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Interview with Laura Honken

She is a writer, poet, and lyricist. A financial services professional, Laura had a lifelong goal of becoming a published author. Her years of writing have resulted in creating a mystery/thriller novel interwoven with intricate but humanly flawed characters.

​Laura started writing song lyrics while playing on the swing set on her family's farm in Iowa. While in high school, she began writing short stories and poetry. She won second place in the state of Iowa poetry contest sponsored by the Catholic Daughters of America. Nashville Songwriters Association International has twice named Laura as "one to watch" as a songwriter. She resides in Minnesota with her husband and their five (yes, five) dogs.

Q.1 Tell us something about yourself not many people know?
I appeared on a local kids’ show when I was ten and sang the Iowa Corn song.

Q.2 Are we going to read more from you shortly? Any new project you’re working on?
Working on my second novel, and I hope to have the first draft done by the end of the fall. Two characters from The Best Laid Lies are featured in the new novel.

Q.3 When did you decide to write The Best Laid Lies?
I have loved writing for as long as I can remember and finally decided that if one of my goals was to write a novel, I needed to do it. I set daily goals for myself to achieve that goal.

Q.4 It is vital to get exposure and target the right readers for your writing. Tell us about your marketing campaign?
I had a media kit created and reached out to local newspapers. Through this, I was able to set up in-person signings. I have also used Amazon and Facebook advertising.

Q.5 How long does it typically take for you to write a book?
It took me about seven months to finish.

Q.6 Were there any challenges you faced while writing this book?
Time was the main challenge. I have a full-time job, so balancing that with writing and family was difficult.

Q.7 Do you have a routine for editing your books?
I put it aside for a few weeks and then try to read it as any reader would. Does it grab my attention? Is this needed?

Q.8 What kind of advice would you give to aspiring authors?
If you want to write, write. Don’t ever let anyone tell you that you’re not good enough. Always hire an editor.

Q.9 Do you believe in writer’s block? If yes, how do you deal with it?
I don’t know if it’s specifically writer’s block that affects me. It’s more procrastination for me. That is why I set goals for myself.

Q.10 What were your feelings when you first saw the cover of the finished product?
So many emotions. Elation, relief, and satisfaction, to name a few.

Q.11 Does your family support your career as a writer?
Definitely. My husband is very supportive of the time it takes, my niece designed the cover, and my sister was a beta reader.

Q.12 How did you select the name of your characters?
Some of the names are names that mean something to me personally. Other names are based on the character and what their motives are.

Q.13 What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?
Usually at night and on weekends. I have been known to stay up until 5:00 am if I’m in a groove.

Q.14 Do you have any unique and quirky writing habits?
I like to have a TV on in the background. I am not watching it or listening to it, but the noise seems to help me focus.

Q.15 How did you come up with the name of your book?
A play on the phrase The Best Laid Plans. Lies will always trip up your plans.

Q.16 What is the most challenging thing about writing characters from the opposite sex?
Probably dialogue. How would a man explain what he is feeling compared to how a woman would explain how she is feeling.

Q.17 Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
Probably try to learn a new instrument.

Q.18 Which famous person, living or dead, would you like to meet and why?
A. Stephen King
. His writing is descriptive and so diverse. It’s hard to believe one person can write novels and novellas that include The Shining, Carrie, Christine, Rita Hayworth, and the Shawshank Redemption! The Green Mile, and The Body. Then you watch him in Creepshow, and he’s funny too.

Q.19 How do you develop your plots and characters? Do you use any set formula?
No set formula. I start planning in my head and then make a rough outline. I am a combination of a planner and a pantser.

Q.20 Share the experience of your writing journey so far?
It’s been so rewarding. Accomplishing something I have always wanted to accomplish is so fulfilling. Hearing someone tell you how much they enjoyed your book is indescribable.

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