Today I had the pleasure of interviewing another of my writing friends. Lael is a talented author, avid reader, and supportive person in general. We hope you enjoy learning a little about her and then check out her social media/books.
According to her childhood friend, Lael Braday is an acquired taste—like dark chocolate, she presumes. She lives with an Austrian-American and vintage rescue kittehs. Currently, she’s working on a speculative flash fiction collection, undecided as of yet to self-publish or submit to an agent or small publisher. She is the only Lael Braday in the universe.
Tell us a little about where you’re located. Have you always lived there?
I live in NC now, but I was born in CO and grew up in little town KS. I’ve lived in MO, AZ, MD, and OR. The coast of OR is the best! The beaches are all public, and I walked for hours on a beach nearly every day. I was in the best shape. Now I live in shoppingville, where people honk and yell at you if you walk anywhere. bleh.
Where do you usually find the books you read? Book stores, thrift stores, or online? What genres do you like?
I’m fortunate to receive early digital copies of Tall Poppy author books, as I’ve become a Tall Poppy Blogger. I also get digital ARCs through NetGalley, which led to individual publishers sending me unsolicited digital ARCs. Sometimes fellow (indie) writers ask me to review a new book. I try to buy my indie writer friends’ books, but my TBR pile is huge!
My favorite genres to read are historical fiction—especially with speculative elements, magical realism, ghost stories, and tales with secrets.
What authors do you think others should give a try? Why?
Angela Slattery writes brilliant versions of fairytales, the Alice Hoffman of fairytales.
Brian Barr’s storytelling talent transcends his chosen genres of sci-fi / fantasy and horror. As does Marcus Alexander Hart.
Steven Carr’s ability to create worlds and invoke emotions through short fiction astonishes me.
Carmen Baca shares her Mexican culture in her novels and short stories, and they are fascinating.
Jorja Dupont-Oliva simply writes excellent stories.
Laura Spinella has written the perfect trilogy that includes ghosts and secrets!
Tell us about your writing process. Where do you start? What do you struggle with?
I struggle to write. Social media is so compelling, that I can people in the privacy of my home! Peopling challenges me so much. The hubs suggested recently to work on a short story collection, because I love writing short stories, and trying to write a second novel while being repeatedly rejected for the first was wearing me down. Depressive and anxiety-filled, I agreed. Now I write my two stories a day (or almost daily, if I’m honest) and feel accomplished enough to keep moving forward.
Two a day is an amazing achievement!
How do you come up with character names? Does it differ between stories?
My novel’s characters are Irish-American, like me. For my short stories, I tend to use common American names to keep the focus on the story line. For novella length, or period pieces, I try to find unusual names. Often if I feel more connected to a character, I use a friend or family’s name.
How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have? What are your plans with them?
I have a completed novel that’s been shopped a bit, but I’ve realized recently that it needs some sensitivity revision—I’ve tabled it for now, but not for that reason. I started a second novel connected to the first, wherein a secondary character decided the real story was about her—that one is tabled for that reason. I tried to novelize a speculative story idea, but it’s not going well. I have no plans for them right now, but will revisit them in the future, whether I flesh them out or eviscerate them for short stories.
How many books/stories/poems have you published?
As of today (June 20, 2019), I have had 13 short stories (from flash to novella) published in online and print magazines and anthologies—a few are free to read; a couple are archived. They’re listed on my website! laelbraday.com
I asked a dozen readers what they wanted to know about authors, and almost all of them replied “What inspired them to write their story?” Care to share?
I wrote my novel with my family in mind, and then the characters became totally different people. Many of my short stories came to me in dreams. Anywhere, anytime, one of the five senses will trigger an idea. I write the stories that won’t leave my head. I confess that my husband offers sometimes brilliant story ideas. How fortunate I am. He believes people who love horror stories (and movies) had traumatic childhoods. Perhaps.
Is there anyone you’d like to thank right now that has helped you on your journey as an author?
I want to thank you, my friend, for being such a supportive fellow writer! My first writer friend online was Brian Barr, who sent me a friend request, and has been a delight to follow and to read. He introduced me to Paula Ashe, an academic who’s smarter than I am, so I learn from her, and comic book creator Greg Anderson Elysee, whose work is a spinoff of Anansi folklore. Steven Carr inspires all who know him. Carmen Baca is a talented writer and a lovely person. The most helpful writing groups for me are Writing Bad (Jade Cinders, Bryant Wiley, etc.), Inner Circle Writers—Grant Hudson, and Fiction Writing (Brian Paone, Laurie Gardiner, etc.), all on Facebook. There are more people, including those I met at conferences, and other groups, reading and writing, who motivate me, critique my work, and sympathize with me when I need it. I love them all!
You can find Lael at the links below: