Today the talented Jennifer Laurens has stopped by with answers to some of my burning questions on Overprotected, printing with a small press and Freedom.
GC: Freedom, or the lack-there-of, is a big theme in your newest book, Overprotected, and many teens Ashlyn's age suffer from feeling closed in, even without a body guard hot on their heels, do you think your teen years lent themselves to the story?
JL: Definitely. Like Ashlyn, I was an only child. My mom was pretty protective. In fact, many times I wanted to be out with my friends but was made to feel like I "shouldn't" go because my mom didn't want me to either be in any danger, or leave her alone.It was difficult to not feel resentment. At that age, you're testing yourself, feeling out boundaries. You're supposed to.
GC: What was the biggest thing you have gained freedom from as an author?
JL: Being an indie author. I have control over the creative process from beginning to final product. ( at least artistically )
GC: Was Overprotected always a love story, or did it evolve as Colin and Ashlyn's characters got closer and closer?
JL: It was always a love story. I was fascinated with the idea of a love triangle featuring a father, daughter, love interest. No love is stronger than a parents' love, and you pit that against two lovers and you get a wonderful, fiery love triangle.
GC: What has the experience been like, printing with a small press? Would you recommend it?
JL: I'd definitely recommend it. I tried publishing the traditional route. I had two NY agents, spent 3 years going around and around. One thing I learned by being an only child is: if you want something done, do it yourself.
GC: Which of your characters do you think is most like you?
JL: Ashlyn. Not only in her only child status, but in her naivete, her inexperience with boys, her loyalty to her parents fighting with her need to be independent. All of those characteristics were a part of my life.
GC: I see you are the mommy of six kiddos, what is writing like amid the wonderful chaos? Do your kids love reading your books as you write them?
JL: I've been writing for 10 years. When my youngest finally went off to kindergarten I started full time. I've written from 9-5 most every day since. They've learned to give me the time I need, and I've learned to temper what borders on an obsession. My girls love my books - they're the reason I started writing YA romances. My boys - none of them have read my work.
GC: What is next for you as an author?
JL: I'm working on another YA love story with paranormal elements. It's a story, like Overprotected, that I wrote years ago as a women's romance that I'm re-writing for a YA audience. Like all of my stories, it also has pieces of my life in it.
GC: Thank you, Jennifer, for stopping by!