Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Interview with Laura A. H. Elliott @Laurawriting

The Digital Ink Spot interviewed the author, Laura Elliott. She writes that Avenal is a "little-known town" but I am proud to say that I know about it. I live in the San Joaquin Valley and often heard of this little town just west of me. Laura loves writing about enchanted road trips, birthday gifts that are out of this world, and alien romance while eating lots of popcorn. She’s the author of Winnemucca, a small-town fairy tale inspired by her life-long love of a little-known town, Avenal, CA, and her equal love of enchanted teenage road trips. 13 on Halloween is the first book in the Teen Halloween Series. 14 on Halloween, book 2 in the Teen Halloween series, will be released in the summer of 2012. Transfer Student, a sci-fi romance-adventure, will release for Amazon and Barnes & Noble on March 20th.
To find out where in the world Laura is and more about her upcoming books, visit her blog Laurasmagicday,
and friend her on Facebook. If Twitter is your thing she's @Laurawriting. Or, drop her a line at elliwrite [at] yahoo [dot] com. 

The Digital Ink Spot: What makes you love Avenal, CA so much?
Laura Elliott:
My husband is from Avenal and his family still lives there. I’ve known Avenal for over twenty-five years and love the people and the history of the town. There’s such a beauty to the hills outside of Avenal and to the way everyone knows each other. I have many special memories there. Some of my favorite times have been over Old Timers’ Day, or on the 4th of July and also at the Sand Drags. There’s a scene in Winnemucca at the Sand Drags. Tar Canyon is just outside Avenal and is where the San Andreas Fault is very visible. “The backbones of the earth” jut out of the ground. To stand there is simply electric. There is a scene in the book in Tar Canyon also. There are many more reasons why I love Avenal but the last one I’ll leave you with is the sight of an abandoned oil derrick decorated with Christmas lights at Christmastime. I’ve always loved the sight of that derrick. Avenal is a very special place as are the people who live there.

The Digital Ink Spot: What success have you had going independent?
Laura Elliott: I’ve had the great good fortune to meet incredible writers and go on tours with them. This is fabulous because we get to talk to our readers. I published my first novel last June and since then I’ve had the opportunity to tour in Portland, OR; Savannah, GA; Deltona, FL and Clearwater, FL. I’m part of a group of authors called The Paranormal Plumes Society and also the Pacific Northwest YA Authors. I also run the YA Indie Carnival. This has helped get the word out about my stories. I feel successful when I get emails from fans that enjoy reading my stories and ask me questions about them. It’s wonderful to be able to talk to readers in person too. I love library visits and school visits as well as shows like WordStock, which I had the opportunity to attend. The whole process has been a thrill. I even got to be on TV for the very first time! It’s been so much fun going Indie.

The Digital Ink Spot: What can your fans always count on from you in your writing?
Laura Elliott: My fans can count on unique and unexpected stories––enchanted road trips, birthday gifts that are out of this world, alien romance. I enjoy one-foot in reality stories that test the boundaries of my characters’ and readers’ expectations for their lives and also for the way a story is told. My dream is to write characters that live off the page long after the reader has read the last word. The most flattering reader comments that I’ve ever received include ones that tell me they have never read a story like the one I’ve written.

The Digital Ink Spot: I think your book covers are very eye-catching. Did you design or help design them yourself?
Laura Elliott: Thanks so much. That makes my day. I design all of my book covers. This is my latest book cover for Transfer Student. I’ve been a graphic/multimedia designer for over twenty-five years so design is part of what I love to do. I also produce my own book trailers. You can find them on my blog, Laurasmagicday

I have a lot to learn about designing covers though. My experience is in the entertainment industry where I worked at E! Entertainment Television and The Los Angeles Times.
Here’s a little story about the cover for Winnemucca.
The background photo was taken by my hubby Joe.   The background image of the cover is a photo of Highway 33 where we meet Ginny, a seventeen-year-old girl who is just beginning her enchanted road trip to her true self. One foot in front of the other, her walk will take her to the state prison just outside of town. You see a glimpse of the prison on the right hand side of the cover, complete with barbed wire fences and a guard tower. I really wanted a picture of the Avenal State Prison sign too because it is there at the sign that Ginny becomes “A Child of The Road.” After my husband took this photo he drove further up the road and when he took a few pictures of the sign, he was swarmed with sheriffs. They asked him what he was doing. I wish I could have heard the convo. In my head it goes something like this: My wife wrote a book and the main character takes an enchanted road trip…Um. Our bad. Note to self: can’t take pictures of prisons. The sheriffs were nice enough but deleted a bunch of photos on my husband’s camera. I’m super-happy that they didn’t arrest him and even happier that they didn’t delete this photo, one of two I used to make the cover. And no, those aren’t my legs, but I get that question all the time. I photoshopped them in.

The Digital Ink Spot: What can readers expect from you in 2012?
Laura Elliott: I’m very excited about my new release 
                                           TRANSFER STUDENT.
Two Worlds––Two Teens––One Wish
Geek Rhoe and Surfer Ashley would never be friends.
Even if they lived on the same planet.
But, they’ll become much more.
They’ll transfer.
The blog tour starts on 2/29 Leap Day and runs until it’s release 3/20. It’s a science-fiction romance/adventure story about how Rhoe, a boy geek alien, swaps lives with Ashley, a Beverly Hills surfer, when his teleporting telescope experiment goes wrong. They have to survive life as their biggest nightmare to discover their dreams. It’s a love letter to teens everywhere who struggle with peer pressure, friendship and fitting in…no matter what planet they call home. Hope you all can join in the fun. There will be weekly and daily giveaways. For more info click here.
14 ON HALLOWEEN, Book 2 in the TEEN HALLOWEEN SERIES will release this summer. I love Roxie, the main character. 14 on Halloween is a continuation of her story and about her understanding her new, growing powers of astral projection. She’s older this year and in high school. Last year she wanted to be popular. This year she just wants to fit in. But that’s turning out to be impossible.

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