Interview with Laura O'Connell

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
My early years were spent in the country on farms in south east Queensland where my father worked following the seasons. After he passed, we moved to the banks of the Noosa River at Tewantin and later Noosaville. After my mother passed I moved to Gympie to live with an older sister. Tewantin and Noosaville were safe places for me to run wild in nature and pretend I was a bird on dry land or a dolphin when I swam in the river. I wasn't afraid of anything until I went to live in Gympie where there were a lot of hills. The hills made me feel trapped, so I never really felt settled in Gympie. As a young adult I moved to Brisbane and from there I travelled throughout Australia and had the opportunity to live overseas.

I lost my parents at a young age. All my books have an orphan in them. Orphans struggle with their sense of belonging. The parents aren't there to guide you. Even though my older sister and her husband raised me, I always felt where I lived was temporary. I still feel that way. I am trying to put down roots, but it's not that easy. Perhaps I'm just a born wanderer going wherever the wind takes me. I'm okay with that.
When did you first start writing?
I started writing in my thirties after a scuba diving holiday on Tryon Island off the coast from Gladstone in Queensland. I had just come up from a fabulous dive. Brilliant coloured fish, and many varieties of coral left me speechless. The beauty compelled me to meditate on what I'd seen. After the dive I spent some time on my own away from the rest of the group. In fact, on the other side of the island. In quiet reflection a loud voice inside my head said I would write books. I looked around everywhere thinking there must have been someone behind me. There wasn't!

I went back to the camp site and immediately pulled out my pen and paper. My words were clumsy and I felt self-conscious. I persevered and after five rejected books, I got my first one published.
What's the story behind your latest book?
Kate's Choice was written because life is about choices and sometimes we unwittingly make choices that aren't good for us. Our minds are busy with the disappointments and wants of life and we make choices that may not be the best for us at a particular time because we desire to be out of our current situation. When that happens the consequences can change our lives in ways we hadn't imagined. Kate made a choice to marry one brother over another expecting a life of happiness and adventure. She has been challenged with loneliness and unfulfilled dreams. A situation many of us find ourselves in from time to time. The important thing is to rise above that situation and make another informed choice based on our experiences and rise above the unwanted situation to a more favorable one.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
My books are available in print from traditional publishers and I am grateful for this start to my writing career. From the moment I heard about e-publishing I was intrigued about my books always being available. My books are available at my readers' finger tips and would never be out of print. Future generations will have access to my work. I decided to keep my e-book rights and learn about this publishing medium. I like the control I have over my work. I am in business as a writer. Indie publishing dovetails with my business model beautifully.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
The greatest joy for me is being in a quiet place and feeling balanced within myself. It's the hearing of what is really going on inside of me and being able to tap into my creativity to produce a work others may like to read.
What do your fans mean to you?
Having fans mean there are people reading and loving my books. That is why I write and it's important I continue to improve my work so that I continue to give them a quality product.
Who are your favorite authors?
I have too many to list. If a fiction author draws me into his/her work from the first page and takes me on a journey with the characters so much so that I can't put the book down, they become a favorite author. Some authors who have done this in fiction: Graeme Simsion, Jodi Picoult, Maeve Binchy, David Nicholls, Liane Moriarty.

Nonfiction is similar except the content must be presented in an informative and uplifting way so that I can receive the information and be able to easily apply that information in my life or whatever way I need to as I research my books. Authors include, Wayne Dyer, Louise Hay.
What are you working on next?
I am working on the sequel to my first novel, African Hearts.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Knowing that I can write and publish my own books is what gets me out of bed each day.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I spend a lot of time at the keyboard. When I'm not writing I enjoy spending time with family and friends; travelling, reading and walking.
What is your writing process?
I am a planner. I start with creating my characters in great detail. By the time I am half way through creating my second character obvious conflicts between the characters begin to emerge and by the time I have my second character's biography finished I have the basic plot. I create my scenes and chapters before I start writing the first draft. From there I type a first draft. My second draft is always done by hand on the first draft and every subsequent draft is then typed. In the second draft, the story can change substantially as I get to know the characters better.
Published 2015-11-30.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Kate's Choice
Price: $5.99 USD. Words: 77,990. Language: English. Published: April 3, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Women's fiction » General
Kate believes life is all about making choices. All she ever wanted was a loving husband who comes home every night, a family, and time to paint. When she gets her much desired wish, Dusty is broken physically, mentally and spiritually. She dreams of a life that might have been. Fate steps in. Can she trust herself to make the right choice for the sake of her husband and her family?
Web Of Lies
Price: $4.95 USD. Words: 58,890. Language: Australian English. Published: July 27, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Romance » General, Fiction » Romance » General
Stephanie’s family thought she was too young to care for her son. She thought he was adopted but they put him into his aunt’s care. Eight years later, Stephanie has the opportunity to take him back, but lies have been told. She wants to love Lachlan, Ryan's father. How can she when he's now a stranger and she has her own secrets? Will they find the happy future they so desperately want with Ryan?
African Hearts
Price: $4.95 USD. Words: 77,000. Language: English. Published: October 14, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Christian » Romance, Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
A romance that touches the heart with its poignant tale of fresh starts, past wounds and second chances.