Do you find that inspiration strikes you in specific places or do ideas come to you everywhere?
I often get ideas when I am doing something else rather than trying to write - particularly if I am walking somewhere alone or out running (something I don't do often enough!). Inspiration also tends to strike me when I'm in the bath, and I often find myself having to get out and find a pen and paper before I forget whatever it is I've come up with.
What do you usually do after you get the first spark of a fresh idea, is it straight to the computer to write the first chapter or straight to a notebook to start planning?
A bit of both. I like to have at least a vague plan - to know where I'm going, even if I don't know how I'm going to get there. But sometimes if there's a certain scene that's nagging at me to be written I'll just sit down and write it and see where it goes. Often something will happen that I hadn't planned and wasn't expecting.
How long does you first draft usually take to write?
I wrote the first draft of Friend Request in about five months (whilst working as well). The first draft of my second book is still a work in progress and I think it's going to take me longer even though I'm now writing full time. It's definitely very different writing something that you know will be read!
Do you celebrate when you finish your first draft and if so how?
I honestly can't remember if I celebrated with Friend Request. This time I think a glass of something will definitely be required!
Is it straight to editing or do you leave your manuscript a while before you pick up the red pen?
With Friend Request, I was lucky enough to get my agent not long after I finished my first draft, so the first edits I did were hers. This time, I'll be sending it to her and to my editor, so I'll probably leave it alone while they are reading it and then set to work on their edits when I get them.
How long do you spend editing before your book is handed over to the printers?
With Friend Request, I did three rounds of edits with my agent before she felt it was ready to submit to publishers. There were then several rounds of further edits with my editor before it was ready to go out into the world.
At what point, prior to publication do you ind the nerves start to kick in or do you not get nervous in the approach to publication?
I definitely started to feel nervous when the proof copies went out and I knew ACTUAL PEOPLE were reading it! It's a very strange feeling as a debut author - no one had ever read what I'd written before, and I hadn't really imagined anyone ever would. Waiting for those early reviews was a nail-biting time!
How does it feel when the early reviews start to come in?
I was very fortunate in that the reviews were positive, so it was absolutely wonderful. To read that people had enjoyed the book that I had written was the most amazing feeling. I just hadn't realised before what an amazing community of bloggers and reviewers there is out there - that they had taken the time to write about my book and how it connected with them - it was just awesome. I feel incredibly grateful.
How long do you wait after finishing your book before starting on your next project?
I started Book 2 pretty much straight away, but I had a few false starts before I settled on the idea that I'm now working on.
And finally how do you celebrate publication day?
For Friend Request, I had not one but two book launches - one in my local Waterstones and one in London. I figured I was only going to be launching my debut novel once in my lifetime, and I'd certainly waited long enough for it, so it deserved to be done in style! Both launches were wonderful celebrations with family and friends, wine and cupcakes with mini edible versions of my book on them!
Thank you so much Laura for taking the time to answer my questions, you can purchase Laura's debut novel Friend Request by clicking HERE
You can follow Laura on Twitter by clicking here: @laurajm8
ABOUT THE BOOK
Maria wants to be friends.
But Maria is dead...isn't she?
When Louise Williams receives a message from someone left long in the past, her heart nearly stops.
Maria Weston wants to be friends on Facebook.
Maria Weston has been missing for over twenty-five years. She was last seen the night of a school leavers' party, and the world believes her to be dead. Particularly Louise, who has lived her adult life with a terrible secret.
As Maria's messages start to escalate, Louise forces herself to reconnect with the old friends she once tried so hard to impress. Trying to piece together exactly what happened that night, she soon discovers there's much she didn't know. The only certainty is that Maria Weston disappeared that night, never to be heard from again - until now....
THE ADDICTIVE PSYCHOLOGICAL THRILLER THAT EVERYONE'S RAVING ABOUT - perfect for fans of He Said/She Said, The Couple Next Door and I See You.