Today we are happy to welcome author Laura Templeton. Her new novel, SUMMER OF THE OAK MOON, just released yesterday! Here's a tidbit about the book ....
Summer of the Oak Moon
Publication date: May 5, 2015
Publisher: Month9Books, LLC.
Author: Laura Templeton
When Jacob confesses that Tess’s uncle is trying to steal his family’s land, Tess comes face to face with the hatred that simmers just below the surface of the bay and marshes she’s loved since birth. With the help of her mentor Lulu, an herbal healer, Tess pieces together clues to the mysterious disappearance of Jacob’s father twenty-two years earlier and uncovers family secrets that shatter her connection to the land she loves.
Tess and Jacob’s bond puts them both in peril, and discontent eventually erupts into violence. Tess is forced to make a decision. Can she right old wrongs and salvage their love? Or will prejudice and hatred kill any chance she and Jacob might have had?
Hi Laura! Welcome to We Do Write. Tell us a bit about yourself.
Hi! Thanks so much for having me today!
I’m an animal lover who lives—quite happily--near Athens, Georgia, with my husband and son. I prefer to do my writing in the early morning hours, accompanied by a cat or two and my very sweet Bassett hound, Dudley. By day, I head operations for a medical device manufacturer. (I’ve worked there for seventeen years and still love it.) And on weekends, I enjoy gardening, taking long walks, and spending time with my family. I read—fiction and nonfiction—in every spare moment I can find. Summer of the Oak Moon is my second novel.
How did the idea of Summer of the Oak Moon come to you?
The idea to write a story about overcoming prejudice grew out of some reading I was doing about the civil rights movement. As I read, I thought about my own experiences growing up in the South, and I realized that I wanted to capture these elements in the form of a coming-of-age story. But it wasn’t until I could hear the voice of Tess and had a real sense of her character that I actually began writing the story. Her character and that of Lulu’s—another voice I “heard” early on—pulled the story along for me.
Ah! Those lovely voices in our heads. What would we do without them?
Are you a plotter or a pantser?
I am a rock-solid, hardcore pantser. I gape when I hear other writers talk about spending weeks planning out every scene and plot twist before they sit down to write. I fear that if I did that, I’d never write anything—I’d get bored to death! No, I plunge in with a general idea and go full steam ahead. Unfortunately, that makes for a LOT of rewriting.
What’s the hardest part of writing for you?
The hardest part for me is definitely plotting. I’m a character-driven writer, so developing my characters and making them come alive on the page is, I think, my strong point. Figuring out exactly what they need to be doing in any given scene is much harder. The plot usually only comes together after much rewriting and some quality input from others. I admire tightly plotted books, though. I know it’s much harder to produce that effect than some writers make it look!
What do you absolutely have to have nearby when writing?
A cup of tea is a must. Green tea first thing in the morning. Herbal tea otherwise. There’s something about having a hot drink at hand that is a necessity for me. And if it’s early morning (which it usually is) a candle helps get me in writing mode. Also, a notepad is a must. I jot little notes to myself as I’m writing—things to research, plot points to further develop, questions to run down. That way, when I’m writing and I can’t remember the name of that odd character from chapter one, I don’t have to stop and look it up. I note the page number and find it later.
What are you reading right now?
Sixty Million Frenchmen Can’t Be Wrong by Jean-Benoit Nadeau and Julie Barlow. It’s a fascinating glimpse into what makes the French tick.
If you could have any super power, what would it be?
Hmmm ... I think it’d have to be super-acute vision. I’ve worn glasses (or contacts) since first grade, and my eyesight is really bad. Just seeing normally would be a super-power to me!
What's the weirdest thing you've googled?
Ha! When you’re writing a story, you Google some pretty weird things, trust me. Once, I spent a great deal of time researching old covered bridges and trying to figure out how you could hide a body under one. I joked to my husband that I hoped the FBI didn’t show up at the house, since I was Googling terms like “hiding a body under a bridge” and “murders involving covered bridges.” (I guess this is a potential future spoiler, as I still may use this some day!)
Finish this sentence: If I'm not writing, I'm probably ...
Working in my garden. Like Tess in Summer of the Oak Moon I love my garden. I don’t grow many vegetables (they don’t seem to like me and the local farmer’s market is so convenient) but my garden has a fairly wide variety of perennials, a fountain, and an ornamental pond with goldfish. Keeping it weeded is a full time job in itself!
That is a true statement. And also why I have a weed "garden".
Here’s the part where you thank the people who are supporting you. Let's hear your shout outs.
Any list must be topped by my husband and son. They are the ones most directly affected by my writing. I’ve lost count of how many dinners my husband has cooked and cleaned up so that I could have time to write. And how many times he’s pulled the weeds in the garden. And gotten ready for out-of-town guests. And ... the list is endless. He is awesome. So is my son, who’s put up with long discussions about plots and hand wringing about my writing insecurities. Second to them would be my coworkers and extended family, all of which have been so supportive of my writing that it amazes and humbles me.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Laura Templeton lives near Athens, Georgia, with her husband, son, and a menagerie of animals. When she’s not writing, she enjoys gardening, learning to figure skate, and taking long walks on the quiet country roads near her home. Something Yellow is her debut novel, and her creative nonfiction has appeared in various publications.