NEWS FLASH: Gail Hess is the winner of Nancy Herriman’s book! Gail, please contact Edith at edithmaxwellauthor at gmail dot com.
Liz here, and I’m excited to welcome Laura Bradford, the author of the Amish Mysteries, as well as the Southern Sewing Circle Mysteries written as Elizabeth Lynn Casey. I met Laura at Bouchercon in 2013. It was my first “official” panel at a real conference, and I was a nervous wreck. Sitting next to me as we waited to start, she confessed she was too – which made me feel a whole lot better! (And sorry to give that away, Laura!)
Laura’s upcoming book in the Amish series is A Churn for the Worse, publishing in March 2016. Today she’s joining us talk about why she writes. Take it away, Laura!
As my deadline for this post loomed closer, I found myself in need of a little spark. So I took to one of my author pages on Facebook to find out the kinds of things readers like to know about their favorite authors. The suggestions were great—where do my ideas come from, what jobs did I hold before delving into fiction, et cetera. But one question shoved its way past all the others to niggle at my thoughts off and on throughout the weekend.
Why do you write?
When I first read that question, my brain immediately shifted into standard answer mode.
“I fell in love with writing when I was ten.”
But that doesn’t really answer the question of why, does it?
So then I started thinking a little more…
Out of my grandparents’ eleven children, five of us are in a highly creative field. Maybe I write because it’s in my genes. That would certainly explain the very odd phenomenon that has me racing back through many a manuscript to add something “really cool” only to find out it was there all along.
Maybe I write because that’s the way my brain is wired.
Or maybe I write because I need to write…
When I was little and writing picture books for fun, I truly believed the world was this great big happy place where all you had to do was wish for something and it happened. And even if on some level I knew that wasn’t true, I made it so in my stories.
My teen years brought with them the same things everyone else’s teen years bring—worry about how you fit and where you fit. Suddenly the gnomes and bears I’d written about as a kid were pushed to the side in favor of angst-y teenage girls worried about their clothes or the boy they’d passed in the hallway on the way to class.
Graduation from college brought journalism jobs and an up close and personal look at reality. Suddenly, the fictional worlds I’d created to reflect my needs paled against one where kids went missing, accidents claimed lives, and criminals got away. Those stories I couldn’t control. I couldn’t write the “characters” the way I wanted or deliver the desired ending to a heartbreaking tale.
As interesting as that work was at times, I was more than happy to cast it aside for the role I wanted most—mom. By the grace of God, I was blessed with two beautiful girls. I threw myself into their world and, by doing so, their happy place became my happy place. Sure, the desire for stories was still there, but I filled it by reading stories to them. You know, losing myself in tales of happy places where all you had to do was wish…
Eventually, my need to write resurfaced and I found myself dabbling in the kind of realities I’d written about as a reporter. Only this time, when a kid went missing, I could make a parents’ desperate wish come true.
Later, when I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis and my first marriage crumbled, I found myself writing love stories. I guess I needed to make things work out right somewhere, even if it wasn’t in my own life.
Writing does that for me. It gives me a place to make sense of the world—to right wrongs, to work through the tough patches, to find happy endings.
The only question now, is which came first…
Laura Bradford is the national bestselling author of the Amish Mysteries. A CHURN FOR THE WORSE, the 5th book in the series, will release in March. As Elizabeth Lynn Casey, she also pens the Southern Sewing Circle Mysteries. NEEDLE AND DREAD, the 11th book in that series, will release in April. Both books are now available for pre-order. To learn more about Laura or her books, visit her website: www.laurabradford.com.
Readers, thanks for stopping by! Leave a comment for Laura below.