Welcome to our Author Spotlight, where we shine a light on writers, authors, and literary wonders worldwide.
Today our spotlight is shining on Laura Nelson, a self-declared word nerd and YA fantasy author of The Lohikärran Chronicles.
1. First, tell us a little about your book/project?
I have a few projects. My current series (The Lohikärran Chronicles) is YA portal
fantasy, and I’m currently working on book 3 (Queen of Drattüjert). The first two
books, (Heir of Svartån; Thegn of Svartån) are currently available on Amazon and eventually will be on other platforms as well. The series follows Ina Svanunge, a teenage girl who gets transported into Lohikärra—a Nordic based
fantasy world—where she finds that she’s a lot more powerful than she ever
expected. In Queen of Drattüjert, she and her friends (including her love interest) must fight off an invading force, discover a necromancer, and save both
Lohikärra and our world. Queen of Drattüjert will be available June 30th, 2022.
I also have a handful of short novellas on Kindle Vella. Two of them (Bjornulf:
Dragon Heir and Son of Andrattür) are short novellas from the world of Lohikärra. I plan on releasing four more stories later this year.
Outside of the world of Lohikärra, I’m also publishing a fantasy romance under
the pen name of M. Victoria Vilandre. It’s only on Vella right now, but if you like
fantasy romances or second chance romances, check out To Fulfill a Vow.
2. What kind of research did you do and how long do you spend researching
before beginning a book?
I am a researcher by heart (my day job is being an archivist/librarian), so I do a
LOT of research, even for my fantasy stories. For my current series, there are
dragon characters who can shift into non-dragon forms. Which got me thinking
about the physiology of dragons. Long story short, I ended up deep diving into the subject of ovoviviparity or the ability to both have live young and eggs.
In the world of Lohikärra, dragons can lay eggs if they are in dragon form or give birth to live young if they are in human or another non-dragon form. I also did research into stuff like weather, topography, culture, various types of lore, you name it. As for how long I research before I start a book, it depends on the book. If I’m just starting out a series, I do a LOT of research before I start writing, figuring out the lore and the world and the ‘rules’ of the universe. But by the time I get to later books in a series, I’ll do less research on stuff like world building and more research on detailed things like how a fight or a battle might play out.
3. If you could tell your younger writing self one thing, what would it be?
Keep reading, keep writing, don’t be afraid that you’re going to subconsciously
write in someone else’s voice, and ignore the BS that people are telling you that
writing is a waste of time. It isn’t.
4. Can you tell us a bit about your writing space? Is there something you need to
have when writing a book?
I get to have a writing space??? For real, though, I’m a mom with young kids and a small house. I write wherever I can find space. My go-to items are my laptop, my phone, and some form of chocolate. If I can plunk myself down somewhere quiet for 30-60 minutes, that’s AMAZING, but I usually get my work done in 5-10 minute spurts when the kids are napping or distracted. My ideal working space on the other hand… that’s a whole other story, lol.
5. If you could be a character from any book for 24hours, who would you be?
Off the top of my head, either Meg Murry from A Wrinkle in Time or Alanna
Trebond from The Song of the Lioness. Meg because her character resonated with me as a child growing up and I had one of my first character crushes on Calvin O’Keefe. Alanna because she was a badass in The Song of the Lioness Quartet. They were also two of the first characters who were shown as successfully balancing motherhood/family life and a career/outside passions, which has always been an aspiration of mine.