Interview: Laura Vosika

Laura Vosika grew up in the military, visiting castles in England, pig fests in Germany, and the historic sites of America’s east coast.
She earned a degree in music, and worked for many years as a freelance musician, music teacher, band director, and instructor in private music lessons on harp, piano, winds, and brass.

Laura is the mother of 7 boys and 2 girls, and lives in Minnesota. Her latest book is Blue Bells of Scotland: The Trilogy. Enjoy this interview.

Tell us a bit about yourself. Where are you from and how long have you been writing?

I grew up in the military, which gave me some exciting experiences, but makes the where are you from question hard to answer. I’ve lived in Germany, Ireland, and numerous cities in the States, and now make my home in Minnesota. I’ve been writing since I was 8, and finished my first full-length novel when I was 24.

Tell us about Blue Bells of Scotland: The Trilogy. What do you hope readers take away from it?

Blue Bells of Scotland is a time travel and historic adventure, about two men, polar opposites but for their looks and love of music, who are mistaken for one another. Shawn is a modern musical phenomenon, who wears accusations of self-centeredness like a badge of honor. Niall is a devout medieval Highland warrior, the epitome of responsibility. The fate of Scotland rests on his shoulders. When they both spend the night at the top of the same castle tower, they wake up in the wrong centuries, caught in one another’s lives.

There are many things a reader can take from it, from just a fun story of mistaken identity, time travel, and adventure, to learning some of Scotland’s history and the same appreciation I have gained for Robert the Bruce and James Douglas and all they accomplished at Bannockburn, to deeper issues of forgiveness and redemption.

Share some of your writing goals. What’s next for you?

I’m currently working on books 2 and 3 of The Blue Bells Trilogy. As a reader, I like learning more about the history behind the fiction I read, so I’m putting together my research into a non-fiction on the historical setting of Blue Bells of Scotland. I have about a hundred pages done on a book on large families, which I hope to find time to work on again soon.

What’s the most interesting book you’ve ever read?

That’s a difficult question, after years of reading. In non-fiction, probably Evidence That Demands a Verdict by Josh McDowell. In fiction, I stumbled across Ted Dekker about a year ago and found his work incredibly interesting.

Favorite authors?

Dick Francis. Mary Higgins Clark. Phillipa Gregory. Ted Dekker. C.S. Lewis.

Book you’re currently reading?

In the In the Shadow of My Truth by Deborah Richmond Foulkes, a fictionalized but heavily researched account of the life of James Douglas. Cleasan a Bhaile Mhor, by Lexie Campbell. The Time Traveler’s Guide to Medieval England by Ian Mortimer.

Any type of writing ritual you have?

I have an unintentional ritual of doing housework first. That way, I feel I’ve taken care of my responsibilities and don’t feel guilty about taking the time to write. Other than that, I drink too much coffee, and usually prefer it quiet when I write.

Do you believe in writer’s block? If so, how did you get past it? If not, why not?

Yes. I finished a novel when I was 24, and then simply had no more ideas, even though I wanted to write. What worked for me was deciding to make time to write the one vague patchwork of images and ideas in my mind, and from there, the ideas just kept multiplying. I now have at least half a dozen novels in various stages of writing, and several more floating around in my head. I think writing prompts and journaling have been very helpful for some people facing writer’s block.

In your opinion, what’s the measure of a successful writer?

The same as a successful person. One who makes the world a little better or a little brighter, one who uplifts, motivates, or inspires.

Advice for other writers?

Find a good writers critique group. C.S. Lewis had the Inklings; I was lucky enough to find the Night Writers meeting at the same place I was teaching music lessons, starting right as I finished my last lesson for the evening. They have been helpful and encouraging; they have inspired and motivated me and given me a great deal of confidence.

Where can we learn more about you?
My website and blog where I write on medieval history, Scotland, and writing. You can follow me at Twitter and Facebook as well.

Anything else you’d like to add?

Thank you for having me today! It’s been a pleasure, and I’d like to encourage people to take the time to pursue their passions.

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