Monday, May 4, 2009

Spotlight Shines on Laura Alice Eakes

Please tell us a little about yourself.

Answering this question always stumps me. Finding the focus for "a little" ends up feeling like that proverbial needle in the haystack. But I'll give it a shot:

As I do this interview, I am sitting in my sun porch office on the seventh floor of an urban high-rise overlooking a park and a Metro (subway) station. Books and cats surround me. It makes me sound like some eccentric old spinster lady, but I'm not. I'm married to a soon-to-be lawyer and we're about to see a great many changes in our lives with his new career launching. So my being an author helps, as it's a mobile career. Sadly, this takes me even further from my family than I already am. Family is important to both of us, yet circumstances keep taking us further away from them. So we are praying for one of our own.

What is your novel about?

Lily wants to get out of the small town and be around as many people as possible, as she is afraid of silence and being alone. Ben has traveled all his life and wants to settle down and start a family. Both seek a cache of lost gold, thinking it will give them the desires of their hearts. Instead, they find something far better.

Where can readers find you on the Web?

You can find me in two different places. At: I am posting a free read novel in serial format. I also blog about stuff, too. At you will find stuff about my publications and me and some useful research links.

What is the craziest thing you have ever done?

Packed up my worldly possessions, quit my job, and moved eight hundred miles from security because I just knew it was the right thing to do. As things turned out, it was.

Beside salvation, what is the best gift you have ever received?

My husband. I wasn't looking, yet there he was like a Christmas present in August.

Who is the most important influence in your life besides God?

My husband gets this one, too. I know I wouldn't be published today with out his encouragement and support and wisdom.

Let’s pretend money is not a factor, if you could go anywhere in the world where would you go?

I'd take a cruise to visit the places I'd like to see and never have—Italy, Greece, Wales, Spain. It would be a long cruise, since those countries are a bit disparate in location.

What book are you reading now? What books are found lying around your home?

I'm reading When the Heart Cries by Cindy Woodsmalll. I'm not really a fan of Amish books, but this one sounded a little different, so I decided to give it a try. It is certainly worth it.

What sorts of books? Lots of historical research books and various forms of dictionaries. Then there are my husband's law books, too.

What is your favorite children’s book?

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett, without question. In fact, I've been considering rereading it.

Tell us a little about your road to publication?

As with many writers, my road to publication was rocky. I'd wanted to be a writer for a long time, but had this little problem with finishing anything, then with finding research materials, then... The excuses mounted and it never happened. The desire to write remained, and I finally wrote some stuff. It was secular, though, and the Lord got ahold of my heart and said no, not this. So I wrote some more, learned about Christian fiction, finished grad school, endured a corporate job...

I got an agent by a purely God thing. I joined ACFW and a critique group. One of the people in the group was a new agent. Not knowing this, I'd sent a submission to the agency for which she worked. She told her boss about my work, how she liked it, and got my submission passed along to her. The rest is history. I sold my first book in 2005 and won the National Readers Choice Award for that book.

What are you working on next?

The Glassblower. This is the first book in the Heartsong Presents New Jersey historical series and is scheduled for a November 2009 release.

If your book was being discussed at a book club what do you think the focus of the discussion would be on?

Why we, as people, stray so easily from the Lord.

What would you like your readers to say about your writing?

It's so vivid they feel transported back to the time and place, as though they are interacting with the characters. And that they feel they learned something about themselves and their relationship to the Lord through the characters, without being preached at.

What are your pet peeves in the writing industry?

Oooo, this is a touchy one. I'll attempt to be tactful and diplomatic.
Right now, the spirit of negativity is rampant, so much so, it's become a cliché excuse for editors to reject manuscripts and authors to blame the publishers for not selling. In truth, fiction is selling well. Yes, advances are smaller, and this is difficult for authors to make any kind of money at it, and publishers are still buying books, buying books from new authors, too. Saying the industry is dying seems to me like trying to make excuses for not writing a sellable work. And, believe me, I'm not saying that because I find selling my work easy, because I don't. I'm saying it because I take each rejection as a challenge to improve my work, not to blame the market or the publishers for my lack of hitting the right chords.

What is your favorite verse from the Bible?

It's actually five verses, but I've never been able to pick which one to separate from this whole thought:

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written:
"For your sake we face death all day long;
We are considered as sheep to be slaughtered."[l] No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 35-39, NIV
Why? We live in a pretty harsh world. I'm in a big city, where people aren't very friendly, so, when the world is unforgiving and unkind, I know that, no matter how bad things can get, the Lord is constant in his love.

What do you want your readers to take away from your novel?

In all my novels, I wish people to take away this theme from my own life: Nothing can separate us from God's love. I write about forgiveness and being accepted and being obedient and all sorts of themes, but the underlying take-away is that, no matter what we do, no matter what we go through, God loves us and has a perfect plan for our lives.

1 comment:

sherrinda said...

I loved this interview! I feel like I got to know you better, Laurie! Don't you love it when God works through our connections with people, as He did with your crit partner and the agent? Thanks for sharing more of yourself!