Friday, December 9, 2011

Interview with Laura Schaefer (aka. Avery Sawyer) + Giveaway


Laura Schaefer!
About Laura

Laura loves to write almost as much as she likes to drink tea. She got her start as a contributor to the University of Wisconsin’s student paper The Daily Cardinal and went on to write regularly for The Princeton Review and Match.com. Laura is the author of The Secret Ingredient (Simon & Schuster 2011), The Teashop Girls (Simon & Schuster 2008), and Man with Farm Seeks Woman with Tractor (Thunder’s Mouth Press, 2005). Writing as Avery Sawyer, Laura recently released the YA novel Notes to Self. She is also the author and publisher of Planet Explorers travel guides for kids. Laura lives in Madison, Wisconsin, with her fiance and enormous cat Ramona.

Read more: http://teashopgirls.webnode.com/about-us/

And her realistic YA novel:

Note to Self!
The Blurb

Two climbed up. Two fell down.

One woke up.

In the aftermath of a traumatic brain injury, Robin Saunders has to relearn who she is and find out what happened the night everything changed.


Hi Laura, thanks for coming to the blog!

1) Tell me about yourself?

I'm a long-time writer who prides herself on saying clever things occasionally. I never turn down fancy grilled cheese or cupcakes.

2) When you're not being an author, what do you usually do?

I like to read, take walks, cook, work out, and hang with my friends. It seems like everyone I know just got really good at making food lately. We talk about it a lot.

3) How and why did you start writing?

I began writing seriously in college, when I started writing book reviews for my university's newspaper. I launched right into a career as a freelance writer after I graduated from college. Basically, I didn't want to look for a regular office job. I've always been very independent and good at working by myself.

4) Can you briefly explain what NOTES TO SELF is about?

NOTES TO SELF is about Robin Saunders, a fifteen-year-old girl who gets a traumatic brain injury and has to figure out who she is. It's a coming-of-age story about memory, identity, and love.

5) What's the story behind it? Inspiration?

NOTES TO SELF started out as my attempt to turn the 2009 Facebook meme 25 THINGS ABOUT ME into a novel. Remember that? Everyone wrote lists about themselves and published them to their Facebook pages. I thought the whole thing was fascinating. I considered what a list like that would mean to someone if they couldn't remember who they were anymore. NOTES TO SELF was born.

6) Is NOTES TO SELF your very first novel? If not, then what are the others about?

NOTES TO SELF is my third novel. The other two are for younger readers. The first is THE TEASHOP GIRLS, which is about friendship, local business and entrepreneurship and growing up. THE SECRET INGREDIENT, its sequel, is about all about food. I'm so proud of both novels. In addition to the stories, they both include original recipes. I hope readers bring them into their kitchens. :-)

7) Why realistic YA? Why not, say, paranormal romance or urban fantasy or realistic adult cause those are the trending ones now?

I write realistic YA because that's what I love to read. I've always gravitated to books set in the real world. I can't help it, even though I know that doing a paranormal book would probably be better for the bottom line. For my next project, I'm thinking about writing about a girl exploring her past lives. It'll have a touch of the other-worldly while still being grounded in the present.

8) What is your favourite part/scene/quote/phrase in NOTES TO SELF?

My favorite part is the end. I actually cried a little while writing it! Here is a quote I like:

"I don’t believe everything happens for a reason. But I still search for reasons anyway. It’s like I don’t want to admit that maybe everything really is totally random…that people are just molecules in the air, bumping into each other and floating away again."

9) Did you base any of your characters on real life people/experiences? Which ones?

I've been lucky enough to have the same best friend for basically all my life, so it was easy for me to render the sweet friendship between Robin and Emily. That said, both girls have distinct personalities from anyone I actually know. As for the experiences described in the book, they are all made up. I like to think I collect moments of poignancy in real life and flesh them out while I'm writing. I might overhear something interesting that sparks an entire chapter, for example.

10) What was the hardest part in your path to becoming an author?

Dealing with rejection and worrying about making enough money. Still, it's an incredible job. It makes me feel so alive.

11) What is the one question that you've always wanted to be asked about in interviews? What would your answer to it be?

Ha! Good question. How about this: Who do you respect right now? Answer: Louis C.K., Tina Fey, Terry Gross from NPR's Fresh Air, Fareed Zakaria, Jon Stewart, Mindy Kaling, Lady Gaga, Diablo Cody, Sarah Haskins, Sarah Vowell, Curtis Sittenfeld.

12) Where can readers buy your book?

NOTES TO SELF is on sale at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B006AY9UGK
and Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/106905

It will soon be available at BN.com, iTunes, and Kobo. Thanks!


If you'd like to find out more about Laura or her books, you can visit her at:

Laura is very kindly giving away 1 ecopy of NOTES TO SELF to 1 winner. This giveaway is international and following is optional (but highly encouraged!:D). Just fill in the Rafflecopter form below and you're all good to go!


  1. Hey, I talk to my books all the time. I think it should be classified as normal by now. (;

  2. Lol! NOOO, you don't talk to inanimate objects no matter how much you love it! Haha, I don't talk to my books, but I definitely spend a looong time staring at it.:D

  3. Thanks for the giveaway! I entered as Evangeline.

  4. sometimes i speak with my books too..thanks for making this international..
    i really like the cover of the book

  5. Absolutely intriguing. I would love to read this novel. It sounds fascinating. Thank you so much!

  6. Thank for the giveaway..
    This books souns great~ :)

  7. Thank you! nice interview & her book was not on my radar before!
    (wubison -at- optonline.net)


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Cyp's Abbreviation Dictionary

DNF = Did Not Finish
HEA = Happily Ever After
PNR = Paranormal Romance
UF = Urban Fantasy
YA = Young Adult

Erotica Reference

BDSM = Bondage/Discipline, Dominant/Submissive, Sadism/Masochism
f/f = female/female
m/f = male/female
m/m = male/male


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