Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Finalist #4

The fourth finalist is Laura Hughes:

1. Tell us about your book:
A sorcerer is bent on wiping out shapeshifters, particularly dragons. The FBI's shifters are running out of time to stop him before he kills again.

2. Why do you want to attend Backspace?
Why wouldn't I? It's an incredible opportunity to learn, connect, and share with writers, agents, and publishers. It's probably a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for me.

3. Are you afraid to eat lunch with a Shark?
Not afraid of the Shark, just wary I'd be served a bucket of chum. If you call it "sushi" I'll probably be okay with it.

4. West Side Story: Jets or Sharks?
Since I'm a Pasty White Girl, I'm stuck with the Jets. I wouldn't want to fight the Sharks, either. Can't we all just get along?

5. If you could save the life of any one fictional character, who would it be and why?
Lucy Westernra, in Dracula. Poor silly girl. No one noticed she was succumbing to the monster until it was too late to save her.

6. Is there a book that makes you think "If I could write one thing like that, I'd die happy."
Perfume, by Patrick Suskind. It's creepy, haunting, and original. I read it in one sitting fifteen years ago, and I've been slightly squicked ever since.

7. What's the most terrifying thing you've lived through?
Hurricane Andrew. Please don't make me talk about it. I'd need a lot more than 25 words to convey the horror and anguish of it.

8.When you're published, what will you do to Pay It Forward?
I wouldn't ask my agent to read 410 manuscripts for a contest! *wink, wink* I would help other writers navigate the shark-infested waters, though.**

**for the record, the contest was MY idea, not Liz's. 


Susan Colarullo said...

Congratulations, Mittens! It was a great honor to have my query critiqued by you. My critique of yours must seem kind of sweet and strangely misguided right about now.

Go, Thalia!

Brent Stratford said...

Congrats Laura. Wow. If your novel is dripping with as much voice as your answers it must be awesome. I look forward to participating in the Laura Hughes Pay it Forward Contest. That is, if you can find an agent crazy enough.

Jessa Russo (Stadtler) said...

Yay! Congratulations, Mittens! I keep waiting to see if one of our little makeshift query groupers has made it! I'm so happy for you and can't wait to witness your journey to publication!

Lanette said...

Congrats, Laura! I laughed over the Lucy comment.

I never heard of PERFUME, but creepy stories are fun, so it'll go on my reading list.

M.V.Freeman said...

Laura- congratulations!
Now I want to read that book "Perfume". :-)

Anonymous said...

YAY! You're a finalist! Like Jessa said, so exciting to see that one of our makeshift query group made it to the finals. :)

Best of luck, Laura.

Brandi M. Lynch said...

Congratulations! Your story sounds like my kind of read! Good luck in the finals!

Dana said...


Wow, I was over the moon excited when I did my daily A.M. blog check and read your name. Speaking of which . . . I did a little cyberstalking and found the 411 on your work. I'm sold!

Please, please, pretty please tell me when (not if, but WHEN) you publish, because I'll be in line to buy a copy!

Congratulations and all the best of luck!

Dana :)

Ann Landsberger said...


Angelica R. Jackson said...

Congratulations--is it Laura or Mittens? Either way, good job on catching Janet's eye and great answers!

Amanda said...

Yay!! Congrats! Im not surprised based on what I've read about your book. So happy for you!

ProfeJMarie (Janet Rundquist) said...

Yay Laura (or Mittens)! :D

I'm sorry about the hurricane experience. Nature does an excellent job of flattening us when we least expect it.

Lee Kelly said...

Congratulations, Laura! Your book sounds like a lot of fun (and I loved your Lucy answer)!

Chro said...

Wow, this reminds me of Kim Harrison's urban fantasy series, in which case I'd probably love to read it. Good luck in the contest, and congratulations for becoming a finalist!

elizabeth norris said...

Congratulations Laura! I think the Shark is a pretty big fan of sushi :)

Sarah said...


Hurricanes, ick. You must be from near my neck of the woods. Not fun times at all!

Julie F. said...

Congrats Laura! I was a child when Andrew came through and it didn't hit my area too bad, but Gustav did and Katrina devastated my friends and family so I can sympathize with the horror and anguish.

Lanette said...

We don't get hurricanes where I'm at. We get tornadoes. 13 at once a couple of weeks ago.

Lisa Gomley said...

Congratulation Laura!

Great answers and with every book described, I add another shelf to my TBR bookcases. I never heard of Perfume but along with yours, and the other finalists, it is on the list.

BTW...I only saw a brief comment on the makeshift query clinic. I will go back over the postings. Are you still doing it?

Good luck!

Chro said...

Funny, I can't find any of the old posts involving the 'query clinic' either.

Is the Shark devouring old posts as a means of hiding the evidence? Laura didn't act/sound like she was a finalist after the first couple were posted. Perhaps this is a hint that not all the finalists have been alerted yet?

How very... curious.

(WARNING: Overactive imagination and desire to make the finals may lead to paranoid tendencies, wild conjecture, and dry mouth.)

Judith Gonda said...

Mittens! Congrats! Your story sounds fab! I always agreed with all your comments on contest posts and they made me laugh (when that was your intention, of course).

Chro, you're not the only one still holding out hope. I'm channeling Jim Carrey:
while editing answers for finalist questions in my file labeled "Pretend winner answers." (Hey, 10th place is still winning, right?)

Laura Hughes, MittensMorgul said...

Thanks, everyone!

First of all, apologies to the Shark for implying that she didn't think up this kind of writer-torture on her own. *tip of the hat*

Susan: I don't think my query critiquing skills are all that, and I'm grateful for any set of fresh eyes to give feedback on mine. Especially fresh eyes who've tried to write their own queries and realized how impossible it is to distill your entire novel into a catchy 200-word blurb.

Re: Hurricane Andrew: I was 18, just moved out of the house, and my mom had to evacuate to stay with me (farther inland). Basically, my childhood was washed away overnight. I left Miami shortly thereafter. It never felt the same to me.

Chro: Thanks! Kim Harrison is a favorite read of mine, too.

To everyone who reads Perfume: A warning: it's super-disturbing. But excellent. Unusual, and pointless side note: The Nirvana song, Scentless Apprentice, is based on the novel.

Thanks again so much! I'm in scary-good company in the finals. I can't wait to see who is revealed next!

LN said...

Congratulations, Laura!

The Writer Librarian said...

Loved your answers! My uncle had a beautiful garden before Andrew ripped it to shreds. That hurricane was such a tragedy. :(

SiSi said...

Congatulations, Laura! I love shapeshifters (well, stories about them--not sure I know any personally) so I look forward to reading your novel.

Brooke said...

Congrats, Laura!

DeadlyAccurate said...

Congratulations! Your book sounds very interesting. Like SiSi, I like shapeshifter stories.

Bonnee Crawford said...

Sushi, all good :3 Congrats on being a finalist Laura Hughes.

Regina Castillo said...

Congrats on being a finalist!