My name’s Laura Read and I’ve worked in publishing for over seven years, as a designer for a journal and its award-winning website, and now as a freelance designer and writer.
In April, I published my first book, Deadly Sins: a dark thriller about an organised crime family, with a twisted love story at its heart. The book explores the sexism that can permeate families and how sin influences us all. I’m currently writing my second book (and designing its cover) about a political affair.
Have you always wanted to be a writer?
Yes, which is why I find it ridiculous that I took so long to publish my first novel (from the initial idea to hitting ‘publish’ on Amazon, it took 10 years on and off to finish!). I was always reading and writing as a child and teenager, but life seemed to get in the way in my 20s. Now I want to read and write as much as possible because that’s what I enjoy doing.
Tell us about your book, and the story behind writing it.
Angela Balanescu is the daughter of an organised crime boss. She hates the violence used by her family and yearns to leave town instead of using drink and sex as escapism. When she falls for a corrupt detective, she wonders whether she can learn to trust him and put a life of crime behind her. Her father’s violent lieutenant wants her for himself though, and he reminds her that she shouldn’t trust anyone.
As I said, it took a long time to write and edit, mainly because I kept changing the structure and switching scenes, or cutting chapters and adding new ones. Also it took a while to build up the confidence to publish the book, but I’m happy that I did.
What’s the biggest challenge about being a writer?
For me, it’s finding the time and energy to write, and trying not to procrastinate. Marketing can fall into the ‘procrastination’ category if I focus on it too much, so at the moment I’m trying to carve out the time to write my second novel at the same time as marketing my first book.
Do you have a specific writing space?
Not really. I move around our house and like to write in bed, on the sofa, outside when it’s sunny, or at our dining table when I feel serious. I like to zone out and it helps to write when it’s quiet – fortunately, I work from home, so it’s easy to sit down and focus on my writing.
What’s your number one piece of writing advice?
Don’t give up. There are days when you feel deflated, as if you can’t write or edit anything, and you get stuck. When I’m stuck, I scribble down an outline of what I want to write, and sometimes that helps me to get back into the story. The worst thing you can do is give up and leave it until you’re ‘in the mood’ to write, or constantly edit the same words over and over again until something clicks – although I’m guilty of doing this!
What books do you currently have on your bedside table?
Stoner by John Williams, and on my Kindle JJ McAvoy’s Ruthless People. I’ve started reading about creating Amazon ads as well for my books: Learn Amazon Ads by Mark Dawson and Joseph Alexander.
Who have been your biggest writing influences and why?
The obvious: JK Rowling, because her books have encouraged so many children as well as adults to read, and she’s done so well with her books, inspiring other writers about staying true to their stories and characters. Also I love the originality of Chuck Palahniuk’s books; the sharpness of his writing and the moral and political messages that fill his work.
How do you market your writing?
Every day I’m adding new subscribers to my mailing list and it’s great having an audience who I can bounce ideas off. Readers usually sign up via instaFreebie to receive a free preview of my book, and I’ll email my list perhaps once a fortnight with news and offers on my books and similar authors’ novels (e.g. free book giveaways). I’m on Twitter @laurareadauthor (mainly I tweet about books and what I’m working on – unsurprisingly!) and I blog every so often at laurareadauthor.com. I like networking with other authors to market our writing together – instaFreebie group giveaways and Facebook groups are great for this.
Lastly, something fun. What’s something our readers might not know about you?
I have a love/hate relationship with fixing up our house and gardening. I just spent an hour setting up a new lawnmower and I have the bruises to prove it!
You can follow Laura Read on Twitter (twitter.com/laurareadauthor) or Facebook (facebook.com/laurareadauthor). For the latest news about her work, and to get special offers on my books and similar novels by other authors (including free books), sign up to her e-newsletter via laurareadauthor.com.
To read a preview of Deadly Sins (or to read the book for free in Kindle Unlimited), go to books2read.com/u/bMGO9v (click on the Kindle icon, which will take you through to the relevant Amazon Store for your country).
By Laura Read
How far would you go to escape from your sins?
Angela Balanescu is the daughter of an organized crime boss. Her father feeds on power, solely focused on how he can gain more territory. Hating the violence used by her family, Angela yearns to leave town, instead of using drink and sex as escapism.
When she falls for corrupt detective Sean, Angela wonders whether she can learn to trust him and put a life of crime behind her. But Vincent, her father’s violent lieutenant, is jealous of their relationship and wants her for himself. He reminds her that she shouldn’t trust anyone.
Will Angela choose to stay and help her family, or leave town with Sean to start a new life where she can escape her past?