April 7, 2011

Author Interview: Laurie London

Recently I’ve had the pleasure of reading a fantastic new debut in the PNR genre, Bonded by Blood.  Upon reading it I just knew I had to interview the author!  Author Laurie London has graciously agreed to an interview, and now all of you can find out what I’m raving about! 

You can check out my review of Bonded by Blood.

Shera (Book Whispers):  In your own words introduce yourself.

headshotLL Laurie London:   First of all, thanks for having me on today! These are some thought-provoking questions. I’m putting on my thinking cap as we speak. 

A little about myself:

As a former cocktail waitress, wedding dress salesperson, computer programmer and underwriter, I’m very happy to be writing now. I live in the Seattle area with my husband, two kids, and a lot of animals, including my dog whose head is on my foot right now and my horse who needs me to run down to the barn to feed her.

Bonded by Blood (Hqn)BW:  When you first started writing Bonded by Blood did you approach the series with the idea of Sweet Bloods—humans who’s blood is like crack for vampires—already in mind?  Or was it something that developed after the book started to take shape?

LL:  The concept of sweetbloods and Sweet came to me as I wrote the first scene. I kept seeing a man, hidden by leaves in an old cemetery, who attacks a woman coming to his aid. I knew he wasn’t one of the bad guys, but why would he almost kill her? What was it about her that made him lose his sense of right and wrong? And why was he worried that the guys after him would now come after her too? Answering these questions led me to the Sweetblood concept.

BW:  The side characters from Bonded by Blood completely stole the show for me and I'm really excited that Alfonso's story is up next in July. (He just tickles my dark-bad-boy senses!)  Is there any other side characters that will be getting some center stage time in future books?

Embraced by Blood (A Sweetblood Novel)LL:  Thank you! I love Alfonso too. And Lily. As for other secondary characters, Jackson makes quite an appearance in the second book, Embraced By Blood, with two or three scenes in his point of view. His book is the third one and it’s tentatively scheduled to come out February 2012. Santiago’s will be book 4. I’ll have to do a lot of interesting research for him because he swears in three languages—and I’m not bi-lingual.

BW:  It was chilling how the Darkbloods (evil vampires) could use humans like breeding cattle to get there Sweet Blood fixes.  In fact, one scene that really stuck with me, was where the evil villain asks himself how much blood he could take from an infant without killing it. Did you ever have a hard time writing some of those chilling scenes that give readers an insight to the depravity of the Darkbloods?

LL:  You know what’s kind of twisted? Those scenes really bother me too, and yet, they’re some of the easiest for me to write. I think it’s because when your character has very defined goals (whether they’re good or bad), their thoughts and actions are easy to figure out. I remember writing that scene quickly because I was so creeped out.

BW:  Darkbloods is a really great name to describe the evil vampires in Bonded by Blood.  Where there other names you considered to call the Darkbloods? 

LL:  Thanks! It’s actually the only name I considered calling them.

BW:  In Bonded by Blood one of my favorite characters gets the axe.  So I have to ask, do you have a hard time killing off the characters you've lovingly created?  Do you ever look back and regret killing them off?

LL:  I LOVED that character too. It honestly was so painful to write that part of the story. I wanted sooo much not to have it happen, and I actually considered ways that it didn’t need to happen. But given the timing of events, there was no way to have saved that individual. During the revisions phase when you’re tightening up the story and clarifying things, my editor wrote a sad face in the margin. However, if it hadn’t happened the way it did, we wouldn’t know the extent of the danger Mackenzie faced and it justified Dom’s seemingly over-the-top reaction.

Same thing happens in the next book. I cried my eyes out (and my editor gave me another sad face), but I just couldn’t see an alternative. However, it didn’t happen on the page like it did in Bonded, so I tiny part of me wonders if this individual didn’t die after all. I’ll let readers decide.

BW:  When you're in a writing jam, is there a particular author you look to for inspiration? One that makes you ask, "What would ‘insert author's name here’ do?"

LL:  It’s funny you should ask because I just went through this yesterday. Although I’m halfway done with this particular story, I’ve been unsure whether I started it in the correct spot. (The initial tone for a story starts with that first sentence and page.) I grabbed a dozen books off my shelf. Both Nalini Singh and Gena Showalter had a character looking down at a city and reflecting on things. JR Ward started with a car chase and, in another book, a character bitching about something. Kresley Cole started with a character giving another character provocative advice. Kerrelyn Sparks and Jeaniene Frost had a character arriving somewhere new. Suzanne Brockmann had a character thinking he was going crazy.

Angels' Blood (Guild Hunter, Book 1)The Darkest Night (Lords of the Underworld, Book 1)Dark Lover (Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book 1)A Hunger Like No Other (Immortals After Dark, Book 1)

Analyzing these first sentences in some of my favorite books inspired me to add a whole different scene at the beginning of mine, and I *think* it’s much better now. It doesn’t really match any of these, but he is bitching about something, he is reflective, and he goes out and pounds on something. We’ll see though—I change my mind a lot until I feel I’ve got it right.

How to Marry a Millionaire Vampire (Love at Stake, Book 1)Halfway to the Grave (Night Huntress, Book 1)The Unsung Hero (Troubleshooters, Book 1)

BW:  The good news is out that you'll now be doing books 3 and 4 for the Sweet Blood series!  Do you have plans for even more books?

LL:  Thanks! I’m thrilled that my publisher wants me to keep writing the series. They recently asked me to write a story in the anthology A Vampire For Christmas, which is what I’m working on now, and I’ve got an e-novella coming out June 1. I can’t stop thinking about Finn from the e-novella (Hidden By Blood)—he rocked my world.

As far as books 5 and 6? I guess that’ll depend on whether readers like and buy books 3 and 4. I sure hope so because I know exactly who I’ll be writing about.

BW:  Will the focus of the other books in the series stick to the Washington branch of Guardians?

LL:  They all have ties of some sort to the Seattle field office, but that doesn’t mean the books will be set exclusively here. Quite a bit of book 2 (Embraced By Blood) occurs up in British Columbia or near the border, and an Australian setting keeps cropping up in my head for book 4.

BW:  Are you more of a Paranormal Romance or Urban Fantasy reader?

LL:  I love them both. It just so happens that right now I’m reading and loving two UF books. On the Edge by Ilona Andrews and First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones.

On the Edge (The Edge, Book 1)        First Grave on the Right

BW:  For you personally, not your characters, between a vampire love interest and a werewolf love interest which do you prefer?  (What team are you on? Team Vampire or Team Werewolf.)

LL:  Team Vampire all the way!

BW:  Go wild! Let us know something funny about you, share something that's on your mind, or anything else that's important about your books.

LL:  Something wild or funny? Hmmm. How about horrifying? Your Team Vampire/Werewolf question made me remember this. I can’t write about werewolves because of a recurring dream I had when I was pregnant sixteen years ago. I dreamed that my German Shepherd chewed through my belly to deliver my son. Even though she was the sweetest dog in the world and I miss her terribly, I can still see those big ole teeth coming at me!

Be sure to check out the e-novella, Hidden By Blood, which comes out June 1, right before Embraced By Blood comes out June 21.

I’m at the RT Booklovers Convention, so I’ll try to check in and say hello. If any of your readers are at the convention, come find me at the book signing! I’ll be giving away Sweetblood trading cards.

Thanks for having me on today! These were fun questions.

BW:  Thanks so much for the great answers!  Now I just can’t wait to get my hands on the next book.

Author Bio:

A graduate of Western Washington University with a BA in Business Administration and a former tester/programmer for a Fortune 500 company, Laurie London writes from her home near Seattle where she lives with her husband and two children. 

She is a member of Romance Writers of America®, Greater Seattle Area RWA, RWAOnline, Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, FF&P (RWA chapter devoted to all things paranormal), and two book clubs. 

When not writing, she can be found running, reading, or riding and showing her horse. Someday she hopes to qualify for the Quarter Horse World Show – that is, if her horse doesn’t get hurt again.

You can also visit Laurie London’s official website.

Don’t miss out on getting your own copy of bonded by Bonded by Blood.

BONDED prelim front cover

Deep within the forests of the Pacific Northwest, two vampire coalitions battle for supremacy—Guardian enforcers who safeguard humanity and Darkbloods, rogues who kill like their ancient ancestors. 

Movie location scout Mackenzie Foster-Shaw has always known that she’s cursed to die young. No one can protect her from the evil that has stalked her family for generations—vampires who crave her rare blood type. Until one afternoon in a wooded cemetery, she encounters an impossibly sexy stranger, a man she must trust with her life.

For Dominic, a man haunted by loss, Mackenzie satisfies a primal hunger that torments him—and the bond they share goes beyond heat, beyond love. She alone can supply the strength he needs to claim his revenge. But in doing so, he could destroy her…

Add it:

Amazon:  Bonded by Blood (Hqn)

You can now preorder a copy of book two, Embraced by Blood (A Sweetblood Novel), which comes out on June 21st.


bex said...

Great interview!

I have to say that the series look really good! I will definitely have to check it out!

Jess Haines said...

Nice interview! I just ordered this as an ebook yesterday. Looking forward to delving in once I finish A BRUSH OF DARKNESS. :)


Shera (Book Whispers) said...

Hope you both enjoy Bonded by Blood as much as I did!

Laurie London said...

Hi Bex, Thanks! If you read it, I hope you enjoy it.

Hi Jess, awesome! Happy reading!

Hi Shera, thanks for having me on. Fun interview! I've been down at RT this week.

bex said...

I'm sure I would! It does sound like something for me. :)