Do you have any hobbies?
I play the piano, consider myself an amateur photographer, and love to read, especially on the beach. I do jigsaw puzzles to remind me that sometimes walking away will help me see how things fit together, especially when I’ve overlooked something that’s right in front of me.
What is your favorite vacation spot?
I don’t really have a favorite vacation spot. I love to travel with my family, and all of us enjoy lakes, rivers, and the ocean. Swimming, fishing, boating, and lounging on the beach make the best family vacations.
If you were given a ticket to anywhere and spending money to indulge, where would you go?
I have always wanted to go to Ireland. My paternal great-grandparents immigrated from Ireland, and my grandfather passed on his pride in his Irish heritage to his children and grandchildren. Even my adult kids love that they are part Irish and plan to visit Ireland. If money and time weren’t issues, I’d love to spend a whole summer exploring Ireland and immersing myself in the history and culture.
Do you have pets?
I have two dogs. My mini dachshund is an old girl who mostly loves to sleep. My German shepherd is a Velcro dog that wants to be wherever I am.
What is your favorite color and what do you love about it?
My favorite color is purple. I love that there are so many shades of purple that I never get bored. Purple is my feel-good color and my signature color, too. I wear purple so often that my students sometimes say, “Mrs. Hervey, you’re not wearing purple today.”
What was your favorite book as a child?
My favorite book as a child was The Poky Little Puppy. I think I’ve always been a dog lover at heart. Plus, the poor puppy eventually learns that choices have consequences.
What is one thing about yourself you’d like to change or are trying to work on?
My house is never as clean or organized as I would like. I love order but find sorting, purging, etc. to be mind-numbingly boring.
Do you re-read books? If so, is there one in particular?
I definitely re-read some books. I love Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility.
Does pineapple go on pizza?
It’s not my favorite topping, but pineapple and ham on pizza create a mouth-watering option.
How many places have you lived?
I currently live in my hometown in western New York, where I have resided for most of my life. I spent 7 years in Meadville, PA, and am an Allegheny College alum. I also met one of my dearest friends, author Gloria Clover at a St. David’s Writer’s Conference many years ago. I also lived in Iowa for one year before moving back to my hometown.
What was your first job?
Like so many girls, my first job was babysitting. But my first “real” job was during my senior year in high school. I worked at a fast food restaurant that later became Burger King. I averaged about 60 hours a week, which of course, would be illegal now.
What is your favorite down time activity?
I love Hallmark movies. Knowing there will be a happy ending relaxes me, especially if I’m super-stressed. I also love inspiring movies about people who overcome what appears to be insurmountable obstacles.
What is one thing you’ve learned through experience that you’d love to pass along to others?
Don’t ever let anyone pressure you into doing something that your gut tells you is wrong. It might be right for someone else but still be wrong for you.
What books, other than your own, would you highly recommend?
I think every woman should read Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers. I love books that emphasize God’s grace, especially when a woman believes she’s gone too far for God to want her.
On to writing: what inspired you to start creating stories/non-fiction? How long ago?
I remember the exact moment that I knew I wanted to be a novelist. It happened in a class taught by my all-time favorite teacher. We were reading The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury—which is kind of funny because I write romance. My aha moment came when I realized Bradbury had created a whole world with words. My next thought—I want to do that—didn’t come to fruition until years later because unfortunately I had the crazy idea that only geniuses could write novels. It wasn’t until I took a creative writing class after I finished my BA in English that a wise professor told me that I’d never find my own voice until I stopped trying to write like Hemingway or Faulkner.
Can you tell us a bit about your path to publication?
My first published works were short: short stories, articles, poetry, devotionals, greeting cards, and opinion pieces. I would have preferred to continue with the traditional publishing route, but I felt compelled to indie publish my first novel, Scarlet Tears, so I formed my own publishing company, Alabaster Box Press, and now operate as a DBA.
Finally, please tell us about your books and add your website so we can find you:
I currently have two published books, Scarlet Tears and Light in a Dark Place. Both books are available through Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
Readers can find me at www.laurahervey.com or on Facebook @AuthorLauraHervey.