Monday, October 2, 2017

Happy Pub Day!

Tomorrow is the pub day for USA Today bestseller Lauren Smith's GRIGORI, the first in a new paranormal romance series (Brothers of Ash and Fire) about an ancient family of dragon shifters who find love as they fiercely defend their lands and fortune.  It is a super fun series and one that I am very excited about and I hope you all pre-order your copies as soon as you read her interview below!

For everyone who doesn’t know, tell us a little bit about yourself and what led you to start writing.
When I was ten years old I watched the movie Titanic with Leo DiCaprio and was stunned and horrified to watch him die. I came home and sat down and immediately began to write the entire movie as a book, hoping to change the ending. I didn’t know then that I was destined to be a romance writer, but from that first moment I put pen to page as a child, I couldn’t stop writing. I had plenty of ideas for my own characters and stories and it just felt like destiny. Now twenty-one years later I’m an attorney and a full-time writer. I live in idyllic Oklahoma and spend a lot of time traveling around the world when I can for inspiration for my next story!

You’ve written all types of romance, from Regency to contemporary to historical.  What is your favorite sub-genre and why do you write so broadly?
For me it’s always been the story, no matter what time period, no matter if there’s vampires, dukes, cowboys, or brooding billionaires. I follow a less traditional path as a writer by choosing to follow my stories rather than to simply churn out the same type of book over and over. I’m a story teller at heart, which means I often get very different ideas for books from day to day. I think historical regencies are probably my natural voice for writing, but I secretly love writing gothic romances or vampire romances the most (which is kind of funny because I haven’t written too many of those yet). I think each author has their own path to follow and the key is to listen to your inner storyteller. What do they want to share with the world? If it’s different every time, maybe that’s a good thing!

What are you really excited about for GRIGORI?  How did you come up with the idea for this book?
Ahh, Grigori, I really adore him. So if you didn’t know, Grigori is a Russian Dragonshifter from a long line of Imperial Russian dragons. By day he’s the CEO of a powerful industrial company in Moscow but he’s not human. I have been dying to write about dragons for at least four years. I was writing another story when I put a single line in there about how these supernatural hunters were using a spell that required the scales of a dragon and they joked about how dragons were obsessed with jewels and virgins and a bit territorial. An editor read that story and asked me if I could write an entire series around it and of course squealed with joy and said yes! Hence Grigori, the dragonshifter was born. What I’m most excited about is to see how readers like a mythology twist in their paranormal romances. I tied in a lot of Russian history and dragon mythology into this series to give it a layer of depth and yet it’s still sexy as heck too!

This is such a unique world.  Tell us about how you worked on world building and came up with the characters.  Did you draw inspiration from anything?
I drew a lot of Inspiration from Naomi Novik’s historical dragon series and I really tried to give it a real feel. It’s not a gritty dark paranormal like most paranormals out there. This book is dark in a different way. It focuses more on the human side to the shifters, what makes the men…well, men. And I use the heroines as a character foil to show how two people can heal the wounds of the past by loving and trusting each other even when they’re afraid of what that love might cost. I want readers to enjoy the world of Grigori and his future mate Madelyn, and immerse themselves in the gilded, snowy world of Russia and to become obsessed with the opulence of the story like a dragon would a pile of gleaming jewels in the farthest reaches of a cave.

What should we be on the lookout for re: fun marketing and publicity for this book/series?
I’ll be posting a ton of SEXY teasers on my Instragram and Facebook pages where you can find and follow me at : or on Instagram as @Laurensmithbooks plus I’m always running fun contests for free books or gift cards! I’m also hoping to launch a book trailer soon to show off the sexy series!

Anything you want to say to paranormal romance writers or to romance writers in general?
I know a lot of workshops focus on world building and while world building is crucial to having a stable reading environment for the reader to make sense of the characters and the story, never forget that it’s the characters and their chemistry that sell the book. Focus first and foremost on the character arcs and the passion being strong, and then you can layer in the world building elements.