Please welcome Laurie Stevens, author of The Dark Before Dawn and Deep into Dusk.
What’s your idea of a perfect day?
The weather is autumn cool, but the sun is out. I wake up and know I have nothing else to do today but write, go for a walk, bake something, and then write again. Then maybe go out for dinner with the husband and family or with a friend… or maybe not and just curl up with an old black and white movie, preferably something noir or something with Bette Davis in it. Did I mention anything about a spa? Because if I didn’t, that would be Perfect Day #2.
Do you have a signature accessory, color, fragrance, phrase, or meal?
I don’t wear perfume, unless it’s a special occasion. I like lotions that smell of coconut or vanilla so if you get real close, you’ll probably notice that. I look good in red but for some odd reason, those red clothes get ruined faster and I can’t seem to keep them. I refer to any cute animal (domesticated or wild) as a “Yee” and in regards to meals — I’m an equal opportunity eater.
Excluding family, name three people who either inspired you or influenced your creativity.
Stephen King: I love his use of inner dialogue and have made use of it myself.
Ben Franklin: That guy wore so many hats and yet, he was a human being. Amazing.
Ronald Jacobs: My mentor. Writer/Director/Producer for shows like “That Girl,” “I Spy,” “Mod Squad,” “Dick Van Dyke,” “Andy Griffith.” He helped bolster my confidence and encouraged the inner voice to shine.
Do you listen to music when you write?
No. But those walks I mentioned above? I listen to music in between writing to give me inspiration.
If your latest book were chocolate, what kind would it be and why?
Most definitely dark chocolate with nuts. (Because it’s dark and the characters have “mental issues.”)
What made you interested in writing this particular story?
Well, first off, the trauma that the main character suffered is weirdly prevalent in our human society and that drives me crazy.
Secondly, I think people really ought to address their issues rather than run from them, so I decided to write about this very serious journey of the main character. He is solving both a murder and his forgotten past at the same time.
What themes do you regularly (re)visit in your writing?
The fear we have in facing our fear. How every life experience can be looked at as a lesson.
Tell us about your main character’s psyche or personality. What led her (or him) to be the person s/he is today?
He’s damaged. A childhood trauma affected him — affected nearly every aspect of his life: work, relationships, etc. But he’s in therapy and he truly wants to better himself. It’s the “bettering” of himself that drives the plots of the books.
Describe your protagonist as a mash-up of three famous people or characters.
Bradley Cooper with dark hair (Silver Lining Playbook) Bruce Willis’ John McClane, Sherlock Holmes.
If you could host a mystery-author dinner party, who are the six writers (living or otherwise) you’d include?
Stephen King (so I could barrage him with questions), Thomas Harris, Jerzy Kosinski, Anne Rice, Jim Thompson, Joyce Carol Oates
What’s next for you?
I’m currently working on a screenplay, a novella, wrapping up the 3rd book in the series, and wishing Ben Franklin would give me some time-management hints!
Laurie Stevens is a novelist, screenwriter, and playwright. Her articles and short fiction have appeared in numerous publications. Her debut novel The Dark Before Dawn, is the first in a psychological suspense series. The novel earned the Kirkus Star and was named to Kirkus Review’s “Best of 2011/Indie.” Deep into Dusk is the second in the series. Laurie lives in the hills near Los Angeles with her husband and two children. To learn more about the author, visit her website at http://www.lauriestevensbooks.com.