The Writer's Practice: Lara Elena Donnelly

Tropical Porachis, complex and intrigue-addled, is economically powered by a thriving film industry that at once dazzles and distracts from real-world political drama. The imagined country serves as stage for Lara Elena Donnelly's Armistice, the second book in her Amberlough Dossier series. On her publisher's website, she describes Porachis as "Golden Age of Hollywood-does-Bollywood, with a side order of In the Loop."

But how do you get to Porachis? Donnelly arrived via character.

"I'm a really character-centric writer and reader," Donnelly tells Spine. "That is my number one go-to when I'm coming up with a story. Who is this story about?"

As with all science fiction and fantasy books, writing her Amberlough trilogy required an immense amount of world building, but Donnelly's characters heavily influenced that act of creation.

To read the full in-depth interview on Lara Elena Donnelly's writing process visit

Susanna previously wrote for the online design community Dribbble, helping transform their occasional blog into the online publication Courtside. Her bylines also include AOL News, Boston Globe, Boston Magazine, and Publishers Weekly, among other publications.