Name Laura Drake
Age 62 – and happy to have the opportunity!
Where are you from
Detroit, originally, then Southern California for 30 years, now, and last, the great State of Texas!
Fiona, here’s something I wrote a long time ago – think it answers this question well!
I’m from Johnson Baby Oil, lemon juice hair bleach, and swimming pool perfume. From standing on towels to protect bare feet from tarmac, waiting to pay Smitty the Ice Cream Man for my fudgsicle. I’m from Lilac scented, kite flying, cloud watching summers.
I’m from shoelace skate key bracelets, homemade skateboards, and bicycle wheels clacking with playing cards. From kick the can, pickup softball games, and hide-n-seek until way after dark when Mom yelled, including our middle names. I’m from Gold Bell Gift Stamps, candy necklaces, and Vicks Vapo-Rub.
I’m from the big house on the corner, with the blue spruce dressed up in red lights for Christmas. I’m from the room in the corner, with two windows, model horses, swimming ribbons, and a pet mouse, Scout. I’m the one in the center of the couch, Steve on the left, Nancy right, Tonka the Siamese, in the middle. I’m from the creek that ran through woods, all the way to Hidden Lake. I’m from the Civic theatre with Tarzan, slow-pokes and ancient popcorn scented darkness.
I’m from Shakotko bones and Stutte high foreheads. From Lanie’s sweet smile, and Marge’s distracted love. From Nancy’s elfin face, bullheaded stubbornness, and undying loyalty. I’m from put your finger on your hand to show where you live Michiganders, hockey watched on TV with my chin on dad’s hip and, after watching the Lions losing on Thanksgiving in Tiger’s stadium, coming home to the smell of Mom’s turkey and dressing.
I’m from Angry God Baptists, singing in the choir, and the golden-naved church I thought I’d be married in, and never was. I’m from Russia and Saskatoon, Livonia, and Petoskey, pirogues and pasties. I’m from shit on a shingle, milk toast, tuna casserole and Jiffy Pop.
I’m the keeper of treasures: photos, Christmas ornaments, and Toto’s Styrofoam Reindeer from first grade. From Nancy’s library, to her ‘I Love You’ charm around my neck, keeping a promise all these years after she passed.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
I have a cowboy novella out soon, in a secret anthology. But shhh, don’t tell anyone!
My sister-story, Days Made of Glass, will be out in audio-book soon! Excited because I narrated it myself.
Fingers firmly crossed, I have two proposals out now with editors.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
That women can do whatever career they want, if they’re willing to pay the price. And that family trumps everything.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
This book is dedicated to my sister, Nancy, who I lost 30 years ago to cancer. The plot and characters aren’t us, but the relationship between the sisters is.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?
Wow, that’s hard. I think every good book we read influences us, don’t you? But gun to my head, I’d have to say, Ann River Siddons, Jodi Picoult, and Stephen King. Obviously, for very different reasons! 😉
My mentor was Char Lobb – w/a Charlotte Carter (over 30 books for Harlequin). When I began writing she made me believe I could do it, simply by treating me like an author. She was amazing, and sadly, we lost her several years ago.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest and who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
I read an amazing new author last year – Thelma Adams. She wrote, Last Woman Standing, a fictionalized story of Josephine Earp, wife of Wyatt. It was amazing!
Again, you’d have to put a gun to my head, but I’d probably have to say, Stephen King. I don’t write horror, but I love his folksy, easy to fall-into voice, and his wonderful storytelling.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
I’ve been at it for 25 years now, so I’d better! I spend at least 8 hrs day at it, and work harder than I ever did in my first career!
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
From being a lifelong reader. I just wanted to be able to make up my own stories!
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
If you love to write, do it. Don’t focus on selling, or publishing, or your progress toward that goal. If you love to write, you’re gonna write, whether you sell a thing or not. ENJOY!
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Finally getting around to reading, The Lemoncholy Life of Annie Aster. Am I the only one who gorges on Kindle Daily Deals, and never gets around to reading them?
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why ?
Oh Lord, please don’t let me be misunderstood. (for obvious reasons)
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies?
Oh, man, do I! Fly fishing, motorcycling, bicycling, knitting, sewing, and of course, reading!
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
I would love to have been a photographer. As it is, I cut people’s heads off. Sigh. Maybe my next lifetime…
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
I do! Just revamped it – and I am in love with it: http://LauraDrakeBooks.com. You can sign up for my quarterly newsletter there, too!