In the hot seat today I would like to welcome:
Hello Lauren, thank you for letting us have a peek behind the scenes. Your sun sign is AQUARIUS.
Aquarian energy is known for being unconventional and eccentric. It would appear writing would be a good area to let this energy flow freely! Are your characters unconventional and eccentric? Do you use this energy in your writing?
Well, I think most of my characters are pretty normal actually. It’s odd now that I think about it because I’m not really all that normal myself. There is one very eccentric wizard named Frank who makes a brief appearance. He’s one of my favourite characters. And the idea of dragons wearing Chuck Taylors isn’t all that normal, now, is it? I’m sure being a bit unconventional about things does make writing a bit more fun at times!
Aquarius is a sign that cares about humanitarian issues (as well as the environment) and can be found acting as advocates for those who are less fortunate. Do your stories highlight any issues in our society today?
Hmmm, good question. They haven’t really been highlighted in‘Rowan’ and I’m not really sure if they will find a place in any of my upcoming books. I guess it just depends on where the story goes. But I will say that humanitarian issues are close to my heart and a care a great deal about people who are less fortunate or in a time of need.
Aquarius is a fixed sign and ruled by the element air. In combination this can mean fixed ideas, however, Aquarians can let go of outdated ideas once they’ve been shown evidence that something is not working. Have you let go of any ideas that were outdated in your writing and replaced them with something more appropriate?
Ha ha . . . well, I started‘Rowan’ when I was pretty young and worked on it on and off very casually. It started off VERY different from what it is now. One of the reasons I self-published was because I wanted to do things my own way, not have someone else tell me how to do it (although I will change editing and grammar issues, I just mean, I’m not going to change the whole story because a publisher says it won’t work). However, when I realized what I had written way back when I was a kid wasn’t going to work with where the rest of the story was going I began to change it into what it is now.
More ‘head than heart’, Aquarians may be considered to be detached at times. Please would you share with us how your characters become ‘real’ for you. How do they grow to develop into complete personalities?
I find this question very intriguing because this is one place I am completely opposite of what an Aquarian is “supposed” to be. I am MUCH more heart than head and sometimes that gets me into trouble. I allow my heart rule me way too much and am just now learning how to allow my head to take just a tad bit more control. As for my characters . . . the more I write about them the more ‘real’ they become. The more I feel for them, the more they tug at me and start to have their own voice.
Lewis Carroll is an Aquarian and his ‘Alice in Wonderland’ showcases the Aquarian energy beautifully. Have you been drawn to writing fantasy adventures? Do you read any fantasy adventures or does this genre hold no interest for you?
I’ve always been huge on fantasy. I had kind of a tough childhood and teenage years with the divorce of my parents, bullying, and a whole bunch of other not so fun stuff going on in my life. Fantasy was the ultimate escape for me and more times than I can remember did I wish I would just find that one wardrobe that would allow me into Narnia or that I had my own dragon to fly away on. Now, that all of that is behind me, fantasy is just loads and loads of fun. Though, I still wish I had my own dragon (and visiting Narnia still wouldn’t be so bad).
Aquarians are thinkers rather than doers. How do you discipline yourself to catch those ideas and put them into concrete form onto paper?
Geez, this is a HUGE problem for me. Ha ha. I’ve had so many ideas in my life that I’ve never followed through with, really great ideas, including really great books. Some of them, unfortunately, are lost, some will probably remain with me forever. Being “only” 27 I’m still working that whole discipline thing out. I tend to not be so good at it, lol. I blame it on my age but, unfortunately, I think it might just be my personality, lol – I’ll figure it all out eventually, until then I just leave the ideas in my head, I figure the really great ones will stick around (and they have for the most part) and the other ones probably weren’t worth much to begin with. Every now and then I will jot one down in my notebook if I get overly excited about it. But even that doesn’t always work to my benefit because sometimes I lose those notes. For example . . . I have a sticky note around here somewhere with something about a zombie apocalypse that I had a dream about (after all don’t dreams make best sellers??) but I don’t currently have a clue to where it is at.
Aquarians like a fast paced and varied work environment, changing jobs regularly before they finally settle into one career (which usually has to include being able to use their creativity/thinking skills). Are you still working alongside your writing? Would you like writing to become the career you settle in?
Pegged again. I hate work, for the most part. I hate the so called 9-5, they make me miserable and depressed. My last job was working as a helpdesk analyst answering phones and helping people with their computers. I liked it at first but then it just really got on my nerves. Now, I just write, or, I try to at least. If I had a choice of a dream job it would be a treasure hunter/explorer/paranormal investigator or a big cat trainer. I’m going back to school in the fall to be an anthropologist, as far as I can tell that’s as close as I’ll get to becoming an explorer, but at least, if I do it right I might not have to work behind a desk for a while. That’s one of the reasons writing suites me though, is that I can be whatever I want to be.
Group endeavours are attractive to Aquarians. Apart from Loveahappyending, do you belong to any other writing groups?
No I do not. I’ve got enough online activity right now to last me a life time and there is nothing currently in my local area to join in person (not unless I want to start a writing group with a bunch of cows in the middle of a corn field). I was attracted to LAHE because they found me first. J I thought that was quite an amazing coincidence that I couldn’t ignore.
Thank you for spending time with us today Lauren.
Lauren is a showcased author with Loveahappyending which is an interactive reader/author website. Visit Loveahappyending to find out more about this brilliant project and how you, as a reader, can support them.
I like reading, writing, gaming and just about anything else that makes life fun. As I said I’m going back to school to study anthropology and among my obsessions are anything to do with fantasy, tigers, cryptozoology, the paranormal and just all around mysteries of the world, post apocalyptic books, shows, and movies, moleskine notebooks, sharpie, and the color orange.
Author Website: http://laurenhowell.wordpress.com/
Facebook laurenhowellwriter: http://on.fb.me/m4qtwL
Twitter A/c @lm_howell: http://bit.ly/kA9iSQ
- Paperback: 184 pages
- Publisher: Createspace (2 May 2011)
- Language English
- ISBN-10: 1461134315
- ISBN-13: 978-1461134312
Jake, a dragon wearing orange chucks, shows up in Kelly Foster’s living room disguised as a human. When he starts going on about a lost sword, a magical pendant and Stonehenge being the gatekeeper to the lost city of Atlantis, Kelly feels a little more than skeptical. But when Jake tells her it could all be the key to finding her father, Kelly doesn’t hesitate to jump on board. Swept away to the world of Rowan, she picks up a band of followers along the way, Henry, Tyler, Sky, and Caesius. Will they help her find her father or will someone more sinister cause their paths to go in opposite directions. Will Kelly do what she came to do then go home? Because the fate of Rowan is up to her.