Tonight I would like to introduce to you a very talented young adult fiction author, Lauren Klever. I have gotten to know Lauren and she is the one who referred me to Lady Amber. Thank you so much Lauren for your participation! Enjoy the interview everyone!
I’m Lauren Klever, a Pacific Northwest author, who loves to include local places in my young adult fiction. I’ve always loved reading but writing professionally is new for me. Why did I change career paths? Sometimes you just need the right motivation, so I dusted off my pens, pencils, and trusty computer and went to work. I decided the best way to change my life was to manipulate someone else’s! Hello Owen Ryer! I’m drawn to all things ‘action-adventure’ in film and literature. Notice I didn’t say ‘real life’? No bungee jumping, cliff diving or parkour for me. I’d likely kill myself because I’m a klutz of epic proportion. Skydiving? Nope! I’d be the one to fall out of the plane without a parachute, so I created a character who is braver, tougher and more graceful than I am.
Visions: The Secret Watchers (Book One) was my debut novel about young Owen who discovered he had a special talent for seeing the darker side of life. I sat down with my boys and brainstormed based on some of our favorite characters from literature. We wanted something otherworldly blended with current times and we like good friends and strong mentors. Now, I hope, a star is born! I’ve never been bitten by the writing bug with such vengeance and completed the book in only six weeks! Ten weeks later book two was complete and I’m now at work on books three through five. It’s never too late to share your stories! If you want to write – go for it!
Title: Whispers: The Secret Watchers (book 2)
Author: Lauren Klever
Genre: Young adult action/adventure and suspense
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And now on Your Book Authors
Release Date: February 7, 2013
Where to buy:
And 7 other retailers – please see my ‘printable book list’ or ‘shop’ page on my website. http://thesecretwatchers.com/?page_id=563
If you would like a paperback – They are $10 plus $4 for shipping and handling in the U.S. Please email laurenwrites@thesecretwatchers for details.
Reviews: There are some on Amazon and you can also find them on Goodreads. http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17214485-whispers
Other Work: Visions: The Secret Watchers (book1) http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13583266-visions
Please provide a snippet from your most recently released book.
He reached for my shirt but I punched straight up through his chin, knocking his head back and his arm to the side. He shook his head and growled at me. I quickly followed the shot to his chin with a kick to his side. I had him at the edge of the dock so I kicked again trying to send him over. No luck. He absorbed the kick, grabbing my leg and dropping me to the dock. I rolled as he tried to stomp my head and then flipped to my feet once more. He advanced again. I leaned to the side to avoid his fist, grabbing it with both hands and twisting as I dropped to my knee to flip him over.
He landed with a thud that shook the dock. Before he could recover, I kicked him in the side of the head hoping to knock him unconscious. I didn’t even check my work. I ran to Lucie who was pulling herself into a sitting position.
“Lucie! Are you alright?” I could already see blisters forming on her chest where he had touched her. “Let’s get you out of here,” I said, not even giving her a chance to respond. I pulled her to her feet. I turned and put an arm around her and took a step forward only to have a blur of movement knock Lucie right out of my arm and off the dock with a tremendous splash.
I looked for a split second, in stunned silence, at the empty dock – at my empty arms. A flood of silence filled the emptiness. I turned, knowing I would have to dive into the water after Lucie. I heard a roar in my head filling the silence – Stupid – How could I have been so stupid?
“No!” burst from my lips without me even realizing I was speaking. I knew, with a sickening sense of despair, that she wouldn’t make it. I ripped off my flannel shirt and t-shirt. I kicked off my shoes, stripped off my socks, watch and cargo pants. I ran at the end of the dock and just had time to snatch a quick breath before I jumped out past where Lucie had fallen so as not to hurt her. I hit the surface and passed through, down into the freezing, dark gray-green water.
1 When did you first start writing?
I’ve always been a writer but writing with plans for actual publishing began in September of 2011.
2 Did you always want to be a writer? If not what did you want to be?
By the time I was in high school I had decided to pursue biomedical engineering. I wanted to be the person who worked on valves for hearts and joints for fingers, but then reality hit in college – and I realized that I just didn’t have what it took. I couldn’t bring myself to do surgery on bunnies so I readjusted my sights. I decided I would teach others about science so that they could do the job I couldn’t do. That is how I fell into science teaching for middle and high school age students. While volunteering when my own boys went to grade school, I found I had a passion for that age group and added another degree and an elementary endorsement so that I could work with younger kids. NOW, I reach out to kids in a whole other way. My books may be pretend but the message is real… be the best you, you can be!
3 What genre do you prefer to work within? Or do you mix it up?
I am currently finishing The Secret Watchers series that I started. It is fiction but feels like it could be real life much as the Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, Twilight and Alex Rider books portrayed. My main character has a special ability that helps and drives him to fight evil but he lives in the real world and has real problems like any teenager could have. When Owen’s story comes to an end, I have a dystopian idea, a children’s book and a fantasy that includes castles, swords and magical creatures that I am looking forward to.
4 Where does your inspiration for these stories (this story) come from?
My inspiration for the Secret Watchers came out of pure frustration with my current career path. I had time on my hands and nothing to do. Maybe I’m a little attention deficit but I have to keep busy! Several movies and books all came to me around the same time and something just clicked. I had a story that I wanted to tell. Owen is inspired by my own boys and students as well as The Karate Kid, Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, Alex Rider, Jacob Black, Nathan Price and a little Jason Bourne. Is my passion for action/ adventure showing?
5 What has your publishing experience been like?
When I started this adventure I knew nothing about publishing. I talked to an attorney friend who directed me to a published author so that she could share her experiences and he also sent me to an attorney friend of his who specializes in the arts and represents some local authors. I also did tons of research. I decided that I would invest in myself and take the self-publishing route over sending out dozens if not hundreds of query letters. For me it was all about choice. I wanted to try this first. I have been offered a publishing contract but I haven’t found just the right fit yet, so I remain my own boss and writing, editing, promotion and publicity team. Who knows what the future holds?
6 Do you have a certain routine you have for writing? i.e. You listen to music, sit in a certain chair?
I nearly always listen to music but my life is so hectic that I don’t have a place I regularly write. I do take a journal everywhere I go so that I can jot down a thought or continue a scene. Ideas really can come from anywhere. I make good use of my crazy hectic life!
7 How do you come up with character names and place names in your books?
I named Owen by looking up names on the internet with their meanings until I found a meaning and name combination I loved. Owen means young warrior in Welsh and can mean prince in American. My son named White Eagle and Lucie and Sarah was named by the person she is modelled after. Along that same line, I frequently look at pictures of actors or of places for inspiration for character and setting. When I can, I love to visit the locations that my scenes take place in. When I talk about the middle and high schools in The Secret Watchers… I’ve been there as a parent and as a substitute teacher. The pawnshop I mention is a real place but the back room is not. Earl White Eagle is a mash-up of two dear friends, one of whom actually works at the pawnshop while the other teaches karate. Many of my characters are based on people I know and they all gave me their permission to include their personalities in my work.
8 In your most recent work, who is your favourite character and why?
It is so hard to pick just one. I love my team of characters and feel like they are my friends and family but then many of them are based at least in part on people I know. If I had to pick one, it would be Owen. He changes so much from regular kid to one who is infused with a special ability and the knowledge of the man whose watch he found in the pawnshop. As the series progresses Owen is becoming the hero he is meant to be while keeping his feet on the ground.
9 Did you learn anything from writing your book? What was it?
Not everyone will love your work. It’s okay. You have to have courage to be an author and put a piece of yourself out there for everyone to judge. Apply the advice you can use and let the rest go. Even a bad review can have a pearl or two of wisdom. Just remember who you wrote the book for. Yeah, I’d love to sell enough books to do this full time but when I started this I was writing for me, my family and friends so does anyone else’s opinion really matter?
10 How did you/do you market your work?
I reach out almost every day in some way. I talk to people and tell them what I do. I carry bookmarks and business cards everywhere. I connect with people on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Google+, MySpace, StumbleUpon, Tumblr and Instagram. I’m still learning some of them. Less than a year and half ago I was only on Facebook. I also use my connections to get invitations to book signings, author appearances and literacy nights at my local schools. That is not to say that all I talk about is SELL, Sell, sell… I’m pretty low key and give what people seem like they are ready to hear. I love working with students and doing writer’s workshops. They are my target audience and it is a great place to meet and interact with them. In addition I’m part of several social media groups in a variety of places and I skim their feeds and watch for articles on all aspects of what I do, not just marketing. My best advice… Be patient. Reach out and be friendly and helpful.
11 Can you describe the feeling you had when you saw your published book for the first time?
Elated is probably the best word to describe how I felt when the eBook version came out. Holding a print copy in my hands was even better but I have loved each step of this process and I celebrate every little milestone. Holding a print copy of your book is almost as good as holding your baby in your arms for the first time. Having my boys still wins on the ‘best things’ I’ve ever done front!
12 Favourite authors?
D.C. and Michael McGannon, J.K. Rowling, Suzanne Collins, Rick Riordan, Anthony Horowitz, Veronica Roth, Kristin Cashore, Janet Evanovich, Victoria Laurie, Cassandra Clare, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Stephanie Meyer, Sue Grafton, J.A. Jance, Cleo Coyle and Kate Collins are a few of my top favorites.
13 Have you ever suffered from a “writer’s block”? What did you do to get past the “block”?
I think everyone has a bit of this now and then or at least we lack a little motivation. What works for me is hashing out ideas with my friends and family, going for a walk, dancing to some music, enjoying nature, writing something else, reading or watching a movie. Sometimes I think our minds just need a break. Bottom line, I don’t think you can write about life unless you live it!
14 What piece of advice would you give to a new writer?
If you can dream it, you can make it happen! Get writing first and then start working on all the other parts. You can do this – just go at your own pace. There are also lots of folks out there to help you, so start reaching out. If you would have told me a year ago that my Facebook fan page would have over 1,500 fans, that I’d have over 2,100 Tweeps and that I have over 1,200 friends on Goodreads I would have laughed. We are all a work in progress. Just keep being the best you, you can be. Do you see a repeating theme here? Yep! Believe in yourself!
15 Are you working on anything new? If so, can you tell me about it?
I’m continuing the Secret Watchers series. Book three is done and is going through the editing process. I’m writing books four and five in the series at the same time so that I can tie it up in a neat bow at the end. The dystopia idea was completely new and came to me recently in a dream. The other stories I’m thinking about publishing are in various stages of completion. I started writing the fantasy story idea when I was at Oregon State in the 90s and we were playing Dungeons and Dragons on the weekends. The children’s story idea began as a class project at Portland State University when I was taking some teaching credits. Remember… ideas can come from anywhere!