Friday, March 26, 2010

My Friend Laurie Alice - Interview

Today I am tickled pink to welcome the awesome Laurie Alice Eakes to my blog. I know her from a historical group I belong to, and let me assure you all that she is just amazing. Always full of insight, willing to help the rest of us with our questions, and a fabulous writer to boot.

Laurie Alice has a great thing going on at her blog right now--hop over to regularly and leave a comment on the post, because on post 500, Laurie Alice is giving away a gift to EVERY commentor! When will that be? Well, that's the thing--we don't know. =) But sometime in the next little while, and I assure you her blog's worth reading of itself.

For now, have fun getting to know this wonderful lady and her latest book, The Glassblower!


About Laurie Alice

Award-winning author Laurie Alice Eakes does not remember a time when books did not play a part in her life; thus, no one was surprised when she decided to be a writer. Her first hardcover was an October, 2006 Regency historical from Avalon Books and won the National Readers Choice Award for Best Regency, as well as being a finalist for Best First Book. After selling her first book in the inspirational market, she also wrote articles and essays for Christian publications. A brief hiatus in publishing climaxed with her selling thirteen books in thirteen months, to publishers such as Barbour, Avalon, and Baker/Revell.

She is an active member of RWA and ACFW, and started the Avalon Authors group blog. A graduate of the Seton Hill University Master of Arts Degree in Writing Popular Fiction, And a Bachelor of Arts graduate in English and French from Asbury College, she is an experienced speaker, and has made presentations at local and national RWA conferences, as well as local universities and libraries.

Until recently, she lived in Northern Virginia, then her husband’s law career took them and their dogs and cats, to southern Texas, where she writes full-time and enjoys the beach whenever possible.


About The Glassblower

Now that Colin Grassick, a master glass-blower from Scotland, has arrived to help at the Jordan glassworks, Meg Jordan's dreams of teaching the poor, local children are coming true. Finally, someone will have time to make windows for the rural New Jersey schoolhouse, to keep out the cold - and vandals. To Joseph Pyle, the wealthy, arrogant man to whom Meg will soon be betrothed, the destruction of Meg's new windows is inconsequential - as his wife, she will be forbidden from teaching. Why would Meg's father insist she marry a man like Joseph and stay away from the endearing Colin?


What's your latest book?

My most recently released book is The Glassblower, which was released to the Heartsong book club in December of 2009 and is now on and listed on Amazon, though apparently they don’t have their copies yet. And we stand on the verge of my next release The Heiress, the second book in the series.

And what a fabulous book it was! You can read my review of it here. What's your favorite part of the story?

There’s a scene at a wedding. It’s winter and snowing and the heroine and hero encounter one another outside—he’s not a guest. They have an intense dialogue and their first kiss. Sometimes I write a scene and just know I got it right. That’s one of them.

Oh yes, that was a great scene. You definitely got it right! What was the hardest part to write?

The beginning. Beginnings are always difficult for me.

Is there a theme to this book?

Yes, trust God for your future. Don’t try to force it. You’ll just mess things up.

Hmm, too true. What's your favorite genre to write? To read?

My favorite genre to write is historical romance. I am such a romantic and love history. And that’s what I like to read, too, but when I’m working, I actually love something quite opposite like a thriller or at least a romantic-suspense.

And with all the upcoming releases you've got on your plate, you're undoubtedly working most of the time! What's one of the oddest or most interesting things someone has ever said about you?

You have such a great voice, you should be on radio. I think this is odd because I am not particularly fond of my voice. Too much of my Mid West roots twangs through despite my efforts to smooth it out. But several people have told me this over the years. In college, when I’d answer the dorm hall phone, sometimes guys would just talk to me if the girl they were calling wasn’t available. They liked my voice. I don’t get it.

LOL, well you apparently sound great to everyone else. I'd comment on my opinion, but I've only read your voice, never heard it. ;-) What would your dream office look like—and what does your REAL writing environment look like?

My dream office would have at least a gas fireplace at one end and a coffee bar at the other, with big windows interspersed with bookshelves in-between. I’d have a great old-fashioned secretary kind of desk and big comfortable chairs, too. My real office is pretty basic, but at least I have one.

Oh, that sounds fabulous! I sort of set up an office attached to my bedroom, but I never use it. Instead I'm always at the table in our family room. Sigh. Wouldn't be so bad if I had shelves! Speaking of which (or things you put on them, anyway), is there any one thing or reference you keep handy when writing? Anything you kept around for this particular book?

For this book, I kept my primary resource on glassmaking available, The Glassmakers by Leonard Everett Fisher, but references vary from book to book.

What lessons have you learned through the publication process that you wouldn't have guessed as a pre-published writer?

Here the author just laughs. You could do a whole blog on this. To make it simple: Getting the sale is the easy part.

Then comes all the little sales, right? Whole different ball game! Aside from writing, what takes up most of your time?

My family, which right now means my husband and our sundry animals.

If someone were to give you $5,000 to spend on anything you wanted, what would you buy? (No saving of gifts to charities allowed!)

A trip to London.

You might find me stowed away in your luggage. =) Do you remember where you were when you got your first or most important call about a book contract?

Oh, yes. It wasn’t my first or even second; it was my third.

I was in New Jersey doing some training when I got the call that my new Jersey series had sold to Barbour. This was important because I thought my career had come to an end with the two books. What was even more fun than being in NJ when learning about NJ, my hero in The Glassblower is a Scot and we had a Scottish man In the class with the same name as the hero—Colin. I spent a lot of time talking to him to get the cadence of his speech right for my hero without resorting to a lot of dialect and weird spellings.

I remember when you told our historical group about that. So cool! What are you writing right now?

I am writing the first book in my Regency series for Baker/Revell, which is due out in the autumn of 2011.

Any upcoming releases we should keep our eye out for?

Lots, thanks be to God. The Heiress and The Newcomer from Heartsong Presents, and When the Snow Flies from Avalon Books. I have two books from Revell coming out next year. And also this year is the large print edition of my first book for the CBA, Better than Gold. The Lord certainly took me from famine to feast.

Hence my constant motto of “I want to be Laurie Alice when I grow up.” =) Is there another author who has greatly influenced your writing?

I can’t point to just one. Patricia Veryan, Georgette Heyer, Jo Beverley, Laura Kinsale… Yes, those are all secular authors, and I read secular fiction exclusively for so long my writing voice was established before I started writing for the CBA.

Thanks for stopping by, Laurie Alice! Readers, don't forget to swing over to her blog regularly so that you don't miss Lucky Post 500!!


  1. Hi, Laurie Alice, it's nice to see you here. Isn't Roseanna a sweetheart? I'm so glad we met at Shoutlife. I admit I haven't read the Glassblower yet, for all it's on my wish list. Enter me in the giveaway, please.

  2. Roseanna likes being called a sweetheart. =) And I'm not running a giveaway here, Lisa, but Laurie Alice will be giving away copies of The Glassblower on her 500th post, so hop over to her site regularly!

  3. A coffee bar in the office is a fabulous idea! This book sounds so interesting. Please enter me! Stephanie (at) StephanieMorrillBooks (dot) com.

  4. I want to be Laurie Alice too! My goodness . . . woman, you are an inspiration. And as far as the office, yes - I'm there with you also, sitting at the coffee bar.

  5. I was honored last year to interview Laurie, so I always enjoy her insightful interviews. Thankx for sharing, both of you.