Laura Thurston’s stories have appeared in anthologies from Strange Musings Press and are forthcoming in Tales of the Unanticipated and Devilfish Review. Her most unusual work is a translation of A Klingon Christmas Carol, the world’s only professionally performed play in the Klingon language. The play was originally produced by Commedia Beauregard in 2007 and staged in four cities as of Christmas 2014. She has a variety of interests including martial arts, languages, performing, reading, and of course, writing.
1. How long have you been writing and what got you started?
I could read before kindergarten and I’ve been making up stories for almost that long. My friends and I would put on carnivals and I’d write the scripts for puppet shows.
2. What is the best piece of advice you have for new writers?
Keep writing. Keep revising. Keep submitting. Are there local writing contests? Enter them. Take the Ray Bradbury Challenge, which is to write a story a week. Even if you don’t end up with 52 stories at the end of the year, you have a lot more stories than you had last year. Join NaNoWriMo and have fun with it. In other words, write something. Take chances and experiment.
3. Are there any writing resources, such as books or websites, you’d like to recommend?
As a PC user, I was glad to see that Scrivener came out with a PC version a few years ago. This was a Mac-only program for a long time. I also love Submission Grinder because it’s free and it doesn’t require a membership to use.
4. What is your favorite type of fiction and who are your favorite authors?
Too many to count. I love several genres and go through stages in which I play favorites and then change my mind. My home library has overflowed the bookshelves and that’s after I added another bookshelf. My science fiction books span the spectrum from hard to soft. Mysteries, especially old-school cozies and Sherlock Holmes anything, Lovecraftian horror, fantasy of many types, humor. Sometimes I like to browse Amazon and buy an e-book from someone I’ve never heard of based solely on the description without reading the reviews. Authors I love include Stephen Baxter, Agatha Christie, David Weber, HP Lovecraft, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Susan R. Matthews, Lois McMaster Bujold, and many many more.
5. What tips do you have for finding time to write?
Always keep a document open and never leave home without at least a notebook. I’m busy and work odd hours, so I’ll sneak in a bit of writing here and there. If I have several contiguous hours to write, I find it fills up fast with errands and chores instead. I don’t set word count goals, especially when I’m revising something. I set small goals but they add up.
6. Do you prefer to outline a story in advance or write on the fly? Why?
I typically write on the fly. I tried planning and abandoned the plan almost immediately. I tried plotting a few scenes ahead and that seems to work so far. I’m willing to try a variety of techniques and I’m still looking for the optimum. Every story is different.
7. How do you deal with rejections?
I add another hash mark to the running total.
8. What are your writing goals for the next twelve months?
Keep writing, revising, and submitting. Write short stories and revise a couple of longer projects. I have a lot of projects in progress.
9. For the next five years?
Keep writing. revising, and submitting. I’ve got a few novel drafts in the queue for indie publishing once I get them whipped into shape.
10. Is there anything you’d like to plug? Feel free to share a link.
My author’s page at Amazon is pretty bare bones right now. So far it’s just the books I’ve got my name on. This will be updated as soon as I get a chance. If you have a chance to catch live theater, you can’t lose with the play performed professionally in the Klingon language, “A Klingon Chrsitmas Carol”. I collaborated on the translation and have done language coaching for the show. The bonus features of the Blu-Ray edition of Star Trek VI bonus features includes two scenes from the Klingon Hamlet that I worked on subtitles and language coaching.