An Interview with author Laurie Wood
My friend Laurie Wood recently published her first book, Northern Deception. I have read it and loved it, so I invited her here to share some thoughts with you. Enjoy this interview with author, Laurie Wood!
Cindy: Thank you for joining my friends and me to talk about your new book, Northern Deception, and your writing journey. First, can you tell us a bit about your book and what inspired you to write this story?
Laurie: Thank you for having me today, Cindy! Northern Deception started out as a challenge to write a story about a Canadian hero. I wanted to write something besides the usual Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer (RCMP). And the weekend before the deadline for the writing challenge we were at our local Zoo which has a huge polar bear exhibit with six rescued polar bears from Churchill, Manitoba. And I realized that I could get rid of one Canadian icon (the RCMP) and use another Canadian icon – our polar bears – and set my story in Churchill. So, my hero became the owner of a wilderness tour company up there, with a character journey as he didn’t start out living in the north.
My initial writing was successful, and I was asked to write the rest of the book. And now here we are with it published and I’m working on the next on in the trilogy.
Cindy: Your characters feel so real. Did anyone inspire you as you created Kira and Lukas?
Laurie: Thank you for saying so! I think all authors take bits and pieces of people they know, or might’ve known in the past, as well as pieces of themselves to create their characters. I really don’t know if anyone specifically inspired me, but I knew the story I wanted to tell was more than a Romeo/Juliet class-type story. I wanted to show what happens at the extreme end of our behaviour when we run away from our problems; whether it’s a traumatic event, or a living situation, or anything that overwhelms us.
I wanted to show Kira and Lukas growing up through living through some tragic circumstances and coming out the other side of them. They didn’t see God in the midst of those circumstances at the time, just like most of us don’t, but they were able to look back and see where He’d been with them all the way.
Cindy: Having raised a special needs child, I immediately fell in love with Sophie. Can you share a little of your experiences that helped you create Lukas’ daughter?
Laurie: I’m so happy that Sophie has been a hit with readers! She’s the one part of the book that I get the most feedback on, and I’m glad you fell in love with her, too. Both my son and daughter have Down Syndrome and so it was nothing for me to channel my memories of what my own daughter was like at the age of three; how she talked, how she slept, how she kept a tight hold on her stuffed bunny. And she did have hot-pink glasses!
When I proposed to my editor to give Lukas a toddler, I held my breath and then wrote asking if I could give her Down Syndrome because I wanted that extra layer of conflict for, he and Kira. It seemed too easy for them to be able to fall in love again with a “cute kid”. But I wanted Lukas to have a reason to hold back on commitment because he needed to protect Sophie from being hurt if Kira didn’t want to go through with it or left him again. And my editor loved the idea, so we went for it.
My husband and I have been life-long advocates for people with Down Syndrome, so I was so happy to have little Sophie in this book.
Cindy: I enjoy many genres of inspirational fiction, although most of my writing is historical romance. Northern Deception is a great example of a romantic suspense novel. Is this your preferred genre for writing, or have you branched out into other areas as well?
Laurie: The first novel I wrote was a medieval and I love reading and writing historical fiction, but certain time periods are a hard sell. Medieval is certainly one of them! I’ve written two other romantic suspense novels, but they weren’t for the CBA market – they were police procedurals and also set in Canada. I think the market is gradually opening to books set in Canada, but I still see a lot of CBA editors who don’t want books set outside the US.
However, I’m currently researching an historical novel set in my home city about two hundred years ago, so we’ll see. And I love reading romantic suspense, so I love to write it as well. I’d like to get away from the traditional “woman-in-jeopardy” type story though and get into a bit more of a gothic overtone a la Daphne du Maurier.
Cindy: Are there any authors who’ve influenced you in your writing? Do you have any favourite authors?
Laurie: I ask this question of other authors and now I must answer it myself! There are so many I can’t name them all and I read quite widely both inside and outside the CBA. Daphne du Maurier and Mary Stewart are two who I read over and over when I was in my teens and college years. Victoria Holt and Phyllis A. Whitney for historical romance. Right now for CBA romantic suspense I’d have to say Dani Pettrey and Lynn H. Blackburn.
Cindy: If you knew your book would only benefit one person, would you still write it?
Laurie: Yes, absolutely! Because my book deals with a couple of issues and I hope – I think I have – written it with sensitivity and compassion. If it helps only one woman or teenager who sees herself in these pages, then everything I’ve gone through to bring this book to fruition will have been worth it.
Cindy: What hobbies do you like to do when you’re not writing? Anything else you’d like to tell us about you and your work?
Laurie: When I’m not writing I’m spinning yarn from wool or silk on my spinning wheel, or knitting said homespun yarn up into shawls or scarves or whatever. It’s been a passion of mine almost as long as writing has and it’s very relaxing. I also love to watch good British cop shows on Netflix, or binge TV shows with my husband.
Cindy: Where can your readers find you on social media?
Laurie: These are the best places to find me:
Cindy: And finally, how long do we have to wait for your next book?
Laurie: I’m not sure but hopefully it’ll be out within the year, one way or another!
Cindy: Thanks for joining us Laurie.
By Laurie Wood
Release Day: December 4th 2018
Find Northern Deception here: Amazon
Reunions can be deadly.After a savage attack in university, Kira Summers fled to the safety of northern Canada and her work as a polar bear scientist. But when her whistleblower brother dies in a mysterious car crash, she must return home to bury him and pack his belongings. Unaware she’s carrying explosive evidence someone’s willing to kill for, she has no choice but to rely on the one person she never thought she’d see again.
Lukas Tanner, a widowed single father of a special needs toddler, moved to Churchill five years ago. As the proud owner of Guiding Star Enterprises, a wilderness tour company, he and his daughter lead a simple life. But when Kira comes crashing back into his world, he realizes God has other plans. Now, Lukas and Kira must confront a merciless killer as their past and present collide in a deadly race—a race they must win if they have any hope of a future together.
About the Author:
Laurie Wood is a military wife who’s lived across Canada and visited six of its ten provinces. She and her husband have raised two wonderful children with Down Syndrome to adulthood, and their son and daughter are a wonderful blessing to their lives. Over the years, Laurie’s books have finaled in prestigious contests such as the Daphne du Maurier (twice), the TARA, the Jasmine, and the Genesis. Her family lives in central Canada with a menagerie of rescue dogs and cats. If the house were bigger, no doubt they’d have more.