Interview With Lucy Naylor Kubash
Lucy Naylor Kubash is the author of numerous short stories and contemporary romance novels, including The Haunting of Laurel Cove, slated for publication by The Wild Rose Press on December 6. (Love that spooky cover!) Lucy joins us today to talk about her new book, her writing process, the fateful doctor’s appointment that netted her a very special possession, and much more. Don’t miss the intriguing blurb toward the end of the interview!
Welcome, Lucy! Tell us a little bit about The Haunting of Laurel Cove.
I’ve always loved ghost stories. One of my favorite movies is the black and white 1963 original version of The Haunting (based on the novel The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson). My favorite comic book character as a kid was Casper the Ghost. When we first visited the Great Smoky Mountains many years ago, I couldn’t help but think it was the perfect setting for my own ghost story, about a woman who grew up there but moved away when she was young. When Jane comes back to heal from a traumatic experience, she discovers secrets from her family’s past and that there is a reason for her return. The fact her teen-age crush has turned into a very rugged and handsome man is also a startling discovery.
Who is Jane Stuart? What makes her tick?
Jane has always been a bookworm. A bit of an introvert, she has recently gained success as a popular YA author of paranormal books. She’s having a little trouble handling her own success, and isn’t certain she truly believes in ghosts, but once she sees the abandoned cabin in the woods, she can’t resist its pull.
Are you an outliner or a pantser?
I like to think of myself as an outlining pantser! I always know who my main characters are, some of their background, and a general idea of where the story is going. But I like to leave enough open for discovery as the story progresses. Oftentimes, if I’ve written an outline or synopsis, the story ends up not following it anyway. It’s fun to have my own aha! moments while writing, such as, oh, so that’s who the villain is!
What comes first character or plot?
For me, it’s always the characters. I might have a plot in mind when I start a story, but it’s the characters who keep me writing, because I want to know what’s going to happen to them. I want to see them have their Happily Ever After.
What advice would you give an aspiring writer?
Be persistent. Don’t give up. Don’t let anyone tell you, you can’t do it. Also, keep learning. Take advantage of workshops, online classes, mentors, editors. Accept criticism. Keep striving to make your writing better. Write and revise. Write and revise. Then send it out into the world.
Do you ever get writer’s block, and if so, how do you overcome it?
I rarely have a block, but I do sometimes get stuck, as in how do I handle this next scene? How would a particular character act/react in a certain situation? How soon do I reveal something important? When I’m stuck, I find it’s best to get away from the computer. Go for a drive, take a walk, do some housework (ha-ha!), an activity that frees up my mind to think without the intimidation of the screen in front of me. I’ve had many solutions come to me when I’m not writing.
What kinds of books do you like to read?
I loved the old gothics. I read contemporary romance, romantic suspense, mysteries, and historical. I’m making my way through the Longmire books by Craig Johnson and Wind River Mysteries by Margaret Coen. I’m mostly a reader of fiction but do like those books about hauntings in different regions. Not much into self-help. Most nonfiction reading I do is for writing craft.
What was your favorite childhood book?
My mother liked to tell me that while waiting in a doctor’s office one time, she read to me from a large red storybook of folk tales and legends. We didn’t get to finish the story, and I cried until we went to the bookstore and bought the book. (I was maybe 5.) It was a delightful book, and I read it over and over again for years. I even had it when my own children were small. I think it finally fell apart. While I can’t recall the title, I can still picture the book in my mind. I also loved Little Women and Black Beauty.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
Read! We have two cats and a dog, so time is spent caring for them. I also have a lot of bird feeders, and I’m out tending to them every day. I like to sew, when I’m in the mood. Watch TV. Go for a drive. My husband and I are retired from our outside jobs, so we go out to lunch a lot. We like to travel when we can.
What was your favorite thing to do when you were a kid?
We lived in the country, and I often took my dogs for long walks in the woods. I always had three dogs, and we’d go for walks or sledding in the winter. I also liked to go horseback riding whenever I had the opportunity.
What talent do you wish you had?
I would love to paint beautiful landscapes. Alas, my talent doesn’t lie that way.
Are you closer to a hoarder or a minimalist?
While I like to tell myself less is more, I lean more toward hoarding, especially when it comes to books. It’s very hard for me to give books away, although I’ve been trying to donate more to library sales. I buy books about how to reduce clutter, then forget to read them.
What’s your favorite guilty pleasure TV show?
I have a lot of favorites, but I’ve watched the series Blue Bloods since it began, thirteen years ago. I also watched the series Longmire and still watch the reruns.
What’s something on your bucket list?
I would like to take a trip to the southwest deserts in the spring and one through the New England states in the fall. I’m sure I could find some ghost stories to tell in both places!
Would you rather be free from junk mail or free from email spam the rest of your life?
Email spam for sure. We don’t get as much junk mail anymore, but the email inbox fills up with spam every day. I have a spam filter but still spend too much time getting rid of spam.
What are you working on now?
I am currently working on a series of books, contemporary western romance, set near the Grand Tetons of Wyoming. I’m calling it The North Star Legacy. I love my cowboys!
Back cover blurb:
When Jane Stuart returns to the Smoky Mountains and the house she inherited from her grandmother with the hope to heal from a brutal mugging, she finds herself obsessed with a local legend involving a witch and a mysterious cabin.
Upon reconnecting with an old boyfriend now turned handsome environmentalist, she finds herself rekindling her attraction to Brendan McGarren and is drawn into his battle to keep Laurel Cove from becoming a rich man’s playground. As she begins to uncover family secrets pertaining to the witch and the cabin, Jane questions her own sanity. Then the threats begin. Can she trust Brendan? Will the search for the truth cost Jane her life?
I'm so excited for this book's release. I hope you'll enjoy it! You may preorder it now at these fine retailers:
Barnes and Noble: https://tinyurl.com/4yechr3c
If you are a library patron, please ask your local library to order The Haunting of Laurel Cove.
Lucy Naylor Kubash has had a lifelong love of reading and has been writing for as long as she can remember. She is published in short fiction and novel length contemporary romance, as well as nonfiction, having written a column called The Pet Corner for twenty years. She is a member of Mid-Michigan RWA, Grand Rapids Region Writers Group, Romance Writers Online, and Women Writing the West. She loves anything to do with the American West, mountains and beaches anywhere, and traveling whenever possible. When not writing she likes to spend time with her family and pets.
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