An Interview With Laurel O’Donnell

Hi Cindy –

Thanks for letting me tell you a little about myself!

Angels-Assassin-Master-Cover-300x456-version2_2If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be, and why?
I think I would live on the beach, in a glorious mansion. Well, that is, if I had enough money.  There’s just something about the ocean. It calms me and relaxes me. But it’s turbulent and powerful. I imagine myself sitting on a chair in the sand, writing. I grew up in Illinois, far away from the ocean. So, I’ve always enjoyed visiting.

How many books have you written? Do you have a favorite?
To date, I have 6 medieval romances written, 1 paranormal and 4 novellas in a series. I also have 1 free medieval novella. My favorite is always my latest one. Right now, that would be Angel’s Assassin. It’s a tale of redemption, of good and bad, of love overcoming all. My favorite!

What is your next project and when will it be released?
I just finished up a medieval novella. For this novella, I revisited the characters in Angel’s Assassin. It should be released with other novellas from other authors in LoveHistoricals in October or November. Right, Cindy? 

I’m also working on another medieval romance that centers around jousting.

What is your favorite part of writing?
My favorite part of writing is when the story flows. When the characters take over and move the scene. When I can feel the emotions and translate them to the paper. It’s amazing. Just amazing.

What is your least favorite part of writing?
When the characters don’t do what I want them to do. It’s like pulling teeth. I can’t get into the scene, they won’t cooperate. It usually has to do with the direction of the book. It’s not moving in the right direction. I have to stop, reread what I’ve written, figure out what’s wrong with it and then start. It could take days.

How has your experience with self-publishing been?
Wonderful. I love self publishing. I love that I can get the book I want out. Like Angel’s Assassin. It was rejected over and over by the NY publishing houses. Yet, now, it’s winning award after award. It won the 2013 Heart of Excellence award for Historical Romance, it won the International Digital award. And yet, I never would have been able to get it to readers if it weren’t for self publishing.

What advice do you have for other authors wanting to self-publish?
Do it. Polish that book. Proof it. Make it perfect. Get a good cover artist to design the cover for you and get it out.

What was the deciding factor in self-publishing your book(s)? Did you decide on ebook or print only or both?
It was timing. I had gotten the rights back to my books from Kensington and the self publishing boom was just starting. So, my husband and I decided to give it a shot. We did ebook only for some and for Angel’s Assassin and The Angel and the Prince, we decided to do print also. Ebook is doing much better.

What went into the process? Writing, editing, cover design, formatting, etc. Share your ups and downs and how you went about it. If you used a service, can you share?
Five of my novels had already been out from Kensington, so they were already written and edited. For those novels, we had Kim Killion design the covers. She is amazing! Luckily for me, my husband is a techie geek. He formatted the books and set them up on the various ereader platforms. If he hadn’t been here, I don’t think I would have self published. The entire thing is daunting to me. I probably would have hired someone to do it for me.

Where can readers find you?
Check out my webpage –

Where can readers find your books? Print/Ebook?
All of my novels are on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, and Ibooks.

Laurel is giving away an ebook copy of Angel’s Assassin to one lucky commenter, so be sure and leave her a comment

Angel’s Assassin Excerpt –

Aurora climbed to her feet.

“Where is my sword?” Damien demanded, searching the forest floor. He could not look at her.

“Here.” It had been hidden beneath the flare of her dress when she was lying down.

Damien nodded in satisfaction. He picked it up, pausing as he looked into her eyes. They sparkled a pale blue in the moonlight.

Aurora stared at him for a long, pensive moment. Then, she dipped her head in thought. The furrows of her brow deepened as her gaze stopped at his thigh, lingering on his wound. “How do you feel?” she asked.

“Well enough to see you back to your castle.” He sheathed his weapon and took a step toward Acquitaine.

“Damien,” she called.

He hesitated. He didn’t want her to fear him. Would she condemn him now for his violence? The silence stretched. Finally, he turned to her and his breath caught in his throat.

She stood in middle of the forest, bathed in a pool of moonlight. Her blonde hair, loose from any constraints, fell to her waist in thick waves. Her back was straight, her tiny body alluring and curvy and delectable. But it was her eyes that captured his attention. He saw no fear in her eyes. It was concern. Had he mistaken fear for concern?

Damien had never felt such an overwhelming need for anything in his life. He trembled with his want of her.

A swirl of emotions played over her face. Concern, regret, helplessness.

It took all Damien’s willpower not to go to her and sweep her into his embrace. He didn’t want to scare her. He didn’t want to harm her. He didn’t want to taint her.

“I will never leave you,” she finally confessed and tears entered her eyes.

Damien came toward her then, like a tumultuous storm cloud. “You don’t know what you are saying,” he warned in a savage whisper.

Aurora did not run for cover; she did not shrink from his approach. She stared up into his face with those damned clear orbs. And for the briefest of moments, Damien saw himself reflected as she saw him. A hero, a good man. A man worthy of all he could attain.

He stood before her, stunned.

The sound of horses thundering through the clearing pounded a warning through the ground.

Damien grabbed Aurora’s hand in one hand, and drew his sword in the other. He watched the group of men approach through the forest, clumsily maneuvering their steeds through the tight trees. He pulled Aurora behind him.

These men were no brigands. They wore heraldry, and while Damien couldn’t be sure, he suspected they were from Acquitaine.

As they drew closer, his suspicions were confirmed. One of them called out, “Lady Aurora!”

Damien refused to relinquish her. For just one moment, she had been his. And it had been the most glorious moment of his life.

“Lady Aurora!” another called.

His time alone with her was over.

“I am here,” Aurora called out, a reluctance in her tone.

Four men came forward, three of whom wore red tunics with a white dove embroidered onto it, the symbol of Acquitaine. But the leader wore a different crest. A black lion on a white background.

He reached them first, reining his horse to a stop before them. His blonde hair waved gently in the breeze. His dark eyes swept them. “Lady Aurora,” he gasped, dismounting. He brushed his blonde hair aside and knelt before her. Practiced, polished. Fake.

Damien hated him on sight.

Aurora stiffened. She released Damien’s hand and stepped toward the knight. “Count Ormand,” she greeted.

Ormand stood and his gaze shifted to Damien with just the right disdainful curl of his lip, then back to Aurora. “I came to rescue you as soon as I heard an attempt was made on your life.

Imagine my surprise at finding you gone.”

“We were attacked by an assassin. Damien was struck by a poison arrow.”

One of Ormand’s eyebrows rose. “Another assassin?” He looked at Damien, then back at Aurora. “Were you hurt, m’lady?”

“No,” she said. “Damien saved me. Again.”

Ormand looked at Damien. “This must be the amazing Damien.”

Aurora nodded. “Ormand, this is Damien. Damien, this is Count Ormand.”

“I am Aurora’s betrothed,” Ormand stated with a slight lifting of his chin so he could stare down at Damien.

Betrothed. The word rang in Damien’s head like a thunderous bell and his teeth clenched. Betrothed. Betrothed. What did it matter? But the word did not stop clanging in his thoughts.


Ormand’s pompous stare swept Damien suspiciously from head to foot. “Why is he half naked? And what in heaven’s name were you doing out in the forest knowing that your life is in danger?”


Laurel-ODonnell-author-photo-sm-C-200x250_2Laurel O’Donnell lives in Illinois with her husband, four children and five cats. She has always enjoyed escaping into the medieval era, including spending a summer interning at the renaissance faire in Wisconsin where she learned to sword fight and recite Shakespeare. Now, she spends her time reading a good book, swimming or, of course, writing.

9 thoughts on “An Interview With Laurel O’Donnell

  1. Loved the snippet! I haven’t read a good medieval romance in a very long time. Now I’m hungry for one.

    I spent part of my teenage years and the first months of my married life living at the beach. Yes, it’s wonderful – most of the time. Now I’m content to visit…in the winter when the tourists have gone home. 🙂

  2. I’m with Damien. I don’t like the count. I share your love of the ocean probably because I grew up surrounded by desert. Are you novels and novellas all linked in some way?

  3. The cover is amazing. I also like that with self-publishing, I can control the price. We’ve learned that to be competitive we need to have a price that is competitive too!

  4. Loved the excerpt, Laurel! Just the right amount of sexual tension mixed with suspense and action! (My cup of tea!) Plus, you write beautifully.

    Thanks for sharing your experiences with your Indie endeavor. Very inspiring that the books NY turned down are raking in money AND awards! You go, girlfriend! Hugs!

  5. It’s a shame you don’t have a donate button!
    I’d most certainly donate to this excellent blog!

    I suppose for now i’ll settle for book-marking and adding your RSS feed
    to my Google account. I look forward to fresh updates and will share this blog with my Facebook group.
    Talk soon!

    For the best answer please take a look at this page :: (Cary)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *