Today, we're pleased to introduce Laurie Boris, author of The Joke's on Me, Drawing Breath, Don't Tell Anyone, and Sliding Past Vertical. Laurie possesses many, many talents which are further reflected in her varied background. However, writing and editing always remain closest to her heart. And she writes from her heart, too, drawing inspiration from those around her and fueling her books with pure emotion and thought-provoking story lines. Buy her books on amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com, smash words.com, and iTunes.
What is your name?
Describe your books/genre to our readers.
I've published four novels to date. The genres vary slightly, but so far I've been leaning toward contemporary fiction with romantic elements and realistic characters. The Joke's on Me is a romantic comedy starring a failed stand-up comic who returns to her hometown only to find the mess she left behind, including a resentful older sister. Drawing Breath is about the protective bond that develops between an art teacher with cystic fibrosis and his sixteen-year-old student. Don't Tell Anyone follows the unraveling Trager family after they find out their matriarch not only has advanced breast cancer but had intended to take it to her grave. My latest, Sliding Past Vertical, is a literary love story about a young woman who can't seem to turn around without making a mess out of something, and the old boyfriend who can't stop coming to her rescue.
How and why did you become an author? Do you write full-time?
I've been writing novels for over twenty years, and ever since I started, I'd dreamed of getting published and becoming an author. It was exciting just to imagine holding the finished product in my hands! Many, many rejection slips later, the entire industry had changed. During an online conference in 2009, a small press picked up the fourth out of the six or seven manuscripts hiding in my closet, and in July 2011, I became an author. My next book was a bit edgier and didn't fit the publisher's editorial slant, nor did I want to change it, so I decided to self-publish. All of my literary pursuits add up to more than a full-time career, but the writing takes up about a third of my waking hours, depending on what else I have on my plate.
You're an editor, freelance writer, award winning author, proofreader and former graphic designer with a background in marketing. Of the many hats you wear, what is your favorite and why?
That can vary day by day, but overall, I love my author and editor hats the best. When I'm writing a novel, I'm fully immersed in the characters' universe and anything negative in my life falls away. When I'm editing, I feel like I'm solving a puzzle, which is something I love, and I'm helping other authors get their work out. These are the most rewarding of my pursuits.
A few of your books, "Don't Tell Anyone" and "Drawing Breath", center around breast cancer and cystic fibrosis. Have you, your family or friends, dealt with these issues, and did your/their experiences provide inspiration for the books?
Yes. A close friend lived with cystic fibrosis until a lung infection took him at thirty-four. Not only did Bill inspire me to write Drawing Breath, he inspired me to write in general. He rarely talked about himself in terms of limits and just lived the days he was given, doing the things he felt passionate about. A romantic relationship didn't fit into his plan. So, in the novel, I explored what might happen if love fell into the picture. What resulted took on a life of its own. As for the other book, Don't Tell Anyone, I wrote it while I was struggling to understand my mother-in-law's diagnosis with breast cancer. We hear about these valiant, heroic journeys of survival, and I've known women who've had three, four, five recurrences and kept going, kept fighting. At first, my mother-in-law didn't want to fight. Eventually, she agreed to the aggressive treatment she needed and she lived for another five years. The story pulsed in my chest to be told, of what can happen in a family when someone with cancer doesn't feel so brave or valiant and maybe doesn't want to fight at all.
You write helpful articles for authors on IndiesUnlimited.com. What is some of your best advice for indie authors?
Every author is different, and every author's motivation to self-publish is a little different, so giving general advice is not so easy. But I'd strongly suggest that any author who wants to go down this path learn as much as possible about all the steps along the way. Learn and keep polishing your craft. Learn how to choose a good editor and why. Learn what you can do on your own and what might be time- and cost-effective for you to hire out. Build relationships and reach out to other authors (and readers!), not just for support but for the opportunities to learn from each other and share knowledge. That's one of the reasons I love writing for Indies Unlimited. Yes, it's "self" publishing, but in many aspects, it's also a team sport.
What are 3 things most people don't know about you?
I was the only girl on my high school's chess team; I actually earned a varsity letter in the sport. Wendi Pini (of the comic book Elfquest) once showed up at a critique group when I was reading a scene from a novel-in-progress about a comic book artist. She offered me a job on the spot, but I was young and insecure and turned it down. And I will watch Colin Firth or Johnny Depp in anything.
What are your goals for the upcoming year?
Along with helping my fellow indies with their editing, I'd like to publish at least one novel, perhaps two. I have plans for two romantic/suspense novels in the works as well as a companion novel to Don't Tell Anyone, focusing on one of the supporting characters. And I'm trying something I've never done before: working from an outline. I want to dispel the myth I've built for myself that I'll implode if I try to outline before I write.
Connect With Her
I'd love to hear from you.
Thank you for letting me visit! You can learn more about my books on my Amazon page at http://www.amazon.com/author/laurieboris.
by MRH, CMO