Tuesday, June 23, 2009


Welcome Laurie Alice with me please ~
Award-winning author Laurie Alice Eakes does not remember a time when books did not play a part in her life; thus, no one was surprised when she decided to be a writer. Her first hardcover was an October, 2006 Regency historical from Avalon Books and won the National Readers Choice Award for Best Regency, as well as being a finalist for Best First Book. Besides selling eight other books in the "sweet" historical romance market and CBA publishers like Barbour Publishing and Baker/Revell, she has also sold articles and essays.
She is an active member of RWA, Novelists Inc., and ACFW, and started the Avalon Authors group blog. A graduate of the Seton Hill University Master of Arts Degree in Writing Popular Fiction, And a Bachelor of Arts graduate in English and French from Asbury College, she is an experienced speaker, and has made presentations at local and national RWA conferences, as well as local universities and libraries.
She lives in Northern Virginia with her husband and assorted cats and dogs, but is soon moving to Texas, where her husband will begin his law career.

SKC: I noted by your website you are another writer who tackles more than one genre. Tell us what your plans are in the near and eventual future.

LAE: Whether my book is set in London in 1816 or in Iowa in 1876, the themes stay the same—nineteenth century historical fiction with strong female protagonists and lots of romance and varrying degrees of mystery and suspense. My next book out, The Glassblower, is scheduled for release at the end of November from heartsong Presents and is set in New Jersey in 1809. After that, I have a book coming out with Avalon set in Virginia in 1892, two more Heartsongs set in New Jersey, but later in the nineteenth century, and then my first mainstream historical, Bride of the Mist, is a 2011 release from baker/Revell. I have three other Avalon books coming out, too, all set in the 1890s in Virginia or nearby.

SKC: What keeps your mind from wandering away from the discipline of staying on subject each day, Laurie Alice?

LAE: I have to work really hard at this. One thing I do is keep the email and things like that shut down. I also try to get up early so I can take care of a lot when I know no one will interrupt me. Otherwise, I am terribly distractible.

SKC: I have observed some of your characters’ names and was amazed at how similar our name choices are in our writing. I love creative names like the ones you select. How do you decide to put your particular names to your characters?

LAE: I use a lot of sources for naming characters, trying to use names that were used at the time period and in the place of the story setting. I just turned in a proposal to one of my editors and she came back requesting that I change the names. I guess they were too period or too similar. In Family Guardian, my heroine's name is different. That I explain as part of family background and characterization.

SKC: You’ve had some great education behind you. Many of us who write don’t yet have that. I admire you so much because of this fact. How has your background influenced your writing?

LAE: When I was working on my MA in history at Virginia Tech, one of my main projects was about midwives in Early Modern Europe and America. I used that information and the fascinating stories I found for two of my contracted novels, though only one actually has a midwife in it. As for my MA in writing fiction, that taught me how to take a raw idea and turn it into a novel people want to read. I think my English degree from Asbury simply gives me a little literary edge that can be more of a hindrance than a help at times.

SKC: I understand you are moving to Texas, Laurie Alice. My husband and I are also as soon as our house sells which I hope is soon. What made you choose Texas, and where are you planning to live there? Do you plan on focusing any of your upcoming stories on that area?

LAE: Texas chose us. My husband just finished law school and will be working there. Because of the sensitive nature of his job, I'd rather not say what he'll be doing or where, but it will be a very different culture from the East Coast, where we live now, I know that. None of my stories are set there. So many great books set in Texas already exist, I think I'll leave those to the people who know the state better.

SKC: I like my authors to ask the readers a pondering question to both encourage them but also to get them to think about the field of writing. What would you like to ask our readers today? Do you have a book to offer one of our readers? If so, please tell us about that and be sure to let us know where we can find you online.

LAE: One thing I hear editors say to authors at conferences is: Write the book of your heart. Often, however, the book of one's heart isn't what the market wants. So here is something to ponder, something I pondered for a while before reaching my conclusion:
If you can't sell the book of your heart, are you willing to write what the market wants in order to be published?

I'm happy to give away a copy of Wild Prairie Roses, which is the compilation of three books in one by Lena Dooley, Lisa Harris, and Me. It's a reprint of my first Heartsong, Better than Gold. In each story, the heroines seek lost Civil War payroll gold and find much, much more.

You can find me at http://www.seizethechance.blogspot.com/ or my web site, which is grossly outdated right now, www.lauriealiceeakes.com

SDC: Thank you so much for coming by, Laurie Alice! It’s been a pleasure.

LAE: Thank you for having me.
Congratulations to Jessica Nelson! I hope you are enjoying the book. Blessings everyone!


  1. I've read such good reviews of Wild Prairie Roses. Please add me to your contest. Thank you.
    desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

  2. Great interview and wonderful question.
    I am a newer writer, so I guess, as long as I can write a book that doesn't go against my beliefs, I would do the best I could to write a story the editor wanted if that person thought I had the ability to. Don't know if I could do it in the time alloted, though.

    Janice Ian

  3. I'm writing the book of my heart, a medieval. Since it is my first attempt, it's no biggie if it never sees the light of day. It will get written and be good practice for the next ones. And yes, I think I could write what the market wanted if I had to. ;)

    I'd love a chance to win a copy of Laurie Alice's book!

  4. Great interview. :-)

    I hope you have an easy move.

    Yes, I would definitely write what the market wants, and I think I could still love the story I wrote. But I'm not published yet, so maybe I'll change my mind later on. LOL I don't know.

    Please enter me to win,

    jessica_nelson7590 (at) yahoo dot com

  5. I am impressed with Ms. Eakes credentials. I bet her books are wonderful, but I am one of those who has too many books at this time....good luck with your novels and this one in particular.

    Gayla Collins

  6. I know I would enjoy Wild Prairie Roses, so thank you so much for the chance to win a copy.

    cjarvis [at] bellsouth [dot] net

  7. Guess what I don't think I've read ANY of these stories before and I thought I'd read most of the older Heartsongs! This book looks great...3 in 1 what more could a girl ask for?


  8. This does sound like a great book, doesn't it. I do know what a talented author Laurie Alice is since I have read some of her work, myself. If you haven't I know you will look forward to it. I will be drawing names in only a few more days.

  9. "If you can't sell the book of your heart, are you willing to write what the market wants in order to be published?"
    I remember writing my answer, but I don't see it here. Wonder where it went.

    To answer about writing a different book if I couldn't sell the book of my heart: I would, if I was comfortable with the subject matter.

    However, I know my the book of my heart is already out in the market: Daisy Chain, Adam.