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Friendy Friday with Laura M. Baird

Happy Friday, folks! It's the last Friday of July and HOLY COW where has my summer gone? I've written all but the end of one book and started another, been to crack-of-dawn swim meets, rocked out at several fantastic shows, and I've been scheduling more kick-ass authors for Friendy Fridays!

Today's author is Laura M. Baird and I gotta say, she should win the Romancelandia MVP award. For Real. She came into my universe a year or so ago and she's one of the most supportive fellow authors you could possibly have in your life. She writes Contemporary Romance on the steamy side and I'm darn glad to have her on the blog today! Plus, check out those rad tattoos! Here is the interview I did with Laura for today's blog:

1. Give us a visual of you dancing. The Carlton? Napoleon Dynamite? Solid Gold?

Ho boy, this should be fun! I grew up loving the 80s music, from rock to the alternative/new wave, so I'd consider my dancing (then) to be a progressive Solid Gold - because I would watch that show!! Now, I just have fun in my living room, giving hubby a show, attempting everything from Salsa to Beyonce-style grooving. I'll move to just about everything!

2. What’s one thing every reader should know about you?

Hmm, this is tough, trying to answer in a humble way, without sounding selfish... but I'm such a giver, to the point I may risk my owns feelings or circumstances. I try to do too much and please everyone, when I know that isn't possible! Hubby comments all the time about it being okay to be a bit more selfish, and I think, hell yeah, it's my time! (Ha!) I just want to put my best forward, to succeed, and see others succeed as well. By heart, I'm an optimist.

3. What’s your worst habit as a writer?

That's a toss-up between editing as I go, thinking it needs to be perfect from the start, or simply discipline. I need to make better use of my time, using a spare amount to get something done. I think I need to have hours at a time to sit down and write when there's 20 or 30 minutes here and there where I can jot something down and incorporate it in next time I open my document.

4. Ever get caught reading/writing sexy times in an awkward place/time/situation?

Honestly, not that I can think of. Much of my reading is later in the evening at home when I just want to decompress, so I'm usually all by myself.

5. What is the best reader response you’ve ever received?

I remember early in my publishing journey, one of the very first times I saw a post on a friend's timeline about one of their friends (not a mutual friend) say she downloaded my book and loved it! A virtual stranger to me, and she loved my writing! It was a thrill!

6. What is the most fascinating/creepy/disgusting thing you’ve discovered because of writing?

Sorry to disappoint, but I can't think of anything creepy or disgusting. As most writers, I do a lot of research, and years ago I got hooked on reading about UNESCO and World Heritage Sites. There are so many fascinating places in this world that I'd love to visit! And many right here in our own backyard, so to speak, in the USA.

7. Name a book that scared the bejeebers out of you and why it scared you.

I can't answer this one because I don't read thrillers or horror. I can't even watch scary movies (which really displeases hubby) because I can't stand being scared or have maniacal thoughts in my head. I'm love and laughter all the way!

8. What music inspires you?

There is a lot! I enjoy a wide range of music, from classical to anything 80s to soundtracks to some country. I love emotional music; a mixture of rock and an orchestra, Evanescence, Bad Wolves cover of "Zombie", or Matchbox 20 "When You're Gone". Then there's spunky music from Miranda Lambert or soulful music from Chris Stapleton or funky music from Bruno Mars. Going back to my childhood, I wanted to sing like Barbra Streisand! So yeah, I'm pretty diverse.

9. Did a teacher in school ever encourage or discourage your desire to write? Care to share?

The only encouragement I remember is my 4th grade teacher, Mr. Norman encouraging me when we first started writing poetry. I enjoyed writing poems for family and friends, then moved on to short stories, and eventually novels. I never received any discouragement, but I'm sure there were skeptics, thinking, "She thinks she's gonna be an author?" I'm still working my way into believing it myself!

10. What's your favorite genre to write? And...what's a genre you haven't written but would LOVE to write?

My favorite genre is definitely romance - all aspects. I include humor and a variety of suspense in most of my books. I write everything from heart-warming to erotic; and I'm doing more with paranormal, and developing some fantasy. With so much of today's writing, the lines can be blurred as to what genre or category it really fits in, such as women's fiction. That's pretty broad spectrum. I've been working on a story that isn't really a romance, but simply fiction, revolving around multi-generations, their views on life and yes, love. About making the most of your life no matter your age. So, that's what I would love to complete.

11. What accomplishment are you most proud of?

In my author life, definitely getting published! Getting my work out there for others to enjoy. I wrote for years and just sat on my stories, wondering what would become of them. With the publishing world changing so much, I didn't have to rely on first finding an agent and selling my work. I simply researched publishers, started submitting, and was thrilled when my work got accepted. With all the work I had 'stored up', I had 14 stories published in under two years! That's something! Now, I just need to keep at it! ;) In my personal life, I'm so proud of my family, of course! I've been married for nearly twenty-nine years and continue to have so much fun with hubby. And I'm so very proud of our two grown sons!

Laura is currently promoting her military romance, "The Soldier's Final Mission". "I'm donating all my sales from this book to Veterans and Military charities. Being a veteran, I want to support those in need, knowing for many, it's a challenge to transition back into the civilian lifestyle - whether it's by choice or other concerns. And many active military and their families make such a sacrifice, they need to know there are those who more than appreciate all they do." So pick up a copy of The Soldier's Final Mission today!

You can find Laura at the following locations:

I hope you'll check out Laura's books!

As for the world of Rock 'n' Romance...So much going on, dudes. Be sure to check out the two events I have coming up. If you're local, come on out to National Bookstore Romance Day on August 17th! I'll be celebrating at Books On B, my local indie store in Hayward, California and I can't WAIT! Not local? Check out your local stores and see what they've got planned. the organizers are hoping to make this an annual event so let's show them that Romance Readers are a force to be reckoned with! We'll be having a panel and will broadcast on Facebook Live! Stay tuned. To join the event, check it out...

THEN in September I'll be headed down to Riverside, California for The Romance Retreat! I'm excited to be at the inaugural event and can't wait to share my love of music and dance and romance with readers! I'll be hosting a Salsa Dance party with author Marie Booth and several other authors with dance in their books AND I'll be doing a workshop on how music has shaped my life and my writing. It will be interactive and fun and I'm super excited! I've ordered awesome swag and will be bringing books to sign so get your ticket NOW and join us! They're currently having a special...80 bucks off!

And tonight...I GET TO SEE SLIPKNOT! And Volbeat! Look out for some hijinks and watch my poor husband experience the Knot for the first time! It will be EPIC

Love you all and Stay Tuned for more Rock 'n' Romance...

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