Nano Spotlight: Introducing Laurie the Supreme Empress of the Universe

She asked me to call her that. 😉

Laurie’s previous experience with Nano, in her own words:
I signed up for Nano the first time in 2010, but right after that we moved, and so it kind of got tossed aside in the frenzy. I meant to do it in 2011 but forgot (lol), and then in 2012 I was in the process of editing my first “it’s really going to be published!!” novel. So this is my first REAL year. I have had an idea and story rolling around in my head since the late summer, and I figured that participating in Nano would give me the gumption to get it done…or at least really good and started.

Laurie’s links:
My nano profile:

My blog:

My other site:

What are you writing about this year?
I am writing my first fantasy story this year…or maybe it is more of an adventure. I keep going to the genre lounges trying to figure it out. It’s the story of Elise, who lives in a small town in the Appalachians. She grew up hearing about the legend of Elysion, a supposed mythical place that one could find somewhere in the mountains. Her grandfather told her stories about his mother and father and their journey there. Elise assumed that most of it was a tall tale that her grandfather had woven and enhanced year after year, but when she returns to her hometown after graduate school to help care for her ailing father, strange things begin to happen, and she is the only one who seems to notice. Her mother is overbearing in her attempts to matchmake, and when one particular prospect comes to dinner, Elise discovers that he has always been fascinated by the legend of Elysion as well. In fact, he is part of a small group of people who are all taken with the place and it stories. My novel centers around their journey to Elysion, the life that is lived there, and the growing conflict within its walls between the old ways that have sustained Elysion but affected the outside world and the desire of many of its citizens to embrace the outside world. Along the way, Elise will also search for her great grandmather, Elsie.

Who’s the best character in your Nano novel?
At this point I know more about Elise, but I think Elsie will definitely turn out to be the most entertaining. She is old in terms of our years but still sharp….except when she isn’t. Think Rose Nylon meets Charlie Bucket’s senile grandmather meets Clorice Leechman’s character on Raising Hope.

What advice would you give to all your fellow Wrimos?
When I was a part of the Sunbelt Writing Project in ’07, I remember one line from a bok we read: “Write; just write.” I tend to overthink and wig out if that groovy creativity thing isn’t happening on its own. But I am determined to keep writing anyway.

Sneaky Ninja question! What’s the most unusual part of your writing process?
I talk to myself….a lot. And I walk around in this method acting, “I AM the character; BE the character” daze a lot. My teenagers find it entertaining.

200 word ramble/plug:
Only 200 words??? Well, I have beensmall wordtender writing since I was in preschool (although then my mom would dictate my stories), and writing has been my passion, my hobby, my self-therapy, my talk-down off the ledge, my escape, my dream, and hopefully, now that I have started my own business, at least part of my livelihood. I have published two novels under a pen name, but they re somewhat naughty, so that information is strictly need-to-know 😉 I have a third novel in editing right now – a historical romance set in Florence, AL and New Orleans, LA – that will be published under my real name sometime in 2014. My daughter is giving me some “pointers” during my Nano process because she is the fantasy expert and already I better writer than I’ll ever be. I think that is 200 words so I’ll stop.

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