"New Worlds Are Our Oyster."
at First Bite
Lauren Dane is a suburban mom with a lurid imagination that she's put to good use with her writing. Her favorite thing is when people tell her that she doesn't look like "someone who'd write those books".
She lives in the Northwest with her husband and three very rambunctious kids. She writes everything from paranormals to contemporary BDSM books and develops terrible crushes on all of her heroes.
An Interview with Lauren Dane
PNR: Have you always known you wanted to be a writer; when did you begin writing?
Lauren D.: I’ve been making up stories since I was really young. Once I could write I became a writer. I actively wrote through college but then set it aside for several years during law school and then when I had children. It was'’t until I was on bed rest with my last pregnancy that I began to really pursue it.
PNR: How do you manage to balance your writing and personal time?
Lauren D.: I have three children and a husband so my life is pretty insanely busy! So I do most of my writing at night after everyone is sleeping although my husband is the best and he will take the kids out of the house and away when I'm pushing at a time deadline. But ideas can come to me anywhere and so I keep a notebook with me at all times just in case!
PNR: What is the best part about being a writer? The most frustrating?
Lauren D.: The best part? Hmm, well probably being able to tell a story that I love and then having readers respond to it. I hope I never ever get jaded to the point that I don't blush and then grin like a fool when I get a review or a note from one of my readers.
Frustrating? Finding the time to write is a big one but being blocked is another. There’s a point in every book where I am at point A and need to get to point C but I can't figure out how to write through B! Eventually, after pounding my head a few thousand times and writing, deleting, re-writing and plotting, I find my way through.
PNR: What do you consider to be the key elements of a great story?
Lauren D.: Effective, three dimensional characters. People I want to know, people who despite flaws, are strong and smart and likeable. The best story in the world is flat without characters that fill it with life and color.
But, if you have great characters but a flat story, they sort of wander around aimlessly. I'm not big on a lot of angst in books, it’s not what I personally find compelling, but I do want to see characters given a chance to breathe, to struggle and then survive and end up better for it.
PNR: Which author(s) is your favorite? And who has most influenced you work?
Lauren D.: Oh my! I love books, it's impossible to choose just one. Some of my favorites are Sherrilyn Kenyon and her Dark Hunters, Laurel K Hamilton, Margaret Atwood, Virginia Swift, Emma Holly, Anya Bast, William Gibson, Neil Gaiman and Frank Herbert.
As for influences – I love Gaiman, Gibson and Herbert's world building and the way that Atwood uses language. I adore Virginia Swift's characters and Anya and Emma’s lush and vivid writing. I find myself influenced by so many things but good writing no matter the genre is always a big one for me.
PNR: Could you tell us about the publication of your first book, Triad?
Lauren D.: Triad just released from Ellora’s Cave on May 11. It's a paranormal ménage story that features Lee Charvez, a powerful witch descended from a long line of inherent witches. It’s set in New Orleans and she and her family are being threatened by a dark power that’s just arrived in town.
At the same time, she has to deal with the discovery of not just one, but two men who are fated to be her mates. There’s a lot of character interaction in Triad, Lee comes from a very large close family and the dynamics of a threesome are difficult as well as wonderful.
PNR: Where did the idea for Triad come from?
Lauren D.: I was visiting New Orleans to see Pearl Jam and I was just struck by what an amazing city it is. There’s so much magic and mystery there that I thought it would be a great setting for a book. On the trip and the plane back, the idea materialized and I began to write it when I got back home. Life kept getting in the way and I had to put it down over and over but eventually I finished it.
PNR: Characters and emotions are the focus of your story; did you find it difficult to balance two strong heroes?
Lauren D.: Well, I really wanted them to be different, but both still strong. It's easy to characterize someone like Alex as strong. He’s dark and broody and wounded and very dominant. But Aidan, despite his softer side, also has the strength of conviction and character that makes him really great to write. The challenge for me was to pull both Alex and Aidan out of those stereotypes and show different facets of each one; the things that made Alex insecure, the strength and core of Aidan, as well as his insecurities too.
PNR: Your writing creates a tangible atmosphere and reveals a depth of the subject; did this require a great deal of research?
Lauren D.: Well thank you! I did study magic and different kinds of power and the ways that different groups of people believe in them. I also added to my own trip to New Orleans with some study of the history of the area.
But the best thing about writing paranormals is that you can make your own rules. I purposely created a kind of witch that wasn’t connected to things that exist in reality because that way I could make them what I wanted without having to worry about getting it wrong or offending people.
As for the ménage stuff, I did speak to people who had polyamorous relationships to see how they dealt with the issues of jealousy and time sharing.
PNR: Can you tell us about projects are you currently working on?
Lauren D.: I am in the process of editing Touch of Fae, which is the follow up to Triad and Em's story. It's looking like a September or October release. Touch of Fae is about Conchobar MacNessa, a ten thousand year old Faerie warrior who has come to keep an eye on Em Charvez, who has located a book that may threaten the Compact that gives the Charvez witches their power.
I also finished the third book, Witches Knot and Holly's story and sent it to my editor not to long ago. Witches Knot is another ménage; Holly is a rubenesque heroine as well.
I'm also just starting the edits for Second Chances, a contemporary BDSM novel that will be releasing in late September from Loose Id. This is my first non paranormal book and it was really fun to write. It’s not a traditional road from start to HEA, but it gets there.
PNR: Where can readers find your novel, and how can they contact you?
Thanks so much!!
May 11, 2005 ISBN: 1419902199
- Lee Charvez is a witch in a family where all of the women are born
with inherent gifts of power. She is a witch dreamer, she has the
ability to walk in dreams and the subconscious and to work magic there.
There is only one Charvez witch dreamer a generation and she's the
strongest in generations.
Em Charvez has grown up in the shadow of the strong willed and colorful Charvez women and she feels a bit invisible. While on the hunt for a book of magic that could well destroy the Compact that gives them their power, she meets Conchobar MacNessa, a ten-thousand-year-old Faerie warrior, and suddenly she's not quite so invisible. Things heat up between Con and Em as the battle over the bookthe battle between good and evil takes shape around them...
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