Friday, October 25, 2013

Nancy Lee Badger Interviews Author Lauren Smith

Lauren Smith stopped by to share interesting facts about her and her book, Blood Moon on the Rise. This paranormal romance was released on May 29th 2013.

Please tell my readers a little bit about your book.
Blood Moon on the Rise is really a teaser. It’s the first story set in an eventual series set in Present day Detroit. The world is plagued with dangerous supernatural creatures that threaten humans. The Brotherhood of the Blood Moon is a secret organization with the sole purpose of protecting human kind. The Hunters with the aid of their assigned Trackers (those who possess the ability to wield magic) work together to eliminate threats. In Blood Moon on the Rise Tamara, a hunter, and Nicholas, her tracker, have been working together since they were fifteen years old. Now as adults, they face life-threatening dangers which is only made harder by the depth of their feelings for each other. Love between hunters and trackers is forbidden because it puts too much stress on the couple when they are in the heat of battle. But sometimes love is too hard to resist…and it is for Tamara and Nicholas.

When did you start writing toward publication?
I started writing towards publication in my second year of law school about four years ago. That was about the time I met a lady at a local library when I participated in a NANOWRIMO event. She and I became close friends and writing buddies and she was the one who suggested I learn to write romance and that was when I really started pursuing publication.

Do you have any rejection stories to share?
The strength of a writer is only half the time about the quality of the words on the pages. The other part is how the writer handles the trials and tribulations. I found out that numbers play a big part and sheer dumb luck. I’m not a lucky writer. Not at all. I had to learn to play the numbers game. I was rejected 87 times that’s my magic number during my 4 year hunt for an agent. This 4 year period spans from when I finished my first (and completely a mess) first manuscript, to the very first book I got contracted. There were 6 books written between the first every completed book and the first one that got contracted. I queried on 3 different manuscripts and it wasn’t until I figured out to try writing regencies, that I started getting agent interest. I then went on to have 3 agents at one time offer representation. It was very exciting. But as a writer, I’ve learned trouble is never far behind. Due to the hurricane in NY and other situations, the agent I picked retired from the business. I was then on to agent hunting again and found a lovely new agent through a fellow author friend of mine. That was perhaps more luck than I’ve ever been blessed with. She helped me negotiate the first contract I got and is now submitting a new book to editors (fingers crossed).
At the end of the day, I have learned that the most valuable thing a writer possesses is the ability to get back on the horse after being thrown (since I’m from Oklahoma this metaphor is accurate). You get tossed like a beanbag, you hit the ground and it hurts like the very devil. You have to get the wind back in your lungs, scrub the dirt and possibly blood from your hands and clothes and march right back over to that horse, grab the reins and swing back up. Those first few minutes after you get back up, you remember the fear of being thrown, the pain still seems to lance through every bone in your body, but eventually your confidence comes back. That’s what it takes to be a writer. And believe it or not, the more times you get thrown, the less scared you become of the fall and the easier it is to get back on. There will still be days when the fall hurts more than it should, maybe the contract you wanted or the agent you wanted doesn’t happen, just keep at it. Statistically, if you have a good book, and you keep submitting, there’s an agent or an editor out there who will take a chance on it. Or, in the alternative, have the courage to self-pub and find the readers who will see the value of your writing. Either way, bravery is a must for all writers who are serious about their careers.

What is your writing routine like?  

I know we as writers are supposed to have routines. I actually don’t, not anything concrete. I’m a lawyer by day. So I tend to write in the spare moments when I’m not working. I probably do about 4-5 hours a night of editing/revisions or writing and if I’m lucky, on my lunch break. I essentially make the most of five minutes here or there to get my notebook out and write. It’s quite funny the places I’ve managed to write (on a train, waiting for dry cleaning, at a restaurant waiting for breakfast- this is a weekly habit). I found the trick is to never let the story get that far from your mind so that the second you have time to put pen to paper, even if it’s just ten minutes, you can hammer out a couple hundred words and feel like you’ve accomplished something. The key I think for any writer is finding the discipline to make it work, no matter what your schedule or how you of a period each day you sit down to do it as long as you make the magic happen!

Are you a member of any writing organizations and, if so, have they helped?
I’m a member of my local OKRWA, Passionate Ink, The Beau Monde, FFP, and Celtic Hearts (all RWA organizations). They have all be incredible in helping me succeed in my goals. But I do have to give a special shout out to Passionate Ink where I currently serve as the Vice President., we offer members monthly pitch sessions via the internet with REAL EDITORS! You get to pitch 300 words to the volunteer editor that month. I got my first contract through one of these very pitch sessions so I owe Passionate Ink so much!
Please share three fun facts about you that most people don’t know.
1)  I’m currently learning to speak conversational Russian.
2)  I lived in China for a month and got to be one of the first Americans since Bill Clinton in the 1990s when he visited, to take a tour of the Panda Preserve in Chengdu and I sat down on a bench next to a baby panda and fed it fruit and got to pet it! The fur was surprisingly springy, like an English sheep dog only a little more bristly.
3)  My mother named me after Princess Diana (my middle name is Diana), and my love of England and English set stories apparently stems from my namesake.
What’s next for you?
I’m currently in revisions on my first Regency romance called Wicked Designs which is hopefully going to come out from Samhain Publishing in January. It’s the first book in The League of Rogues Series where a band of titled rogues get caught playing a game of cat and mouse with a feisty little debutante who doesn’t want to be used as a pawn in their game of revenge against her uncle who embezzled from one of the rogues (A duke named Godric who happens to be the hero). I already have books 2 and 3 written and am merely waiting to get them submitted and hopefully published soon!
Blood Moon on the Rise BOOK BLURB
Tamara wants nothing more than to protect the world from deadly paranormal creatures. Well, maybe she wants a little more than that. But the man she craves—Nicholas Rubin—is strictly off limits.
For years, Nicholas has been her loyal partner, helping to defeat murderous werewolves and take down unruly vampires.  Nicholas has always given Tamara his protection, friendship, and support. The only thing he hasn’t given her is his love. A relationship between Tamara and Nicholas is forbidden by ancient law, and the consequences could be deadly.
But when a powerful Sorceress threatens both their lives, Tamara has a choice to make: Give into her feelings for Nicholas, and risk her life. Or take a chance on Nicholas, and receive his love—at a price. 

“Tamara!” A low, anxious shout drew her head up.
Relief flooded her when she caught sight of the man emerging from the shadows by the bar’s back door.
“Where the hell were you, Nicholas? We said we’d meet at the bar at seven,” Tamara snapped.
Her partner, Nicholas Rubin, rushed over and knelt at her side. His face sported a small cut across his high cheekbone, and his clothes were spotted with blood.
“Oh, God, are you okay?” She reached for his cheek, and he flinched, jerking away at her attempt to touch him.
“I got waylaid. Apparently, our furry friend had some goons with him who tried to stop me from following. They knew what we came here for. By the time I got inside, you were already gone. You couldn’t have waited? Damnit Tamara…” His eyes assessed her injuries, his brow furrowing as he concentrated on her. “Come on, let’s get you home and patch you up.” Nicholas held out a hand. Tamara winced when he pulled her to her feet.
“Huh, some tracker you are,” she muttered.
She fingered the crystal on the leather band around her wrist, the one he’d made for her. Even though it had a purpose for her job, she wore it the way a woman would a piece of jewelry from her boyfriend. Here was the man she wanted, the chocolate haired, cinnamon-brown eyed god she craved. He was her closest friend, her partner, and completely off-limits. The ache to touch him, to reassure herself he was okay, was ever present.
Every single minute she was with him, she covered her feelings for him with sarcasm or offhanded remarks. Anything to keep distance between them. But not tonight. She had to feel him, comfort him, even if he wasn’t hurt.
Nicholas’s eyes twinkled mischievously as she reached up to stroke his face. He didn’t pull away, and her heart jumped wildly in her chest. Her hand lingered against his warm skin for a moment longer than it should have. A tiny thrill rushed through her body when he didn’t step away to avoid her.
“You’re the hunter. It’s my job to lead you to the beasts. You have to kill them, remember?” He flashed a wise-ass grin and retrieved her purse and jacket from the ground.
He helped her slide it over her arms, his hands tightening on her shoulders ever so slightly before he let go. The heat of his touch sent her pulse skittering. She had to diffuse the sudden throbbing of desire for Nicholas. It was a battle she fought every hour of every day. Each time she pushed away that hunger for him, it made it harder to work with him. She couldn’t fight off werewolves when she was busy thinking about jumping Nicholas’s bones.
“You are so buying me a beer later,” Tamara snapped, her bravado masking her trembling hands and the lancing pain in her leg.
“Sure. Oh, you might want to fix your jeans…they’re uh…open.” Even in the moonlight, the ruddy stain of a flush on his cheeks was unmistakable. For a brief instant, Tamara thought she saw anger flicker in his eyes.
“Damn.” She fixed her pants and looked determinedly away.
Did he get jealous thinking of her being with other men, of her luring vamps and weres using her body as the carrot on the stick? Or did he not think about her at all? She thought of him every time; with every kiss, every touch, she envisioned him doing those things to her. What would he think if he knew it was him she fantasized about? About the tender yet heated way they’d come together, and how they’d lie still and quiet, hearts beating in time as they slept afterwards.
“Better call it in,” she reminded him, teeth gritted, her head tilted toward the alley and the dead werewolf.
Lauren Smith is an attorney by day, author by night, who pens adventurous and edgy romance stories by the light of her smart phone flashlight app. She’s a native Oklahoman who lives with her three pets: a feisty chinchilla, sophisticated cat and dapper little schnauzer. She's won multiple awards in several romance subgenres including being an Breakthrough Novel Award Quarter-Finalist and a Semi-Finalist for the Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley Award. Her first regency novel Wicked Designs will be released early 2014.  
Connect with Lauren Smith at:
Facebook     BLOG     Twitter      
Check out my book trailer HERE     
How can my readers buy your book? 
Amazon     NOOK



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