By Laura Bingham
Erin and her twin brother, Bain, never expected to find that the cabin in the woods near their home is actually a secret entrance to a magical world. Surrounded by pegasi, dragons, and fairies, they discover new powers within themselves and a secret they have unknowingly been preparing for: they are training to become elves. Now they are faced with the decision to stay in this magical world or return home to the life they knew.
A spellbinding tale of fantasy and fairy tale, Älvor draws you into an enchanting world of all things magical.
Nearly a native of Idaho, Laura was born in Iowa and moved to Idaho at age four. She graduated from Ricks College with an Associates degree and from Boise State University with a Bachelor degree in Biology as well as certification to teach all science subjects in secondary education in the state of Idaho. In her backyard stands a dance studio where she teaches youth of all ages the lesser known, but much loved sport of clogging.
Her grandparents and other relatives live in the beautiful Pennsylvania hills where she adores visiting. She lives in Boise with her husband and five young children, including her own set of boy/girl twins.
Here is my interview with Laura:
M.B.: When did you first know you wanted to be an author?
Laura: It was a couple months into writing Alvor that I realized how much I loved doing it.
M.B.: What was the pathway like for you to get your first book published?
Laura: After editing and revising extensively, I chose to try small presses first, and within a few months I received a contract.
M.B.: Were you ever discouraged along the way? If so, how did you deal with it?
Laura: The most discouraging part was giving up what might have been opportunities. When I signed my contract, my manuscript was in two big New York publishing houses. But, I have no doubt that this is the right path, even when it isn’t easy.
M.B.: What is your writing schedule like?
Laura: I usually write in the afternoons for a couple hours. Sometimes I get time on the weekends.
M.B.: Where do your ideas come from? How do you know the idea is
good enough to write a book about it?
Laura: The idea for Alvor fell into my head late at night, about five minutes after I told my husband I wanted to write a book, but needed to know what the whole thing was going to be about. Is it good enough? How does anyone ever know? If you love it, then it is.
M.B.: What words of advice do you have for other writers who desire to
have their manuscripts become books in print?
Laura: Keep revising and editing. Research the publishing houses and agents who represent your genre. And, most importantly, don’t give up. You have more than one story to give the world.
M.B.: What is your process of brainstorming a story? Do you just sit
down and write, waiting to see what happens next? Or do you outline
Laura: For Alvor, I wrote some notes down, but mostly character descriptions. I did make notes about the story, but not an outline. Since then, my work has started with an outline, but I’ve deviated from the original idea so much that the outline is obsolete. Most of the story happens as I write it.
M.B.: Do you ever experience a snag in a story, a form of writer's
block? If so, how do you deal with it?
Laura: I usually get stuck with which way the story will go, kind of like Choose Your Own Adventure. I almost always talk to others and get their opinion if I’m not sure which way the story needs to head.
M.B.: Do you need absolute quiet to write? Do you listen to music when
you are writing?
Laura: I love quiet, but I learned that it’s not the noise that matters as much as whether the noise means my attention is needed somewhere else.
M.B.: What kinds of inspiration do you use during your story creation periods?
Laura: I love my characters- so I guess they inspire me.
M.B.: Who has made the greatest difference for you as a writer?
Laura: James Dashner. I look at what he’s done and I know that I can build a career too. His style of doing things works well with my personality, and because he’s a genuinely nice guy, I’m not worried that writing will change who I really am.
M.B.: Do you use a critique group during the writing process? Why or why not?
Laura: I don’t let people critique my work until I’ve written the whole thing. I don’t want to feel discouraged about a story while I’m in middle of loving the ride- I don’t want to become disenchanted before I get to the middle of the book. After I’m done putting the whole thing together, I let others tell me where my faults are.
M.B.: Which of your books is your favorite, and why?
Laura: The Harry Potter series taught kids not to be afraid of novels and entertained adults at the same time. I admire the wave of reading that followed in the wake of J. K. Rowling’s books.
M.B.: Any final words you would like to share
Laura: You never know what you can do until you try. Don’t be afraid to find your dreams, and live them.
M.B.: Where can our readers go to find your books and order them?
Laura: Go to Barnes & Noble, B. Dalton, Deseret Book, Seagull Book or online at www.Amazon.com www.b&n.com www.hastings.com