Interview with L.V. Gaudet

Published 2015-10-24.
How do you approach cover design?
I think about what would appeal to me in a cover. Would I pick up that book to read the back blurb? Or would I pass it by to look at a different book? First impressions are everything, and the cover is the reader's first impression of your book.
What do you read for pleasure?
I have always had a preference for thriller. I want a book to titillate my imagination, shock and horrify me with the possibilities. Make my pulse race.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
The greatest joy of writing for me is the rush I get when I am in the moment, pulled completely into the scene I am writing, living it like I hope the reader will also be pulled in and experience the scene through the characters' emotions. I write as the scene flows through me, without outlining ahead. I have just as little idea what is going to happen next as you, the reader, does.
What do your fans mean to you?
My fans are my hopes. I write for myself, but if I never shared my writing, what hope would I have that others would enjoy the stories too? Every fan is my hope that my writing will inflame the passion of books and reading in another.
What are you working on next?
This is a tough question to answer. I have so many ideas, so many works in progress, which do I pick to be the next finished story?

I have two books I expect to have published this year. The McAllister Farm, the prequel to Where the Bodies Are, and Garden Grove. I also have two books written and waiting for me start editing, Forgotten Princess and Gypsy Queen.

Works in progress include the still untitled third book in the McAllister series, Blood, The Green Fairy, White Van, and others.

No worries, despite what the titles might suggest, these are all of the thriller genre, some more psychological and others more paranormal.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
I can't say that I am always feeling inspired to get out of bed. Many days would probably be better described as fighting through a body-numbing exhaustion to drag myself out of bed. But then, I am also a notoriously bad sleeper, and a self described 'not a morning person'. But, mornings happen to us all and it is the hours at the end of the day, when the rush of the week allows me a moment to relax with my family and maybe even to write, that pushes me to not hit that snooze button one more time in the morning.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
I do remember the first story I ever wrote. I think I traumatized my Language Arts teacher. That's what they called it then. I was too shy to read it to the class and she ended up reading it, and it made her cry.

Charlie is a story about the loneliness of old age, when your spouse has passed on and your children have grown up and moved out to leave a parent alone in the empty house that was once filled with life. A somewhat surly old woman pretends to not recognize the family members who come to visit her. First her granddaughter comes. When her cat Charlie fails to make an appearance when company comes, the old woman and her granddaughter search her home for the geriatric feline. They find him to discover that Charlie has passed on in his old age. The old woman is devastated by the loss. Her son, and father of her granddaughter, arrives at the house. He is a bit callous and does not understand the depth of his mother's feelings of loss. It's just a cat to him. In an attempt to make the old woman's pain of loss less, they take her out against her will and get her a kitten. In the end, after they leave the grandmother to mourn Charlie alone with a confused kitten to care for, the old woman too passes on, falling from her chair to land on top of the tiny helpless kitten.
What is your writing process?
My writing process is to take inspiration anywhere I can get it. It could be a single red mitten left on the ground, walked on, trampled into the snow. It could be the birds calling in the trees. When something comes to me, I note it down, the thoughts and impressions, emotions, whatever strikes me. Then work it into a story when it feels right.

I do not outline ahead. I outline as the story develops, making notes of what I wrote to refer to later if needed. I have no idea what is going to happen next, not until it happens.
What's the story behind your latest book?
My latest, and first, book published is Where the Bodies Are. It is the story of a killer who is tormented by his own past, a past he remembers only parts of. He is pulled by the need to find someone he lost long ago, his sister, who had a terrible accident as a young girl. While he believes her to have died all those years ago, a part of him cannot accept that. And so he searches for her. He stalks and kidnaps women he thinks are her, Cassie. When each woman fails to be Cassie, he is thrown into a blind rage where he brutally beats the women to death.

The killer wants to stop as much as the detectives trying to catch him want to stop him.

As the story draws on, he becomes more determined and desperate, and so do the detectives Jim McNelly and Michael Underwood. The detectives each have their own stories, their own secrets that push them on. Their search for the killer will reveal something much bigger than a single man on a killing spree ... a secret that will be revealed more in depth in The McAllister Farm.
Describe your desk
My desk is everywhere and nowhere. I don't have the luxury of having a work space, or dedicated work time outside of using my lunch breaks to edit with the constant distractions of a workplace lunch room. I have to use whatever space I can. My files are wedged into boxes, bags, and a laundry basket; both in my bedroom closet and in corners of my bedroom. It helps to be flexible.
Do you remember the first story you ever read that made you want to write, and the impact it had on you?
I don't remember the title of the book or the author, but the effect is unforgettable. That simple words can move you to emotion, a made up story. I don't know why this particular story had struck a chord in me. It wasn't even a particularly well written story as I remember. The story was about a girl who felt overwhelmed with her life, writing out her confusion and feelings, often repeating the refrain (misspelled too) that she is "drowdning" and a lot of glub glubs to emphasize it.

I remember getting into a lot of trouble over it. I was enthralled with the idea that I could write words that would move someone else to emotion, experimenting with variations of what this author wrote. I had no designs on plagiarizing the work, only learning from it.

I remember the ugly confrontation, my parents thinking this writing they found came from me. It did, just not in the way they thought. I had to show them the book. I lied, telling them it was for a school assignment, when I was really doing it for myself.

That probably would have been the end of my attempts to write. Those feelings of awe at what words can do never left, the urge to write. I didn't dare indulge myself in experimenting with writing again, not wanting to get in trouble again. Until my first attempt at writing a short story, a required school assignment this time. My short story Charlie made my teacher cry.
Where do your story ideas come from?
The inspiration for my stories can come from anywhere. A random object that catches my eye, a particularly gnarled looking tree, words or actions I witnessed, anything. It's pretty random.

The short story The Red Mitten came from a single red mitten abandoned on an ice-packed sidewalk. Stones in the Ships came from playing with a random title generator, then writing a story from the title. Waiting came from observing people waiting for a bus. The Painted Line came from a splash of paint in the road.

Garden Grove was inspired by the construction and a tractor parked behind our house. The McAllister Farm came from my own mind digging deeper into the story behind the story of Where the Bodies Are. I could go on and on listing them.
I would like to be a writer, but am afraid no one will like anything I write. Do you have any advice for me?
I recommend starting small and never forget that no one every has to read anything you write until you are ready to let them.

Flash fiction is an excellent place to start. The stories are very short, typically 500 words or less. It can be difficult to write a complete story in so few words. It makes a good practice for writing tight well defined stories, which makes your writing flow better.

Move on to short stories where you have more room to develop a deeper story and the characters. Most publishers limit these to 5,000 words. When you are ready to tackle something longer, but are not yet ready for a full length novel, try a novella. It's too short for most publishers, but as any author who has been picked up by a publisher can tell you, you will write many stories before you are good enough to be published. It takes a lot of practice to be good at anything.
Why do you write the kid of stories you write?
I've always been drawn to the darker stories. As I kid, I used to sneak down to the basement after everyone else was asleep to watch old Vincent Price movies. I have always loved horror movies, even the killer B movies that were so ludicrously bad that they were more funny than scary. I devoured horror books, Stephen King, Dean Koontz, and others.
As a child, did you know what you wanted to be when you grew up?
I never really thought of being an author as something I could actually be when I grew up. It was untouchable. Foreign. Something somebody else in a far away place could do, but was not a part of my world.

So, no, I really had no idea what I wanted to be when I grew up. I toyed with a few ideas, but they were impossibly unattainable, requiring the money to go to university, some of them going away to a university somewhere else. Money I had no idea how to get.

The only thing I ever wanted to do was write. I just never believed it could be a possibility.
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Books by This Author

Old Mill Road
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 103,790. Language: English. Published: October 21, 2019. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Supernatural, Fiction » Horror » Occult
Twelve years ago four kids found something in the woods that tore their innocence away. They made a vow to keep it secret. Now, impossibly, someone found it again. The abandoned mill off the old Mill Road has a dark history that has been told for generations, a story about something sinister haunting the woods.
The Gypsy Queen
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 124,000. Language: English. Published: August 30, 2019. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Supernatural, Fiction » Historical » Paranormal
As Travis and Darius’s lives become further intertwined with an abandoned paddlewheel boat, The Gypsy Queen, the strange accidents surrounding the boat escalate. Under the Gypsy Queen’s spell, Travis is oblivious to the sense of dread that fills those who enter the boat as she awakens with a hunger for blood. The Gypsy Queen’s dark past will not be forgotten.
Killing David McAllister
Series: The McAllister Series. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 102,520. Language: English. Published: August 20, 2019. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Psychological thriller, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Crime thriller
Everyone wants to kill David McAllister in this explosive conclusion.
Hunting Michael Underwood
Series: The McAllister Series. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 112,680. Language: English. Published: August 20, 2019. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Psychological thriller, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Crime thriller
Step deeper into the twisted mind of a serial killer as he slips further into madness in this disturbing psychological thriller. Hunting Michael Underwood follows on the heels of book one, Where the Bodies Are, bringing the first two stories and their characters together as the search for the killer continues.
The McAllister Farm
Series: The McAllister Series. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 117,550. Language: English. Published: August 20, 2019. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Psychological thriller, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Crime thriller
Step back in time to learn the secret behind the bodies in Where the Bodies Are in this disturbing look at the boy who will grow up to create the killer in Where the Bodies Are.
Where the Bodies Are
Series: The McAllister Series. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 108,170. Language: English. Published: October 8, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Psychological thriller, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Crime thriller
What drives a man to do the unthinkable even as it sickens him? Step into the twisted mind of a serial killer in this disturbing psychological thriller. Dead bodies are being left where they are sure to be found. But, the killer made a mistake; one victim left for dead survived.
Garden Grove
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 103,220. Language: English. Published: November 15, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » General
(4.00 from 1 review)
The new housing development Garden Grove Meadows is plagued with problems. Vandalism, the work crew poisoned, altered blueprints, and human remains intentionally planted for the crew to find. Who is trying to stop the development? Includes short story Old Mill Road
Where the Bodies Are
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 100,130. Language: English. Published: July 13, 2014 by Indigo Sea Press. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » General
(4.00 from 1 review)
A young woman is found discarded with the trash, brutally beaten and left for dead. More bodies begin to appear, left where they are sure to be found and cause a media frenzy. The killer’s reality blurs between past and present with a compulsion driven by a dark secret locked in a fractured mind. Overcome by a blind rage that leaves him wallowing in remorse with the bodies of victim after victim.