Tuesday, March 19, 2013

TBR welcomes Laura Lee Nutt

TBR: Welcome to TBR, Laura Lee Nutt. Will you share a little bit about yourself?
Laura Lee Nutt: Thank you for having me. I write fantasy, science fiction, romance, and any combination of the above. Most of all, I love stories that swim in the depths of character emotions and growth, have at least a touch of romance, and stick around long after the last page is read. I adore beautiful writing and anything that explores the heights of human heroism. I have a fondness for werewolves, the moon, and anything that inspires wonder.

TBR: Tell us about RED AND THE WOLF and where it's available.
Laura Lee Nutt: Red and the Wolf is a fantasy romance set in 15th century Germany. It follows the story of Blanchette, Little Red Riding Hood, years after a werewolf attacked her and her grandmother but left emotional wounds the years never healed. When a nix, a freshwater German-style merman, and a hunter of the supernatural threaten her, her village, and her huntsman rescuer of old, she must face her past and come to terms with her present or lose everything, including her one chance at healing, love, and happiness.

Red and the Wolf buy links:

TBR: Please tantalize us with a story blurb or excerpt.
Laura Lee Nutt:
“You are telling me a simple wolf attack caused all this nonsense about a talking wolf dressing in women’s clothes and luring a little girl to his bedside so he could eat her?”
“Says something about how much people exaggerate, does it not?” Heinrich hitched a toothy smile on his face and managed to settle his gaze on Kaismann’s hairline.
Kaismann stepped nearer. “Or how much they will lie to conceal information.”
Heinrich held his ground and stifled the urge to growl. The wolf shoved against his control. Neither of them enjoyed being called a liar, even if true. Kaismann proved moment by moment how strong a threat he could become. Could he push Heinrich past the point of control? The wolf vibrated at joyous possibilities.
“Does that bother you, huntsman?”
“That people lie? Certainly.”
Kaismann closed the distance further. Heinrich concentrated on keeping his body relaxed, face impassive.
“Then why is there challenge in your eyes?”
Heinrich settled his hands on Kaismann’s shoulders and shoved him back a step. He resisted forcing the inquisitive annoyance all the way to the ground. “You are invading my space.” He must escape quickly before he did something foolish or let his wolfish impulses get the better of him. “Excuse me.”
“Some tales say it was no mere wolf but a werewolf who attacked the girl and her grandmother,” Kaismann called low and threatening as Heinrich stalked away.
Heinrich stopped. Gripping himself with fierce control, he looked back. “There are no werewolves, Herr Kaismann. I am a huntsman. If one actually existed and wandered these woods, I assure you, I would have seen it, killed it, and reported the fact.”
Kaismann lifted his brows in disbelief. “Truly?”
“Excuse me. I have work to attend to.”
Heinrich restrained his pace with difficulty. The last thing he needed was for Kaismann to accurately guess he intended to flee his questions and suspicions.
When pine and fir obliterated the sight of Ulfheim, Heinrich took a steadying breath. Yet Kaismann’s questions clung to his shoulders with sharp little claws. What had prompted the man to snare onto the possibility of a werewolf? Heinrich had hoped most people would find such a concept too farfetched.
At least, Kaismann did not yet realize there were two werewolves in this part of the Black Forest. One way or another, his presence and tenacious curiosity would make meeting the she-werewolf again dangerous. 

TBR: What inspired you to write about the theme?
Laura Lee Nutt: When I wrote Red and the Wolf, I did not consciously write to a specific theme. However, looking back, I suspect my circumstances at the time played a big part in the themes that came out of the story. At the time, I was sick for two weeks and stir-crazy. Stuck in bed, I was desperate for a distraction, so I opened up my laptop and wrote the first draft of this book in eight days. Like Blanchette, I felt trapped and bleak and yearned for escape. Unlike Blanchette, I knew my illness would end soon and did not cling to the comforts of staying hidden from the world.

In Red and the Wolf, the story is very much about accepting who we are and that there is goodness inside us, but we must come to terms with our flaws to reach our greatest potential. I was born visually impaired, so I have a lot of experience with this concept.

TBR: Are you a plotter or pantser?
Laura Lee Nutt: I lean toward the pantser end of the spectrum. However, shortly before writing Red and the Wolf, I took a plotting class on Write_Workshop, a Yahoo group Candace Havens started for writers. I employed a lot of the techniques from the class when writing Red and the Wolf and got a better book for it. Generally, I try to strike a balance. My pantser side needs the freedom to explore and create, but incorporating plotter techniques helps give me a more solid foundation from the beginning.

TBR: How do you develop your characters?
Laura Lee Nutt: I use a combination of methods to develop characters. Usually, I fill out a character survey or two. I write out paragraphs on their motivations, goals, pasts, fears, dreams, etc. Then I play with them for the first few chapters of a book. This is why my first six to twelve chapters go through a lot more rewrites than my later chapters. In those first chapters, I get to know my characters and sometimes toss them in different scenarios or different twists on the same scenario until I get a good feel for them. But no matter how hard I work at creating and getting to know them, they never cease to surprise me.

TBR: Do you have a favorite quote you’d like to share?
Laura Lee Nutt: My favorite quote about writing is from Robin LaFevers. “Just as we must dance as if no one is watching, we must write as if no one is reading.”

TBR: Which of your characters would you most/least like to invite to dinner, and why?
Laura Lee Nutt: From Red and the Wolf, I would most like to invite Karl Kaismann, the hunter of the supernatural who strives to execute Blanchette and Heinrich, the hero and heroine of my book. Of all the character, he is the only one that came fully out of my own imagination, and as such, he fascinated me. He is both a villain and an honorable man, and that combination intrigues me.

TBR: While creating your books, what was one of the most surprising things you learned?
Laura Lee Nutt: When writing Red and the Wolf, I researched the old versions of the Little Red Riding Hood story. To my surprise, in the French version, where I took the name Blanchette for the heroine of my book, she did not wear a red hood at all, but a yellow one.

TBR: What's next for you?
Laura Lee Nutt: Right now, I’m working on the sequel to Red and the Wolf. Currently, it’s titled Gretel and Her Ghost. Like Red and the Wolf, I took a well-known fairy tale and extrapolated into the story’s future, asking what would happen if there had not really been a happily ever after? How would these characters deal with the logical difficulties they faced from their childhood fairy tale encounters, and how might they find happiness in the end? In this case, Gretel is desperate to marry and have a normal life, but Hansel, who never truly recovered from nearly getting eaten by the witch, sabotages her every attempt. When a mysterious man comes to town to seek her aid in rescuing other children trapped in the candy house, she must make some of the hardest choices in her life, but ones that have the possibility to at least set her free.

I also recently finished a novel starring Karl Kaismann, the antagonist from Red and the Wolf. It’s a historical urban fantasy that I will soon start shopping around among editors and agents. In this novel, I drew upon the haunting legends of the Lorelei Rock on the Rhine River in Germany about a beautiful maiden deprived of her true love and a nixie, a sort of nymph-like creature, who causes ships to crash beneath the rock’s deadly foot. Karl naturally gets caught up in the legend and must save a town that despises him, choose between his heart’s desire and the lives of thousands, and come to terms with an unwanted destiny.

TBR: Who are some of your favorite authors and books? What are you reading now?
Laura Lee Nutt: My all time favorite book is The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle. It recaptures my heart each time I read it. I also love Patricia Briggs, Alfred Lord Tennyson, Jim Butcher, George R.R. Martin, Mercedes Lackey, Jane Austin, Jessi Gage, who is my critique partner and writes some of my favorite heroes, and Cecilia Grant. Honestly, this list could go on quite a long time if I let it. Right now, I’m reading Dreamlander by K. M. Weiland, and, so far, it is excellent.

TBR: Where can readers find you on the web?
Laura Lee Nutt: Here is my website, my blog, and you can also find me on Facebook and Twitter.

TBR: Is there anything you’d like to ask our readers?
Laura Lee Nutt: First, thank you so much for having me today and to all your readers for stopping by.

Second, in addition to today’s GIVEAWAY, details below, I’d like to invite you and your readers to participate in the giveaway I’m hosting this month to celebrate the release of Red and the Wolf. On Monday, April 1, I’ll announce the winners on my website—no tricks for April Fools Day, I promise. You will have from 12:00 AM on Monday, March 11, central time, to 11:59 PM on Sunday, March 31, central time, to gain points. Each point counts as an additional time you will be entered in the drawing for a number of prizes such as a beautiful, illustrated edition of Andersen and Grimms’ fairy tales and Little Red Riding Hood’s basket complete with an assortment of goodies to brighten anyone’s day, even a grandmother’s whose house has just been burgled by a werewolf. For more details and how to earn points, visit my website. To earn your first point, comment on today’s post. (A comment will count for both the March Giveaway and today’s giveaway on this blog.) What is your favorite romantic local and why? Mine is a castle. I love castles, and they fit with my favorite time period, medieval, where there was the ideal of my favorite hero type: strong and honorable. 


TBR: Readers, Laura Lee Nutt will give away an e-copy of Red and the Wolf to one lucky commenter. She'll pick a winner on Wednesday, March 20 and announce the winner here. Be sure to leave your email address so she can contact you.

About Laura Lee Nutt

In elementary school, Laura Lee Nutt checked out every fairy tale in the library so often, if she picked something else, it was cause for curiosity. Even into adulthood, she nurtured her imagination with stories of fairies, true love, monsters, especially werewolves, and the fantastic, but she wondered what happened after “happily ever after.”
This curiosity and catching an illness one chill winter day brought her before a blank computer screen, desperately desiring to write something new. Heinrich, Blanchette, and Karl swiftly spun the tale you just read. Laura feverishly typed, barely fast enough to keep up.
Once Red and the Wolf was born, other stories coalesced in Laura’s mind, Beauty and the Beast, Sleeping Beauty, Hansel and Gretel, all asking the same questions: What might happen if the end of these tales wasn’t really the end? What were these characters’ lives really like after the harrowing events of the fairy tale? What if achieving true love and happiness required something extra? Thus came the idea for this series, Embracing Ever After, where achieving true love requires something special and happily ever after isn’t really the end.

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6 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  2. Thanks for having me on today, and good luck to everyone on winning that copy of Red and the Wolf.

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  4. Thanks for the insight into your writing process. I like learning about how the characters came to life.

    As for my favorite romance location, I'm a city girl. While isolated locations can be interesting, I like the complications of a bustling area where the hero and heroine don't have the luxury of focusing solely on each other. So I'm really interested in an urban historical fantasy.

    dancingcelt at gmail dot com

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  5. Mer, thanks for the comment. When you put the appeal of the city as a romance local like that, it takes on whole new levels of interest. I hadn't ever thought of it that way, but you make a very good argument for the city romance.

    I'll put your name in the drawing. Thanks for stopping by. :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. Congratulations, Mer! You won the e-copy of Red and the Wolf. Thanks for participating. :)

    ReplyDelete

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