Welcome to WOLF NOTES, where interview questions stray from the rest of the pack. It’s nice to know the usual stuff like where an author gets their inspiration and why they write, but sometimes we need a little fun in our lives.
Lauren Monroe is a Maryland novelist and Pittsburgh-native who grew up appreciating beautiful scenery and nautical life. She learned to drive a boat long before a car! From Western Maryland and later to the DC suburbs, she has experienced life in small towns and large. Currently she resides, along with her husband and family, on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. Letting Go: Book One of The Maryland Shores and Second Chances: Book Two, women’s fiction in The Maryland Shores series, are her first novels. She’s at work on a third book in the series.
Wolf: Glad you could get away from the shore and visit. What is the nicest thing you’ve ever done to your characters?
Lauren: My characters, at least in my first two novels, had to have functional families with close relationships and pretty good interpersonal interactions, give or take typical sibling banter and a dose of parental embarrassment. That strength made them connect with one another, and I do believe, made them endearing.
Wolf: It’s nice to read about families that work once in a while. What is the meanest thing you’ve ever done to your characters?
Lauren: Ah, now that might trigger a spoiler alert. Many readers report, and I do believe, that Second Chances: Book Two of The Maryland Shores was more the page-turner than the sweet story that started off my series. Happily ever after would not keep readers engaged. So my characters needed a few life rings tossed their way. While my fans told me of their surprise at a few plot twists, I stand behind all of them because they simply had to happen.
Wolf: I understand. Do you consider yourself a cat person, or a dog person?
Lauren: I’m definitely a dog person. I owned a cat many years ago, but in adulthood developed watery, itch eyes to felines. I grew up with a beloved, shelter-rescued dog, and so far in my adult life, our family adopted two dogs who needed forever homes. It’s no wonder then that my characters in Second Chances became dog lovers as well.
Wolf: I was adopted by a sweet lovable dog as well. If you could have a super power, what would it be?
Lauren: Hands down, it would be to eliminate anger and promote civility, better conflict resolution, kindness, and understanding.
Wolf: Great idea. Which of your characters is your favorite?
Lauren: Tough question! If I had to pick one, I’d say Steve, the sexy guy I created in Letting Go: Book One of The Maryland Shores. However, I love and identify with Maren who has nautical interests and a home-based career, Liz being a therapist (which I am when not my pen name writing novels!), Paul as a proud Pittsburgher, and Pam pushing back against gender stereotypes and forging her own path.
Wolf: Not playing favorites. You’re a good parent. What is your favorite body of water and why?
Lauren: I grew up on a lake in Maryland and landed later in life living near the Chesapeake Bay. Never the same view, crossing over it several times a week still brings a certain calm and beauty that puts one’s mind at ease. Both sides of the Chesapeake became the setting for my novel series.
Wolf: Nice. What story are you working on now?
Lauren: Book Three of The Maryland Shores which is yet unnamed.
Wolf: What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
Lauren: The urge to create never quite goes away. When not at the keyboard, I’m cooking, baking, reading, developing info-graphics for book promotion, swimming, watching movies, spending time with friends/family, and travelling when I can get away…that’s my life.
Wolf: Sounds like you have a busy life. Why do you think reading is more vital than ever in our frantic, often discordant world?
Lauren: Being surrounded by books brings comfort, and we know from recent studies conducted in the UK that reading as little as six to ten minutes when losing oneself in a character’s world lowers heart rate and lessens muscle tension. With such immediate, relaxing results, I’d ask why in the world wouldn’t people want to part the covers of a good story and just lose themselves for a little while?
Wolf: The only thing better is reading while petting a dog. Thanks for visiting. You can connect with Lauren through these links: