Laura Roberts is the author of “Rebels of the 512” and multiple bits of erotica, humor and erotic humor including: “Where to Get Laid in Montreal” and “Top 5 Reasons You Can't Get Laid in Montreal”. Her style is off-balance and bizarre.
I asked her several questions. Here are her responses:
-I used to write erotica for a variety of sites, so that's probably the dirtiest. I also penned a sex column for an alternative paper in Montreal, which I'm using as inspiration for my novel, Naked Montreal, which will be much more dirty!
What lessons have you learned from your kids? Your pets? Your plants?
-I have a literary kitty named Nedward Carlos Nedwards (aka "Ned"), and I've learned that if your cat becomes more famous than you are, it's all over.
What do you miss most about college?
-I miss the camaraderie of college the most. I used to work for my university newspaper, and it was a great group of people, so I miss being able to bounce those ideas around and take chances with that group, whether my ideas were shot down or put on pedestals.
What devices do you like for writing? Pens, pencils, computer, typewriter?
-I'm a computer nerd for most of my writing, but for poetry I'm extremely old school and go for pen and paper. When I need to shake things up, I bust out the pen and paper or my Royal Quiet Deluxe typewriter and get cracking.
Where do you like to write?
-I almost always write at my desk, but if I'm feeling lazy I'll bring my laptop to bed or to the couch with me. Typically I fall asleep when that happens, so if I want to get any work done, I usually force myself to stay at my desk through means of bribery (sometimes a coffee helps).
How close are you characters to yourself or people you know?
-My characters are always based in some way on myself or people I know. I think that's just the nature of the business. When you truly admire someone, you want to write them into your work. When you truly abhor someone, the urge is similar, with a psychological twist where you're trying to understand their horrible machinations. Though I try to avoid writing about people I dislike, because they don't deserve even the merest attentions.
Is it easier to write the first book or the second?
-Definitely the first, since you can say anything. The second feels like you have an audience to please, no matter how unrecognized the first one may have been!
Besides novels in prose, what other forms of writing do you like? Other forms of art?
-I also write personal essays, blogs, nonfictional stuff, poetry, and have been trying to convince myself to start doing a podcast or video blog. I haven't succeeded with the latter, but we'll see. My husband is a visual artist, so I'm also always poring over his art supply catalogues and pondering what might happen if I took up pastels or started doing oil paintings. They'd be abstract, but I'd pile on the paint like Van Gogh. Seems therapeutic.
Who helps you edit? To whom do you speak when you have trouble with characters, plots, etc.?
-My husband reads my rough drafts and points out any obvious errors. I have a variety of writing peers that I'll talk to about specific issues, and when I'm just totally stuck I'll go for a walk or occupy myself with something non-writing related to break up the block.
What's the best thing you've read lately?
-I'm re-reading Harriet the Spy, which was one of my childhood favorites. I'm liking it perhaps even more now, because I can understand why the grown-ups behave as they do, but I still love Harriet's desire to spy on people as a means to become a good writer. Isn't that, really, what we're all about?
What's you favorite type of word?
-I love words that start with V, like vixen, vendetta, vestigial, vertigo, venomous, vellum, etc. Anything with an X in it is also instantly desirable. I'm pretty sure this is the only reason I picked up a book by Hélène Cixous.
What do you never want to hear, see, or read again?
-Hear: Rush Limbaugh. See: anything by Andy Warhol. Read: memoirs masquerading as fiction.
What is your weakest skill as a writer?
-Settling for less than perfection.