Please start by telling us a little about yourself (education, jobs, significant other, children, pets, etc.)
My name is LaVerne Thompson, I write contemporary, fantasy and sci/fi romances. I also have an alter ego. Ursula Sinclair, and under this name I write romantic suspense and New Adult. I’ve been married for 24 years. I have two girls in college, which is why I love NA, two pets, a cat and a dog. And in another life I used to be a lawyer.
Tell us about your latest New Adult book and what inspired you to write it.
It’s a series about a ballerina as the heroine, the first two books in the 3 book series are finished. The Ballerina & The Fighter (Book 1) and Maze- The Ballerina Series Book 2. It’s the story of a professional ballerina, Ivy, who meets a MMA underground fighter, Maze. Now his type of fighting isn’t the modern day MMA fighting styles where there’s just as much wrestling going on as boxing. His is much more traditional styles. Maze and Ivy come from very different worlds but opposites do attract. My youngest is a classically trained ballerina and I was immersed in that world for 15 years, she no longer dances. I still cry over that. Lol But I always wanted to write a story that gave a nod to those wonderful athletics and thought the perfect partner for my good girl ballerina would be of course another athletic. Someone just as dedicated to his craft as my heroine, so Maze is a bad boy through and through capable of doing whatever he has to protect those he loves. And he loves Ivy above all.
The New Adult genre is fairly new. What's your definition of it? How does it differ from Young Adult or just regular Adult books?
There is a difference. For me in a NA book the protagonist are between the ages of 17-25. And they deal with mature issues but from a lack of experience. At times YA themes do encroach into the NA arena and the lines there can and do become blurred, especially when the YA themes might be one of abuse or making adult decisions before they are perceived age wise as an adult. And of course sex. If it has sex it’s NA, but not all NA necessarily has descriptive sex. No such blurring exists on the older end. I think most would agree that 25 is the cut off even 26 is pushing it. You’re too close to 30 and by then you can no longer use youth as an excuse for behavior. Also while traditionally NA seemed to focus on contemporary college settings I’m glad to see it branching out into any and all genres attracting more readers.
Do you belong to any critique groups and/or do you have other people read your work as you're writing it? Who's brutally honest and who's a cheerleader? Which do you prefer?
I do have several critique partners. My work does go through at least 2 critique partners, 2 beta readers and gets professionally edited. And still we miss things. It’s cause the work is constantly changing. I’d much rather brutal honesty. I tell people when they ask about finding critique partners if the work doesn’t come back with red all over, that person either couldn’t be bothered or you didn’t move them enough to even make a positive comment. Either way find someone else. Cause your readers won’t all be cheerleaders and will be quick to point out errors. And not always in a constructive way.
What are your all-time favorite authors/books?
That’s a touch one I have enough to take up two pages. But I’ll just list a few stress few here. Pride and Prejudice, The Wheel of Time Series, Tolkien, Honor’s Splendour, A Place To Call Home.
Do you outline before you write or just dive head-first into a manuscript? Do you maintain a schedule for writing, or is it more haphazard?
Dive head first. I write whenever I can as much as I can.
Where do you do your best writing? (Ex: desk in your office, public library, under a tree in the park, in front of a Real Housewives TV marathon, etc.) Do you like music or some other background noise, or do you need quiet?
I usually have the TV on as back ground noise. When I was writing both Ballerina books I listened to a lot of the music I named in the books, but mostly it was Coolio’s Gangsta Paradise to reach the darkness I needed to create Maze’s dilemma and his solutions.
What are the best and worst parts of writing a book?
Time to finish it. There’s never enough. LOL
When you're driving and you have a sudden, brilliant idea for the new manuscript you're working on, what do you do? (Ex: pull over and fire up the laptop, keep driving while scribbling on a McDonald's bag, tell Siri, etc.)
I have been known to rush home and get it written down. LOL If I’m not on my way home I will jot a note in my phone while at a red light or once I get to my destination. I once got an idea on the way home from the store and ran a red light to get home and to get it down. I did the first 3 chapters in about an hour and finished the story in a month. It will be re-released next month. Hold On a contemporary romantic suspense.
Imagine you have a whole day free for shopping. Where do you go? (Mall, unique boutiques, flea market, antique shops, bookstore, home improvement store, etc.)
Easy. Mall. And I am a firm believer in shopping therapy. When the going gets tough the tough go shopping.
What are the top 5 titles in your Netflix queue? (Be honest.) Or if you don't have a Netflix queue, which books are on your bedside table? (Again, be honest.)
In my queue to watch are: Lore, War Witch, Soloman Kane, Invasion Earth, Timeline
Do you prefer to read ebooks or print?
Where is your favorite place in the world?
The lounge chair in my bedroom. LOL
Do you have any advice for people who want to write a book?
Find a favorite spot open up your laptop and write the down the first thing that comes to you and go from there.