giveaways, Interview

Author Interview with Laurie Wood

Happy Monday, Reader Friends!

I hope you had a great weekend. I’m kicking this bookish week off with an interview with author Laurie Wood. She’s stopped by to talk about her latest, Northern Protector. Grab a cup of tea (or coffee) and chat with us!


Interview

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Toni: Thank you so much for stopping by today! I know the readers are going to love getting to know you. First up, let’s talk about your writing. What is your writing process like?

Laurie: I do a lot of back and forth. I’m definitely an outliner, but I always start with my characters. I’ll have an idea for the book/plot and the characters will announce themselves along with the idea. I use One Stop for Writers (highly recommend this site!) to build my character profiles and get them figured out first. If I don’t have a handle on my characters, I can’t start writing.

I love finding photos on IMBD or Pinterest to match my vision for my characters. This really helps on those days I don’t feel inspired to keep writing. In fact, I make a “secret” board for each book on Pinterest and that’s a great place to pin research articles etc if you can’t afford Scrivener.

Then I outline to a standard five-point structure to give myself the key plot points in the story I want to hit. They may change along the way as I write, so I give myself the freedom to do that, but I always have a starting point. I know my ending before I start writing, usually!

Toni: I love finding inspiration photos too! When did you first know you wanted to be a writer?

Laurie: I always knew I wanted to write, but life determined I had to make a living at a younger age than some people. I took some writing courses in college, but once I became a police officer, my writing took a back seat. I didn’t start writing seriously until 1996, when I stayed home with my two children. That’s the case with many women because we have the time to focus on ourselves and our children during those formative years. But I also didn’t think I had anything interesting to write about until then.

Toni: Well I’m glad you discovered you do! What’s a normal writing day like for you?

Laurie: I blitz through my emails and deal with anything that needs to be done. I’ll make sure my social media posts went out, and then I get down to business. I’ve just recently taken up dictating because I’m waiting for double cataract surgery. I’ll be so glad to get that over with and get back to normal. I aim to write chapters/scenes rather than a word count. At the end of the week, I feel I’ve accomplished more if I can say I wrote a chapter or two.

Toni: Ugh, email is my least favorite part of the day. Tell us a little about your story?

Laurie: To begin here’s the back cover blurb:

Constable Ben Koper is still healing from the polar bear attack that almost killed him. Nine months after it happened, he returns to Churchill, Manitoba, a changed man—scarred more than just physically. PTSD is his new shadow, haunting his every step, and he can’t seem to kick the pain meds he shouldn’t need anymore. He’s determined to prove, to himself and his colleagues, that he’s still up to his job. Failure isn’t an option.

ER nurse Joy Gallagher spent the entire last winter texting with a healing Constable Koper. What started as friendly concern from this single mother has grown into full-fledged romantic feelings, and she’s eager to level up their friendship and introduce him to the idyllic comfort of small-town life. Until a teenager is murdered at a summer party. The crime is strikingly similar to the cold case murder of Joy’s foster sister, stirring old trauma Joy has never fully dealt with.

When another victim is snatched in town, Ben and Joy must confront their own demons, and join forces to track down an elusive killer. The race to rescue the next victim before it’s too late will test Ben and Joy to their limits. Can they survive their encounter with this heinous killer, or will the past destroy them.?

Churchill is an actual town on the border of the Canadian arctic in Manitoba. I wrote the first two books in the series with a lot of research through phone interviews and using about 100 photos my husband had taken in 2011 when he was up there on a military exercise. In July 2019, we went up to Churchill so I could do summer research because Northern Protector takes place in the summer and I wanted to get every detail correct. It was a bucket list experience!

Toni: Sounds interesting! What life verse would your main character choose and why?

Laurie: Constable Ben Koper in this book, Northern Protector (Heroes of the Tundra Book 2) is suffering from PTSD and an addiction to painkillers. However, he’s a dedicated police officer and Christian, so his life verse would be Isaiah 40:31:

“But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.

They will soar on wings like eagles;

They will run and not grow weary,

They will walk and not be faint.”

Toni: I love that verse! What would be the verse that fits your story and why?

I chose Proverbs 31:8-9 for the theme for the book. I felt it spoke to Ben’s character and the theme.

“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves;

Ensure justice for those being crushed.

Yes, speak up for the poor and see that they get justice.”

It’s in the book’s front because I felt strongly about the theme of the story.

Toni: Great verse! What message do you hope readers will get out of reading your story?

Laurie: It’s a two-pronged message. First, that God loves us no matter how we “fall”, whether it’s a pill addiction or other issue. Second, that there’s no shame in reaching out for help, whether it’s professional help to deal with PTSD or addictions, mental health, or relationship issues. Or, it could be spiritual help from your church leader(s). God works through His people, and if we don’t reach out for help when we need it, we deny His people the chance to fulfill their purpose and serve Him.

I hope readers enjoy the book as an entertaining story and romance, but that they also take away that message and perhaps pass it on to someone who needs to hear it.

Toni: I love that! Why should a reader choose your books if this is the first time they’ve heard of you?

Laurie: Wow, that’s a hard question when you’re not used to tooting your own horn! I write romantic suspense with action, danger, some deeper issues, and always a challenge of God’s truth. So, if someone loves romantic suspense and loves books in a wilderness setting with some real life action, then they’ll probably like my books.

Toni: Great! Who would you cast to play the characters in your book?

Laurie: Mark Wahlberg would be a great Ben Koper! Add the facial scarring on the right side of his head and ear from his polar bear mauling, and he’d be perfect, although in the book Ben is 6’3” tall. But imagine those scars on Mark Wahlberg and I think he’d be great.

As for Joy Gallagher, I think Mila Kunis would be perfect. Although she’d have to be a bit taller for Joy, but Mila’s face and hair and energy are perfect for the character.

Toni: Great choices! They’re both great actors. Do you like coffee or tea? Chocolate or candy? Beaches or mountains? 

Laurie: I’m definitely a coffee-a-holic! I only drink tea when I have a migraine. And chocolate! Love Easter and Halloween candy seasons, lol. And I’d be a beach girl over mountains, although I live in the land-locked Prairies in the middle of Canada. I haven’t actually been to an ocean-side beach since the 1980s. My husband isn’t fond of either locale, so that explains that!

Toni: I miss the beach. What’s next in your writing?

Laurie: I have an idea for another series featuring either one female lead or several female leads. And I’m interested in writing historical again. I’m unpublished in that genre, but I do love writing them. Perhaps I’ll try a time-slip mystery and combine my two favourite genres.

Toni: Fun! Last but not least, how can we pray for you?

I would appreciate prayer for my eye surgery in the next two months. And also, that my family doesn’t contract COVID-19 because my two adult children have Down Syndrome and would be especially in danger from the virus. We’ve been hunkered down at home since early October and my husband is the designated shopper/driver in order to keep me well in case I have to take care of him or the “kiddos”. Thank you for your prayers.

Thank you so much for having me today!

Toni: We’ll definitely be praying for you! Readers, do you have any questions for Laurie?


About the Book

Constable Ben Koper is still healing from the polar bear attack that almost killed him. Nine months after it happened, he returns to Churchill, Manitoba, a changed man—scarred more than just physically. PTSD is his new shadow, haunting his every step, and he can’t seem to kick the pain meds he shouldn’t need anymore. He’s determined to prove, to himself and his colleagues, that he’s still up to his job. Failure isn’t an option.

ER nurse Joy Gallagher spent the entire last winter texting with a healing Constable Koper. What started as friendly concern from this single mother has grown into full-fledged romantic feelings, and she’s eager to level up their friendship and introduce him to the idyllic comfort of small-town life. Until a teenager is murdered at a summer party. The crime is strikingly similar to the cold case murder of Joy’s foster sister, stirring old trauma Joy has never fully dealt with.

When another victim is snatched in town, Ben and Joy must confront their own demons, and join forces to track down an elusive killer. The race to rescue the next victim before it’s too late will test Ben and Joy to their limits. Can they survive their encounter with this heinous killer, or will the past destroy them?

Amazon | AnaiahPress | Goodreads


About the Author

Laurie Wood lives in Central Canada and writes inspirational romantic suspense with an edge of danger. She’s also a military wife who’s raised two wonderful special needs children to adulthood. They’ve lived all over Canada and are still on that journey. When she’s not writing she can be found at her spinning wheel, knitting, or hanging out with her dogs in the garden. She loves to hear from readers and always replies so feel free to get in touch with her.

Website | Facebook | Twitter


Giveaway

Laurie is offering a giveaway, so head on over to her Rafflecopter.

8 thoughts on “Author Interview with Laurie Wood”

  1. Toni, great interview questions and great answers, Laurie! Ben’s verse is one of my favorites….and the theme verse is perfect for this story. I’ll be praying for your surgery. Congratulations on your thrilling romantic suspense!

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  2. I enjoyed reading this interview, and the book sounds like a great read, and the book cover is beautiful! Praying that your eye surgery goes well, and that you and your whole family stay safe, especially during this pandemic. God Bless you and your family. ❤

    Like

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