Laura Thomas - Christian Romantic Suspense
A published Christian author, Laura writes heartwarming encouragement for your soul. She has three Christian romantic suspense novels published as well as a Christian teen fiction trilogy, marriage book, and middle-grade novel. She is published in several anthologies and writes devotionals, articles, and stories that are published in magazines and online. She also shares musings on her blog and is represented by literary agent, Cyle Young. Laura is a chocoholic mom of three, married to her high school sweetheart. Originally from the UK, they live in Kelowna, British Columbia as audacious empty-nesters. As our Author of the Day, she tells us all about her book, The Glass Bottom Boat.
Please give us a short introduction to what The Glass Bottom Boat is about.
The Glass Bottom Boat is a Christian romantic suspense novel, the first in my 3-book Flight to Freedom series: When Madison and Luke meet at their siblings’ wedding in Jamaica, emotional walls are sky-high. But the connection intensifies as a stalker stirs up haunting memories of Madison’s ex-fiancé. A kidnapping. A ransom. The chase is on.
Why Jamaica? What drew you to this setting?
As both reader and writer, the setting plays a huge part in any story for me. It’s like an ever-present character—solid and reliable yet able to hold secrets and tantalize all five senses. I find great joy in transporting readers to the perfect location.
For The Glass Bottom Boat, the backdrop had to be in the tropical Caribbean—in fact, I was actually on vacation with my family in Jamaica when I initially had the inspiration for the story. I have a fear of drowning, and glass-bottom boats both intrigued and petrified me, but we decided to take a trip on one for a treat on our final day. Unfortunately, when the last day dawned, there was a huge windstorm preventing any boats from going out, and I found myself bitterly disappointed to have missed the opportunity.
But it stirred my imagination and I began wondering what terrifying things could happen on a glass-bottom boat…
Tell us about Madison. What makes her so special?
Madison Grey would be my best friend in real life. She’s both tender and tenacious and has genuine compassion for others. In this story, Madison is attempting to get her brave on, to start fresh after suffering a devastating loss and an ugly broken engagement. She is determined not to let her anxiety and paranoia overshadow her sister’s wedding, and I love watching her grow deeper in her faith and in her relationship with Luke through the course of this book. As she has to deal with unimaginable fear, we see a beautiful, strong Madison emerge—and it was a joy to allow her story to feature in the next two books in the series, The Lighthouse Baby and The Orphan Beach.
What makes Luke tick?
Luke is a solid guy—up for adventure and passionate about his faith. He’s delighted to be attending his little brother's destination wedding and would literally do anything for his loved ones. As a missionary in Mexico, his days are meaningful and enjoyable and he adores the kids he cares for at the orphanage, yet he has been questioning his earlier commitment to a life of singleness. The struggle is real. His restlessness becomes palpable when he is captivated by Madison Grey, the bride’s sister—and as soon as he discovers she is in danger, nothing can stop him from diving into action.
Readers say the book had them on the edge of their seats. How did you pull this off?
That’s awfully generous of my readers and warms my heart enormously! I think I would put it down to having a vivid imagination. It seems I often walk through life wondering what frightful thing could happen to a person—I always double-check the back of my car before getting in and am convinced I will one day drive into the lake when my brakes fail. In writing suspense, we are told to imagine our poor victim going through some dire scenario—and then go back again and make it even worse. And if we can draw readers in enough to truly care about the characters, we have ourselves a page-turner.
Is there an underlying message you wish to relay about basic human nature through your characters?
I’m a multi-genre author, but no matter which age group I am writing for, my fiction books are all stories of hope at their core. It’s my desire that through my flawed characters specifically in this Flight to Freedom series, readers will identify on some level with the need to love and to be loved. My faith is hugely important to me, and when I can weave it through my stories in a real and raw way, then I believe I am able to hit on the one thing we all crave in this world: hope.
Is there something that compels you to write? And do you find that writing helps you achieve a clarity about yourself or ideas you've been struggling with?
I definitely feel compelled to write—even though it took me a quarter of a century to put it into practice! When I was a little bookworm girl, I had a grandiose aspiration to be an author one day, which I then buried for twenty-five years. It wasn’t until my husband dug deep enough to extract my secret dream and then encouraged me to act upon it, that I realized it was what I needed to do. Words are powerful and precious, and I strive to write heartwarming encouragement for your soul, whether it be in my fiction books, inspirational articles, children’s stories, or devotionals.
Do you have any interesting writing habits? What is an average writing day like for you?
An average writing day for me happens at home—I tend to work best in my home office, where I enjoy a lot of white and pink décor along with color-organized bookshelves. I’m neither a bright morning lark writer nor a romantic scribbler by candlelight—in fact, my most focused writing chunks are accomplished in the afternoons once I have worked out, tidied up, and seen to any admin, marketing, social media and such.
It shames me to say my most interesting writing habit is that I am a horrible typist. Abysmal. And yet somehow it works for me…
Besides writing, what other secret skills do you have?
Hmm, I’m not sure if my skills are secret but I happen to think baking is my jam. It’s truly a win-win as it brings me joy and the recipients certainly never complain. I love being able to make someone’s day with a sugary surprise—and if chocolate is involved, that’s the cherry on top!
What are you working on right now?
Right now, I’m writing the manuscript for my next Christian romantic suspense novel—this series is set in England, so I’m going back to my British roots. My literary agent is also currently working with my picture book, Bonbon the Frenchie: Lost in Paris and my middle-grade fiction, Black Diamonds.
Where can our readers discover more of your work or interact with you?
You can find all my books, my blog, and writer’s coaching on my website at www.laurathomasauthor.com
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