Today we have the pleasure of interviewing Carla Laureano. Carla is the wife to a martial arts master and mom to two boys. Her first novel, Five Days in Skye, was recently chosen as a double-finalist in the RWA’s 2014 RITA Awards. Oath of the Brotherhood marks her fantasy debut. Let’s welcome Carla!
I write both romance and speculative fiction under different variations of my name. My debut fantasy trilogy Song of Seare, beginning with Oath of the Brotherhood, takes its Celtic flavor and historical inspiration from Dark Ages Ireland. I’ve always loved Irish myth, and the country has a fascinating history. I took some of my favorite elements from the heroic cycles—like the Red Branch Knights, the Tuatha Dé Danann, and the sidhe—and gave them my own spin. I have to admit, crafting the Fíréin, a warrior-brotherhood with their brutal training and isolationist history, was probably the most fun. I got to pull from my own martial arts background, and astute movie fans will recognize some kung fu movie flavor in there… I couldn’t help myself.
2) How do you write? What’s a normal writing day like for you?
Right now, there’s not a normal, because my younger son just finished his last year of preschool and I haven’t had the benefit of a regular writing schedule. It’s been several years of writing while the kids are in school, taking a nap, at grandma’s house, or after they go to bed at night. But I do make use of lists and word count goals to keep myself on track toward my deadlines. I was amazed at what I could accomplish when I gave up watching TV.
As far as how I write… I’m portable. I’ll write at home in my office, on the sofa, at coffee shops, in the school carpool line. Whatever it takes to get the day’s words on the page.
3) What are your hopes for your future as an author?
That people continue to want to read my books. I definitely have career plans, and I have some ideas where I want to go next in terms of story and genre, but mostly I just want to keep writing. It’s a privilege to have people spending their hard earned money and limited time in words and worlds that I’ve created. The past couple of years of shifting from aspiring to professional writer have been a crazy ride and not without their challenges, so now I’m really trying to focus on the things that made me want to be an author in the first place: the writing, the stories, the readers. (Okay, I might be feeling a little Zen today.)
4) If you could have dinner with three people, living or dead, who would they be?
I know as a Christian, I’m probably supposed to say Jesus, right? But I kind of have dinner (and breakfast and lunch) with Him all the time, so… Queen Victoria, Mark Twain, and Winston Churchill. I think they would all have some amazing wisdom to impart.
5) What can you tell us about any future releases you have planned?
There are still two more books in my Song of Seare series to go: Beneath the Forsaken City, planned for February 2015 and The Sword and the Song in September 2015. After that, I’m playing with some ideas that aren’t strictly epic fantasy, but are YA. And of course, I have more contemporary romance novels coming up from my alter ego.
6) Star Wars or Star Trek?
This is a really hard question. Can I choose both? I love both. If you forced me to make a decision, it would be Star Wars by a parsec.
7) Soft shell or Hard Shell tacos?
Soft, street vendor/taco truck style. This SoCal girl misses her tacos. Mmm. Taaaacos.
8) Do you have a particular drink or food you consume when you write? Like cocoa, raspberry tea, chocolate?
Anything caffeinated. Seriously. I might have a problem.
9) Do you have a favorite Bible verse?
Right now, Galatians 6:9: “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” I’ve been so busy that it’s tempting to just get through the day, but this reminds me that we’re called not just to do but to do good.
10) Favorite dessert?
Lavender-vanilla crème brulee. Wait, tiramisu. No, Ben & Jerry’s Coffee Toffee Bar Crunch ice cream. Let’s just go with the idea that there is pretty much no dessert I don’t like.
11) Do you listen to music while you write? If so what are some examples?
My musical taste is a running joke with my friends because it’s all over the place. I try to stay away from songs with vocals when I’m writing because I find it too distracting. That means I listen to everything from the Gladiator and King Arthur soundtracks to world fusion like The Afro-Celt Sound System and Peatbog Faeries. Lately, I’ve been listening to a lot of trance, dubstep, and classical crossover.
Thank you, Carla, for the great interview! Here is where you can find Carla online: