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Lauren Sevier and A. Smith Chat About Juggling Writing and Family
Writing with Kids… how do you juggle family life and writing?
Lauren: Poorly. Lol. No, but in all seriousness, juggling a full-time job in Cardiology, being the mother to a wild and wonderful two-year-old little boy, managing my publishing schedule, and editing manuscripts for clients… it gets hard. Really hard.
The key is to give yourself grace. There are going to be days that dinner is fast food, and that needs to be okay. There are times when those publishing deadlines I’ve been losing sleep over for weeks aren’t met. There will be manuscripts that I have to say no to, even if I feel really passionate about the story. There are even times when you have to accept that you’ll miss social and family events. It’s inevitable.
When I’m at work, my focus is on my patients. Every person who comes into our clinic has my undivided attention and I give 100% of myself to making sure their needs are met with sincerity and compassion. But, as soon as the clock strikes twelve (or Four, in my case), I turn into a pumpkin and it’s time to put on another hat.
The real secret to managing a life as hectic as mine is to always keep your priorities straight. For me, my husband and son are the number one priority in my life. Period. Time with them is sacred and everything else comes second, including my full-time job in Cardiology. If I need to take time off because my son is sick, or he has a school program, well… that’s what PTO is for. I’m really lucky that my work family is so understanding and supportive. They really have gone out of their way to let me know how proud they are of my accomplishments, and to encourage my publication journey. I don’t know of many employers who would do that.
This does mean however, that I won’t ever be able to rapidly release books the way some other authors have been able to. I just don’t have the writing time, editing time, marketing time, etc. built into my day. It takes longer from start to finish for me to put out a really good book, and I never want to sacrifice the quality of the stories I put out for the sake of speed. I hope my readers understand and appreciate that and I think they do overall. I also have the world’s best husband. We communicate really well and he’s my number one fan. I keep him up to date on all my working tasks and he makes sure to tell me when it’s time to slow down or take a break. He’s an amazing, hands-on father who really loves spending quality time with our son during deadline season. He reassures me constantly when my deadlines are looming and my anxiety is high, that if the worst thing that happens is me missing a deadline… we’re still incredibly blessed. I think everyone needs a Jonathan in their corner. I guess you could say he’s the secret ingredient that makes everything work.
Abbie: While I’m not married nor do I have human children, I do have three rescue animals. My cat, Sirius, is probably the easiest one to manage since cats are so super independent and don’t require as much. However, my two dogs, Klaus and Bree, require a lot of work. At times, they can be as demanding as human children. I deal with a lot of mom guilt if I have to leave them at home for long periods of time. Trying to find the right balance was much easier when we were still working from home as a result of the pandemic. Now that I’m back to working at the office full time, I know that on days when I work my office job, I have to be home with them at night.
I work a full time job for the state of Louisiana. While it isn’t nearly as demanding as a busy cardiology clinic like Lauren, it does require expert focus and a lot of time researching since we enforce insurance laws in the state. My day job is the one that pays me, so I tend to tasks there before I ever do any writing. If I find that I have time during the day, I may be able to knock out a task or two for my personal stuff.
That being said, I make time to write nearly every day. It’s easier for me to come home from work everyday and go right into writing or other work for my writing. I try to make sure that I’m being productive while also tending to my other responsibilities. I am very close with my immediate family, so I try to always be there for the big moments, the little moments, and all of the moments in between.
The largest thing for me is tending to my mental health. When we really started working through Guns & Smoke, I worried that we might have such a grueling schedule that I wouldn’t be able to take care of me. The thing is, though, writing and working on novels is good for me. It’s the only thing that when I do it, I don’t feel like I should be doing anything else.
Guns and SmokeThe Fool’s Adventure Series Book OneLauren Sevier and A. Smith
Genre: Dystopian/Western RomancePublisher: Lauren SevierDate of Publication: July 10, 2021ISBN: 978-1734402346ASIN: B08RW6JNGGNumber of pages: 364Word Count: 134,000Cover Artist: Stefanie Saw
Tagline: Life should be about more than just surviving.
In a world where safety is a luxury and honor is found only among outlaws, two people attempt to outrun dangers lurking around each corner and the tragedies that define them.
Bonnie is an outlaw on the run. Beautiful but dangerous; her dark past stalks her like the crater beasts that roam the desert. As the notoriously cruel outlaw Jones sends his henchmen to track her down and retrieve the gun she stole from him, Bonnie hopes she can stay one step ahead. Because if he catches her, a fate worse than death awaits.
Jesse always dreamed of leaving the farm to explore the ruins of the big cities he’d heard about his whole life. He just never imagined he’d be forced to flee after strange men burned down his rural mountain town and murdered everyone he loved. Responsible for his kid brother and searching for an uncle he’s never met before, he isn’t sure he can navigate the perils of life among con artists and thieves long enough to find him.
Their two paths collide as they find themselves thrown together on the adventure of a lifetime.
Together, they may just discover that life is about more than just surviving.
“I didn’t mean what I said earlier, about turning you over to Sixgun. I was just…” He struggled for the words.
“Hurt?” I offered, and he nodded. “I know. I have a talent for pushing people away.”
“I still shouldn’t have said it,” he muttered near my ear, his arm tightening around my shoulders to hold me closer.
“Do you really think I’m stupid?” I asked.
“No, I think you’re the smartest person I’ve ever met,” he said, with all the conviction with which he said everything else. I smiled against his shirt. “Did you really climb into my bed because you thought I was upset about the train?”
“No,” I croaked, hiding my face as best I could. “I don’t have nightmares when you hold me.”
“I don’t have nightmares when I hold you either,” he admitted.
So I let him. I let him hold me all night. We didn’t speak, we just leaned against each other until the sky began to lighten and the shadows of our pasts seemed to fade into the distance.
About the Authors:
Lauren Sevier and A. Smith are longtime friends and co-authors from southern Louisiana. Guns and Smoke, their first joint publication, began as a “short” story after having too much wine on girl’s night.
Nine years later it is now the first novel in a Dystopian/Western Romance series.
The duo has plans to publish several series together in the future. A. Smith spends her time with her two rescue dogs and rescue cat surrounding herself with books and Labyrinth paraphernalia.
Lauren Sevier collects antique tea cups and tries to stay sane, though as the mother of a toddler she fails brilliantly most days. She also has a growing collection of crowns and tiaras and likes to act silly on TikTok. Look for more thrilling novels from The Fools Adventure series in the future!