Author Common and Traitor
Common tells the story of a simple palace maid with a secret friendship with the prince. When the royal family announces a marriage to a foreign princess, Leah realized her friendship might have been something more. Then she unearths a plot to overthrow the royal family. Her life shatters completely when the queen banishes her for treason.
Harbored by a mysterious 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.
The sequel Traitor will tell the story of what happens to one of the main villains of Common, Princess Penelope! Can Penelope rise above the failures of her past, or will she forever be branded a traitor?
Curious to learn more about the author while you wait anxiously for the book to come out? (oh, wait, that's not just me, right? ;) ) Laurie Lucking graciously took the time out of her busy schedule to answer to some questions about her writing and upcoming book for all of us to enjoy today!
Q: Who are you? What genres do you like to write?
A: Hi! Thank you so much for hosting me today! I am Laurie Lucking—book hoarder, top-of-my-lungs singer, Midwesterner, former attorney, stay-at-home mom of three energetic kids, and award-winning author.
Everything I write (at least so far!) falls somewhere in the category of clean young adult fantasy. The settings of my novels have a historical feel, but I’ve written some shorter works in a more modern setting. My stories are often inspired by fairy tales and almost always have a central romance. :)
Q: How did you get into writing?
A: I’ve been an avid reader and daydreamer all my life, but after earning my English degree in college I took the “practical” route and went to law school. When my oldest son was born and I left my career as an attorney to become a stay-at-home mom, I found myself in desperate need of a creative outlet. One beautiful fall afternoon, I finally summoned the courage to start writing down a story I’d imagined years before, and I absolutely fell in love! Soon I was writing every chance I got, and I eventually sought out writing groups and opportunities for publication. As our family has grown it’s become harder to set aside writing time, but I still find it to be the most immersive, satisfying way to unite my heart, mind, and faith toward one purpose. Plus, my readers are amazing!
Q: Tell me about your upcoming sequel, Traitor!
A: Traitor tells the story of Princess Penelope, who in Common had become embroiled in a plot to overthrow her fiancé’s kingdom. Following her return home, she’s become the subject of gossip and scandal. As a chance for a new start, her father arranges her betrothal to a prince in the faraway country of Delunia. Reluctant to leave home but eager for an opportunity to redeem herself, Penelope accepts. Once in Delunia, she tries her best to stay out of trouble—keeping careful distance from her fiancé and attempting to adjust to the Delunian language and culture. But when a friend and mentor seeks her help in eradicating dark magic that’s harming a nearby village, Penelope finds herself in a new dilemma, not sure whom to trust and fearing betrayal might be in her very nature.
Q: What was the hardest part of writing this story?
A: Traitor made for quite the writing rollercoaster! Early on, the hardest struggle was the fact that I hadn’t originally planned to write Princess Penelope’s story, and I had trouble shifting my perspective of her from a villain who’d hurt my beloved characters to a flawed, confused girl deserving of a second chance. Later, I suffered a personal loss that made it so difficult to regain my creative energy. But following the encouragement of contest recognition for Common and the inspiration of a writing conference, I was able to dive back in and complete my first draft!
Q: What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?
A: I think my favorite scene was the inspiration for this character art commission by SlisbyScribbles (see artwork below the article)! Princess Penelope has been cautiously keeping her distance from her new fiancé, Prince Vander—willing to befriend him, but not trusting herself to make another foray into romance. While he accepts Penelope’s wishes regarding their relationship, Vander’s sweetness and loyalty make it hard for her to stay indifferent toward him. In this scene, Vander notices Penelope is unhappy (due to an argument with her maid) and tries to cheer her up by taking her to the gardens to see a plot of flowers he planted from her home country. Between his thoughtful gesture and the moonlit surroundings, Penelope allows herself to soften toward him more than usual and the result is just so cute! :)
Q: What is your favorite writing tip?
A: I’m going to borrow this from my brilliant author friend Lauricia Matuska because it’s such fantastic advice: trust your process. It’s so important to have a writing community and to learn from others along the way, but if you fall into the comparison trap it will only cause discouragement and distraction. You’ve been set on your particular writing path for a reason—your circumstances and gifts are different from everyone else’s, you’re meant to reach a distinct set of readers, and you’re intended to get something unique out of this journey. So experiment and learn and grow from your interactions with fellow writers, but don’t waste time and energy worrying if you should be doing the same thing they’re doing. Find what works for you and embrace it!
I’m so grateful you took the time today to learn a little more about my writing and Traitor! I hope you love this new addition to the Tales of the Mystics, and I wish all of you the best in your reading and writing endeavors!