Monday, March 13, 2017

SPOTLIGHT ON Author Andi Lawrencovna


Author Andi Lawrencovna 



When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

Eighth grade. I hated reading and writing until I was probably in fourth or fifth grade when I started reading K.A. Applegate’s Everworld series and the Jedi Apprentice books…which are completely unrelated, in retrospect. But, the fantasy, the adventure, the beauty of the words on the page all combined and I fell in love and have been reading ever since. When I went into eighth (maybe it was seventh(?)) grade, I had a teacher who encouraged me to join Power of the Pen and I haven’t stopped writing since. 

How long does it take you to write a book?

It really depends on the book. Charming came to me all at once and within a month it was there ready to go. This latest release with the Stoking the Flames anthology had a deadline that I was working within. But some projects take longer, whether because the story is more complex or the characters need that extra time to fully find themselves, who can say?

What is your work schedule like when you're writing?

I have a full time job that I hold down between writing projects, so it’s tight. When I’m on a roll, it is smooth sailing and it’s pretty much write until my eyes don’t stay open or my fingers make too many mistakes and I’m hitting the backspace key more than the spacebar. When inspiration is a bit slower, I try to force myself to write at least one sentence a day. “But one sentence is nothing!” So true, but I find that if I make myself write one, another usually follows, so maybe it’s not a whole scene or a chapter, but it’s something to accomplish and that’s the best part. Writing, for me, isn’t work and shouldn’t be work. It’s my passion, my love. The moment I have to start trudging through it is the moment I lose all joy in the work, so I do my best to never push myself into hating what I’m working on. If I get tired of one project, I start or work on another. So, while it’s not great for finishing things, I always have something I’m writing on at any given time.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

Oh geese, I’ve never thought of that before. Hmm, well, I guess it’s more so a pre-writing/post-writing/procrastination thing I do. I’ve never been really good at outlining a project before I start writing it. Usually I know where it starts and where it’s going to end, and let myself follow the same journey the reader will take in getting from point A to B. That said, when I get stuck, I tend to make these really-super-crazy-intense book guides for each project or world…which is totally not crazy at all. Because spending my time looking up different political systems that may or may not exemplify what I haven’t mentioned in the current writing project but is probably relevant to me as the author sometime down the road is a definite, productive way to work…or not…

How do your books get published?

I have both traditionally published and self-published my books. Both have different pros and cons to them, but I prefer self-publishing from the perspective that everything rests in my hands and I’m a bit of a control freak, so I really enjoy getting to make all my decisions and be part of the process 100% in the self-publishing world.

Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?

Dreams. I’m a huge proponent of not only following your dreams, but writing them down. I love my imagination and the crazy stuff I come up with.

When did you write your first book and how old were you?

I was thirteen in eighth grade and I was in love with my characters. I haven’t looked at that piece in way more years than I’m comfortable admitting too.

What do you like to do when you're not writing?

Beading. Crafts. Listening to music. Playing board games with friends. Reading…reading is probably my number one go to when I’m not writing.

What does your family think of your writing?

Supportive, but they don’t get it. I’m the weird, black-and-white-and-read-all-over sheep of the family. I come from a family of scientists and intellectuals, and don’t get me wrong, I am too, but I fall completely into the artistic side of things, and they do not. It makes for fun discussions though on metaphorical topics.

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?

As a self-published author, it’s not just the writing the books that you have to worry about, but the editing, and formatting, and finding a cover, and marketing, and that stuff is HARD! I’m not an athlete, but I imagine that bringing a book to complete fruition is like finishing a marathon. It’s hard work, from putting on your tennis shoes to crossing that last mile marker. There’s the pre-work, the actual event, and then the soaking of your sore feet in a tub for a year afterwards that all goes into creating a book. But no matter how hard it is, that finish line…Worth It!

How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?

Well, written and published are two very different questions, and there is definitely no answer to my favorite (it’s The Prince, I lied…).

I’ve currently published three books in my first series and two short stories that go along with that. I have another anthology story coming out on March 28, 2017 in the Stoking the Flames anthology. And I know what other books I’m writing in this series, though they’re all still WIPs at this point. So four? Ish? Six? I don’t know.

Do you have any suggestions to help me become a better writer? If so, what are they?

Write from the heart. Remember, while our jobs as writers is to get our words out there, not everyone is going to like what we write. Someone who likes your work isn’t going to like mine and vice versa, so the most important thing to remember is that in the end, write first for yourself and whatever the world thinks is their problem, not yours.

Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?

That in person I have a really sweet, bubbly, smiley personality, but my writing tends towards the darker, grittier side of life. Which is perfect, because even in fairy tales, a little darkness makes the light at the end all the brighter when we get to it!

Do you like to create books for adults?

I do. I prefer writing for a mature audience, but my notion of “adult” is greatly varied. I was reading “adult” novels when I was in fifth or sixth grade. The characters had more depth. They knew who they were and were often confident in those personas. They were, for me, what I wanted to be when I grew up, so reading “adult” books was a way to help me grow up too. My version of writing for adults is writing about characters who know who they are and grow as that person, not grow into that person as fiction for younger ages is typified by. So, yes, I like writing books for adults, though my adults probably start around thirteen or so…

What do you think makes a good story?

The relationships between the characters. That’s a simple answer, but if you look at a lot of “literary fiction,” the focus is on the building and sometimes destruction of relationships between the characters. There’s movement in the idea that maybe the protagonists are going from place one to place two, but it’s the emotional journey of how they get there that makes up the meat of a story, and that’s what I love most about a good story. Give me a new fantasy world with some orc-manticore-gorgon hybrid, heck yeah! I love being immersed in that creation, but it’s the relationships between that creature and another that makes the story all that more impactful for me.

As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?

Be a mermaid, but every time I wished on a star, I had way too many conditions about wanting to be able to transform easily between water and land and what color scales I wanted to have to whether or not I could fall in love and not turn into sea foam that I let that dream go to pursue more manageable goals.

Any books in the works?

Super exited because I’m hoping to get a really un-Beauty and the Beast-ish novel out this summer which has just taken me a lot longer than I anticipated but I can’t wait to get it done!

What are your plans for the future?

Well, my current series has a lot of stories left to tell. Like I said, I have this crazy, hundred page plus guide that charts everything from the characters in a particular lineage to the outcomes of a butterfly beating its wings on one side of the world to the other, so I’ve got a lot left to write there. But I have some other stories for somewhere down the line about angels and demons and Victorian zombies who serve leg for lunch, but those are way in the future to think about…


 Book Information:
The Never Lands Saga:
Series 1:  Charming
·         Book 1:  Charming

Once upon a time, or so the story goes, there was a prince who threw a ball to find a wife.
He was a young prince, by his peoples’ standards, and though he had no wish for a bride, he was honor bound to make the attempt to find one. Of course, Prince Kit knew that it was not just honor that bound him to the duty. Prophesied or cursed, who could say, but since he was a babe assassins and soldiers had come for him in the dead of night, in the middle of court, amidst the steps of a waltz, to end his life and with it end the lives of his people, the land he was meant to rule. A heavy burden for a young man to bear, worse for a prince kept cloistered for his own good.
But a wife, well, a wife would provide an heir, and perhaps prevent his peoples’ doom if he died too young, and so he danced with maiden after maiden, ball after ball, until he danced with her. 
She came from out of the Darkness, a vision in a black dress and glass slippers, to join the throng for the prince’s celebration. The first night she hid a small vial filled with arsenic in the folds of her gown but it was knocked from her hand before she could upend it into his glass of champagne. The second night she brought a stiletto hilted in her garter that she never thought to draw and returned to her rooms un-blooded. The third night Eli ran from him, found her horse and fled back to the forest she came from, desperate to escape his charming smile and the emotions she refused to acknowledge in his gaze that seethed in her heart too.
He gave chase, and what is an assassin meant to do when her prey hunts her down?
One waltz at a ball. One trip of a slipper. One Prince. And one Assassin.
Charming…simply, Charming.

·        

     Book 2:  The Captain

There was a time, before Prince Christophe was born, when the worst fate his people had to worry about was war with their troll neighbors or an invasion from elfin forces beyond the woods. But that was before he was born and was cursed.
If he dies, so to do his people.
Such a simple phrase, so oblique, and yet Kit has lived his life in fear of the prophecy, searching every shadow for assassins come to get him.
Until she came and took up arms in his defense.
Warrior and witch. Assassin and priest. She was his teacher and his protector. His friend. The only woman ever to run from him at the end of a ball, and the only woman he ever asked to stay.
But Eli is an outsider in the human world, and trusted only so far, even by the man who desires more from her than her skill with a blade. The longer she remains with him, the more she falls for her prince in a world where her prince’s life is the fate of his lands.
As the time of the prophecy draws near, Eli and Kit will face more than dwarves and shadows to find solace with each other and salvation for their people.
Sometimes the one most suited to protect you is the one who holds the sharpest blade.
And there is no sharper sword than: The Captain.

·         


     Book 3:  The Prince

Reports of a mercenary army have begun to spread throughout the land. Soldiers have been called to prepare for war and captains have been summoned to lead armies. Spies have been sent forth to gather information. Assassins have been requisitioned to hunt out those meant to die.
And deep within the woods, the prince and his men prepare for battle amidst the increasing number of traitors and worse stalking the trees.

How long can you hide before your enemies find you? How long can you lie before the truth sets you free? And who will find you when the smoke clears and you’re safe again?
How much can you endure before you can’t bear the burden of prophecy anymore?
Once upon a time…



Series 2:  Breath of Fyre
·         Book 1:  The Dragon’s Sacrifice (originally released as part of the Stoking the Flames anthology)

§  (Link will change after June 28, 2017)
When the world was still a new and wonderous place, there came from out a crack in the ground a creature born of fire and air to spy upon all that was green and good. 
 He wandered far from his land of molten pitch and burning embers until he came to a place filled with soft grasses and tall trees, lakes as clear as crystal, and a creature as different as she could be.
 He watched her, and he wanted her, and before long, he took her as his own. 
 But sometimes, it's not the sacrifice who is snared in his trap, but the dragon himself who falls under her spell.

·         
      




      Book 2:  The Dragon’s Unrest (Coming Soon)

Stand Alone:
·         So Sweet:  A Tale as Old as Time (Coming Soon)

Short Stories:
·        
The First Ball:

In the Never Lands, Birthday Celebrations tend to be a little more festive than in other worlds. No silly little parties with only family and friends, but rather grand balls with princes and princesses and assassins, oh my. What's a ball without some intrigue? Have a Happy Birthday with Prince Christophe as he celebrates in: 
The First Ball. 
Fairy Tales just got a little bit darker.

·        
Out of the Woods:
·         There was an old woman who lived in a shoe;
There was an old woman who lived in a shoe;
She had so many children, she didn't know what to do.
She fed them all broth without any bread;
Then whipped them all soundly and sent them to bed.
~Mother Goose, The Dorling Kindersley Book of Nursery Rhymes (2000)

She took them from the woods, and she took them from dells, from hamlets and homesteads and across the wide world, she found young orphans, those abandoned and left on their own, and gave them a home. 
 And all she asked for was a little piece of their soul in payment...
 Whoever said nursery rhymes were harmless? 


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Author Bio Information:
Andi Lawrencovna is a fantasy and science fiction writer from Ohio. Her most recent books, A Charming Series, the first in her Never Lands Saga, is a re-envisioning of Cinderella with a darker twist. Andi works closely with WriteNow Publishing though maintains her independent authorship. She currently has three novels and two short story to her name, and her next novel, So Sweet, will be out later this year. So Sweet is a tale as old as time, whose characters are as equally ancient and waiting to be released. Happily-Ever-Afters have never been bleaker, though Andi promises there’s always hope for rainbows and unicorns in The Never Lands.

Andi currently resides in Northeast Ohio with her dog and an imagination that has gotten her into more trouble than not. Her education includes a BA in English from Denison University and an MFA in Creative Writing from Pine Manor College. She works as a legal secretary during the day and removes her glasses at night…wrong genre. For more information on Ms. Lawrencovna and her work, please visit her website at: www.AndiLawrencovna.com


Andi Lawrencovna is proudly represented by 
The Owl Branch Book Promotions. www.theowlbranch2015.net




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