Last week I reviewed Keen by Laura L. Zimmerman, and this week I have the pleasure to interview her! In addition to being a talented writer, Zimmerman is a full-time mom and home educator to her youngest child located in North Carolina. Some fun facts about Zimmerman are that she has no self-control when it comes to buying books and she is always learning something new! Read our full interview below to learn more!
Q) What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
A) Other than reading and writing (tee-hee), I’m learning to crochet and knit, and I take ASL classes. You can usually find me watching a movie with my daughters or hanging at the coffee shop.
Q) How long have you been writing?
A) My first book I wrote was around age seven, and I used my Fashion Plates art kit to make the illustrations for “Attack of the Killer Tomatoes.” Throughout school I continued to write short stories but always looked at it as just a hobby. It wasn’t until after I had my third child that my husband encouraged me to “do something” with the books I write. I never imagined this would become my career!
Q) Why do you write?
A) I come from a family of storytellers. There’s never been a time when I haven’t been dreaming up a story or telling others about the ideas I have. I write to stay sane. It’s not only a way for me to let my creativity flow, but it’s also a form of therapy for me. Every time I finish writing a novel, I see my brain working out things that I’ve been dealing with and coming to a point of healing.
Q) What are your top three favorite books and why?
A) My favorite books are To Kill A Mockingbird and Pride and Prejudice. Two completely different novels, but they appeal to different parts of my personality! I enjoy the old school romance and snark of Pride and Prejudice, but I’m also drawn to the growth of innocence and the subject of injustice within the pages of To Kill A Mockingbird.
Q) Describe yourself in three words.
A) Eccentric, loyal, adventurous
Q) What song would be your life’s theme song?
A) (Only one?! Eep! Lol.) It depends on my mood. “Footloose” for when I want to dance and I’m in a goofy mood. “A Million Dreams” inspires me and makes me happy. And “Let it Be” reflects a meditative mood for when I just need to be still.
Q) Who is someone that inspires you?
A) A lot of others in the bookstagram community on Instagram. I’ve enjoyed getting to know authentic women who share their struggles and support those around them. To be accepted for who I am and know there are others who will have my back is an amazing support. Some of my closest friends come from bookstagram!
Q) What inspired Keen?
A) This was a mixture of both of my teenagers. The idea for the story came from my middle daughter, because she was watching Teen Wolf at the time, which is where I came up with writing about a teenage banshee. Caoine herself is based on my oldest daughter’s personality.
Q) I’ve never discovered a book about a banshee before. What reading and/or lore helped you write your story about Caoine?
A) I researched a number of books and online sources regarding faeries and banshees. Each culture has varied lore about faeries so I decided to combine a few different basic myths to create my own fantasy world. In some cultures banshees are considered faeries and in others they aren’t. But I liked the idea of including faeries and having the Unseelie and Seelie Realms open for exploration in my books.
Q) Can you give readers a hint to what they can expect in Lament, book 2 of the Banshee Song Series?
A) Yes! Keen takes place in the Mortal Realm in a high school. Lament takes the reader on a journey into the Unseelie Realm where they’ll get to meet a variety of colorful characters! While Caoine makes this journey on her own, she makes new friends (and enemies) that will return for book three in the series, Silence!
Q) Can you tell readers about your current WIP (Writing in Progress)?
A) Aside from revising Silence, I’m also working on a middle grade mystery book that I hope to release in late fall. And I’m revising a young adult historical fantasy that takes place in 19th century Germany about a boy with no memory that stumbles into the town of Nuremberg.
Q) What goals do you have for your writing?
A) My goal is to write what is on my heart. Like I said, it’s a form of therapy for me. If others read my books and enjoy them, then I’m even happier! I also hope to inspire young people to love themselves for how God made them, and to know that they can make a difference in this world.
Q) You are an indie published author. Will you tell us a little about your experience?
A) I’m published through L2L2 Publishing, which is a small indie press. I’ve loved this experience because the press is small enough that I’m very much involved in picking the cover and the editing process of the manuscript, which isn’t always the case with a bigger publisher. And it’s been nice having a publisher to help guide me through the process of releasing a book, especially when I didn’t know what to expect! For my middle grade series, I’ll be self-publishing that myself this fall. So far I’m enjoying the process of having total control and being able to choose who I want to work with creatively on this project. And I love that I can set my own timeframe for deadlines!
Q) May I ask how your religion and your writing intersect?
A) I’m a Christian, which heavily influences what I write. Although I don’t write traditional Christian stories that revolve around God, His thumbprint will always be in my work, because it’s already on my heart. Most themes that appear in my books are biblical but also include the struggles we face in our current world. I don’t do this on purpose, but my Christian perspective always bleeds through into my writing. I especially love using the creativity God gave me to write fantasy and sci-fi. Our God is a creative God who made a beautiful world and I’m overjoyed that He gave us that same creativity when it comes to our passions!
Q) Will you tell us a little about your own faith journey?
A) Although I grew up in church, I didn’t have a solid Christian influence in my life until I was 11 years old. My Sunday School teacher really encouraged me on my journey to know Jesus. My faith only grew stronger throughout high school and college. I met my husband in YWAM (Youth With A Mission), a missionary organization that I was part of for 2 1/2 years in my early twenties. Since that time we’ve attended churches of many different denominations, from large churches to house churches. We’ve settled in a small non-denominational church for now but are always open to a new adventure from God!
Q) What advice would you offer aspiring authors?
A) Don’t stop writing! We all hit writing slumps and can get down at times (especially when it comes to rejections!) But do your best to stop the comparison game and focus on the “why” of your writing. You’ll have good days and bad days, but in the end, your writing is yours. Nobody can take that away from you.
Q) Is there anything else you would like to add?
A) Only to say thank you for having me on your blog today! I’d love to answer any questions any of your readers might have. Feel free to drop me a line!
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