First off, tell us a little about The Coffee Shop. Where did your inspiration for this book come from?
I had planned to write a horror novel, had it all plotted out in my head. Then that morning, the second I woke up, the idea for this one literally popped into my head. It was one simple idea, from there I tweaked it and continued tweaking it, the ideas just jumping out one after the other in quick succession, and the book was born. I then sat down and wrote it in 19 days. So I guess you could say the inspiration came from a story I heard years ago, about this strange dream, and it just took off from there. As to why it came to me just then, in that moment, I cannot say. That seems to be the way with all my stories.
The story is about Derrick Sloane. He wakes up one day to discover a dream he had was actually a look into his own future, five months into his future to be exact. And when he meets the woman of his dreams he realizes his interactions with her are altering the timeline he dreamed would happen. So he tries to fix it, but every time he does something changes, and not always in the way he had hoped. But then something even more unusual happens, and he sees two alternate timelines. And now he must make a decision, the most difficult one he has ever made.
That’s amazing. I can’t imagine writing a whole book in only 19 days. So, once you had the idea, how did you begin creating your characters? Are they based on people you know, or do they each have a little bit of Lauren Hunter inside them?
That’s kind of like the question, which came first the chicken or the egg? Do we create characters and build a story around them, or the other way around? With me it’s a bit of both. The characters and the story are so closely connected that to me they are all part of the same animal. The story makes the characters what they are, in my mind. What kind of character do they need to be to do what is required of them within the story?
I assume that all writers draw on their own personal life experiences when it comes to their characters. The degree to which they integrate themselves into those characters may depend on the writer. But I have no doubt we all do it. I have drawn on life experiences, and observations, and have incorporated them into my characters to one degree or another.
I just recently did an interview with Arley Cole who wrote The Blacksmith’s Daughter. She’s also with Musa, and she spoke very highly of them. What’s your experience been so far, and did you have any reservations about going with digital publishing rather than the traditional hard copy printed version? Also, give us your opinion regarding the future of digital publishing?
Do I have reservations? None whatsoever. Digital has overtaken hard copy in sales. It is the market of the future. The price and convenience are to be preferred by the buying market. To order it whenever you wish, from wherever you wish, and receive it instantly…How can you beat that? And this should also help to keep the price down. There are those people that prefer the physical book in their hands though, the tactile experience, the look of it, the smell of the paper…But digital is definitely the market of the future. It wasn’t that long ago I heard it was 65% of the market. Who knows what it is now. Of course, it would always be amazing to see and hold a copy of your book in your hands, but if you can get it for a lot less, if given a choice, I would take digital. This will increase sales for authors and publishers, and give the readers more books to read for less money. Everyone wins.
Tell us a little about the chronology. How did you and Musa find each other, and what happened after that?
In this particular case there is not much to tell really. I was aware of Musa so I sent in my partial, they asked for a full, and then offered me a contract.
I love the cover of your book. Tell us about it. How did that come about?
The covers are created by Kelly Shorten. As authors we are permitted to be a part of the creative process. We are encouraged to provide details and/or suggestions to make the cover the best it can be, reflecting the story inside through the artwork on its cover. More recently I have started researching file images myself to help them in this process. If I can find the perfect photo, that best represents the story I am telling, then all the better for both myself and the art department.
Well, it certainly looks very professional. Can you give us a teaser and quote your favorite passage from it.
Twice fate has brought Derrick Sloane and Annie Maddock together in the same place, but will fate now be the one to tear them apart.
A favorite passage? I can honestly say I don’t have a favorite. As I allow my mind to wander through the story I find myself thinking of the various points within the storyline and what they have to say. To choose any particular one over another would be like choosing one child over another.
Fair enough. Maybe we should buy your book and then send you OUR favorite passage. And with that in mind, tell us where can our readers get a copy. Also, will it work for Kindle and Nook and all of those other eReaders out there?
Right now it is available on the Musa site
As well as Amazon US and UK, Bookstrand, All Romance/Omni lit, and Rainbow ebooks. Eventually, it will be available through Smashwords and Fictionwise as well.
And, you were telling me earlier that people can still read your book as a digital version even if they don’t have a Kindle.
That’s correct. At Amazon.com anyone can download a free Kindle for PC or Kindle for Mac and read any of their digital books they want to purchase.
It sounds like there’s no excuse for not getting a copy of The Coffee Shop. Thank you so much Lauren for spending your time with us today. We wish you the best of luck on your journey toward Bestseller status.