Welcome to my first author interview of 2018! I’ve just finished reading Cranberry Lane (my full review is here), a cracking thriller by American author Laurèn Lee and she kindly had a little chat with me about her inspiration for the book and her love of Harry Potter! She’s been writing since she was old enough to hold a pen and alongside a day job in marketing, Laurèn has now written a novella and four books. Let’s find out more…

Hi Laurèn! When did you know you wanted to be an author?

I think I was always destined to write, but I didn’t try to become an author until spring 2016. I was stuck at a corporate job with not a lot of satisfaction in my life. I knew I had to do something to change my circumstance, so I started writing my first book and haven’t looked back!

Do you remember the moment you had the idea for Cranberry Lane?

Yes! I had just finished reading Mystic River by Dennis Lehane, on 4th July. My boyfriend and I were on our way to the fireworks and we parked on a dead-end street. Then, I don’t know what happened, but the idea hit me out of nowhere. I wanted to create a story revolving around a tough neighborhood that shapes any person who lives there.

How do you structure your days when you’re writing?

Because I work full time, I take advantage of my hour-long lunches to write and do my best to reach my daily word count goal. I usually don’t have the motivation to write when I get home.

Do you ever get the dreaded writers block?

As a rule, I never force myself to write if the words aren’t there. If I’m struggling, I’ll take the day off and maybe re-work my outline until the ideas come. If all else fails, I read or watch what inspired me in the first place.

Who are your favourite authors?

I hope one day to write something as twisted as Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn and as magical as Harry Potter by J.K.Rowling. Flynn is brilliant and Rowling is pure genius.

What would you say are your most-loved books?

The Harry Potter series will always be #1 for me. I have a tattoo on my ribs of my favorite quote!

Oh really? What quote do you have?

“Do not pity the dead, Harry. Pity the living and above all those who live without love.” It’s even in the Harry Potter font!

Who is your favourite fictional character?

This is an extremely difficult question for me because I can’t name just one. Severus Snape is my favorite from Harry Potter as he proves love conquers darkness and things are not always what they seem. Also, Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games – she’s badass and fights like hell to save her friends and family.

What are you reading right now?

Mordacious by Sarah Lyons Fleming, a zombie book. So far, it’s really good!

What can we expect from you next?

I decided to try a whole different genre for my current manuscript – it’s a story about a single mother who befriends a homeless vet. They’re both in need of a fresh beginning and learn about life and themselves with the help of each other. My fourth book, Running in Circles, was published on 13th February. It explores the idea: is a serial killer born or a product of their environment.

Finally, do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

Never give up on your dream. I believe if we’re lucky in life, we’re all given a passion and talent. If you’ve discovered yours, don’t let it slip away. Also, more practically, make sure you do your research when it comes to purchasing services like editing and design. I’m lucky to have found an amazing team, but it didn’t happen overnight.

Thank you so much for chatting to me, Laurèn! You can find out more on Laurèn’s website or by popping over to her Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

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