Please welcome another special guest to the blog – author Lauren C. Teffeau! I met Lauren at Worldcon (she’s another Robot author) and I’ve been eyeing her book off for a while. So let’s get stuck in with the questions, eh? But first, a quick introduction:
Lauren was born and raised on the East Coast, educated in the South, employed in the Midwest, and now lives and dreams in the Southwest. When she was younger, she poked around in the back of wardrobes, tried to walk through mirrors, and always kept an eye out for secret passages, fairy rings, and messages from aliens. She was disappointed. Now, she writes to cope with her ordinary existence.
Besides the obligatory bachelor’s degree in English, she also holds a master’s degree in Mass Communication and spent a few years toiling as a researcher in academia. She is a graduate of Taos Toolbox, a master class in writing science fiction and fantasy. She is a member of Critical Mass, an invitation-only critique group of professional-level speculative fiction writers based in New Mexico. She is also an active member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, a PAN member of the Romance Writers of America , and a member of the Land of Enchantment Romance Authors.
How did you come to be a writer? Was it always something you were interested in or did you fall into it?
I’ve been a writer in denial, too afraid to even try writing down the stories in my head, for a long time. I loved to read, but never felt someone like me could become an author. It took many years to develop to courage to write and then many more to have enough confidence to begin sharing my work with others. I’ve been a member of a critique group in some shape or form for the last 6+ years, and I credit that environment with honing my craft and helping me stay productive. That’s when I started taking my writing seriously and also when I started selling my short fiction.
What were your favourite books/films growing up? What kick-started your creativity as a child/teen?
I was a big fan of Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Lloyd Alexander, and Susan Cooper’s Dark is Rising sequence. I also loved Treasure Island by Robert Lewis Stevenson. Historical Romance was (and still is) a guilty pleasure. I’ve always been a huge Star Trek and Star Wars fan. Same with James Bond. On top of all that, I played lots of action/adventure video games growing up and still try to fit in a gaming session every now and then.
You recently released your debut novel, Implanted, which has been receiving great reviews (I LOVE the cover). Can you tell us a little bit about that?
Thank you! Implanted is about a young woman named Emery Driscoll who’s blackmailed into working as a courier for a shadowy organization and what happens when the life she was forced to leave behind comes back to haunt her after she’s left holding the bag on a job gone wrong. Action and adventure abound, along with high-tech gadgets, light espionage, romance, and hard questions about the future.
What inspired you to write this particular story?
The idea of people living in domed cities to escape the environment came first, followed by the question of how would people cope in such a constrained environment after the traumatic upheaval of being forced to leave their homes behind. What if they were given near-limitless connectivity, allowing them access to the city network, each other, and a dizzying array of entertainment programs? Wouldn’t that help distract them from their plight? And so the idea that the majority of citizens in New Worth have neural implants was born. A couple of generations later, implants dictate just about everything that goes on under the dome, the implications of which I explore in the book.
You’ve written a lot of short fiction previously. How did you find the experience of writing a novel in comparison?
I honestly prefer writing books to short stories—usually because I end up with too much content to cram into a 5,000 word or less story. Sometimes I write short to test out an idea or to switch up genres as a palate cleanser. But books, while personally more rewarding for me, take much much longer to write and polish. Short stories can be completed more quickly (sometimes), and can be good practice in terms of submitting work and getting used to rejection, researching markets, and maybe just maybe holding a book with your work printed inside it.
If you weren’t a writer, what would your dream job be? Do you have a secret passion that we don’t know about?
I’m not really sure. I had opportunities to do other things during the denial phase I talked about in Question 1. I got a masters degree. I worked in both corporate America and academia, but I didn’t feel like I fit in either culture. I’ve always been passionate about learning, but I get bored easily. Writing is a way to nurture my creative impulses and the research needed to get my stories right ensures I’m always learning something new, which sounds pretty perfect right now.
What’s the one piece of advice you wish someone had told you when starting your writing career? What do you know now, that you wished you knew then?
There is no finish line. There is only the work, so you’d better love it. There will always be another rung on the ladder to climb, and once you reach it, problems to confront. The anxieties and issues you carry with you now will tag along, unless you take the steps to address them. Getting to hold your book in your hands, though, is still worth the cost, generally speaking.
What can we expect from you next?
I’m hard at work on a few sekrit projects, which may or may not include a sequel to Implanted. My website is the best way to stay up to date with me.
Thank you so much for hosting me today, Amanda!
No problems! Thanks for joining me!
Readers, if you’d like to find out more about Lauren, here’s where you can find her:
And you can buy her book here: