Hello there.
Laura Underwood, under a tree]

Who is this weird broad, you may ask (or not).

Well, let's see.  I'm a writer of Fantastic Fiction, a librarian (Manager of Periodicals at Lawson McGhee Library), an occasional hiker, a former state fencing champion, and a fair to middling harper (excuse me, purist, harpist) and guitarist.  I have alternately been an artist and a stable bum (that's groom, or manure shoveler, to the un-equine set), a fencing coach, and I have taught a few classes in writing from time to time.  Currently, I am an Active Member of SFWA.

Education?  Well, let us say most of it has come from life and personal research.  I graduated from high school, then went on to get in a couple of years of college (non- credit for the most part) where I got frustrated with people trying to teach me what I already knew, and decided that there were a lot more things I wanted to know that sitting in a stuffy old classroom listening to some professor could not teach me.

Which is probably why I ended up a librarian.  No, I don't have a fancy MLS.  I worked my way up through the ranks the old-fashioned way, learning along the trail (and my mother always said I needed a job where I could be a know-it- all).

So now, on to the vitals.

Age:  Born in December of 1954 (you can do the math -- that's why you have a calculator, isn't it?)

Race:  Supposedly a Caucasian meld of Scottish, Irish, English and German, though there's a dollop of Native American crawling around in there as well.

Sex: Female, though I have been called "sir" on a number of occasions -- mostly because I haven't worn a real dress since I was seventeen and shun make-up because of allergies (who me, aggressive?)

Marital Status:  Single and quite happy to remain so after all these years.  I'm just too tough on male egos -- really.  I have a tag hanging off my car mirror that says "Why did God invent Men -- Women already have Boobs."  This is not to say that I hate men.  I like the ones I know and call friends just fine.  Rather I am amused by male behavior, but then all humans amuse me in one fashion or another -- even the ones who I pray have a bus with their name on it waiting for them on the street...

Family:  Yes, I have to admit that I have one, a fairly extensive one, at that.  I am the eldest child of four natural children (three girls and one boy, mother and father divorced and each remarried), but I also have half sisters, stepsisters, a stepbrother as well as a road kill number of aunts, uncles and cousins (some of whom should be road kill, but I won't go into that -- probably the reason I'm single.  Some gene pools just shouldn't be allowed to continue.)

Interests:  Apart from the things already mentioned in the preceding paragraphs, I love mysteries (go PBS!), fantasy and SF (more the former than the latter), Batman (preferably the animated series), history, folklore, drawing, sketching (when time permits) and embroidery (ditto).  Alternately, I have delighted in old SF B-flicks and horror movies.  I enjoy celtic music (real and new age pseudo-celtic stuff, including artists like Battlefield Band, Dougie MacLean and Loreena McKennitt), classical (Mendelsonn, Dvorak, Vaughn Williams and Martinu), New Age (Arkenstone, Mitchell, Vangelis, Isham) and folk music.  I have a fondness for Alan Parson's Project too, and I must confess that I grew up listening to Country Music before it lost it roots.  I meditate and hike to relax.

Writers I Admire:  Well, that's a list probably about twenty miles long.  In earlier years, it was Herman Melville, Ray Bradbury, Gene Stratton Porter, Edgar Allen Poe, Georgette Heyer, Ellery Queen (yes, I know there were two of them), Mickey Spillane, Kenneth Roberson and Edgar Rice Burroughs.  As years went by, I got hooked on Fritz Leiber, Ngaio Marsh, Marion Zimmer Bradley, Barbara Hambly, Robertson Davies, Charles De Lint, Katherine Kurtz, William Kotzwinkle, Teresa Edgerton, David Gemmell, Joan Vinge, Terry Pratchett, eluki bes shahar (and her other persona, Rosemary Edghill) and Lynn Flewelling.  Of course, there will always be the classics like the works of Henry Fielding and William Shakespeare, and there are a multitude of writers that I have met and admired over the years who may not be on the immediate list, but are no less in my esteem.  To list them all would require a HUGE website, and I doubt SFF-Net would be that generous.  To say that I read in one specific field is not actually true.  I get a kick out of William Butler Yeats and Christopher Isherwood.  These days, I read more nonfiction than fiction, something I have noticed happens to a lot of writers.  Early in your career, you read your peers to learn.  Later, you read them for pleasure -- if you have time.  For me, the writing must come first.  But I'm easily distracted by a good story, no matter who wrote it.  And while I won't touch media fiction (not my cup of tea, an argument that has caused me to earn the animosity of a few of my peers), I have no less respect for my friends who write it well enough to tempt me to break my vow of media chastity.

Goals:  To sell a novel, of course. (Yes, I have achieved this, if you check out my Bibliography page, but it has not stopped me from writing and wanting to sell more.)

So if this hasn't scared you into deciding you would rather not know me better, welcome to my world.

An Interview! On FANTASY WORLDS Suite 101. My very first! You can read part one by going here

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