I'm so excited today to introduce you to a new author, my friend and chapter mate, Laura Welling. Laura is here to tell us about her wonderful debut novel, Talent to Burn. Check out her first cover below. I just love it.
Since Laura has been so kind to answer all my questions, I'll try not to ramble on and get right to the interview. Laura, I can't thank you enough for being here today. This is such an amazing time in your life and I wish you great sales and look forward to news about your next book.
So Laura, please tell us when did you realize you wanted to be a writer?
I have been writing books since I was four years old, so I don't
remember not being a writer! It's part of my identity.
What do you like best about being a writer? What do you like the least?
The best part is having written. No, seriously – I really enjoy coming
up with ideas, and writing my characters into a corner, so I can get them back
The worst part…some days you have to force the words out whether you
want to or not. The funny thing is that those scenes that are the hardest to
write are sometimes the best to read. The good stuff is always the hardest.
Writing does take a serious level of discipline, doesn't it. How do you think your life experiences have prepared you for a writing career?
My mother's family is a family of
storytellers. There are hundreds of them, and they are Irish, so they all talk
at once, and everything is filled with great drama and humor. I always loved
stories, and loved books, and I can't imagine not being a storyteller myself.
Your family sounds amazing. I would just love to sit at your family's dinner table. Now that you have gone through the writing process from creation to publication, if you had one take away piece of advice for authors, what would it be?
Perseverance is the most
important skill. I see it over and over: if you keep at it, you will get
published, you will get better with each book.
Now on to your book:
What genre(s) do you write in?
Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance
Tell us about your newest book release, Talent To Burn.
Talent to Burn is my first published novel, and the first
book in the Hidden Talents series. It's an urban fantasy story about people
with psychic Talents and the shadowy organization that's trying to exploit them
– kind of an X-Men-meets-The-X-Files if you will!
It's the story of Catrina "Cat" Wilson, who ran away from the secret government-sponsored Grey Institute for Talent research when she was eleven, because she had no apparent Talent and was being used as an experimental guinea pig. Her brother Eric, a powerful firestarter, stayed behind.
At the start of the book Cat is approached by the hero, Jamie – even
though she's spent her whole life on the run, he's tracked her down with his
Talent for finding people. He represents a group of misfit Talents and he
brings the news that her brother has left the Institute, lost control of his
Talent, and killed a bunch of people. Jamie wants Cat to help him track down
Eric before the Institute catches up with him, and before he kills again.
Laura, that sounds exciting. I can't wait to read it. Tell us a little
bit about how you came to write Talent
To Burn. What was it about this story that captured your imagination so
completely, it drove you to create an entire novel around it?
Many things that
were in my internal zeitgeist at the time came together to make this book. I
was interested in what it would be like to spend your life in hiding, which is
what the heroine has done. I've always wanted to write about psychics or
supers. It seemed natural that in the political climate of the last few years
that the government would want to resurrect a psychic research program as a
secret weapon against terrorism. And then I had the fun of mixing it up – the
"good" guys are on the run, and the "bad" guys are what
you'd normally consider good guys.
What kind of
research did you do to prepare for Talent To Burn?
I read up on
government and military use of psychics: the Remote Viewers and so on. There's
some fascinating stuff, and it all provided a backdrop for the book.
Now for a fun
What is the theme song to this book? As you wrote the
story, what music did you go back to time and time again?
It was "Chasing Cars" by Snow Patrol. Love this
I love Snow Patrol too and they make a regular visits on my play list. What is up next for you?
I'm working on the sequel to Talent To Burn, which is tentatively titled Talent To Kill. It's a lot of fun!
I love the new title of your work in progress. Again, Laura, I can't thank you enough for being here today. Have a wonderful release day, enjoy your moment because you have worked so very hard for it.
Laura has been kind enough to share the blurb and an excerpt of Talent to Burn.
Here's a Blurb of Talent to Burn
Passion burns. Betrayal scars.
Cat Wilson grew up a misfit among misfits. She couldn’t read minds, see the
future, or start fires like the other Talented kids inside the shadowy Grey
Institute. Finally she ran, leaving her beloved brother, Eric, behind. She’s
been running ever since.
When she learns that Eric has escaped, leaving deadly fires in his wake, Cat
is torn between fear for her brother, and unwanted attraction to the messenger,
a charming, Talented ex-con who lives for the next adrenaline rush.
Jamie Murphy is sure his group of outcast Talents can help Eric—if they can
get to him before the cops or the Institute, and before he kills again. Cat’s
aversion to Talented bad boys is like a wall of ice, but to his surprise, he
doesn’t have to use an ounce of his own unique gift to find a way through it.
Yet locating Eric is only the beginning. In the battle to pull him back from
the brink, Cat must find the courage to unlock a fearsome Talent of her own.
And pray the psychic backdraft doesn’t destroy everyone she loves.
The place held echoes of a thousand
other bars, although the fire had painted everything black. The cheap tables
looked worse for wear, lopsidedly melted. The bar still stood, and was toward
the back of the venue, with a line of bar stools in front of it.“Do you know much about fires?”
Jamie asked.“Nothing technical.”“Look, here,” he said, gesturing at
the remnants of what had been bar stools. “See how these have melted, but this
one at the end is intact?” I looked where he pointed. A fan of burn marks
spread out from the untouched stool.“I guess Eric must have been
sitting there.” I rubbed at my arms, which were covered in goose bumps.
Thinking about what had happened here made my stomach twist. God, I hoped I
wouldn’t vomit. People had died here, right where I stood. I cringed inwardly.
“You think he burned them where they sat drinking?”“That adds up with what we heard in
the initial reports. One minute it’s a normal night out, and then everybody—and
everything—is on fire.” He paused, looking around, but his expression was
neutral. “I wonder what happened then. I guess Eric took off.”I tried to imagine what could have
caused my brother to start the fire. Had someone attacked him? Was it some kind
of freak accident? “If you’d started this fire, what would you do next?”Jamie looked directly at me. “I’d
run like hell and hope the cops never found me. Do you see anything else?”“A lot of mess and water and
charcoal.” I closed my eyes. I couldn’t close out the smells, or the images of
horror filling my mind. I could never un-see this.“I mean, do you see anything?”I fought the urge to punch him. “I
never see anything. I’ve told you
before.”“Sorry,” Jamie said. “I know this
must be harrowing for you.”His hand landed on my bare arm, hot
against my skin, and I plunged into a waking dream.
Here is a little peek about Laura Welling:
When’s she’s not writing, Laura Welling wears a lot of other
hats: mother, farmer, and software engineer. She's Australian but lives in the
United States on a horse farm, which she shares with her family, an over-sized
dog, and various horses, cats and chickens. She is a compulsive reader of all
genre fiction, who started reading before the age of two, and never stopped.
She wrote her first “book” when she was five—a spy story, which has since been
joined in a bottom drawer by various other early attempts.
This book was inspired by some of her favorite stories: Anne
McCaffrey’s science fiction novels, Marvel’s X-Men comics, and The X-Files
Where to find Laura Welling and her debut novel, Talent to Burn:
Talent To Burn Buy Links: