Laurie Kingery’s first book, a medieval romance, was published in 1987. After a number of published works in the secular field, she made the decision to switch to the inspirational market. She now pens tales of the 1800’s Texas and the Old West for the Love Inspired Historical line. Her latest book, The Sheriff’s Sweetheart, was released earlier this month.
Laurie and her husband live in rural Ohio, where she works as a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner in the emergency room of a large hospital.
Probably in some ways I’m unconscious of. I’m probably subconsciously working out my feelings about things that bother, concern or annoy me. Mainly, though, it helps to have something in my work world I can control in some ways. I can’t get some patients to take care of themselves, but I can mold my characters to make wise choices. : )
What first sparked your writing journey?
I’ve been writing stories since I was old enough to string words along with pictures, but as far as novels go, I began in the romance boom of the late ‘80’s, when historical romances were being called “bodice rippers.” But there were so many put out quickly in those days that a lot of dreck was published. Finally I’d read one too many of those and declared, “I can do better than this.” I was too dumb to know what I didn’t know in those days before the Internet and before I joined RWA, Romance Writers of America.
Has God ever provided an unexpected “detour” in your life that turned out to be positive?
I could name many, but the one that is most writing-related of them is that He shut the doors of secular fiction to me. I had sold sixteen historical romances to three publishers (mostly to Harlequin Historicals) as Laurie Grant, but all at once I couldn’t seem to sell a thing. I was ready to quit, but my agent, knowing I was a Christian, encouraged me to try to write for the new Love Inspired Historical line that was about to launch, especially since I could submit to the same editor I’d had with Harlequin Historicals. I did, and it sold, and was published in 2008. I’ve been writing for them ever since.
How does your faith play into your work?
I pray every time before I begin to write, and I rely on the Lord’s guidance in what I write. I’ve turned my writing career over to Him, so any success I achieve is really His. Like many others who first published secular fiction, I had a certain unease about what I was writing then, and I feel much more that I’m in the center of His will now. If my writing can uplift anyone, the glory belongs to Him.
The Sheriff’s Sweatheart is the third book in my Brides of Simpson Creek series for Love Inspired Historicals, but those who haven’t read the other two won’t feel lost (though readers have told me it made them search out the other two!).
This is Prissy’s story—Prissy is the daughter of the Simpson Creek mayor who is the wealthiest man in town, and she is in love with love, but other romances haven’t worked out for her. Sam Bishop is a down-on-his-luck gambler on the run from a dangerous man, who wants nothing more in life than marriage to a pretty rich girl who’ll provide him with a comfortable life. Prissy Gilmore would seem to fit that bill. Sam finds himself wanting to be truly worthy of her, and takes the job of sheriff. But when Sam’s past threatens to catch up with him, their love will be put the test. For those who love dogs, a little dog named Houston plays a big role in this story.
What do you hope readers will take away from it?
That there are more important things than wealth—honesty, integrity and love become much more important to Sam Bishop in the end than a winning hand at cards.
You’ve enjoyed two successful careers in writing, first in the secular market and now in inspirational. What advice would you offer to writers—young or older—who are just starting out?
First, read widely—read everything. Decide what you want to write, and read even more widely in that. Don’t write all over the place—contemporary suspense, historical romance, fantasy—you need to pick the genre or sub-genre that calls you the most and stick with that. You need to build a readership, and that means producing a reliable product. Readers who loved your first book, a Regency historical, will not necessarily follow you into contemporary suspense, so agents and editors will be wary of taking you on. There are only a few people who can write everything and get away with it—Nora Roberts comes to mind—and even she took a pseudonym to write her gritty futuristic suspenses.
Second, join a writers’ group that writes what you’re writing. A broad-based local group where each member is writing a different thing may not be of much use to you, because they can’t advise you. Join Romance Writers of America if you’re writing romance, American Christian Fiction Writers if you’re writing Christian fiction, and so forth. There is some overlap, of course—good writing is good writing—but within these organizations are people who can advise you about the particular genre you are writing.
Third, and most importantly, of course—WRITE. Write every day, if you can, even if it’s only for a few minutes. Don’t be distracted by all the writing-related activities, such as holding office and entering contests, though you can learn a lot through them. Nothing takes the place of submitting works to an editor. And remember that participating in reading writing-related loops on the Internet is not a substitute for writing. Polish your work and SUBMIT IT.
A few fun questions…
When the words aren’t flowing—or when you want to celebrate if they are—what is your favorite comfort food and why?
Chinese food, the spicier the better, or steak. Or both. : ) I love well-seasoned foods.
This website features writers as well as musicians. Do you have musical, as well as literary, talent?
Zilch, I’m afraid. I wish I could sing. My husband plays in a couple of bands at this point and I’d love to perform with him, but it would be awful.<g>
If you were a song, what kind of song would you be?
Celtic. Something with a lot of harmony, perhaps a ballad.
Are you a major or a minor chord?
Minor, unless I’m feeling opinionated about something. Then just try to ignore me! : )
In the story that is your life, are you the strong, female lead; the girl next door; the mysterious woman behind dark glasses; the super heroine; or the little girl trying to walk in high heels?
Hmmm, probably the girl next door—pretty ordinary when I’m around home. And I still look like the little girl trying to walk in high-heels—as far as my grace in them, so I’m not found in them very often.
I’m a dog lover. Please tell us about your pets.
I’m a dog lover too. I have three dogs, a Belgian Tervuren named Tango, a collie named MacDougal, and a stepdog named Ben. Ben’s a Sharpei-pit bull mix who’s just a mellow marshmallow of a dog—unless you’re a cat or an intruder.
Thank you, Laurie! It’s so nice to have you at DivineDetour!
Thank you for this opportunity to visit with readers on your site. I loved the interesting questions!
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For more information about Laurie and her writing, visit her website at http://www.lauriekingery.com/.
To purchase The Sheriff’s Sweetheart, logon to: