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Author Laura Laakso discusses her new book, Echo Murder

Laura Laakso

RL: Tell me about your latest book and why you wrote it?

LL: My latest book to be published is called Echo Murderand it is the second instalment in my Wilde Investigations series, which is urban fantasy set in modern-day London. In this second book, Wild Folk PI Yannia Wilde and her Bird Shaman apprentice Karrion are faced with a case in which a man keeps dying over and over, and yet he lives. With every death, more of the echo bleeds into reality and soon it is not just their client’s life in real danger.

Laura LaaksoWithout giving away too much of the plot, the initial idea was sparked by an imagined conversation between me and a colleague. It occurred to me that within the confines of our mind, we’re all puppet masters. The thought took a darker turn and suddenly Echo Murderwas born. It is also a book about expectations of family and society, about trauma and mental health, and how the warning signs of an invisible illness are often ignored.

RL: What did you edit out of this book?

LL: Actually, I edited more in than out. Because Echo Murderis, at its core, a murder mystery, much of the rewrite involved adding in more red herrings and dead ends to frustrate my crime solving duo. The only major thing that was cut was a chapter depicting Karrion’s family life.

RL: What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

LL: I have two dogs, a retired Corgi and a young Australian Shepherd. The Aussie and I compete in four dog sports and do a bit of showing as well. So much of my free time is taken up with training, dog walking and travelling to competitions. Fortunately, when I have looming writing deadlines, the dogs are just as happy to curl up with me on the sofa.

RL: How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?

LL: I’m working on my sixth novel at the moment. The first two I wrote are gathering dust in my electronic desk drawer, unlikely to ever see the light of day, and the other four form the beginning of my Wilde Investigations series.

My favourite of them is Roots of Corruption, the third Wilde Investigations novel, which will be published in March 2020. It combines Samhain magic, superstitions, gruesome murders and Fey into a desperate race to save a friend and the wider magical community in London. I had so much fun researching druidic plant lore, Samhain traditions and the Fey that the book hardly felt like work at all. I can’t wait to share that book with my readers!

RL: What advice would you give other authors who are just starting out?

LL: Don’t be afraid to experiment with style, genre and narrator. It took me three novels to find my voice and five to really hit my stride as a writer. Everything you write, no matter how long or short, will teach you something important about the craft. It is only when you look back that you appreciate just how much you’ve learned along the way.

I’d also recommend doing beta reading for other writers. It will teach you a great deal about what works on a page and what doest, but also about your stylistic preferences. As an added bonus, beta reading is a great way to forge connections and lasting friendships with other writers.

RL:If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would that be?

LL: Don’t be in so much of a rush to accomplish absolutely everything that you risk your health. Learning to take breaks and look after myself, even when I’m desperate to be writing, has taken years and been a difficult journey. But I’m finally in a place where it feels as though my writing is sustainable rather than self-destructive.

RL:Has publishing your first book changed your process of writing?

LL: It gave me a new sense of confidence in my writing. Not in that others didn’t believe in my work, but in that I struggled with self-confidence. But having an enthusiastic publisher supporting me every step of the way has transformed my belief in my abilities, especially as I’m delving deeper and deeper into the series I have created.

RL: If you were to write a book about yourself, what would you name it?

LL: In My Defence, I Was Left Unsupervised.

 

Laura is a Finn who has spent most of her adult life in England. She is currently living in Hertfordshire with her two dogs. Books and storytelling have always been a big part of her life, be it in the form of writing fanfiction, running tabletop roleplaying games or, more recently, writing original fiction. When she is not writing, editing or plotting, she works as an accountant. With two degrees in archaeology, she possesses useful skills for disposing of or digging up bodies, and if her internet search history is anything to go by, she is on several international watch lists.

Her debut novel, Fallible Justice, was published in November 2018 by Louise Walters Books and the next two books in the Wilde Investigations series, Echo Murder and Roots of Corruption are due to come out in June 2019 and March 2020 respectively. They are paranormal crime novels set in modern day London, but with magic, murder and general mayhem. You can read more about Laura by visiting her website.

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