Great Summer Reads Countdown Blitz; Courage by Lauren H. Salisbury

Lauren H Salisbury was an English teacher for sixteen years with an MA in Education. She is now a writer who dabbles with tutoring and lives with her husband and a room full of books in Yorkshire, England. 

She likes to spend winters abroad, following the sunshine and becoming the seasonal envy of her friends. When she’s not writing, she can be found spending time with family, reading, walking, crafting, or cooking. Courage is her debut novel.

Can one woman evade an alien empire to save her son's life?

Gilla and Elias have the perfect life—or as perfect as life can be for slaves living deep in the Esarelian Empire. Elias wants freedom for his precious wife and daughter, and the rest of their people, and he is willing to fight to get it. Pregnant with her second child, Gilla only wants a happy, healthy family who share a strong faith in the God of Old Earth and to get through her workload each day. 

When the Esarelians decide to teach their rebellious slaves a lesson they will never forget, Gilla’s entire life is turned upside down. She must trust that God has a plan to protect her new-born son, and have the courage to follow it, choosing the strangest of allies in an effort to ensure his survival.

Courage is a science fiction retelling of the Biblical story of Moses’s birth. It has strong, quirky characters, strange alien worlds, and a gripping plot with a twist on the original.

The next book in this Series is available in September! Find out more about that book HERE!

Author Interview:
1.     What is your favourite book that is not yours?

a.     It’s so hard to choose just one. If pushed, I would have to say the Firebird trilogy by Kathy Tyers. It was the first Christian science fiction I’d ever read, and it opened my eyes to a whole new genre. It was also exactly what I needed at the time I read it and has had a larger impact on my life than I ever could have guessed back then.

2.     Do you write in multiple genres? Which genre is your favourite to write?

a.     My debut series is a space opera. That said, each manuscript has its own flavour. The first is action based, the second more of a romance, the third involves political intrigue, and the fourth is a coming of age story. I wanted the freedom to write different types, if not genres, of books and found this series to be a good way to do that.
b.     My favourite to date was the romance, which surprised me, as I’ve never been particularly drawn to romantic plots in the past. I think it was the characters that made it such fun to write. They’re more complex than even I first realised until I started writing it. Conviction should release in September of this year.

3.     How young were you when you started writing?

a.     I’ve told stories for as long as I can remember—first to my teddies and then to other kids in church. I remember writing a whole series of short stories for the younger sister of a friend when I was about ten. They were a page long each, had illustrations that I’d drawn, and were tied with a ribbon.         
I went through a brief phase of writing poetry while at university but returned to prose fairly quickly. As a working adult, I wrote for years for two main reasons. First were the children’s stories for my local church, and second were the examples of creative writing for my English students in school. I wish I’d kept more of these, but the majority were wiped off the board at the end of the day for me to start again fresh each morning.

4.     If you could meet any author, past or present, who would it be and why?

a.     I would love to meet someone like Shakespeare one day. What can I say? I’m an ex-English teacher. I’d be interested in finding out definitively whether one person wrote his entire collection or not, but also just to be able to fill in some of the gaping holes in our knowledge about him. I’d want to get the stories behind some of his characters, discuss the many plot holes in Romeo & Juliet, and ask whether he missed his kids.
I think he’d be surprised to discover how his work has been viewed through the years—canonised, reimagined, turned into films, and studied in schools. I’d also like to see his reaction to our technology and wonder how he’d use that if he could. Of course, we’d probably need a translator, so maybe I could invite another couple of writers to sneak in and bridge the gap.

5.     How long does it take you to write a book, and what was your fastest book to write?

a.     The idea for my debut series came to me all at once. I spent a few months, while looking after a friend with cancer, jotting down notes and ideas for the entire series as well as each individual book. All the world building was done up front, and a lot of the characters and plots for later stories were fleshed out before I began to think about writing the first.
Once I had all the planning done, it took one or two months to draft each manuscript and another three or four to edit them until I was happy. The fastest I’ve been able to write the first complete draft was just under four weeks for Conviction, book two and the next to be released. I worked for about five hours a day, five or six days a week on that one.

6.     What is your favourite thing to do in the summertime?

a.     I have an entire day mapped out in my head for this one. I love to drive out into the country with my music on, go for a walk, and stop for a picnic somewhere peaceful. Then I like to relax and either read or write for a while, preferably while enjoying a great view, before finishing the walk and driving home for a takeaway and film. Essentially, I like to be outside soaking up the sunshine, and it’s something I try to do as often as possible each year.

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