Meet My Friend LAURA VOSIKA, Author of the Time-Travel Historical Fiction Series: Blue Bells Chronicles

When I first read The Blue Bells of Scotland, I was immediately caught up in Laura Vosika’s fascinating story of two men, identical in looks, who suddenly switch places.  Shawn Kleiner, a famous and spoiled musician, finds himself transported seven hundred years in the past. At the same time, Niall Campbell travels seven hundred years forward, to our present.

Laura develops her characters beautifully through all the books, including those surrounding the men and with whom they have relationships. I’ve read them all, and eagerly await the release of The Battle is O’er. In fact, I may have been first in line to pre-order it and cannot wait to read it.

Laura is as interesting as her books, and it’s my pleasure to have her with us. Thank you for joining us, Laura!

Tell us about your background. How did you get your start in writing, and how long have you been writing?

I grew up in the military—a great way to live if you look at the positives. You meet lots of people from lots of backgrounds. You learn about the world and other people and that there are a wealth of ideas and ways to live well.

On the down side, it’s easy to end up a bit rootless when you’re always the new kid in school. But there are always books. Whether I would have been a great reader anyway, I’ll never know, but there was certainly plenty of time to read in the summers we had just moved, before school started.

I started writing at a very young age. I tried a few poems when I was eight (and it’s probably just as well they’re long lost!) At nine, I was writing short stories and ‘binding’ them to put on the classroom’s book shelf. At ten, I was starting my first novel. 

When was your first book published, and how many have you published since?

Blue Bells of Scotland was published on September 11, 2009—wow how time flies! Then came the second book, The Minstrel Boy, then The Water is Wide, and Westering Home, all in The Blue Bells ChroniclesThe Battle is O’er is my fifth novel.  I’ve also published Go Home and Practice, a musician’s record book, and Food and Feast in the World of the Blue Bells Chronicles: a gastronomic historic poetic musical romp in thyme, a collection of scenes from the novels that features over 200 recipes, the majority from medieval sources, along with history, stories, poems, and songs associated with the scenes.

How much does your background influence your writing?

A great deal, I’d say. I spent my earliest years in Germany, visiting castles and medieval towns, driving in the Alps, going down into the salt mines, camping in England where we once pitched our tent (with the sexton’s permission) just outside an ancient cemetery. When we lived on the east coast, we went to many historic sites. History has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember, including medieval history. 

Then there’s the music. The Blue Bells Chronicles centers on Shawn Klein, a famous classical trombonist. This is my background. I majored in music, on trombone, and for a time freelanced with various types of orchestras and chamber playing — so Shawn’s world is one with which I’m well-acquainted. Like Niall, the medieval Highlander, I also play harp. 

What inspires you to continue writing?

The letters I get from readers, telling me how they love the books and are eagerly awaiting the next one, are very uplifting and keep me going faster than I might otherwise. But to me, writing is something I can’t NOT do. I’ve been writing stories almost since I was able to write. Niall and Shawn are, in a sense, very real, and I can’t NOT write their story. 

I can attest to that, being one of those readers eagerly awaiting the next one! Aside from your fans, what is the best thing about being a writer?

Apart from the thrill of bringing worlds and people to life–the connections I’ve made with other people; the people I’ve met as a result of writing. I’ve met people literally all over the world whom I would never have known otherwise; and some I’ve become friends with, whether that be other writers or readers. 

What is the worst thing?

It’s not exactly a steady stream of income and there are no benefits; like healthcare and paid vacation.

What is your single best piece of advice for aspiring authors?

Find a writer’s group to join. Get feedback on your writing.

Why do the events of the past matter to us today? Why do we keep reading about the past?

We learn from the past. Every age has its wisdom and every age has its follies. A recurring theme throughout The Blue Bells Chronicles is the contrast of eras. Niall thinks very little of Shawn or his time–and Shawn has equally negative views of both Niall and his century. But as the story progresses, Niall learns there are some good things to be had in the modern time, while Shawn comes to realize that his society also has its flaws, and that maybe, while we’ve improved many things, we’ve also thrown out some good ideas and some wisdom. 

 When we read about history, we’re learning–both from what an age did right, and from their mistakes. Apart from that, we’re learning some great stories!

Laura, it has been a pleasure chatting with you. I understand you have an event coming up. Would you share a little about that?

I’ll be doing an ‘author takeover’ on Facebook, March 24 from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. I’d love to have you and your readers join me. Here’s the link: Author Takeover with Laura Vosika

Thank you so much! And thank you for this excerpt from your new book The Battle is O’er. Click here to pre-order the book, and enjoy the excerpt. More of Laura’s links follow.


Cover LV BO front


“You know these tunnels?” the chief asked.

“I know them well,” Shawn said tersely.

You’re in your time. That had been Amy, as he led her, too, seven hundred years later, just months ago in July, through these same passages. A chill shot through him, wondering if Niall might be down here. He had seen just a glimpse of him, as he burst into the chapel, just a glimpse of his best friend, his brother, knife raised, looking at Simon, as he faded away. Yes, he, too, would be in these passages, searching for Simon in his own time.

“How do you know them?” Clive asked. His light played over the dirt floor.

“Watch carefully,” Shawn returned. “There’s a side passage opening up. He could be hiding there.”

“How do you know them?” Clive asked again.

“I told you,” Shawn said irritably. “I spent a good part of two years here.”

“You were only gone a year.”

In the close passage, Shawn spun. “Do you not get it? There’s a medieval madman down here—maybe—who will kill you. He’ll have his knife under your ribs and through your heart in the blink of an eye, if you’re not paying attention! Could we maybe have our coffee klatch later?”

In the shadowed light of the labyrinth, Clive’s face remained passive, his eyes dark. He nodded, and spoke to the chief. “Guard the exit. I’ll go with Kleiner.” Before his boss could object, he pushed ahead in the cramped tunnel, saying over his shoulder, “You’re needed at the precinct.”






BB cover 100 px wideMB Cover JPG 1.30.12Cover LV Water is Wide (2017_01_22 16_12_29 UTC)51-MaYcaD4LCover LV BO front51TAMc7upaL._UY250_61CYmSot1aL._UY250_


Here it is! The cover reveal for Triton’s Call: Tetrasphere Book Two!

If you’ve read and enjoyed Terra’s Call, you won’t be disappointed in this second book, where Pax, Sky, Jewel and Storm face dangerous, life-threatening challenges and discover more of the mysteries of our planet and under our seas. What lurks below the surface of the ocean?

If you haven’t read the first book yet, visit my website, and see what this series is all about! If you like Young Adult Science Fiction as much as I do (your age has nothing to do with it!), you will like this series.

And now, on to more exciting research! Where will my characters take me next? I think a mysterious mountain…



What was I going to say to a group of eighth-graders? Why do I write?

semi finalist

Why do I write? A teacher friend of mine honored me by reading portions of my book Terra’s Call to her eighth-grade classes. She kept me informed about their continued interest and, in my excitement, I blurted out an offer to speak to her kids about writing. She accepted.

One reason I prefer writing to speaking is that my spoken words trip me up more often than not, and this time they trapped me in a commitment to speak to a group of kids who are, undoubtedly, going through the rigors of hormonal changes in addition to problems and issues that would fund a therapist’s villa in the Mediterranean, if they could afford a therapist. What words could I possibly say that would encourage them, engage them and keep their interest?

Why do I write? I could say it’s because I grew up without television, forced to read for entertainment and allowed to read anything I was able to understand, and much that I wasn’t ready for. How many of them would be able to relate to the world I grew up in, without electronics and in a land where I had to learn the language or flounder? Are there any military brats among them? Perhaps. Would I bore the rest with my accounts of a life lived long before they were thought of? Perhaps.

What if I turned the focus on them? Kids live inside their own skins. Life for some of them is all about self-preservation; survival. What gift could I leave them with? What do they need to know about themselves that they may or may not already know?

The speech formed in the middle of the night, in that realm of half-sleep where God sometimes speaks in a nearly-audible voice and ideas fall like rain, filling puddles with scenes and characters. This felt like a clear pool of light. Share my background. That’s a given. They won’t know anything about me. Why is this old lady talking to them about teenagers in her book?

Segue to a question that only they can answer. Each of the characters in Terra’s Call has a super power. What about the eighth-graders? What if they knew that each of them has at least two super powers? Can they guess what they are? If they would hang on until the end of my talk, I’d reveal the secret to them. Now what? I had a beginning and an end, so what comes in the middle?

I took a writing course where I learned that the active voice is better than the passive voice in most cases. With all the books I’ve read, you’d think I’d know that instinctively, and yes, the books I enjoy the most are written that way. The course defined my gut reaction in a way that I would later use in my writings. I passed that nugget along, with examples of the different voices. The speech was complete. What are the super powers that every young person in that room and in every room in every school shares? Stay with me and I’ll tell you at the end.

How do I define the drive, the need to express on my laptop what I can’t easily say? When the words come, the ideas flow and my characters play out scenes and conversations in my head, the pure magic of electric creativity shimmers through my fingertips. It’s happening, I celebrate and the keyboard clacks almost as quickly as I think. This is easy and I feel alive and vibrant.

And then, the crash. I’m stuck, held in a bog of a scene that goes nowhere and means nothing in the narrative. My feet, my mind, are held captive in viscous tar, and struggling only pulls me in deeper. Why do I write when I feel completely inadequate, even stupid with a void for a brain and my font of ideas runs dry? What do I do then?

I wait and pray. I spend time with my ever-supportive husband. I shop and visit family and go to the movies and meet with other writer friends for some quick exercises with prompts. I refill my empty tanks with life and love and laughter and people. And then, in the middle of the night, or perhaps while I’m driving or in the shower, the light comes on and my characters speak to me again, and I see them living their next scene. That’s how Terra’s Call happened. That’s how Triton’s Call is happening now.

When I entered my first contest with Terra’s Call, my first fiction work and the first book in the TetraSphere series, I had no expectations. I entered simply to try something I’d never done before. Imagine my surprise when I received an email informing me that Terra’s Call is a semifinalist in the published fiction for youth – young adult/new adult genre category of the 2016 Royal Palm Literary Awards competition. A semifinalist! I’m doing a happy dance right now. I can’t imagine how it would feel to be a finalist.

Why do I write? Because I share the same super powers those eighth graders have. You do, too. Here they are:

  1. Imagination. If you’ve ever spent a moment daydreaming; if you’ve invented anything or dreamed up a practical joke to play on someone or interviewed for a job or read a book or done something out of the ordinary, then you have it, too.
  2. The ability to choose your path. You can make good choices or bad choices. Your choices may be limited by your circumstance, or they might break you out of things that limit you. You have the ability to forge a path based on the choices you make.

Why do I write? I write because I have to.


Will they? Can they save the planet?

(Image by Lucee)

Has anyone else noticed how weird the weather has been lately? A hurricane in January? Hurricane force winds and thirty-foot waves battering a cruise ship in February? A heatwave followed quickly by record snowfalls in the south? What does a writer do with all that?

May I get a little excited about this? It is my first, after all. The first of its kind, at least. I’ve carried it, nurtured it, shaped it, and now I’m about to birth it, and I’m excited!

It’s happening! TERRA’S CALL, the first book of the TetraSphere series, is nearly ready for publication! My first ever fiction work! What’s it about? Here’s a little hint:

Storms and earthquakes, sudden rifts in the ground and massive mudslides; the insane weather and natural disasters are escalating, and only a handful of people know the truth – a handful of people and two alien races. Mankind’s days are numbered.

Jewel Adams has abilities that forced her into a life of solitude as a young child, with only her parents as companions.  Things change during her senior year in high school, and she discovers she’s not alone when she meets the Fletcher twins and Storm Ryder. They share more than the unusual shape and brilliant colors of their eyes. They share a destiny, but do they have what it takes to fix Earth’s problems? If they fail, the fate of two planets, including Earth, hangs in the balance. Will an ancient enmity between two star systems cause their quest to fail? Will their enhancements be enough to save the planets? Are they willing to take the chance?


Stay tuned for the cover reveal, release date, and maybe even a give-away or two!