Laura (Hambley) Lovett was born and raised in Calgary, Alberta, and received her PhD in Psychology from the University of Calgary in 2005. Her love of writing began at an early age when she would create and draw characters, telling stories to herself as she drew.
An accomplished author in the academic and business world, Laura pursued her love of creative writing to pen her first novel, Losing Cadence, a psychological thriller. Losing Cadence was written over many years as Laura juggled school, work and family, but she made time to pursue her passion for writing.
Laura is a psychologist and entrepreneur, currently running practices in the areas of career and leadership development and distributed workplaces in Calgary and Toronto. She won a Woman of Inspiration Award in 2018 as a Global Influencer, and selected as a Distinctive Woman of Canada in 2013. Laura also enjoys teaching at the University of Calgary and has been an Adjunct Professor of Psychology since 2010.
Laura lives in Calgary with her husband, three children and dog, Ghost. She loves playing squash, traveling, and reading, as well as her view of the Rocky Mountains as the snow is falling on her hot tub.
Marina Raydun: You are quite accomplished in your career as a psychologist. How does your profession inspire your writing?
Laura Lovett: I love my career as a psychologist as it allows me to help people and to better understand human behavior. I was inspired to write psychological thrillers that went beyond the types of challenges I see, to a much more extreme case. All I have learned about psychology and mental health has helped me explain my antagonist’s (Richard White’s) thoughts and actions. I’m inspired to bring more awareness to mental health and to entertain people through my novels.
MR: The cover art for Losing Cadence (and Finding Sophie!) is striking. Can you talk a little about the concept behind these designs?
LL: A talented graphic designer and friend, Corey Brennan of Elevate Graphic Design, created these covers in collaboration with me. At first, we thought of using a photo of the stalker in the trees and Cadence playing her flute; but, when I saw the more artistic design, I found it striking. I wanted books that would “pop” on the shelf. The stalker is in the background of each, and is subtle yet foreboding. The bride in Losing Cadence has a dress the same shape as the wake in Finding Sophie. The books sit side by side in a complementary way, and I sincerely hope that people find them unique.
MR: What was the hardest scene to write?
LL: The ending of Finding Sophie was the most difficult to write. I could go in a couple of different directions and I had to decide. I was under a timeline and I ended up seeing where the writing would take me. The ending was emotional for me and I think the emotions it elicits in the readers are in line with the emotional contradictions of a psychological thriller.
MR: What do you owe real life people upon whom you base your characters?
LL: People ask if Richard White is based on a partner I’ve had. No way! He came from my imagination and I owe my imagination and creativity to my father as he was a creative soul. He passed away in 1997, but I can still feel his creativity in my being. As for Cadence, she is not based on anyone either, but I attribute my flute playing and being a flute teacher in my teens and early twenties to my understanding of Cadence. And, of course, having my own children, now ages 13, 10 and 8, helped me write about Sophie and Cale, and how children those ages might react to the situations facing them.
MR: What’s the most difficult part about writing characters from the opposite sex?
LL: I don’t find it difficult writing about the opposite sex. I enjoy writing from different perspectives, and in Finding Sophie, it was interesting to go into Richard’s mind and share with the reader scenes from his past that might help explain, even a little, why he turned out to act in such ways.
MR: What’s the best and worst book review you’ve ever received?
LL: The best review was from a staff member at Indigo/Chapters, Lana Shupe, whose passion for my books and way of describing my writing was humbling. She chose me as staff pick at her large store for both of my books.
The worst review was from a Reader’s Digest independently authored book contest. It was clear the reader had not fully read nor understood Losing Cadence. She described Cadence as having Stockholm Syndrome, which is not true. Funny enough, I was in Stockholm speaking at a conference when I received the review. It saddened me as she said my cover looked like “chick lit”, which I’ve never heard since, thankfully. My editor helped me realize it happens to all writers, and to not let it get me down. My publicist later said that bad reviews are a good thing and every writer needs some otherwise it looks like you fixed the reviews to only have great ones.
MR: If you could cast your characters in a Hollywood adaption of your book, who would play your characters?
LL: Chris Pine for Richard, Isla Fisher for Cadence, Kit Harington for Christian.
And I do have a film producer shopping my books, so a film or series may be in the future (fingers tightly crossed!)
MR: Is there one topic you would never write about as an author?
LL: I would never write about something that I had no interest in or that required extensive research on topics that didn’t intrigue me. That would feel like boring work rather than the fun I had writing my psychological thrillers!
MR: Is there a thing you’ve written that makes you cringe now?
LL: Sometimes, when I think of a couple of the sex scenes in Losing Cadence, I feel embarrassed as to whom else in my network has read it. That being said, these scenes needed to be described for the reader to understand Cadence’s abuse and they are not nearly as X-rated as some of the books out there these days!
MR: What are you currently reading?
LL: The Sequel to Crazy Rich Asians: China Rich Girlfriend. I enjoy these books, especially having experienced parts of China in September. It’s such an alternate reality and the author does a wonderful job of bringing the reader into this wealthy and unique world.
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