On the first Friday of February 2016, we are having breakfast with author Laura Drake. She is a city girl who never grew out of her tomboy ways, or a serious cowboy crush. She writes both Women’s Fiction and Romance.
She sold her Sweet on a Cowboy series, romances set in the world of professional bull riding, to Grand Central. The Sweet Spot won the 2014 Romance Writers of America® RITA® award in the Best First Book category.
Her ‘biker-chick’ novel, Her Road Home, sold to Harlequin’s Superromance line (August, 2013) and has expanded to three more stories set in the same small town.
Laura published her first women’s fiction, Days Made of Glass, January, 2016.
In 2014, Laura realized a lifelong dream of becoming a Texan and is currently working on her accent. She gave up the corporate CFO gig to write full time. She’s a wife, grandmother, and motorcycle chick in the remaining waking hours.
For this February breakfast, I’m having eggs on a corn tortilla with salsa and a cucumber and tangerine salad drizzed with olive oil and cranberry walnut balsamic, and sprinkled with sesame seeds. Laura, what are you having?
Coffee. Gallons of it. And a plain donut. Oh, wait, this is virtual, right? No calories? Make it a bear claw! My favorite food group is anything with bread in it (as you can tell from these hips!).
Yum! I’m sitting next to someone right now who is eating a Panera Bread’s bear claw. So tell us about your writing process from concept to draft to revision.
I’m a pantser. Which is to say that I begin with a character with a flaw, a first scene, and not much else. I figure it out as I go. Which makes for much hair pulling and teeth gnashing down in the Pit of Despair (known to you as the middle of the book). But enduring the pit is worth it, because I’m surprised and delighted by the story as I write!
I write clean, which=slow, but it also means that I write a chapter, edit as I go, turn it over to my critters (critique partners), correct it, and it’s done. I move on to the next. When I get to the end of the book, I’m literally DONE. Yes, I hate editing that much.
Linda Howard spoke at our writer’s group meeting once, and the above is her process, without the critters. I so want to be her . . .
Tell us about Days Made of Glass. Why this book, why now?
This is a special book for me. They’re all special in their own ways, but this one is THE book. I’ve put it off for years until I thought I was good enough to write it. See, this is my sister’s book. The baby sister I lost to cancer over twenty-five years ago. I wrote it in a blizzard of emotion, the story pouring out of me in ways that surprised me. The plot is not autobiographical in the least, but the underlying theme is (don’t you love when that happens?). When it was done, I felt it was a fitting tribute to the most important person in my life. I love this book.
A perfect tribute. More coffee, Laura? Please tell us more about the book.
Shared blood defines a family, but spilled blood can too.
Harlie Cooper raised her sister, Angel, even before their mother died. When their guardian is killed in a fire, rather than be separated by Social Services, they run. Life in off the grid in L.A. isn’t easy, but worse, there’s something wrong with Angel.
Harlie walks in to find their apartment scattered with shattered and glass and Angel, a bloody rag doll in a corner. The doctor orders institutionalization in a state facility. Harlie’s not leaving her sister in that human warehouse. But something better takes money. Lots of it.
When a rep from the Pro Bull Riding Circuit suggests she train as a bullfighter, rescuing downed cowboys from their rampaging charges, she can’t let the fact that she’d be the first woman to attempt this stop her. Angel is depending on her.
It’s not just the danger and taking on a man’s career that challenges Harlie. She must learn to trust—her partner and herself, and learn to let go of what’s not hers to save.
A story of family and friendship, trust and truth.
What did you find fun/intriguing about writing Days Made of Glass, and what was difficult?
The intriguing thing was the story. My sister and I were Detroit suburban kids – but the book is about the first woman rodeo bullfighter. Where the heck did that come from? A writer’s brain is a scary thing sometimes. But if you’re brave enough to follow the trail of bread crumbs it leaves, you end up with a book you’re amazed you could write!
The fun part was the research – I attended a bull riding/bronc riding/bullfighting clinic! Well, I should say I audited it. I didn’t get on a bull, or in the arena, fighting one – but if I was twenty years younger, I would have!
The difficult part? Facing the truth that Harlie (the main character and big sister) learns in the end . . . sometimes you have to let go of what isn’t yours to save. And that it’s okay to do that.
Tell us about your next project and when it may be published.
Another book that calls to me . . . A Jodi Picoult-esque novel about the right to die. The proposal is out on submission now, so fingers crossed!
Thank you for visiting with us, Laura. Please let us know what happens with the book proposal.
I hope you all check out Laura’s books and her blog! Let me pour us all another virtual cup of coffee before you rush off to Amazon for Days Made of Glass. I did!
Learn more about Laura Drake at:
Writers in the Storm blog: http://writersinthestormblog.com/
You can order Days Made of Glass on Amazon at: