Women Who Dare vol.3: Author Lauren T. Hart
1. Who is Lauren T. Hart?
Well, I’m a writer. And according to the bio on my website, which I wrote so it can probably be trusted, I love to learn, to laugh, and to lounge about with friends, family and music. I have nerdish tendencies and overuse the word ‘awesome.’ I love words and artistry and intangible magic. Some of my broad-term areas of interest include: writing, reading, the human condition, creativity and the creative process, science fiction as well as science fact, the supernatural, animals, art, culture, the pursuit of happiness and the interrelatedness of all things.
2. Who is the audience for your book The Aeon Star?
Anyone who enjoys young adult and new adult fantasy, paranormal, or science fiction, I suppose. I used to call this genre my guilty pleasure, but now it’s just my favorite genre of all time. Ever. :-)
3. What is the inspiration for The Aeon Star? How did you come up with the idea?
Almost all of my stories, in one way or another, originated as dreams. My dreams are very detailed and vivid, there’s little difference between them and the waking world, except for some of the fantastical elements. Anything that sticks with me through breakfast tends to get written down and some of those get expanded upon, and some of those become full length works.
4. Though it is a lively, engaging work of fiction, The Aeon Star touches on serious, important themes, such as race, sexual orientation, prejudice, personal identity, and religion. Why?
These things are a part of our lives, sometimes in direct ways, sometimes it’s more subtle, but they’re subjects that are both important while at the same time being things that really don’t — or at least in an ideal world, shouldn’t — matter at all.
5. Why did you choose San Francisco (Dare Fashion’s hometown:) as the setting for much of your book?
My mother and I made a day trip to San Francisco many years ago and I absolutely fell in love. And I can tell you the exact moment too. We had stopped at a gas station, and I was people watching, as writers do. In the span of less than a minute I saw school girls, nuns, large tattooed biker dudes, and businessmen in suits enter, exit, and interact with one another. How could I not fall in love with that!? Diversity makes my whole soul squee!
6. When and where do you write?
I write whenever and wherever I can. I have an office at my house and I try to spend a good chunk of my day there, but I also like to mix it up and write in new and different environments. The majority of Of Gods & Mortals was written at my desk, a story I’m working on now seems to flow best while I’m sitting on a couch, and the majority of The Aeon Star was actually written at my kitchen table.
7. Do you ever get writer’s block? If so, what do you do to overcome it?
Yes. It’s all about figuring out the cause. Am I tired, hungry, thirsty, too cold, too hot, in need of some sun, or a chat with a friend? If these are all good, then I look to the story. Tricks that work for me include:
Reading: It’s a really great way to get the brain to think in storytelling mode.
Write Something Else: Anything else really, but a story that’s just for me that I never intend to do anything with is best (like fan fiction) - it helps get those pesky judgments and criticisms to quiet down.
Stepping Away: Sometimes I just need a little distance from the story and while it’s percolating and I’m not consciously thinking about it sometimes an idea will just come to me - like magic - or like remembering the name of that one guy with the hair from that show with the car and the other guy and the explosions…
Story Formula: Good stories follow formula, it’s like a recipe. Sometimes reading formula helps to better understand the type of story that’s being written; especially if I think I’m writing one type, but according to formula, I’m writing another. And it’s quick to point out if I’m missing any key elements. Going back through the story and picking out key points can also help get the tale back on track.
And Then What Happened? I learned this trick from my kids. I tell myself - or whoever will listen - the story so far (if you can find a curious four year old, this solution practically presents itself) and when I get to the stuck point I ask myself — or have my listening friend ask me — “and then what happened?”
Back Up: This one’s the worst, but often the most effective. Sometimes writers block is a sign that I’ve taken the story in the wrong direction. The solution is to back track through the story to find where it went askew and rewrite from there. It’s usually a cringe-worthy moment. I call these my “finally and for the first time” moments. I can’t even think the phrase without cringing. These are the worst because it almost always involves scrapping massive amounts of writing. (My record was 128 pages - that’s about 1/2 a full length novel.)
In The Aeon Star, for example, I had several chapters written between Jen and David, where their thoughts were connected, and I thought it was going OK until I just couldn’t write anymore, so I backed up. When I got to the part where David was thinking sexy thoughts about Jen (cringe) I knew I’d found the problem. Paul was there, so I shifted the story more in his direction and it worked out.
8. You are the mother of three boys, how does this influence your writing?
I’ve stolen quips from them a time or two. One of them will never read my stuff — he’s waiting for the movie. Another, I run a lot of things past but if I ask him for advice he always suggests wildly far out scenarios like, maybe someone should start something on fire or spontaneously combust, and other absurdities. And my 3rd said he was really liking my work until he got to a somewhat sexy scene and then he just couldn’t read my stuff ever again.
9. How did you discover Dare to Wear?
Amazon. I’m always a bit reluctant to buy clothes online, because it’s impossible to know how they’ll fit, but every now and then I’ll give it a go and see if I get lucky — I totally did with Dare to Wear! It’s all adjustable so every piece always fits beautifully. This also means that even if my weight fluctuates — which it does — I know I can put on Dare to Wear and it’s still going to look great.
10. Your husband (and producer of your book trailer:) told us that you’ve said that Dare to Wear “best represents you.” What did you mean by this?
I’m not really a T-shirt and Jeans girl — unless I’m doing something where I might get dirty, like painting or gardening. (ha, I don’t garden, it would get my laptop dirty.) And I’m not interested in looking like everyone else or blending into the crowd.
I feel most comfortable when who I am on the inside is reflected — in some way — on the outside, and who I am on the inside is full of ideas, and characters and entire worlds and galaxies that span centuries into the past and eons into the future. I like the combination of old and new, the integration of eclectic ideas and styles, I like things that are bold and daring, and I like to be physically comfortable too. Dare to Wear fits the bill perfectly.
11. Who are your literary and artistic influences?
Fairy and folktales, Greek mythology, the Brothers Grimm, Hans Christian Andersen, Shakespeare (not Romeo and Juliette), Jane Austen, Amy Bartol, Tahera Mafi, Simon Pegg, Stephen Moffat, Gene Roddenberry, Stephen Spielberg, J.J. Abrams, Carl Sagan, Japanese Anime (dubbed not subbed), My musical tastes are kind of all over the place, alternative, punk, rock, metal, pop, electronic, classic, soundtrack. I like anything moody and dark and soulful. Lately I’ve been listening to 30 Seconds To Mars, Imagine Dragons, Skillet, Hurts, Spill Canvas, Twenty One Pilots, Mutemath and a bunch of others, it kind of depends on what I’m writing.
12. What’s a random fact about you that no one would ever guess?
I was in the “slow readers” group through 3rd grade - reading was hard and I hated it! Then in 4th grade, something just clicked, and I became an avid reader. Honestly I think it was just in finding the right story - the right genre. Now, when I hear people say they don’t read, I’m pretty sure it’s because they just haven’t found their genre yet.