Inkwell Guest: YA Author, Lara Stauffer
Today, I’m very pleased to host my good friend/distant sister-of-the-heart, Lara Stauffer. She’s a debut author with her new release, Unearthed, an adventure for everyone of all ages. I had the good fortune of critiquing this for her and I can say it totally sucked me in. I loved, loved, loved this book. The way she weaves… okay, I’ll shut up now. Lara is here to tell us all about her new book.
Take it away, Lara!
The book begins with 18-year old Matt Staubach, who reluctantly attends a dig with his archaeologist dad the summer before college. As they discover new artifacts, the story of Teom and his family is slowly revealed. Teom is a young man Matt’s age, who lived two thousand years before. The two lives of Matt and Teom, separated by time, eventually unfold in a parallel race for their spiritual and physical survival.
I love this story and how you weave it together. It’s really well done. What inspired you to write this type of novel?
I’ve always been fascinated with history, and I think we sometimes forget that people who lived long ago were just like us. (Plus I reeeally wanted to write a story about finding a lost city. I mean, who doesn’t want to write that?)
I admire those who can write effective YA. How did you manage to get into the POV of Matt so convincingly?
I thought to myself, if I were an 18-year old shallow, popular guy…just kidding. I actually knew someone very similar to Matt growing up (my lips are sealed on who) so I used my friend as a “template” for Matt’s thoughts and reactions. It was a bit of a challenge. Matt really isn’t one to have “deep thoughts.” But he’s a good guy at heart, and I hope I portrayed that effectively.
How do you think readers will relate to Matt?
He’s struggling with a lot of things. He’s struggling with his faith, he’s at odds with his dad, he’s about to leave home and go to college, which itself is a huge step. All of these things make him unsure of himself, and maybe even a little vulnerable. We’ve all felt like this at one time or another, and gone through the similar experiences.
When I was a kid, I wanted to be like Indiana Jones. 🙂 Have you always been interested in archeology?
Absolutely! I was the weird kid who checked out the books about ancient Greece and Egypt from the school library, while all the other 4th-grade kids were reading chapter books. I remember telling anyone who would listen all about the ancient Egyptian mummification process in detail, including how they scooped the brain out through the nose! My friends thought digging up old stuff and learning about ancient civilizations was boring, but I was hooked!
What other writers inspire you?
An eclectic mix, for sure. Jane Austen (garden variety answer, I know, but she was AWESOME) Laura Ingalls Wilder, Roald Dahl, Guy de Maupassant, and Stephen King. Most recently, J.K. Rowling. Anyone who can tell a great story and suck me in, I’m theirs.
What other things are you working on?
I’m working on a YA fairy-tale of sorts, called THE POTION-MAKER’S DAUGHTER, and a YA Fantasy titled DORMANT. Both very different, but both a hoot to write.
If you weren’t a writer, what would you be?
A museum tour guide. 🙂