Interview with Fran LaPlaca

Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Not really. I was always writing things. Poetry about footprints in the sand, horrible stuff like that. I remember a story I was quite serious about once, though. I was still in high school, and it was a message to the people of Earth from the Moon. The Moon was a sentient being, and had been watching over us for eons, but now it was time for it to move on. So it said its farewells and moved out or orbit and left. I never finished it, thank goodness, because I couldn't figure out what would happen to the earth if our moon just - LEFT.
What is your writing process?
It's been different each time, but it is a very organic process. I start with an idea, or a character, and have a general idea of where it going to go. I head for that point, but things change along the way. There are characters that come to life and change the whole direction of a story. Marcus, in The Aduro, as well as Eris Wood, are two good examples of characters who brought their own personalities to the story, and especially in the case of Eris, changed the entire story.

The only book I've written from an outline was To Serve the High King. I can show you my outline. Take the title of each chapter and write them down. That was my outline. I had that piece of paper, with just those few words, next to me the entire time.
What do you read for pleasure?
Tony Hillerman and Haruki Murakami are two favorites. I read a lot of adventure/spy/military fiction, like Tom Clancy and Jack Higgins. And I find I can always read something my Diana Wynne Jones no matter what. I can't tell you how many times I've read Howl's Moving Castle. And I love manga, I'm always reading manga as well. I wish I could draw. I'd love to see Blade of Lightning as a manga.
Describe your desk
It's a mess, sorry. I write on my laptop, so that's in the center. To the right is a pile of notes for future stories, my headphones and charger cords; a pile of anime movie DVD's. To the left is whatever my current read might be, and story notes for whatever I'm working on at the moment. Next to me on the left is one of my TBR piles, which at the moment is about two dozen manga, 8 or 9 novels, and a pile fo DVDs. Occasionally I get mad at the clutter and clean up, but it doesn't stay that way for too long. It's a mess, yes, but it's all stuff I use/need/want.
What are you working on next?
At the moment I'm going back and forth between two works - the third book in The Keepers of the Way series, and a new story called The Legends of Tiger Jack. I like working on Tiger Jack because the characters a lot of fun; Jezerey the ninja, Andre the archer, Dawn of the dawn, Lobo the Killer. And of course, Tiger Jack himself. And the Keepers of the Way book is called Blade of Wind. It continues the story of Kei Ayumi and Secchi Amara; the opening scene takes place only hours after the final scene from Keeper of Fire. It's heading for a conclusion that I planned out a long time ago.
Who are your favorite authors?
So many. So very many. Haruki Murakami, Patricia McKillip, Billie Letts, Mary Stewart, Diana Wynne Jones, Glen Cook. Julie Czerneda, David Drake, David Weber, Jimmy Buffet, Michael Crichton, Kurt Vonnegut, J.R.R. Tolkien, Jack Higgins, Tony Hillerman, Agatha Christie, Miss Read, Orson Scott Card......I could go on.....Terry Pratchett, Piers Anthony, Jules Verne....
What do you enjoy in manga?
My favorite manga by far is 20th Century Boys, by Naoki Urasawa. I love all his series, Pluto, Monster...I'm also reading Black Butler right now (Yana Toboso) and I'm a long-time fan of One Piece. (Eiichiro Oda) I have a subscription to Shonen Jump on my tablet, and for new manga in Jump I've really been enjoying World Trigger. Black Cat and Fullmetal Alchemist, oh, and Rurouni Kenshin are a few more favorites.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Reading. And I watch a few TV shows. Supernatural, Hell's Kitchen, Doctor Who. I watch tons of anime. One Piece, Rurouni Kenshin. I just finished Attack on Titan. That was an awesome show I absolutely LOVE going to movies by myself. Action movies, with lots of explosions and helicopters and good guys and bad guys.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
The first genre book I ever read -When I was about 10 or 11, I was home sick from school and my mom gave me a tattered paperback she'd bought at a yard sale. The Fellowship of the Ring. That was the beginning and the end. I never looked back. And later in school, I had a friend who wanted me to read a book he'd just finished, I wasn't interested until I read the blurb on the back cover. It said, "An epic adventure comparable to The Lord of the Rings." So naturally I had to read it. That book was Dune, by Frank Herbert. After that, there was no turning back. I read a lot of different types of books, but fantasy and science fiction are my absolute favorites things to read.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
1.Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones
2.The Dark Tower books by Stephen King
3.Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
4.A Wild Sheep Chase by Haruki Murakami
5.The Black Company books by Glen Cook
Published 2014-10-25.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Keeper Of Fire (Book Two of The Keepers of the Way)
Series: The Keepers of the Way, Book 2. Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 109,270. Language: English. Published: September 19, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Epic
As Kei and Secchi escort Cato Dunai to his trial of the Way, more than one firestorm is ignited. Zhyiana ken Prien, one-time Blade of Death, fights demons that can’t be seen; a man once honorable fights the face of dishonor he sees in his own reflection; and Kei, Secchi and Galari are all that stand between Dunai and the whole of Akashi, with no hope of survival.
A Mother's Love
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 2,680. Language: English. Published: April 18, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Short stories
The dragon found Janie when she was five years old. Ancient, primordial, he was the last of his kind. But he was very patient.
The Aduro (Guardians of the Temple, Vol. 1)
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 136,040. Language: English. Published: February 26, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Epic, Fiction » Fantasy » General
I pledge myself to the World. I will hold no title, and claim no lands. No man may command me, save my Master. My Power will not be used for profit. I will answer a true need without hesitation. So a Mage vows. But not all Mages. For not long ago the land of Penmar was under the tyranny of Baron-Mage rule, and the dark echoes of those days still sends shadows into the land. Tamarind Bell carr
Blade Of Lightning (Book One of The Keepers of the Way)
Series: The Keepers of the Way, Book 1. Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 132,950. Language: English. Published: February 26, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Epic
*Water.* *Earth.* *Air.* *Spirit to hold us.* *Knowledge to keep us.* *Warrior to defend.* There are three Faces a Keeper can swear to, and three elements to bind their souls. But the elements number four, and although Fire was forbidden nearly five hundred years ago, the time for it to return is at hand. And the only thing standing between the Keepers of the Way and total destruction is Kei Ayum
A Dragon By Any Other Name and Other Stories
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 9,730. Language: English. Published: March 7, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Short stories
(4.00 from 1 review)
The answers to the questions everyone is asking: Should you skip dragon-killing class for a Star Trek convention? What really happened in the house of the three bears? What makes a wizard a wizard? Includes five short stories: A Dragon By Any Other Name, Where Do Wizards Come From?, The House at the End of the World, Goldi Freaking Who? and Please Press Star.
Blueberry Faery and the Dragons
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 30,540. Language: English. Published: March 7, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Fiction, Fiction » Fantasy » General
When a friend is in trouble, Blueberry Faery knows she has to help. With the aid of an addled groundhog, and a hamadryad found in the most unlikely of trees, Blueberry faces an old evil - The Dark Faery. And what makes Blueberry Faery different from all the other fae may be the only thing that will save Dragonland.
To Serve the High King
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 125,230. Language: English. Published: February 15, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Epic
(5.00 from 3 reviews)
A thousand years in the past, when the last of the High Kings betrayed his people, when the magic of the Seven Kingdoms disappeared, the wizards died. But now as new magic swirls out of control, and warring Kings deny their very oaths, can Illean and Carac find a way to stop a second destruction? For the power to bring the errant Kings under control can only be held by a High King. Or a wizard.