Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Writing { and reading and publishing } ~

Author Interview ~ Laura Cantu

Many of you know I’m the Events Manager on Book Island in the virtual world Second Life.

We have many writers attending events and a few of them have been interviewed here.

Here comes another one :-)


Welcome to the blog, Laura. Let’s start with you telling us about your newly finished book, O. K.?Ancient Rising

Sure, Alex.  Xandria Drake: Ancient Rising is a paranormal fantasy novel that puts a unique spin on the history of certain supernatural beings. The story is told through the words of a quirky, yet endearing young lady named Xandria Drake. Her journey through the mysterious and magical worlds of hidden realities forces her to question everything, including herself. Through experiences with darkness, light, chaos, and order, Xandria learns about love, sacrifice, and how to overcome fear. Like an alchemist changes lead into gold, Xandria eventually finds herself transforming into a new person.

So, where’s your book available?

Well, I decided to self-publish and worked with a friend to make it available on Kindle.  For the first run, we decided to release it in parts to allow people to try it before really committing. The full book will also be available very soon. Eventually, it will be available in paperback on Amazon as well.

Your readers can visit my Author Page and explore a part or two of the book :-)

Yes, I noticed you have three parts of the book already available! So, How did you come up with the idea for your story?

Well, it all happened in a strange and serendipitous kind of way. There I was, singing in the shower and washing my hair, when the background information of the story just downloaded into my consciousness. The experience was so vivid that I could almost see a colored map, complete with dates, events, and places, right in front of me. I enjoyed the material immensely and could not stop thinking about it. I even dreamed about it. Eventually, I was begrudgingly convinced by my inner dialogue to “try” to write about it. I had never written anything of this scale in my life and certainly did not think of myself as an author. Yet, there the inner voice was, prodding me to proceed. Scared and intimidated, I raised the lid of my laptop, clicked on the word processing program, and stared at a blank screen. Within seconds, my fingers were typing, taking me along for a ride. Characters came to life, the story formed, and I simply let it happen. It was like watching a movie.  I knew there was information to be released, but I had no clue how it would happen.  The entire process was amazing, and I enjoyed it thoroughly.

Certainly sounds like this story was ready to be born :-) Do, please, tell us a little about who Laura Cantu is.

I suppose I’ll begin by telling you of my professions. I have two main careers. I am a Doctor of Oriental Medicine by day, and a professional ballroom dancer by night. I love both of my jobs, but if I had to choose only one, I would choose dancing.  I absolutely love to dance, and I hold several national titles.  I placed 4th in the world in the Professional World Argentine Tango Championships and currently compete professionally with my partner and husband, Louis Bar, in the Dancesport Championships Circuit. Additionally, I dance with students and amateur partners in both the International and American dance styles.  My partner and I perform all over the world and enjoy every minute of it. There is nothing like connecting with the music, my partner, and the audience to create inspiring and meaningful moments. The benefit of having the privilege of sharing these moments with others is simply magical!

Aside from dancing and performing acupuncture on patients, I also freelance as an artist and graphic designer. I design brochures, logos, etc., as well as paint portraits, draw, and sculpt.  Most recently, I’ve added writing to my repertoire. Some have called me a Jack-of-all-trades, yet I like to think of myself as simply being creative.

O.K., I just have to ask, if you care to answer, how old you are and where you’re from.

That’s a fun question. I am 38 years old according to popular belief, but I feel more playful and energetic with each year that passes. I appreciate life and value every year that I have the honor to enjoy life’s experiences.

I was born in Kentucky, but moved almost every year until I was 24 years old. I’ve lived in North Carolina, California, and many states in between. One place I’ve never lived is overseas. My husband, however, is from France. Luckily, I get to travel a lot

Do you find time for any hobbies?

It can be difficult, but I try. Sometimes to relax, I watch movies, read books, and play Second Life.

“Play” Second Life? I know you do a bit more than play :-)

Yes. I have a fantastic store on Book Island!

I also have a display at Alabastoria Plaza.

Which reminds me

My book is being read at Alabastoria Plaza every Monday and Thursday at 8:30 pm SLT (Pacific USA Time). The presenter’s name is Chraeloos.

The readings started Monday, January 14th.

Here’s the link for those readings.

Is there anything else you’d like us to know, Laura?

First, I would like to say thank you to your readers who’ve gotten this far in the interview :-)

Also, a HUGE THANKS to you, Alexander, for asking me to do this interview. I love your blog and am thrilled that you asked me to be a part of it!

You are Very Welcome, Laura :-)


O. K., Folks, now is the time to ask Laura your questions in our Comments :-)
Our Comment Link Is At The Top of The Post :-)
For Private Comments, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com
* Google Author Page


3 responses to “Author Interview ~ Laura Cantu

  1. Jane Watson January 18, 2013 at 1:37 am

    Very interesting interview, Laura! A friend once gave me a waterproof writer’s notebook to use in the shower so it must be a phenomenon amongst writers to have inspiration there ;-) You seem very multi-talented – did you design and draw the striking illustration for the cover of your book? Also, I can’t help asking, can you draw any parallels between dancing and writing? :-)


  2. lauracantu January 18, 2013 at 3:05 pm

    Hi Jane,
    Thanks for writing! :) I agree that showers are magical! That’s where I get my best ideas. LOL! Actually, I probably got the idea for the cover design in the shower. hehehe. Yes, I designed the cover myself. The illustration is composed of many curving lines with embossing, and shadow effects from Photoshop.
    As for parallels between dancing and writing, there are tons. Here are just a few I can think of at the moment:
    1) They are both forms of storytelling.
    2) To be a professional in these fields requires lots of dedication, training, and self-motivation. (not to mention lots of rejection)
    3) They require creativity and the ability to think outside of the box.
    4) They both have the ability to inspire the creator as much as the audience.
    5) They both can cause aches and pains (but in different ways. lol!).
    The major difference is that dancing requires movement, while writing requires stillness.
    On that note, I need to go move! :) hehehe!
    Thanks again for your comment!
    Wishing you joy and peace. :)


  3. Alexander M Zoltai January 18, 2013 at 3:08 pm

    Very Illuminating response, Laura :-)


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