My last Five Photographs guest is Laurel Wanrow. She’s here with a picture of her blind rescue turtle, as well as more about her debut steampunk fantasy THE UNRAVELING. Welcome, Laurel!
Hi Jill–What a fun way to have an interview! Thanks for extending it through June!
My pleasure, Laurel. I’ve really enjoyed this series and will be sad to wrap it up. But all good things must come to an end. 😀 I’ll be sharing my five pictures soon!
Something that represents something unique about you
A cabin built by my dad—with help from his parents—while he was in college. I think it’s unusual these days to have an entirely handcrafted house made by a family member. I’ve visited my entire life and my husband and I have taken our kids just about every year. I also sneak off for writing retreats. 🙂
[Jill: definitely rare and unusual. Looks like the perfect writing retreat!]
Something that represents where you live
I walk on a nearby golf course and frequently see wildlife: fox, deer, geese and even turtles cross through our neighborhood.
Your pet or plant or thing you care for (besides your human family/friends)
While working at a nature center I did a lot of turtle rehab and was given an Eastern Box Turtle who crossed the road at the wrong time and lost her eyesight. My daughter was little when she came to live with us and named her Clady. We’ve hand fed Clady for twenty years. She’s between 50 to 80 years old. (It’s hard to tell the age once they’re full-grown.)
[Jill: that is really neat. No one has shared a picture of a pet turtle yet. Clady was lucky to find a home with you.]
Something (not someone) that really frustrates you
Ohmygosh, our door lock! When we had a new door installed it was hard to work. My husband thought it would loosen up, and we had such a time getting the installer to caulk properly that I hesitated to call them back. Five years later I still hate the thing!
Something that brings you joy (besides writing)
Since my kids were really even too little to hunt fossils we have made family trips Westmoreland State Park along the Potomac River. At low tide we scour the beach for fossilized shark teeth, whale vertebrae and other oddities.
[Jill: hunting for fossils is more popular than I realized. Izzy Norse is also a fan of fossil hunting]
What’s the elevator pitch for your latest published novel?
In The Unraveling, a steampunk fantasy romance, a proper Victorian artist must learn to use her bloodline’s wild magic to help the shapeshifter she loves, or become what she fears most: another cog in a magnate’s plan to control agriculture.
What are you working on next?
The Unraveling is the first volume of three in a serialized novel called The Luminated Threads. I’ve finished edits on the second volume and am starting them on the third.
What are you currently reading?
Penelope’s Song of Blood & Stone
What are you currently watching (TV shows)?
The Big Bang Theory has been a favorite for years. Recently my daughter introduced me to Once Upon A Time, but I’m only in season one.
Favorite fantasy creature, villain, or weapon not from your own work?
I love Dobby the house-elf and his rather perverse way of ‘helping’ Harry Potter.
Biggest challenge facing writers today?
Balancing the demands of social media and marketing with keeping your head together to keep writing the next book.
How can we meet that challenge?
I’m not sure I have the answer, since I’m a debut author and just putting into practice the next techniques I’ve heard for years at RWA workshops. The message resonating with me as I approached my first release was Susan Elizabeth Phillips’ oft repeated line “Protect the work.” She usually uses this line when advising writers to get over their review angst, but it applies to all of your writing time. Without the next book, we are sunk!
More About Laurel
Before kids, she studied and worked as a naturalist—someone who leads wildflower and other nature walks. When not living in her fantasy worlds, Laurel camps, hunts fossils and argues with her husband and two new adult kids over whose turn it is to clean house. The Unraveling debuted June 23rd.
Thank you for the interview, Laurel, and for sharing your pictures with us today. Good luck and best wishes with THE UNRAVELING!