Jacqueline Woods Interviews Indie Author Frances Laskowski
What was your personal experience with Nano? Some people find it quite daunting, but you used it as a completely positive experience and went with it.
And, please tell us how Nanowrimo helped you to emerge as a writer?
For me, NaNoWrimo is the writer’s equivalent of the playoffs. It is a grand writing event, participated in worldwide, as all of us ‘wanna be” authors make the commitment to write 50,000 words during November, ( the busiest month of the year.)
It helps me conquer several of the biggest challenges I always face: Getting motivated,dedicating myself to my project, staying productive, and consistent.
I stumbled over NaNoWrimo by accident while looking for writing contests for some of my short stories.
The word count and the time involved (30 days) was quite scary. I am always looking for a challenge so I signed up. I could not believe the emotion I went through when challenged with the prospect of only one month to write a novel. As each week passed , I went from euphoria, to despair to sheer energy and a feeling of complete satisfaction.
NaNoWrimo has support and constant cheering to help one get moving when you get writers block. For me, it was the unlock that I needed to write my novels.
Afterwards the month is over, there is year round support to help you polish and market your finished product. If I had not joined, I do not know if I would have come this far.
My first published book “A Farm In Transylvania” a short fiction book about Vampires and Werewolves, with a surprise ending that even I was wondering what was going to happen as I wrote. I had written “a Farm In Transylvania” after a trip to Germany to see where my Grandparents had lived. I was influenced by the scenery, and the story popped into my head, though it does not take place in Germany.
I took a trip to Louisiana about fifteen years ago, and as we drove to New Orleans, the swamps gave me inspiration for the book “Balloon Man” what I can tell you is this; I would look down over the guardrail of route 10 at the swamp and think about how many bodies were probably dumped down there. When I came home I wrote the outline for “Balloon man” then I wrote nothing for five years.
I took a second trip to New Orleans, and I came back and wrote a paragraph a night for about a year. I only had half the story. I dabbled with my short stories but i could not push through Balloon Man.
Then in 2014, I did NaNoWrimo. I became obsessed, and I finished balloon man. But at that time it had a different title, and it was a different story. I actually wrote a whole new book (with the exception of two chapters)
When I became a NaNoWrimo participant, my writing skills grew up. yes I did spend two years editing, but I finally did publish with Amazon and I am proud of my books.
Publishing was a different story. I was not sure what to do. I tried many roads.
When you went to publish your books, what was the process like for you? What made you finally decide on Amazon, as your way of publishing?
I used every bit of free information I could get my hands on. My first one was ‘Freeditorial’ this is a good site. I was able to glean good advice from this site. I also used ‘Write to Done’ in fact i used so many, I can’t even remember.
All sites that help are good, finding a fit for your own writing is a process. I found that ‘Scribophile’
was a great fit for me, I was able to go back and forth with other writers to see what type of reaction my writing style received. I also liked reading other’s stories, getting a chance to critique so that I had a better eye for critiquing my own.
In my search, I signed up for CreateSpace this was the golden site for me. I was able to learn what is involved with formatting and publishing and it was free. My favorite word!
CreateSpace partners with Amazon, this makes it convenient to use CreateSpace to write and format, then go over to Amazon to publish.
This does not mean it was easy…free means you do all the work. So I did. And I really learned a lot.
CreateSpace provided the free tools I needed to help me self publish and distribute my books. The site not only works with Amazon.com, but with other channels. That is how I ended up using Amazon.
You come from New Jersey, and you love to travel. I would like to know more about how visiting to all of these different places influenced your novels.
I have lived in NJ most of my life. My father was from Brooklyn NY, and in the service. While he was stationed in Germany, he met my mother. My parents married, and they had three girls (I am the youngest) we lived in Germany for 5 years before moving to the USA and to NJ.
I try to travel as much as possible. I have been to Europe a a few times, and I have traveled all the different States in the USA. I also have been to Canada and the Cayman Islands, Mexico, Bahama’s. I am planning a trip to Copenhagen, St Peters burg in August.
All the places I have been to give me ideas, scenery, people, and personality for my stories.
You have written more than two dozen short stories, please pick two of your favorites and share the plot lines.
I find myself developing short stories in my head while meeting new people and using some of their life situations.
I wrote a few short stories that although they were not publish, I did enter into contests. I also put them on Scribophile.
“FishTank,” “Beach house“, and ” What We Know.“
FishTank was a little dark story about a fisherman that is unhappy with his captain, and vice versa. Neither one is a good man. My visit to an Aquarium in Florida gave me this idea.
Beach House, was personal, a couple from NJ had gotten older, the wife passed , and the husband sold the house. The story has sadness, but is uplifting at the end.
What We Know, a kind of dark fiction story, built on a person’s life I used to see in NY where my niece lives. with a crazy tilt at the end.
I think I just love thinking of this stuff.
Have you any plans to publish them?
I am not sure, so i will say possibly in the future.
When you wrote Balloon Man, what type of audience were you writing for?
Balloon Man was thought of driving along route 10 in Louisiana, many years before I began to fully write it. The story grew and changed to the point that I ended up with another story I have to write!
What is the premise of Another Atlantic Sky?
Another Atlantic Sky is my science fiction loving mind that has been conjuring up new ways the world will look ,since I was a child. It takes place in far in the future, the main characters are a 16 year old girl and two human size Hamster looking creatures searching for a better life.
In what ways have you been successful as an author, and in what areas do you have room still to grow?
I would like to take my writing to the level of true stories, true crime, and a biography about my mothers family who suffered through the war in Germany.
You can purchase Frances Laskowski’s Books here!
A Farm In Transylvania
About Frances Laskowski