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Friday, December 9, 2016

A Dartmoor Christmas Part Three

A Dartmoor Christmas
Part Three

“I have no idea what to get Sam,” Aidan admitted, face scrunching up as if he was in pain. “Smart chicks are so much harder to shop for.”

“Plus there’s the fact that you’d never shopped for a woman before Sam,” Mercy pointed out. “You’re basically a rookie at this.”

“Thanks. That really boosts my confidence.”

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

A Dartmoor Christmas Part Two

A Dartmoor Christmas
Part Two

It wasn’t snowing, but it was both cold and humid enough to do so. Fat gray clouds hugged the treetops, crowding down between the branches like spray foam insulation. The breeze kept low, swirling around ankles and sending stray brown leaves scuttling under horses’ hooves, causing snorts and shies all down the barn. By the time Emmie hiked back up the hill to the house, she was more than ready to call it a day.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

#TeaserTuesday: Walking Wounded

88,167 words
275 pages
M/M romantic relationship

Coming December 17th

Walking Wounded Copyright © 2016 by Lauren Gilley

Read the Prologue...

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

NaNo Day 30: Last Day

Above: This Kind of War by T.R. Fehrenbach

It's the last day of NaNo and I can't believe it's been a month already. This was my first time "participating," though I use that word loosely because I kept it very unofficial. I have to admit that I didn't reach the 50k word goal. But I did complete Walking Wounded, and I'm thrilled about that!

My major takeaway from the NaNo experience is that if I schedule correctly, keep focused, and limit outside distractions (i.e. everything on the internet), then it's possible to increase the speed at which I write. Good news, since I have lots of projects in the wings. But I've also realized it's important to take days off, sometimes whole weekends off. This fall, football has been a really great way to keep myself off the computer and take a little break from work. So I'm sad the regular season is over - thankfully my boys still have championships to play in.

I also learned, this November, that my abiding love of history wants an outlet. I touched on the Korean War with Walking Wounded, and now I find myself wanting to write a much more in-depth novel set during that time period.  

Today, it's raining. Sweet, glorious rain that we need so badly. I'm praying that it rains in Tennessee as well. The gorgeous Smokey Mountain region of TN that I've attempted to capture in my Dartmoor books is under siege by wildfires, and the photos are devastating. Sending them love and rain-wishes, as I work on Hellhound.

Walking Wounded hits Kindles December 17th.

Monday, November 28, 2016

A Dartmoor Christmas - Part One

**An ongoing treat for the holidays. Apologies in advance for typos - this is just for fun. Thanks for reading!**

A Dartmoor Christmas

“I thought you meant a BB gun.”

Mercy snorted. “What’s that good for?”

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

A Dartmoor Thanksgiving

I'm thankful for my amazing readers! Happy Thanksgiving!!

A Dartmoor Thanksgiving

“You did what?” Holly asked, voice faint. Her throat tightened and it hurt to swallow.

Monday, November 21, 2016

The Long-Winded Mission Statement

I think one of the reasons I talk so much about my writing process is because I'm trying to use my blog as a sort of long-winded mission statement. The hope that if readers understand the motivation behind certain scenes and certain books, they'll know what to expect. That if they understand what I focus on as a writer, they can read with an open mind. It's a hope that my books will be judged on their own merit, rather than judged as examples of a particular trope or genre. Or even judged against each other. Because my years of studying literature in college showed me that an author can focus on some things, and still manage to accomplish others.

For example, I've never written a book with the intention that it be sexy. I've never said to myself, "I want readers to think this is hot!" Not once, never. That's just not my cuppa, as a writer. So it always makes me smile when someone describes any part of any one of my books as sexy, or steamy, or hot, etc. I'm really glad some readers think that - to me, language itself can be sexy when used skillfully - but sexiness isn't anything I'm banking on, if that makes sense.

Likewise, I never set out to write a MAN. An all-caps, alpha, macho man. There's a lot of ways in which a man can be masculine, and I seek to capture many variations of personality. To this day, one of my favorite negative reviews comes from a blog that described my book Shelter as "shit" because the male lead "wasn't alpha," and "questioned himself." As a writer, I'm not seeking to capture a fantasy-inspired caricature of a man, but a real human man. And real humans come in all shapes and sizes, and they do question themselves. I write about people, not about concepts.

That's the thing about negative reviews: they don't affect my work. When someone complains that my books weren't short enough, or steamy enough, or comfortable enough, or they didn't like a character because he or she was different from them? That's someone who doesn't know or care what I was trying to accomplish. Who went into the book with a checklist of requirements. And I don't write for checklist readers. I write for thoughtful bibliophiles who want to lose themselves in the lives of interesting strangers for a little while. For whom reading is an experience, and not a reenacted fantasy. In a perfect world, everyone would love an author's books, but that's not what happens in the real world, and I'm okay with that.

Where am I going with this?

I've been saying for weeks that I'm excited about Walking Wounded, and I am. I so am. This is the first time I've made it all the way to the editing stage of a project and not started to viciously hate the book. By the time I finished Tastes Like Candy and Loverboy, I never wanted to see those things again. But this one's felt fresh and delightful all the way through. Part of this is because it's different; it was a chance for me to explore new aspects of my writing, to play with a different style. I got to "visit" new cities. I got to tell a story that wasn't mired in the MC.

It's my hope that all my readers will take a chance on Walking Wounded, but I understand that some of them won't, and I'm good with that. This book is very intentionally different from Dartmoor. It's a character-driven, sensitive, but non-confrontational story about - like all my books - relationships. I know it won't be for everyone, but that's okay. It's not meant for everyone. There's so many things I don't set out to be. But it's my intention, always, to be honest and empathetic. I hope every day that I have been.