Sunday, October 8, 2017

An Interview with Lauryn April

Where are you from? Tell us a little about yourself.
Hi, I’m Lauryn April. I live in Wisconsin with my husband and two dogs and I’ve been writing professionally since 2012 when I published my first novel. I’m planning to publish my next novel, Unearthed After Sunset, on October 15th 2017.

What made you want to be an author?
I’ve always loved reading and as I got older that love for stories made me want to write my own stories.

What do you like best about being a writer? What do you like the least?
I like getting to make these characters and worlds and create these journeys for my readers to go on. I don’t like having to push through writer’s block. There’s always a part of writing where the book seems to write itself, then you hit a wall and have to force yourself to write until you get past it. That’s tough, but it’s worth it once you get through it.

Are you a plotter or a pantser, i.e., do you outline your books ahead of time or are you an “organic” writer? 
I’m kind of in between. I do plot before I start writing, but I keep my plot really simple and I’m open to making changes as I go. 

What influences your writing? And why?
My life, for sure. I definitely pull things from my life into my stories. Really, everything around me ends up influencing my writing from what I’m reading to what I’m watching. I have a word doc where whenever inspiration strikes I write down ideas for plots, characters, and settings.

Name one thing readers don’t know about you.
I often mention that I live in Wisconsin with my husband and two dogs, but I’m really more of a cat person.

Are love scenes easy/difficult for you to write?
I’d say they’re more difficult than other scenes, but I like writing them. I like including a romantic subplot and you’ll find one in Unearthed After Sunset as well as my other books. I think it’s really important to do a love scene right. Figuring out where in the story to put that scene and how graphic it’s going to be can affect the flow and pacing of the novel. You don’t want to disappoint your readers, but you also don’t want to write a scene that feels forced or out of place.

Do you have another career besides writing? What is it?
I do. When I’m not writing I work in youth services doing crisis intervention for kids with severe emotional disturbances. I have a BA in Psychology which gives me a good understanding of human behavior and is very helpful for both my day-job and my writing career.

What hobbies do you enjoy when not writing?
I like to paint. When I have time (which isn’t often) I pull out my acrylics and buy a canvas. 

What is your writing genre?
I like to write anything with a supernatural element. So, Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy, even Science Fiction are all genre’s I dabble in. All my stories, except Unearthed After Sunset, have been Young Adult. I do have other Young Adult stories in my WIP pile as well as other general fiction or New Adult stories.

If you could be any supernatural creature, what would it be and why?
I’d be a vampire. There’s just something dark, romantic and tragic about vampires that I love. Plus, I’m way more of a night person than a morning person and I already eat my steak pretty rare so I think I could handle the diet.

If you had one take away piece of advice for aspiring authors, what would it be?
Take all your criticism and let it inspire you do be better. Writing is a craft you’re constantly learning. So, if you get a bad review, if someone points out where your book needs improvement, don’t get defensive, learn how to make the next book better. You have to be open to that change and growth.

Do you have any future project that we can look for?
Yes, I’m currently working on the sequel for Unearthed After Sunset. I also have a fun fantasy story in the works and another that revolves around Greek mythology.

Tell us more about Unearthed After Sunset.
Unearthed After Sunset is the first novel in the Cereus Vampire Chronicles. This dark tale follows college student Greg on his journey to discover a world he never knew existed where he quickly learns that beauty can be deadly as. Filled with action, adventure and a bit of romance Unearthed After Sunset will keep you on your toes.

Do you have an excerpt for us?
Leaving immediately at sunset, I hoped to catch Caroline near her house, but she was gone by the time I arrived. Ironwood was the nearest cemetery to her house and I ran there next. I’m going to kill her, I thought, entering the graveyard. I told myself the reason I was in such a hurry to find her was because of how terribly I wanted her dead. Hunting her was not an excuse to see her.

I didn’t think about how seeking out a vampire hunter was probably the stupidest thing I could do. I ignored the reality that odds were she’d be the one to kill me, not the other way around. I needed to get her out of my head. 

I held on to that thought, and held on tight, but the second I saw her, it shattered. She walked away from me, wearing a floral top with a jean jacket and skinny jeans that demanded my attention. Picking up my pace, I followed her silently until I was only a few feet away.

“Hunter,” I said.

She spun around, raising her stake. “Greg.”

“Actually, it’s Archer now.” 

She took a breath. “Right, and you’re a vampire.” Her voice took on a low tone and her sight dropped to the ground for a second. 

It occurred to me that I should rip her throat out, not strike up a conversation. I should get this over with, but I couldn’t help it. “Seeing you in the graveyard that night makes a lot more sense now.”
Caroline’s stake lowered an inch. “I tried to save you, you know. I’m sorry I didn’t.”

Memories of that night, of seeing my first vampire, rushed through my mind, and for a second I even felt the fear I’d experienced back then. The vampire had disintegrated into a cloud of dust, and as the wind swept his remains away, there Caroline stood. The memory was so detailed, so alive, I could have been sucked into it. 

“I tried to save you too.” I laughed, remembering how she’d taken on those two vampires, and how I’d chased after to try to protect her. “Didn’t really need my help though, did you?”

Caroline sighed, and I realized I’d gotten sentimental. How had that happened? I’d come here to kill her. Shaking my head, I did my best to refocus. “No need for you to be sorry anyway. I like being like this.”

Caroline’s stake rose. Her muscles stiffened as if she suddenly realized I wasn’t the same guy she met at the bar. I wasn’t Greg. I was a monster and I reminded myself of that as well. 

“Apparently, you still don’t get how this works,” she said. “We’re supposed to fight, then I kill you. We don’t make idle conversation.”

I laughed. “I don’t see things going that way.”

“Please…I’ve been doing this a while now. You’re brand new. I’m gonna win.”

“Is that so?” I tilted my head, observing her. The weight of what started as playful banter hit me, and I remembered how she’d staked me in my dream. It didn’t matter whether I felt conflicted; she would kill me if I didn’t kill her first. “Well, let’s find out then.” I charged her.

Caroline deflected my punch; her body twisted out of every grasp I attempted to pull her into. She laughed and punched me in the face. A mix of anger and adrenaline surged through me. I swung, connecting with her cheek, and the excitement was electric. She reeled back for a second before rolling into a roundhouse kick. She swung at me with her stake, but I blocked and knocked her hand away. Our blows fell into a rhythm after that. I’d swing, she’d duck. She’d kick, I’d block. Our movements felt whimsical, as if we’d created some kind of combat-waltz and I was intoxicated by our dance. Every hit left me feeling alive. Then Caroline landed a solid kick to my chest, and lifted her stake, readying to drive it through my chest. I stumbled back, and finally realized this wasn’t a dance. It wasn’t a game to her. And, for as much as I’d learned since becoming a vampire, she was the better fighter. 

I threw a heavy punch at her, landing it against her cheek. 

She ran a hand across her reddened face. 

I laughed. “Caroline, the vampire hunter. Sounds a little ridiculous, don’t you think?”

Her eyes narrowed. “This from the guy who changed his name from Greg to Archer just because he’s a creature of the night now. Little cliché, don’t you think?” She swung at me, but missed.

I punched her. She staggered back. Rushing at her, I pushed her against the trunk of a tree, pinned her arms back, and watched her eyes widen. Despite my hold on her wrists she maintained a vice grip on her weapon, but it didn’t matter. A shaky breath passed her lips. This was it. I had her. 

She attempted to head-butt me, but I avoided it, then tightened my hold, until she let out a pained cry. Staring at her jugular my fangs lengthened. Her hot breath brushed against my skin. The smell of her lavender shampoo danced around me, and I wanted to taste her blood. I leaned in, but before I bit, my eyes sketched her face one last time. Her eyes closed. Then they opened and locked with mine. Her breath trembled, and I focused on her lips.

I hesitated. Suddenly, I wasn’t thinking about killing her, but kissing her and my grip loosened. 

Maybe she was thinking the same. Then Caroline kneed me in the groin and broke free of my grip. She pushed me back and kicked me. Her foot landed square against my chest, knocking me off balance. The air rushed out of my lungs as I hit the ground; I didn’t need the breath, but the sensation brought discomfort and left me unable to speak. 

Caroline straddled my waist, and her hair fell around her face. Her breath came out in heavy pants and her heart thudded against her ribcage. She brought her stake to my chest, and I could do nothing but look up at her beautiful face as she held it above my heart. My eyes met hers, and I felt the point of her stake. 

The tip pressed against my chest. She lifted the stake, ready to drive it home, but she didn’t. She hesitated. I only had a moment to react, and I threw Caroline off me and scrambled to my feet.

Where can readers find more about your stories, books, and you on the Internet?
You can follow me and find out about all of my books at the following links.

Buy links for your book(s)
Right now you can pre-order Unearthed After Sunset for 99cents here:

Before you leave, let’s do a fast five:

Angels or Demons?

Vampires or werewolves?

Coffee or Chocolate?
Oh, hmm, that’s hard…I’m gonna say chocolate, because at least then I can have hot-chocolate which is almost as good as coffee.

Early Morning or Late Night?
Late night.

E-book or Paperback?
Paperbacks look pretty on the shelf, but I gotta say e-book. I can fit a lot more e-books on my Kindle in my purse than paperbacks.

Thank you for joining us today. I wish you much success in your writing career.

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