|Author Interview Form|
|Tell us your name and where you’re from.:
||Laurel A. Rockefeller. I was born/raised in Lincoln,
Nebraska and currently live in western Pennsylvania.
|What led to your decision to become an author?:
||I am a singer/songwriter originally. I grew up in a very
violent home and used to make up songs to help me deal with all that.
My first publications were all poetry/music, including “Why Bilbo?”
which came out in January 1991 in the “Minas Tirith Evening Star,” the
journal of the American Tolkien Society. From there, I wrote
non-fiction research papers for various publications of the Society
for Creative Anachronism, including on the life of Empress Wu Zetian.
Writing novels I think just evolved out of that — but you can clearly
see my non-fiction and music background in my books. I might be the
only novelist who puts bibliographies into my books!
|Tell us about what you’re currently working on, and
what you’ve written in the past.:
|I currently have two projects in the works right — one for
each of my book series. For the Legendary Women of World History
biographical novella series, I am following up on the success of
“Boudicca: Britain’s Queen of the Iceni” with “Catherine de Valois”
(subtitle to be determined). Shakespeare turned Catherine into this
mindless boy toy in Henry V — the complete opposite of what we know
about her. So I am tackling the complexities of 15th century England
and France to tell her story.
Meanwhile, I am working on completing “Princess Anyu Returns,” the
|What are some of your strongest points as a writer,
and what if anything are you constantly working to improve upon?:
|Science fiction and historical fiction both require a writer
to be very data-grounded and possess strong research skills in order
to tell the stories in a believable fashion. My work is believable
and does not require much if any suspension of disbelief because my
world building and world re-construction is so saturated with fact.
When I do not know something about a particular detail, I immediately
go to professionals in whatever field is involved with that detail or
scene. For example, when Lord Engineer Kian is assassinated on the
floor of the Great Hall of the Assembly in “The Ghosts of the Past,”
the exact place the crossbow quarrel hits was determined by talking to
an ER doctor who deals with gunshot wounds. He showed me the
difference between a hit directly to the heart verses grazing the
heart verses hitting the lung. Those all make a difference when
writing a death scene.
So I would say my research skills, my curiosity, and my willingness to
The other great strength I feel is my music. Not only do most of my
Something I am working on improving is my readability at lower reading
Okay, sure, I love the word “vexed” as a Jane Austen fan, but a ten
|Are you self published, traditionally published or
both? Why did you choose to go that route?:
|I am self-published. Probably for two reasons. One is that
traditional publishing does not generally take many risks with new,
unknown writers and I did not want to fight that system. A second is
that I make more money per copy self-published than I do going with
the traditional route.
|What format are your books available in? Which of
these formats do you prefer and why?:
|The print editions of my books include at least one of the
following: paperback, large print paperback, and QR Interactive
paperback. When I first QR indexed in the summer of 2013, I already
had paperback and large print editions for my first two Peers of
Beinan series books, “The Great Succession Crisis” and “The Ghosts of
the Past,” so I simply added the QR indexed editions to those. For
more information about what QR indexing is, please watch my
tutorial/webinar at http://youtu.be/GR3RPTtREs0
Since that time, I QR index by default, building upon the over 800
All my digital editions (available in the kindle store) include the
This summer I will release “The Poisoned Ground” environmental
My preferred formats personally are the interactive editions — kindle
|How do you go about marketing your books?:
||I use twitter a lot. Though I post on various book groups on
facebook, I like twitter. My tweets are a mix of links to my
non-fiction articles with Yahoo Voices, to blog posts, to my youtube
trailers and tutorials, and finally to my books themselves. I also
retweet most of the posts from those who I follow, and usually follow
back those who follow me (@laurelworlds), so it would be fair to say I
work co-operatively with other writers and bloggers. You are the key
to my success; this is not about me.
Finally, I “market” by being a positive person. This may seem
|Have you ever had to deal with harsh criticism in a
review, and how do you handle it?:
|I have a one star review on the QR edition of “Ghosts of the
Past” where it was really obvious the man never read any of the books
and where he was just trashing me to do it. Two sentences claiming
the very complicated murder-mystery was written on the 5th grade level
— among other gripes.
Initially the review bugged me a bit because it so obviously not the
Writing to a grammar school level is not second nature to me at
What I learned from this one star review is first to not let these
|What are your favorite genres to both read and
|I love history. I love reading non-fiction history and
writing historical fiction. I also love non-fiction science (Dr. Neil
deGrasse Tyson is amazing) and reading science-grounded science
fiction novellas and short story anthologies. Growing up the Star
Trek anthologies were my absolute favorite, especially the stories
written by “Journey to Babel” author Dorothy “D.C.” Fontana.
|What authors have influenced or inspired you?:
||J.R.R. Tolkien, Babylon 5’s JMS, Star Trek’s Dorothy Fontana,
Marion Zimmer Bradley, Charles Dickens, Jane Austen, William
Shakespeare, and sometimes Geoffrey Chaucer.
|What kinds of things do you enjoy doing when you’re
|I love my cockatiels Mithril and Gandalf. They are my world!
When I am not a perch or cuddling birds, I enjoy English country
dancing — something you see in my Peers of Beinan series books as
part of the Jane Austen effect. I am also learning to ice skate.
Since I have 20/80 vision, I need help navigating the rink and
especially in navigating safely when other skaters are on the ice, but
I believe that with the right kind of help, I can make that dream come
|What software do you use for your writing? Did you
try others before you settled on the one you’re currently using?:
|Since my old computer died and I am on Windows 8 now, I use
MS Word 2010, an upgrade from the Word 2007 I used on my old
|What is it that you like about the software you’re
currently using that makes it the best solution for you?:
|Word is the industry standard; I’ve used a version of Word for
|What’s the best advice you could possibly give to
your fellow authors?:
|There are no shortcuts; practice really does make perfect. Do
not be afraid of the red editor’s pen. Make it great and nothing less
than your absolute best work. Steve Jobs never settled for second
best and nor should you.
|Where can people find out more about you and your
National Association of Professional Women:
Facebook (Peers of Beinan Series):
Facebook (Legendary Women of World History Series):
And last but not least, Peers of Beinan: http://www.peersofbeinan.com and Legendary Women: http://www.legendarywomenbooks.com where you will learn not only