This Writer Wednesday, the spotlight shines on indie author B.N. Laux!
Britt Laux is an indie writer, entrepreneur, and a beacon of light. Always supportive of their fellow indie authors, they purchase, read, review, and share indie books, and they also enjoy helping others through their small business, Magic and Moons Press.
Britt is an inclusive advocate, and often uses their voice for shining light on human rights causes that are near and dear to their (and my) heart. I respect this author and Instafriend, and it is my pleasure to introduce them to you here in this interview.
A quick note:
During this interview, you might note that many of the questions include the word “we” as if “we” asked them. Well, we did. This detail is meant to include you, my dear reader, and I do hope you enjoy each interview published to this blog!
Additionally, please note that each interview answer is the author's own words and the interviews in The Intuitive Storyteller blog are intended for informational and educational purposes only.
Britt Laux writes fantasy, romance, science fiction, and paranormal stories as B.N. Laux. At home, they're a parent to three humans, two cats, and a tortoise. They're based in Ohio, and their hometown helped inspire Ashe.
In their spare time, they enjoy reading indie books and drinking decaf, or staring off into space while plotting the next book. You can find them on Instagram @bnlaux or @magicandmoonspress. They also have a blog and website: www.magicandmoonspress.com, which is the face of their indie imprint and editing business.
About Britt's Book
Summer at Enid's
Lydia is running away from her problems and into her eccentric grandmother’s arms. Spending the summer hidden from the world, she rediscovers creativity, and finds healing for her heart. Weston has been living in the safety of Enid's woods for two years, ashamed of his past. When Lydia comes along, he's forced to look back just to see how far he's come... so he can finally move forward.
And now, the interview:
Britt, when did you first know you wanted to be a writer?
Since I was old enough to hold a crayon. I started reading early and have loved stories ever since.
Tell us about the person(s) or event(s) that inspired you to write your latest work.
Summer at Enid's came to me as a sudden inspiration. Enid came through most clearly, and I knew the story needed to be a family saga following the lives of four generations, divided into seasons for the novella collection. I also based Wes off of my own husband, in some ways. How he recovered from addiction and found peace in a simpler life.
What is your favorite genre to write and why do these types of stories appeal to you?
I have come to a place where I prefer to write fantasy and other entirely made up worlds. I think they're more of an escape, and while I love to read contemporary, I get bogged down by needing to be too real when I'm writing.
Do you have a furry familiar? Tell us about them!
I do! I have two cats, Xena and Koba. Xena is hateful and grumpy, but Koba is the sweetest thing. She's actually in Summer at Enid's as “Katarina,” one of Enid's many wild cats. She was a rescue, and she lived through being poisoned. She's also blind in one eye and has been known to appear in people's dreams.
Tell us about your writing schedule and/or a ritual that is necessary for establishing and sustaining your writing mood and endurance.
I have been including my own personal writing time in my working hours for my editing business. I want to treat writing like a career instead of a hobby—because that's what it is. As far as a ritual, I need my music. Other than that, I can write about any place at any time—just as long as I can shut the world out with my headphones.
Why do you write? How does the act of storytelling affect you?
I write because I can't not write. That's the only answer I ever have for this question. I've tried to quit many times, and it always calls me back. The pressure of being the stay-at-home parent and trying to have a career can be a lot sometimes, but if I try to go without writing, my mental health suffers for it. It's a huge part of who I am.
Think about yourself back when you first started writing. If you could travel back in time, what would you say to that version of you (about the writing process, publishing, the world, etc.) that might help prepare them for today?
Oh man... I'm going to go back to when I published my first book. It was a Christian romance that's no longer available, but I poured my heart and soul into it. I would tell myself that it's okay if someone hates your work (and even you). That it's okay to take breaks, and that an author doesn't have to write every single day or put a book out every year. And to look up and remember to live once in a while. Also, hire professionals to help with the mundane (non-writing) things, if you can. Formatting makes me want to pull my hair out and ruins some of the magic, so I don't fool with it anymore.
What are your recommendations for fueling your writing energy and promoting inspiration?
To promote inspiration, surround yourself with your world. I listen to my WIP playlist in the shower, play with images and inspo boards, and fully immerse myself as much as possible. I've found my writing energy comes and goes in waves, so I hesitate to tell anyone how to keep that fueled. I think it's cyclical, like so many other things in life. Just don't beat yourself up if you're in a low.
I think [writing is] cyclical, like so many other things in life. Just don’t beat yourself up if you’re in a low. —Britt Laux
How intuitive are you and does your intuition affect your writing?
I think I'm pretty intuitive, and it guides my writing in almost every aspect. I know my characters fully (in most cases—I have an elusive character in The Forest Witch who doesn't like to talk to me) before I ever start writing. I spend a lot of time planning them and talking to them in my head. They're as real to me as anyone else. I also feel the story as I write. Sometimes it doesn't go along with my outline or plot, but the story is the story. That's my motto, and it's served me well so far. I'm just the one putting the words on the page.
Tell us about your long-term writing and publishing goals.
My long-term goal is to grow my imprint into a full-service indie publishing company. For my own books, I simply want to keep writing what I love.
For what or whom are you most grateful right now and why?
Right now, and always, I'm the most grateful to The Man, otherwise known as my husband, Lou. He keeps me sane, forces me to stick to my working hours so I don't burn out, and is always my first test reader. And he doesn't even like to read! He may not understand the writer life, but he's been there for me from day one.
Besides writing, what activities bring you joy?
I love to read indie books—two or three in a day when I'm in a real mood for it. I also knit every now and then, and I actually really love to take pictures.
Which book are you reading right now?
Fated to Burn by Emmie Hamilton
What’s the best book you’ve read in the past year?
The Wyndshaper by Kate Argus, hands down.
Fill in the blank: Magic is...
Magic is in all of us.
Stay connected with Britt! Here’s where you can find them:
Next Magic Monday, in observance of Women's History Month, I will be reviewing the Our Tarot deck and robust guidebook by Sarah Shipman.
In her more than thirty years as a storyteller and visual designer, Amanda “Mandy” Hughes has written and designed over a dozen works of upmarket, literary, and women’s fiction under pen names A. Lee Hughes and Mandy Lee.
Mandy is the founder of Haint Blue Creative, a space for readers and storytellers to explore, learn, and create. Although she earned a Bachelor and Master of Science in Psychology, she has yet to figure out her family, much less herself.
When she’s not writing, Mandy loves going to the movies, theater, traveling, nature walks, birdwatching, margarita-making, and binge-watching The Office. She is a tarot enthusiast who uses the cards to promote wellness and enhance creativity. She lives in Georgia with her husband and four boys, two of whom are furrier than the others (but not by much). Visit her website at haintbluecreative.com and follow her on Instagram @haintbluecreative.