Name: Laura Spinella (pen name L. J. Wilson)
Genre/s you write: Romantic Suspense, Women’s Fiction
Number of books out: 5
-What are you currently working on?
Right now I’m working on Ghost Gifts II—no official title yet! This is book two in the Ghost Gifts trilogy. I’m about half way through the initial draft, which means I’m consuming a lot of wine and wishing I’d paid more attention in math class.
No. Seriously, we’ll get there. First drafts are just the first seven rings of hell in book writing.
-How do you name your characters? What inspires it?
Ah, a happier question! What does inspire a character’s name? I’m an extremist when it comes to picking out the perfect name—well, perfect in my head. *Author note: I actually had an Amazon reviewer title her review: “I hate the name Aubrey!” Well, first rule of book writing, there’s no pleasing everyone.
Either a character’s name pops right into my head and it sticks: Aubrey Ellis (Ghost Gifts), Flynn (Beautiful Disaster), Aidan Royce (Perfect Timing), Rob Van Doren (Unstrung)
OR, this happens:
I wring my hands over a name until everyone I live with is name hunting too, if only to end the torment. Levi St John (Ghost Gifts)—the Levi part came easy, but his last name took forever. I think part of this is because I was now linking his name with Aubrey’s name. Since he is her love interest, it’s extra pressure and they have to “go together.”
One night I was out at a restaurant with my family and the subject came up again. My husband said he spoke with a client that day in London; his last name was St John. Since I’d already decided Levi’s father was British, it seemed like serendipity.
-What should we look for on previous/next releases?
Love this question!
Since I write under a pen name as well as my own name, I’m always excited for a chance to talk up my Clairmont Series novels. These are slightly steamier reads, but I think the stories are as intense as my mainstream Laura Spinella novels. The Mission, book two in the series came out in May. I know it earned a glowing 6/5 star review here!
I love writing the Clairmont stories. But these are essentially self-pub titles, so they’re a little trickier to connect with an audience.
That said, readers who enjoy hot romance would LOVE the Clairmont men—Alec, Aaron, Jake & Troy, as well as their tough but vulnerable sister, Honor. I hope to have book three out soon. L. J. Wilson has her own website, so please pop over and take a peek at these smokin’ hot, smart heroes, whose abs and stories will keep you turning pages!
-If you could switch places with one of your characters, who would it be?
Why did I choose this question? Umm…
Male characters, I’d have to switch it up with Aidan Royce in Perfect Timing. What the heck, he’s a rock star. Who doesn’t want to live that life?
Some days I wouldn’t mind being Ghost Gifts Aubrey—to have such a fantastic psychic gift. But that also comes with a lot of burden. Writing her can be exhausting. I can’t imagine living her life—well, actually, I suppose I can. Ultimately, I’d like to be Olivia Klein, my protagonist in Unstrung. I get her. She’s unpredictable, talented, giving in ways that matter to her, and doesn’t give a damn what the universe thinks. I could never master the last one, so I’m envious of her.
-Where are you from?
Great question. When I speak to people they’re forever concluding that I’m from: the South, Pennsylvania, New England, somewhere in the Midwest, or I could be from California. I’m actually from Long Island—the one accent nobody ever pegs me for! I consider myself an East Coast girl; I haven’t lived on the Island in many years, but I’ve never lived west of Boston either!
-How does an average day in your life look like?
Oh, you mean, like, from hour to hour? On most days, I write from about 7 a.m. to early afternoon. That’s pretty basic and boring—unless you catch me on a day where there’s a lot of out loud swearing. Some afternoons I work with a web developer, AuthorBytes. It’s a part time gig that I love; it keeps me in touch with “real people.” The best days are rainy days where I might spruce up and change pajama pants. Pajama pants are the secret decoder ring of writers.
-Are you married? Kids? or Planning on it?
Very. On both. I’ve been married for a l-o-n-g time to a great guy from Long Island and we have three technically adult children: an RN, law school student & musical theatre major (that was my brag moment). They all live at home, and we cohabitate well. If you can handle large doses of sarcasm, you can survive the Spinella house.
-What is your guilty pleasure?
Movies that would probably make you cringe. I love space movies—Apollo 13 and The Martian are two of my favorites. Why? I think because they’re about survival. You have to use your wits, plus design and implement a logical yet complex step-by-step strategy, all while keeping the audience highly entertained. It’s very much like writing a book.
If you love a love story, I’ve got you covered. Check out my first two books, Beautiful Disaster &Perfecting Timing. If you want romance and serious steam, please stop by the Clairmont house, located at L. J. Wilson.com. In the mood for romantic suspense? Then Ghost Gifts, a #1 bestseller might be the ticket for you.
As you can see, I’m that hybrid author you’ve heard tell of. I have a very cool gig going with Montlake—they publish the Ghost Gifts books, as well as Unstrung. It’s out in February, just in time for a cozy winter read! I also LOVE my Clairmont Series Novels, Ruby Ink and The Mission, which are a joint venture with my publishing partner.
I’m most grateful for the opportunity to share my books with readers. Thank you especially to blog spots like The Bookish Crypt and readers like Cassandra. I can’t overstate their importance to authors and book publishing in general.
I hope you’ll check out my novels. There’s a little something for everyone, no matter what genre you’re into. Except steam punk—I don’t know how to write that.
Many thanks for the chance to chat today! Wishing everyone a great read this weekend! Come visit me on any of the social media sites below! I LOVE to hear from readers!
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L. J. Wilson