Laura Seeber Thanks for coming in, it's a real pleasure, what's the genre you are writing about, and please tell us if you are a full time writer who is earning her living from writing, how many books you have written, and how difficult it is to live only on writing, tell us a little about yourself and your writing history please, when did you start, and when you decided you wanted to be a full time writer, if I am correct, and if that is the case about your writing?
Laura Seeber Hi Shah - it's nice to be here talking with you. I consider myself a storyteller, and the majority of the time I work in mystery and science fiction, but I don't let that hold me back if the story is good. So far I have one book published- namely The Spring and Autumn Murders, and I have four more in various stages of production. I have been working as a freelance writer now since 2009, and I also own an environmental company, so my time is divided between writing, consulting work, and freelance work.
Shah Fazli Thank you, it's nice to have you with us tonight, tell us about The Spring and Autumn Murder, what is this book about please?
Adrian Lupşa Hey Laura! What inspires you to write mystery and science fiction books?
Laura Seeber The Spring and Autumn Murders tells the tale of three friends Zai, Hai and Lei who work as mercenary soldiers for the Emperor of Zhou in ancient China. They are sent to the northern boundaries where Zian is falsely accused of murdering the son of the local vassal. Then it's a race against time to find the real killers when the entire local authorities chasing them in hot pursuit.
Laura Seeber Hi Adrian Lupşa- well, I'm always a sucker for a good puzzle and mystery And science fiction just opens up a whole world of possibilities
Shah Fazli Can you tell us a little more about these characters please, who are they?
Laura Seeber Well the three main characters have been close friends since being trained in the military and form a tight brotherhood with each other. Zian is a passionate hot-headed young man who strives to do the right thing but often allows his emotions to take control. Hai, on the other hand tends to be the planner, always thinking his way through things, and rarely letting others know when he is hurt or upset. Lei, who is a big guy physically operates as the balancing force between the two friends, making sure that Zian's volatile nature doesn't get out of hand, and Hai analytical side doesn't get the better of him.
Laura Seeber There are other characters of course, but those are the main heroes
Shah Fazli Thank you, who are the antagonists in the book, do you have any, or do you want to tell us a little about them please?
Laura Seeber Well, I don't really want to give the person's name--- after all it's a murder mystery and I hope people will be able to puzzle out the culprit on their own. I will say that the antagonist is someone who has the power to manipulate things behind the scenes and has a strong influence over the victim's family. Also, a minor character by the name of Sargent Kai, who is a minion of the antagonist actually changes teams, although hesitantly at first.
Shah Fazli Interesting, can you describe a scene from your book please, a little description on where it happens and who are there, and what happens please, if possible?
Laura Seeber The book is set in northern China around 485 B.C. It is a harsh environment where the Eastern Zhou Empire rules through a combination of an iron fist, backroom deals, and gifts of land and honor. Essentially, the land is divided between squabbling nobles who pay lip service to the Emperor but make and break deals and alliances with others behind his back. The specific area geographically is characterized by the foothills of the northern steps of China, including pine forests, grasslands with farms, and small villages. To the north are the beginnings of the Great Wall of China, and barbarians that routinely raid the villages for revenge, spoils and food, etc. It is a time of uneasy peace where protection comes in the form of mercenaries and knowing the right people at the right time.
Shah Fazli Thank you so much, there must be a good reason for choosing the setting of the story China, why not somewhere else, any particular reason for that please?
Laura Seeber Actually the reason is rather a funny one. Originally this story started out as an answer to a writing challenge called a dartboard challenge. Simply put, a map, a list of genres, and a paper listing "past, present, future" was tacked to a cork board. Then a darts were thrown at each. The challenge was to write a story containing all the elements hit by the darts. I ended up with "past" "mystery" and "northern China" It kind of just grew from there.
Laura Seeber Although the more I researched and wrote, the more happy I became with the random selection.
Shah Fazli Very interesting, tell us how people take on this story, what do they say about it please, do they talk about the story more or the characters, or the setting of the book, what do you love about your book?
Laura Seeber Most people who have read the book enjoy the interaction between the characters and the fact that I shift points of view a few different times to bring in a fresh set of eyes and let the readers see things a different way. They also enjoy the setting, but for many people it becomes a familiar backdrop for what is going on. As for the mystery itself, I am happy to say that many of the readers were surprised by the ending, but once it was revealed could go back and find the various clues found in the story. As for me, I enjoyed the mystery itself and weaving together the use of the setting and the personalities to make the story come alive.
Shah Fazli Can you read from your book please?
Laura Seeber I"ll be happy to Here goes
Laura Seeber Zian opened his eyes and felt the coarseness of the tree beneath his back. He had spent many hours, hell days trying to master that technique. It did not come naturally to him. No real fighting style did, really. Most of the time he was more prone to simply attack wildly like a wolverine or badger.
Zian stopped moving for a moment. There was something off to his right, something made some noise. Zian shook his head.
“Probably just some animal,” he grumbled as he sat down to feed the fire that he had made.
Zian frowned. No forest animal would be making this much noise. He placed his hand on the handle of the jian, and slowly drew it from its scabbard. With a practiced step he moved toward the source of the sound.
Something soft hit Zian in the side. It felt sticky and wet, much like the inside of the dumplings that Lei’s mother had made all those years ago. Zian looked down to see two small arms wrapped tightly around his waist. They looked different somehow, even in the light of the moon and stars; they looked somehow darker than they should be. There was also that sticky sweet smell, almost metallic.
Zian raised his head carefully and sniffed again. He knew that smell – he had smelled it on enough battlefields. It was blood. He looked down once more and followed the arms wrapped around his waist to the trembling shoulders, small and frail, up the neck to the face buried and sobbing in his side. He jerked the young girl away from him, the scent of blood still fresh in his nostrils. She squealed as he ripped her arms from around him. Zian looked down in shock to find the panicked face of Hua staring up at him.
Shah Fazli Thank you, tell us a little about your next projects please?
Georgina Hannan Hi Laura, i love the event picture, can you tell me the relevance of the picture & where it was taken?
Laura Seeber Well, the first project is a short story anthology where I've put together a type of origin story for the characters found in The Spring and Autumn Murders - it's called The Northern Problem and Other Stories, and I hope to have it out for sale by the end of June in an ebook format. Next I have another collection of stories called The Thirteenth Moon in which a reluctant hero battles with evil fairies in various places around the 19th century world. The next, as of yet untitled is a present day mystery where an assassin and his target team up to save their own lives after the job goes horribly wrong, and the last one, called The Next Revelation is a science fiction mystery that asks the question "what happens when darkness and shadows return to a paradise of light?"
Laura Seeber Hi Georgina Hannan- actually the picture was taken by my husband in a place called Hammel Woods here in Illinois. It really didn't have any significance to the stories I write- I just really liked the picture
Shah Fazli Tell us something for those who are new into writing please?
Laura Seeber I guess the best thing I can say is to do three things every single day without fail. Read something, write something, and step away from the computer to experience life. It doesn't matter what education you have, or what others say you can or can't do. As long as you keep at it, and practice sincerely, you'll do just what is necessary to succeed.
Laura Seeber After all, you're talking to someone who failed English class and was told I would never amount to more than a waitress
Laura Seeber not that being a waitress is bad . In fact, it was a really fun job at the time..
Shah Fazli Thank you so much for your time, others can ask questions if they want, I leave the interview now, it was a real pleasure. Hope to see you again.http://shahsightshop.blogspot.de/2013/05/the-spring-and-autumn-murders-laura.html
ShahSight Shop: The Spring and Autumn Murders Laura Seebershahsightshop.blogspot.com
Laura Seeber Thanks Shah- it was so nice to talk with you!
Laura Seeber Hi everyone- ask away- no question is taboo, but I can't promise my answers won't be