Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Author interview! Laura Templeton #giveaway @chapterxchapter @laura1264 @SwoonRomance @month9books


Title: Summer of the Oak Moon
Publication date: May 5, 2015
Publisher: Month9Books, LLC.
Author: Laura Templeton

Rejected by the exclusive women’s college she has her heart set on, Tess Seibert dreads the hot, aimless summer ahead. But when a chance encounter with a snake introduces her to Jacob Lane, a black college student home on his summer break, a relationship blooms that challenges the prejudices of her small, north Florida town.
When Jacob confesses that Tess’s uncle is trying to steal his family’s land, Tess comes face to face with the hatred that simmers just below the surface of the bay and marshes she’s loved since birth. With the help of her mentor Lulu, an herbal healer, Tess pieces together clues to the mysterious disappearance of Jacob’s father twenty-two years earlier and uncovers family secrets that shatter her connection to the land she loves.
Tess and Jacob’s bond puts them both in peril, and discontent eventually erupts into violence. Tess is forced to make a decision. Can she right old wrongs and salvage their love? Or will prejudice and hatred kill any chance she and Jacob might have had?

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Hi Marlene. Thanks so much for having me today!

1. Did you start developing the main character, the world or the overarching concept?
A little bit of both, actually. After spending months reading about and researching the civil rights movement, I knew that I wanted to write about prejudice and racism in the South. But the actual process of crafting the story grew out of the character of Tess. As with all of my stories, she just started “talking” to me and I knew I had my story. I’m a character-driven writer, so once I can hear my main character’s voice, I can usually take it from there.

2. Panster or Plotter? Or in between?
I’m definintely a pantster. So much so that I re-write wa-ay too much. I admire plotters. I’m trying to gain plotter tendencies—it seems like a much more efficient, logical way to write. So far, I’m failing. I’m beginning to think that the only way I can write anything is just to feel my way along the story, blindly putting one word after the next. Planning just doesn’t seem to work for me. I get paid to be logical and analytical in my day job, so perhaps writing by the seat of my pants is my brain’s way of cutting loose?

3. Are you a fan of writing contests?
Writing contests can be a great tool for aspiring writers. Where else can you get professional feedback and the opportunity to be seen by agents? I used contests as a gauge of my skill. I decided that I would not query agents until I had at least begun to final in contests. I think this was a good plan, as once I did begin querying I received a high percentage of requests for partial and full manuscripts. The danger in contests is in knowing when to stop. Winning can be addictive, but ultimately the goal is to get published, not to win contests. So, my recommendation is by all means enter, but know when it’s time to move on and pursue the bigger goal.

4. How did you find your agent? How many query letters did you send?
I believe that persistence is the key to getting an agent. It took me about two years and approximately 120 query letters (on two novels) before finding my awesome agent. I had heard somewhere that it’s not unusual to send out 100 queries before getting an agent. I have no idea if that is an accurate number, but it did motivate me to keep going!

5. What's the best marketing tool you've found so far?
For me, doing exactly what I’m doing right here is the most rewarding. Writing blog posts and being featured on book sites gets writers in front of the people that matter—the readers. I have a great deal of respect for all of you who host writers and feature so many great books. For some readers, trying out new writers is risky. Bloggers (just like you!) are great about introducing lesser-known, new, or indie writers in a forum that makes readers comfortable. And anything that allows me to connect with readers is always fun!

6. What do you like best about your mc?
Tess has a lot of good traits. She’s outspoken. She’s fearless (you would so not find me stalking around a swamp—or anywhere else—in the dark!) and she questions everything from family expectations to cultural prejudice. But the thing I love most about her is her love for nature. She’s connected to the land and the water in a way that’s almost religious. She finds her spiritual bearings in nature...and in a way that I wish more people could identify with. When nature is that critical to one’s being, despoiling it becomes unthinkable.

7. Anything else you like to share about your journey or your upcoming launch, including links to giveaways or ways people can help spread the word?

Oh, wow, you’re so kind to ask! The book’s official release date is today, so it’s in that shiny-new, will-anyone-buy-it, nail-biting stage J Believe it or not, it’s exciting but also a little scary launching a book. As far as giveaways, you can see below to enter to win a free copy of Summer of the Oak Moon. And if you enjoy it and would like to help spread the word, please tell your friends about the book, gift it to another reader, or take a couple of minutes to write a review on Amazon (just a sentence or two is fine—you don’t have to write an essay). The same is true for any books you enjoy—we authors (especially new authors) so appreciate any and all support, and Amazon reviews are quite important! I also enjoy meeting with book clubs in person (for the Atlanta area) or by Skype. 


Laura Templeton lives near Athens, Georgia, with her husband, son, and a menagerie of animals. When she’s not writing, she enjoys gardening, learning to figure skate, and taking long walks on the quiet country roads near her home. Something Yellow is her debut novel, and her creative nonfiction has appeared in various publications.

Author Links:  Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

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  1. Marlene, thanks so much for having me today! I can't believe release day is finally here!

    1. Congratulations on your release. I hope you have a wonderful day!