Laraine Herring

 
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I love helping people find the inner tools they need to help them do the writing that they’re compelled to do.

I'M A COACH

What is your favorite part of the coaching process?

Helping the writer navigate the challenging parts of the writer’s journey. I love helping people find the inner tools they need to help them do the writing that they’re compelled to do. I'm a writer’s block expert!

What's your coaching style like?

Friendly and accessible, with lots of specificity. I tell you what’s working and why and what isn’t and why, using craft reasons to support my opinions. I honor the work the writer has done and I make recommendations to push the writer forward, sometimes into uncomfortable territory, but always in service to the story.

What genres do you love to edit?

Literary fiction, experimental fiction, speculative fiction, magical realism, narrative nonfiction, experimental nonfiction, hybrid forms (Out of the box? Yes, please!)

What do you love most about editing?

When a writer “gets it” and the work begins to reflect the deeper themes they have been circling around in earlier drafts. I love seeing the tenacity of writers pay off.

Who's your ideal writer match? What are you looking for in a coaching client?

A writer who is eager to learn, excited about the craft of writing, unafraid of revision, and willing to look into the darkness to see what is looking back.

What do you believe the most prominent difference between an editor and a coach is?

An editor shapes the sentences and the paragraphs. A coach helps the writer create the space within themselves, their lives, and on the page for them to create the text that can move forward to the next step in the process.

What's been your greatest achievement in coaching so far?

A client realized the essay she was working on wasn’t at all about what she thought it was and, because she’d done the work of multiple revisions, she saw the hidden gift of the work and she was willing to not only stay with the difficulty, but allow the writing to change her and her perception of the situation in the essay she was writing about.

How did you hear about Author Accelerator?

I downloaded a PDF that Jennie Nash wrote (an early version of her Blueprint for a Book program) a gazillion years ago and it came with a free 30-minute call with her. She was right about what wasn’t working in my proposal, and I’ve been following her work ever since.


IN MY DOWNTIME...

What's your favorite word?

Magic

What genres do you love to read?

  • Speculative fiction

  • Southern gothic fiction

  • Memoir

  • Experimental fiction

  • Anything that pushes boundaries and breaks out of conventional norms

What are five of your favorite books?

  • Break Every Rule: Essays on Language, Longing, and Moments of Desire by Carole Maso

  • Beloved by Toni Morrison

  • As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner

  • The Overstory by Richard Powers

  • Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi

Who are five of your favorite authors?

  • Carmen Maria Machada

  • Lidia Yuknavitch,

  • William Faulkner

  • Kiese Laymon

  • Ariel Gore

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

A writer and a witch. Turns out, you can be both!

What does a typical day look like for you?

During the academic year, I teach full time (psychology and creative writing) at Yavapai College. I write in the early mornings before I log into work. I have five cats I love and care for, and I go to the Y to do Zumba, yoga, or the elliptical. In summers, I travel as much as I can – especially to cities like New York and San Francisco. My husband and I regularly enjoy Sunday brunch!

If you could fast-forward a year from now, what would your writing life look like?

My speculative memoir, A Constellation of Ghosts, which my agent currently has out on submission, will have found its perfect home.

What about 5 years from now?

A Constellation of Ghosts met the readers it needed to reach, and I’m doing more speaking and traveling based off of the book and its themes (grief, ancestral trauma, epigenetics, and illness narratives).

What are you most excited about right now? 

I’m working on a lecture I’ll be giving next semester at the college called Cancer’s Ghost: PTSD in Cancer Patients and Caregivers. I’m very excited to talk about the way we talk about illness, grief, and the long-term challenges of chronic diseases.

 
 
 
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