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What is the title of your book?
Common (Tales of the Mystics, Book 1)
What was the inspiration behind your book?
Even though I write fantasy, I have to admit that my projects pretty much always center around a love story 🙂 In this case, I wanted a romance between two characters who were already close friends. I started brainstorming conflicts that could get in their way, and because I love fairy tales, she became a servant and he ended up as a prince. Then I added an unexpected betrothal, a plot against the royal family, a sorcerer…and I ended up with a Cinderella-type story where the servant girl saves the day!
Which character was your favorite to write, and why?
I’m pretty sure I gave a different response the last time I answered this question, but today I’ll go with Prince Raphael, a.k.a. Rafe. Rafe is my ideal romantic hero because he cares so much and has a great sense of humor. Even his flaws tend to be endearing, like a scene where he’s oblivious to the fact that servants don’t eat in the same dining hall as the royal family. He also has this underlying ardor that made the more romantic scenes practically write themselves! But I think my favorite thing about Rafe is that he’s down to earth and vulnerable despite his position of power.
What are 3 things you can’t live without?
Ugh, this answer is going to be so cliché, but I can’t help it! Chocolate, books, and a comfy zip-up sweatshirt. (Can you tell I live in Minnesota?)
What are 3 things you’d have to have when marooned on an island?
The Bible, since that’s one of the few books I could read over and over again and still get something new out of it (plus being marooned would be a great time to do some soul-searching!). A really sturdy tent, because I’m not that outdoorsy and hopefully it would keep out the bugs. And a knife, since that would come in handy for lots of things.
Who is your all-time favorite character from a book?
Ella from Gail Carson Levine’s Ella Enchanted. That book was exactly what I was looking for as a pre-teen, so of course I read it over and over again. Ella was fun, spunky, and kind, plus she won over the prince with her wit and sense of humor—how awesome is that? If given the chance, I would’ve totally moved to Frell to become Ella’s best friend 🙂
What book are you currently reading?
I was the lucky recipient of an ARC of The Vanishing Spark of Dusk, a sci fi romance by Sara Baysinger. She has the most lyrical, engrossing writing style, and I can’t wait to see how everything will resolve!
What are you currently watching on Netflix?
We don’t have Netflix, so I’ll answer for Amazon Prime instead 🙂 My husband and I are on Season 6 of Dr. Who—we joined a little late in the game, but hopefully someday we’ll catch up!
Favorite Starbucks drink?
I’m not a coffee drinker, so I usually go for hot chocolate in the winter or a strawberry smoothie in the summer.
What does a typical day of writing look like for you?
I typically only get to write on days when my youngest son has preschool. I drop him off, then rush home to settle in at my desk and write for a few hours. After I pick him up, we have lunch, I put him down for his nap, and I try to sneak in another hour of writing before the bus drops off my older son from kindergarten. If I’m really on a roll I might continue in the evening after the kids are in bed, but usually by that point I’m too tired!
There are so many good ones, but this quote struck me recently:
“Keep your face always toward the sunshine—and shadows will fall behind you.” ~Walt Whitman
In writing, marriage, parenting, and so many other aspects of life, I’ve been working toward having a better attitude and not letting my own problems and annoyances create barriers or steal my joy. Whitman’s quote expresses that aspiration so beautifully!
Current 4 favorite things:
My texting gloves—pretty and practical (again, Minnesota)
My gorgeous, new-to-me rolltop writing desk
Christmas lights (I know Christmas is over already, but the season went by too fast!)
Chapstick, because life just wouldn’t be the same without it 🙂
More about Common:
One person knows of the plot against the royal family and cares enough to try to stop it—the servant girl they banished.
Leah spends her days scrubbing floors, polishing silver, and meekly curtsying to nobility.
Nothing distinguishes her from the other commoners serving at the palace, except her red hair.
And her secret friendship with Rafe, the Crown Prince of Imperia.
But Leah’s safe, ordinary world begins to splinter. Unexpected feelings for Rafe surface just as his parents announce his betrothal to a foreign princess. Then she unearths a plot to overthrow the royal family. Her life shatters completely when the queen banishes her for treason.
Harbored by a mysterious group of nuns, Leah must secure Rafe’s safety before it’s too late. But her quest reveals a villain far more sinister than an ambitious nobleman with his eye on the throne.
Can a common maidservant summon the courage to fight for her dearest friend?
Order a copy of Common in February!
An avid reader since birth (her parents claim she often kept them up late begging to hear just one more story), Laurie Lucking discovered her passion for writing after leaving her career as an attorney to become a stay-at-home mom. She writes young adult fantasy with a strong thread of romance, and her debut novel, Common, will release in February, 2018, from Love2ReadLove2Write Publishing. Laurie is the Secretary of her local ACFW chapter and a co-founder of www.landsuncharted.com, a blog for fans of clean young adult speculative fiction. A Midwestern girl through and through, she currently lives in Minnesota with her husband and two young sons.