Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Spotlight Author with Laura Bickle

It's summer time. And it's hot! What better way is there to to enjoy the summer than to sit by the pool, cool drink in hand, and a great book? If your looking for a hot summer read, then make sure to pick up Laura Bickle's latest release EMBERS! (pun intended!)

Tell us a little bit about it Laura...

Writing as Laura Bickle, EMBERS was released April, 2010 by Pocket-Juno Books. Anya Kalinczyk spends her days as an arson investigator with the Detroit Fire Department, and her nights pursuing malicious spirits with a team of eccentric ghost hunters. Anya--who is the rarest type of psychic medium, a Lantern--suspects a supernatural arsonist is setting blazes to summon a fiery ancient entity that will leave the city in cinders. By Devil's Night, the spell will be complete, unless Anya--with the help of her salamander familiar and the paranormal investigating team --can stop it.

Writing under my “secret identity,” Alayna Williams, DARK ORACLE was released June, 2010. DARK ORACLE is the story of a criminal profiler, Tara Sheridan, who swore off criminal profiling after narrowly escaping a serial killer. By combining Tarot card divination with her own intuition, she must find a missing scientist who has unlocked the destructive
secrets of dark energy.

Do you have any other titles for your fans to look forward to this year?

The sequel to EMBERS, SPARKS, is coming in September. In SPARKS, Anya’s investigating a rash of spontaneous human combustion cases. With the help of the ghost hunters and a soul collector from the Underworld, she must track down the supernatural source of the fires and keep Sparky’s newly-hatched newts safe from a malicious psychic.

What are you currently working on?

I’m finishing up the sequel to DARK ORACLE, tentatively called ROGUE ORACLE. It’s due to come out in early 20100. In ROGUE, Tara Sheridan and Harry Li are chasing a Chernobyl survivor who's selling nuclear secrets on the international black market. Tara is coming to terms with her destiny as an oracle and rebelling against an ancient society of oracles of which her mother was a part.

How long do you spend doing research on your projects?

I do a lot of research. I keep files of clippings about arson investigation, spontaneous human combustion, ghosts, Tarot cards…I’m sure that my files greatly resemble Fox Mulder’s from the X-Files. I’m doing research before and throughout the writing of the book. I often arrive at a point where I need to know something new for a plot detail. Everything I’m reading when I’m writing a book is research for that project – sort of a total immersion. I find that I get the best ideas that way.

When I’m working on the ORACLE series, I write with a deck of Tarot cards at hand to try out a spread or generate ideas. It’s a really fun way to work.

Probably the hardest research I did was research on Chernobyl for ROGUE ORACLE. That kept me up at night, everything from eyewitness accounts to pictures. Really disturbing stuff.

Would you consider yourself a plotter or a panster?
Definitely a plotter. I'm a little - okay, a lot - anal-retentive about outlining. I start with a synopsis, then add more meat to the bones of the synopsis-skeleton as I write. I feel much more secure knowing where the story is going. That's not to say that there aren't surprises, but I like to be able to navigate.

I tried being a pantser, but my attention wandered too much, and I don't feel like I developed the story structure I needed with that approach. I envy pantsers...I wish I could keep everything so straight in my head!

How do you find time to divide yourself between so many projects?

I’m an insomniac. I usually wind up staying awake very late, when the house is quiet. That’s my best writing time.

What’s one thing that you know now that you wished you knew when you started your journey as a writer?

I wished I knew that it doesn’t happen overnight. I’ve been doing this for many, many years, and finally got a break. It really takes a lot of dogged persistence and discipline, more than any other quality. I thought that if I finished a book, I would get it published. In reality, that was just the first step in the process. That first book is still in a shoebox in the top of my closet. The third book I wrote, EMBERS, was the first one to get published. I learned a lot from those early books, and it was important to me that I went through the process several times before I got the hang of it.

Is there anything special to your writing process? Pictures? Music? Any tricks of the trade?

The key thing for me was setting up a desk in a corner of a room, creating a writer’s nest. It made the process very real to me, and was a visual reminder every time that I walked by that I *should* be writing. The act of setting up my own area made it very real to me, and caused me to take the process more seriously.

Do you have any advice on writing, getting published, or finding an agent?

The best advice I can give is to finish. Whatever you’re working on, push through to the end. And do it again. And again.

To that end, I strongly recommend participating in National Novel Writing Month. The process challenges you to write 50,000 words in November. That was really a breakthrough in my own writing process, in learning what was possible. Both DARK ORACLE and ROGUE ORACLE are NaNoWriMo books.

When you aren’t writing, what do you do in your spare time?

Well, there’s the dreaded day job. That pesky necessity tends to be my biggest time suck.

But I think you probably want to know about the fun stuff… My husband and I are amateur astronomers. And I am a very, very amateur belly dancer. We’re owned by a quartet of mostly-reformed feral cats who keep us busy.

Thank you Laura for sharing your time with us here at Micole Writes Romance. If you would like to find out more information about Laura and her books you can go to… and

Thank you so much for having me!

See you all next week! Don't forget to leave us a comment or question!




Laura Bickle said...

Thanks so much for the interview, Michole! I had a blast! :-)

Micole Black said...

Thank you Laura for the interview! I wish you much success on your books!!!! I will be promoing your interview later this afternoon.

Thanks again!


Sarah Simas said...

HI Laura and Micole!

I enjoyed the interview! I adore your covers, Laura. :) It was a pleasure to meet you and learn about your work. :)

LOL On the title pun, Micole. Nice work! :)