LAURIE: I’m so glad you could join us today to talk about your new book and your writing journey. First, can you tell us a bit about your book and what inspired you to write this story?
LAURA: It’s such a pleasure to be here—thank you! The Glass Bottom Boat is a Christian romantic suspense novel, the first of three books in the “Flight to Freedom” series. It’s set in Jamaica, and that’s exactly where I first got the inspiration for writing it. We were on a family vacation and had decided to take a trip on a glass bottom boat on our last day. But when it was time to go, there was a huge windstorm preventing any boats from heading out. I was so disappointed!
But it stirred my imagination and I began wondering what terrifying things could happen on such a boat, and that—coupled with my fear of drowning—gave me a protagonist, Madison Grey, who would be forced to face her worst nightmare.
“When Madison and Luke meet at their siblings’ wedding in Jamaica, emotional walls are sky-high. But the connection intensifies as a stalker stirs up haunting memories of Madison’s ex-fiancé. A kidnapping. A ransom. The chase is on.”
LAURIE: And is this the first book you have coming out with Anaiah Press?
LAURA: Yes, it’s my sixth traditionally published book, but the first with Anaiah.
LAURIE: What led you to publish with Anaiah Press?
LAURA; I was discovered by Anaiah at a Twitter #Faithpitch event, where they liked my initial pitch for the book, and asked to see the entire manuscript, and ultimately offered me a 3-book deal.
LAURIE: What draws you to writing romantic suspense as opposed to straight up romance or romantic comedies?
LAURA: I enjoy the suspense element in stories immensely—it adds another page-turning layer that gets the heart racing. As a writer, it can be quite challenging to keep the intrigue heightened sufficiently throughout the book, and I do love a challenge!
LAURIE Are there any authors who’ve influenced you in your writing? Do you have any favourite authors?
LAURA: I certainly have favorite authors in Christian fiction, and I’m sure they have influenced my writing to some degree—especially Colleen Coble, Dee Henderson, Terri Blackstock, Kristen Heitzman, Dani Pettrey, and Francine Rivers.
Angela Hunt encouraged me personally at a conference with regard to writing for multiple genres. And I have to mention Louisa May Alcott, because Little Women has been my favorite book since I was a little girl.
LAURIE: How long has it taken you to get published?
LAURA: That’s a REALLY long story. My first book was published in 2012, and that was after submitting my manuscript to a few different publishers over the course of around 18 months. But for The Glass Bottom Boat, it has been a 5-year marathon! I started writing it in 2013, and it has been pitched, revised, submitted, re-pitched, accepted by an agent, re-submitted all over the place, returned by the agent, pitched again and finally accepted.
Other books have been published in the meantime, but we just had to wait for God’s perfect timing for this book baby to be birthed! I think it was worth the wait.
LAURIE: What advice would you give to other writers trying to break in to the Christian market?
LAURA: Be patient. Be persistent. Be prayerful.
LAURIE: What hobbies do you like to do when you’re not writing? Anything else you’d like our readers to know about you and your work?
LAURA: When I’m not writing, I enjoy traveling, reading, ZUMBA fitness, singing on A worship team, baking, sporadic ballroom dancing and snowshoeing—and eating chocolate. My husband and I are now empty nesters and our three grown children are all living away, so we make the most of any time we can spend with them. Much of my writing inspiration comes from my family, my travels, and, of course, my faith. And then there’s my crazy imagination, which tends to run amuck when it comes to my fiction…
LAURIE: Where can your readers find you on social media?
LAURA: All over the place!
You can also find the links on my website at www.laurathomasauthor.com
LAURIE: And finally, how long do we have to wait for your next book?
LAURA: Not long at all, actually… The Lighthouse Baby is being released on May 7!
LAURIE: I'm looking forward to having you back here in May to hear all about that release as well! For now, here's your gorgeous cover for The Glass Bottom Boat and the back blurb for our readers:
Surrounded by the romantic paradise of her sister’s destination wedding in Jamaica, Madison Grey realizes she must overcome her paralyzing fear of the ocean—and her broken heart— to start living again. Luke Alexander, the groom’s brother, is a missionary who has come to terms with a life of singleness—until he meets Madison.
During the wedding, their personal connection intensifies when a stalker stirs up haunting memories of her gold-digging ex-fiancé. After Madison mysteriously disappears and the newlyweds receive a ransom note, Luke dives into action to find her. Will he save Madison in time or will she be forced to suffer her worst nightmare… in the depths of a glass bottom boat?
You can buy the book here: www.amazon.com/Glass-Bottom-Boat-Laura-Thomas-ebook/dp/B07PGKCJQW/
About the Author:
Laura is a published Christian author with a heart for inspiring and encouraging readers, especially in her romantic suspense, teen fiction, marriage, and children’s books. Laura is a chocoholic mom of three, married to her high school sweetheart. Originally from the UK, they live in Kelowna, B.C. as audacious empty-nesters.
I'm a military wife who's raised two wonderful special needs children to adulthood. We've lived all over Canada and are still on that journey. When I'm not writing, I can be found spinning, knitting, and hanging out with my dogs.