Thursday, October 30, 2014

Twas the Night Before Halloween

I love Halloween. Love it. I'm so obsessed with the aesthetics of all things in life, and the whole cobweb/raven/crumbling mansion/ black candle vibe of Halloween is something I cherish. This year, though, for some reason, I just haven't gotten into the spirit of things. October flew. Like the page just ripped off the calendar and it's November and how the heck did that happen?

I did get a chance to play photog this morning on my walk with Viktor. I love this month and I strive to capture its colors every year. Took these pics this morning:

It's my goal to make up for yesterday's missed Workshop Wednesday today sometime. Will probably happen during my evening writing block. I've got to make the most of this morning for Fearless.

Just a couple reminders:

- Fearless Part III: All-American Monsters is slated for release second week of November.

- You can click on "Email me when there are new releases my Lauren Gilley" on the right side of my Amazon page to be notified when Part III becomes available for download.

- While you're waiting, don't forget there's nine other novels and two short stories to check out. I think Fearless fans would most enjoy God Love Her. Sly and Layla's story is one of my favorites.

Happy Thursday

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Nerd Things 10/28

Good stuff this week. Two books I've gleefully anticipated:

Prince Lestat by Anne Rice: the 11th novel in her Vampire Chronicles. The summary sounds like this is a return to her big production way of doing things, reminiscent of Queen of the Damned; I'm so excited to see the whole gang back together, though, let's be honest, I'd read an entire book about Lestat shopping for velvet frock coats. It released today and I can't wait to get my grubby little hands on a copy. This is a must-have hardback for me. Anne Rice has joined the likes of Tolkien and Martin in my list of forever-inspiring superauthors.

The Slow Regard of Silent Things by Patrick Rothfuss: This is not the third installment of his Kingkiller Chronicles, but rather a companion novella, one that explores secondary character Auri, and her life beneath the school. Hopefully, this will be a nice little story nugget to tide me over until the third novel of the trilogy is released. Rothfuss writes with a natural blend of graceful detail and real-life grit; his prose sucks you in. Great books for long cold winter days, if you're a fantasy fan.

Taylor Swift's new album is on iTunes:

I don't like each and every song of hers, but I'm not afraid to admit it: I dig Taylor. 1989 feels like a natural step for her, given the pop vibe of Red, and given the frat boy turn the country music world has taken in the last year or so. I really like "Bad Blood" because I'm a sucker for her "bless your heart" push-backs against meanies. And "Welcome to New York" feels like 80s soundtrack music - in a good way. The thing about Taylor is, I appreciate talent, true talent, in all forms. And what she does so well is turn smart phrases; the girl is a poet, laying down honest, relatable lyrics that read like novel prose. Her heartfelt songs are where she shines; I think Taylor is at her best when she's singing lines like "kaleidoscope of loud heartbeats under coats."
Casting News: I know you should never trust a rumor, but talk is getting loud that Benedict Cumberbatch has been picked by Marvel to play Doctor Strange. I'm withholding my excitement until it's confirmed.
Scratch that: excited anyway. 

Monday, October 27, 2014

Lines 10/27 - Fearless Part III

Lines again today. I'm working away; regular blogging tomorrow.


From Fearless
Part III: All-American Monsters
Copyright © 2014 by Lauren Gilley

           “Where are you off to?” Maggie asked, cheerfully.

            “Ronnie’s. I’m spending the night.” She glanced up, to check for a reaction, shaking her overnight bag for emphasis.

            Maggie nodded as she stirred her white cream sauce, taking it all in stride. “Take this.” She slid a brown paper lunch sack down the counter toward her with her elbow.

            Ava picked it up and unfolded the top, saw the gauze, tape, syringes and ointment inside.

            “You know,” Maggie said with another sideways grin. “In case Ronnie comes down with a bad case of gunshot wound.”

            Ava felt her mouth tug at the corners, a reluctant smile.

            “Tell him I said ‘hi.’ ”

            “I’m leaving.”

Sunday, October 26, 2014


If you aren't a writer, you're thinking, what the heck is that? If you are a writer, you've no doubt at least heard of it. I'm participating this year in the most unofficial sense possible: I'll be reaching the word count for the month, to keep on track with Fearless. And since it's literally just around the corner, let's take a look at it.

NoNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month. The goal is write a novel in the month of November, with a minimum word count of 50,000 words. Something like 300,000 writers will join in this year, and as a writer, I've been hearing the annual chatter build over the last month. Everyone's prepping. Everyone's getting excited. It's intense! Not to mention, could there be a more challenging month in which to dedicate your existence to novel-writing? With the holidays looming?

If you're interested, you can check out the official site here, and read the always-fun BuzzFeed interpretation here. I think NaNoWriMo sounds like a great way to get over the forever-unfinished-story hurdle. That's something I struggled with for years, and a month-long writing project like this would blast away doubt and boost confidence. The goal is not to write the perfect story, but to write a first draft, start to finish, one you can then edit and perfect.

What do you think? Anyone giving it a try this year? My goal is at least 70,000 words to knock out Part IV of Fearless, because I'm a glutton for punishment. If you're thinking about starting a novel, but need some incentive, it might be a great way to jumpstart your project.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Lines 10/23 - Fearless Part III

From Fearless
Part III: All-American Monsters
Copyright © 2014 by Lauren Gilley

Ava made an involuntary mewling sound of distress. It felt like the floor tilted beneath her feet. There was a lot of blood. He was a big man, and he could stand to lose a lot, but…Her eyes were filling with tears and she was wracked with shivers by the time Mercy looked up and spotted her.
            “Christ,” Ghost said, “why the hell did you get her up for this?”
            “I need another set of hands,” Maggie snapped back. “She’s alright. Ava, babe, come on. He’s okay.”
            Their voices sounded like they were coming down a pipe. Her eyes were riveted on Mercy, on all the blood.
            He gave her one of his widest, most disarming smiles, all sharp teeth and sharp eyes. She could see the undercurrent of pain, though, that little line of tension in his lean jaw. “Hey,” he said, voice soothing. “Hey, hey. It’s just a little blood, yeah? You’ve seen way worse than this.” His head tilted, his eyes softening. “I’m alright, fillette. You come here and help your mom.”

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Workshop Wednesday - Hemingway's Wisdom

“When writing a novel a writer should create living people; people not characters. A character is a caricature.”  

“There is no rule on how to write. Sometimes it comes easily and perfectly; sometimes it's like drilling rock and then blasting it out with charges.”

“I like to listen. I have learned a great deal from listening carefully. Most people never listen.”  

“If a writer stops observing he is finished. Experience is communicated by small details intimately observed.”  

“A writer should write what he has to say and not speak it.”

“If the reader prefers, this book may be regarded as fiction. But there is always the chance that such a book of fiction may throw some light on what has been written as fact.”  

“Good writing is good conversation, only more so.”

“The most essential gift for a good writer is a built-in, shockproof, shit detector.”  
Ernest Hemingway

Just a handful of my favorite Hemingway quotes about writing. The best writing advice allows for individuality; it encourages through simple truths that we as writers can use as building blocks for the more fantastical elements of our stories.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Hamilton House

I'm a person who is prone to obsessions. I have a monogamous spirit; I commit to things, even if they're just ideas. If I stew on something long enough, if it haunts my thoughts to a certain degree, I put it on scrap paper. And it goes into The Box. I have a box in the top of my closet, full of very rough drafts, half-started stories, orphaned chapters, truly forceful characters with no novel in which to exist. There's stuff from high school in there, maybe even before, because I can't bring myself to throw away ideas that stayed with me for that length of time. The deeper I get into my publishing career, the more I use The Box as a cadaver, harvesting it for useful parts. That's a bad analogy; it's more like finding places for the misfits who didn't belong in their own stories.

Hamilton House is one of those misfits. I have written that house into countless intended books, and finally, in Fearless, had a real place to put it. It's the embodiment of one of my small obsessions: abandoned historical houses.

I've only ever lived in houses built in the 80s, and the 80s were a dark time for home design. Houses built in that decade have no character; they don't have that solid, timeless bone structure; the color choices were trendy and vulnerable to aging. 80s houses aren't haunted; 80s houses don't have echoes.

There's something fascinating about the idea that, in some of these old creaky houses, these empty shells left to rot and ruin, you could put your hand against the bleached scraps of wallpaper and be touching a place someone else touched over a hundred years ago. That gets me. I love history; I love how small and unimportant it makes me feel.

That's one of the reasons I love writing so much: it gives me an outlet for obsession-expression that real life will never afford me.