It's release day! Join me as we talk to Laurie Wood and discuss her newest release.
Tell us a bit about yourself? I’m a military spouse to a serving officer in the Royal Canadian Air Force, and we have two adult children with special needs who still live with us. I write inspirational romantic suspense and also historical fiction, although I’m not yet published in historical fiction. And I’m a dog and cat rescuer and avid knitter/spinner.
What is your book about? Northern Protector (Heroes of the Tundra Book 2) is about the RCMP officer who was mauled by a polar bear in Book 1, Northern Deception. It’s about his recovery from PTSD and his painkiller addiction as he’s coming back to work and trying to solve the murder of a teenage girl at a summer party up in Churchill, Manitoba which sits on the border of the Canadian arctic. It actually takes place over about eight days, so that I could have that ticking clock going. But he does manage to fall further in love with his friend Joy Gallagher, who’s the head ER nurse in town.
Why did you write it? Well, it’s the sequel to Book 1. (smiles) But I mainly wrote it so I could tackle three subjects: PTSD among first responders, painkiller addiction which is also common among first responders who often have work-related injuries and can get hooked easily on prescription drugs, and violence against teenage girls.
These are all big topics, but I tried to give some hope to anyone with a family member, or someone who might be suffering from these things themselves. And to give them the reassurance that it takes guts to ask for help, but the help is out there if you reach out for it. I don’t like to see people suffer needlessly.
Plus, I hope it’s just a plain, good old police procedural/mystery/and love story!
If you had a pet unicorn, what color would it be and what would you name it? If I had a pet unicorn, it would be purple with pink and silver mane and tail and I’d probably call it Athena or Aphrodite because I loved the Greek gods and goddesses of mythology when I was in school.
Do you need background noise when you write? I use noise-canceling headphones because everyone in the family is working from home. I’ve just made playlists for all three of my books, so that’s been fun and I’ll be putting out their links to Spotify on my website soon. But I use them when I’m editing or proofreading to get me back into the “feel” of the book. I need quiet when I’m actually getting new words down.
What's your writing process like? I use a binder for each book I write. I’m old school that way, I’ve never gotten the hang of using Scrivener. I do deep character sketches for my characters and I can’t start writing the book until I really feel I know them. They change and grow as I interview them, find photos I like that give me the “feel” of them or the look of what I’m imagining, and then when I feel like I’m hitting the centre of my conflict I’ll start writing.
I also am a fan of outlining the main plot points so I have something to aim towards. It just saves time and time’s a premium asset. I wish I could write faster than I do, so that’s why I outline. I may change the plot points, but I have an idea of the beginning, middle crisis moment, and how the book will end before I start writing.
Fun fact about Northern Protector: the original heroine was Sarah Thorvald from Northern Deception, who’s the Conservation Officer who tranquilizes the polar bear that attacks Constable Ben Koper. I thought she seemed to be the likeliest heroine, so I wrote pages and pages on her and her backstory, I wrote the beginning 20K of the book and it was just horrible. I hated it. I wanted to give up the whole story, because I just couldn’t get the two characters to mesh or fall in love or even get a spark between them.
And I didn’t know what was wrong with me until I had lunch with an author friend, who told me she’d had that happen to her on a book, and she suggested I just toss out Sarah and start over from scratch. So, I started reading Northern Deception over again, and came across ONE sentence where I mentioned Ruby Gallagher (who owns the town’s main Café and store) having a daughter and granddaughter–no names to the characters. And bam! I had the heroine’s name, her occupation, etc. all jump into my head within an hour and I’d sketched out her character backstory. I was away to the races and never looked back. She and Ben fell in love so fast I had to do re-writes to back them off, lol.
Bible verse: Romans 8:38 “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Book: The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley
Cartoon: I don’t watch cartoons
Cereal: Lucky Charms because my birthday’s St. Patrick’s Day and my mother used to buy them for me on my birthday. Otherwise, Cheerios, if I had to pick.
Movie: Last of the Mohicans (remake with Daniel Day-Lewis)
Song: Theme from Outlander
Where can we find you online?
To celebrate her new release, Laurie is giving away a complete e-book set of her Heroes of the Tundra series! For your chance to win, enter here.
Constable Ben Koper is still healing from the polar bear attack that almost killed him. Nine months after it happened, he returns to Churchill, Manitoba, a changed man—scarred more than just physically. PTSD is his new shadow, haunting his every step, and he can’t seem to kick the pain meds he shouldn’t need anymore. He’s determined to prove, to himself and his colleagues, that he’s still up to his job. Failure isn’t an option.
ER nurse Joy Gallagher spent the entire last winter texting with a healing Constable Koper. What started as friendly concern from this single mother has grown into full-fledged romantic feelings, and she’s eager to level up their friendship and introduce him to the idyllic comfort of small-town life. Until a teenager is murdered at a summer party. The crime is strikingly similar to the cold case murder of Joy’s foster sister, stirring old trauma Joy has never fully dealt with.
When another victim is snatched in town, Ben and Joy must confront their own demons, and join forces to track down an elusive killer. The race to rescue the next victim before it’s too late will test Ben and Joy to their limits. Can they survive their encounter with this heinous killer, or will the past destroy them?