Today I am delighted to welcome Laurie Lucking to the blog to chat about Common, her Christian fiction young adult fantasy novel!
An avid reader practically since birth, Laurie Lucking discovered her passion for writing after leaving her career as an attorney to become a stay-at-home mom. When she gets a break from playing superheroes and driving windup cars, she writes young adult fantasy with a strong thread of fairy tale romance. Her debut novel, Common, released in February from Love2ReadLove2Write Publishing, and her short story, “Threshold,” was published in a Fellowship of Fantasy anthology titled Mythical Doorways. Laurie is the Secretary of her local ACFW chapter and a co-founder of Lands Uncharted, a blog for fans of clean young adult speculative fiction. A Midwestern girl through and through, she currently lives in Minnesota with her husband and two young sons. Find out more by visiting www.laurielucking.com.
You can also connect with Laurie on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter.
Only one person knows of the plot against the royal family and cares enough to try to stop it—the servant girl they banished.
Leah spends her days scrubbing floors, polishing silver, and meekly curtsying to nobility. Nothing distinguishes her from the other commoners serving at the palace, except her red hair.
And her secret friendship with Rafe, the Crown Prince of Imperia.
But Leah’s safe, ordinary world begins to splinter. Rafe’s parents announce his betrothal to a foreign princess, and she unearths a plot to overthrow the royal family. When she reports it without proof, her life shatters completely when the queen banishes her for treason.
Harbored by an unusual group of nuns, Leah must secure Rafe’s safety before it’s too late. But her quest reveals a villain far more sinister than an ambitious nobleman with his eye on the throne.
Can a common maidservant summon the courage to fight for her dearest friend?
Hi Laurie! Welcome to the blog!
Laurie: I have to say apples. Oranges are tasty, too, but you can’t beat apples for convenience!
Carrie: This is so true!
Laurie: I’m going with cats since we had a few cats growing up who were in equal parts sweet and hilarious. But I always enjoyed Zuzu’s visits to your blog 🙂
Carrie: Awww thank you lol. I miss that silly goober ♥
Laurie: That’s such a hard choice! I love singing along with my favorite music, but I prefer audiobooks for long drives because they make the time pass so quickly!
Carrie: I feel exactly the same way!
Laurie: Print because you just can’t beat the look and feel of a beautiful print book, though I must say my reading collection would be much smaller without ebooks!
Carrie: Yes let’s not talk about alllllll the books on my Kindle haha
Q: Around here I like to say that reading is my superpower. If YOU had a superpower, what would it be?
Laurie: Hmm, probably multi-tasking. I have so many interests and passions and I love to volunteer for leadership roles, but there’s only so much time in the day! If my multi-tasking could reach superpower status, maybe I’d finally start getting to bed at a reasonable time 🙂
Carrie: Oh man, I can totally relate to that!
Q: Tell me some good books you’ve read recently.
Laurie: I’m so glad you didn’t limit me to one! I read mostly fantasy, ideally with at least a touch of romance 🙂 Spice Bringer by H.L. Burke was one of those fabulous books that made me laugh, cry, and ponder the beauty and fragility of life. The Rejected Princess by Katie Clark kept me totally engaged throughout, and I loved the romantic tension between the main characters! And Halayda by Sarah Delena White was filled with gorgeous prose and such cool world-building!
Carrie: well, my TBR list just got a little longer 😉
Q: Writing spaces are as diverse as authors and books. Where is your favorite space to write?
Laurie: During the winter, I do most of my writing at my gorgeous roll-top desk in our basement. I can see all my bookshelves from there, which provides the perfect inspiration! During warmer months, I love writing on our screened-in deck – fresh air without sunburn or bugs 🙂
Carrie: Both of those sound delightful!
Q: Which of your main characters is most like you?
Laurie: The protagonist in Common, Leah, is definitely most like me. The scenes where the stable hands are teasing her were actually inspired by my own high school experiences with a few rowdy boys who liked to give me a hard time. The teasing all stayed very light-hearted, but due to my shyness I was never sure how to handle it. Leah and I also share a love of reading, but she’s way more rational than I am, and considering her actions in the book, definitely braver!
Carrie: I think Leah and I will be good friends too 🙂
Q: Did you have the whole plot outlined before you started writing, or did you let the characters dictate what came next?
Laurie: A little bit of each. I started out knowing the beginning, ending, and the major plot points in between, but my characters definitely threw in a few surprises along the way!
Carrie: Gotta love how characters have minds of their own lol
Q: Common has it all – fantasy, romance, adventure. What inspired you to write Leah’s story?
Laurie: The inspiration for Common started with my love for Jane Austen 🙂 The relationship between Mr. Knightley and Emma has always been one of my favorites, so I wanted to write my own story of long-time friends slowly realizing their feelings for each other. But because I also adore fairy tales, I thought it would be fun to have the girl be a maid and the boy a prince. And what if the prince’s parents arranged his engagement to someone else? And then the maid discovered a plot against the royal family? After a few more “what ifs,” my story was off and running!
Carrie: You had me at Mr. Knightley ♥
Q: What do you most want readers to take away from Common?
Laurie: First, I want readers to realize that they are UNcommon! No matter someone’s personality, education level, life situation, etc., we are all capable of extraordinary things if we’re willing to be brave and try our best. I also hope Common inspires readers to remember that often the hardest parts of our journey are preparation for something greater that’s yet to come.
Thank you so much for taking time to talk with me! 🙂 Before we say goodbye for today, tell us what‘s coming up next for you.
Laurie: Thank YOU for having me! I’m hoping to have a few short stories published in the near future, but nothing definite yet 🙂 I’ve also begun work on Traitor, Book Two in my Tales of the Mystics series, which will follow Princess Penelope after the events of Common. I can tell her story is going to pose some challenges, but I think it has the potential to be really powerful if I can pull it off!
Laurie is offering a signed, print copy of Common for one of my readers! (US only) This giveaway is subject to Reading Is My SuperPower’s giveaway policies which can be found here. Enter via the Rafflecopter form below.
What about you? What interests you most about Common?
Thank you for the interview with Laurie Lucking & the information on “Common”.
Love the storyline of someone in a lower position in life seeing a wrong and trying to correct it against all odds. Nothing better than reading about the underdog who knows right from wrong and isn’t afraid to stand up for what is right.
I would love the opportunity to read this great sounding book!
Thank you so much, Kay! I love a good underdog story, too 🙂
Thank you so much for having me, Carrie! I had a lot of fun with your interview questions 🙂
You are always welcome here 🙂
I already have a copy of COMMON, but I enjoyed this interview! And I loved COMMON, too! Congrats, Laurie! I have Spice Bringer, but haven’t had a chance to start reading yet. Hoping to do that this week. Love you, girlfriend!
Thank you so much, Pam, you make me smile 🙂 Enjoy Spice Bringer! Hugs!!
I love the story line.
Thank you so much, Lori – I had a great time writing it! And I love your name 🙂
Thank you so much, Lori – I had a lot of fun writing it! I love your name 🙂
(Ha, first it wouldn’t post my comment at all, now it’s there twice!)
Laurie, you are such a talented writer! Thanks for the interview, ladies!
Thank you so much, TJ! 🙂
This novel sounds captivating and wonderful. What a treasure to enjoy.
Thank you so much, Anne – your kind words made my day!
Common sounds great! Looking forward to reading it. Thank you
Thank you so much, Linda! 🙂
It sounds intriguing! Fairy-tale-esque, but not directly like a specific one. 🙂
Thanks, Lindsay! I had fun taking the story in a new direction but still making it feel like a fairy tale 🙂
I like the fairy tale story-line and the twist of a plot to overthrow the royal family! Thanks for the fun interview, and the chance to win a copy of this book!!!
Thank, Alison! I definitely had fun putting some twists in there 🙂
I love the stories of Loyalty and common people put together.
Thanks, Brenda! Loyalty is so important, and I enjoyed the opportunity to explore the mindset of a common servant girl.
I love this kind of story. Sometimes the unseen people see things that are overlooked. Sounds like a fascinating story. Would love to read it.
Thank you so much, Jocelyn! You’re so right – often the people who don’t get noticed are paying the most attention!
Haven’t read but would love to Thank you so much Laurie I love my paper backs also!
Thank you so much, Sarah! Yay for lovely print books 🙂
The love story that is not so predictable.
Thanks, Marilyn! It’s fun to keep readers on their toes a bit 🙂
I’ve already read the book (and it was awesome!) but I’d love to have it in my physical library. I might just re-read it. *smiles* Thank you so much for the chance to win it. It’s definitely nice to read the interview.
Thank you so much, Nikki – I’m glad you enjoyed the interview!
This line from Laurie “I also hope Common inspires readers to remember that often the hardest parts of our journey are preparation for something greater that’s yet to come” makes me want to read the book.
Thanks, Arletta! I hope you find it inspiring if you get a chance to read it 🙂
Common interests me because the main character is one most people might overlook in real life.
Thanks, Dianna! I really enjoyed getting to explore the perspective of a servant – there were times in the story that being overlooked worked to her advantage!
Common sounds like somewhat of a Cinderella story, and I love that kind of tale!
Thanks, Connie! Even though Common isn’t a direct retelling, I definitely drew inspiration from Cinderella! I love that kind of story, too 🙂
Meeeee toooooo 🙂
Common people are just as important in god’s eyes as royalty. In fact, they are more open to god.
So true! Leah’s mom tries to teach her that in the book – she’s a very wise lady 🙂
The story line sounds very interesting!
Thanks, Natalya! (By the way, the spelling of your name is beautiful!)
Sounds like a really good book! Would love to read it since I’ve never read a book by this author.
Thanks, Kimberly! Common is my debut novel, but I hope to write many more!
This book sounds really good! *dies* I would love to read it! Thank you for hosting the giveaway 🙂
Thank you so much, Adaline! This comment totally made my day 🙂
This book sounds really good! *dies* I would love to read it! Thank you for hosting the giveaway 🙂
I have actually read Common already! I really enjoyed it! Leah is a great character, as are the mystics.
In fact, I am curious to see what we learn about the mystics in Traitor!
Some of my friends have read this book and it sounds great! The thing that interests me the most is definitely the intrigue of our heroine discovering the plot but then being accused of treason. I want to know how she gets out of this predicament!
Th story line sounds like a fun read.