Wednesday, August 11, 2021


I want to first thank Lauren Smith for taking the time for this interview!

I hope you enjoy it as much as I have!

Make sure to give Lauren a shout-out and FOLLOW her on all of her social media!


USA TODAY Bestselling author LAUREN SMITH is an Oklahoma attorney by day, who pens adventurous and edgy romance stories by the light of her smartphone flashlight app.

She knew she was destined to be a romance writer when she attempted to re-write the entire Titanic movie just to save Jack from drowning.

Connecting with readers by writing emotionally moving, realistic and sexy romances no matter what time period is her passion.

She’s won multiple awards in several romance subgenres including New England Reader’s Choice Awards, Greater Detroit BookSeller’s Best Awards, Breakthrough Novel Award Quarter-Finalist, and a Semi-Finalist for the Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley Award. 

When and how did you know you wanted to be a writer?

Since the third grade!  I started writing stories when my teacher explained that you could change an ending on a book.

Did you have any influencing writers growing up?

JK Rowling and Brian Jacques.  They were handsdown my influences.

Are any of your characters based on people in real life?

Not really.  I actually write myself into most of my characters, but other people.

When I’m creating a story, the characters come to me out of the ether of my creative thought, and don’t seem to be influenced by anyone I know.

Where do you draw your book inspirations from?

It sounds weird, but a lot of my inspirations come from movies and not in the way you’d expect.  I might be watching a show on Sci-fi bounty hunters and get a great idea for a contemporary romance.  Or I’ll be watching a star wars movie and get a great idea for a historical Regency era romance plot.  I also get great ideas from reading about real places and real people in history.

Do you use have a basic outline when starting a new story or do you let the characters lead the way?

I usually know the opening scene of the story and the closing scene, and just some random parts in between but the characters really lead the way.

When you are picturing the characters in your book, do you have a cheater photo for inspiration?

I sometimes have famous actors or actresses for inspiration, but don’t get too bogged down in trying to get readers to picture faces a specific way.  It’s more about how the characters make the reader feel.

Many people read as a form of escape and relaxation.  What is your favorite way to sit back and relax?

I love to watch movies, or play with my dogs, or go for a jog or swim.  I also love just reading for pleasure or playing the piano.

Who are your favorite current authors to read?

I’ve been addicted to Jessa Kane, Suzanne Wright, Johanna Lindsey and Lynsay Sands.

What are your favorite books by others?

I love the entire Argeneau vampire series and the Malory series.

Do the locations in the stories have any meaning to you?

A lot of time yes.  My best selling Regency series, The League of Rogues, had the heroes of the series meet when they were in college in the early 1800s at Cambridge university.  The series was inspired by my own time spent during two summers at Cambridge.  It was a magical place for me and it inspired so many lovely stories.

Do you write in single or multiple POV?

I write in multiple points of view.  Always both the hero and heroine.

I feel multiple points of view shows a writer’s stronger ability to relate to both genders and to really tell a story at it’s fullest.  One point of view feels limiting and less professional as a writer and more like a diary entry of a teenager.

I like being able to get into a male character’s head and show depths of emotions.

What do you find to be your best research tool?

Print books.  I buy a gazillion of them for various topics and print books are the easiest to tab up and highlight as I work.

Do you write under a pen name?  Also, do you write under more than one name?

I write romances under Lauren Smith and also Emma Castle.

What genre do you write and why is this your preference?

I write romances because it’s the most fun genre out there.  It’s also the most rewarding.  At the heart of the most amazing stories in life, there is always love, romantic love, familial love, friendly platonic love.

It’s the most powerful force in the universe and there’s no better story to write than a love story.

Tell me something about yourself outside of writing.  Jobs, accomplishments, family, quirky traits....what led to you being you?

I am a relaxed Type A personality.  So I work really hard and always like to be busy.

At a young age, I crafted all sorts of things out of printer paper (including a paper computer which I slid my books into behind the open space for the screen- I basically invented ebooks before they existed) because I wanted to see how it worked to read a book on a computer (this was back in the early 1990s) when I was in grade school.

I get addictive and passinate about things and even a tad obsessive, but it can lead to amazing results.  I always double my work load when I can, like getting two majors in college and getting out of college a year early by going to college classes at night while in High school.

I also completed two law degrees in just 3 years from both the US and Canada while working two part time jobs and writing 3 novels in 3 years all at the same time.

I like hard work and believe in the reward of its results, which I think makes me a quirky person now since everything thinks I was crazy to do all of that.  But I love being passionate about life and about what I do every day.

How do you deal with and process negative book reviews?

I generally try to avoid looking at reviews.

If it’s a place where I comment, I sometimes do comment on a review, but only if the review is completely insane.  Like someone once said that “The hero kills a puppy” in their headline on Amazon, but I couldn’t comment and say…how could he?  There’s no dog let alone a puppy in the story.  She basically was just trolling.

A lot of mean reviews complain about the book being just like some other book (which ironically is super different from my book).  I had a haunted castle book once, and a reviewer said it was just like the Dark Shadows Johnny Depp movie.  This really confused me.  I had no vampires in the story, it wasn’t funny or light hearted.  It was a dark, edgy gothic romance not set in the 1970s but in present day.  So I very much wanted to comment on that.

Most negative reviews I don’t mind (I don’t prefer to read them), but they don’t bother me if someone simply didn’t enjoy the story like they’d hoped or it was something they hadn’t expected.  I just really go crazy when I see clearly troll reviews or reviews left by people who are genuinely just not intelligent, but this is a small portion of reviews.

Most negative reviews have some merit and are written by good but just critical people.

What is the most difficult part of your writing process?

Finding the time during the day between a million life distractions.  It seems like we always have a house project or the dogs need to go out and chase a squirrel that sort of thing.  I just never get uninterrupted time alone to focus.

What do you need in your writer’s space to keep you focused?

I need to be in a place where there is people and activity, but activities which I don’t need to join in... so coffee shops, libraries, places where I can feel energized but won’t be rude if I put on my headphones.

What is your naughty indulgence as you are writing?

A Dr. Pepper.  I’m a sucker for those.

If you could spend a day with another popular author, whom would you choose?  And why?

I’d love to spend time with Johanna Lindsey.  She was amazing and her stories were fantastic.  I’m sad she’s gone.

Most living authors I’m less interested in spending time with.  They tend to be manic, talk too much political issues and seem genuinely anxious or mean spirited.

I have a few close writing friends I trust, but I typically keep to myself to stay out of the fray of the writing world when it goes to war against itself.

What is your schedule like when you are writing?  Do you have a favorite writing snack or drink?

I try to get somewhere to write between 10 and 11 am and write for at least 2 hours before doing something around the house and then going back for another writing session mid afternoon.  I like to have my writing done before dinner or else I’m pushing it and I’m not a nightowl.  I love a good Dr. Pepper with me while I’m writing.

Do you listen to music when you write – what kind of music is your favorite?

Definitely!  All kinds!

I make playlists for themes or characters.  Like “Gothic romance playlist” or sexy billionaires.

The songs can be from soundtracks or oldies, or pop, whatever strikes my fancy that fits with a character or novel I’m working on.

Have pets ever gotten in the way of your writing?

Yes.  I love them, but every few minutes they want to go outside or be petted.  Which generally I love doing when not on deadline.  So I have to get away for a few hours to get work done.

What is your kryptonite as a writer?  What totally puts you off your game?

Bad news.  I hate when someone tells me something bad about my books, or bad for my career, or bad for sales, or anything that’s negative with regard to my writing.  It can suck the creative mojo right out of me.

Have you ever killed off a character that your readers loved?

Yes.  I killed off the hero in one of my stories, only to bring him back to life in a really cool supernatural way.  It was great to see the readers react to that.

How do you celebrate after typing THE END?

Weirdly…I just watch tv and chill that night.  Then a few days later, I start the next book.

After writing over 50 titles, you just get into a rhythm and the magic of finishing is less important than just writing the book overall and I get excited about the next book I plan to write.

What advice would you give to an aspiring writer?

I would tell them to figure out what they enjoy to read and find a way to write that.  Learn to reverse engineer bestseller books to figure out what made them addictive to readers if you want to be successful.


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Lauren Smith and Emma Castle are giving away 10 signed print books to 5 lucky winners. (International winners can have an ebook)

5 copies of Tempting Prince Charming from Lauren

5 copies of Love in the Wild from Emma Castle




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