Do you guys know my good friend, Laurie Salzler? Well, you should. Not only is she an awesome person in general (she and her partner, Linda, are the kindest women you ever want to meet), but she’s fairly new to this business of writing lesbian romance, and trust me, you don’t want to miss her stories. Her next novel, Right Out of Nowhere, is due out in February, just in time for Valentines Day.
Anyway, she and I have gone back and forth, around and around, trying to mesh our schedules so we could guest blog on one another’s sites. I kid you not, we’ve been trying to coordinate this for about 8 months now. Ridiculous, I know. Of course, once we kicked off our friendship, she decided to move from western New York to Michigan (I’m still wondering if I should take that personally…). So, she was busy moving her entire life and household from one state to another, and I was…doing something equally important and taxing, I’m sure, and we both got bogged down with “life.” Thank goodness, everything settled, and we finally got ourselves together to bring you what we hope is a fun and informative “interview” with each other.
And after you read her comments below, hit up her site (www.lauriesalzler1.wordpress.com) and familiarize yourself with her and her work (and my answers to the same questions will be there). She’s going to be writing for a long time and you won’t be disappointed.
What is the best part of writing Lesfic for you? And which is the worst? Are they easiest and hardest as well?
I’ve been a storyteller since I was a kid. I just never wrote them down…and now I can’t remember what they were, which is too bad because I’m sure I must’ve come up with some doozies. But on the other hand, since I didn’t know I liked women until college, they were probably boring anyway. So the best part is that I’m finally smart enough to write them down somewhere and I can insert really cool lesbians into the stories.
I like to read…a lot. So it makes it difficult when I’m immersed in a really good book to not give into picking it up and sitting in a comfy chair next to the fire with a cat on my lap…and not work on my own writing. Making it doubly hard is, as a writer, I unconsciously find myself critiquing the work and even worse, comparing my writing to that of whose book I’m reading. But that said, I have met some simply amazing women, writers and readers alike, who’ve been incredibly generous in answering questions, giving advice and offering guidance in learning the craft.
Is it more difficult for you to write, or more difficult to edit?
For me, it’s harder to write. There are days I find myself staring at the computer screen with no words forthcoming and I just don’t know where to go with it. By the time I’m ready to edit, the story has a beginning, an end and a good fleshing in between. I don’t mind the editing process at all. By then I know the story and characters intimately and oftentimes will spot an area where a new scene or dialogue should be added. Editing tightens everything up and makes it a better piece of literature.
What is your usual writing schedule?
In the morning after the horses are fed and the dogs walked, I’ll grab some breakfast, open up my manuscript and read what I wrote the day before. This helps me get back into the story and reminds me what direction I was headed the previous day. It especially helps me to get back into the character’s heads, which, depending on who it is can be rather difficult. One of my current characters is blind…she’s been quite a challenge to get to know.
Although I may not be physically sitting in front of my computer, I pretty much write all day. If I’m working on a scene that takes place outdoors, I’ll take breaks, go outside and reacquaint my senses with the environment. Normally I’ll write in between doing evening chores and Linda’s arrival home from work.
How much of your real life ends up in your books?
If you ask Linda, probably more than you’d want to know. In A Kiss Before Dawn, many of the vet scenes were drawn from personal experience. I’m pleading the fifth on the rest. Right Out of Nowhere, which is scheduled for release in February 2013, has less of me, and more of people I know. I think it’s inevitable that a writer inserts bits and pieces of their life in a book. Life is an adventure, so why not write about some of it?
If one of your characters was your best friend, who would it be?
Good question, but hard. At first I thought Chris, in A Kiss Before Dawn…but I’ve already got the hots for her and Mary Jo would probably kill me. Then I thought Mary Jo, because we both think Chris is GORGEOUS. But she’d probably get jealous. *sigh* So in order to stay out of trouble, I’m thinking Frances…besides, she makes great scones!
Do you think having a long term relationship makes it easier or harder to write about newfound love?
Definitely both. Linda and I have been together for 31 years, but I can still remember what she wore when I first laid eyes on her, the perfume she wore, the surprise I felt when she kissed me the first time, and that exact instant when I knew I was head over heels in love with her. Everything about that period of time is etched into my brain. (Although neither one of can remember the street address of the apartment we lived in. If anybody asks, we just say somewhere near the park in Bangor, Maine. LOL)
Anyway, so writing that aspect of a relationship is fairly easy. But, because I know Linda so well, I sometimes second-guess what a character is going to do or say because of my familiarity with what my lovely wife would do or say…and that might not be at all what I want to happen. Does that make sense? But that’s the beauty of creating characters who’ll surprise you by doing stuff you’d never imagine.
What is one thing you would like your readers to know about you that they may not already be aware of?
When I was in college I competed in timber sports. Yup, I wielded a 12lb. axe sharp enough to cut hair. If I remember correctly, I could chop through a horizontal 6 x 6 piece of pine in about 13 seconds while standing on it. Those were some of the best times of my life.
If you weren’t a writer, what other creative outlet would you pursue?
I sometimes dawdle in sketching, painting and carving soapstone. I’d definitely spend more time working in those mediums than I do now. I play around with photography as well and would probably get more serious about that.
What do you read for fun?
I read lesfic about half the time. The other half is a potpourri of different stuff: horror, suspense, murder mystery, and adventure…whatever looks interesting to me at that moment in time.