Friday, July 17, 2015

Friday Laura Strickland is Talking About Heroes, Heroines and Villains #MFRWauthor #Steampunkromance

1. Do you write a single genre or do your fingers flow over the keys creating tales in many forms? Does your reading choices reflect your writing choices? Are there genres you wouldn’t attempt?
This is a great question for me as I love to read and, as a child, began writing because I wanted to create stories similar to those I read. My reading choices are omnivorous and depend very much on the mood I’m in at the time—everything from Westerns to Sci Fi.  Fortunately for me, in my “day job” I work for a library system and have access to a wide variety of books. I tend to read the first few lines of a story and if they grab me, that book is going home with me. That’s probably why I also write a wide variety of genres though most of my published work revolves around some form of Romance. I don’t think there’s any genre I wouldn’t attempt with the possible exception of hard core erotica. In fact I love to challenge myself by taking on a genre I’ve never before attempted to write.

2. Heroes, Heroines, Villains. Which are your favorite to write? Does one of these come easy and why?
Most of my work is character driven, so the people I create become very real to me. I tend to go deep into my characters’ points of view. Once a story is “launched” in my head, my people pretty much take over, acting out and speaking their own lines. I just sit back and write it all down. So it’s hard to say which of them comes most easily.  But I do love getting into the head of a hero, especially if he has a few flaws, and discovering what makes him tick.

3. Heroes. How do you find them? Do pictures, real life or plain imagination create the man you want every reader to love? Do they come before the plot or after you have the idea for the story?
It’s very difficult to say what part of a story comes first for me. Many times the ideas for my plots and tales come to me full-blown (often while I’m doing something utterly boring like housework). Usually there’s a “what if” involved in inception: what if a Celtic hero, foremost warrior of his clan, was injured in battle and could no longer fight?  The rest of it drops into my head from there. Yes, often the first thing to appear in my mind is a character and more often than not a hero. I’d say it’s forty percent imagination and sixty percent inspiration. The imagination fleshes out what inspiration has provided.


4. Heroines. How do you find them? Do pictures, real life or imagination create the woman you want the reader to root for? Do they appear before the plot or after you have the idea for the story?
As with my heroes, my heroines pretty much just come to me. There’s always a hint of an idea when the concept for the story is dropped into my head. Often the creation of the heroine depends on the hero: she must both oppose and compliment his personality for there to be an enjoyable level of attraction and conflict. All my characters come with flaws and that includes my heroines. I feel characters, like real people, are boring if they don’t have a few quirks and weaknesses. My heroines also often have plenty of courage and a deep ability to love. But pictures/people in real life never really factor in to the characters I create.

5. Villains or villainesses or an antagonist, since they don’t always have to be the bad guy or girl. They can be a person opposed to the hero’s or heroine’s obtaining their goal. How do you choose one? How do you make them human?
I love writing villains—they’re so enjoyable and it’s fun to pull out all the stops and unleash a little evil. When writing a villain, villainess or antagonist, I think it’s fatal to make him or her one-dimensional. Just like the other characters in a story, the bad guy/girl has to be fully-fleshed with believable motivations and vulnerabilities.  My villains tend to be a little twisted and I feel that does make them believable, because most of us, no matter how well-disciplined, have a button or two that, when pushed, tends to unleash the inner Cracken.

6. What is your latest release? Who is the hero, heroine and or the villain?
My latest release is a Highlander Romance called “His Wicked Highland Ways”. Set in 1750 Scotland, it features a hero, Finnan MacAllister, who’s as flawed as he is irresistible. His goal is to reclaim his ancestral glen, from which he’s been dispossessed—oh, and to break the heroine’s heart in return for the way he believes she treated his now-deceased brother-in-arms, one Geordie MacWherter. In order to accomplish that task, he chooses the weapon of seduction, which gives you just a hint about how twisted the man is.
The heroine, Jeannie Robertson MacWherter, is a woman with her back to the wall. Hailing from lowland Dumfries, she’s been driven to take refuge in the highland cottage meant for her deceased husband, Geordie. Ever since childhood she struggled to keep her world and that of her father together, but she now finds both her security and peace of mind threatened by Finnan to whom she knows she should say “no”. But can she?
The villains, here, are multiple: both the members of Clan Avrie, former ghillies to the MacAllisters, who have seized Finnan’s land and the wicked streak that lurks within the hero himself, which he must choose to either indulge or overcome.

 7. What are you working on now?
My next book, my second Steampunk Romance called “Off Kilter: a Buffalo Steampunk Adventure”, will release on August 28, 2015 from The Wild Rose Press. Right now, though, I’m working on another Scottish Romance called “Honor Bound” which I hope to submit to my editor by September. “Honor Bound” takes place directly following the Battle of Culloden and is a romp through danger and passion that takes readers all around the Highlands on the trail of Bonny Prince Charlie.

8. How can people find you?




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