Thursday, March 15, 2012

Laurie Stevens: The Dark Before Dawn

Laurie Stevens has written for the stage ("Follow Your Dreams"), the screen (Chris Isaak's Guide to Jazz Fest) and a novel, The Dark Before Dawn, the first in a psycho-thriller/detective series based in Los Angeles. It was awarded the Kirkus Star and named to Kirkus Review's Best of 2011. Psychology and forensics interest her immensely so the book is rich with both. Lauire and her husband once snuck into the L.A. morgue to do research on the book and one of her favorite pastimes is to pick the brains of therapists. "Believe me, they love to talk like anyone else! I'm sure most of the officers at the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Malibu substation think I'm insane, but I do get a lot of good information there."

I bet you do, Laurie;-) I usually do my best sleeping in the dark before dawn, but I have a feeling your book will change that. LOL.

Where do you live, and how has your environment affected your writing?
I live near the Santa Monica Mountains outside of Los Angeles and I love exploring those hills. It's the perfect setting for the book - being so close to a huge metropolis and yet filled with nature, beauty and the nearby ocean.  The people you encounter run the gamut from New Age artsy canyon people to movie stars and deluxe snobs to suburban soccer moms. Add all of these types to an abandoned movie set or an historical adobe found in the mountains, and I get much fodder for my muse.

How many books have you written?

Shhh. I've written 2 but The Dark Before Dawn is the first published.

Give a short synop of each book, please.

The first, Autumn Leaves is about my grandfather and I. He was a European war orphan at 13 years old, who eventually made a success of himself. Me, a silly 20-something filled with angst, used his stories of survival to put in perspective my own American upbringing, and used his advice to get through a difficult decade of self-discovery.

The Dark Before Dawn revolves around Los Angeles Sheriff's detective, Gabriel McRay, who is fired from his job for police brutality.  When a serial killer begins leaving personal notes on the bodies of his victims addressed to Gabriel, he is reinstated in the hopes of "luring" in the killer. It soon becomes apparent that the killer's identity lies within the blocked memory of a trauma from Gabriel's own childhood. Gabriel then must run two parallel investigations. The first: a dark journey into the terrifying recollections of his past and the second: the hunt for a serial killer who seems to know more about Gabriel, than he knows himself.

What sets your book apart from others?

Readers ask me about the research I did, especially from the psychological aspect.  Then many of them will usually divulge something deeply personal that affected their lives, which makes me surmise that the book encourages folks to delve into their own darkness in order to "see the light."  Maybe it's a sort of demented self-help book.

Is it available in print, ebook, and Kindle formats?

Oh yes, in all formats.

Here are links:

What do you think is the greatest lesson you’ve learned about writing so far? What advice can you give other writers?

Forget the invisible judge looking over your shoulder.  Accept the fact you are a creative artist and writing is what you do, no matter what. Embrace the creative soul you are - revel in it.  It's a gift. If you work to make your work the best it can be - the cream will rise to the top.

Can you tell us your writing goals/projects for 2012 or beyond?

This year, the second in the series will be released: Deep into Dusk.

Meanwhile, The Dark Before Dawn has been approached by a film company for option, so we'll see how that goes.

Wow! Lucky you.
Where can folks learn more about your books and events?


Follow me on (!/LaurieStevens1)

and please Like the Fan Page!(

Thanks Susan, for the opportunity to appear on your site!

Nice to have you over, Laurie. I wish you continued success, and let us know if there's a movie in your future.


Laura Burks said...

Very good interview. Will add to my list to read.

Suzanne said...

Really looking forward to the next in the series. LOVED The Dark Before Dawn!

J. Conrad Guest said...

Sage advice, Laurie, about following your passion. Once I learned how to enjoy the process and not focus on publication, I became a writer. Not so surprising, publication soon followed.