Good morning, everyone. I come bearing a gift in the form of an interview. This time we're talking with a fabulous aspiring writer whom I got to know through a contest. She's so nice I had to introduce you all to her. Let's welcome Laura Sibson.
Hi, Laura! Tell the readers a bit about yourself.
How long have you been writing?
In my dreams? Since I was seventeen. In reality – about two years. I’d stopped and started many pieces over the years. Took writing classes but I never finished anything I started. Two years ago, something lit a fire under me. I understood how to frame a story and believed I could write it. And I did. I finished it last September but I can’t seem to stop fiddling with it.
What is the name and genre of the manuscript you're currently pitching?
DAUGHTERS OF BRIGIT is a young adult fantasy with a time-slip element. There’s some paranormal in there, too. And it’s mostly contemporary – except for, you know, the time slip element…
Here’s the part where you pitch it. What’s your story about?
Sounds intriguing! How did the idea of the story come to you?
Initially, it presented itself as a question about family traditions and what happens when traditions are no longer passed down. How is the next generation defined by that lack? Because I love fantasy, I began to frame it in terms of a family who stops teaching the next generation about their magical powers and what happens when two sisters learn about the magic but have no frame of reference for how it works or what could happen.
I’m currently working on a paranormal fantasy inspired by a Maryland ghost story. I also have a dystopian fantasy in which women rule the world. (I love the main character of that one but the plot needs some tweaking).
Do you have a critique group/partner or beta readers, or do you self-edit?
I can’t imagine doing this alone. I am surrounded by lots of people who help me through this process. A few are friends who just read for readability. Three are fellow writers with whom I share work. They always spot things that I’ve missed but also are able to identify what’s working.
What’s the hardest part of writing for you?
I'm with you there on all counts. You recently went to VCFA in Vermont. Can you tell us about that?
VCFA (Vermont College of Fine Arts) is amazing. It’s a two-year MFA program in writing for children and young adults. The ten days were packed with lectures on craft, writing workshops and readings. The people are amazing – many are already published but are there to improve nonetheless. Holly Black was the visiting writer for this residency and she spoke about world building. M.T. Anderson gave a reading that was worth the price of admission alone. If you want a place that will support and grow your writing and people that will geek out about kid lit as much as you – VCFA is the place to be.
Sounds incredible! Let’s get to know you on a deeper level. What do you absolutely have
to have nearby when writing?
If you could have any super power, what would it be?
Oooh, sheesh, you’d think that with all the superpowers I’ve given my characters, I would have thought about this one. The thing is that each of them has a drawback, right? But I think it would be handy to be able to apparate. No need for cars or quarters for parking. I like that.
After applying my favorite cantaloupe-flavored lipgloss, I cranked up my latest brilliant mash-up: Mozart meets Usher and practiced my breakdancing moves in the mirror.
Hehe, Mozart meets Usher? I'd love to hear that. Here’s the part where you thank the people who are supporting you. Whom would you like to give a shout out to?
My husband, my two kids – especially Mitch, the younger one, who lets me bounce plot ideas off of him. My critique partners, who are very talented writers: Morgan Baden and Christine Norris. And my friend, Lisa Maginnis, who heard my whispered confession that I wanted to write a book and then encouraged me to try. And you! I love the way my writing community has grown through ‘meeting’ writers on blogs and Twitter. It’s awesome!
And finally, where can people find you online?
Thank you so much for letting us get to know you, Laura. I wish you tons of success with your novels. I can't wait to read them!