I’m so excited to have Laura L Zimmerman over for an interview as we celebrate the release of her book Keen.
1. When did you start writing with the hope of becoming an author?
I don’t remember a time when I wasn’t telling stories. One of my earliest memories is when I used my Fashion Plates to create characters in my book, “The Attack of the Killer Tomatoes.” (Yes. That was the official title!) I didn’t actually take my writing seriously, however, until about 6 years ago. I’d written a number of manuscripts (or had detailed outlines for many more) but never made an attempt to get anything published. My husband challenged me to begin researching what the process would be to finally share one of my stories with the world.
2. What is Keen about?
KEEN is a contemporary fantasy about Caoine, a teen girl who was born a half-faerie–specifically a banshee. The only person in her life who knows her secret is her father who has helped her stay safe each night when she roams the streets and releases her banshee song. After arriving in a new town and at a new school, Caoine finds her “banshee curse” acting strangely and soon learns a faerie known only as the Unseelie Prince wants to use her gift for his own dark plans.
3. What inspired Keen?
The idea of the banshee was inspired by a TV show on the CW that featured a teenage banshee, that I saw a couple years ago. But Caoine’s character was actually inspired by my own daughter. I tried to imagine what it would be like for a teenager to be burdened with such a task her entire life. I felt that she would be emotionally complex and wanted to use a real life inspiration to get the character right.
4. Who is the book for?
Good question!! Ultimately, all my books are for God. I truly believe my inspiration and words come from Him. I would not be able to do what I do without the creativity of my Father. Beyond that, I wrote the book that I would enjoy reading. I try not to write to a particular person or to please a specific audience.
5. What do you want readers to gain from your book?
I hope readers can see that we all struggle with identity. No matter our age, we all want to belong and have a purpose for what we do. There will be times in our life when we know “who” we are more than others, and that’s okay. It’s in the journey that we grow and truly become who we are. There’s also a theme of dark and light reflected throughout the book. I feel like teenagers–and let’s be honest, even adults!–sometimes see things in only black and white, as if we can only be good or bad. But being a light in this world is a daily choice we can choose to make. And having a bad day doesn’t make us “dark.” Tomorrow is a new day and we can choose to make it a good one!
6. Have you written any other books and where can we get them?
I’ve written a number of other books but none of them are published just yet. Hopefully a few more will be on the shelves in the near future!
7. What kind of books do you enjoy reading?
My favorite books to read are young adult novels, which is why I enjoy writing those novels, too. I really enjoy fantasy and sci-fi, but I enjoy reading historical fiction, too.
8. What Christian fantasy books would you recommend to new contemporary writers?
I would urge you to check out the Realm Makers online bookstore! They carry a wide variety of fantasy and sci-fi fiction by fellow Christian authors! Some that I will recommend are The Out of Time series by Nadine Brandes, Life After series by Julie Hall, The Songkeeper Chronicles by Gillian Bronte Adams, Children of the Blood Moon series by S.D. Grimm, The Firebrand Chronicles by J.M. Hackman, all the titles from L2L2 Publishing and Enclave publishing, Unblemished series by Sara Ella…I could go on and on. Definitely check out the Realm Makers tribe–we are a group of fantasy and sci-fi writers and there are a ton of fantastic books among us!
9. Where can we connect with you?
I love to connect with people!! Find me on Instagram @lauralzimmauthor, Twitter @lauralzimm, my website Caffeinated Fiction at lauralzimmerman dot com, and on Facebook under Laura L Zimmerman. My favorite things to talk about are books, writing, coffee and cats!
10. What tips you have for young aspiring writers?
Never give up. Don’t allow rejections or negative feedback from others get you down. Choose to write for you (and for God) and you will never be disappointed with what you’ve written. When you don’t rely on the praise or approval of others, it’s easier to look past the negative and get back to doing what you love most in this world–writing.
Thank you for having me on your blog! I had a blast getting to share a little bit of KEEN with your readers!
Thank you so much for the interview, Laura! If you want to learn more about Keen and Laura, then keep on reading 💖
You must walk the darkness to find the light.
Half-faerie Caoine has no control over the banshee lament she sings each night, predicting the death of others. A senior in a brand new high school, she expects the same response she’s received at every other school: judgment from fellow students over her unusual eyes and unnaturally white skin and hair. However, when Caoine arrives at West Lincoln High, for the first time in her life she finds friends. Real friends.
But being a teenager is never easy, especially when the star soccer player, Oliver, sets his sights on her. Allowing him to get close means revealing her curse to the human world. She can’t let that happen. Life spins further out of control when her lament comes out during the day, those whose death she predicts die right in front of her, and a dark faerie known only as the Unseelie prince blames Caoine by leaving her the creepiest notes ever. Her curse is not supposed to work like that.
In a race against time, Caoine must uncover the Unseelie prince’s identity and stop a spell before it unleashes hell on earth, all while trying to control her banshee song and finding a place among her peers .
Senior year just got real.
Laura L. Zimmerman lives in a suburb of Charlotte, North Carolina with her husband, three daughters, and three furbaby felines. Besides writing, she’s passionate about loving Jesus, anything Star Wars, and singing loudly. She takes her coffee black and spends her days pretending to do yoga. This is her debut novel. Find out more about her at http://www.lauralzimmerman.wordpress.com.