Welcome to author Laura Hern and thank her for her taking time out from her day job PLUS her cozy mystery writing to answer a few questions for us.
Describe your favorite writing spot or space.
I have a small bedroom that I’ve turned into my creative/relaxing space! It has my Mac, a comfy chair, my radio (I listen to classic country all the time!) and a nice area for my writing inspiration: OREOS! LOL.
What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?
I do work from home full time – I’m an insurance agent that serves 9 states. Usually, I work 12 hour days – so my writing takes place in the wee hours of the night… and that’s seems to be when my ‘MUSE’ appears to give me ideas.
How long on average does it take you to write a book?
Depending on my work schedule, it takes me about 3 months to complete a book. If my work load is lighter, I can finish a book, approximately 40,000 words in about two – three weeks.
How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?
I have 5 published books – and 1 Christmas book that I can’t seem to get motivated to finish. 2020 and Covid have definitely played a part in darkening my creative spirit.
What comes first for you, the plot or characters?
I love Cozy Mysteries and the British detectives like Poirot and Sherlock Holmes. My main character in the current series, Lainey Maynard, is a fictional combination of many Agatha Christie characters. Usually, a story/dream comes to my mind; I write down the main themes/plots and develop the minor characters as I go.
Can you hear your characters talking?
Yes! When I’m writing, I hear all the characters talking – just as if I’m watching a movie in my mind! I can hear them arguing, laughing, crying, everything.
How much time do you spend on research before starting a book? While writing?
This is very important! I spend many hours researching the state/town/year that the story takes place. I want to paint accurate pictures of the places in order for the reader to believe they are visiting that place.
If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
Be Bold! Make it a Priority to write something everyday; don’t worry about
please others; write to what you know or are familiar with!
Is it realistic to think I could support myself on my writing only?
The reality is that Amazon alone has some hundreds of thousands, if not billions, of books sitting on their website. It’s very difficult for an independent author (Indie Author) to write, edit, publish, market, and get their book noticed. I write as an outlet from stress, as my fun time, and to see how each character’s story turns out. Becoming an author with the idea of getting rich is not realistic. Sometimes it can happen, but that’s not the norm. It takes years of work, investment, tears, and sweat. But I love it!
I enjoy the murder mystery series of Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple; the Arthur Conan Doyle’s series of Sherlock Holmes; the television detective shows Monk, Columbo, Pysch; and the Hallmark Channel’s murder and mystery series.
If you enjoy intrigue, humor, suspense and a bit of romance, you will love my new cozy mysteries titled The Lainey Maynard Murder Mystery series.