Recognized in 2010 by ROLLING STONE MAGAZINE as ‘a pioneer of the M/M romance genre’, Laura Baumbach is the multi-award winning author of short stories, novels and screenplays. Author of one of the first recognized published resource articles on the category of m/m erotic romance, For the Love Of Man, for ERWA Writer’ Resource article published in September 2008. She is the founder of the only RWA Chapter for GLBT romance author, Rainbow Romance Writers.
Winner of the coveted 2016 RWA Passionate Ink Award for Best Contemporary novella, JACKSON & NICK, Laura is also two time winner of the EPPIE AWARD, one for the adventure paranormal novel THE LOST TEMPLE OF KARRTIKEYA in 2008, and one for the romantic suspense novel MEXICAN HEAT in 2009, (with a FINALIST for the sci-fi novel DETAILS OF THE HUNT in 2007).
MEXICAN HEAT was also a FINALIST for Best Gay Romance in the 2009 Lambda Literary Awards, and received an Honorable Mention at the 2009 San Francisco Book Festival, as well as several RWA chapter awards. Mexican Heat won a coveted CataNetwork Reviewers’ Choice Award for 2009.
DETAILS OF THE HUNT was selected as a Semi-finalist in the 2007 Shriekfest Screenplay competition (in its mainstream ‘buddy’ version) as well as becoming the Winner of Best Telefilm in the aTalentScout, Winter 2004 TV writing contest, and the Fort Bend Writers Guild Screenplay writing Contest for Spring of 2005.
She was named runner up the LRC Best of 2016 Awards for Best Series, and given an Honorable Mention in both the Best Contemporary Story and Best Couple categories. She was also nominated for Best Author 2016. Her sequel to the best-selling novel A Bit of Rough, Roughhousing, was 2007 Reviewers’ Choice Award Winner.
Laura devotes herself full-time to publishing and writing. She is the owner of ManLoveRomance Press, a small publishing house that specializes in gay erotic romance, mystery and fiction. (http://www.mlrpress.com) MLR Press was founded in January of 2007.
CC: Are you working on another book?
LB: I am currently in edits for my newest release, REESE HOLT: THE DARK SIDE. It’s the start of a romantic suspense series.
It centers on Reese Holt, an ex-Special Forces, ex-CIA agent turned private security specialist. He owns a firm that handles sensitive and impossible international and domestic security challenges. He has been a loner all his life, knowing living life on the edge every hour of every day not very conducive to a lasting relationship. He is smart, highly skilled, educated, gay, connected and deadly. He is surrounded by a loyal team of ex-soldiers he’s gathered from all branches of the service, some from around the world. He is a tough guy with a tough job that he excels at. He’s resigned to doing it alone.
Not many people would choose to spend their lives with a man who can disappear for weeks without a goodbye, sleeps with a weapon, and whose idea of a compliment is a curt nod. Luckily for Reese Holt, just that kind of guy falls into his path. Alex Throne is the kidnapped son of a business mogul, who drops from the sky into Reese’s current mission. Reese is forced to rescue the man, and in doing so embroils himself and his team in the scheme that threw Alex in his protective path.
THE DARK SIDE will release October 2016, premiering during the week of Gay Rom Lit retreat in Kansas City. It will be available for order from all distributors. It is the start of a new series, and the second one is already in the planning stages, but I will be waiting to start it until after I finish the long-awaited sequel to MEXICAN HEAT titled TEQUILA SUNRISE.
CC: Can you work on more than one WIP at a time?
LB: Nooo! I get fixated on the characters. They take over a part of my life, haunt my sleep, and keep me up half the night until their tale is done. That’s just one story. I can’t imagine having multiple characters demanding my head space at the same time.
CC: Do you create a storyboard?
LB: Not a storyboard but a bible. I map out each character, no matter how small a part they play, and build their personality, looks. voice, family, ticks, weaknesses and strengths, and attitude on paper. Main characters are more fleshed out, but everyone is accounted for. As I write and create small things about them, or things are revealed to me, I add it to the bible. I find I refer to it many, many times during the course of writing novel or short story.
CC: Are you a plotter or a pantser or a combo of both?
LB: I plot. I usually have a central, opening scene that prompted me to write the story in the first place. I take that scene and start expanding from that point. From the starting scene to the end scene. I write brief paragraphs as the story unfolds in my head. Sometimes it’s just a few sentences of what I want to happen in this scene, sometimes it’s actual dialogue. I usually break up the story up into chapters at this point, too. I cna see all the action points clearly and in a close order so it’s easier. It does change as I write but not a lot. After the first few novels, I got better at it.
Then as the story unfolds in detail to me, it usually reveals things I need to address later in the following scenes so I go and add them to the outline as they occur to me so I don’t leave them out . Like a word or a clue that I don’t want to reveal to reader yet but need to expose at the right time later.
I always write with the outline on the same page. I delete it scene by scene as I move the story along. That way, all I have to do is scroll down and I know where I’m going and how far I have to travel to the end or a pivotal scene.
CC: What has been the toughest criticism of one of your books?
LB: I actually won’t be able to answer that. I stopped reading reviews of my work years ago. I think reviews are meaningful and can be helpful to readers. I use them myself when choosing things from books to coffemakers.
At this point, sixteen years into writing m/m erotic romance, my author voice is what it is. Readers will like me or not. As an example, last year I released JACKSON & NICK as part of MLR Press’ Storming Love Series. I was told, one reviewer disliked the sex in it, thought it was boring. That same story just won the 2016 RWA Passionate Plume Awards for Best Contemporary Novella. Reviews are necessary and useful. They are a part of writing commercial fiction. I don’t read them. I write. I write what I like to read. Simple, plain.
I can’t allow criticism to enter into the equation unless it is from a trusted editor. Then it isn’t criticism, it’s constructive guidance, tough or mild. It’s not an absolute, but it is usually wise words to be considered.
Check back next week when we find out what makes Brina Brady tick.