AG: Hello, this is Artemis Greenleaf, doing Space City Scribes’ inaugural podcast. Today, I’ve Skyped in with Laurie Schnebly, who has graciously agreed to be our very first guest. I met Laurie when I took “The Heroine’s Journey” course over at WriterUniversity. She has a little bit different approach to creating characters with emotional depth, given her background as a counseling therapist. I’ll link to both her website, that’s BookLaurie.com, and WriterUniv.com in the show notes. Welcome, Laurie.
LS: Hi! Thank you, I’m honored to be your first guest.
AG: Alright. In addition to six romance titles and a contribution to a romance anthology, you have a writing technique book, which I think that anybody who has had to do team building exercises on the job can instantly relate to, called Believable Characters: Creating with Enneagrams. Would you mind explaining what enneagrams are and how they are useful in character development?
LS: It’s like there are the twelve astrological types, and ennea – e-n-n-e-a – is the Greek word for nine, so you can guess how many personality types there are in this system. Supposedly, it was created by the Sufis thousands of years ago, and brought west around 1900 by a Russian psychologist named Gurdjieff. The idea is that there are these nine personality types. Just running through them without even describing: The Reformer, The Nurturer, The Achiever, The Romantic, The Observer, The Guardian, The Adventurer, The Leader, and The Peacemaker. Each one of them has these fabulous strengths. You know, very heroic qualities that make for a great character. Each one also has a flaw, and it’s the reverse side of their strength, so – depending on how much trouble you want the character to get into – you can let their own personality create that trouble for them. Or for other people, as the case may be. And it’s just such a great system. My mom is a counselor, and I remember she had a book on that, and I was looking at it thinking This would be so handy for writers! It’s an amazing system, just very, very cool.
AG: Well, I have been to writing workshops where the person presenting the workshop has said, “Oh, yeah. If you look at an astrology book, and you look at Scorpio – well, isn’t Erica Kane a Scorpio?” I’ve seen that done with an astrology book. Is the dark side of the enneagram, it that pretty much the same thing as Jung’s shadow, or is the shadow more personal to the individual?
LS: I think it’s really two sides of the same coin. So, in that sense, yeah, you could say the shadow is the inverse of the original. With the enneagram system, I like to call it the “Fatal Flaw,” because that’s so much more dramatic than “Pesky Flaw,” or “Troublesome Flaw.” But if you take any good trait too far, it becomes a bad trait.
AG: So, did your enneagram book come about before you started teaching, or because you started teaching?
LS: It was, I guess, during the middle. I had taught the class on fatal flaws a couple of times, and people seemed to like it. And I was thinking I’d like to do a non-fiction book, because fiction tends to be on the shelf for maybe six months and then it’s gone. (This was before ebooks became so popular.) All I was doing was print books, and I thought, Non-fiction print books stay in print a lot longer. I’m going to do a non-fiction. What should I do it about? And I thought of all the classes I taught, and the enneagram one seemed the most unusual. But there were a lot of books on that topic already, so that was why I did that one, really – just to get a non-fiction credit to my name.
AG: Oh, okay. Do you have any more non-fiction books planned for some of the other classes you teach?
LS: You know, I forget when it came out, but a couple of years later I was thinking I really need to do some other new books. But it’s hard to do a book while I’m teaching – I do a class online every month and live maybe every few months. Which is sort of my part-time job, because my full-time job is at an ad agency. So I thought, All right, I just need to book up a three or four month period when I’m not teaching any classes, and I’ll use that time to write the next book. I tend to schedule classes a year, year and a half in advance, just keeping the calendar filled up, so I scheduled it a year and a half in advance. There were September, October, November, December empty, and I thought, Okay, that’s when I’ll get the next book written! And then September came along and Oh, dear, AskAnAuthor needed someone to fill in. Then in October, Oh, dear! WriterU had a cancellation, and I realized Look where your feet are pointing. Since then, I’ve thought, Never mind, when I retire from advertising, I’ll do another one. But for now, no; it’s just teaching. Teaching is so much more fun!
AG: Oh, good! I am glad to hear it because when I was at one of my face-to-face critique groups the other night, I said, “Oh! I’m going to interview Laurie Schnebly!” and one of my friends was like “Ah! Really? I’ve taken so many courses at WriterU! I can’t wait to hear the interview.”
LG: Oh, neat! Who is your friend?
AG: Her name is Bonnie Crow.
LG: Well, that’s fun! Golly, it’s nice hearing “small world” familiar names.
AG: This is a great resource, your enneagram book, for creating characters based on personality types, and you’ve mentioned several of them – The Giver, The Perfectionist, The Artist, and so on. Have you ever been tempted to create a character using this method, and then sign him or her up for a dating service, just to see what kinds of people would respond to the profile?
LG: You know, I haven’t tried a dating service because I feel, oh dear! what if somebody liked this person and then felt rejected at getting turned down? But I did try a financial service. This was years ago, but it was someplace where you could discover what’s your investment style, or something like that. I thought, well, good. Nobody could possibly be hurt if I signed up. The current characters were Joe and Meg – so I did this thing. How does Joe…? Yes, yes, yes. And I was like “Yes! Oh, my gosh!” and then I thought, well, maybe I’m just stacking the deck with the answers I want, so I just gave some random answers. The financial quiz said, “This doesn’t show any kind of investment personality. Are you sure you’re answering them?” And I thought Wow. Okay. So it was a kick to think, Yeah, they do come across as real people.
AG: Cool. Because I thought you were going to say that you used that in the story. “Joe slammed the portfolio of mutual funds down on the table, and then stormed out of the room.” I don’t know. I think it would be an interesting experiment, but as you said, I mean I wouldn’t want to – I’m sure that violates the Terms of Service for the dating service anyway – but I wouldn’t want to hurt somebody’s feelings, if they thought, Oh yeah! This is the perfect person for me. But they didn’t exist.
LS: Yeah. Heck.
AG: Which is a whole other metaphor, anyway. But, one of my YA characters actually does have a MySpace account. And I put his blog posts from the book on his account. But it seems like the only people who followed him were trying to attract him to porn sites.
AG: Although I actually did use the email that someone sent me – I used that in the book. But I do know that some authors do blog, or tweet, or FaceBook as one (or more) of their characters. Do you think this makes the character seem more real and accessible to the audience, or does it come off as gimmicky?
LS: You know, I think it depends on what kind of book. There are books where it’s more about the character than the story, so if the character is the type who draws fans, then yeah, that’s fun. That’s cool to, you know, give them an extra life outside the book. The kind of characters that I do – Special Edition is more of a home/family/hearth line – are not the type of characters to would draw fans who want to know more about their everyday life. But I think for the type who does, that’s sort of cute.
AG: You could do a “mommy blog” in one of your character’s names…
LS: Yeah, something like that.
AG: Okay. So with the enneagrams, are there enneagram clusters for character types? If I’m creating a hero, should I pick from a certain set of types, where a sidekick comes from another set, and so on and so forth. Or is any personality type just as likely as any other to fall into any given role?
LS: Every time I do this class – or workshop – I take a survey of the people. “Okay, what types of characters are you writing?” And the Type 8, Leader, appears in the hero lineup more often than any others. It used to be, you know, in the classic romances back in the 1970s or whatever, every hero was automatically a Type 8. There were no other types. And every heroine was automatically a Type 2 Nurturer; there were no other types. And now, we have so much more variety that anybody can be a hero or heroine. But Type 8s are still more popular as heroes. Heroines are better, widespread across the board. We get all kinds there. For a villain, no, there really isn’t. Why? Because any type – if you take their bad trait and milk it, any type can be a villain. For heroes, I think we tend to see fewer heroes that are nurturers, although the few that I have seen are great – you know, sexy, compelling heroes – but that doesn’t come up as often. And the intellectual bookish Observer, Type 5, we don’t see as many of those. Because, I think, stereotypically they’re not so much interested in passionate falling in love as they are in whatever their pursuit is. And the Peacemaker 9, who tends to be pretty agreeable, get along with everybody, doesn’t tend to have a lot of drama in their life, so there aren’t as many 9 characters – or heroes and heroines. But when somebody does one – I remember Susan Wiggs had done some – boy, they’re good. Any type, you can make so compelling. It’s just getting into it. Well, I suppose that’s true if you say any astrological sign, whatever, any birth order type. You can make any of them compelling, if you’re really getting into them. But on the surface there are some that are more instantly recognizable as “Oooh! That’s a compelling character!”
AG: Oh, yeah. Because my mom used to read romance novels, back in the 70s and 80s, and I read, I don’t know, two or three of them, and they all seemed to have – you could just do like a search and replace with the character names and the scenery, and it would be exactly the same story.
LS: Yeah, uh-huh.
AG: Alright, so that’s how we create good people. Or protagonists. So, how do they work for creating true villains? Not just antagonists (who may or may not actually be bad people), but seriously disordered personalities, like Hannibal Lechter, for example. Is there a separate set of “abnormal psychology” enneagrams?
LS: No. What’s funny is that a lot of the psychologists who write about enneagrams focus on the bad parts, the downsides, because they’re coming from a clinical treatment model. So, okay, it makes sense that they would focus on the bad stuff. And reading a book by one of those clinical psychologists, it’s like oh! This is all so grim, and so dark. And no matter which type is mine, I don’t want to be that type! I saw another book that was great, by Renee Baron and Elizabeth Wagele, and I’ve forgotten the name of it; I think it might have been “The Nine Personality Types” or something like that. But it focused on the everyday, you know, the ordinary. Sure, people have quirks – we all have quirks – but very few of us are psychopaths. So, if you took all the psychopaths in the world, they would fall into all nine types equally. But the way they act out their disturbance would vary, depending on their type.
AG: Okay. Because John Douglas, who was one of the original FBI profilers, had said that serial killers were a perfect storm between traits and trauma – which explains why a lot of children are abused, but don’t turn into serial killers, and a lot of people are sociopaths, but don’t turn into serial killers. But if you have a sociopath who’s traumatized, then you’re in trouble.
LS: There you go. Yeah. They would be evenly divided among the nine. The same is true of really stellar, heroic, wonderful people – are also divided equally among the nine. And the same with average people. It’s 11.1111% in each type, you know.
AG: Well, that’s good to know, I guess, because if everybody was the kind of alpha male and everybody was the Nurturer, we’d have a pretty boring society.
LS: We’d have a 1970s romance society.
AG: Yeah! There you go. Well, speaking of society, would you say that enneagrams are a universal personality archetypes, or are they primarily based to western culture?
LS: I think they are more popular in western culture, even though credit for origination goes to the Sufis. I don’t think it’s as big a deal in eastern culture as it is here. But supposedly, every nation has its own enneagram type.
AG: Oh, wow.
LS: I remember reading that America has more Type 3 Achievers and Type 6 Guardians than the other types. And so, in theory, then, they wouldn’t be 11.111% of everybody in America as the same. And when you think of countries where peacekeeping, you know getting along with everyone – like Switzerland, I tend to think of that way, or Japan, maybe that – and I don’t know if that’s true, but they may tend to have more of the Type 9s, where America has more of the Type 3s and 6s. And I do see the American personality as being a bit more… Well, their fatal flaw is deception – it’s all about the image. And these are the fabulous Achievers – everything they do, they do wonderfully, and if they’re not going to be wonderful at it, they’re just not going to do it. So it’s all like The Great Gatsby, you know, just putting on a tremendous performance. The golden boy, or golden girl –whatever they do, they’re going to look really good while they’re doing it. And that, to me, seems very American. You know, we care about looking good, and being successful, and that’s the Type 3.
AG: Well, maybe that’s why we’re so obsessed with celebrities, and who wore what to the red carpet…
LS: Yeah. Uh-huh. And that’s not to say that other countries don’t do that, but I think America tends to emphasize it a bit more than other countries. And then we also have more of the Type 6 – that one has a lot of nicknames – the Guardian is my favorite, but there’s also the Trooper and the Loyal Skeptic, and the Defender. Their fatal flaw is fear. They are driven by the quest for security, for themselves, and those they care about. And somebody who always knows where to find the fire extinguisher – that would be a Type 6. There are two types: the phobic is actually fearful, and always aware of the fire extinguisher. The counter-phobic is driven by fear as well, but instead of in “Flight Mode,” they’re always in “Fight Mode.” And the best example I heard was Woody Allen and Mel Gibson are both the Type 6. But you can see how they embody different ends of it.
AG: Oh, yeah. Okay. Oh, yeah, I can see that. Whereas, sometimes, when you’re just reading the book, it’s like. “Okay, well this makes sense, but I’m not entirely certain how to apply it.” But in your book, you actually have like quizzes to give your character to see which personality type they fit into. That’s pretty cool.
LS: Oh, well, thank you. Yeah, my favorite part of that book was the sample stories about each character. There was the detective, and the princess, and the cowboy, and the teenager, and the career woman. And so in all the mystery, fantasy, western – although I don’t know why I used western – and YA and romance genres was the same person, going through the same set of circumstances. How would this person be if they were a Type 1? Or a Type 2? And so on. Just writing those little stories to show how their personality helps them and gets them in trouble was – that was a lot of fun. I enjoyed doing that.
AG: I have it on my Kindle, and my kid was watching YouTube on it earlier, so I’m not sure where it is. But yeah, I thought “This is really cool!” I liked this. I liked the quizzes. Okay, so here is a question for maybe sci/fi writers who might be listening (or possibly artificial intelligence programmers). For any listeners who don’t know, the concept of the “Uncanny Valley” is the idea that if a robot is 95% human, it’s “cool,” because we perceive it as a really good robot; but if it is 96% human, it’s “creepy,” because we perceive it as a defective human. Do you think it would be better, or worse, if programmers incorporated enneagrams into robots’ personalities to either get closer to or further from the Uncanny Valley?
LS: Oh, boy. That’s a tough one. I think if somebody were trying to recreate any personality type in a robot, they could sure use enneagrams to good effect. And, I suspect if they programmed in only the good traits, people would think “Oh, good robot.” But if there weren’t a couple of the flaws, people might feel uneasy that this person, or this robot, is “too good to be true. There’s something that I’m not seeing here – what is it?” So I think that might be the uncanny valley aspect in humans, as well as robots. If there’s something that’s almost perfect, that’s not quite right. And so 96%, I guess, is just a little bit too close to 100% for us to feel comfortable with it.
AG: Well, it seems like there are so many shows, like Lance Heinrikson’s character in Aliens – he was an artificial human, but they didn’t realize it until they had the dinner scene where he was doing the knife between his fingers, then some of them reacted badly; but as long as they didn’t know he was a robot, they liked him. And of course, Commander Data, from Star Trek.
LS: Yes, uh-huh. And even Mr. Spock, on the original, I think was kind of endearing, but different enough that he was clearly not a normal human.
AG: I don’t know. I guess I’m in two minds about that, because do we want to make it difficult to tell if someone is a robot or a human? Or do we want to make it “Oh, yeah. This person’s definitely a robot. I’m comfortable with that. I know how to react to a robot.” Don’t know. That’s just another discussion for the sci/fi writers out there.
LS: Yeah. That’s interesting, though. Yeah.
AG: Okay, so tell us about WriterUniv. How did you get involved with it?
LS: Oh, golly. This is almost ten years ago. Mary Buckham and I had never met, but we had both heard of each other, and we ran into each other at a conference in Seattle, and it was like, “Oh, my gosh! You’re Mary!” “Oh, my gosh! You’re Laurie!” We both really admired each other’s teaching style, and talked about doing a synopsis class online. Mary was booking teachers for Kiss of Death. I was booking teachers for AskAnAuthor. We then realized that we could get together and book teachers for our own website. (This was back before online learning became so popular.) So we decided “WriterUniv” would be a great site – and I wish we’d been able to get “WriterUniversity.com” but we couldn’t; we could only get “WriterUniv.com.” So that’s what we created, and taught classes ourselves, and booked other teachers who came with really good word of mouth. You know, people who tend to go beyond just standard, “Yeah, okay. Do this. Do this. Do this.” You know, people who will interact and engage with the students. We started doing that in, let’s see, April of 2005, so coming up is our tenth anniversary this coming spring. Wow, it’s been great, it has been… You know how fun it is to meet other writers. And meeting thousands of writers through WriterU has been just the coolest thing.
AG: Well, yeah. I’ve taken a number of courses there. I think there was C.J. Lyons’ course – I did her course. I did several from Mary. I did your Heroine’s Journey course. I thought it was the Fatal Flaw, but then I was looking back over my notes, and I was like “Oh, it’s the Heroine’s Journey.” But you did talk a lot about Fatal Flaw in that one.
AG: But yeah, I’ve really enjoyed doing the courses there, and the prices are just incredible. Because a lot of times when you look at these things, they’re three-four-five hundred dollars. I mean, if you want to go to a Donald Maass workshop…I’m sure they’re excellent. And I’ve know people who have gone to them and said they were excellent, but they’re out of a lot of people’s budgets.
LS: Well, and writers don’t tend to make a lot of money. I mean, it’s something we do more for love than for money, and I think the same thing is true with the classes. It’s not a profit center, but it’s such a great way to help other writers, you know? It’s just such a treat. It’s a joy.
AG: So, the next question I had for you was what do you enjoy most about teaching writing classes?
LS: Oh, golly. Feeling like I have made a connection with somebody that helped them. And I think writing is such a lonely business, and people sometimes think “Gee, am I really doing any good here?” And to connect with another writer who feels like “Yeah. I get this. I get what you’re doing” is so empowering, and so encouraging. I’m proud of that. I love feeling like “Okay, I have reached somebody,” you know? This one class on putting the joy back in writing asks what is it you want to get out of writing, and for me, it’s always just been about the fun of reaching people with my words. And teaching classes lets me do that. So that’s my favorite part.
AG: Alright, excellent. Well, I know there’s a lot of us who are grateful to you for doing that. Now, I’m sure as a writing coach, you get students from across a broad spectrum of ability and experience, and some of the topics they write about may or may not be your cup of tea. But have you ever had a student whose writing made your hair stand on end, and not in a Stephen King kind of way?
LS: Well, I have had people who are just starting out who haven’t yet really polished their craft that much. But what’s encouraging is that, okay, they know they need work, and they want to improve, and the next time I see them, it’s like “Wow, yeah. This person has progressed.” You know. So yeah, sometimes when somebody is just starting out, you can tell they’ve kind of got a ways to go. And other people come in, and I think “My gosh! I am honored that someone who has already so good is deciding to get better in my class,” you know? And I am impressed by how many gifted, multi-published writers continue to learn. They all say, “Yeah, this is what keeps me going.” Good for them! I think I would tend to be more lazy, if I were already a best-seller. I would be like, “Oh, yeah. I got it.” But no, these people say, “No, I can always get better.” And I really admire that.
AG: But you’ve never had anybody, and you’re thinking, “I wonder if this person is a serial killer. Are there any bodies in the crawl space of their house?”
LS: Actually, no.
AG: Well, that’s probably a good thing!
LS: Yeah. Wow. No, that would be kind of creepy. No, that hasn’t come up, so that’s good.
AG: Yeah, I guess if you have bodies in your crawl space, you don’t go around telling people about it.
LS: Well, that could be. One of the guys who taught a class on mystery writing said in the description, “Writers may choose to register under an assumed name if they like.” Oh, wait, no. The class was “How to get Away with Murder.”
AG: Well, what are some of the upcoming classes you have at Writer University?
LS: Let’s see. Well, next month is a class that I’m teaching called “Your Plot-Character-Story Braid.” And then October is my next one of the year, that’s also at WriterUniv, and that’s a master class on “The Selling Synopsis.” And then in November, we have Alicia Rasley. She’s been teaching for us from the very beginning, and she was the one who said, “You know, if you’re going to have these classes online, you might want to get a website.” A website? Wow, what a concept. I mean this was back in what, 2005, and it just wasn’t as common. But I think Alicia’s done one for us every year since then, so she’s one of the veterans. And let’s see…I’m just scrolling down here… Alicia’s class is on “Vivid Voice,” and M.M. Pollard, who is relatively new to Writer U, is doing “Control your Time Machine” – that’s a class on verb tenses. We have mixtures of, you know specific craft and general craft. And then in January, we’re going to have Laura Baker, with Discovering Story Magic. And in February, it will be Lisa Pietsch with social media. So yeah, we’re booked up through 2015. It’s nice to get the classes set early.
AG: Oh, wow. Sounds like you’ve got some really good things coming up. Do you spend a lot of time actively recruiting new teachers and new material? So, I mean, if someone was interested in teaching a course at Writer University, how would they approach you? What qualifications or experience would you look for?
LS: Good word of mouth is really the biggest thing. And there’s a place on WriterUniv.com where you can just send an email, or to writer_u (at) yahoo dot com – and email “Hey, I’m interested.” In fact, I remember one time at a conference, chatting with Margaret Taylor, who is a former cop turned writer, and she was saying she’d like to teach some classes about cop stuff for writers. I said, “Do a beta class, you know, invite about half a dozen friends, and teach it. I’ll sit in on it.” You can tell by taking somebody’s class if they have the right spirit, the right attitude, to be a WriterU teacher. Golly, that sounds snobbish! Terribly snobbish. But we do want people who are willing to give above and beyond. You know, so like, yeah, Margaret had that. She taught a couple of other classes, and great, now she’s a teacher, you know? So anybody who does that, yeah, I want to sit in on one of their classes and see how they do it. It doesn’t really matter what the topic is. It varies. It can be a broad appeal, or a not-too-narrow appeal, but if it’ll attract twenty-thirty people, that’s great. That’s fine. It takes all kinds.
AG: Yeah. I remember seeing her class, and I wanted to take it, but I had something – I think my husband was travelling, or I had something going on, and I just, I knew I wouldn’t have the time to really get into it. So I was thinking “I’ll be glad when this one comes up again so I can take it.”
LS: There you go. Yes, and it certainly will. It might be a different title, but yeah. Sometimes we repeat titles over and over and over if they stay popular. And other times, it’s like “Okay, this is a popular teacher with a new topic.” And either way works fine.
AG: Cool. So, to kind of flip that a little bit, is there a mechanism for prospective students or alumni to request a new course at Writer University? For example, I would be interested in a book cover design class. Is there a threshold where you would say “Wow, X number of people are interested in taking this course. We should really recruit somebody to make this happen.”?
LS: You know, we did that a couple of years ago with indie publishing, when it was starting to take off, and did a whole track on indie publishing. And that Book Cover Design, that sounds cool. No, I have not done a class like that. But anybody who’s here today, any topic – just email writer_u (at) yahoo dot com and say “I’d sure be interested in a class on this.” If there’s enough interest, absolutely, I’d go out and see who teaches it. A lot of it is – I mean, every writer knows hundreds of other writers, and asking people “Hey, have you heard anything about good book design?” I’m thinking already, “Who would I ask about that? Whose book covers do I like?” and people will talk about that on loops. “Oh, I saw this great designer who would be good at teaching that,” and approach them.
AG: Yeah. There’s, oh, what’s his name? Joel Friedlander, I think he has The Book Designer, and he always has like a monthly book cover contest and people submit their book covers, and he puts it up there, and people can comment on them, or he’ll, if it’s really good or really bad, he’ll comment on it.
LS: Uh-huh. That’s interesting. Yeah. And the thing is too, that somebody who is good at doing something isn’t necessarily good at teaching it.
LS: I mean, this Joel might be fabulous – it’s not anything against him – but it’s two different sets of skills. And there are great novelists who say, “Oh, no! I couldn’t teach a class if you put a gun to my head.” Okay, that’s fine. There are people who… We’ve had teachers who have never published a book, but boy, they know their stuff, and they’re good at teaching it. It’s about good teaching – that’s really what it is.
AG: Well, I’m looking forward to that book cover design class.
LS: I love it! I’ll have to look for that.
AG: Okay, now looking at your own website, booklaurie.com – see, I didn’t even think of book as a verb. I thought of it as a noun, as in “Oh, Book Laurie – she’s a Laurie that writes books.” But you mean book as in “sign me up to do a course here.” I think that you have a number of courses that you teach, both online and in person. Would you tell us about some of those, especially ones that aren’t offered at Writer University?
LS: Oh, gosh. Actually, at some point, they always are. But first, teaching live – wow, and that’s funny – I think probably the one I teach live most often is also the one that’s most popular at Writer U. That’s Plotting Via Motivation. And I’m doing that, let’s see, next month in St. Louis, and then November in Rochester, NY, where I’ve never been, and I’m hoping it’s not dead-of-winter snowy, but we’ll see. So, yeah, the live classes are – I can never decide which I like better. Because for, you know, an online class that goes a month, well, you really get to know people. But a live class, getting to see the light bulbs go on, I mean you can’t get that online as clearly as you can in person, so that’s good. But I’m glad that I get to do both because I just love it, online and live.
AG: Excellent. So, you just mentioned a couple of things that you had coming up. But are you doing any other appearances or blog tours that people might want to check you out on?
LS: Oh, well, let’s see. This coming Friday, I don’t know how quick this Skype will go live, but Friday, August 29, at RomanceUniversity.com – that’ll be a blog about braiding your story. November for RWA Kiss of Death chapter, Psychology for Creating Characters. And January for the Orange County RWA – it’ll be New Year, New You, which is starting 2015 off for better writing. And February for Script Scene, that’ll be the fatal flaws. July and December, I don’t teach. Those are vacation months. But every other month, there’s something, somewhere.
AG: Oh, wow. That sounds like you’ve got a lot on your calendar. This particular podcast is scheduled to go live on September 8, but I will link back to your blog post. Is there anything else that you would like to talk about, or anything that you think people would like to know, before we close out?
LS: I don’t know. It’s funny because I think the fun thing about – or one of the fun things about – teaching a class is I get to be up on stage, and everyone is looking at me. Well, what else do people want to know about me? I’ve got a messy house, I don’t see how… I don’t think… Me, as a person, is not that interesting – it’s just the stuff I have to teach is interesting. So, well, yeah, you can tell I’m not the Type 3 who always looks good! But this has been a lot of fun.
AG: I’ve really enjoyed it. I had done an interview once where the person sent me the questions, and I recorded the answers and sent them back, and he pasted it together. But this is the first live audio interview that I’ve done.
LS: Well, that’s great! Yeah, nobody would guess it was your first.
AG: I guess it’s because I listen to a lot of podcasts all the time.
LS: You know, it’s funny. Given the choice of a podcast or a transcript, I always go for the transcript.
AG: Yeah, I don’t know. It depends on what I’m doing. If I’m folding laundry or something, then I’ll listen to the podcast.
LS: Oh, yeah. Sure.
AG: But if I’m at the computer, because I can read a lot faster than I can listen.
LS: Uh-huh, yeah – but see, people with messy houses never fold laundry! Yeah, but that’s a good point. Well, thank you for…really, I’m honored at having been your first podcast guest.
AG: Alright, well we really thank you so much, Laurie, for taking time out from your very busy schedule to talk with Space City Scribes. And again, I really enjoyed having you as my guest.
LS: Well, thank you. Have a good rest of the weekend.
AG: Alright, you too. And that wraps up my interview with Laurie Schnebly. If you are interested in taking some excellent writing courses for reasonable prices, head on over to her personal site or WriterUniv. I’ll put the links in the show notes. Thanks for hanging out with the Space City Scribes.