Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Interview with Laurie London and Giveaway - March 16, 2011

Please welcome Laurie London to The Qwillery as part of the 2011 Debut Author Challenge interviews.

Laurie:  Thank you for having me on today!

TQ:  What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

Laurie:  Because I don’t have an office and get easily distracted by my family, I wear noise-cancelling headphones, turned on, but without any music.

TQ: Who are some of your favorite writers? Who do you feel has influenced your writing?

Laurie:  Some of my favorite writers are JR Ward, Gena Showalter, Jeaniene Frost, Cherry Adair, Loretta Chase, Charlaine Harris, Kresley Cole, Alexis Morgan and Virginia Kantra. Their heroes are to die for! They’re driven and unapologetic in the pursuit of their goals, but until you understand their point of view, they can come across as hard, selfish, and unbending. Some of my favorite character arcs, how they change from beginning to end, are Lord Dain’s in Lord of Scoundrels and Zsadist’s in Lover Awakened.

The emotion in books by Stephenie Meyer, Loretta Chase, Lara Adrian, and Nalini Singh sweeps me away. Those authors can describe a look, a touch, or a sensation in such detail that you feel as if you’re the character and the book is about you. Reading their work pushes me to do more in mine.

And I get lost in the almost poetic-like prose from writers like Daphne Du Maurier, Carlos Ruiz Zafon, Lisa Genova and Tana French. The way they describe a setting and relate it to the character’s emotion is so vivid that those places feel like part of your personal memories.

TQ:  Are you a plotter or a panster?

Laurie:  I used to write by the seat of my pants, but now that I’m writing on deadline and need to submit proposals before the book is written, I’m becoming more of a plotter. Having a road map ahead of time is great because it allows me to work out the kinks before committing myself. Talk about depressing when you realize a scene isn’t working in the overall scheme of things and you have to cut out something you love. Although I don’t plot in great detail—just high-level stuff—it prevents a lot of heartache later.

TQ: What inspired you to write Bonded by Blood?

Laurie:  Like many authors, I tried writing in several other genres (middle grade fiction, contemporary romance, YA) before I found my writer’s voice.

I’ve always loved vampires (film, television, books) and Bonded started simply as a personal indulgence. It was fun to write, I loved the characters, and the words flowed. But I had no illusions it would go anywhere beyond my hard drive because there are a lot of great vampire romances on the shelves. It wasn’t like I saw a niche and needed to fill it.

When my sister (who is published now, too) finaled in RWA’s Golden Heart contest and wanted me to attend the national conference with her, I decided to go only if I finished the story.

During this time, I told an author friend that I was writing a vampire romance but had no expectations for it. She said the industry was always looking for strong voices, no matter the story. Don’t worry about the market now, just focus on what makes my world unique. This gave me a glimmer of hope.

So I finished Bonded before the conference and polished it up afterward. It did well in a few contests, which led to landing an agent, who soon found an editor who loved it.

The moral of the story is this: Listen to your sister and smart friends, trust your instincts, and never underestimate the power of a deadline.

TQ:  What sort of research did you do to create the world of the Sweetblood series?

Laurie:  I researched an eclectic variety of topics which included guns, motorcycles, knives, the history of furniture, how our sense of smell works, ferry schedules, vampire sightings throughout history, high-rise building layouts, the salons of Paris in the 18th century, Porsche specs, etc.

I’ve spoken with law enforcement officials; lurked in online forums about motorcycles, location scouting and the military; watched countless videos on guns, knives and fighting; and I plan to interview a friend who works for a gaming company.

Some facts I used and others I twisted. For instance, there really isn’t a rooftop terrace at the Columbia Center in downtown Seattle, but it worked well in the story, so I made one. And in case you’re wondering, the nuns who work the ferry docks on an island are real, although the actual islands in both Bonded by Blood and Embraced By Blood are fictional.

TQ: Without giving anything away, what is/are your favorite scene(s) in Bonded by Blood?

Laurie:  One of my favorite scenes is where Dom and Mackenzie are sharing their favorite childhood memories. The stories they told each other defined what they hoped to recapture in the future— happiness, belonging, beauty, honor, family—whether they realized it at the time or not.

TQ:  How many books are planned for the Sweetblood series? Will there be any short stories or novellas set in Sweetblood world?

Currently, there will be four books in the Sweetblood world, but I’d love to write more. I’ve also written an e-novella and I’ll have a short story in a holiday anthology.

TQ:  What's next?

Laurie:  Quite a lot, actually. J

1. I’m thrilled that my publisher asked me to write an e-novella set in the Sweetblood world. Hidden By Blood comes out June 1 and is a complete romance between two people you haven’t met before: Finn, a sweetblood, and Brenna, a vampire. However, you’ll recognize a few of the others.

2. The second book in the series, Embraced By Blood, comes out June 21 and is Alfonso and Lily’s story.

3. In November, I’ll have a Sweetblood short story in the anthology Holiday With A Vampire.

4. Book three is Jackson’s story and it comes out early in 2012.

5. I don’t have many details to share about book four yet, just that it’ll be out in 2012.

TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery

Laurie:  Thanks so much for having me!!!

Laurie's Books
Bonded By Blood
A Sweetblood Novel 1
(January 18, 2011)
From the Back Cover:
Deep within the forests of the Pacific Northwest, two vampire coalitions battle for supremacy—Guardian enforcers who safeguard humanity and Darkbloods, rogues who kill like their ancient ancestors.
Movie location scout Mackenzie Foster-Shaw has always known that she’s cursed to die young. No one can protect her from the evil that has stalked her family for generations—vampires who crave her rare blood type. Until one afternoon in a wooded cemetery, she encounters an impossibly sexy stranger, a man she must trust with her life.
For Dominic, a man haunted by loss, Mackenzie satisfies a primal hunger that torments him—and the bond they share goes beyond heat, beyond love. She alone can supply the strength he needs to claim his revenge. But in doing so, he could destroy her…

Embraced by Blood
A Sweetblood Novel 2
(June 21, 2011)
Is she a deadly temptation...or the one woman who can quench his eternal thirst?

Alfonso Serrano is a hunted man. For months he’s managed to elude the Darkbloods, vengeful foes who won’t rest until he’s dead. But he still craves one dangerous temptation: Lily DeGraff, the sexy Guardian agent he’ll risk anything to protect.

Lily is a wanted woman. Her talent for tracking Sweet-a rare blood type that’s addictive to vampires-makes her a prime target for enemy capture. Her only hope is the stealthy vampire operative who stole into her bed...then left her in despair. Danger aside-Lily won’t let Alfonso near her heart again-until an irresistible hunger draws them back together...and into an assassin’s snare.

About Laurie
A graduate of Western Washington University with a BA in Business Administration and a former tester/programmer for a Fortune 500 company, Laurie London writes from her home near Seattle where she lives with her husband and two children.

She is a member of Romance Writers of America®, Greater Seattle Area RWA, RWAOnline, Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, FF&P (RWA chapter devoted to all things paranormal), and two book clubs.

When not writing, she can be found running, reading, or riding and showing her horse. Someday she hopes to qualify for the Quarter Horse World Show – that is, if her horse doesn’t get hurt again.

Laurie's Links

The Giveaway


What:  One commenter will win a signed copy of Bonded by Blood (Sweetblood 1) directly from Laurie!

How:  Leave a comment answering this question asked by Laurie:

Do any of you have an experience where giving in to an indulgence led to something great?

Please remember - if you don't answer the question your entry will not be counted.

You may receive additional entries by:

1) Being a Follower of The Qwillery.

2) Mentioning the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter. Even if you mention the giveaway on both, you will get only one additional entry. You get only one additional entry even if you mention the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter multiple times.

3) Mentioning the giveaway on your on blog or website. It must be your own blog or website; not a website that belongs to someone else or a site where giveaways, contests, etc. are posted.

There are a total of 4 entries you may receive: Comment (1 entry), Follower (+1 entry), Facebook and/or Twitter (+ 1 entry), and personal blog/website mention (+1 entry). This is subject to change again in the future for future giveaways.

Please leave links for Facebook, Twitter, or blog/website mentions. In addition please leave a way to contact you.

Who and When:  The contest is open to all humans on the planet earth with a mailing address. Contest ends at 11:59pm US Eastern Time on Wednesday, March 23, 2011. Void where prohibited by law.

*Giveaway rules are subject to change.*


  1. Last November I decided to take the plunge and join Twitter as a birthday present to myself. I had been hesitant to do it because I'm a very private person. Joining was an indulgence for sure. Several of my favorite authors that I had communicated with thru email are on twitter and they now follow ME! Because of doing this one thing just for myself, I have found a group of people that love books as much as I do. I will finally be able to meet everyone at RT in a few weeks!

    user1123 AT comcast DOT net
    GeishasMom73 on twitter

    3 Entries

    +1 Answered question
    +1 Follow The Qwillery on twitter
    +1 Tweeted the interview/contest here:

  2. Well my indulgence was to date a younger man. Now my rule was always to date men at least Five years older then me.Then I meant my husband who is three years younger then me. It was a great move. I have been married to him for 16 years!

  3. All my experiences of giving away to indulgences have led to extra kilos; not quite the greatest thing :P LindaThum

  4. My indulgence would have to be my new e reader ;) I figured its something I wouldnt normaly buy myself to that extreme but it has given me many hours of freedom and joy.. :)
    ** Loved the interview ladies and i so need to invest in some of those earphones Laurie ** would make reading while kids at home such a more pleasant time ;)
    Cant wait to read your book !!!!
    Thanks for making it international.

    I follow The Quillery +1
    I commented ;) +1
    I twittered!/run_with_wolves/status/48049712087040000
    and also posted comp on my own personal blog ;) +1

    Thanks heaps ladies interview was a pleasure to read !! and a hoot


  5. I have no idea really. Perhaps the Disney Meal Plan... YUMMMMMM! I ate in Cinderella's castle. It was fantastic ;)

    I am a follower.

    robin [at] intensewhisper [dot] com

  6. Hi Stacie/GeishasMom73! I love when stuff like that happens. The other day on twitter, another author and I were talking about a band (Black Lab). I couldn't believe it when the lead singer saw our tweets and responded. I had a fangirl moment! Yay that you're going to RT. Me too! Make sure to come by the booksigning and say hi. I'll be handing out Sweetblood romance trading cards.

    Tracy, that's an awesome story! I love it!

    Linda, at first I read your comment as "led to extra kids." LOL I guess that can happen too.

    Katrina W, yay for e-readers. That's a great indulgence. Thanks for stopping by.

    Robin K, LOL on the Disney Meal Plan. Guess not everyone can say they ate in a castle.

  7. great interview.
    I can't say giving in to an indulgence led to anything great..not that I can think of anyway.With my luck they usually backfire :)

    +1 follower
    +1 tweet


  8. In my sophomore year of high school I signed up for a trip to Europe even though I was nervous about going and my parents' reactions to wanting to go so far away. And it was a blast! I'm going again this summer!

    +1 GFC follower

  9. Lol, chocolate has not lead to anything good for me (apart from the immediate pleasure of the velvety smoothness of a Galaxy chocolate bar of course;)

    +2 follower and commented.


  10. That's a really good question - am sat here racking my brains for an answer now. I think maybe giving over more of my spare time to my hobby, my partner saw how serious I was taking it and at Christmas 'gave' me one of the rooms in his work unit and now is helping me try and take it further. Seriously indulgent and slightly scary putting myself out there but a whole lot of fun.

    Loved this interview - I hadn't heard of your series before today but some of the authors you mention are my favourites too so am going to definitely look out for these books. I think they are right up my street ;)

    I am a follower of this blog

    I tweeted (which posts to my FB)!/craftywhoopidoo/status/48131910223937537

    I'll pop this giveaway on my sidebar - thank you for the chance to win :)


  11. My indulgence was applying for teaching jobs in every single state in order to try to get out of this miserable Pennsylvania weather....and my indulgence in sending my resumes out led to an awesome 8th grade Language Arts teacher in Arizona!

    I'm a follower! +1
    comment +1
    I also retweeted this giveaway. +1


  12. Thre have been times when I decided to indulge in ice cream. ONe time and I am not sure if this is what youare looking for but I missed anaccident because I went for ice cream.
    debby236 at gmail dot com
    I am follower

  13. I'd say I did something fun in a painting, totally not expecting anything to come out of it and I really loved the painting. It was so fun!

    I'm a gfc follower/ twitter follower
    books (dot) things (at) yahoo (dot) com

  14. I always enjoy indulgences, but try not to indulge too much. That makes the times when I do give in that much sweeter. Whenever I do something just for me, whether it be just spending the day doing what I want to do (usually reading), or going to a great restaurant and having dessert first, it usually turns out great.

    Barbed1951 at aol dot com
    GFC follower

  15. i dont indulge much except in buying books!!! which i can buy more of now since i decided 8 months ago to quit smoking!!! and i havent had one smoke since then!!!!

    i tweeted!/bindisgirl/status/48299848037965824

    and facebooked!/bindisgirl/status/48299848037965824

    and im a blog follower
    alice priday

    3 entries

  16. Sadly no. They have never lead to something great. But I have always enjoyed them.

    +1 comment
    +1 follower
    +1 tweet -!/DonnaS1/status/48593818404143104
    +1 blog -

    bacchus76 at myself dot com

  17. It was 2006, I was on a short vacation with my mom and my two step-aunts who have a time share on Captiva Island in FL. It had finally hit me that my boyfriend was an abusive jerk and our relationship had been dead and dying for years. A guy friend who had been wonderfully supportive and had turned into my best friend in the last 6 months was texting me while I was there. I had just realized the last time I saw him that he meant more to me than I thought. I gave into the indulgence of flirting via text with him all weekend. Two weeks later I was single and he asked me to marry him two weeks after that. We married in 2008 and just celebrated our 3rd wedding anniversary. Best move I've made in my entire life and I couldn't be happier.

    +1 for question.
    +1 for following. (I'm subscribed via Google and yahoo)

    I LOVE the blog, keep it up! :) I started my own but I'm not nearly as good at it yet as the blogs I frequent!

  18. elaing8 Yeah, sometimes they do!

    Jeanette8042 Great indulgence!

    Kulsuma A Galaxy Bar? I've never heard of them, but they sound yummy.

    Carmen How awesome that you now have your own space for your "indulgence." Aw, thanks!

    KimberlySue Wow, it really paid off!

    Debby I'd say it's a good thing that you indulged yourself that day. Wow.

    Melissa Giving in to your art can lead to great things!

    Barbara E Now that is indulging. I like how you think!

    Alice Books are a great indulgence and yay that you quit smoking!

    donnas Well, at least you enjoyed yourself. ;-)

    IrishHouseWife That's the best "indulgence" ever! Congratulations!

  19. I can't think of a time that an indulgence led to something great.
    +1 GFC follower
    +1 tweeted!/mbreakfield/status/48965546032640000

  20. I can think of only one moment - I was really afraid moving to a new city, nobody I know was there, but in the end I was really glad I did it :)
    great interview - thanks so much! I really enjoyed reading it.
    greetings, Ina

    inale87 at gmx dot at
    2 entries (comment, follower via GFC)

  21. I don't think I have an experience where giving in to an indulgence led to something great... I wish though :)

    +1 GFC follower

    Thanks for the giveaway and making it international!


  22. I am a very shy person, even if I am sitting in front of a screen. Last summer I read a book and...I loved it. I connected with the author, the world she created, the I decided to write a very fangirly email (even if I should be over fangirl age, but hey, amazing books have this effect on me). And...she answered me back! And I got a very small snippet of her next book!
    Couldn't believe it!!!

    aliasgirl at libero dot it

    Oh, old follower!

  23. I honestly wish I could say "yes", but nothing comes to mind. I guess I'm one of those people who live through the books they read.
    Theresa N