Release Date: November 16, 2016
Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Laura Lascarso here today to talk about writing, and her latest release Andre in Flight. Welcome, Laura and thank you for answering some of our questions today.
An Interview with Laura Lascarso author of Andre in Flight
- Where do you normally draw your inspiration for a book from? A memory, a myth, a place or journey, or something far more personal?
For me, each book is different. My first novel, about a teen’s struggle with her alcoholic mother, was inspired by Tracy Chapman’s song FAST CAR and some of my own family’s struggles with alcoholism and depression. The second, a Romeo & Juliet with racecars, was born from my mom’s struggle with breast cancer (she survived!). With ANDRE, I was gifted a story from my best friend from high school about an experience she had with an unrequited lover. The one I’m working on now was inspired by a poem. I guess that means I find the world, for better or worse, an inspiring place.
- Are you a planner or a pantzer when writing a story? And why?
I’m a pantzer who aspires to be a planner. I used to completely fly by the seat of my pants, get to about page 80, and realize I didn’t have a plot. Lately, I’ve been using beat sheets to outline my story. Or I’ll write a synopsis of the story before I begin. Knowing the ending is so helpful when crafting a story. That said, if a character speaks to me, I’ll follow them down any rabbit hole. For me, it’s all about the characters. Perhaps to my own misfortune, plot comes second.
- Contemporary, supernatural, fantasy, or science fiction narratives or something else? Does any genre draw you more than another when writing it or reading it and why does it do so?
I like reading emotionally complex stories, whether it’s a romance, thriller or fantasy. I suppose I gravitate towards writing the same. I’d like to delve more into speculative fiction because I like the themes you can weave in with those types of stories, whether it’s psychological or spiritual, but I tend to keep my stories pretty realistic and contemporary. I write mostly young and new adult. I like the challenges and discoveries of new adulthood.
- If you had a character you’ve written you would write differently now at this time in your writing career, who would it be and why?
I don’t think so, not at this time, but I reserve the right to change my mind.
- Can an author have favorites among their characters and do you have them?
I definitely have favorites, some are immediate and some grow on me the more I get to know them. Sometimes a character eludes me and I have to really delve into their lives to understand them better. Revision helps with that. I’d like to write a story where the protagonist becomes the antagonist, like Walter White in BREAKING BAD or Anakin Skywalker in STAR WARS. The reversal of that would be cool too, like Scrooge in A CHRISTMAS CAROL. I really like characters who transform throughout the story. I feel like it’s a much more rewarding experience for readers.
- If you were to be stranded on a small demi-planet, island, or god forbid LaGuardia in a snow storm, what books would you take to read or authors on your comfort list?
I’d probably bring the Bible because there’s a ton of stories in there. And subtext. So much subtext.
- How early in your life did you begin writing?
My first published work was MARTY, THE MACAW WHO COULDN’T SING when I was in third grade. It travelled around in one of those bus libraries. I’ve always enjoyed living inside imaginary worlds and writing is a way to share them with others.
- Were you an early reader or were you read to and what childhood books had an impact on you as a child that you remember to this day and why?
As I alluded to previously, the Bible had a profound impact on me. When I was in fourth grade, my mom, her boyfriend and I lived on a sailboat. My dozen or so Nancy Drew’s and Sweet Valley Highs got old pretty quickly, but the Bible kept my attention. Power, love, vengeance, compassion, forgiveness, violence—so many characters in moral quandaries. I wouldn’t consider myself a religious person necessarily, but I do often go back to Bible stories for inspiration. After that, Edith Hamilton’s MYTHOLOGY: TIMELESS TALES OF GODS AND HEROES. It’s a little more racy than the Bible. One of my favorite picture books was THE MONSTER AT THE END OF THIS BOOK with Grover—so much suspense!
- What question would you ask yourself here?
I’d ask, what advice do you have for fledgling writers? Keep on trucking. And there are enough critics out there who will tear you down. Don’t do it to yourself. Be your own advocate, artistically and otherwise.
- If you were writing your life as a romance novel, what would the title be?
Great question! My instinct is to say something flippant like YOU’RE DOING THE DISHES TONIGHT but truly, I am blessed to have a partner who loves me unconditionally and is a great comfort when I need it. We’ve been together since we were 21 (15 years), so in a lot of ways, it feels like we’ve grown up together. At the risk of sounding cheesy, I’d name my romance STILL THE ONE.
About Andre in Flight
When up-and-coming Miami painter Martin Fonseca encounters youthful pretty boy Andre Bellamy washing dishes in the kitchen of La Candela, he swears he’s known him before, intimately. But Andre only arrived in Miami weeks ago, after running away from small-town Alabama and his abusive father. When Martin discovers Andre trading sexual favors for a place to stay, he offers him a room in his studio apartment. As roommates only.
What starts as a playful friendship turns into something more as Andre begins posing for Martin, whose true passion is painting fantastical portraits. Martin’s obsession with Andre grows until they are sharing more than just flirtatious conversation. But when an eccentric art collector buys one of Martin’s paintings, Martin’s past jealousies resurface and threaten to destroy what he and Andre have so lovingly built.
About the Author
Laura Lascarso lives in North Florida with her darling husband, two children, and a menagerie of animals. Her debut novel, Counting Backwards (Simon & Schuster 2012) won the Florida Book Award gold medal for young adult literature. She aims to inspire more questions than answers in her fiction and believes in the power of stories to heal and transform a society.
For social critiques, writer puns, and Parks and Rec gifs, follow her on Twitter @lauralascarso
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