Friday, June 23, 2017

Laura Lam Author Interview

Photo Credit: Elizabeth May

Laura Lam was born in the late eighties and raised near San Francisco, California, by two former Haight-Ashbury hippies. Both of them encouraged her to finger-paint to her heart’s desire, colour outside the lines, and consider the library a second home. This led to an overabundance of daydreams.

After studying literature and creative writing at university, she relocated to Scotland to be with her husband, a boy she met online when they were teenagers and he insulted her taste in books and she insulted his right back. She almost blocked him but is glad she didn’t. She is now a dual citizen, but at times she misses the sunshine.

While working a variety of jobs from filing and photocopying endlessly at a law firm to library assistant to corporate librarian, she began writing in earnest. Her first book, Pantomime, the first book in the Micah Grey series, was released in 2013, which was a Scottish Book Trust Teen Book of the Month, won the Bisexual Book Award, was listed a Top Ten Title for the American Library Association List, and was nominated for several other awards. Robin Hobb says “Pantomime by Laura Lam took me into a detailed and exotic world, peopled by characters that I’d love to be friends with . . . and some I’d never want to cross paths with.” The sequel, Shadowplay, followed in 2014, as well as several the Vestigial Tales, self-published short stories and novellas set in the same world. The third book in the series, Masquerade, will follow in 2017.

Her newest book is False Hearts, a near-future thriller released in June 2016 by Tor/Macmillan and in three other languages. Peter F. Hamilton calls False Hearts “a strong debut from someone who’s clearly got what it takes.” Another thriller, Shattered Minds, will be released in 2017.

She is still hiding from sunshine in Scotland and writing more stories.


Print Length: 400 pages
Publisher: Tor Books (June 20, 2017)
Publication Date: June 20, 2017
Sold by: Macmillan
Language: English


“Riveting.” ―F. Paul WilsonNew York Times bestselling author

“A multilayered, suspenseful thriller, False Hearts explores themes of identity and power in a breakneck plot that keeps the pages turning.” ―Ilana C. Myer, author of Last Song Before Night

“An ingenious premise, and Laura Lam executes it flawlessly. Gritty and wise, your own pulse will be racing as you get caught up in this exciting tale.” ―Robert J. Sawyer, Hugo Award-winning author of Red Planet Blues

“A taut futuristic thriller, set in a San Francisco where everybody is beautiful... and nobody is exceptional. Two unusual sisters are caught in a war for control of a society that quietly suffocates its outsiders, rebels, and the damaged. Taema and Tila are all three, and their strange past and unique bond make False Hearts a difficult book to put down.” ―A. M. Dellamonica, author of Child of a Hidden Sea

“A smart debut from someone who's clearly got what it takes.” ―Peter F. Hamilton, author of the Commonwealth Saga

What was your first introduction to literature?
I’m afraid I don’t remember. My mom’s been reading to me since I was born, and I learned to read early. There’s no first that sticks out in my mind. It’s just been a constant love of words and stories.

What’s one thing that readers would be surprised to find out about you?

If they haven’t met me in person or they first meet me when I’m sitting down, they’re surprised by my height. I’m six feet tall, but my torso is normal—it’s all in the legs.

When did you write your first book and how old were you?
I started a bad, bad book when I was 15. I finished a draft of Pantomime when I was 21. It was on shelves when I was 23.

What was the greatest thing you learned at school?
To question and to challenge. To realise that the victors are the ones writing history.

What tools do you feel are must-haves for writers?
Imagination, time, stubbornness, the ability to turn off the wi-fi to get the words down on the page.

Did you learn anything from writing PACIFICA and what was it?
I’ve learned about conjoined twins, cults, neuroscience, futuristic architecture, the latest breakthroughs in medicine and tech, the AI and singularity, serial killers, corporate espionage, how many gallons of blood there is in the human body (1.2 to 1.5, if you’re wondering), and the geography of San Francisco and Los Angeles in more detail.

What was your inspiration for the series?

Cool, slick, near-future thrillers starring women in a diverse world. Questioning identity in different ways.

Which character have you enjoyed getting to know the most over the course of writing PACIFICA?
Carina. She’s just so delightfully dark.

For those who are unfamiliar with Carina, how would you introduce her?
Female Dexter with a drug addiction and a glimmer of a conscience.

What part of Mark did you enjoy writing the most?
He’s not in it very much, so I’m not sure. The VR scenes were fun. [Note: does the interviewer mean Dax here? He’s the viewpoint character/love interest. Mark dies in chapter 2]

If you could introduce one of your characters to any character from another book, who would it be and why?
Tila from False Hearts and Carina from Shattered Minds would get on very well and probably be an amazing crime committing duo. That’d be a fun spinoff.

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
Robin Hobb. She’s my favourite author and I met my husband through her work. Thirteen years later, and she blurbed my first book and when she came through the UK recently, we spent the day together and she talked about her early career with me as we drank tea. It was so nice to have some advice from someone who’s been writing for thirty years.

You have the chance to give one piece of advice to your readers. What would it be?
I’m not sure. Readers are such a lovely, varied group of people, all of whom might need different forms of advice. The advice I try to tell myself often is to try and calm down and enjoy the moment. I’m a very anxious person and my mind is constantly going through Plans A to Z, and I can sometimes miss how wonderful things are now. Don’t focus on the negative, I suppose, which is harder than ever in 2017. Perhaps a weird bit of advice considering my book has a cynical view of the future.

When asked, what’s the one question you always answer with a lie?
Nothing. I’m very honest. (Or am I?)

Who was your first boyfriend?
My now husband.

Tell me about your first kiss.
My now husband flying out to California from Scotland. It was the first time we’d met in person. It was in the arrivals lobby.

Where did you go on your first airplane ride?
Perhaps to my grandmother’s funeral when I was three. The first international flight was to Paris when I was 15 for a school trip.

What decade during the last century would you have chosen to be a teenager?
None of them. Being a teenager is really hard no matter when you’re living. I’d rather have grown up in a utopian future I wonder if we’re capable of creating.

What is your greatest adventure?
Writing new books and hoping they fly!

  • You like serial killers. Especially female serial killers. Especially ones addicted to dream drugs so they’re only killing people in their imagination.
  • On a similar note, you’re not turned off by blood in books. Shattered Minds starts with three murders in a row.
  • You like books or films/TV shows like Neuromancer, Bladerunner, Minority Report, and Orphan Black.
  • You like thrillers with dark female characters, like Gone Girl or Girl on a Train, but thought they need a bit more sci fi tech.
  • You’re fascinated with the idea of a utopia that’s hiding a dystopia underneath.
  • You think things like hover cars and floating skyscrapers and mansions in the glittering sprawl of a futuristic LA is cool.
  • You are interested in our fascination with celebrity and social ranking.
  • You like your books diverse. Shattered Minds has a Native American trans man, a gay black and Mexican couple, and a half-Japanese lesbian doctor who likes to collect 21st century action figures.
  • You like really twisted villains.
  • You like the little guys fighting against the larger forces of capitalism and greed.

She can uncover the truth, if she defeats her demons

Ex-neuroscientist Carina struggles with a drug problem, her conscience, and urges to kill. She satisfies her cravings in dreams, fuelled by the addictive drug ‘Zeal’. Now she’s heading for self-destruction – until she has a vision of a dead girl.

Sudice Inc. damaged Carina when she worked on their sinister brain-mapping project, causing her violent compulsions. And this girl was a similar experiment. When Carina realizes the vision was planted by her old colleague Mark, desperate for help to expose the company, she knows he’s probably dead. Her only hope is to unmask her nemesis – or she’s next.

To unlock the secrets Mark hid in her mind, she’ll need a group of specialist hackers. Dax is one of them, a doctor who can help Carina fight her addictions. If she holds on to her humanity, they might even have a future together. But first she must destroy her adversary – before it changes us and our society, forever.

You can purchase Shattered Minds at the following Retailers:

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you LAURA LAM AND TOR for making this giveaway possible.
3 Winners will receive both FALSE HEARTS and SHATTERED MINDS by Laura Lam.
JUNE 19th MONDAY Reading for the Stars and Moon GUEST POST
SDAY Little Library Muse EXCERPT
JUNE 21st WEDNESDAY Bookish Lifestyle GUEST POST 
JUNE 22nd THURSDAY Sara is Reading and Listening to What REVIEW & EXCERPT 

JUNE 26th MONDAY A Dream Within a Dream REVIEW & TENS LIST 
JUNE 27th TUESDAY Crossroad Reviews REVIEW 
JUNE 29th THURSDAY Sassy Book Lovers EXCERPT 
JUNE 30th FRIDAY Sabrina's Paranormal Palace REVIEW & FAVORITE THINGS

1 comment:

  1. I would build a fort out of blankets and pillows. I would get in the fort with books and toys.