Today I catch up with two amazing authors, Connie Spanhake and Laura Laakso!
I originally interviewed Connie back in September 2018. Connie is an elementary school teacher from upstate New York and I spoke to her about writing and publishing her new crime novel ‘Finding Me’. You can check out the original interview here.
GJ: So Connie, have you been busy since the interview?
CS: I have certainly been busy since my book, Finding Me, hit the shelves. Currently, the book is being converted into an audiobook which I am thrilled about because I am an avid audiobook listener. In addition to this, I gave my first radio interview this summer which was a great experience. I have also had quite a few book signings in bookstores, malls, and at festivals. I have also visited a few book clubs who had read my book which was a lot of fun. I love to hear people talk about the characters and exclaim, “OMG I never saw that ending coming!”
GJ: What has been your most exciting day since we spoke?
CS: I would have to say my most epic day came during the summer when I introduced myself to a young woman who was sitting at my table at an event we were both attending and she said, “Connie Spanhake like the author?” and I replied, “Yes.” Then she proceeded to tell me how much she enjoyed my book. It was an awesome feeling.
I am still trying to navigate my way though how to advertise and market myself and my book. It’s still a process that I am constantly tweaking and researching. I am also blogging and found that it is something I really enjoy doing.
My newest venture is visiting afterschool programs and doing author visits. It’s an amazing feeling to inspire kids to want to write and share their own story.
I am currently working on revising my next book, Dark Secrets. I will let you know when it’s going to be released.
GJ: Thank you Connie. Finding Me can be found on Connie’s website, conniespanhake.com
Back around this time last year Laura replied to my call to authors who would like to be interviewed on my blog. Little did I know that this little interview would be the start of a friendship. Since the interview I’ve appeared on Laura’s website, we’ve read each other’s first books, Laura has undertaken an incredibly insightful beta read of BEFORE THE END and we’ve met in person, helping me to run a market stall selling books.
GJ: So I know what you’ve been up to, but can you let everyone else know!
LL: It feels hard to believe that’s been almost a year since I was last on your blog. I’m not sure where the time has gone, but I’d like some of it back, please!
My Wilde Investigations series is going full speed ahead. Fallible Justice will have its first book birthday on 8 November and the sequel, Echo Murder, was released in June. Both have also been published in audio over the summer. It’s been very weird hearing my word spoken by a stranger, though I’m sure most writers would say the same. We’ve also recently released the cover for Roots of Corruption, the third book in the series, ahead of its publication next March. It’s all about Samhain, the Fey and autumnal magic, with a sassy new ghost hunter joining the regular cast of supporting characters. I adored writing Roots and it hardly felt like work at all.
I think the biggest lesson I’ve learned over the past year or so was that my creativity has its limits. I wrote two books last year and it left me creatively burned out. During that time, I had no interest in writing anything at all, which was very disconcerting for someone who is a consistent overachiever. With lots of rest and other hobbies, I got over it and now I’m busy writing the fourth book in the Wilde Investigations series. The world keeps growing and I keep getting more book ideas, which means that I’ll probably still be writing Yannia’s adventures when I’m fifty! It’s a terrifying prospect.
This year, writing has cemented itself as a job. That mindset has helped me set aside time for it, but also to set boundaries around what I do. Taking time off to look after myself and to do other things means that the time I do spend writing is more productive. I’ve also been doing other writing-related tasks, such as beta reading a certain amazing zombie thriller due to be released soon, and doing some judging for Grindstone Literary Services. Doing both has taught me a great deal about editing and assessing stories from an outside perspective, and I hope I can translate that into editing my next book when I get that far.
Outside of the writing world, I’ve become a heelwork to music and canine freestyle judge, attended all sorts of dog shows over the year, and I’m getting ready for another hunting season. All of this because apparently sleep is overrated!
My publisher is offering a special three for two Wilde Investigations promotion on her website at the moment, in which if you buy copies of Fallible Justice and Echo Murder, you’ll get an early edition of Roots of Corruption when it goes to print in a couple of months. All the books are signed, come with extra goodies and ship for free in the UK.
GJ: A big thank you Laura. As I mentioned earlier, I have read FALLIBLE JUSTICE and although I didn’t think paranormal crime mysteries where my thing, I really enjoyed the book and have the second in the series, ECHO MURDER, on my bookshelf!
If you wanted to check out the amazing zombie thriller about to be released which Laura referred to then you can you take a look and pre-order here.
Before The End is the second and standalone book in the thrilling post-apocalyptic series In The End. If you like dark horror, fast-paced action, and bloodthirsty zombies, then you’ll love my high-stakes tale.