Ten or more things about L.A. Witt - An Author Interview

I'm so excited to learn more about today's interviewee... Her books are on my break the rules TBR - meaning that despite potential pain and punishment from my avalanching ARC list, I always read her books as soon as they release (although it would make my life so much easier to plan if she ever invited me to her ARC team, but no pressure)... I'm talking about L.A. Witt (one of many pen-names including Lauren Gallagher, Ann Gallagher, & Lori A. Witt), but we're featuring the Pen Name who writes M/M Romances, so before I either gush too much or get in trouble, let's see what we can learn about this lovely author:

Indie or Traditionally published? - Tell us how this works for you…
Both, but mostly indie now. I started out with small presses in 2009, and I self-published for the first time in 2013. Over time, I’ve been steadily transitioning to indie, though I do have a trilogy with St. Martin’s and I will occasionally submit books to agents or publishers. Never hurts to diversify!


Plot or Pants? Do you pre-plot your books, use an outline, fly by the seat of your pants or some combination of things? How do you keep track of characters in a series? Do you keep a journal of your characters’ statistics, such as hair and eye color, relatives, hometown, etc.

I usually outline, but my outlines change a lot. I write out of sequence, and I bounce around between chapters, sometimes realizing I need to foreshadow something or that I need to tie up a loose end later. When I co-write, I write chronologically, and our outlines tend to be pretty vague, but we touch base a lot to figure out where to go next.

Out of around 175 books, I have one that was solo written without an outline and completely chronologically. All the rest are at least somewhat outlined and written all over the place. Yeah, it’s weird, but it works.

For series, I keep track of details in a spreadsheet (I also outline in a spreadsheet; I use Excel for everything).

Tell us about your first… published M/M fiction/romance

Rules of Engagement came out in 2009. It was a bisexual discovery story with a recently divorced character realizing for the first time that he’s attracted to men. It was revised and re-released in 2019.

and then your most recent one..

My most recent is Sniper vs Spotter, which I co-wrote with Cari Z. It’s the sequel to Hitman vs Hitman, which was supposed to be a standalone, but… Let’s just say these characters didn’t want to be contained. August and Ricardo are a couple of hitmen who have wild adventures in between exchanging non-stop snark. We’re currently working on the third book and planning a fourth. “Standalone.” LOL.

Do you write full time or part-time?
Full-time. I kind of fell into it in 2008 when my husband was transferred to Okinawa with the military. There weren’t any jobs available, so we agreed I could spend our three-year tour getting my writing career off the ground. The rest is history!


Something people would be surprised to know about you
I took Russian in college. I was moderately competent at speaking it (not anymore), and I can still read Cyrillic.

Where do you write? Do you have a routine?
I write on my sofa. My routine is usually to screw off online and answer emails for a little while, then get writing by about 11 or 12. As long as I knock out my first 1,000 words by about 1pm, hitting my 5,000 word goal by dinnertime is easy enough. Sometimes I write a little later in the day, but I try to be done by 6 or so. If it’s an editing/revising day, then I don’t have a quota. I just work by hand until I’m done with the manuscript, then enter everything into the document. That usually takes about 2 days for a novel, sometimes longer if it needs more work (or if it’s a doorstop like some of my books have been recently).

What are your writing goals for the next year? The future?
I usually aim for 1,000,000 words a year. That isn’t happening this year; I was doing great for the first part of the year, but then my husband and I moved from Maine to Pittsburgh when he retired from the Navy, and that was such a disaster, it threw a monkey wrench into everything. Next year probably won’t be a million either because I’m taking most of January off for an unpleasant-but-not-life-threatening surgery, but I’ll be aiming for a book a month, which is my usual productivity. So… 11 books in 2022.


What’s the hardest part about writing M/M romance or erotica?

Sex scenes are hard. They’ve always been tough for me to write. They’re not embarrassing or anything like that, but they’re difficult, and they take me 2-3 times as long to write as other scenes. I don’t know either. I think the only scene harder for me to write is a car chase. OMG I hate writing car chases. So naturally I also write romantic suspense, which frequently necessitates… car chases.

What is the funniest scene you’ve written?
I’m not 100% sure which scene, but it probably involved August and Ricardo.

Where do you find inspiration?

The short answer: Everywhere.

No, really. Everywhere. I’ve gotten story ideas from overheard conversations, reddit posts, random photos, a title coming out of nowhere that needs a story, some cover art I made for practice that inspired a book, a cool setting, a meme, etc. Sometimes I want to write a particular trope. Sometimes I just feel like shifting gears. Also one of my audiobook narrators, Michael Ferraiuolo, is particularly notorious for making me want to write sequels to various books by giving a secondary character more personality than they were supposed to have.

What do your friends and family think of what you write; do they know?
I use my real name and I promote my books on my personal Facebook, so everyone knows. Some people sneer at it, but they don’t tend to stick around very long. Sometimes my family makes jokes about it (to be fair, we make jokes about EVERYTHING) but they’re supportive. My mom reads all my books.

How can we connect with you?

I’m on Facebook a lot, mostly under my personal page 

and I am trying to post more regularly in my reader group (https://www.facebook.com/groups/1633167680026803). 
I’m also on Twitter and Instagram as GallagherWitt. 
My website is http://www.gallagherwitt.com, where you can find info about all of my titles, including upcoming releases!