Monday, December 28, 2015

5 Questions from the Porch Swing for Laurie J. Edwards

What have you written? My writing’s pretty eclectic so I write under different pen names. I began by writing nonfiction for children and teens, so I have titles such as Pirates Through the Ages and Encyclopedia of Native American Tribes as well as more than 2200 articles in magazines and educational databases. I also write stories for anthologies (Love & Profanity is the latest), and I illustrate picture books. The Teeny Tiny Woman, a picture book I illustrated was chosen for the Billion EBook Gift initiative, so 200 million copies of the book will be given away to promote literacy.

As Erin Johnson, I write the WANTED series for teens. The series is set in the Wild West, and the first two books, Grace and the Guiltless and Her Cold Revenge, are out now. Two more books will follow.

Presently, I’m writing the Amish series SISTERS & FRIENDS for Charisma House. The first book, Change of Heart, debuts in May 2016. Buried Secrets releases in Fall 2016, and Gift from Above will be out in Spring 2017.

What do you read? My reading’s as eclectic as my writing. I’m a big fan of young adult novels because I like the fast pace and emphasis on emotion. I also pore over picture books, studying both the art and writing. As far as adult books, I read a lot of nonfiction and literary fiction. But when I want to relax, I pick up a mystery novel or a romance. I also love humorous books.

Why do you write? I began writing to keep my sanity when my 5 children were age 8 and under. Over time, it became a habit and was something I loved to do.

I once read that any time you write, you’re doing it to work out internal problems or deal with past issues and lay them to rest. Often when I begin a book, I don’t know that’s my intent. Yet later I can
look back and see how each particular book related to my life in some way.

Fun writing factoid (not technically a question, I know): I prefer to write in bed from midnight to 3 AM.

One more thing: I came to writing after being a reader, a teacher and then a librarian. I find that many voracious readers and people who gravitate to professions that involve learning and books often harbor a secret desire to write, but think they aren’t good enough. If that’s you, I challenge you to put pen to paper and try. Writing is skill that can be learned, like riding a bicycle, and if you're a reader, you have an innate sense of story.