As part of our Who Chains You Books First Anniversary Celebration, we’ll be bringing you a “Connect with our Authors, Illustrators, and Narrators” Series, so you can learn a little more about the animal lovers we represent, and why they’ve taken on the challenge of bringing the plight of the animals to life through creative writing, art, and interpretation.
We’ve given each of our authors, illustrators, and narrators a list of questions to answer. They are free to answer any of our suggested questions or substitute their own—staying on the fun, surface side of life, or getting as deep as they’d like. Feel free to ask them questions in the comments area, and we’ll ask them to drop by and answer.
Laura’s Bio: Laura Koerber is an artist who lives on an island with her husband and her two dogs. She has always entertained herself by telling herself stories. As a child, she used to like going to bed because she could lie awake under the covers and run movies in her head. Later, as an adult, she enjoyed long distance driving for the opportunity to spend hours writing novels in her imagination. Now Laura divides her retirement time between dog rescue, care for disabled people, political activism, and yes, she still tells herself stories while she is driving. Her first book, The Dog Thief and Other Stories, (written under the pen name Jill Kearney) was listed by Kirkus Review as one of the One Hundred Best Books of 2015. She’s also the author of The Listener’s Tale, out now from Who Chains You, she has a story called “The Bandit and the Engineer” in Rescue Smiles (out next week from Who Chains You) and three other upcoming books: I Once Was Lost, But Now I’m Found, The Shapeshifter’s Tale, and Limbo.
Q. Where did you grow up and what was your favorite memory from growing up there?
I spent most of my youth in Iowa. My favorite thing about growing up in Iowa was getting out of there in the summer. My dad was a college professor and had the summers off, so we spent our summers on long rambling camping trips up and down the Rocky Mountains, along the Gulf coast of Texas or out to the Outer Banks. Anywhere but Iowa.
Q.What did you least like about your childhood or where you grew up?
Hard to pick one thing: ninety-nine in the shade with one hundred percent humidity, poison ivy, mosquitoes, no-see-ums, chiggers, dear flies, tornados…
Q. What made you want to become an author?
Boredom. I spent a lot of time driving out to see my parents and driving back again, about a three hour trip one way. I started writing a fantasy novel in my head for entertainment. Then I thought, “Gee, I just wrote a novel in my head.” So I wrote it down. It wasn’t bad. It was OK. So I started writing short stories, and discovered that some of them were actually good. I have now written three fantasy novels, a non-fiction book, and a collection of short stories. I think I am done and will go back to painting. (At least until the next idea strikes.)
Q. What steps did you take to finish your first book? How did you make it happen?
I just wrote and wrote and wrote. I was in a mad rush to get from one end to the other because I had never written anything before and didn’t know if I could do it or not. Once I got it all down, I began revising and editing and revising and editing. I kept that up for a couple of years.
Q. Tell us one thing about you that nobody knows. Until now.
My earliest memory is of throwing up in bed. I don’t think I have told many people that, mostly because it has never come up in conversation before. So now you know.
Q. Tell us one weird talent you have that you wish you could make money from.
Reading. I read a lot. I would love to be paid to read.
Q. Tell us what celebrity you’d love to be for a day, and why.
Trump. I would give all of his money away, resign him from the Presidency, and enroll him in a mental health program.
Q. Tell us what you love most about writing?
I like creating things. I have pretty much the same attitude about writing as about painting, drawing, gardening and cooking. I just enjoy making things.
Q. Do you have pets? How many and what are their names?
I have two. Jody, a German Shepard/collie mix and Izzy, a maltipoo.
Q. Where would you travel for your dream vacation, and why?
Iceland. Except for the whale-hunting, they have a superior culture to ours…and the countryside is gorgeous, a cold blue Eden.
Q. If you could wave a magic wand and make one thing better for animals, what would it be?
I’d ensure that humans would learn to behave like the intelligent form of life we claim to be.
Q. Tell us what your favorite book of all time is, and why.
I don’t have one all time favorite. I have many I love and would recommend, here’s a few: Desert Solitaire by Edward Abbey, The Dream of Scipio by Iain Pears, and Across the Wide Missouri by Bernard De Voto.
Q. If you could live anywhere in the world, were would you live and why.
This would also be Iceland, because the landscape is primeval, as if time had just begun.
Q. What’s next for you?
I’ve got three more books coming out, hopefully all this year, the first of which is I Once Was Lost, But Now I’m Found, which delves into the Olympic Animal Sanctuary abuse, following the path of a dog named Daisy. Here’s a blog post I wrote about the book, if you haven’t seen it: https://freedomchaserbooks.wordpress.com/2017/07/17/old-wounds-and-a-new-book-thoughts-on-her-upcoming-olympic-animal-sanctuary-book-by-laura-koerber/
I also have two other books in the pipeline to be published this year, they are: The Shapeshifters Tale, which is the second in the “Our Side” Collection, and Limbo, a novel about souls waiting to move on.