Today I'd like to welcome Laura Strandt, author of “Crumbling Walls” to The Thursday Interview. Before we get started, a quick intro!
I’m a children’s librarian by day (and some evenings) but by night (and lunch hour), I am a writer. It’s totally the most perfect thing in the world: deadlines, writer’s block and all, including Dave’s hounding to change a paragraph, chapter or whole character personality because it’s crap. After devouring them for decades and telling stories to myself for years, I decided to take up the NaNoWriMo challenge in 2006 to try my hand at actually writing things down. Dave, my cousin/best friend/partner in crime for the last 36 years, then spent our two-week vacation to the Grand Canyon reading it.
OK - HERE WE GO !!
No.1 Would you break the law to save a loved one? .. why?
Depends on what I'm saving them from. If they are going to die in the next 24 hours and need money for a new kidney pronto, then yes, I would probably do anything and everything I could to get it for them, including possibly breaking laws because, sometimes, your person needs you to do something drastic ... Now, if they needed to be saved from a speeding ticket or they needed a pair of shoes to save their outfit, then they are most definitely on their own (I shall not steal shoes and I shall not pretend to need to go to the hospital for accute appendicitis to justify speeding).
No.2 What is the difference between being alive and truly living?
Being alive, to me, simply means breathing, eating, sleeping, getting through the day without rocking the boat, making it home unscathed from work, going to bed not having done one thing out of the oridnary and not remembering the last time you did something out of the ordinary.
Truly living, on the other hand, means two things to me. The first definition means taking the bull by the horns, to be all cliched about it. Jumping out of that plane or climbing that bridge even though you fear heights, snorkeling even though you fear water and fish and the basic vastness of the incredibly deep ocean, taking your hands off the roller coaster bar and waving them while screaming, even though you're pretty sure you're going to be dead in 1.3 seconds time. My second definition of truly living, in my opinion, is doing something that makes a memory. I don't remember what I ate for lunch or how the car ride home was but I remember bike riding with my kid in the park and eating a picnic lunch and playing baseball with her. I'd say we truly lived that day, even though it was much tamer than climbing through caves on another continent.
No.3 What motivates you to write?
I have no idea. I just have to. My characters are forever evolving and living life in my head and sometimes the urge is so overwhelming that if I didn't write their lives down, I'd have to scream. I write because I am a writer. Even if no one ever reads another novel or short story or fan fiction by me, I will still write them down because it's simply what I do.
No.4 Why do humans want children?
Because slavery is illegal and someone needs to empty the dishwasher and take out the trash. Also because it's nice to know that a little piece of yourself will still be around after you die. It's a selfish, legacy thing :D
No.5 What was the biggest challenge in creating your book "Crumbling Walls"?
Making sure that my characters were truly themselves. Fake and forced characterization kills me. If you need to make your person do something totally out of character just to move the story along, then you're doing it wrong. If you need to create a person for one specific incident, then never use them again, you're doing it wrong. I know that some of the grammar in my books is incorrect but when I was my characters ages, and even today, I talked and talk that way. I use in'it and never use who and whom properly and spell Grama and Grampa wrong and swear probably a bit too much and such and so on. If I'm going to write, I'm going to do it how I think it should be done, not how it ought to be done.
No.6 What is the most important thing you have learned in life so far?
Love your peoples no matter how crazy they are and how much they annoy you sometimes and how much they may irritate the living hell out of you. Cats are awesome. You can make nearly anything out of duct tape and cardboard. Always smell the milk before you drink it.
No.7 How did you come up with the title "Crumbling Walls"?
I think Dave (editor, publisher, cousin) came up with it. Emily build up a lot of walls around her and Jack and the Callaghan clan began busting through them ... but "Busting Walls" didn't have the same ring to it as "Crumbling Walls" so we went with that instead ...
No.8 How do you handle personal criticism?
Mostly with an accepting face but inside for one second I think 'seriously, you are crazy for thinking this' then a second after that, I realize 'hey, they might be right' then by the time they are halfway through their sentence, I am absorbing and figuring out how to change what they are saying and realize that was a damn good idea they had after all. Except if they criticize my boots ... then we are finished ... :D
No.9 Why should people read your book?
Because it's really good. Because the second book in the series will make less sense if you don't read the first. Because Dex thinks you should and he'll come over and sing off key to you until you relent and read it. Because the characters want to come alive and the only way to do that is to read it. Because the characters have a story to tell and it deserves to be heard. Because it's really good.
No.10 Why is there something rather than nothing?
If there was nothing, than something couldn't exist because you can't get something from nothing. There is something so when there is nothing, you will know what you're missing and will work for something again.
Thank you Laura :)
For taking the time to answer my questions
& the best of luck with your new book!
Check out “Crumbling Walls” on
I had a good life… a safe life…a quiet life…I had a place to live and food to eat and a bed to sleep in…Books to read, paper to draw on and a friend who didn't mind when I wouldn't answer questions…I didn't realize I also had a hole in my heart and a void in my soul…Until I met Jack…He ran headlong into my walls and broke through them, crumbling them to the ground, seeing the real me and choosing to stay by my side.
I had a great life… a loud life… a different life…I lived with my parents and five brothers in a new house in a new neighborhood in a new town…I spent hours on my bike, riding miles at a time…Or, I did, until a quiet girl sitting on her front porch brought me to a screeching halt…And I found something and someone I never knew I needed in the first place...Her name is Emily and she makes me whole.
A boy on his bike, a girl on her porch...
Not all stories start so simply,
but the story of Jack and Emily does..