Posted On February 23, 2011 by Print This Post

Laurie London, Debut Author of Bonded by Blood

Laurie, welcome back to RU! We’ve missed you since December :). The RU crew is so excited about the recent release of Bonded by Blood, and we appreciate your visiting with us because I know you’ve been busy lately! Everyone loves a success story, and we want to hear yours today.

RU Crew, Laurie’s being uber-sweet today and giving away a package of three signed books! Be sure to answer her question at the end of the interview in your comment!

Thank you, Kelsey, for having me on again. I’ve missed all of you too!

Kelsey: How many manuscripts did you write before you sold?

Laurie: Although I don’t want to discourage anyone who has been writing for awhile, this is the first manuscript I finished that I actually thought had potential. The others are more like first drafts or were never finished.

Kelsey: How long was it from the time you began writing seriously and the time you sold?

Laurie: About eighteen months.

Kelsey: Why do you think this particular manuscript sold?

Laurie: It was a combination of timing and my editor liking my writer’s voice. My publisher had been actively looking for a dark vampire romance for some time. When my manuscript landed on my editor’s desk, she told me that she forgot she was an editor and got swept up in the story. I guess that’s a good thing. :)

Kelsey: What surprised you about the sell?

Laurie: I’m so glad I listened to myself and not what others (even industry professionals) were saying about the vampire craze being over. Because I LOVE vampires, I went with my gut and wrote the kind of book I enjoy reading. Turns out other readers still love vampires too.

Kelsey: What challenges have you faced since “the call” you didn’t realize you would encounter?

Laurie: I was surprised how much time all the other “stuff” takes.

Social networking—yeah, we know it can take time, but now that readers are contacting me (wow, what a thrill that’s been), I spend more time doing it. I really need to learn to manage my time better in this area, but I just have so much fun chatting with new people.

Then there’s the blog tour. My Bonded By Blood blog tour (sounds like a band on tour—which, by the way, there is a band called Bonded By Blood and they are actually on tour right now!) has over 35 stops in 6 weeks. Because I’m not a speedy writer, writing all those posts takes a lot of time, even though I started early. If I’m unfamiliar with the blog, I go back in and read a few other author posts to get a feel for what the blog readers expect. Are they serious and literary, or are the goofy and fun? Is it a reader-focused blog or a writer-focused blog? This kind of research takes time.

Kelsey: Is there anything you wished you’d done before you sold?

Laurie: It’s weird, but I can’t really think of anything I’d do differently. My work habits and familiarity with social networking had already established before I sold, so it wasn’t like I suddenly panicked. Prior to selling, I didn’t have a website or blog, but that obviously didn’t hurt me. The promo aspect of it has been eye-opening, but to spend much time on specifics prior to selling doesn’t really make sense to me.

Wait, I can think of one thing. I didn’t buy my domain name soon enough, so I had to add “Books” to the end of my URL. However, I did keep tabs on it, and when it expired, I snapped it up. Now both URLs (LaurieLondon and LaurieLondonBooks) will get you to my site, so I guess it all worked out anyway.

Kelsey: What’s your best advice for writers who are still waiting to sell?

Laurie: Because things happened fairly quickly for me, I’m not sure how sound or helpful my advice will be. Putting myself into someone else’s shoes who hasn’t gotten their big break yet and knowing what I know now, I’d say this:

1. Don’t assume you’re getting rejected because your writing sucks. It could simply be because what you’re writing isn’t big with readers right now.

2. If you love a particular subgenre but everyone says it’s on the decline, you have a choice to make. Either listen to them (they could be right) and work on something else OR go with what feels right to you (like I did). I’ve been told a number of times that there’s always room for a new or unique voice, no matter if the genre is hot or not.

3. That being said however, don’t be afraid to try something new. Maybe your voice is better suited for YA for instance, or vice versa. Finish that manuscript, polish it up, but when you start submitting it, work on something completely different. When my vampire romance was out to a few agents and then later when it went out on submission to editors, I worked on two different non-vampire paranormal romances (a contemporary and a historical) as well as a YA.

4. Continue to work on your craft. Because my schedule has been kind of crazy lately with book launch stuff, it’s been awhile since I’ve taken a writing class. I can’t wait till things slow down a little so that I can fit in an online class or two.

Kelsey: Do you have anything else you’d like to share with the Romance University readers?

Laurie: I just wanted to say thank you again to all the RU readers for following me on my Debut Author’s Journey. Your enthusiasm and support has meant the world to me. I can’t wait until we’re celebrating the release of YOUR books.

Kelsey: And last, will you tell us all about your debut book?

Laurie: Well, it’s about vampires. ;-) Here’s the back cover copy:

Deep within the forests of the Pacific Northwest, two vampire coalitions battle for supremacy—Guardian enforcers who safeguard humanity and Darkbloods, rogues who kill like their ancient ancestors.

Movie location scout Mackenzie Foster-Shaw has always known that she’s cursed to die young. No one can protect her from the evil that has stalked her family for generations—vampires who crave her rare blood type. Until one afternoon in a wooded cemetery, she encounters an impossibly sexy stranger, a man she must trust with her life.

For Dominic, a man haunted by loss, Mackenzie satisfies a primal hunger that torments him—and the bond they share goes beyond heat, beyond love. She alone can supply the strength he needs to claim his revenge. But in doing so, he could destroy her…

*******************************

And because I love RU so much…

Remember me telling you in one of my Debut Author Journey posts about my plotting group called the CherryPlotters?

I decided to give away not only a signed copy of Bonded By Blood to an RU reader who answers the following question, but that person will also win signed books from the three other published authors in the group. Undertow by Cherry Adair, Borrowed Stilettos by Rebecca J. Clark, and Chances Are by Shelli Stevens. Another member of our group, Kira Brady, just sold, but her first book won’t be out for awhile.

And that question is…

Can you tell me one positive thing you’re doing this year (or plan to do) that has helped your writing?

Thank you, everyone!

~Laurie

***

Be sure to stop by tomorrow for two very special posts. During the day, you can read an excerpt from one of Edie Ramer’s latest books and then join an author chat with her later in the evening. Check the sidebar in this post for more info on the chat!

Laurie’s Bio:

A graduate of Western Washington University with a BA in Business Administration and a former tester/programmer for a Fortune 500 company, Laurie London  writes from her home near Seattle where she lives with her husband and two children.

She is a member of Romance Writers of America®, Greater Seattle Area RWA, RWAOnline, Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, FF&P (RWA chapter devoted to all things paranormal), and two book clubs.

When not writing, she can be found running, reading, or riding and showing her horse. Someday she hopes to qualify for the Quarter Horse World Show – that is, if her horse doesn’t get hurt again.

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Discussion

36 Responses to “Laurie London, Debut Author of Bonded by Blood”

  1. Loved the book! Working on the review! Fantastic writing that left me begging for more. MORE please! Congrats and thanks for the great story!

    Posted by Anna Lee | February 23, 2011, 1:27 am
  2. Laurie, it’s so nice to have you blogging with us again. As you know, BBB was a big hit in my household.

    Something positive I did for my writing? I took an editing class a few weeks ago and was able to apply a lot of the concepts right away. Last weekend, Adrienne, Kelsey, Theresa and I got together for an intensive brainstorming session, where we plotted our new stories. Theresa also gave us a fabulous workshop on story structure. Our first BS session was in Orlando last year. It was so helpful that we decided to get together again mid-year if possible. I’m so glad we were able to work it out in our schedules.

    Congrats again, Laurie!

    Posted by TraceyDevlyn | February 23, 2011, 5:47 am
  3. Good morning Laurie and welcome back to RU! Congratulations on getting the call and the book looks fabulous. I will have to check it out. Let’s see – one positive thing that I am doing this year?

    Working with Romance University, reading the blogs and networking with other authors are at the head of my list. I sat down at the beginning of the year and plotted out my goals for the year so that I can keep myself on track writing and submitting wise. I’m also taking all my notes and information from classes over the last few years and putting them together in a cohesive checklist for self-editing so that I can polish my manuscripts that much more before I submit them!

    Can’t wait to read Bonded by Blood, it’s definitely going in the TBR pile

    Posted by Heather | February 23, 2011, 6:23 am
  4. Welcome back, Laurie! You know we always love when you visit.

    A 35 stop blog tour. Wow. Amazing. I’m curious how you decided which blogs to contact. Are they all blogs you read? People recommended?

    I’ve done a few positive things. I changed my course on my publishing journey (which got me my Carina deal). I’ve taken workshops and brainstormed a new book, It all feels great!

    Thanks for being here today.

    Posted by Adrienne Giordano | February 23, 2011, 7:23 am
    • A – get ready for a crazy summer blog tour yourself!

      K-

      Posted by KelseyBrowning | February 23, 2011, 12:18 pm
    • Hi Adrienne, thanks for having me back on and how cool that changing directions led to your publishing contract!

      Regarding blogs, I reached out mainly to reader-focused blogs. I was familiar with a few of them, but for the most part, I had to research them. Some of them had posted early, favorable reviews on my book. I emailed them, thanking them for the nice review, and asked if they’d be interested in me doing a guest post and give away a signed book. They all said yes.

      On those blogs, I checked their sidebars to see what other blogs they linked to who might be interested in a book like mine. I avoided blogs that didn’t read my genre (YA, historical, etc.) and concentrated on ones where they reviewed (and liked) paranormal romance.

      I set up maybe 20 stops and the rest found me. Although other authors might cringe at this, I actually had to decline some invitations once my schedule got so full. It killed me to say no, but writing posts takes time away from my writing, plus, I didn’t want to double up blog visits in one day. As it is, my Twitter and FB friends are probably sick to death of seeing me another link to a blog/book giveaway!

      Posted by Laurie London | February 23, 2011, 12:21 pm
  5. Laurie, Congrats on your success. Thanks for the helpful advice. I have two questions. How much change did your manuscript go through from first submission to finished product? And, what was the word count on your manuscript? This year, I learned how to divide my stories into Acts and breakdown plot points and scenes. I am a panser, so for me this was a lesson in patience. :-) I also bought Writer’s Market and made lists of agents and publishers I am going to sub to this year. Thanks for coming by and sharing your experience with us.
    ~Pauline Allan

    Posted by Pauline Allan | February 23, 2011, 8:07 am
    • Hi Pauline!

      Sounds like you’re on the right track! Those are exactly the things I did prior to finding an agent and selling.

      Regarding your questions:

      1. My manuscript went through revisions with my agent before I signed with her, but I don’t feel it changed all that much. Overall characterization, basic motivations, plot points, and story structure all stayed the same. I did add a scene because she felt the hero needed a confidant, so the scene at the island with Chuck was added based on her input. After I signed with her, we tightened up some areas and fixed spots that needed more clarification, but that didn’t take long and soon it was ready to go out on submission.

      2. Final word count was around 100k. Book 2 is around 95k.

      Good luck with your writing this year!

      Posted by Laurie London | February 23, 2011, 12:31 pm
  6. Morning Laurie!

    I’m glad your debut book is going gangbusters – good for you! =)

    My positive thing is submitting to contests, and hopefully in a few months submitting to agents. We’ll keep our fingers crossed!

    Best of luck to you!

    carrie

    Posted by Carrie Spencer | February 23, 2011, 8:22 am
  7. Laurie -

    I can’t tell you how happy we are to see you here!

    Bonded by Blood is on my TBR list, and I’m making an Amazon order today!

    Next time you’re here (and you know you will be, right??), I’d love to have you talk even more about your social networking strategies because I think you’re a writer who’s definitely done that right.

    As for some positive things I’m doing for my writing this year:

    1. The fabulous plotting session I just had in Chicago with A, T & T. (Although I’m super happy to now be home in the LA sunshine :))
    2. Continuing to work with my life coach Kim. This is one of the greatest gifts I could have given myself and my writing.
    3. Starting a brand new paranormal WIP!
    4. Forgiving myself for the insanity in my life the past couple of years.

    I’m sure there’s more, but these are the biggies.

    Hugs and kudos to you, Laurie!

    Kels

    Posted by KelseyBrowning | February 23, 2011, 8:26 am
  8. Hi Laurie,

    My positive step is taking my first ever writing class. It was more work than I thought, but worth it.

    Congratulations on your book.

    Mary Jo Burke

    Posted by Mary Jo Burke | February 23, 2011, 8:57 am
  9. Hi Laurie,

    Congratulations on your book!

    As for the positive thing– I’ve taken query writing and synopsis writing classes–both things feel like pulling teeth to me and this gave me the right tools to pull with :) And I’m actively on the hunt for CPs. Oh and I’m going to RWA Nationals.

    Good luck with your book.

    Sonali

    Posted by Anonymous | February 23, 2011, 10:05 am
  10. Oops. Didn’t mean to skulk about and be anonymous. Sorry.

    Posted by Sonali Mayadev Thatte | February 23, 2011, 11:01 am
    • Thank you, Sonali!

      I took classes in synopsis writing and query writing too, and it really helped. When you sell, you often have to write a synopsis before the book is finished! Gah! I’ve actually written something like this: “A big battle happens, the hero confronts his fears, and the villain is finally defeated.” LOL

      Posted by Laurie London | February 23, 2011, 12:44 pm
  11. “Kelsey: How long was it from the time you began writing seriously and the time you sold?

    Laurie: About eighteen months.”

    Okay, Imposter Syndrome just set in – big time! All I can say is, you must be really good to sell so quickly! I’m going to order your book right now. I love paranormals, for a start, and your back cover copy hooked me. That is one hot cover, too!

    Thanks for sharing your journey with us!

    Posted by Becke Martin/Davis | February 23, 2011, 11:07 am
    • Believe me, Becke, I’ve felt like an impostor many times! LOL Why did it happen quickly for me and not for others? But I figured there might be others starting out who, when they hear this, will be encouraged.

      One huge advantage I had (and still do) is my sister. She is a published author now too and has been a member of RWA for a long time. When I finally told her I’d been writing (this was before the time I considered that I was serious) and showed this manuscript to her (not my first ones–they really sucked), she thought it had potential. I was just naive enough (or smart enough) to do what she told me. With zero expectation, I entered a few contests, contacted a few agents, and was shocked as heck that people (other than her) seemed to like it.

      Hope you enjoy the book! Didn’t they do an awesome job on that cover?!

      Posted by Laurie London | February 23, 2011, 12:57 pm
  12. Hi Laurie,
    just had to stop by and say HI!!!
    it just wouldn’t be the same if I didn’t stalk you here too!!!!

    Kelly

    Posted by Kelly Mueller | February 23, 2011, 1:34 pm
  13. I can’t wait to read this book. It looks so good. Congrats on selling books 3 and 4 plus the novella. This series looks so good and I just love reading about vampires.

    Can you tell me one positive thing you’re doing this year (or plan to do) that has helped your writing?
    I have actually started researching and I began writing a first chapter. I still have far to go but who knows. Maybe one day someone will be reading a story from me.

    Posted by Danielle Gorman | February 23, 2011, 3:15 pm
  14. Hi Kelly, Thanks for “stalking” me. ;-)

    Thanks, Danielle! I’m giddy with excitement. Yay on writing that first chapter. It’s often the very hardest to write. If it doesn’t flow, don’t get discouraged and try to make it perfect. You can always go back and fix it later.

    Posted by Laurie London | February 23, 2011, 3:48 pm
  15. Hello, Laurie. I always love reading your posts. The one thing I’ve done this year, and am doing, is talking to other writers and listening to their advice. I’ve also started a blog for my reviews I do. I am also digging out my old stories I have started years ago and seeing if I can finish them. Oopps! That’s more than one thing. LOL

    Hugs,
    Linda Young
    qladyhawke at gmail dot com

    Posted by Linda Young | February 23, 2011, 6:52 pm
  16. Laurie –

    Thanks again for being with us yesterday. We’re delighted about your new book/novella deal and hope to hear more about what you have in store for your readers soon!

    Hugs,
    Kels

    Posted by KelseyBrowning | February 24, 2011, 7:31 am

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  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Michael Greer Author and Katharine Ashe, Tracey Devlyn. Tracey Devlyn said: RT @romanceuniv Checking in with Laurie London, Debut Author of Bonded by Blood http://bit.ly/erOfEe Giving away 3 signed books! #giveaway [...]

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