Laura Michelle Thomas is an author and professional copywriter and ghostwriter. She has been mentoring young writers in workshops, camps and courses since 2007. More recently Laura formed a communications company through which she fosters the development of young writers worldwide through quality contests, conferences, blogging, books, and educational resources. She has been kind enough to give us an interview about her book Polly Wants to Be a Writer: The Junior Authors Guide to Writing and Getting Published.
The Speculative Daily: Can you tell us what this book is about and who you wrote it for?
Laura Michelle Thomas: Polly Wants to Be a Writer is a YA fantasy novel based on the materials I used to teach an eight-week short story workshop for young writers in which the students go from having no ideas on the first day to a fully polished short story of no more than 2,000 words that is ready to submit to a publisher. Several of my students have gone on to publish the stories they wrote during this class, and what is most helpful to them is walking with me step-by-step through the writing process: from idea to formatting and submission. Readers will be able to do the same as Polly, a fifteen-year-old wannabe writer struggles with the same issues.
TSD: What inspired you to write your book?
Laura: Not what, who. I talk to aspiring young writers, writing teachers, and parents with talented literary kids every day. Everyone needs realistic advice about becoming a professional writer. I simply cannot help them all individually, so I wrote a book that will.
TSD: What was your biggest obstacle during the writing process? How did you overcome it?
Laura: Time and space. Writing a novel on speculation (which means that you work on your book for almost a year and have no idea if you will sell a single copy) is very risky, so I always put my paid writing work first. I had to make a choice this year to put my novel first. I have to remake that decision every day. Hiring a talented team of young freelancers to help me serve my copywriting and ghostwriting customers was a really smart thing to do.
TSD: What advice do you have for writers who are thinking about writing a novel?
Laura:If you are serious about getting a book into reader’s hands, be realistic. Are you really ready for a major project? Have you had success publishing and getting paid for smaller pieces of work? If not, try that first. However much time and effort you think it is going to be, multiply that by ten. Also, be sure that you understand the different stages of the writing process. They are all different and will challenge you in different ways. Knowing your inner dragon (that voice in your head that tells you that your writing sucks) and how to use him will truly help if you do decide to tackle a big project like a novel.
You can buy Laura's book 'Polly Wants to Be a Writer' from