Author Interview: Lani Woodland

October 22, 2010

Lani Woodland is the amazingly talented and extremely friendly author who wrote Intrinsical. The novel is her debut and it has been receiving glowing reviews! Ms. Woodland and I have become very good friends over the past few months, and I am so excited to present this interview for everyone to read. Her answers are great to read and I hope you all enjoy learning more about her and her writing!

Who or what inspired you to start writing?

You know I’m actually not sure. I remember my sixth grade teacher telling me my creative writing was good. My mom is a really talented writer. She didn’t do it other than for fun but she is good with words. I think the idea of actually getting a book published was probably inspired by my sister who is also a published author. I took the picture on the cover of her book too. 🙂

How did the idea for Intrinsical originate?

I first came up with the idea for Intrinsical because of the television show X-Files. One of the episodes was filmed aboard the Queen Mary, an old Ocean Liner that is now a museum/hotel in Long Beach. My husband and friend Melonie and I decided it would be fun to go explore the ship after finding out how close it was to us. I had never been on an old ship like that before and I fell in love with it. The whole place was rich with history, like walking back in time.

While there, we learned that the ship was haunted. It wasn’t hard to believe at all. The first class swimming pool was eerie. It was the kind of place where you kept looking over your shoulder because you felt like you were being watched. As I stood there with X-Files on my brain I wondered what kind of adventure Mulder and Scully would have on the Queen Mary.

I came home and wrote a novel length fan-fic. Fan fiction in some ways is easy to write because you have the backstory, mythology and characters all ready for you. All you have to do is write the adventure of the week. After I wrote it I wondered if I could alter it so it wouldn’t be about the X-Files anymore but about different people. It took many years for me to getting around to doing that. About two years ago I dusted it off and looked it over. I saw a flicker of potential. I was really only able to use a few scenes and even those dramatically changed. But the underlying plot ideas were unchanged and a few scenes have an echo of the original idea.

Did you do any research for the Waker mythology, or is it your own creation?

The thought of making my story fit into anyone else’s mythology sounded too daunting so I created the Waker gene myself. I didn’t want to have to fit my vision into any pre-existing molds. I guess there is a reason I write fiction. J
4. What was the overall element you wanted to express with Intrinsical? Fun! I wanted to write a book I would enjoy reading. I sort of rolled all of my favorite things (murder mystery, ghost story, with a touch of romance set at a boarding school) into one story. My goal was to have people pick up my book and just have a good time reading. I hope that happened.

Do you plan on continuing Yara’s story?

Yes, I’ve already begun working on the second book. I think today I finally understood what the book is going to be about. Let’s hope I’m right. 🙂

What has your journey to publication been like?

Painful; filled with highs and lows. Every time I sent out a query letter, a partial or a full (even if I knew it would be rejected) I got excited and no matter how hard I tried to prepare myself I was crushed when I got rejected. In the words of Anne Shirley (or at least in her movie self), “I can’t help flying up on the wings of anticipation. It’s as glorious as soaring through a sunset… almost pays for the thud.”
There were lots of times I considered giving up. I would allow myself a break and it didn’t take long before I was willing to take whatever suggestions or criticisms and apply them to my book. I’m really glad I kept at it.

As a writer, what do you hope to accomplish?

I love creating characters and stories and I hope I’m able to keep sharing them. I also hope to grow as a writer, and help others who might feel discouraged keep their faith in their writing. If I can do it, anyone can.

What do you love most about photography?

I love capturing moments. Posed pictures are great but the in between moments is where you really capture the mood of an event, the undercurrents of a relationship and the personality of a person. Once, my friend noticed that I created a story behind every picture I took. I was going through the pictures I had taken of her and her husband playing a guitar and I was like, “It looks like this is your first date; you went on a picnic and he was trying to win you over with his music.” In the next one I said, “It looks like he’s struggling with his music but you’re supporting him.” I didn’t realize I was doing that until she pointed it out. For me, photography is another form of storytelling.

What are three to five things your readers may not know about you?

1) I once booked a non-refundable trip to New York on accident and it took me two days to confess it to my husband.
2) I talk really fast. I could rival the micro-machine man.
3) My husband and I dated one month before we got engaged, and were married four months later. We’ve now been married for sixteen years and have two beautiful kids (13 and 8).
4) My favorite song is Fire and Rain. They played it in the movie Running on Empty, and I connected with it the summer my brother died.
5) I’m gluten intolerant and I’m very grateful for Betty Crocker’s gluten free cake, cookie and brownie mixes.

I would like to thank Lani Woodland for taking the time to answer my questions and for providing beautiful examples of her photography! If you would like to read my review of Intrinsical, it can be found HERE. To learn more about Ms. Woodland, her writing, and where you can connect with her, please visit her OFFICIAL WEBSITE.

(cover image taken from Barnes and Noble’s website and author image taken from Lani Woodland’s official website)

  • Reply
    October 22, 2010 at 10:42 pm

    Great interview! Inspiring! I’m going to go get that book right now! : )

  • Reply
    October 23, 2010 at 1:01 am

    I loved her interview. I love knowing where authors get their ideas. I also love how she uses her photography to tell a story. Sounds like an awesome book and I can’t wait to see what else she does.

  • Reply
    Leanna (Daisy Chain Book Reviews)
    October 23, 2010 at 12:46 pm

    Great interview – I can’t wait for Intrinsical #2!

  • Reply
    Sera Phyn
    October 23, 2010 at 2:51 pm

    I can trip tell you from first hand knowledge that Lani is a great writer and I’m so excited to see her work out in the world at last! Everyone who is a fan of the young adult paranormal genre should pick up this book!

  • Reply
    Aviles Family
    October 23, 2010 at 7:59 pm

    I loved the book! It was fun, so she definitely succeeded there. I am anxiously awaiting the upcoming novels she is going to write, especially about Yara.

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