Where you live: Normal, IL, USA
What you do as a vocation or avocation? Systems Manager by day, fiction author by night. I spend my day job in the high tech world of computer systems. When I get home I reserve some energy and creativity for my fiction writing. My fourth book, Preacher Man, was published in January – an inspirational romance about a woman recovering from a difficult divorce who falls in love with a minister – something she never pictured for her life since religion wasn’t a regular part of her upbringing. It’s a powerful story about forgiving yourself for the mistakes in your life, so you can open up to the redeeming forgiveness of God.
Your two favorite books: It’d be easier for me to name two of my favorite authors, rather than narrow it down to actual books. The southern author Pat Conroy writes my favorite books in the world – so rich and emotional and full of beautiful language. And I’d have to say J.K. Rowling is my second favorite, for the sheer inventiveness, creativity and magic of the world she built.
Your two favorite songs: Again, artists, not songs. Billy Joel’s probably my all-time favorite musician, followed closely by Elton John.
Why you are interested in spirituality? The whole idea of a greater being, a heavenly Father who created us, helps us and loves us, has always intrigued me. Day to day life can be tough, and I’m grateful that we have help and guidance from someone much bigger and more knowledgeable than ourselves to get us through.
Your favorite quote: “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15
Your favorite web sites: Well, my own, of course! http://www.authorlaurielarsen.com/ – this is where I promote my own books, as well as keep an active journal on the writing life. I have a constant book giveaway contest, photo albums and other fun stuff.
Also a great resource for romance writers, in particular, but all writers in general: http://www.passionatepen.com/ . I refer to it often.
And a blog I’m occasionally a guest on: http://twrpclimbingrose.blogspot.com/ It’s a blog for teens who love to read. My next book, coming out in July is a Young Adult novel, The Chronicles of Casey V. This is the blog for authors of my publisher, The Wild Rose Press.
Your hero? My hero has always been, and continues to be my mom, Carol Parlette. She is a loving and kind soul, and seeks to do good in the world. She’s fun, she’s generous, she’s selfless. She’s a wonderful role model, not only as a mother, but as a woman, a Christian, and a friend.
A spiritual lesson you hope to learn? Patience with others, especially when they do the opposite of what I’d do!
A place in the world where you feel spiritually “connected?” I feel most spiritually connected when I’m surrounded by music. I love instruments and vocals that make my heart soar with the beauty of the lyrics and melody.