Today’s interview on the 2016 2K Indie Book Tour (co-hosted by Kate Evans and myself) is with fantasy adventure author, Lori L. MacLaughlin.
Lori L. MacLaughlin traces her love of fantasy adventure to Tolkien and Terry Brooks, finding The Lord of the Rings and The Sword of Shannara particularly inspirational. She’s been writing stories in her head since she was old enough to run wild through the forests on the farm on which she grew up. When she’s not writing (or working), she can be found curled up somewhere dreaming up more story ideas, taking long walks in the countryside, or spending time with her kids. She lives with her family in northern Vermont.
Here’s a bit about her novel, Lady, Thy Name Is Trouble:
Trouble is Tara Triannon’s middle name. As swords for hire, Tara and her sister Laraina thrive on the danger. But a surprise invasion throws them into chaos… and trouble on a whole new level. Pursued by the Butcher, a terrifying assassin more wolf than man, Tara and Laraina must get a prince marked for death and a young, inept sorceress to safety. There’s only one problem — eluding the Butcher has never been done. Aided by a secretive soldier of fortune, they flee the relentless hunter.
Gifted with magic and cursed by nightmares that are all too real, Tara must stop an army led by a madman and fend off an evil Being caught in a centuries-old trap who seeks to control her magic and escape through her dreams — all while keeping one step ahead of the Butcher.
Sequel: Trouble By Any Other Name (coming spring 2016)
Now, here’s our interview with Lori:
What was the inspiration behind your book?
I’ve always been drawn to strong female characters who are more than capable of looking out for themselves and who are accepted as they are. I also prefer fantasy worlds where women and men are treated as equals, places where it’s not unusual for a woman to rule a kingdom or handle a sword well.
I built my story around these ideas and fitted them into the world I’d already created in maps and sketches. Then I dreamed up adventures for my characters that I would like to have.
Who is your favorite character?
I have trouble with that question. My first inclination is to say Tara, because she’s such a part of me. She’s an adventurer, vulnerable on the inside but hard and cold as the steel of her blade on the outside. She keeps everyone but her sister at sword’s length. She’s been hurt too many times to let anyone inside her guard.
However, I think I’d have to choose Captain Natiere, the wolf-like executioner known as the Butcher. He claims the wolves as his kin, though he’s not a werewolf. His traumatic past turned him into the monstrous person he is, but there’s so much more to him than anyone knows. He holds many secrets in the unfathomed depths of his soul.
What is one thing you want readers to know or “get” about your book?
My book has a lot of action and swordplay, but it’s much deeper than that. It’s more about the characters and the relationships between the characters, particularly the sisters, and how they grow and change throughout the story.
Who is your ideal reader? Or, who will enjoy your book?
With a female protagonist, my book will likely appeal more to women, but anyone who likes an epic fantasy adventure with swordplay, magic, and a little romance will enjoy it.
What three writing tips do you have for aspiring authors?
1. Don’t worry about spelling, grammar, or anything else when writing your first draft. Just get the words down on paper (or on the computer). First drafts are meant to be messy.
2. Have others read your work. Find a critique group somewhere that will give you honest feedback. Your book will be so much the better for it.
3. If you’re going the traditional route, make your book the best it can be before submitting it to agents/editors. If you’re self-publishing, hire a professional editor to go through your manuscript before putting it out there. That’s probably the most important thing you can do for your book, along with hiring a professional cover designer.
Where can readers learn more about you?
Twitter: @LLMacL, https://twitter.com/llmacl