Interview with Laurie Boris

Why would anyone want to be a novelist? I mean, willingly?
I love it too much to stop. I love stepping into a character's world and becoming fully immersed in that universe. It's better than any job I've ever had.
What comes first, the plot or the characters?
For me, it's always been about the characters. One drops into my head and has a story to tell. Sometimes I have to do a little digging, because as we all know, there are many sides to a story.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I was a little fat girl in a small town in rural New York. I was teased and bullied a lot for not being like the other kids. Books made faithful companions. And living on the periphery of the normal social flow allowed me to observe human nature and gave me a bit more compassion for my flawed characters.
When did you first start writing?
I've been keeping a journal since my teens and wrote for the school literary magazine. But I didn't start writing seriously until my mid-twenties. On a break between freelance gigs, I had an idea for a story. It was terrible, but I kept writing more stories, sending them out, getting rejected, writing more. Eventually one got published, and eventually one felt bigger than would fit in the confines of a short story, so I began writing novels and never looked back.
What's the story behind your latest book?
Sliding Past Vertical is a dark love story about a young woman whose hasty decisions often backfire, with sometimes amusing but sometimes serious consequences. It circles around the friendship between Sarah, the walking disaster area, and Emerson, whom she'd dated in college. The story came out of a writing exercise: go back to a point in your life where you needed to make a major decision, take the other path, and imagine what might happen. Sarah happened. And to his irritation and secret delight, she keeps happening to Emerson.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I like a challenge, and I like to be independent. The path seemed a good match for me. My first book, The Joke's on Me, was published by 4RV, a small press. They're lovely and put out nice books, but like most small presses, there's little in the marketing budget. I had to learn a lot about doing it myself. When my next book was ready for publication, I thought I'd try to self-publish. I liked the freedom. But I'm still learning about the responsibility, and about how to build a business.
What do your fans mean to you?
I really appreciate my fans. Hearing from readers completes the circle, in a way. And if not for comments from fans about wanting to hear more from certain characters, I might not have written my last couple of projects.
What are you working on next?
I'm just about to publish a prequel to my contemporary novel Don't Tell Anyone—a romantic novella titled The Picture of Cool. Next is the sequel to Don't Tell Anyone. Yes, I know I'm doing it backwards and sideways. It's been a great exercise in plotting and working with a timeline, because I'd never intended on making DTA anything but a stand-alone novel. But I'm happy to be working with these characters again. Charlie and Liza are great together and I love seeing what happens next for them.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I read a lot of my friends' books. Or I get a word-of-mouth recommendation.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Yes, it was horrid! A high-school writing assignment. A cat-loving man moves in with his plant-loving girlfriend, and the cats and plants start destroying each other. At the time, I thought it was fabulous.
Published 2014-03-29.
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Books by This Author

The Picture of Cool
By
Series: Trager Family Secrets, How it all began. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 15,220. Language: American English. Published: July 4, 2014. Category: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
A television producer’s cool façade hides his lonely heart, until he meets a handsome man whose secret could turn their lives upside down. Book One, Trager Family Secrets. (Short novella: 14,000 words)
Sliding Past Vertical
By
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 76,350. Language: American English. Published: March 23, 2014. Category: Fiction » Literature » Literary
Ten years after a brief college romance, Emerson and Sarah have remained comfortable, long-distance friends. Yet secretly he longs for her and is quick to offer comfort and support when her hasty decisions end in varying degrees of disaster. When her drug-dealing boyfriend lands her in deep trouble, she calls Emerson again. But is this the rescue that pushes their friendship to the breaking point?
Don't Tell Anyone
By
Series: Trager Family Secrets, Liza's story. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 66,690. Language: English. Published: December 2, 2012. Category: Fiction » Women's fiction » General
When a family accidentally learns that their matriarch has a fatal illness, their complicated weave of secrets and lies begins to unravel. Can they hold their own lives together long enough to help Mom with hers?
Outside the Box (A Short Story)
By
Price: Free! Words: 3,240. Language: English. Published: March 22, 2012. Category: Fiction » Humor & comedy » General
But is it art? An engaged couple navigates the symbolism of an avant-garde gallery exhibit.