Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Interview and Giveaway with Lauren Harris Author of Exorcising Aaron Nguyen

Please share a little about yourself, your genres, any other pen names you use.

Hi, I’m Lauren Harris, but my closest friends call me Scribe because, once upon a time, I had neat handwriting. (Yeah, that changed in college.) I usually write epic and contemporary fantasy, but stepped outside my genre on EXORCISING AARON NGUYEN to tackle paranormal. I’m also the co-creator of Pendragon Variety: A Genre Writing Podcast, which is a set of all-female speculative fiction writers and librarians who participate in round table discussions about writing genre fiction. I don’t have any other pen-names, but I do voice act and narrate audiobooks, which has been a lot of fun.

Tell us a little about your latest or upcoming release.

EXORCISING AARON NGUYEN is the first in a paranormal comedy series called The Millroad Academy Exorcists, which follows catholic-boarding-school student Georgia Collins, an aspiring journalist who reluctantly solves paranormal crimes with her ghost-whispering crush, Hiroki.

The inspiration for Georgia came after one of my friends, the cover-model Sarah, said she was irritated by the fact that full-figured heroines tended only to be in stories where their weight was the obstacle. She wished there were more heroines who got to do the same cool, kick-butt things as all the others, and just happened to be plus-sized. I’d already come up with the idea for EAN, but I hadn’t come up with Georgia yet. When Sarah said that, I thought: there’s my MC.

Are you a mom?

I have a cat?

If yes do you find it hard to juggle writing and parenting?

Only when he climbs onto my keyboard and puts his butt in my face.

Have you ever based your book or characters on actual events or people from your own life?

Usually, no, but in Exorcising Aaron Nguyen, I totally stole the idea of Brother Whatawaste from my roommate. She was at her aunt’s wedding at a catholic church and her aunt said, “There goes Brother Whatawaste.” My roommate said, “Who’s brother Whatawaste?” Her aunt pointed out one of the monks, who was apparently Gucci-model gorgeous. “Oh,” she said. “Brother Whatawaste.”

The thought of putting a character like that in a catholic boarding school full of teenaged girls was too funny to resist. I did add my own spin by making him a good ol’ boy, though.

I rarely include characters and events from my life wholesale, especially since I usually write high fantasy.

Is there a theme or message in your work that you would like readers to connect to?

One of the underlying themes of the story is the strength that comes from friendship. I’m one of those people that has always tried to shrug off or ignore bad things people say about me, but the second someone insults my friend, I Hulk out.

What would your readers be surprised to learn about you?

I don’t actually like ghost stories. I’m such a wuss… I can’t even watch some episodes of the X-Files or Supernatural without needing moral support. Seriously, I think I stayed awake for three months after watching The Sixth Sense. It’s bad, y’all.

When you’re not writing what do you do? Do you have any hobbies or guilty pleasures?

As I said before, I do narration for audiobooks and voice-acting...but really, I am an unabashed geek. I play Dungeons and Dragons, I cosplay, I read a lot of speculative fiction, and I’ve spent a shameful amount of time just coming up with worlds and characters with my friends. I also love kayaking, geocaching, ballroom dancing, shopping for office supplies, and podcasting.

Which romance book or series (or other genre, if you don’t write romance) do you wish you had written? it stereotypical to answer Harry Potter? If so, I want to be Jacqueline Carey when I grow up. If not, Harry Potter.

If this book is part of a series…what is the next book? Any details you can share?

This is book one of The Millroad Academy Exorcists, a series of four novellas that follow Georgia and her friends. The next novella is titled THE GIRL IN ACID PARK and deals with an actual urban legend near where my parents grew up. Georgia and the other characters are forced to deal with the backlash from the events in the first book, and things aren’t pretty.

What is next for you? Do you have any scheduled upcoming releases or works in progress?

Yes! My short story, The Incident of the Clockwork Mikoshi, will be appearing in the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences anthology Ministry Protocol: Thrilling Tales from the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences. The book is out in ebook format in early fall and in a limited paperback run by Christmas.

I’ve got a whole page dedicated to my works in progress, which are mostly fantasy novels at different stages of revision/completion.

What book are you reading now?

I’m in the middle of The Iron King by Julie Kagawa and a number of non-fiction books about linguistics, history, and personality-typing.

What is in your to read pile?

So much. Soooo much. The pile frightens me.

Exorcising Aaron Nguyen
Millroad Academy Exorcists novella series
Book One
Lauren Harris

Genre: Young Adult Paranormal
Publisher: Pendragon Press

Date of Publication: August 24, 2013

Number of pages: 107
Word Count: 23k

Cover Artist: Elyse Revelle

Book Description:

The murder of Millroad Catholic Academy's resident genius, Aaron Nguyen, shuts down student life at the boarding school in rural North Carolina...for about a week. With the resilience of youth, the student body bounces back, and the memory of murder is nothing but a streamer of caution tape fluttering in the breeze.

Unfortunately for them, Aaron's spirit has some resilience as well. Despite the priest's attempted exorcism, Aaron's ghost is soon breathing chills down the students' necks and hurling bunsen burners at nuns.

Georgia Collins doesn't give a shit about ghosts. All she wants is a story to prove her underground school news blog is more than a gossip column, closure on her one-sided relationship with her best friend Hiroki, and a vanilla latte. She wasn't expecting Aaron Nguyen's death to be anything more than a cold spot in the science hall, but since Hiroki has the curse of Spectral Sight, he is the only person who can see and speak to Aaron.
 As the ghost’s demands for attention become increasingly violent, Hiroki enlists Georgia to help him investigate the crime, claiming that Aaron isn’t likely to move on until his killers are caught. Still hoping for spontaneous romantic combustion, she agrees to help bring Aaron's murderers to justice and set the vengeful spirit free...but it's not quite the close encounter she's hoping for.
About the Author:

Lauren is a fantasy writer, voice actress, and the co-creator of 2012 Parsec Finalist, Pendragon Variety Podcast for aspiring writers of genre fiction, where she is known as "Scribe."

Her voice acting can be heard on as well as fiction podcasts such as EscapePod, The Dunesteef Audio Fiction Magazine, and The Drabblecast B-Sides.

Though she spent three years living in Tokyo, she currently resides in a renovated tobacco shed in rural North Carolina, where she is pleased to have running water, wifi, and all her teeth.

Twitter - @Marksmaster

Blog - “Ink-Stained Scribe” -

Podcast - Pendragon Variety - A Genre Writing Podcast -

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1 comment:

Lauren Harris said...

Thank you so much for hosting me today! It was great to be interviewed on your blog. :)