Hello everyone! Today I’m delighted to welcome my fellow YA author, Laura Zimmerman, to Made to Create. A good friend of mine, Jebraun Clifford (see her interview here!), introduced me to Laura last fall, and we judged the 2018 Stories of the Stars contest together. Laura is fun, sparkly, and a talented writer. Check out her interview below, and if you want to learn more about her writing, visit her through the links at the bottom.
Sheri Yutzy: Hi Laura, welcome to Made to Create!
Laura Zimmerman: Thanks, Sheri! I’m excited to be here!
SY: Great to have you here. My first question is a big one: Who is the biggest supporter of your writing life?
LZ: My husband has always been my biggest supporter. In fact, he was the one who put me on the path of taking my writing from a hobby to a career! In 2013 he grew tired of watching me spend hours/entire weekends writing, only to have my stories remain on my laptop. So he challenged me to try to get published or he would self-publish my writing himself. (Totally unedited, so that was a real ultimatum!!) It’s six years later and I’m amazed to see the journey God has led me on with my writing! My husband still supports me in whatever way he can. I wouldn’t have been able to take my writing beyond a hobby without him!
SY: What would you want someone who dreams of being an author to know?
LZ: There is a season for everything. In 2016 I wrote 3 ½ novels and acquired an agent. In 2018 I only wrote ¼ of a novel, spent the rest of the year revising, and signed with a publisher. Both years were just as productive, just in different ways. There are seasons of life when you will have plenty of time to pour into your writing, and others when you may not have any writing days in a month at all. Give yourself grace. Write with God. He will give you the time and the inspiration to write what He has for you to write. Don’t try to make your writing-life look like anyone else. And don’t punish yourself if your writing-life isn’t identical to another time in your life.
SY: Wow. I think I need to print that out and read it every morning!
I was so excited to hear that you’d signed a contract with L2L2 Publishing for your novel, KEEN. What’s changed in your life since signing that contract?
LZ: Interesting question! I hadn’t expected much to change but God had other plans. 😉 Before signing KEEN I usually focused on one project at a time. However, right around the same time that I signed with L2L2 Publishing, I felt God leading me to begin writing a teen devotional for girls, which I began working on in October. I also felt a nudging to start a discussion with a fellow author to begin co-authoring a new book. And (of course!) publishing KEEN—which is book 1 in the Banshee Song Series—means I need to begin writing book 2! As of February 1st I will be writing rough drafts for two different novels while continuing to work on the devotional. If I didn’t feel led by the Lord I’d be totally overwhelmed! But I feel a deep sense of peace as I journey into 2019. I don’t know for sure what God has planned for these projects but I’m excited to be open to hear His voice and follow Him!
SY: Wow, that’s a full plate! But I’m so excited to read what God gives you. Do you listen to music while you write or keep it quiet?
LZ: Ha! Well, if you know me (or follow me on Instagram!) you probably know how much I love to sing. All the time. (Annoyingly so. Sorry to those around me!) But when I write, I actually prefer quiet. I need to hear the voices in my head. wink, wink But sometimes when I’m writing a fast paced scene, I’ll put on some instrumental music from the Harry Potter, Gladiator, or Lord of the Rings movies for inspiration.
SY: What writing tool could you not live without?
LZ: My favorite writing tool is Scrivner! I was super excited to get it for ½ price using a code I got from NaNoWriMo one year. Scrivner has helped me keep track of all my notes for each novel and has saved me time from having to search for separate documents. It’s a great tool for any writer!
SY: Who would you rather meet, your favorite fictional character or your favorite author? And who are they?
LZ: Oh man! There are just so many, I’m not sure I will do this question justice. Since I write YA, I’m involved in the #bookstagram community on Instagram. I’ve actually gotten to interact with many of my favorite authors already! So I’m going to go old-school with this one and say I’d love to meet Jane Austen. (Pride and Prejudice will always be one of my favorite novels. swoon) I’d love to sit down to talk to Jane and pick her brain about what it was like to be a published female author at that time!
SY: Thank you so much for joining us and sharing about yourself!
LZ: Thank you for having me, Sheri! It was fun to get to hang out on Made to Create!
Laura L. Zimmerman is a homeschooling mama to three daughters and a doting wife to one husband. Besides writing, she is passionate about loving Jesus, singing, drinking coffee, and pretending to do yoga. You can connect with her on Instagram, Twitter, and her blog, Caffeinated Fiction.