Tell us about yourself.
My name is Laurel Handfield and I write novels. I’ve written picture books, young adult novels, adult novels and even upper middle grade and I love them all.
Share a bit about your latest book or what you’re currently working on.
Currently, I’m editing my latest romantic thriller, Champagne Life, which will be released in January 2014 by best-selling author Zane’s publishing company, Strebor Books International. It tells the tale of how far a married couple would go to get out of debt.
What do you like the most about romantic suspense?
I love creating a love story in the midst of chaos and suspense. Passion can happen in the most unusual or dire circumstances and romantic suspense demonstrates that.
Do you write other genres? If so, what are they?
Yes. I’ve written a historical fiction novel titled Unsinkable, which gives a fictional day-by-day account of the only black family on the Titanic. This novel was written under my penname Nicole Bradshaw. My first novel, My Diet Starts Tomorrow is a romantic comedy and my second novel, Mirror, mirror, was my initial introduction into the romantic suspense category. I wrote a picture book for kids titled, Cassi da Conch, which shows how kids can embrace their uniqueness. Champagne Life is my second venture into the romantic suspense category and will be released in January 2014 under Strebor Books/Simon & Schuster.
Do you write series, standalones, or both? If you write both, which is your most favorite to write?
I write standalone mostly. However, I’m creating a new romantic suspense line for a publisher as we speak. It’s in the very beginning stages and may not even see the light of day, but creating the story is so much fun.
What three things make the perfect heroine in a romantic suspense novel?
It’s important to show the heroine’s strengths as well as weaknesses. Do this through the character’s actions throughout the story. In other words, I like to create a weepy mess of a character in the beginning who transforms into a fiery lioness by the end.
What three things make the perfect villain in a suspense novel?
Villains need to show vulnerability too but I also like badass villains who the reader can cheer on. It never hurts if the villain is hot. LOL!
What is the most important thing you’ve learned from your writing?
For me, the simpler the better. I want to get in, tell the story in an engaging way, and get out. Hopefully I will have left the reader satisfied.
Are you trade published, self-published, or hybrid?
I’m trade published but I wouldn’t rule out self-publishing. My first (and only) picture book is published by a smaller publisher.
What method of promotion do you find most rewarding and why?
I like doing blog tours and interviews. I’ve done book signings and don’t really feel comfortable doing so. It sometimes feels as though you’re begging for sales. Blog tours allow you to tell more about yourself and your writing journey, kind of like this.
What method to you prefer most as a reader, ebooks or print? Why?
I live out of the country so I prefer ebooks because it’s more economical and convenient. However, if I lived in the U.S. I think I’d prefer print.
What’s a genre that you’re intimidated by but would like to write in?
I am a big horror buff so it amazes me that I am so intimidated to write in that genre. I did make one unsuccessful attempt. Will I ever go that route again? Never say never.
I am a big fan of cross promotion between authors. Do you utilize cross promotion and if so, what cross promotion have you done?
I definitely don’t do as much cross promotion as I should but I’ve joined groups on facebook and I’ve re-posted or “liked” a status to help get the word out. It’s always nice to see authors comment on or “like” other authors. I had no idea there were so many book clubs out there.
What can readers expect from you next?
My next novel, Champagne Life, will be released in January 2014 under my penname, Nicole Bradshaw. Here is the blurb:
Would you compromise your marriage for the sake of getting out of debt? Naomi and DeShaun think they have it all but the one important thing they lack is finances. Author Nicole Bradshaw craftily demonstrates what happens when Indecent Proposal meets Unfaithful and results in murder.
Champagne Life Excerpt:
The doctor listened to my heartbeat through the stethoscope. “How long have you been experiencing these symptoms?”
It all started around the time DeShaun and I lost our jobs. “About two months ago.”
The doctor listened intently again and then pulled the stethoscope from his ears. “Your heart rate is slightly elevated.”
“Is that a problem?”
“Not really. However, higher heart rates normally signify other issues. It may be stress. Have you felt stressed lately?”
“Maybe some.” That was the understatement of the year.
“Okay,” he said. “We’re going to perform some tests. By your symptoms, you may have high blood pressure. I’ll have my nurse come in and run some tests.”
“How long until I get the results?”
“A couple of weeks. We’ll call you if the tests come back positive, otherwise, if you don’t hear from us, consider your health good.”
“But what about the dizziness?”
“Stress affects the body in different ways. I suggest you take it easy. Take a vacay and relax. It’ll do you good.”
A vacation? I wished.