Jan. 11, 2023

Bookstagramming the naughty bits with Laura Nelson

Bookstagramming the naughty bits with Laura Nelson
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New year, new episode! This week, I chat with book blogger Laura Nelson, also known as Tangents and Tissues. Laura and I dig into how she ended up as a book blogger and bookstagrammer, her fave tropes and heat levels, and how reading is a form of therapy for her.  I loved recording this episode. Laura has been a massive supporter of my writing, and I wanted to point a spotlight on the incredible work she does for the author community. Laura, you are a star! xo


Connect with Laura online:







Elle 0:00
Now for something completely different. This is my first ever special Bookstagram or steamed scenes episode. And I am so excited to welcome Lauren Nelson also known as tangents and tissues to the podcast. Laura is an avid multi genre reader book reviewer book blogger known to go off on tangents, hence the name, cat mom, and on the wrong side of 40 Me too, girl. Me too. She's also awesome. So, Laura, welcome to steam scenes. I am so happy to talk to you in person.

Laura 0:35
Hi, thanks very much for having me.

Elle 0:38
This is wild. You've been like my Instagram friend for a couple of years now. I think you were like one of the first readers of my books.

Laura 0:46
Yeah, I mean, as soon as Sam the signup come through for heartbreak beat I couldn't say not quick enough. As soon as I read the synopsis, the fact that the sisters were no means off some of my favorite musicians. I mean, honestly, you had me from the I was going completely. So I was completely there.

Elle 1:05
Oh my god. Okay, so it was okay, so just so people who haven't read my books, which is probably like everybody that listens to this podcast, and Ellie rockstone Romance there. It starts with three sisters and we branch off from there, but their names are Nikki Jett, and Presley. And that's because they're rock star groupie mom named them after Nikki six. Joan Jett and Elvis Presley. And so that is hilarious that that's what drew you to the series.

Laura 1:33
Yeah. Well, I mean, I've been besotted with Nike socks, I think since I was maybe a bit seven or eight. So

Elle 1:42
did you see oh my god, it was a it was the dirt. It was their Motley crews. Yeah, okay, that was Molly cruise memoir into a Netflix movie. Did you love it? Because I loved it.

Laura 1:56
Oh, I can't even tell you how many times I've watched that. And it still gives me goosebumps every single time I actually do it.

Elle 2:05
And it's kind of one of those movies. That's kind of like a bad movie, but in a good way. Right. I mean, I don't really know how to describe it. Like it's over the top. It's corny as hell. It is still such a good time. And one of the best movies I've watched on Netflix. Yeah. Yeah.

Laura 2:21
I think my friends my best friend Angelina up have watched that repeatedly, together apart. And we always end up talking about it. But my mom actually watched it with me. You know, you know, the scene was told me in the ghetto and the party. I had to explain what was going on.

Elle 2:42
Was it awkward?

Laura 2:44
No, because we are really open we're probably too open with one another. There's things about my mother that I really wish I didn't know.

Elle 2:56
I kind of think that's a cultural thing though. I feel like UK people are much more open with their families and like a lot like it's like, here like it's like the Puritans escaped the England and came to America and continued the puritanical bullshit

Laura 3:17
because it's always just being my mum and I. I think, you know, maybe that's why we are the way we are. And you know, some people when they meet us for the first time can actually believe sometimes that we are with one another. And I was like, this is just normal, you know? To explain what exactly was going on there. I can't actually repeat what she said to begin with, because, you know, but I had to go into detail about actually what it was. And she was like, okay, okay.

Elle 3:52
I see you now. Did you watch? Oh my god, what was the other one Pam and Tommy, did you see that one yet? That's uh, no, I've

Laura 3:59
still actually to watch that. The reason why is my BSD wants to watch it with me and I just haven't been able to, like get over sort of to watch it certainly thing because like, my mom was like that. There's no way I'm watching that.

Elle 4:14
I've only watched one episode. I'm gonna admit I was a little in on the one episode, but a friend of mine who watched the whole thing, he was like, no, just keep watching because it gets really really good. And I was like, okay, and yeah, as But Sebastian Stan is frickin fantastic. He's really good. I was really shocked at how good he was. So, so it's definitely fun. And And again, like, sort of like, you know, a throwback to those sort of like wild hair metal party bands. Yeah. Yeah.

Laura 4:49
Yeah. Looking forward to watching it. I couldn't get over so we'll see how it goes.

Elle 4:57
So I'm curious. I'm guessing you've always been reader.

Laura 5:00
Yeah, I've really always been a reader, em back and forth, obviously, through my teens, I think, you know, I got away from it a bit in my teens, but then unlike my sort of early 20s, and things like that, I started reading again. And then obviously, my mum, like, I'll be honest with my mum, I care for my mum as well as working full time. I look after my mom because my mom's got COPD, and she had a stroke a couple of years ago. But maybe back in roundabout 2010 she lost weight dramatically, and she was gone for a barrage of tests at the hospital and definite things. And they actually thought at one point that it was born cancer. Oh, my God. And turns out it wasn't it was like another sort of immune disease seronegative polyarthritis don't ask me to repeat it, you probably don't want details. But anyway. I started reading really, like incessantly as I sort of therapy for myself. So like in my head and things like that. And really, from then, it just became an obsession that has grown. I think the best way to put it, it's like, for my sanity, I need to read as my form of therapy. So yeah, so that's it, because basically back in January 2010, when all this was going on my mum, woman different things like that, like we're on the cusp of losing our house and different things. And basically, mom couldn't work. So it was really like, Don't me, and I ended up off work for a month, you know, just stress and anxiety related. And I had my head like for that entire month, I will lift Laurel key Hamilton's I need to a cape league series, I love. Yes, I was completely obsessed with it. And it was actually I stumbled across a series by accident. And other friends had introduced me to JD Rob. And, you know, one of like the sort of like in between little novellas, I was looking for one of them in the series, and that was actually GD Rob presented with Laurel key Hamilton and Susan canard and Maggie sheen. And it was the it was their sort of introduction to John Luke. And that M Novella series that actually completely and utterly I was like, who is he? I seriously need to know more. And then obviously through that month, I became well acquainted visual and Luke, Anita and the rest of them and completely. Yeah.

Elle 7:42
Yes, because

Laura 7:42
he's so bad be so good. Like, if you in one hand, but you would like claim him like achieve another?

Elle 7:56
Well, I'm kind of like, I'm sort of fascinated by that. Because I don't think I don't personally don't think I write very good alphas. And I tend to not write them, my heroes are a little bit more beta, they're a little bit, you know, if anything, like the women tend to be a little bit more alpha. And so I'm like, I'm fascinated by the idea of crafting, that sort of, you know, so bad, but you still like he does these terrible things, but you still want to climb them like a tree, you know? And I'm curious, like, what is there like a dividing line for you? Like, what, what is that balance? As a reader?

Laura 8:32
I don't know what you have to see. You have to see behind the for kids, I think a little bit. Yeah, have to see glimpses of some good or you sad, just know that they're doing it for a reason. Or, you know, you need to see, I think you need to see a glimpse bearing this sort of armor. And you know, that whoever the, you know, whoever the is the the chink in that armor, I think that's the best way I could put it. Like, normally you see that? shining through, like, you see that with Anita and John look like, at the beginning, when they introduce, you know, it's all about the periphery. He's wanting something from her. But then you actually see that she's a chink in his armor. Because for the solace, heartless being, he's developing something that you never thought he could have for it, I think, you know, and it's that initial thing, you know, even like that initial sort of Kiss. It's like, you can actually, you can see, it's for dumb and I think that's what I love about those type of characters. Is that that one person, you know, that they never thought they'd ever come across or meet and, you know, they would sort of move mountains for that for that person. I just love that.

Elle 9:48
Yeah, it's like that fit, you know, well, in a way it has a faded mate stroke that she wrote with between the two of them, at the very least, right? I mean, she did what I feel like she did yeah, yeah,

Laura 9:57
yeah. Yeah. But it's the same. It's like Even Nicki and Dion and your books, like you're all campaigning, honestly, I could have smashed. Two years running my mom's to my mom's terms. I could have smacked his teeth then many times at the very beginning. But you knew you knew this fate and some inner turmoil and I think that was what kept kept me hooked because you knew that you know that she was that chink in his armor. And I think that's really what draws me in that she really wanted my catnip, things like that. Just yeah, if that got me. Okay, thank

Elle 10:35
you. Well, thank you for that. Because I honestly was like trying to write an alpha and feel like I failed. I was like, Oh, he's not douchey enough.

Laura 10:47
No, no, no, he was like, meet your douche. But you couldn't hit like in him either. And it's the same thing is we all like, fence i Oh, my God at the pathological hate for events. I mean, but that was obviously because you would only see events from one site. You were you weren't seeing like, obviously, you weren't, you didn't know all the other things that were happening. And I think that was you know, one of the things that I loved, like finding out about him and stuff. He's really just a really big softy who will do anything to try and protect those he loves. Even if it makes him look in the worst light possible. Yeah, yeah.

Elle 11:24
I loved events. He was fun to write. Yeah. But like, but again, like for that for his book, he was so not alfa, like, like, he was not he was not that guy. Right. Like, he wasn't the first couple of books. But then we got these books. Yeah, he wasn't that guy. You know, I think he could

Laura 11:39
be to that point, though. Really good. evolution as a character meant that he couldn't be that

Elle 11:45
he couldn't do that at all. But But yeah, I mean, like that. That was also I feel like, he's not really that alpha hero, either. One day, I'm gonna write the biggest deck, and it's gonna be great.

And I'm gonna be so excited. Because it's like, it's like bucket list at this point. But I just I'm like, I don't know, I struggle. I definitely, definitely struggle with that. Okay, so 2010 You're going through all this shit. And you know, and you're using reading as a way to kind of escape and take you out of your own head. When did you start blogging?

Laura 12:27
Properly only really a bit. I think tangents and tissues created a bit six years ago. And that's what happened was, I had toyed with the idea of rain reviews and different things like that. And then I had had gone to a book signing back in 2015. It was called, tattooed bad boys. And it was held down in Europe, racecourse, and I had got taught well, that's a whole other story. But anyway, oh, no, I don't know what you want me to tell you. It's great.

Elle 13:03
You can tell me whatever you feel like telling me go off on tangents.

Laura 13:10
tangents. What happened was a friend was made to go with me, but she rudely decided to emigrate to history or young. So obviously,

Elle 13:18
I'll see you later.

Laura 13:20
Also, am my mommy to me? Do you know what I want to see? But all those who has a bit with like signings and authors and different things. So I was like, right, okay. And I remember pulling up in parking. And I mean, I'm just going to ask you one thing, Mom, please do not embarrass me. She's like me. I'm just like, please do not embarrass me. She's like, my best behavior. So anyway, we walked in and everything. And she was like looking and obviously, you know, always busy in different things. She tangerine. She looked to me and she went, Oh, I'm so glad to know that, you know, the only parent. And I was like that Oh.

Elle 14:02
No, I'm curious. Was this one of those signings where the authors bring the models?

Laura 14:07
Yes. Cause Oh, yes. Yeah. What I do remember one of them had a very well known, tattooed model with them. Can you really see anything because you know, my mom really embodies me behind this wheel. And there was the one lone male author at this event. Oh, my. Yeah, yeah, I had been halfway through his book at this point. I wasn't too sure about actually going out and speaking to him because I think this was really only like my third domain or something at this point. And I'm still a bit nervy about approaching authors and, and speaking to them, because obviously, you know, authors to me are like rock stars. You know, I get a bit starstruck and different things and at that point, I was still a bit into means a bit go near them, but in all these promo packs and everything he If you saw his promo packs you wouldn't he had taped everything on my mom's wish list and what she finds attractive and I was oh, this is not gonna end well for me. And any any any promo packs he had his little dog with them like there's all sort of fluffy Bishan freeze so I got a few interviews or authors where they had at the time and had got guests from them because it's always always late to just bring something to tip Yeah and what I'd done was is like that was in two minds a bit grandiose table but it got some dog cheese because I thought well if I go then I can always like give him the cheese from anyway like yeah, so anyway like I'm walking about with my cat and different things like that in my mom's going he's quite quiet there's no diggin we're friendly and I'm going like that No no no it's fine stone or decided about whether we're going over and she was like that. She says Are we gonna be going to eventually I'd got fed up with estimated rate that's fine. No, considering the women had mobility issues this was before she This was before she still could like walk a little bit she like the sheets weren't and Mark at one minute and then the next thing we're in and she was walking at 30 miles an hour

Elle 16:17
she got her hustle on

Laura 16:21
during the slow sort of March behind our thinking this is not gonna end well for me. So anyway, I got to the to the table and all I heard was these are for your little dog in the event that so sweet of you thanks very much he actually gets more things for more cheats and things like that I do. Finally there was something I could give you and my mom and our son a few years younger

Elle 16:49
you like Earth swallow me now.

Laura 16:54
I just really wanted to die on the spot. So anyway, that you know the next I think 10 minutes and relief for painfully excruciating because by that point, you know, obviously we're still talking to me and definitely in talking about the book and different things and how to explain that you know, I was partway reading it and different thing but that point after I just wanted I wanted a break so there was no punishment area out to the side. And mostly the tables were refilled but there was this table with two co chairs at it. So I said to my mom I says I'll go and get drinks just go and ask the ladies that are certainly and if they would mind if we shared the table with the masses I said because one thing you'll find a bit less as Mama says no strangers here we all make friends and different things. So she went up to the table and she sat down and then we actually get introduced and the about actually bloggers themselves they work in Catalan Suzanne from M books lead beer so we ended up relaying the story to them at an honest to goodness I thought they were going to bring the police don't know how hard their life and they have been sort of book friends since then. And I haven't been here I've been talking to Canada but you know the want to do to rate reviews and different things like that. And she says you should because obviously at that point you know I've been talking to my friends and other people a bit the books I've been reading and given sort of verbal recommendations and deference was like that and she said you should put down you know what you're thinking and write about it and post it on Amazon and Goodreads and everything. And I mean I'm not too sure and what have you and after the event she actually emailed her and she she actually emailed me and she says well this is a go to how to write a review certainly thing and I thought right okay, I'm gonna I'm gonna have a stab at this and then I found an online site that was quite near to girdles. And the were often sort of review copies and return for for reviews. So I thought I'm gonna give this a bash. And the very first review that I posted to Amazon was for Janet Nisenson who became one of my all time favorites. I was fired her shattered book and I still remember that she actually made a decision that they're going into this year that she was going to step away from publishing she felt felt that retain you know, at the time was to step back she was keeping our books in circulation but she decided to step back from it and it just always remember that you know that she was the first of you that I'd ever written. And then obviously you know, I got to know you know other people and appeared for an inch, an indie author for a while when I was still doing reviews and then I yeah, that's appeared for Karen fairly for a little while she was an indie author. And I've done that and it had been made other book friends and different things. In fact, one of my affair tutors my American bestie Morgan, and she we became friends through Yes, Carter's reader group on Facebook. And we used to, like, just go back and forth and Morgan was posting reviews and different things like that. And she said, you know, us actually just should start your own sort of you start a blog page. I don't know. And then it was like one of those things was one night I was falling asleep and I thought tangents and tissues.

Elle 20:15
Did you have to wake up at like

Laura 20:19
system organises? I think I'm gonna go for it. She says, No, you should, you should. And then that was basically home, I started off as like a Facebook page. Sort of, that was whole tangent Satoshi started.

Elle 20:32
Okay, all right. Because you, I know, like you to the, I really love your reviews, I really dig your style. You know, like, you know, like, it's because it's not that traditional, you know, this is the book, this is why I like it. Like, it's really, it's, it has, like, your reviews have a lot of energy. It's like having a conversation with you, you know, because you always like put things in there, like, you know, like little asides, like, you know, whispering or, you know, like, I just absolutely love your style. It's so engaging to read your reviews,

Laura 21:03
awesome. But I just feel like to me, I don't even know how, how that evolved. But I had when I just started writing reviews, I found that if I had decided to rate them as if I were speaking to somebody that that was easy, easiest for me, and then obviously would get the snippets and in my MODAF thought processes and things like that.

Elle 21:29
Those are those are great, though.

Laura 21:33
And then I thought, You know what, I'm just going to own this, I am who I am. And I'm just going to go with it, you know? And yeah, that's me, I suppose.

Elle 21:43
And you also do these really great for Instagram, too. i They must be on Facebook, I'm mostly on Instagram. So that's where I really feel us to

Laura 21:51
be honest, we kind of moved away from Facebook. I started on Instagram alongside Facebook, but I was so daunted and, and intimidated when a freshman on sort of Instagram and iPhone Bookstagram. And, you know, all these people were really awesome edits, you know, really do the pictures with the movement videos and different things and things and I thought, you know, that's not me, I don't and then I come off it because it and then every time I went on, it was me bit scared again, so they don't come back off again. And then I thought, then, over time, I just started playing a bit with pictures. And I started doing like, say ups. And I thought, you know, I just started playing a bit. I want a theme, my review picks around the book and the things in the book that means something to me, which has turned into a bit of a Bookstagram prop habit but

Elle 22:46
well that's the thing though it they're so cool. And at first I was kind of looking at it going, you know, Are these like online elements that you're putting together in Canva? And then I realized oh my god, she's actually like, you're actually creating these flatlays Yes, you know, with little items and it is amazing. It's amazing. That was so cool. And they're so unique and they are so personal with like all the little bits that you're that you put into it. I absolutely love I love your photos

Laura 23:17
my latest purchases I've included toy wooden shield and sword

Elle 23:26
some of this stuff I mean I will say though there's a lot of there's like a lot of shit out on the internet that you're like I didn't know I could buy that.

Laura 23:34
Like honestly the main things that I go searching for and it's like you know that we really think to yourself or that would make a good prop and then you think yourself there's no way that I'd be able to find something like that

they're like oh, look at that. A friend visited and I come up behind the sofa with a sword and shield and she went Do I even want to know probably not.

Elle 24:04
So you're like on your living room floor doing that like yeah, like I'm kind of curious about your setup.

Laura 24:10
Yes, I do have a person I am I call it the staging area. But I've got this staging area behind the sofa. So if you walk in our living room, everything looks neat and tidy. You look behind this or phone it's an absolute right. Of I've got I've got like all the different sorting property elements in sort of, you know, like the boards, message boards and different things and black boards you name it, I've got it it's just it's an absolute right and I bought a ring light so that I could like the pictures and things in my mom's. I call her my Photographer's Assistant because something she needs to hold the light just

Elle 25:00
I'm curious. Well, it looks fantastic. And I know I'm always like you need to do because, you know, for authors, right, like we're supposed to be on Instagram and on Tik Tok, and like, you know, and doing all of these engaging things and doing cool stuff with our books, and I'm just like, I'm like, I don't know what to do. And I'm always like, I have no idea what to do with this book. And, you know, so it's like Canvas, my friend, but I, you know, like, I need to do like, I should get the whole setup. And I'm always like, Wow, maybe I should buy one of those boards and do the thing and get some lights. And I did have a ring light, and then it broke. So now I'm like, oh, no, I gotta get another ring light. And my office is teeny tiny. So I don't have a lot of room for all this stuff. So that's the other part of it. I'm like, Oh, God, it's it's a lot. Yeah, it's actually a lot.

Laura 25:50
I had bought trunks. He's been called bundle beauty trunks, especially to store the the Bookstagram props, because I kind of am asked quite a lot. But I've actually grown them. So they're just like, every week.

Elle 26:09
I mean, I guess it's, I guess it's like, it's like crafting, right? Like, this is your craft. Yeah, this is what you do.

Laura 26:15
Yeah. And I mean, I would actually argue with anybody and say, I don't have a, you know, an artistic sort of bone craft and bone in my body. But then we'll look at your pictures.

Elle 26:26
I don't Yeah, do that up. But no, you're so good at it. So yeah, totally. Do you know how many reviews you've done? Just out of curiosity?

Laura 26:38
on Amazon, I've posted 536. Yeah, but that's actually quite small compared to some reviewers that a no. Yeah. How many of you

Elle 26:51
how many books? How many books do you read a day or a week or whatever? Do you even count? Do you have a count? Or?

Laura 26:57
I don't know. I do keep a written update. Like these little logs that I post on Instagram. It's mostly for me because sometimes I'll eat my back in all that relate to log what I'm reading and things like that and have a little a record of it. Yeah, on average, I can read maybe between Well, last month was a bad month but that was really because I work in things so we only read eight books last month but on average I would say I read a bit 12 books a month. Oh my god

Elle 27:27
slowest reader, I am the slowest reader so it will take me weeks to get through one book. And you know, I'm really like, I'm really one of those 10 minutes at a time. I usually read before bed, which is probably the worst time for me to read because I always fall asleep. And I usually end up flipping the pages of my Kindle while I'm sleeping. So like I'm like five pages ahead and I'm like I don't remember I don't remember being there and then I have to flip back and usually the five pages most of it is in highlight because I've ended up high like what the hell just happened?

Laura 28:00
Thank you that they're strange breed that actually. When I go to bed and read actually read myself a week. I don't I don't it doesn't tend to make me drowsy when I read when I go to bed. And I wish that

Elle 28:15
was the case with me because I'm like I just get so like I just I just go I just pass out

Laura 28:23
Yeah, no, I'm not like that at all. Yeah, so

Elle 28:28
well, because this is steam serums I'm you know, we have to talk about sex. No, we don't have to We really don't know I don't want to talk about it. But you knew what you're getting into you. First of all, you do read I know you read outside of the romance genre.

Laura 28:47
I do. Yes.

Elle 28:48
But mostly romance is romance or go to or like Do you have a go to genre?

Laura 28:54
Don't focus woodblock blind that I was a paranormal romance, girl. I mean, that's really weird. When I first started seeing different things it was like Loki, Hamilton Nalini Singh, Chloe Neil all those types but then obviously 50 shades had done so inquisitive nosy person that I am we kept wondering because I don't have a candle at anything at this point. I think it was just the first book was actually had just been released in paperback because of the the huge bag you know. And I read the first book and I remember certain and the coffee with my friend after reading the first one and obviously you know how the first one ends? And I was like that did I don't think I can wait 12 weeks for a book to to be released. I need to know what happens. And I was like that she's like that 12 weeks is fine. It'd be it for the paperback What's wrong me and I mean, like, I can't I don't think I can actually bought my first Kindle because obviously desperate to read the second one. So as I knew what happened, because I don't know what happened, and I think that was I would hesitate to use the word but that was kind of like the gateway book to find in and other indie authors and different things. Because I think back at that point I found like God Allah Malpass it Kristen proby Abbi Glines those were all my sort of Og ones at that point but obviously will retain you know that they're involved until it finds and like other ones and then obviously during this time I was still with leading lights of JR Ward case like all that type of thing and it was like the heat level kept going up and up and up I didn't really have any boundaries and then I found I can't even remember how I found it but thankfully Lauren Dean absolutely adored her Nana fade Lake see bleak and masters and missionary CDs not just me I was gone I remember one night said like obviously because then my Google has to be must have been really funny because I kept googling things because I'm like I've got no idea what this

Elle 31:13
is am I am I five and my six but what is it in the UK on my five or am I say am I

Laura 31:25
sort of BDSM terms and stuff I'm like And I remember sitting watching I think it was Miss Jessie's with my mom and it was the American version Mr. Season it was really one of them actually ties the one of the guys up you know my pronunciation is probably completely wrong but is it Shibori or something they're they're rotting time and I was like you're you like oh no no I did a long run I'm stepping my team going yet ship it my main pardon

oh my god I was like a little bit my mum know that the first module eight you're going to the first ones at most are going to be I was written a book. I've written a book oh my god, that is fantastic. My mom says I'm a font of untapped knowledge because she says she said she said she's convinced there's nothing I don't know when it comes to

Elle 32:33
oh my god nevermind Bucket List of meeting you. I need to meet your mom you guys need to be together. Oh my God, that's Oh, man. Oh, that's funny. Okay, so obviously like you like the high heat.

Laura 32:56
Yeah, yeah. But I mean, the host to be or it can't be for no reason if you understand what I mean. Yeah, yeah, there needs to be between the characters there has to be a connection and it has to play into the story. It has to mean something and all that back in the back in the day, you know, sounds old and decrepit. But you know they had the Lourdes cave and all that sort of thing and that yes, yeah, I wasn't really interested in anything like that. I had to actually mean something. But I mean, to be honest with you when I was like 1516 I used to read the black lace novels um, so always is always had to mean something whenever

Elle 33:38
I don't think I know the black lace novels Tell me more.

Laura 33:41
But black lace was a bit like him historical naughty books I suppose was a bit of a sweet put them I don't know if if they have them.

Elle 33:54
I want to leave that like a Milson

Laura 33:57
sort of or action or I can't even remember like, I know like Mills and Boons don't do them back. years ago, but yeah, they were like coldly like least quickies and different things that that my friend and I we used to actually we used to smuggle them and stuff like she would buy them and I would smuggle them in the house. My mom was there watching. My mom was the look into them back in the day, so Oh my

Elle 34:32
god. Yeah. Okay, so I just googled them and it looks like it was definitely like a UK thing. So that's yeah, I don't know about them. Okay, got it. Yeah. Okay.

Laura 34:40
But, um, so yeah, I used to read them but I do like I do like about a space and a lot of space.

Elle 34:52
Grad grad.

Laura 34:55
Yeah, I've got a friend like she just can't like she's actually I met her through solid books. So RAM and she cheerfully leaves MIT. She's a bit of a prude. But she says she, I think I'm slowly sort of breaking down our defenses. Yeah, but I guess I was like that, you know, she felt that it wasn't a stimulus what I was expecting from the reason some of us I mean, yeah, it was like, wasn't it really spacey at all was and things like that, but yeah, I did he's such

Elle 35:29
I'm wondering what the like, what is the steamiest book you've ever read?

Laura 35:35
That's a hard one. Do you have general whose books I love for Steam Nike slogan?

Elle 35:41
Okay, and what about what about like what is she? What is she doing that so like that is like really grabs you?

Laura 35:50
Well, the Nashville CDs the Nashville neighborhood CDs so in the first book, it's the doctor. So it's like a age gap in between the Doctor Who and his son's ex girlfriend, and there's like a 20 year age gap. And it's about how he she said basically only she's like a beast and um, I think that's the best way to describe it. But she has like her sexual awakening when she was like, although she had a sexual relationship with like when she was going with the sun. He though doesn't really do anything for it or if he understands what I mean. But this spark this need that this spark in each other, and they go on this sort of sexual awakening and he gets to live out these fun fantasies for Harling here weakens things in our and I just I love that. But it's also to do with the connection as well. I'll always go back to the connection, I need to feel that between the characters, and I really love that one. And then obviously the next one in the series is called the pool boy, and it's up again, but it's reversed age gap. She's older and He's younger. And that is just obviously, you know, what, what was it my mum used to see when she was 40? If I can't get one at 40 year old to 20 year olds will do so I suppose. That shouldn't have probably said that. But anyway, but it was that whole that whole thing in that but

Elle 37:28
okay, so what? So, obviously, then it's the emotional connection in addition to whatever is going on physically that sort of grabs you. And you know, do you think you can get that and sweet though?

Laura 37:40
I don't know.

Elle 37:46
Okay. I'm wondering Yeah, yeah, no,

Laura 37:50
I do. Yeah, no, I do. You can get that sometimes. And sometimes I think when you experience the sort of space are the steam with a character. You connect with them on a different level? I don't know. I don't know how to explain it. And probably you're not talking saints. But I do like, well, clean reads or sweet reads as well. You know, I'm not opposed to that. I don't know, just like space.

Elle 38:25
Which, you know, we're, we're a high heat zone over here. So that's totally cool. But I do find it intriguing When authors can write that sort of intimacy, but there's absolutely no sex going on. You know, that to me is like, Oh, how do you do that? You know, some of them do it. Well, some of them. But some of them I will say a lot of them. You just are kind of like kind of aching for them to do something about Yeah.

Laura 38:50
Yeah. Do you know who who doesn't really realize nor rumors? She can say so much without them actually. physically connecting? Yeah, I've never known she's got such a way with words as well, when they actually do have those sorts of scenes because obviously she doesn't go into graphic detail though she so but she's got such a way of actually making the characters connect. And when you experience that with them, you know, because I love our euphemisms. They're always so good.

Elle 39:22
Yeah, I agree with actually haven't read a Nora Roberts in a while. And I probably should go back and look, because you're right. She does do that really, really well as she conveys that sort of intimacy but she does not go into graphic detail.

Laura 39:33
No, no, she doesn't. But she doesn't like obviously, when you get to those scenes, you know what's going on, but she's just got this a way of weaving it. Yeah. And the sort of energy that she brings to the scenes is, like no one else I think.

Elle 39:50
Yeah, no, I completely agree with that. I completely completely agree with that. By the way, I meant to ask, Do you have a favorite trope

Laura 40:00
Yeah, paranormal activity. No fact actually don't ask me that. That's really bad. Because I'm like, I've got such I'll be Rockstar romances and paranormal romances are like my go to, and if you max it to them, you know, I'm dead.

Elle 40:17
Oh, that's good to know. That's good. Because, you know, I started as an urban fantasy writer.

Laura 40:22
I knew I don't Lotito oh my god

Elle 40:32
and like the joke is my characters either fight or they fuck like

Laura 40:42
Yeah, but no. Such a noisy period. Well, I think that's partly the whole thing of like how far you become like an author or whatever, like, I will research and try to find information on back lice and different things. And yeah, I tend to, as my friend says, I can get a tad obsessed with things. I think it's a very common problem.

Elle 41:10
But I know when I started writing, I was so petrified to write those sorts of steamy scenes. And I can write a fight scene in about, you know, seven minutes like I can write 1000 word fight scene, and absolutely no, it takes me no time. But when I get to those steamy moments is like put on the brakes. And it really slows me down. You know, but there are sort of similarities I think between writing the fights and writing the sax because you also have to combat convey a lot of emotion through the fight scenes. You know, usually so anyway, just sort of like interesting with with your paranormal and then you want to paranormal rock stars. And I'm like, I could probably do that

Laura 41:59
I'm one of those ones just like when you get to like the steamy scenes is real. But you know, sometimes, and the scenes you're trying to work out what's going on for you, as you're like, and apparently I'm with my hair during when I'm reading those scenes because, like my mom says she can actually see me trying to work things.

Elle 42:19
Well, the choreography like I've had, I've had like, similar problems with writing fight scenes and sex scenes is all of a sudden you're like, wait, we wait, there are too many hands here. Where'd all these hands come from? How many legs? What What

Laura 42:37
are like certainly like to get from one scene, one bid to the next and you're thinking but hold on, they're still being pants. I'm confused. I

Elle 42:44
didn't want to do that. When I do that. It's so because sometimes it really is so hard to keep track. And you're like, you know, or or the other thing that I do a lot of is I change characters names mid book. And so and so and sometimes it doesn't correct all the way through. So that's another

Laura 43:07
one a few features before though.

Elle 43:10
I know not everybody picks them up though, which is hilarious. But yeah, like so it's sometimes I'll just like screw up, like really screw up a name every once in a while, which kind of sucks. But what do you

Laura 43:21
do? People forgive you for that?

Elle 43:25
Oh, I hope so. I hope so I feel like romance readers are a little bit more forgiving than urban fantasy readers that they were a bunch of hard critics.

Laura 43:33
Well, they can be. Yeah.

Elle 43:36
Yeah, it was a little it was a little tricky. I'm wondering how you choose what you're going to read.

Laura 43:47
It really depends on if I've signed up to review anything or that although I am kind of a stepped away from saying no, not for tours and things like that. I'm only doing it on the odd occasion. One because I feel bad or faint. Because I'm with my mom's health and things like that I can't plan for or not feeling well, or things like that. Sometimes things happen. And I can't let anybody down and always feel really bad. And my friend did say to me, but you know, they'll forgive you because they'll always love your reviews anyway. And I mean, but no, I feel bad because I just think you know, you've committed to doing something you should do it. But normally, like, depends on if I'm reading something and then I'll maybe spark something in me. Like my friends had been asked me for ages to read. And a Hacketts Hills Quad Series. And I was like, yeah, yeah, I'll put up my TBR there on my TBR for ages. And she had him she kept saying please, please do that. And I was like that, right? Okay, so then like last April, I started the first book and I became obsessed. Like I literally lead one after the other. But then I got to Nico in the book, which then made me think of your Nico So had to go back and read your nickel and then go back to the series. So that's, I am I am so like, honestly, it's like, I'm like dog out of out of up sometimes. Like it's the whole squirrel thing. Like something like shiny and I'll go off and then I'll go back again. Honest honestly, or I'll go through like shortly some gorge myself on a journal for a little while I now think right I need to read something else. You know, I do read I do read crime, thrillers like crime and thrillers in between like, yeah, please proceed you procedurals I can read. I've read a couple of really good ones. completely obsessed with gr holidays Monica Kennedy series di Monica Community one because there is a Scottish author and to a love meal writing a female protagonist because I always think how does he get Seder here and things like that. And it's based just outside Denver near Syria and the third books due out next month and his second book I swear to God it gave me the complete and utter release of a certain with a light oil in my bedroom at two o'clock in the morning because I couldn't sleep because he completely not only like frightened the bejesus out of me and I thought I'm never going up I never driving an unnamed route in Inverness ever. I don't care Siena my mum never never driver not one of those I named roads back roads ever.

Elle 46:31
Oh my god I'm getting this series. I love crime I love crime and thrillers like I absolutely love reading them and it's I really want to write one but I don't think that I can they're so interested shoot

Laura 46:43
you could but it's not even the fact because obviously each books are definitely keys but you've got Monica story and I think in the first book I kept thinking she's hiding something she's hiding something and then obviously in the second book but we're learning more about her but we don't we'll never we don't know everything she we know that she's got more to tail and then obviously the third books coming out and I'm just I am completely am completely obsessed. And in what in my other favorite police procedurals as the grease the grease was a name that's terrible I'm forgetting the name we can sorry I'm just curriculum

Elle 47:25
no go God Google away just like making little notes we can

Laura 47:38
get up Yeah, I started it's just coming up just know.

Unknown Speaker 47:42

Laura 47:48
as you're told to go faster Yeah, the grace McAllen series are just providing I couldn't remember use the same name. And that's absolutely terrible. But Peter, sadly passed away at the beginning of the year, and actually the pleasure of meeting them the year before, like COVID came. And yeah, it was it was really sad. But he he's an was an ex police officer. He worked with a National Crime Agency and different things. And he wrote this DCIS McAllen series, and I just loved the whole fact that he, you wouldn't know read in that book that it was a male author, right, and a female character. And I love the humor and it was very Scottish with the humor, quite dark in different things like that. And I just Yeah, I just absolutely loved that series. And you you'll be sadly, sadly, most

Elle 48:47
Yeah, I mean, how do you how do you finish the series at that point? Or is it one of those that might go unpunished?

Laura 48:53
I am well, it was opening Didi had he had released you know another book six months before he passed away. But it was like a quiet. It was a soft releases. He said when he messaged me, because he actually sent me a copy of the last book. Because he'd obviously let me know that it was on it was unreal, and things like that obviously didn't go into detail. But it sent me the last book. So it only So did they torch there. It sent me the last book in the post and obviously, you know, you've done that book, but the way the series was like it could always been picked up again. Right, right. But there was closure at that point. But yeah, he was really good because obviously these all these experiences everything come through in the book. And yeah, it was just like really funny. It was more to Edinburgh base but he did come through this way and one of the books because he had a story set in Barlinnie prison. And I just, I just found always find when you're laughing at something you probably shouldn't be laughing at but I just I love that out. And it's just the whole human of the sort of criminal on the road and different things like that. But as Peter said, himself, and those types of scenes if you couldn't laugh, even in real life at those types of things, then you better go in slightly crazy with what you were dealing with.

Elle 50:16
Yeah, yeah, absolutely. I think that's where I feel, you know, people that have that lived experience, like I forgot, like, I feel like wow, oh, God, is it Karen slaughter are like one of the there's a author that does crime thrillers American author, and I can't remember now who it was, but she was actually a she was actually in forensics, I think she did. Autopsies. You know, that was like, and she and so she wrote a character, it's not Karin Slaughter, but she wrote a character that is, you know, forensic does forensic autopsies. So like that was, so she was able to sort of incorporate her day job. And I think, you know, Michael Connelly's Bosch series, which is like one of my favorite crime series, partly because I love the way he writes about Los Angeles. You know, just just his the way he writes about the city is so extraordinary, but he was a crime reporter. So he had a lot of like, inside information about the LAPD that he's able to sort of take to his books. And I'm just like, I like, I know, like, I can write the backstage stuff of like, you know, Hollywood and rock'n'roll because I live that experience. So it's sort of like to have, you know what I mean? So I'm like, I would love to write a thriller. I've no idea what a you know, I don't know how to do it. But I do think that there's a little something extra, there's a little there's a little something. You know, I don't know, there's just a little something extra when people have that lived experience, and then they and then they, they write their fiction.

Laura 51:49
translate it into their books, I think you can always tell, you can always tell when you're reading a story, if the author's had that experience, or or, you know, left it, for some reason, that just seems to echo off the page, I think, you know, brings another dimension, another depth to the story and to the characters. Yeah, definitely. Yeah. And I

Elle 52:13
don't know that you could do like, you know, I mean, obviously, you can research and you can do and a lot of authors do do extensive research. And, you know, and they do it really, really well. But there is something to have that absolute, you know, that absolute experience that just is like you're just like, oh, yeah, okay. Yeah, yeah. And it gives it a little.

Laura 52:33
It just, yeah, it definitely brings just something extra, I think,

Elle 52:37
yeah. Do you find that you gravitate towards authors that are writing about Scotland? Like, is location important to you?

Laura 52:46
Yeah, I mean, I don't really. I wouldn't say that. Every day. Nice. Scottish authors normally carry more authors. I don't think I think apart from Samantha Young's WCF series. I don't think there's like him. And then Karen Francis, she was an indie author who sadly passed away from COVID. She, she had like a Scottish romance series and all that, but I don't know. I don't tend to, to read ones that are based here. I prefer written about elsewhere.

Elle 53:18
Okay. Oh, that makes sense.

Laura 53:21
Thank you. A bit sort of feels weird, because I just think to myself, that doesn't exist here. Yeah, that totally makes sense. Yeah. I've never seen it. If I did that example. Was that walking along Tokyo street? You know, it's that type of thing.

Elle 53:41
Do you ever not finish a book?

Laura 53:44
I have a past pathological he'll he have do not have DNF in a book? I don't know. Ideally. Yeah. I think even if it's killing me to actually finish it, I will try and finish it. I will always play on my conscience the fact that I've never actually finished it. Mm hmm. I don't know why. I'm trying to go over that. Because I know life's too short. And there's like other books out there. But I don't tend to I think it probably is because I've not it's not really happened to me many times. And I think that's because I tend to sort of gravitate towards things that I think are well, like, a couple of times I have sort of went out beyond what I would normally pick up. And that's normally when I've encountered the problem, the problem. If you don't try it, you're never really going to know why you so I think to myself, you know, I will I will bash to see how I go.

Elle 54:42
But well, I'm curious if you've ever changed your mind. Like if you've gone through the you're like I can't finish this and then you've changed and then I you know I'm gonna power through and then at the end of it, you're like, Oh, I'm kind of glad that I did finish that.

Laura 54:57
Yeah, a couple of times. I have actually li not peered through at that point that maybe read a couple of chapters and put it down and thought, right? No, I'll leave it. I'll come back to maybe it's just me. Maybe it's just the way my head species out at the moment. And then I've gone back maybe a couple of months later or something like that. And I've done it. And it's turned out to have a star for me, which is like, really weird. And I know it's all to do with where my headspace has been at that point in time. Yeah, oh,

Elle 55:27
because, yeah. Okay, because I'm kind of am curious about that. So you do because, you know, in my day job, I've worked with a lot of critics and stuff like that. And I've always contended that if they're having a bad day, they're probably not going to like the work. Yeah. And you know, because I do think headspace is a big part of it. And so I kind of love that you said that?

Laura 55:46
Yeah, no, I definitely. I definitely, with a copy of that. Just before Christmas. My mom hadn't been the real Tibet stay speedwork indefinitely, things like that. I don't wait to my go to authors. And, and no, nothing was nothing was happening. And I was getting to a bit the 20% mark and thought, no, no, no, no. And then I picked up a completely different genre. It was historical, historical romance fiction, which I don't, well, I've seen I don't really read a lot have been kind of obsessed lately. But I picked one of those up. And I thought, Oh, this was absolutely finished it like I struggled maybe for about a week trying to find something to read, actually a murderer who said that I felt like all the locks to have actually picked up that. I thought, Oh, this is just right. This is what I needed. And I knew it was all to do with headspace. Because actually went back and read those other two and completely loved them.

Elle 56:43
Interesting. So I love that you're so aware of that, though, that you're just like, Okay, I'm in the wrong headspace for this, and I'm gonna go and find something that's going to work with my headspace and then come back to it. Because I think that that's, I mean, that's really beyond fair, frankly, you know, especially with, you know, independent authors, you know, always struggling to get that, you know, to get the readers and the readability. And so any like, you know, reviews and Bookstagram stuff, you know, like, that all helps, you know, so I love that you're willing to sort of say that and say, Wait a minute, I'm going to step away from this to give them a fair shake.

Laura 57:13
Yeah, yeah. I just I don't feel that it's, it's fair, sometimes, you know, and I think to myself, Is it me or whatever. Sometimes I do struggle with how something is written. If the it doesn't flow very well, for me, I will some time struggle to connect or engage with the story. But sometimes that you can find it, you see that with the evolution of an author, let you go back and you love their first stuff. But then you've maybe like 10, or however many books later. And you go back to the first one and you think my goodness, she can actually see the change in it. But if the if the floor, sometimes the floor stopped me. And sometimes I'll have to take a couple of goes at it. Or something. Or yeah, the floor has to be or the way it threatened has to take it out means we'll find or that can sometimes impact how I sort of eat up the story if you like.

Elle 58:14
Yeah, and I love that you brought up that sort of idea of reading later into a series and actually seeing the author develop because as much as we develop our characters we, at the same time are developing as as writers and developing our own skills.

Laura 58:29
Yeah, you can definitely see the second after the end of the day, isn't it? You're continually learning and you fought? You did the first book won't be what you're doing your 10th book? I don't think

Elle 58:41
I completely agree. Yeah. Yeah. No matter how many somebody Yeah, yeah, well, I was gonna say it's like, no matter how many craft courses I've taken in books I've read and everything else. The there's I never I never seem to approach to the books in this really the same way because I'm always trying something new or trying to see if this works better for me.

Laura 59:00
Yeah. Like how do you tell me my yearly reviews? I have written I cringe but I thought that was me at the time. You know, my style has changed since then. Just let it go. So anything? Yeah, just a prediction perfectionist with things. That's the Virgo. Totally.

Elle 59:22
So are you are you now solely reading into authors or do you read a mix?

Laura 59:27
No, I read a mix sorry. I need to mix between Trad and indie. It really just depends am I I adored Mills and Boons I'll make no bones about it. You know I absolutely adore Mills image obviously it's the harlequin in America. But I absolutely adored them and I do a lot of fame. reviews and things from them. Yeah, I like the dead the the no longer do the DRM print anymore. I mean, that was great. I was quite distraught when the disability ticket because that was obviously the steamy ones. And they were they were very very very steamy and really spacey and I mean, like I've got a lot of auto buy authors now through redone that imprint. But obviously they have their own to some of the other lanes now as well. But it but obviously they started doing like the specials. So they've got Eva Lee. She'll do like series through them as well. Tessa deer, obviously. Yeah, that's my historical showing. No, but I picked them honestly up until a couple of years ago where they really need a lot of historical romance. But for some reason I've become slightly obsessed along everything else.

Elle 1:00:42
What changed your mind about historical Do you have any idea

Laura 1:00:47
sorry about federal go through there. Am I don't know. My mom says it's been I have 40

Elle 1:01:00
Thanks, Mom. Oh my god. That's hilarious. So Laura, where can people connect with you? Where can readers connect with you online? Where's your favorite place? Sorry,

Laura 1:01:14
I'm going to take a call from fat. Oh sure. See the more you try not to cough you always cough

Elle 1:01:26
I know that you you get caught out. Yeah, but I can totally edit that out. So don't be sorry about that. It's fine. It's totally fine.

Laura 1:01:36
Yeah, we can be just kidding me. I am on Instagram mostly. I would say Instagram Facebook, I am on Twitter. But I do have a website. But I'm completely literally I take full without you started. So it's kind of up like Okay, so

Elle 1:01:57
just pointing to Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. And I'll have those in the show notes so that people can go follow you. Cool. Laura, thank you so much for doing this. It was so great to talk to you.

Laura 1:02:10
I'm sure to bored you to tears.

Elle 1:02:12
No you did and this was such a fun like super like super interesting conversation for me to have with you know somebody who's not a writer and sort of talk about like, what are the levels you like what you're reading what what brings you to the box what brightly you know what interests you on the books like no, I think it was really it was really great to talk to you.

Laura 1:02:33
Yeah, it was lovely to speak to you. I hope we get to do it again sometime and in person next time. That would

Elle 1:02:39
be awesome.

Laura 1:02:43
Too to you need to M try

Transcribed by https://otter.ai