February 3, 2014

Lauraine Snelling - Author interview and book spotlight

Hello all - I am doing something a little different this month and am hosting some author interviews. I had fun doing this and hope you will enjoy the interviews.

I would like you to meet Lauraine Snelling. She writes historical family sagas, contemporary women's fiction and adventures for middle readers all in the inspirational market. I found and started reading Lauraine's Red River of the North series and was drawn in from the first page I read. It felt like I was reading a little of what my family may have gone through as this series is about Norwegians that settled in the Dakota territory and my family was Norwegian and settled in the Dakota Territory. I highly recommend her books for a nice reading experience that will keep you wanting more. Well let's get started with the interview and then I will tell you a little more about Lauraine. 

What made you decide to write historical fiction?
They kind of chose me. I started out writing adventure stories of girls and horses. I write both contemporary and historical because some of my stories fit one, and others need a different time period. 

How do you come up with the names of teh characters for your books?
I work hard at this because I want to give my characters a name that either fits them in the beginning or will later in the story. I use naming books, phone books and am always on the lookout for different names. Trying not to use a nae repeatedly is getting more difficult because I have written so many books. But I keep working at it. 

Who designs your covers? Do you get any influence on them?
The graphic arts department at my publishers ask me for suggestions depending on characters and the stories, then they do a mock up, I make suggestions and sometimes we go back and forth, but I am blessed because they care about what I see in my head. We come to an agreement and of course that means bending on both sides. I trust them to teach me along the way. I get great covers, ones that people rave about. 

I know this question is asked a lot but where do you get your ideas for your books and how long does it take you to do your research?
Ideas come from anywhere and everywhere. Something I've seen, heard, touched, read about and discussed, prayed for, people I meet, I never know how one will come. Daydreams, voices in my head, a family story I've heard, a line from a song or a story. I love to share the Stories behind the Stories when I am speaking. Fascinating. There is no time element in research, just whatever it takes. I write to a certain place, briefly describes what I need, and go on, then go back and find the answers to what I needed. Usually things like that are ideas that came from the story, would not have know to research that before starting the book. 

What keeps you focused when you are writing?
My very tight deadlines keep me focused, but once the story really gets rolling that pulls me along. I tell writers about the BIC principle, Butt in Chair. I threaten myself with a lock and chain at times.

Who is your favorite character and why? How about your least favorite character and why?
My favorite character would have to be Ingeborg of the Red River series. I want to be like her when I grow up. She is one I know the best because I've written about her for so many books. Why? Her strength and wisdom, all learned the hard way. My least? Any scumbags, i.e. The man who bought the store in Blessing from Penny and then was nearly run out of town on a rail. While scumbags are needed at ties that doesn't mean I have to like them. 

What can we expect from you in the future?
Two historical a year, I have a contract for four more in the ongoing Red River, sometimes called the Blessing books, based on the town's name, or the Ingeborg books. I am just finishing book one, To Everything a Season where I return to Blessing and catch up on my characters' lives. One contemporary a year. Heaven Sent Rain will be out this summer. A woman dedicated to creating products to help those with diabetes, a small boy and his dog and a Veterinarian memorializes his patients with them in caricatures. An unlikely trio for sure. On to a story of three single career women in midlife who choose to share a house and each other's lives. This one is still in the dreaming stage so no concrete title. 

What is a favorite book or author you like to read or would like to recommend to your readers?
I recommend books and authors all the time in Face Book, in discussions and in my monthly column for a local paper that is also published in a North Dakota paper and then put up on my website at www.laurainesnelling.com. I have favorite according to genres. DiAnn Mills: suspense, Julie Klassen: regency, Cynthia Ruchti: contemporary, Debbie Macomber: romance, Harry Krause: medical, and a plethora of others. 

Who or what influenced your love of books?
I have always love to read, take a book with me everywhere. My mother read to me. I adore losing myself in a good book. Always have. Something else would be curiosity. Reading is the way to knowledge and I have a huge curiosity bump on the back of my head. 

Is there someone who encourages you most in your writing? Who is it and how do they influence you?
Most is a tricky word. I have a lot of close friends who are always cheering me on. My husband Wayne is a staunch supporter who also works in this our business. We sell my books and other products so there is plenty to do. My agent Wendy Lawton, one of the wisest women I know, helps guide me and keep me on track. 

When you are not writing what do you like to do?
I love to read but I've not been able to have that at the top of my list for some time now. I'd rather read than about anything, have been that way all my life. I love to talk books with people, what they are reading, etc. My biggest problem is that I have soooo many things I like to do. And many others, I'd like to try, but I keep telling everyone, don't tempt me, I don't need another hobby, so this question: Do you have any hobbies?, made me laugh. Oh, and I do love to laugh and help other people laugh and enjoy themselves. My second most delight is water color painting. I started a few years ago, a life long dream come true, but lately I've not even had time for that. I enjoy needlework of many kinds, I used to sew a lot and still have my machines. One of these days. My flowers and yard take up a lot of time in the spring and summer. I love the colors, the fragrances, the growing. Add birding to the list too. As you can see, I have a lot of interests and those are just the things at home. 

List five random things about yourself.
I love to travel, we have a 42' motor coach and it becomes my office periodically.
Keeping house is not my favorite job.
Jesus Christ is Lord of my life and the adventures ahead with Him are mind boggling. Knowing He loves me makes life easier and more complete.
I love animals, almost all kinds. Especially dogs, cats, horses, cows, pigs, elephants, whales and am a staunch proponent of rescues.
I would love to farm again but of the gentlewoman type, meaning someone else to do all the hard work and leave me to write, travel and enjoy the benefits of life in the country, i.e. animals, gardens orchards, etc. 

Here is a little bit more about Lauraine:
Award-winning and best selling author Lauraine Snelling began living her dream to be a writer with her first published book for young adult readers, Tragedy on the Toutle, in 1982. She has since continued writing more horse books for young girls, adding historical and contemporary fiction and nonfiction for adults and young readers to her repertoire. All told, she has seventy books published.
Shown in her contemporary romances and women’s fiction, a hallmark of Lauraine’s style is writing about real issues of forgiveness, loss, domestic violence, and cancer within a compelling story. Her work has been translated into Norwegian, Danish, and German, and she has won the Silver Angel Award for An Untamed Landand a Romance Writers of America Golden Heart for Song of Laughter.
As a sought after speaker, Lauraine encourages others to find their gifts and live their lives with humor and joy. Her readers clamor for more books more often, and Lauraine would like to comply ... if only her paintbrushes and easel didn’t call quite so loudly.
Lauraine and her husband, Wayne, have two grown sons, and live in the Tehachapi Mountains with a watchdog Basset named Winston. They love to travel, most especially in their forty-foot motor coach, which they affectionately deem “a work in progress”.

You can find Lauraine on Facebook (which is her favorite social network), email: tlsnelling@yahoo.com and her website: here

A few of her series are: Golden Filly, Dakota Plains, Red River of the North, High Hurdles, Secret Refuge, Return to Red River, Dakotah Treasures, Daughters of Blessing, Home to Blessing, Wild West Wind, S.A.V.E. Squad, Songs of Blessing and a host of stand alone novels. A good place to find out more about these books is Fantastic Fiction (click here for Lauraine's page)

Red River of the North Series

Return to Red River Series

Daughters of Blessing Series

Home to Blessing Series

Wild West Wind Series

Dakotah Treasures Series

Secret Refuge Series


  1. Great interview! I enjoyed learning more about Lauraine Snelling,

  2. I have every book Lauraine wrote and read them sometimes 4-5 times. She is the best I have read so far !