Welcome, today we are talking with Laura M. Baird! I would like to thank you for taking time out of your busy writing schedule to answer a few questions. First, let’s delve into who you are. Some of the questions may be untraditional but you’d be surprised at what readers connect to, and sometimes the simplest ‘I can relate to that’ grabs their interest where nothing else can.
Can you share a little something about Laura M. Baird that’s not mentioned in your bio on your website?
My 4th grade teacher who inspired my love of writing, also nicknamed me Mouth of the South (I grew up in Florida). I loved talking and socializing with friends and classmates. I would be one of the first kids to talk to the new arrival in class, not wanting them to feel awkward or alone. I always felt a bit shy and awkward myself, so I guess I empathized.
How long have you been writing?
Since 4th grade. 😉 I started writing poems and shorts stories in grade school, and in my early twenties, tried writing a novel (after being inspired by reading Nora Roberts). But it was about ten years ago I began to write romances, setting them aside until I decided what to do with them. After attending my first writers’ conference in 2016, I told myself, this is what I’m going to do! I polished stories and started submitting, and 2017 kicked off my publishing career with three publications. Since then, I’m closing in on thirty romances.
What have you found most challenging about it?
Keeping my flow and being disciplined with my time is most challenging for me. I continue to work 2 days a week as a dental hygienist (after twenty-two years), and with other life factors, keeping up a good routine doesn’t always happen. I try to make the most of the time I’m given, and sometimes I write non-stop, producing a story within a month. Other times my thoughts are so scattered, it takes me much longer (which frustrates me).
What does writing do for you? Is it fun, cathartic, do you get emotional?
Writing is all those and more. I like the challenge of taking a singular idea or the spark about a character, and building a story around that. Whether I put my own emotions and experiences into it, or it’s all completely made up, it’s both fun and amazing to see what I’ll produce. I definitely get emotional with a lot of my writing, and I hope that means the readers will too.
Describe what your writing routine looks like. Are you disciplined with a strict schedule or do you have to be in the mood?
I have no strict schedule, and I absolutely have to be in the mood. I’ve heard some writers say, just sit down and start typing your thoughts even if you feel you aren’t in the mood. Well, that doesn’t work for me. When a thought or idea enters my head, I’ll make note of it, hoping it’ll lead to something. But my mind and my heart have to be ‘in the mood’ for my to produce something I think will be worthwhile. Of course, I know there’s the editing phase, but I’m an anal writer, and practically edit as I go. I know nothing will be perfect the first time around, but I want it as close to perfect as I can get.
Did you go into writing thinking that it would be a hobby or a job?
When I decided I wanted to do this, I had the mindset that it would be a job. I knew I couldn’t practice dental hygiene forever, as my body is already telling me it’s nearing the end of that career. I want to be able to write full-time, all the time, and see it pay off. I don’t expect to be the next Nora Roberts, but it sure would be fantastic to reach that level.
What inspires you?
As cliché as this sounds – everything! I can conjure a story from anything and everything. And receiving praise from readers inspires me to continue; to produce worthy stories that will be loved.
Let’s move on and give readers some insight into your personal life. What are your pet peeves?
Rude, unaware people. Those who think they’re the only ones in existence and couldn’t care less about those around them. That applies to many facets, such as shoppers and drivers, to name a few. Also, I’m a bit OCD when it comes to organization; I believe everything has its place and a place for everything. When someone doesn’t return something where (I believe) it belongs, it’s frustrating.
Who is your hero?
My hubby! He doesn’t give himself enough credit for how smart and caring and selfless he is!
Give us one thing on your bucket list.
To explore Scotland, even live there for a few years to really experience it to the fullest.
What would readers find surprising about you?
As shy as I am, I’d love to be brave enough to sing the National Anthem at an event, and I fantasize about doing stand-up comedy.
If you could go to heaven, who would you visit? My father. I feel robbed when I think about losing him way too soon. Of course, no one wants to lose a loved one, but I wished he’d been here to know all his grand kids.
Now that our readers know who Laura M. Baird is let’s get down to the business of your book, Vintage, one of the books in The Reincarnation Series. Please tell us a little bit about, Vintage.
It’s a vampire novella in a common-themed series. All the stories are stand alone, but they all deal with vampirism and reincarnation, and the presence of a lotus in each story. Vintage begins in 1860 with forbidden love between a slave and a plantation owner’s daughter. Their world is ripped apart, but have the opportunity to reunite when the hero becomes a vampire and the heroine is reincarnated in modern time. It’s emotional and very spicy.
What was your hardest challenge writing this book?
Reconnecting the characters in a genuine way; not just throwing them together and saying, okay, we’re meant to be together, so, I guess I love you and you’re mine through eternity. I wanted the modern day heroine to develop a true connection to the hero, one she chose, acknowledged, and welcomed.
What kind of research did you have to do?
I actually did very little for this piece, just ensuring I had dates correct for the Civil War era.
What in your opinion makes good chemistry between your leading characters?
Certainly physical attraction, but their attributes of intelligence, caring, and morals.
Any other works in progress?
Always! 😉 I recently completed a dragon shifter novella that will be published with Evernight Publishing, and I’m toggling between two pieces now: a FF romcom and another romcom about twin siblings (the long-awaited next installment in my New Adventures series).
Any advice for aspiring authors?
If you truly want to do it, keep at it! Network, find your tribe you can share anything with, and write what you feel passion for. I’ve been published five years, and at times, I still feel like a newbie. I have a terrific network of author friends I’m grateful for, who cheer me on as well as challenge me. Never stop learning. I’m still learning promotion (the bane of all authors’ existence!) but hope to strike gold one day.
Thank you so much for this opportunity!
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