Content below the cut is PG-13
Today Laura Cooper is visiting to talk about herself the individual, and as a writer, and also to discuss her books, and other things. Please give her a warm welcome by commenting below.
Grinnie: Tell us a little about yourself, the individual.
L Cooper: I live just outside of Charleston, South Carolina with my husband of fifteen years, eighteen dogs, and one cat who thinks she’s a dog. No I’m not a pet collector, but a former dog rescuer who has since retired and now enjoying our empty house. I’ve been writing off and on for several years, but recently started to take it more seriously and follow my passion.
Grinnie: Tell us a little about your writing:
L Cooper: Okay.
Grinnie: What habits or routines do you find you must follow to be able to write?
L Cooper: While I would love to tell you an interesting story about this, such as the fact that I must wear one white sock on my left foot while leaving my right foot naked, or that I put my underwear on backwards or something like that, unfortunately, it’s not true. I do need a clean house and a quiet location once I get past my free writing stage. Typically I free write an idea out for about an hour, and then I look it over and take out the good stuff and trash the rest. Unfortunately, not all my free writing makes it into a book of any kind. And for the record, I drink one cup of coffee (20 oz.) lovingly prepared by my husband before moving on to diet soda.
Grinnie: How does your day-to-day life affect your writing?
L Cooper: First of all, I live with quite possibly the funniest man on the face of the earth. A loving man that has been a good provider, allowing me to sit back and assess life as it happens. I rarely get upset, rather finding much joy in watching my husband process information. It allows me to critically assess just about everything that goes on around me. If you look hard enough, you can find joy, happiness, and comedy in just about everything you do. So, I try to take the things that go on around me and incorporate them into my writing. That may be why some find my writing very humorous.
Grinnie: Where do you think you are in your writing career? Where do you want to be?
L Cooper: I hope that I am in the early stages of my writing. I have actually been focusing on writing for the last two years, and as we re-read some of our earlier work, I’m amazed that I put that out for the public to see. I, at this point, am trying to focus on character and scene development while developing an underlying storyline that guides a reader rather than dragging them through a story. Hopefully, one day, my stories will get to the point that people just can’t put them down!
Grinnie: Are you an independently published writer or a traditionally published writer?
L Cooper: I am independently published, following the path of so many indie authors. I started with Smashwords, and then moved into publishing directly where ever possible.
Grinnie: What do you write? (genre and sub-genre, target audience, and ebooks and/or hardcopies)
L Cooper: I focused my earlier writing on straightforward, in your face sex. Why? Because it sells. As my writing style and content evolved, I am moving towards more of an erotic romance genre. Although, there’s a lot to be said for “In your face” sex now and then.
Grinnie: What is something you’d like the reader to know about you or your writing?
L Cooper: Well, first and foremost, my writing is in the “Fiction” category, and most of what we write is fantasy or desires, not reality. However, I must admit that I have experienced some of the things I write about. I won’t say what, but I’ll let the reader guess which parts are true or not.
Grinnie: What is the hardest review or criticism you’ve had about your writing and how did you deal with it?
L Cooper: Wow! I think my first review was something about “Not worth the .99 cents.” At first the review crushed me. That feeling of being kicked in the stomach. I think I moped around for about an hour before Chris pointed out the fact that was one review of a book that had already sold 1000 copies. And maybe, just maybe, the other 999 people who bought it thought more of it than that. Bottom line is this. Reviews should be constructive, whether they’re positive or negative. If a review is only one sentence, and that one sentence has misspelled words in it, how seriously can you take it? For instance, just saying something is bad or worthless doesn’t tell me the reader anything, and it tells me the author even less. If you got lost in the story line, or other things did not add up, then explain it. That is something I can work with.
Grinnie: What will you be sharing today?
L Cooper: Semper Fi (An Erotic Romance). Semper Fi is about a young girl’s chance encounter with a stranger, thrust into the same bad situation: stuck at the airport. It’s a love at first sight sort of thing, one that Mattie would usually never get sucked into. However, the entire ordeal gives her every reason to re-think her “assumed” relationship of 7 ½ years.
Grinnie: My Favorite Character:
L Cooper: Logan McNarry is probably my favorite character because he has everything in life anyone could want, but those things came with a steep price: a loving family. His denial of anything remotely related with his estranged father only masked the real demon that flaws his character.
Grinnie: How did I come up with the title?
L Cooper: My husband is a former Marine, and their motto of Semper Fi (Semper Fidelis) means “always faithful.” I thought that the underlying theme with Logan was that he was the epitome of this motto in every way.
She wouldn’t even be in the predicament if it weren’t for Travis. A phone call in the middle of the night to ask for a “free pass” from her boyfriend of 7 1/2 years was hard to take seriously. When he doesn’t get the answer he wanted, his drunken stupor is all it takes to tell her via text message that it’s over. That’s enough to irritate Mattie into flying home to deal with him.
However, bad weather grounds her flight out of Washington leaving her stranded in the airport all night with one other passenger… Logan McNarry.
Ordinarily, she wouldn’t even think of speaking to him, but Travis’ unexpected break up was just the opportunity she needed to seek passion in the arms of another man.
All this leads up to the predicament that Mattie must face. Choosing the safe, steady life already mapped out, or chasing the love and passion one only stumbles upon once in a lifetime.
For a while the ringing had infused and incorporated itself into my dream. Then it became obvious that the sound was out of place. I rolled over towards my ringing phone still partially asleep. I grabbed the phone and stared at it. Travis’s smiling photo peered back at me from the screen.
“Hey baby,” he said, doing his best to sound romantic through the slurred words.
“Phone sex? Really Travis? Shouldn’t we be sleeping? Half a semester left and this is what you’re concentrating on?”
“Naw, we just had a party and I wanted to tell you…” His voice went silent, and for a moment I thought he’d fallen asleep.
“Tell me what?” I snapped, eager to get back to my dream.
“Oh, yeah, Marlene was here. She’s rushing you know.”
My baby sister had chosen to go to the University of Georgia. It’d actually been a relief to our entire family as Travis was there to keep an eye on her. This was his senior year but at least he could show her around and help her avoid the obvious freshman mistakes.
“I heard.” I muttered. “Any clues as to which sorority she’s rushing?” With four girls in our family, our sorority choices had been a major topic of conversation. All of my sisters were currently in college: Monica was at Duke studying medicine like our Dad, Mandy was at Tennessee with a soon to be degree in Economics, and I was at Georgetown struggling through my last few months of a degree in Political Science. Marlene had just started at Georgia with a major in Early Childhood Education. With all those subjects to talk about it was an oddity that we normally only discussed our sororities.
Travis drooled on the other end of the phone, no telling how much he’d been drinking. “I think she’s going Zeta.” He moaned. I was the only non-Zeta in my family.
“Travis just out of curiosity how much did you drink tonight?” I purposely sounded condemning.
“Um, I dunno… a lot? But look here Mattie, I gotta question for ya.” Again his sentence was nearly incomprehensible as he slurred.
“Shoot.” I replied in frustration.
“I was thinkin’ you know, since we’re getting’ hitched and all, what you thought about us seeing other people before… you know, the old ball and chain thing.”
Ball and chain? Good Lord how much had he drank? It was a given that we’d marry one day; his family knew it, my family knew it, hell the whole world knew it. By now the idea should be almost foremost in my dreams, but it wasn’t. Situations with Travis, like this one for instance, had gotten old. Ancient in fact.
“Travis, I don’t think when you’re drinking it’s a good time to make that kind of decision.”
He was silent again. This time I was sure he’d passed out. “Ball and chain, ball and chain! Little Miss Mattie always so serious, so perfect. I’m f**kin’ sick of it.”
I was stunned. Travis hadn’t issued any complaints in the seven and a half years we’d been together, and now all of a sudden he was some kind of playboy? I soaked in his words. “I’m not giving you a free pass, if that what you’re asking.” I screamed into the phone. He was pissing me off now.
“Free pass!” he mumbled, “yeah! That’s what we need, a free pass!”
“Tell you what Travis, you go sleep this off and if you wake up tomorrow morning and still want me to go f**k other guys, then call me.” I hung up the phone and slammed it onto my bedside table. Screw him.
I lay in my bed staring at the blank ceiling. I didn’t blame him for being horny. I was horny as hell. We hadn’t been together in months and he was wrong if he thought he was the only one it was wearing on. I’d been through eight packs of Duracells in the past few months. My cell phone buzzed on the table beside my head. I picked it up and flipped to the new text message that’d just come in.
Travis: 3:01am Today – F**k whoever you want. We’re over!
I seriously doubted that it was over. I sighed. We’d never cheated on one another; it was one of the prideful parts of our relationship. So what, or rather who, had instigated this desire in him? It didn’t escape me that I honestly didn’t care.