May 3rd, 2019
I asked Laura where she would like to chat:
Two people sit in a quiet café next to a lush green forest. They are lounging by a window, overlooking a vast canyon, thick white snow covering the massive rock formations that fill the inside of the canyon. More snow is falling outside in thick flurries, an icy wind blowing the flakes across the canyon.
But in the café, the two individuals are warm and dry. A large fire crackles in a nearby hearth as the two cup their steaming drinks. The café is filled with the aroma of firewood and coffee, with a hint of cinnamon.
Laura Mae: Hello Laura! How are you today?
Laura Kehoe: I’m doing really well, thanks!
LM: That’s great! Were you able to fit any writing in today at all?
LK: Unfortunately, I haven’t had a chance today yet. I normally try to get some writing in before I go to work in the morning, but I ran out of time. I’m hoping to do some tonight!
LM: It happens! What are you writing about currently?
LK: I’m currently working on a portal fantasy story. I just started in the first part of April. I’m excited about it so far!
LM: Interesting! What is a portal fantasy, exactly?
LK: I’m not sure if that’s an official category, but I’ve heard some people call stories like mine that. A portal fantasy is just a fantasy where the characters travel through portals to different worlds.
LM: So it’s a little bit like sci-fi as well?
LK: It is, kind of. There’s not much in the way of advanced technology, but there are other worlds. And lots of magic. So I look at it as a bit of a mix between the two.
LM: I like it! What’s the story about, or where did you get the idea from?
LK: It’s about a human woman, who falls through a portal into a different world and has to figure out what happened and why she’s there. I actually got the main idea from my husband. He and I are both big readers and he’s always interested in what I’m working on. He suggested it to me a few months ago and the idea stuck!
LM: Very cool! It sounds really interesting and I wish you all the best! Now, you have another book that you’ve published called “Royal Thief.” Do you mind talking a little bit about that story?
LK: Thanks so much! I’d love to talk about Royal Thief! This one is also a fantasy, but there’s not much in the way of magic. It focuses on a thief and a group of rebels fighting to overthrow an evil king.
LM: Awesome! I like the realism in it. Was this your debut novel? How long did it take to write it?
LK: This was my first published novel. It took me about 4 years to finish, since I was also going to school at the time.
LM: But you finished it, and that’s awesome! Congrats! And I’m guessing you are self-published? What made you want to do that over traditional?
LK: Thank you! Finishing it was definitely a huge struggle. But I’m glad I finally did it! I decided to go the self-published route because I wanted to be able to control more of my book’s marketing. Plus, I wasn’t sure if any publisher would be interested in my book, so I figured I would use this series to get my name out there and maybe look into traditional publishing next time.
LM: Oh, nice! Are you planning on doing that with the portal book then? Once it’s finished?
LK: I’m hoping to. I really enjoyed self-publishing Royal Thief, but I want to try the traditional route this time around. That way I can get a better feel for what I want. I’m definitely not opposed to continuing with self publishing though!
LM: Of course! I don’t blame you though, it’s a tough thing. What do you think was the most difficult part of the process or something you wish you knew more about?
LK: It sure is! That’s a great question! There’s been a lot of struggles through this process. But one thing I wish I would have known is to focus on marketing even before my first book was out. For so many years, I was too nervous to tell anyone I was writing a book. But I wish I would have gotten up the courage to talk about it sooner.
LM: I agree. I wish I had done the same thing. Despite the hardships, what is your favorite part of writing? The reason you always come back to it?
LK: I think I love writing for most of the same reasons I enjoy reading in general. I love exploring different possibilities and worlds. It’s so fun imagining how things could be. Writing let’s me escape from reality, even if only for a few minutes. But it also lets me look at our own world in a new light.
LM: Oh I like that one! A great reason. And speaking of reading, what are you currently reading right now? And what’s it about?
LK: I’m reading two books right now. One is a self-published fantasy called Tyrant’s Heir by Kate M. Kolby. The other is a sci-fi book called These Brokeb Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner. Tyrant’s Heir is a Steampunk fantasy about a guy who overthrows his father and has to rebuild his country. These Broken Stars is about a guy and girl who get stranded in an escape pod in space!
LM: Ooh, those sound interesting, too! Laura, do you have a favorite author? Or someone you aspire to be like?
LK: It’s so hard to choose a favorite! Some of my top choices are Michael J Sullivan, JRR Tolkien, JK Rowling, VE Schwab, and Lani Taylor.
LM: All great ones! Has one of them possibly written your favorite book? I know it’s a hard choice but you can pick your top three as well! Haha!
LK: Haha, it is definitely a hard one! But my top ones are by my favorite authors! Three of my top choices are Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, and A Darker Shade of Magic by VE Schwab.
LM: I’m a big Harry Potter fan too! What was your favorite book of the series?
LK: Harry Potter is the best! Number three is probably my favorite!!!
LM: Yes! Mine too!! Okay, I’m glad we got that sorted out! Haha! Now, who would you say is your favorite literary character? Either in Harry Potter, or elsewhere?
LK: Great choice! And that’s another hard choice! Some of my favorites are Luna and Hermione from Harry Potter, Pippin from Lord of the Rings, and Lila Bard from A Darker Shade of Magic.
LM: Awesome! Now let’s get back to the writing. Since you are starting a new project, did you outline or are you a panster like myself?
LK: I’m normally a panster. This time I tried doing an outline first. But of course as soon as I started writing, things started changing!
LM: Isn’t that how it always goes? Haha! Now what’s your favorite thing to write? As far as descriptions, characters, dialogue, things like that?
LK: It really is, haha! I love dialogue. It’s so much fun to imagine how different people might talk or thing.
LM: It’s really fun! When you do get the time to sit down and write, do you have any rituals, anything you need? Perhaps music plays a small role?
LK: Finding time to write is one of the hardest things! I try to schedule time each day to write, usually in the morning before I get too caught up in my day. Having writing out down in my daily schedule keeps me from pushing it to the side and reminds me to stay disciplined. I always have to have a beverage with me as I write. For some reason it’s almost impossible to concentrate if I don’t have anything to drink, haha!
LM: I hear you there! A daily schedule has to be incredibly helpful. Good for you for being organized! Haha! Laura, how long have you been writing for, you think?
LK: I don’t always stick to it, but I’m really trying! And let’s see….honestly I’ve been writing little stories since I knew how to write. But as far as serious writing goes, I’ve been doing that for about 10 years.
LM: 10 years is a long time! Do you remember the first thing you ever wrote?
LK: I think the first thing I remember writing was a story about my three favorite stuffed animals coming alive and going on an adventure in space.
LM: Oh my god! That sounds so cute though! That could be a good children’s book! In your free time, when you aren’t writing and reading, what else do you enjoy doing?
LK: Haha, it would make a good kids’ book! In my non-book time, I love horseback riding and crafting!
LM: Horseback riding?! Oh man, I love doing that! Do you have your own horses or do you go out different places?
LK: It’s one of my favorite things! I’m lucky enough to have my own horse and she’s absolutely fantastic.
LM: That’s super cool! That’s seriously my dream to own horses someday. Haha! Well Laura, it’s been so much fun talking with you today! Would you mind leaving us with some writing advice for writers aspiring to be authors one day?
LK: I’ve had so much fun talking with you too! As far as advice goes, I’d say one of the best pieces of advice that I’ve learned to to keep writing! Life can be hard and it’s tough to find the time and energy to write. But if you have a story in your head burning to get out, just keep at it until it’s out!
LM: Fantastic advice. Thanks so much again and good luck to you!
LK: Thank you too! And good luck to you also!
Laura is a fantasy author from Washington State. She has previously published Royal Thief, the first book in the Resistance series. When she isn’t writing, Laura can often be found drinking copious amounts of coffee and tea or spending time with her cat and horse.
Royal Thief – War rages in Alwyn. A group of rebel fighters, who call themselves the Resistance, fight tirelessly against their cruel, bloodthirsty king. With their lives and the very future of Alwyn in the balance, neither side is willing to surrender without a fight.
As far as Amara is concerned, King Osric and the Resistance can continue fighting one another until they both drop dead, as long as they keep her out of it. Unfortunately, a miscalculation lands her right in the middle of the bloody, dangerous battle for the throne. All she wants to do is get out of this in one piece. But every decision she makes pushes her further into the war. One way or another, she will have to choose a side.
Amara is willing to sell her services to the highest bidder, but she quickly realizes every decision she makes comes at a high cost. How far is she willing to go to keep her pockets full?
Buy it here!