Laura Hughes, author of “The Sara Chronicles,” held her first book signing event on Jan 19 at Hastings in Altus, Okla.
Hughes currently has five books of the series released, with each entry longer than the last. Hughes said when the characters embark on another quest, the stories become more detailed which require the books to be longer.
“The Sara Chronicles” began as stories Hughes would make up for her daughter, Sara. With each story, Hughes began forming ideas to turn her daughter’s stories into a magical world filled with wonder, where the forces of good and evil fought to keep the world balanced.
“I used to tell her stories, everybody wants to be the hero of their own story,” Hughes said. “That’s where it started, and I thought that it could actually go further, and each time it did.”
Hughes would then take all of those ideas and start a blog, where she self-published on multiple websites.
Hughes is currently working on the sixth book in the series and plans to go to a seventh.
“The storyline dictates that I have to go one book further; I’m working on book six now, but in order to wrap it up I have to go one more,” Hughes said. “You can only go so far in one story and then you just have to wrap it up and in order to make it all fit. I have to go to the seventh to have it all make sense.”
After Hughes completes “The Sara Chronicles,” she has ideas for another book series but she said that she wants to complete her current series before jumping into another one.
Hughes is currently working on re-releasing all of her books with updated artwork from Joe Pee, an artist that Hughes met on freelanced.com — a website where potential clients go to search for artists and writers to take on various projects.
Pee is from a town called Wanganui in New Zealand. He had strong ambitions to become an artist ever since he was a young boy.
“When I was a kid, I drew a dragon, but my uncle mistook it as a snake,” Pee said. “This incident actually provoked me to be even more serious in drawing.”
Pee took his ambitions to create works that pleased his clients by making the clients’ style his own artistic style.
“As an artist, we create our client’s favorite, not our own favorite,” he said. “It is more challenging to do something that didn’t even cross your mind ten minutes ago rather than doing what you’ve kept in mind for years.”
Pee explained that working in an advertising agency helped him become a better artist because it taught him to effectively advertise the client’s product and make what the clients wanted into a reality.
The current covers of the Chronicles are composite sketches Hughes’ publishing company drew. Hughes works for two publishing companies: Tate Publishing, the company that owns the rights to publish the first book of the series, and Outskirts Publishing, the company that owns the rights to the rest of the series.
Hughes explained that although she has a publishing company backing her, she is still in a self-publisher in a sense. The author explained that her contract with Tate holds the company responsible for publishing, sales and advertising for the first book, but her contract with Outskirts covers only publishing, sales and advertising for her second book. Hughes must keep track of sales, advertising, where the books are being sold, how many each store should have and how many copies of the books Outskirts should print for the third, fourth and fifth book.
Hughes is currently in talks with Outskirts to have the company cover the rest of the series and is also working on a contract to re-release the books with Pee’s artwork.
Hughes runs a daily blog that keeps her followers informed of her progress and includes excerpts from her work at http://laurasday-laura. blogspot.com/.