Laura Wright has been writing for nearly twenty years. Her first publications began when she was in high school and have continued throughout her adult life. Wright has worked in various positions, including Staff writer, freelance writer, contributing writer, and Guest Columnist with numerous publications, including two in England and Scotland, during her career.
Wright began writing two weeks after the death of her father, at 13. Writing has taken her through the full spectrum with poetry, short stories, fiction novels, and non-fiction credentials.
Wright self-published several small books prior to acceptance with a publisher. Her first novel, While I’m Dying, was published as an ebook and gained over 1,000,000 pages read within two years. She is a staunch advocate for new methods and mediums in professional publication and encourages all authors to explore all publishing options with caution and objectivity.
Her second book, Timeslips & Terrors, is an anthology of horror and suspense stories. This is the first compilation of some of her more popular works. The stories in Timeslips span nearly fifteen years of writing. This book sold copies both nationally and worldwide.
Virginia Creeper is the third novel for Wright. Wright has several other books awaiting publication and continues to work on various first drafts. She has several new short stories and is working on a non-fiction book. Readers can enjoy the new fiction stories “Zimbiki” and “Kerosene,” both available for free at her web site.
Wright has operated the website, www.laurawrites.net, a free community for readers and writers, since 2002. She feels very strongly that information and education is vital to writers on every level. Laurawrites.net offers articles, research aides, and a host of free reading and activities for all visitors. Visitors can do everything from publish their first article to construct their own web site with the available information.
To celebrate the publication of Virginia Creeper, visitors can also take advantage of information at www.vacreeper.com. This web site is not only used in the novel, it features many resources for traditional horror fans and professionals.
Wright structures her writing time around her autistic child and family. She is an avid photographer and visitors are welcome to explore her new photography journal at www.Laurawrites.net/laura1.htm.
Wright has also opened up to readers about the private battles with autism and has started construction of the Laurawrites.net area devoted to autism. Visitors can look for the “Autistic Connections,” area to be complete by this fall.
Q & A with Laura Wright
Q: When did you decide you wanted to be a writer?
I usually felt like it “chose” me. I always dabbled in writing. When I was very little I used to exchange fairy tales I made up with another girl. We never wrote them down.
I’d always dabbled in it. But, it wasn’t until my father died that it really hit me. I was 13 and two weeks after his death, the Muse visited and never left. I started writing daily at that time. I’m now 31.
Q: How would you describe the genre in which you do most of your writing?
Anything weird or bizarre, to be honest. I can’t give a reason why. I think sometimes fiction is just a pastime I haven’t read anything categorized as “weird” or even “horrific” that can compare to many of the actions people take against one another in real life.
I have tried other genres, but failed in them all.
Q: Who is your target audience?
I don’t really have a target audience. I know grandmothers who read horror and people my age who can’t. I think it just depends on the person. I usually think what I write is somewhat “old-fashioned” because I love the psychological side of horror. I think gore and violence are both pretty boring without a good psychological thrill.
Q: What motivated you to start writing in this genre?
It was engrained in me at an early age. I live in an area where storytelling is still a pastime. My family usually told stories every Saturday night and most of them were supernatural in origin.
Q: Who would you say has influenced you the most?
This was far easier to answer when I started writing. I think after you’ve written a while, a sole influence just isn’t available. There are so many. I love Poe’s work for his imagery and suspense. He’s one of the authors I started with. Stephen King is a great author because of his realism. His characterization is tough to beat. He doesn’t write about fantasy people, he writes about people you could meet on the street.
I love Koontz’s work, but he’s very private and that shows in his work. King was poor before he became successful and he tells it like it is. No matter what, I always appreciate and respect that candid honesty. Many people are too afraid to discuss life before they became established.
Q: What are your main concerns as a writer?
Professional writers are too competitive for no real reason. I hate to see them turn on one another. We have, in America, a system of publishing that is supported solely by writers. The genres of writing tutorials, instructional guides, and manuals flood our book stores and shops. General readers aren’t interested in these non-fiction works. That means this whole industry is sustained and perpetuated by writers alone.
It makes me wonder just what writers could do if they would push the old ego aside and actually try to help one another. It’s horrible to see them turn on one another. You would think one book sale is going to pay for their retirement or something. Many authors act like there are simply hundreds of thousands of book sales on the line. That’s the farthest from the truth. Writers are always avid readers.
Q: How have your personal experiences influenced the direction of your writing?
Yes. It’s probably more than I should allow. But, writing is such a cathartic experience; it’s difficult not to get your own aggravations and problems out in the middle of a work.
Q: What would you say are the biggest challenges that you face?
Personally? Time management and promotion.
Q: How do you deal with these challenges?
The best ways possible, at the time. Since circumstances change so often, I don’t have a “set” method.
Q: How many books have you written so far?
Virginia Creeper (2007)
Penknife Press, Ltd.
Virginia Creeper is a fast-paced thriller than combines survival with determination. The heroine escapes after three weeks of brutal assaults that are broadcasted online. She returns home and heals. After weeks in the hospital, she discovers she didn’t end the game. It’s still raging on and she, alone, must bring down a multi-million dollar empire of human slavery and torture.
Timeslips & Terrors (2005)
Penknife Press, Ltd.
Timeslips & Terrors takes the readers on a wild ride through the Appalachian Mountains. These places aren’t mentioned in any tour guides. The itinerary in the book includes a stop in Last Chance, where there may be no return, and a visit to the Jungle, a strip club that isn’t what it seems. Spend an evening with the Spider and try to stay alive. There are over twenty short stories and two novellas awaiting the hapless reader.
While I’m Dying (2001)
Free-Fiction.com (Now Closed)
Karen leaves the monster wounded and escapes alive. She believes the worst is over and life will not be safe and secure. But, now, she must deal with the wrath of his vengeful family. Enemies are everywhere, false accusations are gaining ground, and she becomes the target of a multi-million dollar lawsuit from his vicious family.
Q: Do you write everyday? How much time do you spend on your writing?
Yes, daily. I don’t have a set schedule. I think schedules are important starting out, but you’ll eventually develop your own schedule and it won’t be ruled by a clock.
Q: Which aspects of the work that you put into the book did you find most difficult?
Any readers who enjoyed While I’m Dying will see some similarities in Virginia Creeper. I wrote Dying years ago and always knew there was more to it. There was a larger story involved. It took several years, but the story finally found its way out.
The most difficult part was letting go and allowing it to come. I kept inadvertently going back to the old story when I knew it was dated and lost its edge.
Q: Which did you enjoy most?
I loved letting go. I loved it when I could finally just let the story and become what it needed to be.
Q: What sets the book apart from the other things you have written?
The pacing. I think it moves much faster in Virginia Creeper and I love it. I love to read fast novels myself that keep the pages turning. Creeper is far more complex than most books I’ve written.
Q: In what way is it similar?
It is only similar in the supernatural elements of the story.
Q: What will your next book be about?
I have several I’m working on and I’m not sure which will be completed first. I have a thriller and several horror novels. I may even put together another short story anthology as I’ve recently had a burst of creative energy in short pieces.
Q: What would you say has been your most significant achievement as a writer?
My favorite “achievement” wouldn’t be regarded as an achievement to most, I don’t believe. I wrote a short story years ago titled “A Dead Rose.” This is one of the works in Timeslips.
I submitted it to a critique group shortly after writing it and received some feedback that overwhelmed me.
In the story, a woman can’t accept her husband’s death. He dies suddenly in a car accident and she absolutely refuses to believe it. She goes through much of the story waiting for him to come home from work. She won’t believe the doctors, doesn’t believe the funeral director, she didn’t view the body, she doesn’t believe it.
The person returning feedback lost their daughter, unexpectedly, and went through the same emotions and denial. I couldn’t believe that someone would relate so much to a character in something I’d written. I’m a mother and it cuts so deeply to see someone going through what is your biggest fear.
I was overwhelmed then and it still leaves me speechless.
I guess as for professional “achievement” my best is gaining over 1,000,000 pages read with While I’m Dying. It was out for two years and it shocked me that so many people read it. I loved it, though.
Q: How did you get there?
Please list any links you would like to include below your interview page!
All of my books have companion guides online. While I’m Dying and Timeslips are at my Laurawrites.net web site while Virginia Creeper has its own domain.
My Web Site: www.laurawrites.net
Virginia Creeper’s Web Site: www.vacreeper.com
MySpace: www.myspace.com/wickedambition (that address always gets a laugh)