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Kathleen Y'Barbo

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Laura Bendoly

December 29, 2017

Written By:

Have you ever wondered from where all these great ideas for mysteries come? I mean, who thinks of these things? As for me, I don't know if I'd be able to make a book interesting enough for a mystery. However, Laura Bendoly seems to be able to do exactly that. Keep reading and you'll find her interview very interesting.



AJ: Tell us about and a little about your background that led you to be a writer.


LB: Sure. I began inventing stories early on in imitation of Narnia. I was always looking for my wardrobe, even stuffed myself in the back of a lot of closets looking for Mr. Tumnus. Years later I wrote some satire as an undergraduate at a Catholic university. It got me a bunch of angry phone calls and I realized, hey -- you get people's thoughts moving. Many years later I did a graduate degree in writing, had two kids, then wrote six manuscripts all in a row. I am VERY SLOWLY going back to salvage what I can of

 those pages to turn into actual books. Two titles emerged, one adventure, one mystery, and, right now, a historical novel.   


AJ: How many books have you written? And, in what genre would you classify your works?


LB: I've written two book-length novels. "The Estate" is a YA mystery set in Scotland. My second is "Laerka", is a YA urban fantasy set in Savannah, Georgia. Then, my work in progress has a mature heroine, a widow, and single mother who must save her village from a piratical invader during the 16th century in a mountain top village. Each book contains a mystery or adversary to be thwarted, a group of somewhat (if not entirely) supernatural villains, and a spiritual guide of some kind. In "The Estate" the heroine found guidance in a ghost. The lead character in "Laerka" gains wisdom from a local conjure woman, and Irene, my French healer, receives advice from the goddess who is buried under the mountain where she lives.


AJ: Do you work from an outline, or do you prefer to see where the story leads you?


LB: No outline, just ideas jotted on napkins, post-its and sometimes even on my arm. I then do a lot of research and save a crazy number of bookmarks in online research. From those, I gather informants among historian, curatorial and specialist communities. Like right now I'm getting advice from a historic shoe collector and a reader or tarot. 


AJ: Do you see writing as a career? Or, is this just a hobby?


LB: It's my profession and also my obsession. I write (and re-write) for about four hours every day. Often more. Only rarely does it provide me a royalty. 


AJ: What do you like to do when you’re not writing?



LB: I'm also a photographer. I enjoy movies, hiking, kayaking, cycling, making dinner with friends and dressing up in costume! 


AJ: What social media outlets have you used to reach your readers? And, which ones have you found to be the most successful?


LB: I find some degree  of interest in my work via Facebook and Instagram, but mostly folks on those networks prefer a book for free. If I'm going to break even somehow, I have to go to an actual bookstore or book festival and sell my work in person, or ask someone else (book seller, festival organizer) to partner with me. Success is very diverse and different for an indie writer.


AJ: What social media outlets have you used to reach your readers? And, which ones have you found to be the most successful?


LB: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, my blog (WordPress), colleagues' blogs, author newsletters, competitions, submitting to journals and literary magazines. Meeting librarians and independent book sellers has been a lot more successful, I have to say, than social media for me. Perhaps because I'm not a writer of romance. That genre is really benefiting from direct social media promotions.


AJ: Is there anything that you’ve found to be particularly challenging in your writing?



LB: Trying to make a plot modern. I'm kind of a traditionalist in terms of endings. I don't really need my story to end with a mad, crazy, messed up finale. I hope that doesn't make me boring. I don't tie it up neat like a bow on the present, but I do try to make things tidy. The "what if" ending works, I think, in speculative fiction and realistic urban fiction, but my variety of supernatural, I try to end sort of back at the beginning. Full circle, with wisdom learned.


AJ: Do you have any tips on how to get through the dreaded writer’s block?


LB: Write a lot of single paragraph beginnings of things, character studies, observations of an object or


scene that fascinates. With a few stabs in the general direction of a story, you end up with a good few chapters before you even know it.


AJ: How can readers discover more about you?


                                       Facebook:        Blog:        Amazon        Twitter        Instagram




Does she seem like someone you'd like to follow? Click any of the links above, or tap on any picture to find her books.





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