What is your name, company name, and URL?
My name is Laura Baumbach. I don't use a pen name. I'm a full-time publisher, and author of m/m erotic romance novels and mainstream screenplays. My publishing company's name is MLR Press, LLC which stands for ManLove Romance Press, LLC. (http://www.mlrpress.com) I'm a novelist and a screenwriter. While my novels are primarily m/m erotic romance, my screenplays have been a mix of mainstream sci-fi/horror and m/m contemporary. Adaptations of published novels of mine.
What is your specialty: filmmaking or screenwriting? If filmmaking, which aspects?
Screenwriting. I got into it a weird way. I was writing fanfiction 15 years ago and got invovled in the making of a horror film. They needed a medical consultant and I am a RN who was working in emergency trauma at the time. I consulted with the script, got wrapped up in the film process and dove in head first. I had written fanfiction with the film creators' permission and they asked to published the collection of my work to release with the film. It went on to win awards as a collection of short stories. I went on to write original fiction by the release of the film. I had several novels completed then but I was dying to write a screenplay after my experiences. So I adapted one of my sci-fi novels DETAILS OF THE HUNT which was originally titled TALOS' BOUNTY. The script won a several awards and I was hooked.
What are you currently working on?
I've just finished a revision of my script MOONLIGHT BAYS, a werewolf story. With romance. lol. I love writing paranormal. Vampires are so powerful and dark. The original sexy loner. Werewolves are the original passionate outcast who mates for life. I embrace that.
Who do you consider your mentor and why?
If I could write like Joss Wheldon I'd die a happy woman.
Why do you think the horror/sci-fi genres have such a large following?
People loved to be scared. Adrenaline spikes, tension is high, we become hyper-aware and sensitive. It's all very sexual in a non-obvious kind of way. Fear and arousal are closely related responses biochemically. Scifi stretches our imaginations with infinite possibilities. Arousal and worlds were anything could be possible, who could ask for more?
What do you love most about this business?
The high degree of creative energy. Just when you think you have seen it all, someone gives you a plot, a solution, a character you never dreamed of on your own. It's inspiring. It make you want to do more with your own work, reach further with it.
What do you dislike most about this business?
How hard it is to get your work noticed. It's a jungle. And it's not the lions that will get you, it's the dense undergrowth you have to battle through to reach sunlight. To get your work seen.
What career accomplishment are you most proud of?
In the romance world I've made a few accomplishments I'm proud of-- breaking down doors to gain acceptance for my category of romance, having my m/m romance work win awards up against other mainstream novels, and founding the first RWA chapter for LGBT romance, even as a straight woman, being recognized by ROLLING STONE MAGAZINE as ' a pioneer of the m/m genre' is at the top of the list. As a screenwriter, I'm thrilled even more when my scripts win awards than when my novels do because I know the screenwriting world is a much harder environment to accomplish things in. Every award translates to visibility in the field, which is more important in a way than the actual award. Your work has to been seen by the right person at the right time. That means getting it out there -- as often as possible -- to be seen in the best light by as many people in the industry as possible. Again and again.
Any advice you'd like to give to newbies?
Have faith in yourself, in your talent. There will be a lot of times when you feel like you are the only one who does. Work at making others feel that belief.
Anything else you'd like to say?
I think bringing enjoyment to others is one of the best gifts a person can leave behind in life. It's a reward unlike any other when you find out something you put out there brought joy and inspiration to another human being. I think that's an authors gift, novelist or screenwriter. We are gifted with imagination and ability to share. Let one or a million people get lost in a world you created. You'll make a mark on them.