The Spotlight is on Lauren Helms today!
Lauren published her debut novel, Level Me Up earlier this month
I’m really happy to be able to share a bit about Lauren and her writing with you today!
Is there a genre you feel drawn to write or do you see yourself tackling a variety of genres in the future?
I feel like my comfort zone is romance. And honestly, I’d be pushing myself if I incorporated more sexy time into my books, which is a goal. BUT I’d love to write a mystery/thriller someday or a paranormal romance, but to me, those seem like much more difficult genres to write. So while I want to find my stride with romance, maybe someday I’ll branch out.
Can you describe your writing space?
Funny, when I wrote Level Me Up, my writing space was my laptop, on my lap on the couch. Or at the kitchen table. Or on my iPad in a meeting room at work. It was rough, but I made it work. BUT now I’ve got a desk and a desk chair, so I’m extra excited this time around.
Can you tell us a bit about your writing process?
Well, since I’m only getting ready to start my 2nd book, my process is still being flushed out. To start, I spend about a month outlining my book. Then I spend a month writing. As my MO now is to write the first draft during a NaNoWriMo event month. Then I start the editing process and then beta reads, I add more and edit and beta reads. Then when I’m happy with the story, I work towards publishing it.
Are any of your books or characters based on personal experiences or people in your life?
Ah, yes, since Level Me Up was my first EVER novel, I pretty much took parts of myself, parts of people close to me and mashed them into my characters. As for experiences, I’ve actually never been to Comic-Con, which is a setting in the book, but I had the opportunity to go to a BIG gaming convention a few years ago through work, and it was crazy! So, I channeled that for Morgan when she found herself at Comic-Con. I’ve got some other fun and odd experiences that I’ve had that will make it into the next couple of books.
Any hints as to what readers can expect next?
Well, I’m outlining book two in my Gamer Boy series, which is Gia and Simon’s story. I think their story will be a tad harder to write, because they are both so serious about their pasts. But I’m excited for their story. I hope to publish it by the end of the year.
Tell us about your Street Team and or Reader Group and let us know how interested readers can join.
I’m such a newbie that I don’t have either of those yet! If readers what one, I’ll create one. I just need know there is interest.
When not writing your own books, who do you like to read?
I read contemporary romance. I love paranormal romance as well, though I don’t read nearly enough of them. I’ll also read some YA and fantasy/sci-fi…if they feature some romance. I also read about 2-3 mystery/thriller/suspense a year.
Celebrity Crush? JT forever and always. But, I’m really digging Harry Styles right now. Like…a lot.
Favorite Beverage? Unsweet Ice Tea.
Sweet or Savory for snacks? Sweet.
What type of music do you listen to? Pop Rock mostly. Top 40 really. NO COUNTRY!
Favorite tv show? If I were to watch TV on the regular, anything on The CW. I have a major obsession with the Veronica Mars and GREEK series that were both cancelled years ago. The ONE and OLNY show that is a current running show, that I make time to watch each season is Outlander. *Sigh*cue daydream of Jamie*Sigh*
Do you have any pets? A dog. Yellow lab named Crosby.
Biggest pet peeve? When people don’t do what they say they are going to do. And lack of communication.
Favorite vacation spot? What’s a vacation? Really?! We don’t take vacations, we’ve got three kids under 7. Anywhere where I could get good food and relax and read a book or two. A beach maybe?!
Morning or Night person? Night, but only when I’m reading a good book.
Favorite sports team? Indianapolis Colts.
Hobbies? Reading. That’s it. I use to add in music listening, TV watching, and baking, to the hobbies list…but THERE IS NO TIME!
About Level Me Up:
The last thing Morgan Lawson is looking for when attending Comic-Con is love. But even prior to exchanging first words, Morgan is drawn to Dex, a drop-dead sexy gamer boy who lives and breathes video games. Before she realizes it, Morgan finds herself caught up in all things Dex.
Dex Roberts knows from the moment he first sees Morgan, he wants more. He falls hard and fast but isn’t surprised when his job as a professional video gamer takes a toll on their relationship.
Once Morgan decides what truly makes her happy, there’s no time to waste. But without warning, life threatens to destroy what both Morgan and Dex want most… each other.
About Lauren Helms:
Author Lauren Helms has been an avid reader from a young age. After starting a book review site, that launched her fully into the book world, she decided to take the plunge and write her first novel. Since she was working for a video game strategy guide publisher at the time, she decided to mix what she knew best, video games and romance. Jumping all in, she joined NaNoWrimo and a month later had a 50K word first draft. Lauren lives in Indianapolis, IN with her video game playing husband, two little girl book nerds, and a little boy who will hopefully be a gamer boy too some day!
Connect with Lauren:
Lauren, thank you so much for taking the time to stop by and chat with me!
It’s always fun to get to spotlight a brand new authors!
Readers, make sure you drop by and visit Lauren at her social media sites to learn more about Level Me Up as well as her upcoming releases.
Have questions for Lauren Helms? Leave a comment and I’ll make sure she sees it!