WRITE QUESTIONS: Liana Laverentz

March 17, 2008 at 2:20 pm 6 comments

Without further ado…

When did you start writing?
In 1977. But I didn’t start writing with the intent of getting published until 1988. My first book was published in 1993.What was the defining moment that made you sit down and start writing a book?

I was an avid reader. I was working part time, going to school, and was reading and reading and reading, like 1000 pages a week–and one day I said to myself, you know, I could do this!

Actually, I was working on my MBA at the time. I was exactly halfway through the program, and I said to myself, “You have as much work ahead of you as you have behind you. Do you want to go on and rejoin corporate America, or do you want to stay home and write a book?” I chose writing a book, in part because I thought it would be easier. NOT!

What made you take yourself seriously?

Interesting question. I mean, why would you do this if you didn’t take yourself seriously, but yet the reality is, when we first start out, most people either don’t tell anyone what we are doing (in case we fail), or we do tell people but get all shy and embarrassed about it. I’m an introvert, so most likely there are others out there who took themselves seriously from the outset and announced their plans and goals to everyone, but I’m not one of them. I can’t say when that changed. My best guess would be when I wrote an article about writing and it was accepted by a magazine for writers.

What have you learned about writing that shocked you the most?

It never gets easier. Quite the opposite, in fact.

What sub-genre(s) did you gravitate to when you first started?

Is it the same as now and why do you think it’s changed or stayed the same? Long contemporary romance and romantic suspense, what used to be called mid-list books, as oppose to category romances. That hasn’t changed. I write about drama and issues in the lives of people as real as I can make them. Category books have drama and issues in them, too, but I can’t seem to successfully write a book that short J.

What advice have you gotten that you live by?

When you spend your life doing what you love to do, you are nourishing your soul. It matters not what you do, only that you love whatever you happen to do. – Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, psychiatrist and writer

What advice would you give a newbie?

If you don’t write your stories, nobody’s going to do it for you. Don’t wake up one day and wish you’d had the courage to follow your dreams. Do it now. Make the time, and be persistent in your efforts. Polite, but persistent. Never give up. Ever. If it’s important to you, if it feeds your soul, then find a way to do it NOW. Today. Don’t put it off until you have the time, because you will never have enough time in your life to get everything you want to do, done. It just won’t happen. Which is why I host a discussion the first Thursday of every month at the Long and Short Reviews Yahoo Loop on Finding Your Balance. It’s important that we all find the balance we need between our writing and Life. To read my articles on Finding Your Balance go to http://longandshortarchives.blogspot.com/2008/01/article-finding-your-balance-pt-1.html then mark your calendar to join us at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/LongAndShortRomanceReviews/?yguid=306787988

What’s your writing process? Has it changed since writing your first book?

I write in layers, and yes, it has evolved over the years. First I write the dialogue, straight through, until the book is done, so I know how it ends, where I am heading. Then I go back and decide who has the most at stake in each scene, and write the scene from that character’s point of view. Then I add in the stage directions (who crossed the room, or gripped the glass too tightly, etc.). Then I go back and make sure I have the five senses covered, then I go back and add in clues, or foreshadowing. Last, but not least, I go in and tighten the focus, cut out every word that doesn’t need to be there, and pretty it all up.

What keeps you writing?

I can’t not write. I have a need to express myself, and I tend to do that best in writing.

Do you have a support system?

I have friends who keep me on track. Accountability is the key.

Do you have a writing community?

My writing community right now would have to be The Wild Rose Press.

What valuable lessons have you learned from them?

Too numerous to count, but one thing I am learning is great things happen when writers come together to support each other, and The Wild Rose Press is doing a great job of that.

Define success for yourself?

To be the person on the outside that I want to be on the inside. To have the two images of who I am—the public perception of me and who I see myself as–match.

What’s your comfort reads?
Who do I read when I need to be comforted? Eileen Dreyer, LaVryle Spencer, T.D. Jakes, Sue Monk Kidd, Barbara Delinsky, people who have a love for language and it shows. The Secret Life of Bees was a pure joy to read. As was Eileen Dreyer’s Sinners and Saints.

Who are you reading right now?

Eileen Dreyer’s Nothing Personal. I am so behind on my reading it’s not funny.

What books make you want to write better?

Any books by the authors listed above.

Plug Away….My second novel, a contemporary romance titled Thin Ice, was published by The Wild Rose Press in 2007. http://www.thewildrosepress.com/. Last October it won the New Jersey Romance Writers Golden Leaf Award for excellence in writing, and it’s currently an Eppie finalist. My third novel, Jake’s Return, a contemporary romance with an element of suspense, has received Five Angels and a Recommended Read from Fallen Angel Reviews.

Here is a snippet. “Ms. Laverentz has written a spellbinding story of intrigue, mystery, and love. The characters Rebecca and Jake are so powerful and well thought out that the reader instantly wants these two to find that they not only deserve to be together but that they also are each other’s halves. I was immediately caught up in the story with the first sentence, ‘Rebecca Reed would never forget the sound of Jacob Donovan walking back into her life.’ I could not only see it but feel it and smell it also. Thank you Ms. Laverentz, I can’t wait until I read more from you, and you’re definitely on my keeper shelf.” Reviewed by Donna. To read the full review, please go to:
http://www.fallenangelreviews.com/2007/September/Donna-JakesReturn.htm
Here’s a snippet of what Brenda Talley at The Romance Studio had to say: “This book was an absolute treasure—surprisingly in-depth with an original plot and characters to die for! I knew from the blurb that this should be a good book; however, I had no idea it would be such a find. This was my first Liana Laverentz novel but it definitely will not be my last.” To read the full review, please go to: http://theromancestudio.com/reviews/reviews/jakesreturnlaverentz.htm
And to read what Author Jane Richardson has to say about Thin Ice, please go to: http://janerichardsonhomethoughts.blogspot.com/2007/08/liana-laverentzs-thin-ice.html
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Entry filed under: Write Questions.

THE BOOK BLAH’S SOME SOUL SEARCHING

6 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Marianne Arkins  |  March 17, 2008 at 5:21 pm

    I have to admit to being amazed that you write your dialogue first! What an interesting approach.

    Great interview, Liana!

  • 2. Amie Stuart  |  March 17, 2008 at 7:14 pm

    LOVE the quote!!!! I may have to steal it!!!! Ok sorry for the !!!! Mel no laughing!!! Hehe I did it again. Great interview!

  • 3. Mel  |  March 17, 2008 at 9:15 pm

    You know what, Amie, you can !!! any time on my blog.

  • 4. Monitor de LCD  |  March 18, 2008 at 1:58 pm

    Hello. This post is likeable, and your blog is very interesting, congratulations :-). I will add in my blogroll =). If possible gives a last there on my blog, it is about the Monitor de LCD, I hope you enjoy. The address is http://monitor-de-lcd.blogspot.com. A hug.

  • 5. Liana Laverentz  |  March 18, 2008 at 7:35 pm

    Thank you everyone, for stopping by. Marianne, I think you hit ALL the interviews!

    Liana Laverentz
    Thin Ice (NJRW Golden Leaf and EPPIE Award Winner)
    Jake’s Return
    Available in e-book, print, and on Kindle
    Ashton’s Secret (coming in 2008)
    http://www.thewildrosepress.com
    http://www.lianalaverentz.com
    http://www.myspace.com/authorlianalaverentz

  • 6. Sheryl  |  March 18, 2008 at 8:23 pm

    I liked that stuff about the writing process so much, Liana, I copied it for future reference.

    I loved both Thin Ice and Jake’s Return precisely because the seemed to deal with real people in real situations. Life and relationships sometimes have unpleasant aspects. Liana dealt with them with sensitivity and sometimes gentle humour. WELL DONE, U!

    Sheryl w/a Charlotte Chalmers

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