Abby R. Laughlin is a science fiction author and an ERA at a vet clinic. The Cosmic Principle, the first in The Nexus Series, is her debut novel. Future projects include books two and three of the same series, as well as a prequel and two companion novels set in the same universe.Abby is currently living her life in Wisconsin with her cat, lizard, and fiancé.
Genre: Science fiction adventure with a touch of romance
Q1: What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
The name of my most recently published (and debut) novel is The Cosmic Principle.
I’m glad you asked about inspiration! What initially inspired my story was—I was in my advanced english/creative writing class in college, and we were tasked with coming up with “one sentence pitches,” and I came up with, “A woman finds out she’s royalty after the former king dies under mysterious circumstances” (which I still use to this day!) and the story continued to build from that starting point.
I also wanted to mention how I initially came up with the actual name too! It’s pretty interesting (at least in my opinion, lol). Essentially, I came across this term called “the cosmological principle” which is a real space term that basically states—that no matter where we look in the universe, we’ll see the same distribution of objects. So basically, the universe looks the same no matter where we are in it. Which, no spoilers, but if you read my story, you can kinda see the play on that—within that universe. BUT, as the title pertains to the story itself, it’s more about the main character, Caldera, and her morals and principles throughout the story. She basically wants to help people and she doesn’t believe that that principle should be contained to a specific sector or even to a planet. She believes that the desire to help people should be galactic or universal—you know… Cosmic.
Q2: What do you need in your writing space to help you stay focused?
Coffee… Lots of coffee… lots.
Q3: If you could spend a day with another popular author, whom would you choose and why?
For a traditionally published author—no question about it, Neil Gaiman. I love his style and stories. Plus he seems like a genuinely nice person.
For indie authors—I’d love to meet up with some of my insta friends! Looking at you SJ Pratt (@sjpratt_writer), MJ Carstarphen (@mjcarstarphen), & JA Ascienzo (@themidnight_novelist). Also, where are my Wisconsin/Illinois authors at?! (Let’s meet up! I’d love to meet my fellow indies!)
Q4: What, to you, are the most important elements of good writing?
Well rounded characters and interesting worldbuilding that makes the story feel real and exciting. For me, personally, I can overlook a somewhat (key word there, lol) meandering plot if I actually care about the characters and world that they reside in.
Q5: What are common traps for new authors?
I feel like that the number one trap that new authors can fall into is info-dumping everything about the world they created. Information about the world and characters should be interwoven throughout the story as it comes up/becomes important.
Q6: What is the most valuable piece of advice you’ve been given about writing?
“The first draft is just you telling yourself the story.” —Terry Pratchett.
Which I take to mean—don't be scared to start writing. No matter how bad you think that first draft is, it doesn’t matter (and guess what it is bad—all first drafts are!). You have to start somewhere and that’s the first step to making something fantastic! You got this!
Q7: How do you come up with character names for your stories?
I try to think about my genre and think of names that work within that genre. For example, since I write sci-fi set in a galaxy that’s not Earth’s, I probably wouldn’t name the main characters Emma or Jim. But if I was writing a contemporary story set on modern day Earth, maybe I would. It all depends on what you’re writing.
Q8: At what time of the day do you do most of your writing?
I’m for sure an early afternoon to evening writer! I work at a veterinary office, so I basically work on my book whenever I can/after I get home.
Q9: What are you working on now?
Book 2 of The Nexus Series. I can’t release the name but the acronym is TCD… Any guesses?
Q10: What are you currently reading?
Moon Beetles by B. Joyce (@bjoyce_author)… Still… I’m a very slow reader, lol.
Find out more about Abby R. Laughlin by checking out the social media links below:
The Cosmic Principle is available in ebook and paperback. Here's a brief excerpt:
If you enjoyed this interview, please consider Buying Me A Coffee to keep these interviews going :)