Then&Now: Inkpopper of the week.

Back when I was on inkpop, every week, they had inkpopper of the week – they’d interview a person online and it was really cool. It’s been four (what the heck?!) since I was innkeeper of the week and since it was the week of my birthday, so I thought it would be fun to do a then and now type thing.

inkpopper of the week interview


This was junior year of high school. I’m now a junior in college.
“I’m sixteen going on seventeen, until Wednesday (the 17th), then I’ll be seventeen going on eighteen! I’m a junior at my school, I live in Texas where the weather is the most bipolar thing on the face of the earth, I’m in two AP classes, and I walk my dog every night, well, almost every night.”
And when she’s not walking her dog, or digging her way out of the pile of homework her AP classes require, Laura (akatennisketter) is doing what she can to leave a mark on the literary world via her series about Cassie Dreandry.
★ You just received a gold star for your inkpop project The Assassin and are awaiting your review from the HarperCollins editors. What is going through your mind right now? How does it feel to have made such an impact on inkpop?
THEN |Laura: Nervous. It took me a while to get up there, but I’m excited to finally have succeeded. I’m anxious to see what my editor thinks I need to work on and what I’ve got going right, and I’m most certainly excited for it. I totally think it’s crazy that a story about a teenage killer can get a gold star, but crazy things happen every day, and I’m thankful for that.
NOW | Laura: It still blows my mind that this was four years ago. Way to peek at 17, Toeniskoetter. No, but for real, both this story and I have done some major growing up since then and I’m really happy with both sets of growth.
★ The three projects you have on inkpop – The Assassin, Revenge of the Rossetts, and Secrets Revealed – all center around character Cassie Dreandry. What is it about Cassie that makes you want to continue her story as opposed to moving on to something new – a new character, etc.?
Then | Laura: Cassie was my first character, and I hand write all of my books first. When I finished the first one in eighth-grade, I didn’t know what else to do, so I wrote another one about her. Her story has evolved so much in my mind that I’ve still got seven more books to write about her. It’ll be really hard when I finally write the ending to that last book because Cassie and I have been through a lot in the past few years, and I think that’s why I keep writing about her.
Now | Laura: Wow, Cassie is still my first character, but all of those books have changed. The first one is the only one that’s still somewhat the same. I still do have ten books planned for the series – they’ve just all changed a bunch!
★ What makes your writing unique? What sets it apart from other inkpop projects and books that have already been published?
Then | Laura: I don’t think most people would come up with the idea of a teenage assassin, then again,

Me now. Err, well, three weeks ago.
Me now. Err, well, three weeks ago.

I’m not most people. I think what sets it apart is how Cassie’s two worlds are so totally different and then all of the sudden these worlds are forced to co-exist. The hiccup scene at Lorriane Benson’s house is a really good example of that. I mean, have you ever thought about what happens when assassins get the hiccups while on a mission?
Now | Laura: Ahh, the hiccup scene. Man, I wonder if I still have that. Now, what makes my writing different? I’m publishing to a market that is 90% or more romance books, and the 10% that isn’t certainly isn’t mystery based. High fives for creating a book market, yes?
★ All three of your inkpop projects fall under the general fiction/adventure/mystery genre…would you say this is your favorite category to write? Would you ever contemplate writing within a different genre?

Then | Laura: Mystery is my favorite genre for sure. I love the suspense but hate it at the same time. And right now, I’m actually hand writing a romance book, so it’ll be interesting to see how that turns out without a mystery to be solved!

Now | Laura: Mystery is still my favorite genre to read, but the funny thing is, I don’t actually read a lot of mystery. I watch a lot of true crime TV shows and I read a lot of romance, chick-lit books because romance is something I. do. not. understand. And I still never wrote that romance book. whoops.

★ What is your favorite place for thinking and why?
Then | Laura: When I walk my dog. For twenty minutes a day I have nothing but my dog, my iPod and my walk to worry about. Last year I wrote the last book in The Assassin Sagaand all of my major plot points, I came up for them while walking my dog. I get to let my mind just run free while I walk her.
Now | Laura: well, now that the dog is still back home and I’m not, I’ll be honest, I get a lot of my ideas and do a lot of plotting in class. Whoops.
★ If you had the chance to star as a character in any book what book would it be and why?
Then | Laura: Um, I’d have to say Em Watts from the Airhead series by Meg Cabot. I read those books having chills down my back, it was an amazing story and I love Em’s thoughts and the way she handles things.
Now | Laura: Stephanie Plum. One reason: Joe Morelli. Also, I love that book series. That book series and I are the same age. Yet Stephanie has found a way to not age and who doesn’t want to not age after the age of thirty?
★ If you could have a dinner party with five of your favorite authors who would they be and why?
Then | Laura: Janet Evanovich, she has humor and mystery in all her books and I’m always laughing out loud at the crazy schemes she creates; Meg Cabot because she writes really good, lighthearted stories that make great books for when you’re in a bad mood; Philippa Gregory because she writes amazing historical fiction; Rhys Bowen, because she’s also great at historical fiction; and Richard Castle, because who doesn’t like Castle?
Now | Laura: You know, I really actually like that answer. Let’s keep it.
★ Do you hope to make writing a career; or do you have other aspirations?

 Then | Laura: I’d love to be writing as a career, but I’ve grown up in a home where I’ve learned to have a back up plan. I really want to do something in the law field when I get older. I’d be a lawyer, but law school has no appeal to me.

Now | Laura: OKAY! So, true story: two months after this interview came out, I took a forensic science/law enforcement class in high school and I soon realized that I have more fun writing about crimes than actually working them. So, now I’m a public relations major. At one of the best criminal justice schools in the country. That has to be a weird full-circle kind of thing.

★ What do you think makes good writing?
Then | Laura: Knowing your plot and characters is a really good start, and being able to know what works within your writing style. Basically, I think knowing your own writing style is the best way to know good writing. You have to know what works and doesn’t work.
★ Who is your favorite character(s) in any of your work and why?

Then | Laura: Probably Cassie because I’ve known her the longest and I know her the best. Cassie is a lot like me, so I can relate to a lot of the stuff I put her through.

Now | Laura: Obviously, Cassie still. But very close to that is Connor. You’ll meet Connor soon enough.

★ What’s on your fall/winter reading list?
Then | Laura: A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway; The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald (both for English AP); Royal Blood by Rhys Bowen; The Red Queen by Philipa Gregory; Wicked Appetite by Janet Evanovich. I read a lot of adult books, and AP books.
Now | Laura: I don’t actually have anything specifically on my list, but I know that Christmas break, I’ll be cranking out books left and right because I read all the time during breaks.
★ Anything else you’d like to add?
Then | Laura: I’ve got a new book going up in late January, so be sure to look for that! It’s called Snatched.
Now | Laura: Snatched is still hiding somewhere in the deep abyss of my computer’s hard drive.
Pop, Pop, Pop! Rapid Fire Questions:
★ Favorite ice cream topping? Chocolate chips. // SPRINKLES.★ What’s on your iPod? SHeDAISY, Sara Evans, Miranda Lambert, LeAnn Rimes. // This one really hasn’t changed. I mean, all these people/groups are still on my iPhone.
★ Hidden talent? Good dog walker? // Certified klutz?
★ Favorite cartoon character? Kim Possible! // This hasn’t changed. My phone makes the Kimmunicator sound.
★ Favorite vacation spot? Grand Canyon. // D.C. – we went there the summer after this interview, and being the political junkie I am, I was in love. That, and The Assassin, takes place there.

Well, funny how things change and things don’t change. I really loved reading all these old answers!

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