LB- I’ve always kept a journal and written stories, but it wasn’t until about three years ago when I took a couple online college courses that I contemplated writing an actual manuscript.
C of C- Are you a plotter or a pantser?
LB- I plot the characters out in my head, but when it comes to actual plot I’m a pantser of Olympic proportions! It makes it fun when the people I’ve created take me on a journey I hadn’t expected.
C of C- How would you describe your voice?
LB- Off key? Oops, you mean writing voice! Off beat then, a little funny, a little sarcastic and snarky.
C of C- Snarky? You, Never! :O)
C of C- What is your favorite part of the writing process?
LB- Definitely the honeymoon phase when I’m first falling in love with a new set of characters.
C of C- Where do you find your inspiration?
C of C- How do you come up with your ideas/plots?
LB- All different ways. Sometimes it comes from a touching story in a magazine, sometimes song lyrics. Often it just begins as a snippet of dialogue and I start thinking about what sort of person would say that and why and to who…
C of C- Do you write in short stretches or for long periods of time?
LB- I prefer to do long stretches and really submerge myself in the characters when I can. When I only have short periods to devote to it I tend to jump around too much.
C of C- Do you write in silence or listen to music?
LB- First draft I always listen to music but I usually cut to absolute silence when I go into edit mode so I can read things aloud. The little brown dog who never leaves my side is convinced I’m talking to her.
C of C- lol, that is too cute!
C of C- Do you eat or drink while writing?
LB- I don’t usually eat but on any given day I can amass a half dozen water bottles or tea and coffee cups.
C of C- Do you research your story before you write it, or as you go?
LB- Usually as I go.
C of C- What have you learned through research that you’ll remember for the rest of your life? LB- For my novel The Trouble With Tessa, which is a finalist in a recent RWA chapter contest, I had to research a disease. I’ll never forget the details of all that the people who have this disease go through. Makes me look at my kids every day and just thank my lucky stars that they are healthy.
C of C- Sounds very interesting- is that coming to print or E-book form?? hint, hint!
C of C- How do you decorate your writing space?
LB- I like lots of light and space. My office is painted sand colored and the floor is blue. My life’s a beach. lol
C of C- Sounds nice! much better than my lemon gingham table cloth on my kitchen table thats doubles as my office!
C of C- Are you a neat/organized writer or is your office and/or space a complete mess with sticky notes everywhere?
LB- Ha. I’m not even organized enough to use sticky notes! I scribble notes on envelopes, utility bills. It truly is awful.
C of C- I don't beleive it! ha ha :O)
C of C- Does all your writing take place on a computer or do you ever write on pen and paper?
LB- Before I hit the computer I always have a few, or sometimes a lot, of pages of handwritten notes on the characters and bits of dialogue. That way when I sit down at the computer I’m not just staring at a scary blank screen.
C of C- That's good advice. Beleive me I've stared at many a blank screen! ugh!
C of C- What is your favorite time period? And why?
LB- The here and now, mainly because I’m lazy about research. I love reading a nice meaty historical romance with all the rich period details, but I’m not sure my attention span is long enough to get those details right and I’d hate to get them wrong.
C of C- Do you feel a draw to the people and time period you write about?
LB- I consider myself a realist, so dealing with the realities of today’s world I think helps me know myself and the people around me better.
C of C- Great way of thinking!!
C of C- What character did you most enjoy writing?
LB-I still have a thing for Eddie the main character in the first manuscript I ever finished. A romance told almost entirely from the male point of view, so you know it’ll remain my book under the bed.
C of C- Awh, under the bed?? A book from the male point of view sounds interesting!
C of C- Readers are always curious to know about authors lives. What is the worst job (non-writing related) you’ve ever held?
LB- Whoo. I’ve had some dirty ones. I’d have to say the worst was the season I spent in Holland packing and shipping flower bulbs. The warehouse was hot, some of the bulbs stunk and hyacinth bulbs in particular make you wickedly itchy when you’re dealing with hundreds of them a day.
C of C- Holland, eh? Well that's another conversation for another day!
C of C- What is one thing you think your readers would be interested to know about you?
LB- Um? That I’m not really all that interesting?
C of C- That's so not true!
C of C- Are you reclusive or do you like being with other writers?
LB- I’m pretty reclusive. Far more social in cyber life than I am in real life. This September I’ll be attending my first writers’ conference in Ottawa and it will be the first time I’ve come face to face with another writer. Yikes. Is there a friendly face reading this who might be at the Sweet & Spicy 2 to ease a newbie out of her shell?
C of C- That seems to be the consensus. How come us writers are all social recluses?? Awh, you'll have a great time at the conference- I'm sure there is someone out there who is going! Calling all conference goers!!! Too bad you aren't going to New Jersey's conference- cause I'll be at that one!
C of C- Do you find love scenes easy or hard to write?
LB- Well, you know, if it’s not hard…Sorry. If the scene is difficult for me to write it’s usually an indication that I’m trying to put it in at the wrong point in the story. When the timing is right, love scenes come quite easily. I really enjoy writing teasing foreplay and don’t generally go into graphic detail when it comes to the actual act.
C of C- You are too funny!!!!
C of C- Do you ever act out your scenes?
LB- The love scenes?... Again, sorry. I’ll behave now. I often read the dialogue and act it out in my head to add in the kind of actions that would accompany the words. This helps me eliminate a lot of unnecessary dialogue tags in the editing process.
C of C- You are so bad!!! lol :O)
C of C- How long do you wait once a story is finished to revise it?
LB- Depends on how clean I’ve kept the first draft. Some I can go back to within a week or two, others have percolated for months.
C of C- Do you ever second guess yourself and your writing?
C of C- Boy can I relate to that!
C of C- Do you ever stray from your genre? Your comfort zone?
LB- At first I stuck to straight contemporary, but I’m veering off into women’s fiction right now and I’ve also written a few things with paranormal elements.
C of C- Good for you!!!
C of C- Is it necessary to have a Critique/Writing partner?
LB- I know some people go it completely alone, but I like opinions and feedback as I go along.
C of C- Do you allow family and friends to read your stories?
LB- Only if they buy them. LOL
C of C- lol, way to up that profit margin!!!!
C of C- Is there a subject you would like to write about, but don’t because you believe it isn’t marketable?
LB- I think with the right voice, hook, and angle, anything can be made marketable so I haven’t let those fears limit what I choose to write.
C of C- That's a great attitude to have!
C of C- Authors make writing look so easy. Is it harder than most people imagine it to be?
LB- The writing for me comes quite easily. The self-editing, polishing, synopsis, query letters, sales pitch and marketing? Whew! Way more difficult and intimidating than I would have imagined.
C of C- How long does it take you to finish a story?
LB- Usually by the time I open and title a file on the computer the characters have been living in my head for a while and I know them fairly well. If their story comes together, I can finish a 60-75 k novel in 2-3 months.
C of C- When you write a new story are you apprehensive about allowing others to critique it? LB- I used to be terribly apprehensive. All those hours into it and someone might tell me my precious new love is a steaming pile of…I’m sort of over that now. I’ve had enough critiques, both good and bad, to have a pretty good idea of what comments are useful to me and what I can take with a grain of salt or disregard altogether.
C of C- I so wish I was to that point! So it does come with time, eh?
C of C- Which author/(s) are on your must-read list?
LB- Wow, I have tons. Nora Roberts, Diana Gabaldon, Ann Marie McDonald, Jennifer Crusie, James Patterson, Susan Wiggs, Joy Fielding, Jonathan Kellerman, Julie Garwood, Sandra Brown, Tess Gerritsen, Iris Johansson, Jodi Picoult, I keep hearing how great Lolly Winston is…I could go on and on.
C of C- What is your favorite writing memory?
LB- Selling my first story to Wild Rose was da bomb, but I’d still have to say winning the very first writing contest I worked up the nerve to enter remains my favorite. It was a writing round robin on eHarlequin moderated by author Erica Orloff. Without the welcoming support of Erica and the other ladies in the group I’m not sure I would have had the nerve to come all the way out of my little writer closet the way I have.
C of C- Its so great to have the support of other authors who know what your going through isn't it? Congratulations on your contest win! Woot!
C of C- Do you have more than one book out now?
LB- I have four short stories and a full-length contemporary romance out with The Wild Rose Press and one novella with paranormal elements that released this month from Amira Press.
C of C- Wow, you've been a busy girl!
C of C- Has your writing Journey been a smooth or bumpy ride?
LB- Hmm, I wouldn’t say it has been completely smooth. I’ve had my share of rejections and doubts, but overall I’ve been lucky. Both Amira and Wild Rose are a pleasure to work with and the reviews I’ve received have been extremely positive.
C of C- That's great!
C of C- What advice would you give to a new aspiring writer?
LB- Read lots, write lots, and learn everything you can about both the craft and the market you’re targeting. Don’t give up! Oh, and don’t give up your day job!
C of C- Great advice, Lainey!!!
I want to thank you for being here with me today, you put a smile on my face and it was a pleasure to get to know you better! Thanks again, and the best of luck with all your future endeavours!!!!
For more information about Lainey Bancroft go to: http://www.elaineforlife.com/
Click the links the below to purchase Lainey's books!
Wild Rose Press