Second City Signing Author Spotlight – L. A. Cotton



As you know, I snagged a spot at the Second City Signing in Birmingham, UK in July 2015. I decided it would be great to get to know all the other confirmed authors who will be appearing at the event with me.

I hope everyone will share these posts around and comment on them, wishing each author well. Maybe even some of you will come along to the event to meet us all in person.




Up this week is…. L. A. Cotton

L. A. Cotton has a busy mind in need of constant stimulation. A youth worker from the Midlands, UK, if L. A isn’t immersed in a book, she’s figuring out what course to study next. With an imagination that refuses to stay quiet, early this year, L. A finally decided to put finger to keyboard and start typing. Her first novel, Fate’s Love is due for release September 30th

When she’s not busy reading, writing, and plotting future books, L. A. is mum to two gorgeous children, and their hyper terrier, Rocky.




Now for the interview:

First the ‘business bit’…
1.       Tell me about yourself… the usual, age, name, (penname if different – if it is different, explain your choice behind it), location.
I’m Lianne *waves* I’m 29 years old (we won’t mention that it’s almost the big 3.0). I live in a small town in the Midlands (Shakespeare’s County to be exact), and I’m a mum-of-two. I’m currently enjoying some time out of full time work, to look after my babies. I do have a couple of part-time jobs, but really they just let me fund things like cover designs and  author events (wink, wink). I love reading, watching a good film, holidays in the sun, and spending time with my family. I write under L. A. Cotton – I didn’t want to use my birth name, but wanted something close to it!
2.       What genre do you predominantly write in? What drew you to that genre?
I’m writing NA mostly, but do have a YA WIP on the back burner. Over the last year, I’ve read a lot of NA and it’s a genre I enjoy and find easy to write (I think).
3.       How many books to you have on sale right now?
As of September 30th it’ll be one.
4.       When do you plan to have your next release available? Tell me about it.
Love’s Spark will be available December 9th. It’s book two of the Fate’s Love series and features  Sharn and Keefer from book one, Fate’s Love. A standalone novel, it is different to book one in that it features both the female and male POV’s. Without giving too much away it’s about two people finding out they have an unexpected attraction. Their timing isn’t the best, their lives are a little messy, and they couldn’t be more different… but sparks will fly!
5.       When did you start writing? Was it for fun at first, or did you want to write for publication from day
one?
I started writing at the beginning of the year. Last year was a pretty sucky year for me and my family, so I found myself reading. A LOT! It got to the point where I was spending far too much time (and money) one-clicking, so one day I had a brainwave… ‘hey, you could totally do this’. I didn’t know if I could – if I’d even be able to write a chapter, but 70,000 words later I had a novel. It sounds like the biggest cliché, but I honestly feel like I’ve found my calling.
6.       When you decided to write that 1st book, what motivated you to keep going?
The story, the characters, the words flowing out of me. It became my escape from everyday life and I have loved every second.
7.       Are you a planner or a pantser or a mix of both?
A mix of both. I plotted Fate’s Love, but wrote it in a very chaotic way (chapters all over the place). With Love’s Spark, I outlined a little and then just started writing. My latest WIP has been a blend of the two – I’ve found some chapters a total surprise – the way they’ve just written themselves, but others I’ve had to work harder at.
8.       Who is the favourite character you have ever written? Why?
Probably Ethan (the main guy from Fate’s Love.). Everyone loves an Alpha, but those old school romantics don’t get enough attention in my eyes. Ethan is the kind of guy every mother out there hopes their daughter brings home.
9.       Where do you draw inspiration from?
My life, my friends, my experiences, books I’ve read, films I’ve watched, total light bulb moments. Pretty much everywhere!
1.   What do you find hardest, naming characters or thinking of an overall title?
Ooh, tough one. I’ve recently had a character naming quandary, so I’ll go with that one.
Now for the ‘fun bit’…
1.       Would you rather have hands for feet or feet for hands?
Hands for feet, but does that mean I’d have feet for hands? Icky!
2.       If you could have written any book, what would it be and why?
Oooh good question. *Ponders* Possibly Lord of the Rings.
3.       If you had a superpower for the day, what would it be and what would you do with it?
Fly. Who wouldn’t want to zip off round the world for a day?
4.       If you could start on your writing journey from the beginning, would you do anything differently?
I would’ve started writing way back… like as soon as I could write, write. Now I’ve found it, I’ll always wish it was something I started earlier.
5.       If someone gave you an elephant to hide, where would you hide it?
In the bath behind the shower curtain, ‘cos that’s where you hide elephants, right?
6.       When writing, do you need total silence or background noise?
When I first started it had to be silent, but now I have soundtracks for each project I’m working on, it helps me get in the ‘zone’.
7.       You’re having a dinner party, and can invite 5 authors (alive or dead), who do you invite and why?
1.       Stephanie Meyer – I’m a Twihard (there, I said it) I have a few loose ends I need tying up.
2.       Amy A. Bartol – The woman builds worlds like no other and her Premonition Series is one of my favourites series EVER.
3.       Kathy Reichs – I read her books pre-Bones (the TV Series) and again, I have a few questions.
4.       Shakespeare – does he count? Anyway, the guy’s a legend.
5.       J. R. Tolkein – Hello, anyone with that kind of imagination is bound to hold a great dinner conversation.
8.       If you listen to music, do you have a specific CD or playlist, or do you live life on the edge and shuffle everything?
I have playlists for different projects, as well as an overall ‘writing’ playlist.
9.       If you could have the experience of reading a book for the first time, which would it be and why?
Inescapable, Amy A. Bartol – I just love this series. The first meeting between Evie and Reed (sigh), the tension, the description, the world building… she just drew me in and kept me there. I can re-read this series time and time again and it doesn’t get old!
1.   Who do you fangirl over? (Doesn’t have to be an author)
Honestly? I don’t tend to do the whole fangirl thing. I ‘admire’ lots of authors / celebrities / actors etc. and follow them / their news, but that’s about it.
Finally…
What are your top tips for aspiring writers/authors?
If you want to write then write. And the write some more.  And share your work with others, get critiques, feedback, and advice from others. Be precious about your work, but be open and receptive to feedback. Social media (whichever platform you prefer) is vital, and remember what works for one, doesn’t necessarily work for another. There is no magic formula in this business (but if you know one, let me know).
Can you tell us (and maybe tease us) about your latest WIP or next release?
My latest WIP is the first book in a new NA College series (which has four planned books). Here’s a little sneak peek:
Chastity Falls: Book  One (unedited and subject to change)
© L. A. Cotton 2014
I hurried to the window and cracked it open. Jackson wasted no time stepping inside and I backed up to the other side of the room.
“Ana, I-”
“You lied.” I said, cutting him dead.
“Let me explain. Please.” His voice pleaded. This was my Jackson. The Jackson I’d spent the last month getting to know.
I hugged myself tight, trying to create some kind of barrier, or hold myself together… I wasn’t sure.
“Everything is so fucked up.” His voice came out calm, but with a defeated edge to it. “I wanted to tell you. Since that first night…”
My head whipped up, as the memory came back to me. “It was you, at the orientation party. You saved me from Braiden.”
He nodded, his lips pursed. “I wanted to tell you… but it changes things. It always changes things.” 
Give us all your social media links so we can all stalk you (legally and pay you money to do so)
What are you hoping to gain from attending the signing in Birmingham?
To meet some author friends and make some new ones. To meet readers, and maybe gain a few new ones. To build my confidence as an author, but mainly to have an awesome time!!!
Thanks for taking part and I wish you lots of luck and oodles of cash at the event. See you there!
Thanks for having me J

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