Good morning. It’s Meet and Greet Monday!
With us today is Romance Author, LaVerne Thompson aka Ursula Sinclair.
What writing goals have you set for yourself this year?
To release the first 2 books in my Children of the Waves series- Sea Bride and Sea Storm in Feb, to re-release Journey of the Princess of Ice in Mar, to release 1 new adult boxed set, to finish and release book 2 in my dragon shifter series Dragon’s Blood, to release 1 new stand alone, to re-release 4 of the books in a boxed set I recently got my rights back to. To finish book 1 of my sci/fi saga. lol Yes I multitask.
Tell us about your “big break” in the publishing world. Was there any one person believe in your work first (besides yourself of course)? What did you do to celebrate your first contract?
My ‘big break’ or rather confirmation in what I was doing came when I won the Romance Slam Jam’s best new aspiring author contest for Dragon’s Heart- Story of the Brethren. After I was done screaming my husband and I opened a bottle of wine and danced around the house with our kids.
Did you always want to be an author?
Yeah pretty much, even my profession before I was published involved writing and lots of it. I was a lawyer.
Name one quirk you have.
Well I don’t think anything I do is a quirk lol so you’d have to ask one of my friends. hahahaha
What is your favorite junk food?
Pecan braid from Panera is my Achilles.
What is your favorite meal that you wish you could eat at least three times a week?
I don’t really have a favorite like that, I’d get bored with anything I ate that often right quick.
What are you a collector of?
Purses. I get a new one every season, shoes who isn’t, visors I collect them from all the places I’ve been.
What five items do you take everywhere with you – besides cell phone, keys and purse/wallet?
As long as I have my purse and cell I’m good to go. But when I travel I’d have to add my laptop and iPad. Everything else is negotiable. lol
If we were to come over to your house for dinner, what dish would you make us?
Penne pasta cabonara with lobster and bacon.
Favorite book of all time? Why?
That’s really a tough one for me. I have quite a few that have greatly influenced me. So I’ll just name just a few stress on the few, in no particular order, but they all have excellent story telling in common. Pride and Prejudice, they fell in love with nothing but a look and a touch; Honor’s Splendour, for what an alpha hero is and a delicate heroine with a will of iron; The Wheel of Time series for world building and the complexity of plot weaving, The Dragon Prince series, the Sunrunners, fed my love of dragons. I can go on but will stop here.
No matter the story, where do you always draw inspiration from when you begin each story?
Different places, people, and things, really. There’s no one place, or thing for me. Just looking around and the first thing my gaze focuses on has inspired a story, a line in a song. Heck staring at the snow. lol
What book – print or e-book – is sitting on top of your to be read pile that you are eager to read?
Actually I just finished Hunter’s Claim and I LOVED IT! I won’t be reading anything for a while, I need to catch up on my writing. And the next book will depend on my mood. lol
What three words best describe you?
Dedicated, loyal, creative.
If you were given an all-expense paid, five day/night trip to anywhere, where would you go?
What is your one pet peeve about the writing business?
The promoting. It takes up so much time away from writing, but it’s a necessity. Writers write so that others can read the work, but first the reader has to know it’s out there.
Who are some of your favorite authors?
Jane Austin, Robert Jordon, Stobie Piel, Dara Joy, Julie Garwood, Tammara Webber, Octavia Butler, Deborah Smith, Barry Eisler, Christine Feehan, Sherrilyn Kenyon. I can keep going, but it’s a good start.
Who/What are you currently reading?
No one at the moment.
What do you find most challenging about writing?
Time. Someone keeps stealing mine. lol I have so many story ideas in my WIP file and I need time to finish them all, not to mention all the new ideas that pop into my head. lol
The Ballerina & The Fighter (Book 1)
I travel through life dancing.
All I ever wanted to do was dance, as did my best friend. We’d made so many plans together, but one night an explosion changed it all. Only one of us survived, and I promised myself I’d succeed for us both. And I did, until an accident almost ruined my career, but Maze came back into my life when I needed him most. He pulled me out of the depths of my despair. But could I save him now?
I travel through life fighting.
It had always been Ivy; from the first moment I saw her leaping through the air like she had wings to lift her from the ground. But she was my dream, something I wanted more than anything else in my life. I promised myself I would stay away from her. Violence followed me everywhere and I tried to keep her far away from it. She was my point of illumination in the dark tumultuous world I lived in. But I could not stay away from her. Not when I knew she needed me. As much as I needed her. But could she accept me as I am?
Blank By LaVerne Thompson aka Ursula Sinclair
It finally happened. I was asked to write something, and for the first time in memory my mind drew a blank. Nada, nothing. White out. Now what, I thought. Come on creativity, I know you’re in there some place. So get up already. I tried listening to music to get me in the mood, but realized I was listening to Classic Rock. Now I love Classic Rock, but thought I’d liven it up a bit, so began listening to Eminem, Cinderella Man. Yes! I listened to him quite a bit when I was writing my Ballerina Series so you can blame him, and Coolio’s Gangsta Paradise, oh yeah and I OD’d on Jax from Sons of Anarchy for the dark turn Maze took. Well I started book 2 with the line ‘Have you ever killed anyone?’
Anyway, that did the trick and got me thinking about what inspires me to write. Well as you can see it really depends. Sometimes, the things I’m listening to or watching will have an impact on my writing, and that can only be a good thing. Below is the excerpt for that first part of Maze- The Ballerina Series Book 2. The conclusion of Maze and Ivy’s story that began in The Ballerina & The Fighter (book 1).
Have you ever killed anyone?
My breathing remained steady, my heart rate even, but the chemical rush from the adrenaline had blood rushing to my head. The sound of our blades gliding off each other was not a silent one, but the thunder and lightning ensured no one would hear or be inclined to venture out into the downpour this night. We were hemmed in on both sides by the brick walls of the buildings, with just enough room to maneuver. The filthy alleyway only wide enough for a dump truck was made even worse by the torrent of water washing over the soiled ground. Nothing could clear the stench of death creeping around us.
I’d deliberately chosen the time and this place for the confrontation. This was a blind alleyway only one way in and one way out. Barely visible from the street and there were no windows on the sides of the buildings. Just one door from the back of the restaurant near the dumpster. On a night like this, the weather also helped, we would be uninterrupted. No one would step out for a smoke. But at the end of the night, the trash at the restaurant still had to go out.
Huge fat drops of rain poured down from the heavens beating at me, soaking through the clothes I wore. Trying to drive me away from the course I’d set. I ignored it. My body was ready, waiting, my mind bent on one course. It was too late for any other.
The iron door opened to the right of the dumpster I hid beside, and my breath paused for a moment—only one person could be behind it.
I moved silently out from the shadows. As soon as he saw me, he dropped the trash bags he carried and pulled a knife from his boot. He knew damn well why I was there. I stepped toward him, compensating for the slippery ground with my treaded boots but also my balance. I’d trained on many different terrains so the flat alleyway posed no issue for me, but I couldn’t say the same about my opponent. He’d already revealed his weakness to me by his crouching stance. His balance would be off if he lunged on such a slick surface.
My body ran cold at what I was about to do. I raised my own blade and beckoned him forward. The glow from the outdoor lighting reflected in his dark hate-filled eyes. We were about the same height and build and our goals were the same. But from there we differed. Jai fought better than he ever had or ever would again because he knew this time he battled for his life. As did I. But as my knife parried and slashed opening flesh, I also fought to protect the one I loved.
So have I ever killed anyone?
I walked away from the alley with that thought in my head, my heart still beat, my blood still ran steadily within my veins. With each step the water turned redder on the ground in front of me. Up until that moment my answer would have been no, I’d never killed anyone. I knew I was capable of it. I’d been trained in the different ways to take a life with my body and weapons since the age of three. I also knew how to put someone down without serious injury. That’s what I’d always done. But that was my past. Tonight I’d taken a life to protect those I loved but also out of vengeance. Oh yes, there’s hate in my heart, but there’s blood on my hands now too. While the rain might have washed the blade of blood, no amount of rainwater would ever wash me clean. Not even the tears I shed could cleanse my soul.
The Ballerina & The Fighter (Book 1) Book Trailer