Today I’m glad to present, Lauren Stock, whose book Necrobloods, I am currently reading, and I will add my review to the end of this feature once I have finished reading.
Hello Lauren, and welcome to my blog. Please tell my readers, how did you come to writing?
I’ve always loved reading. As I began reading more and more, I decided that I wanted to create a story of my own. I’ve also loved writing short stories from a young age, so creating a piece of novel length posed an exciting challenge.
How did you come up with your stories?
As my father and I are a team, we discuss storylines together. It basically starts with him asking me what fantastical element we want to focus on, then we work our way from there and flesh out an outline of the story.
Is there a message in your novels you would like your readers to grasp, something you want to shout out?
I believe that our novels have strong female protagonists. Though the stories are not particularly didactic, I think they can inspire younger readers to go out into the world and do great things.
What a wonderful inspirational message! You have created great complex characters. Which one is your favorite?
That’s a tough question because, in a way, you grow to love all of your characters. I think currently one of my favorite characters to write is Macy in the Tamzin Clarke series. She’s so different from Tamzin, so it’s fun to be able to speak to another personality.
How much of your books are realistic and are the experiences based on someone you know or events in your life?
The books are all largely fiction, though some social interactions are loosely based off of things that have happened in my life. I used to dance, so having dance as Tamzin’s niche makes it easy to write about. Writing from experience is always a good thing.
Who would you cast to play the characters in a movie or television series?
Emma Watson for Tamzin, Shailene Woodley for Celeste
Are you like any of the characters (and how so) and would you portray one of the characters?
I like to think that I’m relatively level headed, as Tamzin is. Though, Tamzin is not based off of my personality. Otherwise, most of the other characters are not similar to me.
Were the plot and subplots completely planned from the start or did they change during the process, and if so, how did they change, and how do you figure out the layout of each book?
We did outline the story and plot lines before starting, but certain parts changed as we went. It’s always good to have a little spontaneity, like when you go into a scene not knowing what’s going to happen yourself. It’s fun to just let it flow sometimes. But of course, major plot points have to be set in stone in order for the overall arc of the series to be met.
What is your main reason for writing?
I write because that’s what I enjoy doing, and I plan to make a career out of it.
What are the best and the worst aspects of writing?
The best thing about writing is that you can step away from your reality and get into what’s going on in the world of your characters. I’d say the worst part about writing is that you have to set your own deadlines and really stick to them in order to get your work done.
I hear you on setting your own deadlines and sticking to them. I think this is a must for all indie authors. Please share a little of your current work in progress, or ideas for your next novel?
We just finished the second book in the Tamzin Clarke series, titled Tamzin Clarke vs the Mummy. We’re about to start working on the third book, and we’re also tossing around ideas for our Hellspawn trilogy, which will involve nephilim.
How do you balance marketing one book and writing the next?
My dad does most of the marketing work, but it’s all part of the entire process. The most important way to get things moving is to keep writing, so that’s what we’ve been doing.
Do you use editors, and if so, who are your editors and how do you quality control your books?
We had a fantastic editor in Paula Goudreault for our first books. She was an old friend of my dad’s, an English teacher. Working with her was fun.
How have you found the experience of self-publishing? What were your highs and lows?
So far, self publishing has been a good experience. Finding an agent then a publisher is very hard nowadays, so it seems that self publishing is the way to go. It allows us more freedom, but it also puts more of a burden on us to get our work out there.
What do you like best about writing? What’s your least favorite thing?
I love how you can essentially become a new person when you write. You can be whoever you want (at least, within the limits of the character you’re writing), but either way, you’re in total control of the world and the people in it. My least favorite thing about writing is that, for me at least, I need to have a spot where I know I’m going to be productive, which can be hard to find at times.
Do you have any advice to offer new indie writers?
Just keep writing and don’t give up if you’re not finding “success” right away. Because there are so many different kinds of people out there, you are bound to find someone who enjoys your work. It’s all a matter of finding those people.
Who are your favorite authors?
I’m not too picky when it comes to reading, but I’ve read many young adult authors that I’ve enjoyed. I tend to like horror as well, so I am a Poe fan.
What books or authors have influenced you the most? Is there a writer that you consider a mentor? Do you have a favorite?
I like to write and read horror, so I do believe that Poe has inspired me in that genre. Beyond that, I feel like I’ve taken bits and pieces of skills and techniques gathered from reading in general. I’ve also been learning some interesting takes on writing at school.
What book are you currently reading and in what format (e-book/paperback/hardcover)?
Unfortunately I haven’t had much time to read recently as I’ve been working on finishing my most current novel, so I’m not reading anything right now.
What makes you laugh?
Cute animal videos are what I laugh at.
What (not who) would you like to take to a lonely island?
I suppose my phone so that way I’d at least be able to stay in touch with people (unless of course there was no reception. Then that would just be a terrible decision).
Who would you like to invite for dinner?
Emma Watson and Shailene Woodley
What would your friends say are your best and your oddest quality?
Best quality: loyalty
Oddest quality: probably my personality in general honestly
Tell us about your other books?
My first novel is titled Necrobloods, and it is a standalone novel. Celeste Boyd is the narrator and main character, and she is a caster of elemental magic. She plays basketball and is coping with the fact that there is a possible battle of magic looming over her head. My other two novels are in the Tamzin Clarke series. Essentially readers follow Tamzin on her adventures as she tries to keep things in her town from falling apart with the help of her friends.
What song would you pick to go with your book?
This one is hard to say – maybe some adventure music for Tamzin? I don’t think of them in terms of radio music.
How do you handle criticism of your work?
In general, we’ve gotten fantastic feedback. But for those that don’t love it, it is good to know the reasons why they don’t in order to glean insight and possibly adjust based off of what they are commenting on.
Necrobloods by Lauren Stock and Robert Stock
This isn’t my normal genre to read so took the plunge into a new arena; one of magic and mystery with a little romance thrown into the mix.
First, the author’s book blurb. 16 year old Celeste Boyd casts Elemental magic. With the great battle coming, she and her best friend Gena are learning more about their abilities. Even more pressing, though, are the basketball finals and the mysterious new boy in school, Carter Wells. Celeste now has to choose between her crush and Carter, who is showing quite the interest. And then there are the crazy dreams with the huge dragon eye…
Clearly this book was written for Young Adults, and many adults who love this genre will want this book. The fantasy is engrossing, and the stories between the different powers are immense.
I loved how the authors laid the groundwork, and the characters simply came to life. This is actually a well written book, and the flow is a nice pace, the characters are engaging, and the grammar is superb. I have the eBook version so I don’t know how the hard copy looks, however I would not indent the first paragraph of each new chapter, nor would I indent the first paragraph after those places where a ding font would be used within a chapter. This may simply be my personal preference. Regardless, this book is five stars hands down!