Author spotlight: Laura Strickland

Welcome historical-romance author, Laura Strickland.Author photo

Why do you write fiction?
I write fiction because, both as a reader and a writer, I love the joy of traveling through time and space via the power of the written word. There’s nothing quite like losing oneself in a world created purely through imagination, and being able to share that world with readers is even more thrilling. I also love the “what if” factor of fiction. I don’t know how many times I’ve begun a new book with just that phrase: what if a famed Celtic warrior lost the use of his legs in battle? What if a girl, raised never knowing from whence she came, suddenly found out she belonged to a magical realm? What if a man, faced with a split-second decision, had to choose between saving his loyal hound or his best friend?

Please tell us about your book. What ideas or images inspired this novel?
Lord of Sherwood is the third and final book of my Guardians of Sherwood Trilogy and completes the circle of tales telling of Robin Hood’s descendants. That doesn’t mean Lord of Sherwood can’t be read and enjoyed on its own, even if you haven’t read Daughter of Sherwood or Champion of Sherwood, the first two books in the series. Each book tells a complete story and has unique characters, but when all three are fitted together I think they create a special kind of enchantment. The Sherwood Forest I’ve created is a place steeped in magic, where the trees whisper words and lovers meet to make sacred vows to one another. In fact, readers have said Sherwood is like another character in the books. Of course there’s a generous measure of archery contests, sword fights and evil villains – what would a Robin Hood story be without danger and a fair bit of swashbuckling?

Do you have an ideal reader in mind when you write? If so, please describe that reader.
You know, I don’t think I do. The first two books in this series have been enjoyed by a wide variety of readers, from younger women to older men. Of course, just as in books, you can’t judge a reader by his or her cover, and if all these folks had one thing in common it was probably the ability to throw themselves into a story, suspend disbelief and lose themselves for a while in Sherwood Forest. Women seem to love the romance and men love the whetted, knife’s edge of danger. Or, maybe it’s the other way round. Darn! I never can quite remember.

Please describe your writing routine.
I’m an early riser, and I mean early. My husband and I heat our home with wood and in winter I’m the one who gets up before it’s light to kindle the fire, if it’s gone out, or add wood if it hasn’t. Then it’s just the dog and me, and whatever book’s in progress, with the fire and the quiet for a blessed hour or so. In summer, when the windows are open, I get to hear the birds start to sing and I like that too, but nothing can beat those cozy winter mornings. I like to put a lot of atmosphere in my writing, and the setting definitely helps.
If a book’s really rolling and the characters are going full steam, I might steal a few hours to write on weekends too, but since I work outside the home full time, there are usually plenty of chores waiting for me on the weekends.
One thing that’s interesting is that I still write with a spiral notebook (college ruled) and a pen. The pen has to have blue ink! That’s for the initial write, when the words spill from my brain. Of course I type it all up later on my laptop, which is also when I do the first edit. There are always many more edits to come and I enjoy editing. But when I think about the pure bliss of writing, it’s always the spiral notebook and the blue ink pen.

What advice do you give new writers just starting out?

Believe in your work with your whole heart. If you don’t, no one who reads it will either. Imagine yourself into the setting of your story so completely, you dream you’re there. Get inside your characters’ skins. Research your period – live and breathe it. Authenticity comes from the inside. And down to your toes, you know how good you are, so never never never lose faith!

More about Lord of Sherwood:
Curlew Champion, master archer, has always known his destiny. With his cousin, Heron Scarlet, he will become a guardian of Sherwood Forest and further his people’s fight against Norman Tyranny. But the third member of the triad is still to be revealed, the woman who will complete the magical circle and, perhaps, answer the longing in Curlew’s heart.
perf5.000x8.000.inddAnwyn Montfort has fled disgrace in Shrewsbury and come to Nottingham at her father’s bidding. He wishes her to make a good marriage and settle down. But the wildness that possesses her refuses to quiet. She knows she’s been searching for something all her life, but not until she glimpses Curlew does her spirit begin to hope it has found its home.
Only the magic of Sherwood can bring them together, and only their union can complete the spell woven so long ago…

How to connect with Laura:




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4 Responses to Author spotlight: Laura Strickland

  1. Laura Strickland says:

    Annette, Thanks so much for hosting me today. It’s a delight!

  2. Mary Morgan says:

    Lovely interview, Laura. Already have “Lord of Sherwood” and looking forward to curling up with another one of your magical stories. Wishing you all the best!

  3. Ashantay Peters says:

    “I love the joy of traveling through time and space via the power of the written word.” I agree! There is nothing quite like journeying with you in Sherwood Forest. Looking forward to reading the second and third books in front of a cozy fire!

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