Author Interview With Laurel Solorzano The Land of Fake Believe, Happy Ever After Book 1 (To be released Sep 2022)
Laurel's Books: www.laurelsolorzano.com
When did you become an author?
I started penning stories in middle school, but did not become a published author until 2021 when I published my debut- In the Shadow of the Cities- which is YA dystopian fiction.
Do you have a writing background?
Yes, I've always enjoyed writing and reading. I've worked as a ghostwriter for five years as well, getting my own stories down in my free time.
How did you come up with the story?
This story was a conglomaration of some of my favorite fairy tales as a child. I wondered- what would happen if the Beast really was a beast? What if the Big Bad Wolf just had minor anger management issues? What if the Snow Queen's magic mirror could affect normal humans?
How did you come up with the character?
These characters were based on the classic fairy tale stories, and I have a big volume of the Grimm Brothers' stories in my library that I constantly check for details.
How do you select names for your characters?
My two main characters are named Taylan and Colby, and honestly, I just randomly selected the names. I try to pick names that are unique but not too unique.
Did you hire an illustrator or do the illustrations yourself?
QBN Studios did my illustrations as I can barely draw stick figures. My students always make fun of my drawings when I'm teaching, so I think all of my readers prefer it this way.
Are you self-published or published through a publishing company?
This novel is self-published, though I have been published by a small press in the past.
From the day you came up with the idea for the story until you were holding your published book in your hand, how long did it take you to complete this book?
I first came up with this idea at the end of 2019, and I first held a copy of the book in my hand at the end of 2021. While writing the story was a quick process, the editing and illustrating took a long time.
What made you want to publish a children's book?
I love the way children immerse themselves into reading books and becoming a part of the world rather than adults who have seen so much content that they are pickier.
What is one thing you wish you knew before beginning your book publishing journey?
I wish that I knew more about marketing.
Any tips for future children’s book authors?
Share your book with children around you. I've enjoyed sharing my book with my students and seeing their responses to the characters. That joy is what keeps me going when I have to deal with difficult things like formatting.
What is the best reaction from a reader, so far?
One of my students said she read it in TWO days, and she was very proud of her reading speed.
What is something you’d like people to take away from your book(s)?
Don't get too caught up in reality. Enjoy your imagination.
Where do you get ideas for your stories?
I've always had some weird and crazy dreams that spark my imagination. Once I thought of changing some fairy tales around, my imagination took flight.
What's your writing process like?
I typically outline chapter by chapter for at least the first half of the book. Then, I sit down at my computer, put on some inspiring music, and let my fingers do the work.
Do you have any other books in the works?
I have already written the next two books in this series- Once Upon a Climb and The Princess and Key. There will be six books total.
What does literary success look like to you?
Literary success is creating a piece of art (books count as art) that people enjoy.
Do you read all of the book reviews you receive?
Yes, I do.
What was the hardest thing about getting your book published?
Being patient with things like formatting has been difficult. I'm not tech savvy, so that took a lot of learning.
What's your favorite(s) children's book of all time?
I really loved C.S. Lewis's books growing up as well as The Homework Machine by Dan Gutman.