shadowplay blog tour: interview with laura lam

29 December 2013

Today i have the wonderful Laura Lam here to tell us all about her publishing journey. Her books include PANTOMIME, and SHADOWPLAY. Here's a little bit about the author {via goodreads}.
Laura Lam was raised near San Francisco, California, by two former Haight-Ashbury hippies. Both of them encouraged her to finger-paint to her heart’s desire, colour outside of the lines, and consider the library a second home. This led to an overabundance of daydreams.
She relocated to Scotland to be with her husband, whom she met on the internet when he insulted her taste in books. She almost blocked him but is glad she didn’t. At times she misses the sunshine.
When did you decide you wanted to become an author?
When I was 15, so 10 years ago. I’ve always loved reading and loved the idea of creating my own books for others to read.
How long did it take you to write your first book?
About 15 months for the first draft of Pantomime, but I wrote it in fits and starts. Then I submitted it, waited about 7 months, had a revision request and revisions took 3 months, then a month later I had a deal!
Why did you decide to write for the fantasy genre and not a different genre?
It’s my favourite genre to read and this story and world came into my head. I write across genres, however. I love how much possibility there is in fantasy – anything goes.
Where did you get the ideas for the book?
I mushed together a lot of my interests – gender studies, the circus, magicians, the line between magic and technology, Victorianism and high society, romance, adventure, mystery.
Did any specific thing trigger your imagination to write the book?
Not really; it was more a lot of little things. I had the idea to write an intersex character, but it wasn’t until I really started researching intersex issues that I realised it was a story and a character I should really try to bring to life.
Are any characters in the books based on real people?
Nope, though I’m sure various characters have aspects of people I know unconsciously.
Did Pantomime/Shadowplay ever have any other names?
Oh man. They had some horrible names. Pantomime for a long time was just called “Gene,” which is the name of one of the characters. Some of the other potential titles were Hippocamp & Epicene – terrible. Shadowplay went through so many potential names – Phantasmagoria, Psychopomp (?!), Spectre & Maske, Phantoms….so many. Shadowplay ended up working quite well, though, I think.
When you look back at the 1st and 2nd books, are there any specific things that you would like to change if you had the chance?
Of course. If I wrote Pantomime from scratch again it’d be different in plenty of ways. Same with Shadowplay. That said, though, I don’t regret it and it’s too late now! I would have tried to make Pantomime’s ending a bit less cliffhangery, and make some aspects of the worldbuilding clearer in both books.
Most stressful thing when writing your books?
Worrying about sales and the career sides of things stress me out the most. I don’t know if I’m doing well, or what the odds are of my next book selling, and sometimes that’s overwhelming.
Most enjoyable thing when writing your books?
Getting lost in the world and having the scene come out just right. That first flush of getting a new novel idea and knowing it’s a Novel Idea and not a passing fancy. Receiving a lovely review or piece of reader mail. I love knowing that someone connected with my world.
What was your daily writing routine and where did you write?
Whenever and wherever I can. Sometimes I’ll wake up and write before work, or on my lunch break. Sometimes I go to the cafĂ© after work, and often I’ll go on the weekends. I meet up with two friends once a week or so and write with them, or go to the local writing group in my city. I try to write every day, or at least plan and brainstorm. It all adds up.


  1. This is an interesting interview—I always love hearing about what made authors decide to write, and I think it's awesome when they've been aware of their passion since they were young. Haha, I relate to the naming struggle because I would be terrible at coming up with a title for a novel as well. These books sound like they cover intriguing subject matter, so I may have to check them out. Thanks for sharing!

    1. thank you. :) so do i, especially as i want to be a writer some day so it's always reassuring to hear that even though it's hard, people struggle through and eventually published a book, so you can too! ;)
      thanks for stopping by! :)

  2. Woo! New books have been brought to my attention! *frantically searches up Pantomime on goodreads* That is such a good idea - meeting up with friends to all write in each others company! I'm also loving the previous names of the books! ;D

    Great interview!

    1. ahaha YES, to add to your ever growing pile....and i agree...COME DROP OVER SOMETIME, and bring a pencil and paper..;)
      Thank you. :)

  3. HAAAAWWWWAAAA! I am back from my blogging break *dances strangely around the room* I'll be stalking your blog more frequently now. *cough* I mean commenting... NOPE, I STALK BLOGS. NO POINT DENYING IT.

    Great interview! I hadn't heard of Pantomine before so thanks for bringing it to my attention. I love how she met her husband on the Internet when he insulted her taste in books, haha. Thanks for posting, fellow-black-market-person ;)


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