Meet Author Lauren Shiro
My dear friend and fellow Vanilla Heart Publishing author Lauren Shiro
writes stories of Love Without Boundaries. Lauren Shiro is an author of contemporary and LGBT fiction. Her tales prove that love is truly blind to both color and gender. These are stories of regular people in real situations. Her books are sure to touch your heart and remain with you long after you’ve finished them.
Previously writing as L. E. Harvey, Lauren married the love of her life Vicki Shiro on June 2, 2012. Lauren and Vanilla Heart Publishing republished many of Lauren’s works in her new legal name of Lauren Shiro.
Lauren was recently acknowledged for a column she writes for the Keystone Alliance/Gaylife Newsletter; I’ll let Lauren tell you about this wonderful honor:
Every year the Keystone Alliance Gaylife Newsletter holds its annual Readers’ Choice Awards. The readers vote for everything from LGBT couple of the year to entertainer of the year, staff writer of the year, and more. I have been writing for them for 4 or 5 years now; they have been kind enough to award me with something every year. This year, I was voted as Lesbian of the Year. It’s quite an honor. To stand out as a lesbian who is trying to make a difference in the world is humbling. I just write about topics and stories that are near and dear to me. To have people say that it’s good work, and to put a spotlight like that on me is such an honor. It is an award for which I am eternally grateful.
~ And now the interview ~
Do you have a vision board or other `trick’ to help motivate you?
I am a rather visual person. So I go on-line and look at images (faces, photographs, locations, anything relating to the story). I am able to connect with my characters on a stronger level, and the imagery tends to spark my creative juices. It’s amazing what has come out of looking at just one image.
Do you have any pets? If so, introduce us to them.
We do! I’ll start with my feathered friends.
We have CJ and Sparky, a pair of Love Birds.
We also have one of their babies (who is a full grown adult, but we call her baby anyway).
Then there is my muse. My Cockatiel named Rameses. He is so awesome. He loves to play, chatter and whistle (but don’t let on that you’re watching him. He can be rather shy!).
We also have three canine cohabitants. First is Bella. She’s our yellow lab. She’s a very relaxed lab, but wants all of your attention at all times.
Next is our pit named Marq, short for Marquez. I named him after Gabriel Garcia Marquez, a Hispanic writer. Our Marq is full of energy and love. He loves to play, and he loves to cuddle and snuggle even more. He’s a hoot.
Lastly is our very mixed mutt, Sophia. Sophia is a rather unusual looking dog with a matching unique personality. She loves to play: if you’re playing fetch with her, she will keep going – even beyond your point of exhaustion! She’s a lot of fun.
Does travel play in the writing of your books?
A little, but not a heck of a lot. People do travel, some even move. My stories are much more focused on people rather than places.
Does your significant other read your stuff?
At the risk of incriminating her, no. She doesn’t really read much of anything! LOL.
If you were to write a series of novels, what would it be about?
I hate to sound like an egomaniac, but for me, the Loving Her series is the perfect series. It’s linear in that each woman has her own story, but they can be read in any order. It was important for me to write about how our lives impact those around us. From the feedback I’ve received from readers, it seems as though I have done just that (which makes me incredibly happy). You never know what the end result is going to be when you start a story or a series, but I am really happy with and proud of how they turned out.
If you weren’t a writer, what would you be doing with your life?
I’m incredibly fortunate in that I am able to write as well as pursue other dreams.
I had a wonderful 15 year veterinary career. I have worked with everything from cows to marine mammals, and everything in between.
Currently, I work detailing cars (another passion of mine). I work on quite a few Corvettes. So far the most expensive car I worked on was worth over $95,000!
As well, I spend my time doing wood working. I refinish furniture, revitalize wood carvings, I create talking sticks, prayer sticks, and other sacred objects. It can get dirty at times, but the end result is completely worth it.
Not many people can say that they get the opportunity to pursue their childhood dream. I do that by writing, and I am so blessed to enjoy my other passions as well.
Tell us about your current release.
My latest release is called Pianissimo.
It’s about a woman named Corinne, and she just moved into a new home. With impeccable timing, her husband was deployed right before they moved in. Corinne falls into depression, despair, and isolation. At first, it eats away at her. The longer she’s in the house, the more she discovers about its history and past inhabitants. Her world is completely opened up, and she discovers who she is just as much as what the home is really about.
Tell us about your family.
I come from a small, but absolutely wonderful family. My mother and step-father live in the same house we grew up in. My brother lives out in California so we only see each other once or twice a year, but we keep in touch regularly. My maternal grandmother is 93, and still sharp as a tack. Her age is just a number to her – she’s a great role model! My maternal grandfather passed away a couple of years ago, but we all still feel his presence. My wife and I live in Rochester, NY. My father-in-law lives in the next town just east of us, and my sister-in-law and her family live in the next town just west of us. My brother-in-law and his family live in Atlanta, but we keep in touch with them as much as we can. Family is very important to us, and we are blessed to have the wonderful family that we do.
Tell us about your favorite character from your books.
This is really hard. Really hard! I have such a connection to all of my characters. After some serious thinking, I’m going with Linda from the Loving Her series. She is able to hold her own – she beats up the biggest bully in school; she works in a male-dominated field, and is quite successful. Yet, she’s also incredibly vulnerable. From the bigoted driver to Katie’s parents, Linda isn’t invincible. I love that depth, that contradiction, that humanity about her.
What does your significant other and family think of your writing career?
I am so blessed because I have such tremendous support from everyone around me. They all think it is wonderful. I consider myself to be incredibly fortunate.
What group did you hang out with in high school?
I was quite nerdy (still am). I was a theatre geek, mostly. But I was involved in a ton of other activities as well. I was in the choir, the dance troupe; I was also involved in SADD and our school’s Anti-Bias Committee, so I kind of hung around with a lot of different types.
What three words do you think describe you as a human being?
Unique, comical, diverse.
What was one of the most surprising things you learned while writing your books?
When I was writing Trajectory, and I was corresponding with a SWAT sniper, and he informed me that they wore diapers when they are out on a call.
When’s the last time you played “that” musical instrument?
I haven’t played any instruments since elementary school, and the world is a better place for it! LOL.
Can you tell us where to find more information on you?
Is there a place where readers can reach you?
I LOVE hearing from readers! Please feel free to drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org
Is there something, anything, that we all need to know about you?
I have amazing culinary skills. I can burn toast like it’s nobody’s business!