A warm welcome to today’s Spotlight Author, Londra Laine.
Thank you for joining us and sharing more about yourself.
Tell us a little about yourself.
- I’m a native Californian and am from the Central Valley (Fresno, Raisin Capital of the World)
- I lived in NYC for 7 years and the city is the setting of my debut novel Forever With You
- I moved to Seattle at the end of January and the daughter of one of my MCs LOVES the Seahawks. They’re her favorite football team and her favorite colors are green and blue. I don’t know if be rooting for them, I have bad blood with Pete Carroll.
- I’ve worked in the communications field in some way for the last decade
- I have 11.5 nieces and nephews between five sisters and two brothers. My family is blended, both of my parents remarried. I think that Jaylen, Kelly’s little brother in Forever With You, is an amalgam of a couple of my nieces and nephews.
- I just got married last year.
- My favorite job was working as a barista at Starbucks and sometimes I regret not sticking with that job. Something super satisfying about making coffee for people.
- I love American football. My father played college football, my little brother did as well and he’s now a college football coach. Football will be an important part of my WIP which I hope to publish in May of this year.
- I love the NY Yankees. I applied for grad school in NYC after visiting there. I said that if the Yankees won the World Series that year, I’d apply for the journalism school I stumbled across. They won, so I did.
What would people be most surprised to know about you?
- I was a cheerleader in HS
- I attended a performing arts high school – the very same as Tony Award Winner Audra McDonald. Performing was an outlet for me after a traumatic experience as a child and kind of allowed me to be someone else when living my life was tough. This was my inspiration for Kelly being a dancer in Forever With You. Dancing gave Kelly an outlet as a teenager and later as an adult.
- I used to get grounded from reading when I was a kid. My mom would send me outside to play and refuse to let me read or just take all the books out of my room. #NerdLife.
How do you relax?
- Doing guided meditation on headspace
- Midday naps. Even 20 minutes can change the course of the day for me. I don’t understand why corporate America won’t institute nap time they could get SO much more out of the masses.
- Taking long walks along waterfronts
Do you have a favorite quote (either from your own books or one’s you’ve read)?
- This quote from The Edible Woman by Margaret Atwood stuck with me for years (and I hate that it is true):
“Men are afraid that women will laugh at them. Women are afraid that men will kill them.”
How long have you been writing and what made you fall in love with writing?
- I’m a writing newb. Started writing in 2016 and published my first book in 2018. What I love about writing is that you can create the world you want to see around you.
Did you always want to be a writer?
- Not necessarily a writer but I always wanted to be a communicator. I love engaging other humans.
What are your ambitions for your writing career?
- Most importantly I want people to see themselves in the stories I write. As a kid, I was always looking for myself in all forms of media. The pickings were slim and that made me feel isolated and invisible. I think seeing yourself reflected in media and art is humanizing. Second, I’d like to do it for a long time so that I can grow and learn and improve. Finally, I want to leave something of myself behind. Selfish, I know. Some people think of having children as their little piece of immortality. I think that’s true but I believe the same can be said about words.
What’s your favorite part of writing?
- This is going to sound nuts maybe, but editing. I actually love to have my work dissected and taken apart and put back together. I get the same satisfied feelings from a good edit as I do when I dump out my purse or backpack and reorganize it. It just feels really
Share a few words about your latest book/WIP, other than the usual blurb.
- A lot of the action revolves around a beauty shop. One of the MCs owns his own salon and the other has a daughter and doesn’t know how to do her hair. I spent a lot of time in beauty shops as a kid, first with my mom when she would get her hair washed and styled and then as a pre-teen when I started getting my hair flat-ironed instead of pressed at home. In my culture at least beauty shops and barber shops are community hubs. For a lot of people they’ll share some of their deepest worries, their successes and failures with their beautician or barber. So that dynamic is present in my WIP.
Tell us a little bit about your writing style.
- Ha – I think it’s still evolving. I will say that I love stories about single dads and creating nontraditional families. I also love to include kids in my stories. I love the way they think, their honestly and their typically straight-forward perspective about things that adults overcomplicate.
What does your writing process look like?
- This is also evolving but I must say that I’m a big fan of outlining and filling in the blanks if that makes any sense.
When/where is your favorite time/place to write?
- I think I prefer to write at home, fewer distractions. I’m also much more prolific writer at night though I can bang out 1500 words on my lunch break if I sit down with a specific scene in mind. My first book was written mainly at my kitchen island and in a sitting chair in my bedroom, and sometimes at the coffee shop across the street from my old job on Park Avenue. After I published the first book and finished writing my second one (I’m sitting on that manuscript and probably won’t put it out till next year) I bought myself a writing desk and chair. It was awesome, my own little corner in the house. Unfortunately, I had to break it down and sell off the furniture because I moved cross country but I plan to get the exact same furniture for my home work area here in Seattle.
What genre/s do you enjoy reading in your free time?
- I’m REALLY into Mpreg romance right now, specifically non-shifter.
What was the last book you read? What did you like about it?
- Hillbilly Elegy. I thought it was very accessible and I liked the discussion that it stimulated among my peer group. I gifted it to a few people even though I didn’t totally agree with all the books arguments.
Thank you for stopping by and telling us more about yourself.
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