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Interview: Laura Bowers

Every so often, I have the opportunity to interview a kick-ass author for this blog. Today, Laura Bowers is the one kicking ass. She is the author of the brand spankin' new novel, Beauty Shop for Rent, a funny, touching and multi-generational novel about family—both the one we are born to and the one we create for ourselves. Beauty Shop for Rent is available in stores now.



“As homey, gossipy, and charming as a small-town beauty shop, Laura Bowers’ first novel will soothe your mind, cleanse your pores, and make your hair curl with laughter.”
--E. Lockhart

INTERVIEW WITH LAURA BOWERS: 

POKER QUESTIONS

Q: Have you ever played Texas Hold’em?
A: Nope, never. I rarely play any kind of poker, except for those rare occasions with my family. My boys love it, though.

Q: Is it because you fear my poker playing abilities?
A: Well, okay, maybe just a little. I could possibly be the worst player you’ll ever meet. Poker face? Forget it. I’m 100% transparent. But, I could totally kick your rear at Friends Trivial Pursuit.

Q: No really, is it because you’ve never had the opportunity or because you have something against it?
A: No, I have nothing against it. I love Texas. And I’m good at holding things. Maybe it’s because I’m a competitive gal who doesn’t play what I have no shot at winning. Wow, that sounds bratty, doesn’t it?

Q: How would you play an ace-ten on-suit in an 8-player game if you had a medium stack and were sitting to the left of the big blind?
A: Now you’re just showing off. Okay then, what’s the title of Joey’s favorite book that he keeps in the freezer?

Is it Big Slick by Eric Luper? No? Then, I don’t care.

CURRENT BOOK QUESTIONS

Q: Tell us a little about how your book came to be. Where did you get the idea?
A: I was inspired by a rusted sign that for years was posted in front of a charming old house. It read “Beauty Shop for Rent . . . fully equipped, inquire within,” and I knew that was my title!

Q: How long did it take to write the first draft?
A: I started the novel in 2002, but never finished because of procrastination, fear, intimidation—you name it. Then an editor critiqued the opening chapters at a 2003 conference and loved it, so I knew it was time to suck it up and write. It took me four months to write and edit the draft enough to send to the editor.

Q: What about revisions?
A: Lord. I seriously have no clue how many times I’ve rewritten the novel. At least ten times.

Q: Are you pleased with your cover design?
A: Adore it. There were two things I really wanted—the sign exactly as I read it all those years ago and a seated hair dryer. I was ecstatic when they included both, and the cute coffee cup!

Q: How do you feel about the impending release of your book?
A: Great. Fantastic. Couldn’t be better.

Q: No really, how do you feel about it?
A: Okay . . . I wish I could enjoy this more. This is a dream come true, right? But I’m too busy worrying about marketing and editing my next book to really enjoy the moment!

Q; What are you doing to promote your book?
A: Getting cool guys named Eric to interview me.

With a marketing plan like that, I don’t see how you can go wrong. There’s me…and Eric…ummm…Eric…well, there’s me.

WRITING PROCESS

Q: What is your writing schedule like?
A: While writing a rough draft, I’m pretty anal about word count. I don’t quit each writing session until I write at least 2,500 words. For editing, I shoot for three hours a day.

Q: What is your process for going about writing a book?
A: I do a ton of characterizations and outlining before starting a novel. Knowing the direction I’m going in makes me feel less intimidated. But most times, I veer off my carefully plotted path once I get past page 100!

Q: Are you in a critique group? How does that help you?
A: We’re not very active right now, but I was in a critique group while working on BSfR and they were a tremendous help!

MISCELLANEOUS AND SUNDRY

Q: Just because I can ask it, if you could have dinner with any famous person (living or dead) and language was not a barrier, who would it be and why?
A: Jesus, so he could maybe explain Revelations to me.

Q: Who are your favorite authors in your genre?
A: Joan Bauer and Sarah Dessen.

Q: Aside from my novel, what are your three favorite books for young people in any genre?
A; What, I can’t list yours? Forget it. I refuse to answer. Well . . . okay. HOPE WAS HERE by Joan Bauer, SPEAK by Laurie Halse Andersen and a tie between A LONG WAY FROM CHICAGO by Richard Peck and BECAUSE OF WINN DIXIE by Kate DiCamillo.

Q: Would your book be best as a big screen picture, television series, Friends Reunion episode, HBO movie, or something else?
A; Big screen, baby, think big!

Q: Who would play your main characters?
A: I will always, for any book I write, say Ashley Judd because she’s my favorite actress. For my main character? Maybe that cute girl from Little Miss Sunshine in a few years—without the glasses.

Q: What song would absolutely HAVE to be in the soundtrack?
A: “Nothing Sacred,” by Jonatha Brooke and “1963” by Rachael Yamagata.

Laura, thanks for putting up with my ridiculous questions. Best of luck with BEAUTY SHOP FOR RENT and keep those books coming! If you'd like to learn more about Laura Bowers, here are some links to her blog, author website, and MySpace page.






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