Interview with Laura Irwin, Author of A Sanctuary from Shadow

01 Dec 2023

What’s the story behind the story? What inspired you to write A Sanctuary from Shadow?

Many different things inspired me to write A Sanctuary from Shadow, but I drew mainly from my personal life experiences. I had a tumultuous early 20s. And so often, people would ask why I hadn’t written about that time in my life. The answer was always that it was way too hard for me to relive it. Until, that is, I turned it into a fantasy story with fantasy characters. Once I removed myself from the equation, the story just came flowing out—took on a life of its own.

If you had to pick theme songs for the main characters of A Sanctuary from Shadow, what would they be?

Oh, this one’s easy, as my main character is a little obsessed with pop music. Her theme song would definitely be “I Want it That Way,” or something else by the Backstreet Boys.

For her love interest Pete—I always listen to “Home” by Machine Gun Kelly when I want to channel his energy.

What’s your favorite genre to read? Is it the same as your favorite genre to write?

My favorite is romantic fantasy, for sure. Sometimes with a bit of history splashed in. My favorite book series is now and will probably always remain Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harness is a close second. And I’ve devoured everything by Sarah J. Maas. I think I’d find it difficult to write something out of the Romantasy genre, just because I love it so much. And I wouldn’t want to write something I didn’t love.

What books are on your TBR pile right now?

Oh, there are just so many right now. Since motherhood and publishing, I haven’t had a lot of time to read. I keep collecting books, of course. Right now, Assistant to the Villain by Hannah Nicole Maehrer is on the top of the list. Then there’s A Broken Blade by Melissa Blair, The Bone Shard Daughter by Andrea Stewart, The Stardust Thief by Chelsea Abdullah, and Kingdom of the Wicked by Kerri Maniscalco.

What scene in your book was your favorite to write?

Probably the scenes where Amy’s annoying the crap out of Pete, so she drives him away from her and figures out how to escape him. It made me laugh out loud when I was writing it, and it still makes me laugh now when I go back and read it.

Do you have any quirky writing habits? (lucky mugs, cats on laps, etc.)

Is writing by the seat of my pants a quirk? If so, that’s mine. I always know where I want the story to go, and I have points I’d like to reach along the way. But how I get to those points is usually up to the characters, and they can take me on some wild rides. Besides that, I don’t need anything in particular to help me write. I like to be comfortable, of course. And sometimes I need the TV on, playing something I know I like but have seen so many times before that I don’t have to pay attention to it. I also have playlists for every work-in-progress in case I need an extra boost of inspiration while I’m brainstorming or writing.

Do you have a motto, quote, or philosophy you live by?

Just that dreams are worth fighting for. Like my main character, Amy, I’ve spent my life fighting for things I was told I couldn’t have. And because I didn’t give up, I got them.

If you could choose one thing for readers to remember after reading your book, what would it be?

Amy. I want readers to remember her and think, “Now, that’s a chick I’d like to hang with.”


Laura Irwin is the author of the new book A Sanctuary from Shadow

Connect with Laura Irwin

Author Site


Buy The Book

B0CF793H8D cover image

Buy The Book

Sign up for our email and we’ll send you the best new books in your favorite genres weekly.