Liana Laverentz Interview

Today I am speaking with Liana Laverentz. Hello Liana and welcome to Fallen Angel Reviews.

Hello, and thank you for having me. Iím really happy to be here today.

I noticed on your website you have garnered some great reviews. Would you like to tell the readers about Thin Ice? It sounds like a terrific book.
Thank you. I am really pleased about the way Thin Ice is being received. I donít think thereís anything more gratifying, short of being a Mom, than putting your heart and soul into a book and having the people who read it love it as much as you do. Thin Ice has always been the book of my heart, and to know that people are enjoying reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it just thrills me to no end. Especially since it took so long to come to publication.

I finished Thin Ice for the first time seventeen years ago. It made the rounds of the traditional publishing houses, with no luck. After a few years, and after my first novel was published in 1993, I re-wrote Thin Ice from beginning to end, and tried again. This time I got glowing rejection letters, but they were rejection letters all the same. Finally my agent said, what you need to do is win some awards, get some name recognition. Then theyíll buy it.

So I put Thin Ice away, and moved on to writing several other manuscripts, one of which became Ashtonís Secret, released by Meteor/Kismet. Then I had my son, and stopped writing for a while, to concentrate on being the best Mom I could be. But Thin Ice remained my favorite, and I wanted people to read it, so I started passing it around to friends in manuscript form in a three-ring binder.

One friend who read it loved it so much, he insisted I needed to send it out again. And I mean insisted. But it had been nearly ten years since Iíd last sent it out, and it needed to be completely revised again. The world had changed. For one thing, nobody had cell phones when I first wrote Thin Ice. I had to add them in. For another, Emily, my heroine, needed a very large car for a special reason, and theyíd stopped making the car I had chosen for her. This was before the advent of SUVs.

So I had to go car shopping for her, which was great fun, actually, and sparked many a friendly argument with another friend, a car buff. Also, the hockey team Eric plays for was in Minnesota. When I originally wrote Thin Ice, the North Stars were the only NHL team in Minnesota. So I created the St. Paul Saints, to be their arch-rivals. But by the time I was sending out the manuscript a second time, the North Stars had moved to Dallas. Then, this last time I re-wrote it, the Minnesota Wild was in St. Paul, where my original team, the St. Paul Saints, had originated.

So I had to go back to the original concept of two teams in Minnesota who were arch-rivals, but this time my team was the Minneapolis Saints, instead of the St. Paul Saints. And in between, the national hockey league had added and moved teams and re-structured their divisions and added new Stanley Cup champions, and so all of that had to be re-written to reflect the most recent situation in the NHL.

I didnít think I was up to the task, but once I got started, I couldnít stop. Mainly because I remembered how much I loved Eric and Emily and writing their story, and also because my friend, Louis, would call me once a week and ask how much Iíd gotten done on Thin Ice that week. He literally pushed me into finishing the re-write--and thatís why the book is dedicated to him.

It took about a year, but I eventually got it done. Right around that time, Rhonda Penders and RJ Morris were opening the doors of their new publishing venture, The Wild Rose Press, and it was one of those serendipitous moments in life. I knew Thin Ice had had no luck with traditional publishers, so I thought I would give The Wild Rose Press a try. They publish in both e-book and print formats, and if they bought it, my friends and family could finally stop reading the darn thing one by one from a three-ring binder.

I sent the manuscript in to Rhonda, explained that the manuscript hadnít fit in very well with traditional publishers, and Rhonda said, ďGreat! Thatís what we are all about.Ē Within days she offered me a contract, and I couldnít be happier with the way things have turned out, both for Thin Ice, and The Wild Rose Press. Rhonda and RJ have been phenomenal to work with, and the Wild Rose Press has taken off like gangbusters. I am so pleased to be a part of such a vibrant and growing publishing house, and to know that Thin Ice has finally found the best home possible for it in The Garden.

Liana, what other works do you have in progress?
I just sold a second novel to The Wild Rose Press, Jakeís Return, which will be a Champagne Rose release like Thin Ice, and should be out by the end of the year. Small town bad boy returns home to find the woman he loves has also returned, and that they have a daughter. The villain in the story has a very dark secret and is determined to get Jake, who has just been released from prison, out of the way for good, and stoops to kidnapping and attempted murder to achieve his ends.

I also have four other completed manuscripts, one of which is the first in a four-part series based on the life of my friend Louis, who is serving a life sentence for a murder he did not commit. The books are subtitled, Faith, Love, Hope, and Peaceóor coming to acceptance of what Is.

How many books do you see you composing?
I canít count that high. Seriously. Ask anyone who knows me. Iím math-challenged. Words are my thing, not numbers.

Do you command your characters or do they take charge of you?
My characters take charge of me. They tell me their stories and I put them on paper.

When you are composing do you listen to music or some other regime?
No, I need silence to hear the voices in my head .

What is your favorite genre?
Romantic suspense. Thin Ice is the only one of my stories that does not have romantic suspense elements in it. Most of my others are about love on the run, or at least have some sinister element in them. My first novel, Ashtonís Secret, was a murder mystery romance.

What is your favorite part of the book, the beginning, the middle or the end?
Itís definitely not the end, because I hate to say goodbye to my characters. I think the middle is where all the grunt work takes place, so Iíd have to say the beginning, when you are alive with that first flush of creativity.

Then the hard work of revisions beginsóand continues until you approve those final galleys.

Have you always wanted to be a writer?
Only for the past 20 years or so. Before that, I was a reader. Iíve been a reader since second grade. We had the Christmas gift exchange, and I was leaving school early to visit my relatives in Kansas for the holidays, so I was allowed to go to the metal cabinet where the teacher was storing all the gifts the kids brought in (I can still see that moment so clearly) and I picked a gift. It turned out to be a Nancy Drew mystery, and I read it all the way to Kansas, came back and checked out every Nancy Drew mystery I could find, and never stopped reading. I discovered romances when I was in college, and that began a whole new love affair with reading.

What would your readers be surprised to learn about you, Liana?
Oh, just about anything. You wouldnít know it from this interview, but I am a very private person. When I go out in public, I am very quiet and just tend to observe life. I work in a church and am very spiritual, but I also take street-fighting classes for fun and to keep in shape. You might say the church lady goes Rambo.

For Fun: What is your favorite television show?
I only watch one, and thatís Prison Break. Most of the time I read. But if I had cable, it would be Law and Order. I love that show.

Rachel Ray phoned and said she was coming to your house in thirty minutes, what thirty-minute meal would you cook for her arrival?
I am a big soup maker. I always have a pot of home made soup on the stove or in the refrigerator. I use leftovers, so I never make the same soup twice. I name them and give half the pot away to friends and family, because Iím very big on feeding people, be it physically, mentally, spiritually, or emotionally, and also because after the second or third bowl, Iím ready to create something new.

But to answer your question, I like to keep life simple. I could live on soup, salad and sandwiches. I think itís the conversation and company that counts the most, not what you serve, so I would just throw together what I have on hand, which is what I do when friends stop by, and focus on visiting with her. I love to ask people about their lives.

Do you have another website other than, http://www.myspace.com/lianalaverentz that you would like to share with your readers?
No. Sorry, Iím still working on that one! But I would highly recommend that anyone who is interested in reading or writing check out the Wild Rose Press website at www.thewildrosepress.com. Thereís something for everyone there.

If you could say anything to any aspiring writer, what advice would you give?
Believe in yourself and be persistent. And find a good friend to keep you on track. Accountability is the key.

Liana, thank you for sharing time with us today. I wish you the best in your writing endeavors and huge sales. Keep those great books coming our way.
Thank you so much. It has been a pleasure.


Interviewed by: Linda L.


Linda