by Pamme Boutselis
A massage therapist and busy mom by day, Laura Ryan Fedelia has been writing for the past decade and only recently turned that writing into her first book. “The Box” delves into the life of Pan Blair, a stay-at-home mother of three, whose decision to take a more active role in her own life leads her into an epic adventure she never could imagined playing a part in, let alone leading.
Have you always written?
Have I always written? Well, I’ve lived a very “Secret Life of Walter Mitty” kind of life, it’s only in the last decade that I gathered the courage to start recording my flights of fancy for all the world to see (and judge).
What’s your process in developing your storyline and characters?
My process for developing a story line, generally my stories begin with a single phrase and ripple out from there. For example, last week I woke with the sentence “Prophecy is a middlin’ art at best” in my head. Building on that, I decided that the main character had to be someone for whom heeding a prophecy had gone badly but who also didn’t quite discount it. From there I needed to answer questions like, why is this coming up in this person’s life now, what is the challenge going to be for them, is it going to be THE prophecy or their reaction to it, and so on and so forth. I guess for me fleshing out a storyline is like playing with an erector set; you start with a small piece build out a little here and there, figure out what works and what doesn’t and at the end, hopefully you have a well-balanced and functional product all radiating from that first piece.
What challenges do you face in your writing, and how do you overcome them?
My biggest challenges in writing would be time and dyslexia. I can’t say I’ve completely overcome either, but I have learned that sometimes I get more written when I sprint to my computer for five minutes at a time between chores than I would if I sat in front of it for hours. Spellcheck has been a huge help as far as dyslexia is concerned, except for the case of homophones or when it doesn’t even recognize what I wrote as a word. That’s when I turn to dictionary.com.
What has the road to publication been like for you?
For me, the road to traditional publication was like trying to find a party I wasn’t invited to, in the woods, after midnight. Eventually I went with self-publication, which at times was challenging, but also a lot of fun.
How do you market your work?
I am learning new ways to market all the time, but up to this point I have mostly I’ve been working on my on broadening my online presence. I do have a reading/signing coming up on February 1, 2014, at Barnes & Noble Booksellers from 1 – 3 pm in Nashua, N.H.
What do you know now that you wish you knew back then?
I wish I had allocated more time and money for marketing as a matter of fact and gone into it with a more cohesive plan.
Who are the writers that have inspired you most, and how have they inspired you?
First, JRR Token and latter Marion Zimmer Bradley made me fall in love with the whole epic adventure genre. I love the idea of a single flawed and uncertain individual taking on a responsibility so incredibly ginormous—and not because they had any special abilities or qualification, but simply because circumstances and their own sense of humanity left them no other choice.
If you could keep just three books in your library, which would you choose and why?
This last one is the most unfair question ever asked. Well, I would pick one book I haven’t read yet that has been on my list for a while. Today, that would be “The Blackest Plague,” but yesterday it was “The Book Thief.” I would also choose “David Copperfield,“ because Mr. Dickens taught me so much about human nature with that book and “ABCs Of Death,” just to keep things light.