I am lucky enough to be able to share with you a private interview I had the pleasure of doing with someone who I not only get to call a friend but someone I am proud to say is an internationally published author and winner of numerous competitions. Lauren Wood is placed high within the world’s top 100k of authors for her debut novel ‘Heir’ described as “A whirlwind of tension and romance.” Since the release of ‘Heir’ Lauren has become an active advocate for inspiring death row inmates to read and use their imagination as an outlet for their anxieties and struggles. She has donated copies to Prisons in America for those who are about to be executed to enjoy and immerse themselves in another world to escape their own and has been rewarded for her compassionate donation in helping those who society does not want to help.
Anybody who knows me knows I am the world’s slowest reader and half the time I’m mid-daydreaming of Tom Hardy not realising I’ve past three pages and still have no clue who the characters are, but when I found out that Lauren had written her novel I thought it was the perfect excuse to sneak off to the bath and let John deal with cooking the dinner and trying to get Luna to stop eating my mom’s plants.
I was lucky enough to receive the unpublished script to read through before the final edit was done and all the artwork had been produced and subsequently I had my own special mention in the acknowledgments which I’m genuinely considering framing to show off in the new house.
There’s nothing worse than feeling obliged to do something out of courtesy and so I was a little apprehensive at first thinking, how do I tell her if I don’t like it or break it to her that quite frankly its shite. But as you could’ve guessed by the fact I’m writing this post, i literally had nothing more to say to her other than ‘wow’ and constantly pestering her to tell me what is going to happen before I’d get to read it because I’m an impatient bastard. I am proud to say that someone I call a friend has written this and how honoured I feel to be one of the first to read it, there was no question about it that the book was going to be a huge hit when it got published.
The novel follows an ordinary girl named Fallon as she returns for her final year at college in the tightly knitted town of Kilmore Quay. The Irish town has a tiny population of only 400 people where everyone knows everyone and so when teenage girls begin to disappear one by one the town starts getting suspicious and begins to live in fear. Around the same time that the community are on the hunt for the monster that was taking their local girls, the lights to a long-abandoned castle light up and soon word spreads of new inhabitants in the neighbourhood. When Fallon finds herself dragged into the mystery of the missing girls and caught up by the mysterious owner of the castle her world begins to change. Her ordinary life begins to distort around her and she is faced with the cruel reality of the long kept secrets her friends and the people she’s trusted all her life have been hiding from her. She finds that no one she knew is truly who they said they were and everything around her begins to change, even herself.
I’m not going to be one of those annoying people who ruin the book or tell you what happens so that is all I am going to say on what the book is about. It is full of action and a thrilling page turner with twists and turns that will take you on the journey the characters endure. Full of imagery, the novel is captivating and the world created is truly immersive.
To purchase Lauren Wood’s debut Novel ‘Heir’ and support her through her career click here.
Here are a few reviews I have taken from various platforms about ‘Heir’
Jessica S – 3rd May 2017
Lauren Wood is a new author with beautiful ideas. Heir is a story about a girl called Fallon who becomes immersed in a world she knew nothing about. When it turns out her friends have been lying to her, she doesn’t know who to trust. I found the blurb intriguing and loved the story.
Eleanor Livett – 15th May 2017
“I was so shocked when the books major theme is revealed. I thought it was a great surprise and I loved the characters.”
JamesSStubbsdoesreviews – 16th May 2017
“Complete page turner. Thrilling till the end”
Jenna H – 2nd June 2017
“Couldn’t put it down! I can’t wait to read more stuff from this author, her writing and her passion are evident on every page.”
Bookloverjane101 – 10th June 2017
“Thrilling book. I couldn’t put it down! I hope there is more to come!”
StevenUCI – 1st July 2017
“When I received Heir I was so grateful, having spent a lot of time on my own reading books I was excited to find a book that re-sparked my love for reading and imagination. I didn’t put it down and finished it within 2 days.”
Susie – 20th July 2017
“ A story that captures the imagination and makes you question the world around you. It pulls the reader into a world where subtle hints can lead down the darkest paths.
The following is an exclusive Question and Answer interview with Lauren Wood about Heir, Writers’ Block and her mental struggles.
What led you to decide that writing a novel was something you wanted to focus your spare time on?
“For many years I had been doing my own creative writing and a few people had told me that I was good at it so I thought why not. My friend, who is also an author, published her own book so I thought I can do the same. I felt like I had enough practice and to just see the job through and publish a book.”
What influenced you when writing ‘Heir’ ? “In the Spring of 2016 I had visited Kilmore Quay to visit family. I had heard many stories of Kilmore Quay and I was so excited to go. When I got there I truly felt free. The air was so fresh and it just burst with inspiration and imagination. When I got home I had major holiday blues so I decided to write Heir and set it in Kilmore Quay. All of the places in the book are real and I’ve been to every one. Words don’t do it justice. I recommend to any reader to visit Kilmore Quay, especially if you’re looking for an escape”
At what point in your life were you at that helped you to grow ‘Heir’?
“I was going through a mentally hard time. I was battling a bad case of anxiety and depression especially towards the end of 2016. I put my heart and soul into Heir. I felt like that was my escape and I felt control of what was happening. It was my book and I could do anything I wanted with it. It felt good to put my emotion into my characters and reach out to people that were struggling too.”
Would you say ‘Heir’ reflects your personality and emotions? “Definitely. I don’t think it reflects me 100% but it certainly has some of my qualities in there. Whilst battling my anxiety, I wanted to create characters who I wish I could be. Those that lived without fear of minor things.”
What draws you to the fantasy genre? “Fantasy can be whatever you want it to be. You have the ability to write some really crazy stuff and people can’t call it unrealistic. There will always be Debbie downers who say ‘that’s not possible’ but with Fantasy it doesn’t matter. I felt like to really spill my emotions out, I should write a book where I am free without constraints of humanity”
What/where inspired the character of Fallon and the Setting of Kilmore Quay “Whilst I was down in Ireland I saw many beautiful girls with lots of striking features. Flaming red hair, tight curls, square jaws, you name it. Although Fallon isn’t Irish I wanted to her to have striking features too. Kilmore Quay just captured my heart from day one. I saw it as the perfect place to write a novel.”
What was the hardest thing you faced during ‘Heir’
“Towards the end of 2016, I was going through editing my third draft and I just lost all motivation. Nobody had read my book apart from my editor and I felt like scrapping it all. My anxiety and depression was spiralling and I lost love for writing. In truth, I lost interest for even reading books. It just angered me because I felt as if I couldn’t do it and that it wasn’t good enough. That’s when I became a pen pal and they were telling me about their love for books and it really gave me a kick up the arse that I needed. By the end of the year it was all polished off and I was so happy.”
Do you have any tips how to get through writers’ block that you used during the process of creating ‘Heir’? “Writers block is the devil. Honestly, I’m currently experiencing it now. There is and will be a light at the end of the tunnel. I wouldn’t recommend putting it off and ‘waiting for inspiration’ because you’ll only stress about it more and it’ll never come. I’d recommend leaving it for a night and come back to it at a time that you know you’re more productive at. For me, I prefer to write late at night around 9pm when it’s dark outside with both earphones in. Make sure to have breaks away and don’t force it if it’s not flowing properly.”
Are you working on anything at the minute?
“I certainly am. I’m writing a Crime/Thriller novel at the minute which is different to my usual genres. I’m not sure when I’ll be publishing it as it’s been such a slow process”
What was the moment you realised that you’ve actually written a published novel that people enjoyed reading?
“I don’t think it’s really sunk in. I think that I just got so comfortable with my plot, knowing the ins and outs that I couldn’t see how others would find it interesting. I think one moment were I realised people were enjoying it was when I was in work and colleagues would say they read a chapter and really enjoyed it and spoke to me about what was going on in the book to where they’d read up to. I think the biggest moment for me was when I got a letter from my pen pal after waiting two nervous weeks for them to read it. He is such a picky reader and very particular with everything. He began by saying ‘When I read the first three chapters I thought I wasn’t going to like it’ and my heart sunk because he was the one person I really really wanted to love the book but then he went on and said ‘but I stuck at it and I was hooked!’. Bingo.”
What is your main influence/inspiration throughout your life?
“I’ve not had the best nor happiest upbringing and childhood but regardless I see my inspiration as my Mom. She’s always encouraged me to follow what I’m passionate about and she was emotional that I included her in the acknowledgements. Everything I do is for her.”
Can we expect a sequel to ‘Heir?’
“Lots of people have begged me for a sequel and I am currently in talks about a sequel plot!”
Where can we grab a copy of ‘Heir’ ?
“You can grab Heir on Amazon. It’s available on Kindle or Paperback. If you do read, I would really appreciate a review as positive reviews give me a lot of confidence! I have also attached the link to my ‘Heir’ playlist, it features the tracks that I was listening to as I wrote and what inspired me throughout different scenes. Heir Playlist”
Lauren’s Social Media: