Several months ago I created the League of Comedy Fantasists a hodpodge group of writers joining forces to share works of comedic fantasy and light fantasy with the masses. Currently, the group is supported by 4 members, including myself, and I hope to see it grow in the near future. But in the meantime, I’m interviewing each member (except for myself, duh) to give you more information about them and highlight what makes them a unique asset to the group.
Today, we’re spotlighting Lara Willard: Editor, designer, wife, mom, and of course writer. As the wearer of all those hats, Lara brings a lot of creativity as well as professionalism to the group. She hosts the blog Write Lara Write in which she sponsors an editing workshop in edition to other awesome services to writers. She’s also active on Twitter and Facebook. For the most part, she chooses to use her powers for good rather than evil. I’m so glad she’s one of us!
Without further ado, here’s Lara!
Lit Chic: What inspired you to write light and/or comedic fantasy?
Lara Willard: My favorite things to read or watch are both funny and inventive. I want to be amused and inspired. Comedic fantasy is especially inventive. My favorites are character-driven and to-the-point. I love The Princess Bride, Stardust, The Once and Future King. I also like comedic films with touches of magic.
Lit Chic: Tell me about your work in progress. What’s the inspiration behind it?
Lara Willard: WORLD SONG is complete, but I’ve been overhauling, hacking off bits and soldering on others. The problem with being a perfectionist is never being able to stop revising. That’s on submission with agents now, so it won’t be available any time soon. Let’s talk about my new, shiny books that might see the light of day sooner!
Lit Chic: Awesome, tell me about them!
Lara Willard: I have a couple I’ve been mulling over, both graphic novels. One is a retelling of an underrated classic, Lorna Doone, and the other is a high-concept fantasy for pre-teens—spoilers! I’m hoping to have both completed within the year (I’m writing the scripts, not illustrating), but it depends on what happens with WORLD SONG.
Lit Chic: What made you decide to become a writer? Was it a decision at all?
Lara Willard: Pretending. As an actress I could become anybody else. As a writer I could become multiple things at once. I love escapist works. Me too!
Lit Chic: What kinds of books do you like to read. Who are your favorite authors?
Lara Willard: I read a lot of Neil Gaiman **Fist bump!** simply because the man cannot be pigeonholed, and his work is always inventive and funny (see above). I’m a really omnivorous reader, so when I’m not reading comedic fantasy, I’m reading mystery, adventure, historical, or literary fiction. The only thing I don’t read is straight-up romance. I’m not a fan of those tropes outside of a 2-hour movie, and my favorite stories are either slow-burning love stories or happily-for-now endings. I love graphic novels.
I have thirteen thousand pins on Pinterest, and I had to create a new account to highlight my favorites of everything. But my favorite books and movies are listed there.
Lit Chic: What is your favorite part of being in the League of Comedy Fantasists?
Lara Willard: It’s always nice connecting with people with a similar sense of humor.
Lit Chic: What do you hope to get out of this group?
Lara Willard: I’m excited to get to know other writers and readers in the genre. I’m always looking for book recommendations, and soon I’ll be looking for readers! Keep me in mind!
Just for fun!
Lit Chic: Describe yourself in one word:
Lara Willard: Uncontainable. If I got two words, I might say “walking contradiction,” or steal “relentlessly middlebrow” from J.H. Swanson. (He gave me permission)
Lit Chic: What is the most random thing you’ve ever done?
Lara Willard: I’m almost pathetically never spontaneous. I tend to weigh consequences and examine things from every angle before deciding to do something. But sometimes that only takes half a second, or I just don’t care, like when I downed an entire tube of spray cheese on a dare. (I dare you to see how many mini donuts you can fit into your mouth)
Lit Chic: Say you had a time machine … where would you go and what would you do while there—er—then?
Lara Willard: As a woman, I wouldn’t want to live in the past. And while I’d really like to hang out with Andrew Jackson, because he was insane, or high-five Cleopatra, or hug Aristotle, or spy on Shakespeare, I’d probably go to midcentury US and get fitted for a whole wardrobe of 40s, 50s, and 60s dresses, and then come back home.
Lit Chic: Coffee or tea?
Lara Willard: Spiced Chai with a spot of milk. Me too! **Fist bump!*
Lit Chic: Describe your writing process:
Lara Willard: Depends on what I’m writing. Short fiction, I just write blindly. Other stuff, I need a plan. I start with character, then dialogue, since that comes more naturally for me. Then I work in everything else.
As for routine, I can’t write every day. I have to let my writing stall for a while. I watch a lot of movies and television, read a ton, and then I unkink the hose and let the words flow all at once. I’m a binge writer. Partially because I have terrible short-term memory, partially because that shuts up my internal editor. Lara’s an editor, BTW.
Lit Chic: Besides writing, what else do you like to do?
Lara Willard: I have two small children at home, so I don’t have much time for anything else right now! When they’re in bed, I watch Netflix, read magazines, or play a game with my husband. I’m a graphic designer, so I like anything visual. I also love to sing. A friend and I cosplayed as Anna and Elsa for a birthday party and sang a few songs for the kids. But being a mom is my 24/7 job.
Lit Chic: If you could have one super power what would it be?
Lara Willard: I’d be as awesome as Agent Peggy Carter.
Lit Chic: What is your philosophy on life?
Lara Willard: That is a very deep question! Short answer: I’m a disciple of Christ, so I strive to live like him, treating humans with empathy and respect regardless of background, loving sacrificially, and getting really angry when I see people being taken advantage of. I respect that. Go get ’em!
Lit Chic: Any random thoughts at the moment?
Lara Willard: There is no emotion that cannot be adequately expressed in GIFs.
That’s all! Hope you enjoyed getting to know mah girl Lara. Connect with Lara on: WordPress, Twitter, Tumblr, and Pinterest. And if you think you’d like to become a member of the League of Comedy Fantasists, send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re an open group that’s somewhat selective but it doesn’t hurt to inquire.
Happy Monday, everyone! And don’t forget to stop by on Wednesday to meet our next member, Clive Mullis!