Hope Clark, Rachel Grant, Chris Taylor, Max China, and John Holt.
Fiona: What are your current projects?
Well, as I stated earlier, I’m currently working on a mystery web comic, a second novel in my Revelation series, and a number of short stories. Unfortunately I don’t have working titles for them yet.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
If I had to choose one (there have actually been quite a few) I would have to say my friend Kathy West.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
It’s allowing me to keep a roof over my head and food on the table for my family, so most certainly yes.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
As far as the actual story, not really. I would, however have hired a better editor!
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
My interest in writing originated from my need to record the various stories that were pouring out of my head before I forgot them completely. Like I said, I’m a storyteller. 😀
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Well, the current web comic that I’m working on is centered on a young detective and his two adopted/foster brothers who move into a duplex after he is transferred into a new homicide squad. While the detective is thrown into a case involving a serial killer that relishes in torture, his brothers stumble on a mystery involving their young landlady. Little do they know that the two mysteries are connected.
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
I know this may sound strange, but the biggest struggle I have in my writing is simply finding the time to sit down and do the actual typing! But somehow I managed to do some each day.
Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
Hands down my favorite author is Agatha Christie. I have yet to find an author that can compare with her ability to weave a tight knit story, with complex characters, and a hilarious truthful understanding of the culture in which her stories operated. A close second would be Naoki Urasawa, a mangaka who wrote Monster and 20th Century Boys to name of few.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
I like to travel to various locations during the research stages when it is feasible. Right now I tend to travel a bit locally for promotion, but hope to expand my traveling in 2016 to include more regional and national conferences, etc.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
Mostly my husband, Michael Seeber. He’s a fantastic graphic designer and layout artist.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Two things really, knowing how to start, and determining where to end it.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
I learned that I can’t work on too many projects at once, and that I have to force myself to talk a break from writing or creating stories from time to time.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Three things: One- make sure you read on a regular basis, and not just fiction- non-fiction, or stuff you wouldn’t think of reading should be on your list as well. Two- talk with people in the industry and your fellow writers, support them, and take a genuine interest in what they’re doing. Three-spend at least as much time in the real world, experiencing life as you do sitting behind a keyboard. Trust me, it can make all the difference!
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Thank you so much for all the kind and constructive feedback that you’ve given me over the years! Please know that even though I don’t respond to each one, I do read all of your messages, and take what you say under consideration. You guys have an influence on what and how I write, so keep the comments coming.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
The first novel I completely read on my own was probably The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
I laugh at the Three Stooges, the Marx Brothers, Laurel and Hardy, and other comedy teams. I laugh with people having fun and enjoying them, I laugh at the many stupid things I do. I cry at injustice, when people finally find each other, and sappy holiday romance movies.
Fiona: Is there one person pass or present you would meet and why?
I think I would love to sit down and have a cup of tea with Karl Marx. His thinking influenced so many people in the world today. It would be quite interesting to learn how his mind worked.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why?
Hmm. I’m not entirely sure. I haven’t given that aspect of my life much thought yet. If I had to choose something it would probably be this quote by William Blake “What is now proved was once only imagined.” I think that sums up the world and my life pretty nicely.
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?
I enjoy drawing, painting, sculpture, hiking, and marital arts.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I really don’t watch too much TV any more, as I don’t have a television, but I do enjoy watching shows like Criminal Minds and Dr. Who online when I get a chance. I also watch a fair number of animes.
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music:
I mostly enjoy Thai, Indian or Vietnamese cuisine, colors I like include a deep navy blue or hunter green, and chances are you’ll find me listening to some blues or jazz.
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
I probably would have returned to my original career as a geologist, or perhaps a world traveller.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it? I do have a website! It’s The Writer’s Thread www.writersthread.com You can find my books, a few of my short stories, my blog Emerald Musings, and my ghostwriting/editing services there.
Thank you so much Fiona for a fun, and wonderful interview! Looking forward to seeing what other interviews you have in store for us on your blog!