Author Spotlight Laura M. Drake
Tell our readers briefly about yourself.
I’m the youngest of five, and my siblings are my best friends. I’ve loved reading since I was a kid, and I’ve always wanted to share the feeling of being in love with a good book. That desire morphed into my dream of becoming an author a few years ago when I moved to Japan and started writing seriously. Since then I’ve completed two series.
What books do you have available? Can you give us a short description of them?
The Chronicles of Andar - This is a fantasy trilogy that's like Harry Potter meets Avatar: the Last Airbender with a twist of Anastasia.
Japanese Hauntings - This is a series of spooky stories based on Japanese urban legends that have suspense, romance, and just a hint of humor.
Do you stay in one genre when you write or do you find yourself veering toward others?
My genres tend to vary based on what stories I feel like telling. My first was a YA fantasy and the second is definitely more supernatural/paranormal romantic suspense. I also have plans to write some modern Jane Austen retellings as well as some fairytale retellings, but I think my main genre will be fantasy. It’s my favorite to read as well.
Are you a panster, planner, or someone in between?
I’m a planner when it comes to outlines for the books and main points for chapters, but sometimes a pantser in the chapters themselves. They often weave and turn in unexpected directions as the characters take control of the story. It’s what makes writing fun.
What is your writing routine like?
It’s nothing special. My schedule is fairly flexible since I have an online part-time job, so as soon as I finish my morning routine and my workload for the day, I just spend the rest of the day working on writing. But that can range from beta reading for others, writing or revising my own stuff, or working on other parts of the process. But, in general, I can say I definitely spend far too much time each day working since I enjoy it so much.
Tell me about your favorite character that you’ve created?
I think one of my favorite characters so far is Gray Mastiff from The Chronicles of Andar. I love him because he’s a complete goofball who is only serious when the situation calls for it (and sometimes not even then) but he has an unwavering loyalty to his friends and is willing to sacrifice for those he loves. He goes through so much and really grows as a character, and I got so attached to him. Plus, he was just a lot of fun to write. (Especially since one of the books was from his POV.)
Where do you get your ideas for world building?
The ideas for the world and stories generally come to me in dreams and expand as I begin writing. Things just seem to flow when I’m in the zone, but if I ever get stuck, bouncing ideas off friends or family can help.
Do you add romance to your writing? Is it steamy or clean?
100% clean. I can barely handle writing a kiss scene without making myself feel awkward.
What was your favorite scene to create?
This is tough. I’ve learned to enjoy a lot of suspense scenes from writing my ghost stories but I also really enjoy the scenes with magic in my Andar books. In my current work in progress I’m about to write a scene where the two MCs finally hash out their misunderstandings, so I’m also pretty excited for that.
Where do you get character inspiration?
I think I pull a lot of character traits from those around me but the characters themselves seem to come to life with their own personalities as the story does.
What genre do you prefer to read?
I love reading fantasy, regency books, and historical fiction. (But really I’ll try just about any fiction novel.)
Do you have any specific authors you follow and try to craft your work after?
Not at the moment, no. But I’ve been an avid reader since I was a child and I do have authors I love (like Shannon Hale.)
Do you have any recurring themes in your book?
At the moment the only recurring theme in my books is that they stay clean so readers of any age can enjoy them.
What does your editing process look like?
I revise my own manuscript as much as I can, send it to beta readers, then to an editor and proofreaders and an ARC team before publishing. Sometimes typos still slip through, but it significantly lowers the amount.
Do you have a preferred drink or snack that you eat/drink while writing?
Not really. I don’t often eat while writing. Instead I like to do writing sprints then take breaks to grab a snack and go for a walk or something else.
When is your favorite time of day to write and why?
I like to write in the morning when my mind and motivation is freshest.
What is your favorite vacation spot?
Maybe Japan? But that’s only because I love going there for any reason.
Marvel or DC? Do you have a favorite character?
I don’t particularly care. I enjoy them, but don’t really have a favorite. I like Batman, Spiderman, etc.
What hobbies do you have?
I love to play ultimate frisbee, board games, video games, and help people with budgets. Pretty nerdy I know, but I love it haha.
Where can our readers find you? Please include all book links, social media, and websites in the area below.