Laurie was kind enough to help with some promotion for the upcoming release of The Final Book: Gods and did a short interview that was originally featured on her website. Laurie is avid GoodReads reviewer and runs an active book blog. Be sure to visit her site to enter to win an Amazon giftcard and signed copies of my book! The contest runs through June 18.
Tell us about a favorite character from your book.
Gods is unique in that several characters share the workload—there’s not a single “most important” protagonist. Very quickly you’ll realize who the plot is centralized around, but it’s a team effort. With that said, I’m quite fond of Ana. She’s not in the book a ton, but she’s immensely important. I guess she’s what I would like to aspire to be—she’s burdened by unimaginable cosmic knowledge, but chooses to be happy in spite of it. She knows of all the tragedy that is about befall man, yet remains compassionate and excited about life. She just seems like someone I’d love to hangout with—she also doesn’t take any of William’s crap, and that’s admirable.
What are these things called “Artifacts” scattered throughout the book?
The artifacts are meant to add historical context to the story. Most of the artifacts are factual snippets of history that plays well and supports the fictional tale. These artifacts are presented to the reader by an ominous narrator that begins the story in the prologue. This narrator curated these particular bits of history and used them to tie together the over-arching story. The artifacts represent court documents, memos, letters, religious texts, and phone records that provide a “realistic” undertone—readers often question what is true and what is fiction, which is exactly how I like it!
There is a pretty significant romance that’s not initially revealed. What was the inspiration or what made you decide to develop this portion of the story through “love letters across time”?
Well, as sappy as it is, I love nothing more than receiving a handwritten letter from someone I have feelings for… It just seems so intimate and meaningful—truly special and unique just for me. Also, while doing research for another project, I read a lot wartime letters sent between lovers—this was by far the most interesting part of the research. These were deep and inspiring letters—these people felt like they could die at any moment and this was their opportunity to say their last words to each other. They didn’t squander it. I just hoped to convey a fraction of their conviction in my letters. As sad as it sounds, these letters were probably a form of single’s therapy for me, haha. I have no one to say these things to, so I poured it all out through Josh and Cloe!
Where do you dream of traveling to and why?
My dream is to live traveling—one of my biggest goals in life is to live on a catamaran and sail it around the world. So you all know, I’m currently living in the middle of the Mojave Desert, so I have quite a ways to go, haha! We can dream, right? I’d love to see the South Pacific. I’d also like to explore a lot the history I write about in the book—visit the ancient temples in Greece and lost Sumerian cities in Iraq. Maybe I’ll wait a few more years before visiting Iraq…
Do you hear from your readers? What kinds of questions do they ask?
I’ve met some of the most interesting people through my writing and it still freaks me out when I think about it. I’ve been writing for so long and most of it feels like shouting into the void—it’s weird when someone reaches out to you. You almost forget that there’s other people out there and they’re reading what you have to say, haha. I’m like “oh shoot, I need to watch my mouth!” I’ve found that most people who bother to take the time to write to you are genuinely kind and curious. Somehow you’ve moved them in some sort of way, and they’re just trying to express that. In the past, I’ve connected a lot with people over music—that usually seems to be the glue. Gods is brand new but the early feedback I’m getting inspires a lot deeper and more thoughtful conversations, which I welcome.
What book are you reading now?
Finished Gandhi’s autobiography a couple of days ago—not a light read, haha. On to Friedrich Nietzsche’s Thus Spoke Zarathustra. Yeah, I’m weird like that.
What are you passionate about these days?
I love good storytelling. If it happens in a book—cool—but I’m an equal opportunity media junkie, haha. TV, steaming, audiobooks, movies, campfires, videogames—I’m down. Currently I’m totally enthralled by the videogame Life Is Strange. It’s about a teenage girl in the Pacific Northwest with the ability to reverse time—oh man, it’s good! I have one more episode to go, and holy cow—your heart is in your throat at the end of Episode 4! I would absolutely love to be on a writing team that created a game like this.
Do you have any suggestions for beginning writers?
The biggest thing I tell others, and continue to remind myself, is to have patience. Whatever time table you have in your mind for anything book related—whether it be finishing it, editing, publishing, or overall “success”—extend that indefinitely. This industry moves so slowly… I used to build houses, and that took a fraction of the time. You truly have to enjoy the process—the journey of the entire experience—not just the goal.
What are you working on now? Where can we find you?
I’m currently halfway through a new novel that I am very excited about. It has a big heartbreaking twist, and I love it. I’m reluctant to give any sort of time frame of when you can expect it (see above), but I’ll be talking about it on my website, www.swhammond.com. Stop by, visit, say hi—I’ll always find the time to connect. There’s nothing that would mean more to me than if you read and fell in love with the characters in The Final Book—digital, paperback, hardcover—pick it up in all the usual places.