Q&A With Laurie Elizabeth Flynn

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Q&A With Laurie Elizabeth Flynn 

My next guest for a Q&A is with author Laurie Elizabeth Flynn! Laurie is the author of Last Girl Lied To, Firsts, All Eyes On Her, The Girls Are All So Nice Here & coming out on August 13th 2024 Till Death Do Us Part. 

Q: Laurie, would you like to tell the readers of the blog and I a little bit about your upcoming release Till Death Do Us Part? What makes it unique from the other books you’ve written?

A: Hello, thanks for having me on the blog! I’d love to share more about Till Death Do Us Part. It’s set in the vineyards of Napa Valley and asks the question: what if the husband you thought died years ago shows up alive? June’s husband, Josh, died on their honeymoon, but ten years later, she sees his photo on the website for a winery in Napa, and goes there to find answers… but she’s not prepared for the truths she uncovers in the process. It has dual timelines—one in the present tense, and one in 1999-2000, and two narrators. It’s unique from my other books in that I’d say it’s more mature in tone and theme. The main characters are in their late 30s and early 40s, and the themes reflect the issues often faced by women in that age group, including regret, second chances, marriage, and motherhood. 

Q: When did you feel the call to be an author? 

A: I’d say back in the fourth grade, when I began writing my own (very long, very detailed!) stories. I wrote down that year that I wanted to be a writer, and that desire never left me. 

Q: Are you currently writing your next book? If so, can you reveal anything about it or is it too early to say? 

A: I am, but it’s too early to say much about it! What I will share is that these characters, and this story, have been marinating in my head (and my notebook, and Notes app) for a very long time, and the longer I’ve let it sit, the more detailed and fleshed out it has become. I feel like I am finally equipped to write this story, and I’m excited (and nervous!) to fully dive in and do it justice. 

Q: Is it fair to say that you pull bits and pieces of real people and places to create the characters and worlds within your novels? 

A: Absolutely… I think inspiration can come from everywhere. I have multiple folders on my phone, and physical notebooks, with random notations, idea fragments, character names… I just record anything that I think could possibly lead to something, and when it comes time to sit down and brainstorm for a new book, I have a trove of material to comb through and see if any of it works and gives me that gut feeling that I need to write it. It could be an interesting setting, a cool job, a headline I saw on a news website… anything that piques my attention. It might lead to nothing, but I fully believe that staying open and attuned to inspiration, and having a wide net of possible ideas, is important when it comes to creating stories. 

Q: The Girls Are All So Nice Here has been optioned by AMC. Have they started writing, casting, or filming the television series yet?

A: I don’t have any updates… Having a book optioned is very exciting, but there’s never any guarantee that it will get made, despite all of the wonderful and talented people working hard to make it happen. Those factors are beyond my control, so I focus on being grateful for each step in the process. 

Q: Since The Girls Are All So Nice Here has been optioned by AMC, has Hollywood adapted the rest of your work for movies or television?

A: Not yet! But hopefully in the future (fingers crossed). That would be such a dream!

Q: What would you be doing right now if you weren’t an author?

A: That’s a great question! I do a lot of arts and crafts with my kids, so maybe I’d have some kind of website with different tutorials for children’s creative activities. 

Q: Have you ever doubted your ability to write? If you have, what would be great advice to tell someone who wants to write doubts their writing ability?

A: Oh, yes. To be honest, I still doubt myself on a regular basis. I’m not sure that ever really goes away. I no longer doubt my ability to write and finish a book—I have done that enough times to know it’s doable—but with each book, I doubt my ability to pull off the idea the way it looks in my head. I’m a perfectionist, and this can be detrimental to my work, because I question everything before I even let it have a chance to get on the page. The only way I’m able to get over this is to outrun the doubt. I set a schedule for a fast first draft, and write quickly enough that I keep momentum going and don’t give the doubt a chance to set in. I let that first draft be messy and contain a lot of [ADD DETAILS LATER], but I get my ideas out, and remind myself that I can fix the issues later, but what I can’t fix is something that isn’t there. Nobody sees my first drafts but me: this allows me to take the pressure off and write without inhibitions. There’s a saying that a first draft only has to exist, and I tell myself this often. 

For any writer doubting their ability, you are not alone! My advice is to let yourself make a wholly imperfect mess with that first draft. Don’t compare it to someone’s finished product. The books you see on shelves have gone through extensive revision. Don’t put pressure on yourself to make your book amazing on the first try. Once you lose that expectation, you free yourself up to a world of exciting possibilities. 

Q: What advice would you give to aspiring and new authors on how to deal with negative reviews, online trolls & family and friends who aren’t supportive of their writing goals?

A: I would advise them to remind themselves that your book won’t be for everyone, and that’s okay! Do whatever you need to do to protect your mental health, which might include staying away from review sites and limiting time on social media. When I first started writing with the goal of publication, I was afraid to tell people because I didn’t want to hear any negative thoughts about how impractical that dream was, or how hard it was to get published. I only told my husband, my immediate family, and close friends what my goals were, because I knew they’d support me no matter what. It was what I needed during that time to protect my creativity and not allow any interference. The writing community is a wonderful, welcoming space, and I was grateful to make friends online who are some of my closest friends today. I encourage every aspiring or new author to find that online community and get involved, because having people who understand what you’re going through is invaluable!