Writing Under the Influence
Laney Smith is an author of 8 books living in Southern California. She also hosts a blog talk radio show, where she interviews fellow authors the second Monday of every month. This time we interviewed her.
Your talkshow "Writing Under the Influence" has a witty title, what inspires you into hosting this radio blog show?
I met the producer and poet, Fre Thought through doing an interview on the show with him. Then, I interviewed him on a separate episode. It was fun. So, since I like talking to authors about their work, when Fre asked me to guest host the second Monday of every month, I jumped in. It's a great way to give authors an opportunity to get their work out there and show their personality. It's proving to be a success and I am happy Fre gave me the opportunity. He's got so many great visions.
Which kind of authors do you like to interview in particular?
I like to speak with any author that has a passion for their work. I like the authors that like to laugh and have fun.
What is your psychological thriller 'What He's Done' about?
This story is based on actual events, based on a serial murderer that lives among us. This main character is terrifying because he is based on a man that any of us could meet, at any moment. With online dating and social media, we quickly forget that characters like Michael Sullivan exist in our world. This book looks at just one of them. It's horrifying! It is my hope that victims of people like "Sully" will somehow be vindicated. There are parts of this story that will "haunt" the man that this main character is based on. I'm hoping I've done my job and this becomes one of the most talked about stories of 2016.
Please tell us how did you craft the character 'Sully' and was there any fun scene or funny events along your writing journey?
As I mentioned before, "Sully" is based on a member of our society. He is a smart, lucky, and incredibly cocky man. He has no conscience, no guilt, and no fear. That makes him tragically dangerous. If that weren't bad enough, Sully is a natural born charmer. As you follow him through this story, it messes with your head because you find yourself rooting for this terrifying man. Then, when you realize that he has captivated you, you start to understand how easily it is to fall under his spell, even when you know from the start that he is this horrible person. You end up being angry at yourself. However, this is how these types get their victims. They make people believe in an illusion. But, is it an illusion? Sully asks a girl in the story if she could love him unconditionally. This story is fun because it could save lives. It can be a way victims that have been silenced get to speak again, whether their demise was years ago, or just hours. Sometimes, when these psychotic people think they got away with their crimes, a story like this reopens it all.
How did you come to write "What He's Done" after the Lock Creek: Time Capsule Series?
Lock Creek hit and so far, there has been only positive feedback. It is a romantic mystery series and Derrick Decker is the best book boyfriend, ever. The series has something magic that people want to be entrenched in. They want that world. So, I wanted to push myself and I wrote the horror novel, "Threshold." I wanted to create something for horror fans. I wanted to be a forensic psychologist because I wanted to bring victim's families answers to questions that come from horrible crimes. When I found out what a forensic psychologist does, I realized I didn't have the stomach for it. So, I'm living a dream, in a sense, with What He's Done. It's not "answers," but hopefully, it will serve to make those that think they got away with horrible crimes that maybe they're not "home free" just yet. There are details in this story that will be undeniable to the real life "Sully." If this story can create fear in him, then his victims get to "haunt" him, in a sense. So, I guess, if nothing else, I have shown that I can write in various genres. I love what I do. This story has been a long time coming.
Where do you get your ideas for the adventures in your stories?
They usually just play out in my head like a movie in fast forward. The scenes play so fast, yet somehow, I get it. Sometimes, it's worth writing. Sometimes, it's unrealistic. Sometimes, I'm stubborn and refuse to be limited to only "realistic" stories. It's my job to make it real for the reader. Inspiration can come from anywhere, at any moment. Though, it seems when I'm driving, something magical happens and my "magic movie screen" decides to show me stories in those moments. I love driving for that reason.
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