Monday, 3 June 2013

L.B. Simmons Interview

Author Bio:
L.B. Simmons is a graduate of Texas A&M University and holds a degree in Biomedical Science.  She has been a practicing Chemist for the last 11 years.  She lives with her husband and three daughters in Texas and writes every chance she gets.   
Author social media links: 
Where are you from?
I have lived the majority of my life in Texas.  Waco, TX actually, which is where Running on Empty and Running in Place are centered.  I loved writing about places here and hope that fellow Wacoans do too!
 Tell us your latest news?
Hmmmm, well, I recently decided to write a novella to complete Alex and Blake’s story.  I had originally planned on just continuing their life in the next book as secondary characters.  But, I wanted to reader to experience certain scenes through Alex’s eyes and know her thoughts as the situations arise for her.  So, I decided to do an e-novella to conclude Alex’s and Blake’s story as well as introduce Tatum and Noah, the main characters in Running in Place, into the storyline.

 When and why did you begin writing?

Well, I wanted to write a story that would include all the funny things that have happened to me as a result of my children.  I was always at work, telling co-workers the funny things they did the night before, and laughing.  So, I figured why note write a book with their stories.  The toothpaste in the hair, scraping my shins on my car when I fell out, kids talking with their mouth full (which really is my number one pet peeve)…these are all real life experiences that I felt readers would really relate to and understand.  Plus, I thought they were kind of funny!  J

 What inspired you to write your first book?

Well, there are so many great indie authors.  I would say they really inspired me to have the courage to publish my first book.  Jamie McGuire, Colleen Hoover, Abbi Glines…they all inspired me in some way or another.  They helped pave the way for new indie authors.  Their continued success and their grace while achieving it…they are all truly my inspiration.

 Do you have a specific writing style?

I wouldn’t say I have a writing style.  I tend to write scenes as they play out in my head, like a movie. I try to describe the characters as they move and their expressions so it flows well in the readers mind. I want them to read it and feel like they’re watching a movie, because that’s the type of writing that I’m drawn to as well.

 How did you come up with the title?

I was sooooo excited when I thought of my title.  It just came to me and it was perfect.  I love that it is duplicitous…Running on Empty.  Running in Place will also have more than one meaning.

 Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

Yes!  I want them to understand how important life is.  That you have to allow yourself to be vulnerable in order to really LIVE your life, no matter how scary that may be for you.  Protecting yourself from being hurt, in some instances, can do more harm than good.   It definitely did for Alex.  So, I hope that as the readers experience her story, they can learn from the many, many mistakes she makes. 
 How much of the book is realistic?
Great question! I have already mentioned that Alex’s children are extremely realistic since they are actually mine.  J  Things that happen to Alex because of her children…realistic.  I did not, however, lose my husband in a tragic accident.  I am very happily married and have been for 11 years.  And needless to say, he wasn’t happy that I killed him off.  Regarding the main character, I would like to think that Alex’s mentality is realistic.  The way she struggles through the loss of her husband and tries to protect not only herself but her daughters from being hurt again, I think that is extremely realistic.  I always tell people…my characters have faults.  I want them to make mistakes, to be imperfect.  I think that’s what makes them relatable.  And I love them for it. 

 If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

Indie publishing is not easy. There is a lot to do and learn.  I am so thankful that I had a group of awesome women who helped me through the process, some of them also going through the process with me.  Gail McHugh, Emmy Montes, Rhonda Raymond Dennis, Nina D’Angelo…there are sooooo many people that had to help me in one way or another.  But that’s the best thing about being an indie author…I feel that it is generally a very supportive community. 

 What book are you reading now?
Hello!  Reckless by S.C. Stephens!!!! J

 Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?

I beta read an awesome book the other day. Could. Not. Put. It. Down.  It’s called Thursday Nights by Lisa Paul…keep your eye out for this girl.  Not only was it incredibly sexy, like super sexy, but I fell in love with every single character.  Which is good because it’s a series!  I  loved it!  Be sure to put it on your TBR.  Due for Spring Release I believe.
What are your current projects?
Currently working on Alex’s and Blake’s novella then moving straight into Running in Place.  I can’t wait to start their story.  And even more so, I can’t wait to get it out to the readers.  The main characters are a little younger, so I am excited to write them.
 Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
My great-grandmother who passed when I was 18.  She is the reason for the butterfly in my book.  I always think of her when I see one, and can’t help but think that’s her way of checking on me from time to time.  One day, when I was doing edits, a butterfly came and landed on my computer…and I knew it was her.  I guess she approved?  Wait…I guess that’s family.
Jena Eilers! My dear friend Jena.  This woman supported me through the whole process. Poor thing had to listen to me talk about Running on Empty non-stop.  She believed in me and was the first person to read my book, which was a big deal to me. She is my number one supporter and I love her with all my heart!

 If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your
latest book?

Probably, but I won’t look at it for that very reason.  I’m a perfectionist and if I see something that I want to change, I won’t be able to sleep…ever again. 

 Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?

Not yet, but I hope to one day!  J

 Who designed the covers?

Sarah Hansen/Okay Creations.  She is so freaking awesome!

 What was the hardest part of writing your book?

Writing it wasn’t hard.  The hardest was letting it go to the beta readers to get feedback.  I was so nervous and constantly checking my email for ANYTHING from them.  It’s so scary, especially with your first book, for you to have put so much into it – your soul, your tears, everything – and then have to sit back and see if people actually like it. That was definitely the hardest part for me.

 Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
Yes, I learned that this is what I want to do for the rest of my life.  There’s a certain peace I feel in my soul when I write…it’s really hard to describe.  But I do. And I hope that I am lucky enough to eventually be able to write full time and make it a career. 

 Do you have any advice for other writers?

Don’t be scared to reach out and ask for help if you need it.  It’s a great way to make friends and build a support network that will help you along the way.  Some of the best memories I have are late night conversations and laughing with other authors when we were trying to figure out how to do something.  It’s nice to have the help, but also to know that you aren’t the only person with questions. 

 Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

Ummmm, I love every single one of you.  And I really do.  I love their sweet messages, their emails, their posts…everything.  I have such an amazing group of readers that I love engaging in conversations with…whether it be a simple “Thank You” for reading or making fun of the latest catastrophe in my life…I am blessed to have them.  And I hope they know that I really appreciate them from the bottom of my heart.

No comments:

Post a Comment