Debut author Lauren Skidmore’s “What is Hidden” hit the market early last month and promptly earned praise from a national publication.
“Crisp dialogue and quick pacing propel the story, a riff on Cinderalla, to an action-filled ending,” wrote Publishers Weekly.
The book has also earned an overall rating of 4.13 stars on Goodreads.
Skidmore recently took some time to field a few questions in the Fiction Fest hot seat, so let’s see what she had to say.
What inspired the creation of “What is Hidden”?
I think Venetian masks are beautiful and imagined a scenario where people could wear them all the time. Then I crossed that with the masquerade balls of fairy tales and the mystery and wonder of Cinderella and it just kept growing from there.
Are the characters in your book based on real-life people?
Not really. There are parts of different personalities I pulled from different people, but I couldn’t link any character to any one person.
What’s your writing routine like?
I like to write a brief outline and think about how I want everything to play out in advance, mulling it over in my mind for a long time, then binge-write for hours on the weekend or in the middle of the night. I’ve never been very good at sticking to a schedule. I also like to make playlists for whatever I’m working on, so when I listen to it my brain switches to writing mode.
What’s the best piece of writing advice you ever received?
Write the book you want to read. I don’t remember where I heard it anymore, but I always figured that if I like it, chances are other people will, too.
What’s your current work in progress?
I’m working on the sequel to “What is Hidden.” Can’t say too much about it yet, but I’m excited to be working on it!
What do you like most about being a published author?
Being published is a goal I’ve had for a very, very long time, and it feels fantastic to have finally accomplished that goal. I also love talking to people who’ve read and enjoyed my work.
What do you like least?
I’m not very good at talking about myself. I like talking about my work with readers as one fan to another, but I never really know what to say when they want to talk about me.
What’s the most joy writing has brought you?
It allows me to go all sorts of wonderful places and experience things I’d never be able to in real life. It can also be a great stress reliever.
What advice would you like to offer aspiring novelists?
Never, ever give up. Keep learning, keep writing, and keep moving forward.