About the Author
L.A. James graduated, Magna Cum Laude, from the University of Illinois with a B.A. in English. She has written for diverse businesses and non-profit organizations, published in various print media, and taught English to domestic and foreign students. In the end, she has looped back to what she has always wanted to do - write her own books.
You can visit L.A. James at www.jameswritinganddesign.com
1. Who or what inspired you to become an author?
I don’t have an exact who, or a specific what, to pinpoint why I became an author. I’ve always loved everything about books. They were escapes from the mundane of life. They were the friends that were always waiting to tell you something. They were great teachers about life. Books are filled with all kinds of treasures, and for as long as I can remember, I always wanted to make one to share with others.
2. What inspired the idea for If Only ~ Biblical Truth for Children?
If Only ~ Biblical Truth for Children popped into my head one day when I realized how often I heard the words “If Only.”
My friends would say it. My kids would say it, and I found myself saying it. I started thinking about how these little words make you dissatisfied with life, yet I don’t think this is how God wants us to live.
I then related he “If Only” thoughts to cats because we can see things differently when we as people are removed from a story.
3. What inspired Be ~ Biblical Wisdom for Children?
Be ~ Biblical Wisdom for Children came about one day when I was thinking about legacy. We all have a legacy we will leave. It’s a sobering reality, and it can be a downer for a lot of people. I started thinking about my children, and what key truths I wish they would always remember. To live for God is the most important thing I can teach them. In the scope of life, it is all that matters.
Yet, I wanted to define what I felt were some key points within living for God, and I started planning this book.
The book became a compilation of key talks I had with them, and verses I felt defined what I wanted them to keep forefront in their minds. I wanted it to be something they could always reference, think about, and hopefully share with their children someday. I wanted it to be timeless, and I wanted the artwork to be enjoyable for them now as well as for them when they get older.
4. What is your current WIP? What can you tell us about it?
My next book is going to be about the wonders of God. The earth is filled with fascinating creatures, and many of them I had never heard of before I started my research. I find it crazy that I didn’t know they existed. I want to showcase these animals because I think they reflect God’s wonder to us.
5. When you are not writing, what other hats do you wear?
I have five kids who range in age from six to eighteen, so I wear a lot of hats, but I bet most mothers feel this way. Nevertheless, the most important hats have names, and they are as follows:
About the Author
Carla Laureano is the RITA Award-winning author of contemporary inspirational romance and Celtic fantasy (as C.E. Laureano). A graduate of Pepperdine University, she worked as a sales and marketing executive for nearly a decade before leaving corporate life behind to write fiction full-time. She currently lives in Denver with her husband and two sons, where she writes during the day and cooks things at night.
1. If you were to go to brunch with one of the characters from Brunch in Bittersweet Cafe, who would it be and why?
I wouldn’t mind joining Rachel, Ana, and Melody at their usual weekend brunches, especially since I modeled the restaurants on some of my favorite spots in Denver. If I had to pick only one person, though, I think I’d sit down with Jessica, Justin’s older sister. She didn’t get a lot of page time, but I really like her. She’s kind, strong, and determined, and I know she would make a good friend.
2. What type of research did you do so you could write Brunch at Bittersweet Cafe?
I had the baking part down pretty well before I began, since I’ve been studying pastry with the help of some culinary school textbooks for a while. The aviation component was the most research-heavy—I had to figure out a reasonable backstory for Justin based on actual pilot qualifications, then learn the structure of a fractional aviation company, basic aeronautics, and how to actually fly the planes that he flew. It took a lot of reading FAA documents, watching YouTube videos, and scouring pilot forums to get enough background to write him in a convincing way.
3. What inspired the idea for Brunch at Bittersweet Cafe?
I never can give good answers to this question because I don’t fully understand how my creative process works. “It just came to me” doesn’t sound like a very good answer, but it’s the truth! Probably, it has something to do with my thought process when I’m developing characters and asking what are the best and worst things that could happen to them, but as I came up with this idea over four years ago, I honestly don’t remember!
4. What did you as an author take away from writing Brunch at Bittersweet Cafe?
One of the main themes in the book is faith, namely how we can think we have faith, but we’re really indulging in wishful or magical thinking. Faith is only true when it’s tested, and writing the book really made me think more deeply about what I believe and why.
5. What is your current WIP? What can you tell us about it?
For the first time in three years, I don’t have a work-in-progress! Book three in the Supper Club series is already complete, and I’m considering what I might like to write next. I’m grateful that my publisher built in a lot of lead time to these books, so I’m left with some time to relax, read, and consider. Most of my ideas come out of the spiritual matters I’m mulling in my own life, or even just newfound interests; without the time to explore new ideas, there would be no more books!
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