As the author of the “V for Vixen” sex column, Laura began her career writing about Montrealers’ sexcapades, which have been collected together for her book, THE VIXEN FILES. Blending real-life observations with fictional fantasies, she’s also penned parts 1 and 2 of her serial novel, NAKED MONTREAL, along with the short story collection THE MONTREAL GUIDE TO SEX, saucy poetry volume 69 SEXY HAIKU, and satirical novella NINJAS OF THE 512. She’s currently publishing her latest novel, a sexy murder-mystery entitled THE CASE OF THE CUNNING LINGUIST, as a weekly serial at Jukepop.
Laura lives in an Apocalypse-proof bunker in sunny SoCal with her artist husband and their literary kitties.
What inspires you to write?
Lots of different things inspire me to write, but my latest interests include sex, travel, ninjas and murder mysteries. I love to write about places I know and love, but I also love to research travel destinations in the hopes of one day getting to visit. When it comes to ninjas, my concept draws on everything from traditional black-garbed assassins to modern-day hackers to skillful practitioners of a variety of martial arts. Some people ask writers where they get their ideas; I’m definitely of the mind that ideas are everywhere, so long as you know where to look, and I can always find something that interests me and keeps me asking questions that will lead to a story eventually.
Tell us about your writing process.
I’m a reformed pantser, and have written about my outlining method on my blog (you can read it here: http://buttontapper.com/2011/11/28/how-to-write-a-novel-creating-an-outline-that-wont-kill-your-creativity/). To summarize: I definitely need an outline to keep myself on track, but I try not to let it stifle my creativity by leaving the points broad enough that I still have fun discovering how to bring my characters from point A to point B, and so on. You’ve got to let yourself be spontaneous during the writing process, but you still need to have enough structure to keep yourself from going totally off the rails, crashing and burning. So, yes, outlining is key, but it’s certainly not the only ingredient in the special sauce.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I usually start with an idea for a story, rather than a character, so once I start writing, I like to listen to the characters that pop up and let them lead the way. Sometimes they take you on some wild and crazy journeys. Other times I have to tell them to buzz off because they’re boring me!
Who are your favorite authors?
I love a lot of different types of authors, but my top three are usually Leonard Cohen (Beautiful Losers), Jeanette Winterson (pretty much everything she’s written is amazing, but I particularly enjoyed Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit), and Salman Rushdie (again, lots of great books to choose from, but The Moor’s Last Sigh is one of my faves). I’m also a huge fan of David Sedaris (Me Talk Pretty One Day in particular), and I’ve also been inspired by lots of sex writers, including Anaïs Nin, Shawna Kenney (I Was a Teenage Dominatrix), Belle du Jour (Secret Diary of a Call Girl), the Happy Hooker, Nelly Arcan, etc. I’m also a not-so-secret fan of “fake memoirs,” which seems like a kind of unusual genre to even exist, but books like James Frey’s Million Little Pieces and JT Leroy’s Sarah both fall into this category. Although the action of these books didn’t actually happen to their authors, the writing is no less gripping and heartbreaking, for me.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I decided to self-publish my books because I wanted to maintain creative control of my work. I didn’t want to have to wait years and years for someone to pluck my work from a slush pile, or waste time and money trying to find an agent who may or may not ever find a buyer for my books, and I didn’t want to end up like some of my writer friends, who had their manuscripts held up for decades because the editors associated with their publishers ended up leaving, and the newly assigned editors just didn’t share the same vision for their book. Basically: the traditional publishing method is complicated, and while I certainly wouldn’t mind landing a traditional book deal, for me it was more important to start putting my work out there for people to read, and letting readers decide whether they like it or not.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I look forward to seeing all of the new developments in the publishing field. There’s something new every day, it seems, and I love learning more about the industry, watching the technology evolve, and getting to know new authors who are able to find success without going through the traditional publishing routes. It’s an exciting time to be a writer, for sure, and I’m happy to have all of these opportunities to reach new audiences around the world.
What genres do you write?
Fiction, Nonfiction, Erotica, Travel, Action/Adventure, Essays, Haiku
What formats are your books in?
Both eBook and Print