We offer our first and exclusive Q&A Interview with Laura M. Baird, a writer whose literary works have been featured on our Spillwords pages as well as being Author of the Month of September 2019.
What does it mean to be selected as Author of The Month?
It is truly an honor, to be supported and recognized, especially when I consider how many authors there are, getting their wonderful work published.
How have your friends and/or family influenced your writing?
My sister is my biggest cheerleader; reading and critiquing my work, as well as boosting me, inspiring to keep going. I receive so many kind words and support from a tremendous amount of people, and it drives me to continue! As for the writing itself, I absolutely draw on individuals’ personalities and lives to inject into my characters and stories.
What inspires you to write?
The challenge of taking the ideas in my head and translating them into a story or poem for someone else to enjoy is inspiring. Whether my writing inspires others, makes them think about something in a way they may not have otherwise thought, or for the simple joy of escape… that keeps me writing.
What was your writing catalyst?
I’ve had different stages in my life. It started with poetry in the 4th grade. Then I got hooked on reading romance, fell in love with Nora Roberts’s novels, and wanted to emulate her! The biggest catalyst was attending my first writer’s conference. Being around other creatives gave me the spark to say, “This is what I’m going to do!”
Tell us a little bit about your writing process?
My writing process is widely varied. I can take an idea from a dream and expand upon it. The dream may end up being the middle of the story, so now I have to create backstory, and then progress into something more. I used to be a very linear writer; starting at the beginning and going directly to the end. But over time, I’ve begun to jot down copious notes, build my characters, write scenes, and go back and forth adding depth and dimension to the stories. I had a 20K story unfold flawlessly in 10 days. And I’ve also had a story take months because it just didn’t want to end!
What would you say is most fulfilling about writing?
Getting published! Knowing that a publisher thought my stories were worthy enough to be published so they could be put in the hands of readers.
Does the addition of imagery help to tell your story?
Definitely. Without imagery, the story is flat. Being a reader myself, I want to feel as if I’m part of the story. I want to immerse my readers in my stories in order to feel the passion or heartache or triumph.
What is your favorite reading genre?
Anything romance! And the romance genre has so much to offer, from humor, real-life situations, suspense, mystery, and more.
What human being has inspired you the most?
I wish I could say something really profound, but honestly, my biggest inspiration came from my favorite romance author, Nora Roberts. And maybe that IS profound (to some); it certainly is to me. She was a mother raising her sons, looking for an outlet. Her romances took me on numerous, wondrous journeys. I thought, “I want to be able to do that!” Her stories seemed effortless, flawless, and evoked a myriad of emotions. Her dedication to her writing and the romance genre are beyond incredible, and my hope to achieve even a fraction of that is inspiring.
What message would you have for the Spillwords Press community that voted for you?
Heartfelt thanks!! Thanks for enjoying my work and thanks for the support! It’s a wonderful feeling when we lift one another.
What would you like your legacy as a writer to be?
I want my legacy to show I took my love of reading and turned it into a love of writing, to not only prove to myself that I could, but so others could enjoy. I want others to know that it’s never too late or impossible to pursue and achieve your dream. I’ve been writing for over 20 years, and only became published 2 years ago at the age of fifty! I hope to have many more years ahead of weaving stories.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Many thanks to everyone at Spillwords for all you do in order to get writers’ work visible for anyone to read! To the writers, keep writing. We may not always know the impact our work may have on someone; believe me, it does.
SEPTEMBER 2019 AUTHOR OF THE MONTH at Spillwords.com
While mostly writing contemporary romance, I also like to 'dabble' in poetry, with my love for it going back to the fourth grade. I'm a wife, mother, former U.S. Army, and currently a dental hygienist of eighteen years while pursuing my writing/publishing dreams. I reside in the pacific Northwest, and I love engaging with and supporting other writers.