If Laura Eno lived next door to me, we'd have coffee all the time and talk about writing and be BFFs. Of course that would never happen unless Laura completely lost her mind and forgot about her abhorrence for the great outdoors and snowbanks.
So it's me in Ontario and Laura in Florida and never the twain shall meet. But I will always think fondly of this prolific and talented writer. Ever since I caught wind of her through Friday Flash I have admired her generous support of other writers, not to mention her own ability to write about anything: literary slice of life, horror, humour, romance – doesn't matter. She handles it all with imaginative and tenacious aplomb.
My respect for her is enormous.
I haven't had much reading time lately but I did manage to spend some happy hours with my nose buried in my Kindle during summer vacation. You couldn't ask for better summer reading material than Laura's The Carriena Oracles, Raven and Wraith. On one sunshiney July afternoon I whipped through Raven while I floated around in our cheapo Canadian Tire swimming pool guzzling Diet Cokes and accumulating melanoma. It was glorious.
Then, during an impromptu fishing trip to Brent, a remote part of Algonquin Park, I dove into and polished off the recently released Wraith in a couple of happy hours. It amuses me to think I read many of Laura's books on camping trips, knowing she can't stand the very idea of camping. It's like I'm dragging her along and she's having a great time, in spite of herself.
Both books were a ton of fun. Love romance? Love sci/fi? Love strong female leads, adventure, brave new worlds and human-like robots? They're all here in a happy mish-mash of genres that put character and story above all else. You can find them, along with a long list of Laura's other novels, on Amazon and Smashwords. At 99 cents each, they're a true bargain.
In the meantime, I forced Laura to answer a bunch of inane questions. The first question, though, was completely serious – I wanted five tips for writers. Laura is an experienced, savvy writer and self-publisher and if you want advice on anything writerly, she's the lady to ask. Without further adieu, Mizz Eno:
Hi, Cathy! Thank you so much for inviting me to put a handprint on your blog. I hope you don't mind if it's a bit sticky…
That was with honey, for all you blokes with your minds in the gutter.
You asked me for five tips of interest to writers. *snort* There are so many tips out there the internet needs a plumber to unclog it but here goes.
Tip #1. Chew each tip slowly. If it tastes good, swallow it. If it doesn't, spit it out. Seriously. You can only write with what resonates for you. Leave the rest behind.
Tip #2. Don't be afraid. Fear will leave your manuscript half-finished, kicked under the bed.
Tip #3. Learn how to take constructive criticism. That does not mean change your story to suit someone else's idea of how it should go. There's a difference between tightening your story and writing someone else's version. Let them write their own.
Tip #4. Edit. Edit. Edit. But then let it go. See Tip #2.
Tip #5. Remember that not everyone will like what you've written. We all want to stand up on stage like Sally Fields (minus the hairy armpits) and yell, "You really like me!" but it's impossible. If you love your story and it's well edited, it's all good.
You asked why I write romance in particular, when I write in so many different genres. Actually, for me, it's all the same. The angle I write from is the human condition. In my head, it all ties together – love, hate, happiness, pain – they are the commonalities that bond us as a people.
I hope that made sense. If not, throw a bucket over your head and repeat the words until you agree with me.
You asked what I do all day. Mostly, I let the voices in my head erode the gray matter and bleed words onto paper. That, and play door monitor for two dogs. Up until three years ago I was a Tai Chi instructor, but a series of mental and physical mishaps have me staying at home now, muttering to myself.
And yes to your last question. There will be a third installment of the Carriena Oracles to add to Raven and Wraith. I didn't get to it immediately because I have a few Djinn as houseguests in my head. As soon as they move on, I will write it.
Thank you for having me here, Cathy, and I hope I didn't scare too many of your readers away!
P.S. Jezebel sends you a big, sloppy kiss.
(Right back atcha, Jez.)