You can check out my books on, and at Barnes & Noble too.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Too Much Temptation

I finally got my anticipated bookstore trip last night, and, as I had to immediately share on Twitter and FB, I managed to snag the last signed copy of Prince Lestat! I snatched it up and hugged it, like there was some chance someone would try to take it from me. There was another lady shopping through the signed editions and asked me what I'd gotten the last copy of. I was grinning like an idiot when I showed her. I geeked out. It was nerdy, and not pretty.

But then, that's where the trouble starts, because you can't just grab your book and hit the checkout line. No, there must be browsing. Books must be picked up and turned over, examined thoroughly, sniffed, even. There is way too much temptation involved. It's always a victory when I leave with what I came for, and nothing additional. Because I want to take a shopping cart into Barnes & Noble and heap it high. It doesn't even matter that I don't have time to read that many books, there's just something about seeing them piled up, waiting, full of possibility. Adventures I could take whenever I wanted, one page-flip away.

I spotted this gorgeous Lovecraft anthology that I'm putting on my Christmas list. It's so massive you'd have to open it up on the kitchen table to read it. I love the cover, and I love that it includes his story "The Hound," which is very Doyle-esque in theme and tone, and you know how I love my haunted dogs of the Isles.

Now, if I hope to meet my deadline, I have to keep myself firmly away from any and all bookstores until after the 19th. Barnes & Noble is still selling signed editions on a first-come-first-serve basis in-store for the rest of the weekend. You can check out the list of offerings here.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Fearless Part IV Sneak Peek (I totally misspelled this yesterday)

Hope everyone's having a nice Black Friday. The prospect of leftovers for lunch is already making me hungry. It's a sunny, but very cold day here. A good day to write! Today I want to share a few segments of the first chapter of Part IV, Chapter 39. I placed it under the cut because there are a few major spoilers for anyone who hasn't read Part III yet.

To catch up, here's Part I, Part II, and Part III. Part IV is out Dec. 19th, which is scary-close at hand. I'm so excited.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving

Last year's tablescape
I realized that I'm writing too much lately when, this morning, without my usual block of writing time, I felt the faint stirrings of panic. Maybe it's just withdrawal. That voice, in the back of my head: you should be writing, you should be writing.

Hello, my name is Lauren, and I can't stop writing.

But a day away from the keys will be good for me. And hey, while everyone else is watching football, I can silently plot ways to torture my beloved characters. Hee.

Hopefully I can share some of our feast with you later (er...virtually). My mom's cornbread dressing and green beans are the best. Can't wait to taste them. It's not really about the turkey for me; it's all about the sides.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. If football bores you as deeply as it does me, I've got the cure for that... ;)

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Workshop Wednesday - Taking The Day Off
 File this under My Dream Thanksgiving Table. You know, just in case I ever find myself in possession of heaps of money and leather chairs I don't mind setting up in the great outdoors.
I'm skipping Workshop Wednesday today so I can spend what little time I have focusing on Fearless. The title's misleading: just a day off from running my mouth around here. The fingers are still flying on the keyboard.
Don't stay up too late prepping food, and don't forget AMC is running Gone With the Wind back-to-back-to-back today through 1a.m., if you love it like I do.
Ooh, also, Barnes & Noble is selling some great signed copies on Black Friday. I'm going to try to get my hands on one of these. 

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Part IV Cover Reveal

It's a bit of a departure from the asphalt theme of the previous covers, but this installment is a little bit of a departure - literally, in that a lot of the action takes place in Louisiana. I wanted to capture the feel of New Orleans with this cover.

Just a little over three weeks to go! December 19th.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Six Months

It's hard to believe that this...

...grew into this...

...and now this!
Viktor is six months old today. The beast. It's hard for me to remember that he's still just a baby when he's pushing seventy-five pounds and is built like a brick shithouse. He was so excited this morning, because it rained all day yesterday, and today, the sun's out, and it's warm, and he came out of his crate and put his feet up on my shoulders so he could have a hug. Happy half-birthday to him.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Keep Calm...

Yep, pretty much. It's been a dreary, rainy day, and I got lots done! Love that.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Catch-Up Saturday

You know what? When you don't host Thanksgiving dinner, you get to start decorating for Christmas early, something that, given the schedule of daily life right now, is a small blessing.

I love Christmas, but it's startling to think that it's so close. Out and about today, I saw garland and nativity scenes going up, and just as I was thinking it was way too soon to be prepping, I remembered that it's November 22nd. Wow.
Today was one of those catch-up Saturdays, the kind where you catch up on everything you overlooked during the week. It was time for another hay run. A semi came up alongside us and we lost two bales to the highway. In case you ever wondered, hay bales explode on impact when they hit the pavement. It's, "Oh shiiiii...." And whoosh, they're gone. I saw the one come off my mom's truck in front of me, and was so glad I was the one behind her, dodging the explosion, rather than someone in a sedan who might go careening off the road. But then I got home, and saw that a bale was missing off my truck too. Oops.

I got to do some house cleaning that I'd been wanting/needing to do. I'm crabby when my personal space is disorganized.

Writing is coming right along. Without spoiling anything for anyone who hasn't read Part III, I've never been three-quarters into a book and had the characters in this particular situation before. It's fun. I'm getting to explore whole different aspects of the relationship. That's important for me, as a writer, to get to do something a little different with each book. It's not fun if I'm not growing and stretching.

Also in the spirit of catching up, I mentioned earlier in the week that I wanted to talk more about Only Lovers Left Alive. To keep it short and sweet: this is the answer to the sparkly vampire trends of late. It's a vampire film, yes, but vampirism is not the theme, but a framework, an eternal credibility for the two central characters, whose story is a love story that has endured centuries and retained its sweet, sensual romance. I love its subtlety: the way the scenes are framed as art photography, the clutter, the dirt, the extreme attention to visual detail, and the contrast between the characters: his despair (his hipster contempt is plausible given he's been alive forever; he has something to be disgusted about) and her easy, charming enjoyment of life, and the way she pulls him out of the darkness. Tom Hiddleston and Tilda Swinton are fabulous as Adam and Eve. Fantastic chemistry, wonderful performances. It's a slow-paced, artsy film, not for everyone, I grant, but I'm a big Tom fan, and I loved it. So if you're looking for a vamp movie in the Anne Rice tradition, it's a good pick.
source: pinterest
Okay, I'm going to spend the rest of my night writing, making up for the day's lack of writing. I want to say a huge thank you to my readers, and reviewers, my emailers, my fans, all the people who are making Fearless such a rewarding project. I appreciate you all more than you know. You make me want to write, and write, and write for you. 

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Lines 11/20 - Fearless Part IV

It's really hard to pick lines out that aren't chock full of spoilers from this section! Release date for Part IV is Dec. 19th, so less than a month to go.

From Fearless

Part IV: Follow You Home
Copyright © 2014 by Lauren Gilley

           Ava wasn’t like that. Ava was rational, gathered, self-possessed. Ava was responsible in ways he himself had never been at that age. Not meek – no, her cooperation could never be called that – but secure enough to not be so filled up with questions and rebellion.
            Yeah, Ava should have been born a boy – the true prince.
            And he shouldn’t have sent her knight away five years ago. He’d always wanted a king for her, someone she could rule beside. But it was the knight who was devoted, who was in her thrall and would die defending her.
            He lived and he learned, and wasn’t that a shitty way for things to play out?

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Workshop Wednesday - Characters and Romance

I've wanted to watch this movie for a while now, and had the chance to do so this weekend via iTunes. I enjoyed the heck out of it. I want to do a full post on it, but for today, it fuels the next post in my character development Workshop Wednesday lineup.

For me, character development is the most important component of fiction. That's what elevates a novel from a story to a slice of truth. Character development is emotional; romance is emotional, the very definition of the word an emphasis on the emotional connection as superior to the physical. The physical is important too, but it's the emotional that enables characters (and readers) to connect to one another; the emotional and the physical feed off one another. The challenge for any writer is to create a romance that is grounded in a plane beyond the purely physical. The writer has to establish a deep, many-leveled connection between the characters, hitting all the notes that make it feel real: accepting, charming, nurturing, chastising, when necessary.  All the visceral heat in the world can be overshadowed by a plasticized, disconnected state in which the characters don't know one another at all, and that final "I love you" of the novel feels like some forced note that needed to be hit in order to squeeze into some framework.

What I so enjoy about Only Lovers Left Alive is the string of small moments that highlight personality and compatibility. The true chemistry and intimacy. The subtle, ordinary moments, the ones that in our real lives have such impact, and have to be brought into love stories to in fact make them love stories.

There's countless ways to write a love story; so many framings and situations and possibilities. And to each artist, different models appeal. This is my terribly humble list of things to think about when writing romance, and they are just personal, not professional:

 -- Nothing about modern dating rituals is romantic. All that "I just can't be tied down, bro. I'm too awesome." Not cute. Today's world of checklist dating is anything but romantic, tabulating compatibility through lists. Ugh. Can't stand it. There's no room for wonder or infatuation anymore. That's something I seek to correct through writing, not perpetuate.
 -- Jane Austen believed that the best romances were accentuated by strong friendships between the two parties. I agree with this personally, but more importantly, I think that underlying friendship makes for a more intimate, heartfelt romance on paper.
 -- The emphasis should not center on the man or the woman (or whomever) as an individual, but on both parties. I want both characters to be dynamic, intriguing, strong and valuable in their own ways.
 -- It isn't so much about opposites, but about complements.
 -- It's important to understand what the characters love and value about one another, so you can translate that to the audience. A deeper, more emotional connection will leave a more endearing, lasting impression on the readers.

I still get that question that plagues all romance writers: "Oh, so you write romance?" And the questioner always says the word like it tastes bad. The answer is, Why yes, I do. So did Shakespeare. Every story is a love story of some sort. Some girls get to live them, and some girls write them. I'll happily hold the pen.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Part IV

Blogging has eluded me all day. Ugh, trying to sound interesting is painful most of the time. Especially when my brain is nothing but Part IV right now. It's taking up so much space in my mind that some of it has to leak out into a post.

Writing the last installment is a little bittersweet. I love Mercy and I love Ava. Is that wrong? Am I supposed to be more impartial? Writing them together is the most fun I've had writing in years, no lie. At this point, Ava's whole life has been laid out; she's an open book. In Part IV, we get to go to New Orleans and open up Mercy's life. His was a terribly modest upbringing, and it's complicated, and I love the way New Orleans is one of those Southern cities that gets in a person's bones.

He grew up in a tar paper shack that looked a lot like this shotgun house.

And it was perched right on the water, like this bayou house.

And the dark water and the trailing moss that evoke tangles of ghosts and monsters - that was home for him.

I love, as always, exploring the non-glorious, non-spectacular, achingly normal and minimal world of a character with nothing to offer but himself. Anyone can love money, fame, prestige. It takes someone special to love a person's truth.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Dartmoor Series

A little bit of a news update this morning. I've had several questions about what's going to happen after Fearless, so I decided I ought to talk about it here on the blog.

The Dartmoor Series will continue! As of now, I've got a rough sketch of three more novels after Fearless, and with a cast this big, there's potential for more, along with short stories. I've been asked by several readers about a Ghost/Maggie story, and I'm thinking about how to handle that - whether I want to do a short or a full novel. There will for sure be an Aidan-centric novel. And as with all my stuff, I like to bring all the other characters and couples into the story.

Book Two in the series, after Fearless, will be called Price of Angels, and will center around Michael, and the bartender, Holly, you met briefly in "All-American Monsters." Holly has a past full of trauma and violence, and she'll be a special addition to the family, I think. Can't wait to share with everyone.

But, before I get ahead of myself, I've got to write Part IV. December, December.

I also wanted to let readers know that I've started a Dartmoor pin board on Pinterest. You can find it here. You can also find these amazing Durango boots there, which Ava has, and I want. There's not much on there now, but I'll be adding to it day by day.

Have a great Monday. As always, feedback is welcome; media links on the right.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

This Right Here

This right here is the reason I've been hesitant to set fixed release dates the last couple of months. Turn your back for a matter of seconds, and behold the carnage. What was once a cozy bed with mattress foam filling is now another relic for the garbage heap. What's hard to see in the photo is the fine, fine layer of fuzz that came off the bed cover, and was floating merrily through the air.

This dog. Handful is too delicate a word. He is so happy, and so affectionate, and so wild. I work during his nap times. And times like now, when he's playing with the minis and I can steal a few minutes. Off to work on Part IV!

Happy Sunday.

Friday, November 14, 2014

The Magic of Bookstores

Have you ever found yourself perched on a too-narrow shelf at the bookstore? Your feet extended across the floor, keeping you from sliding off? Or cross-legged on the carpet? Or propped against the wall? Or, if you're the lucky one who spotted it first, the stepstool an employee left in the Fantasy section?  Barnes & Noble used to be littered with overstuffed chairs to serve this purpose, and has since removed them, but that's another conversation all together. Have you ever opened a book, just to peek, and had to sit down right there in the middle of the store and keep reading?

I read the first couple of pages of a book when I try a new author for the first time. It's all in the telling, for me. I know, on page one, if I want to read the rest. And sometimes, I'm so ensnared by page one that next I know, someone with armfuls of shopping bags and a huge puffer coat is shoving past me with a breathless, perturbed "Excuse me" and the zipper of her jacket is slapping me in the face because I'm sprawled in the aisle.

I smile when I see other shoppers doing the same thing, draped across those narrow metal shelves because they can't tear their eyes away from the page. Not the roving bands of teenagers with no place else to go, shrieking and laughing, but the real readers, the ones you search alongside and step politely around because you both understand that this isn't a social place; this is where you come to get lost. There's something magic about a bookstore.

I'm looking forward to a book shopping trip soon. And maybe a weekend to disappear between the pages. I spend so much time writing, and where do I go when I get a free moment? Back to books.

Fearless Part III: All-American Monsters

It's live! The link is right here. Happy reading.

Thursday, November 13, 2014


Available tomorrow! I'll post the links when it goes live, otherwise, you'll be able to find it via my Amazon page.

Mercy was sitting on the ornamental concrete bench situated between two azalea bushes against the side of the garage, head tipped back against the siding, smoke pluming from his nostrils up into the air like dragon’s breath. His long legs were stretched out in front of him, hands relaxed on his thighs. The moon caught his profile, the ridge of his nose, turned it silver.

            Ava kicked at the grass with the toes of her boots as she made her slow approach toward him. “Get lost on your way to the driveway?”

            He didn’t answer, drawing on the cigarette and then holding it between bared teeth while he exhaled again, long streams of smoke leaving his nose. She found it wildly arousing, a delighted tremor starting in the pit of her stomach.

            “I never could see it,” he said, eyes cast upward.

            “See what?”

            “That hunter guy you talked about. The one with the belt.”

            “Orion.” She smiled as she remembered the night beside the James house, the stars the only witnesses to what had been so fierce and new between them. This moment now, bathed in starlight, felt plucked out of time, a hold on all the worry, a portal back to a simpler state.

            “Yeah. Him. Is he up there now?”

            Ava let her head fall back, scanning the bright pinpricks in the indigo velvet night sky. “There.” She pointed. “Those three stars are Orion’s belt. And those others make up the man himself.”

            Mercy stared. She loved the way the pale light played on the strong, exposed lines of his throat.

            “Do you see it?”

            “Yeah.” His voice: faint and faraway.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Workshop Wednesday - Motivation

I think what I want to do for the next few Workshop Wednesday posts is build upon last week's little Marvel-centric post about character. Because the secret to loveable stories is loveable characters. For the next few Wednesdays, we'll talk about building realistic, relatable characters. Today, let's think about motivation.

In their simplest sense, novels establish and resolve conflicts. Sometimes subtle, non-threatening conflicts, sometimes disastrous ones. Either way, the characters are navigating the crises of the novel with motivations of their own. Each character is driven by some internal or external force. Some forces are expansive - world domination - while some are as simple as the desire to make it through a day without missing an item on the to-do list.

Things to keep in mind:

-- Everyone has more than one motivating force in his or her life. There are long-term motivations, short-term motivations, and complementary, concurrent motivations. A character may dream of running for political office some day - that's the overarching, deeply driving force - but in the meantime, they are motivated to finish school, to acquire an important job, an internship, to make the right sort of social connections, build a resume. None of these smaller, more immediate motivations detract from the larger one, but rather, build toward it.

  In The Lord of the Rings, Frodo and Sam are motivated to get the ring to Mordor, but on a day-to-day basis, finding food is a driving force. Which leads me to the next point...

-- There should be a balance between aspirations and what I think of as mundane motivations. Get that wine stain out of the carpet. Go get that bad guy. Characters don't live in vacuums. Just because something big and threatening is building within the story, their daily lives are not put on hold. They still have to eat and sleep and have conversations with friends over coffee; they still want to catch their favorite show or vent about their bosses.

   I think of Darcy bemoaning the loss of her iPod in Thor. All those awkward, deeply detailed dinners in A Clash of Kings, where Sansa has to eat while she contemplates the ruination of her life and family.

-- Different characters have different motivations. A group of characters can be working toward a central goal, yes, but it's important to keep each character unique. All the players of a piece have love lives, work lives, worries and fears and hopes. Having competing motivations keeps characters uneasy or at odds with one another, which adds interest to the novel.

   In Fearless, Aidan and Ava both want the threat of the Carpathians gone. But Ava is motivated to finish school, to hold herself together, to resist old temptation. While her brother is motivated by pleasing their father, gaining more respect within the club, taking on leadership roles. Same world, same book, same family, and they work in completely different ways.

It's an important question to put to yourself as an author when you set out to write a novel: what motivates my characters? The more diverse, the more realistic, and the better the balance between big and small, the more authentic your character, and therefore story will be.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014


Happy Veterans Day, to the brave men and women, those that I know, and those to whom I owe such gratitude.

In times of war and not before,
God and the soldier we adore.
But in times of peace and all things righted,
God is forgotten and the soldier slighted.

- Rudyard Kipling

Monday, November 10, 2014

Cozy Things

It's almost seventy today and cloudless, and so perfect that it's hard to imagine that by Friday, we'll have high temps in the 40s, excessive cloud cover, and general cold weather grossness. I'm someone who's always cold. I held my horses while they got new shoes today, and even with all that sun and the seventy degrees, I was in a t-shirt, sweatshirt, and winter jacket. Kid you not. I wear jackets in summer. I sleep in socks, under heaps of quilts and a down comforter. I'm cold all the time. I want to climb inside fireplaces and sip soup non-stop all winter.

Throw in my love of books and being naturally small, and I'm a creature who craves cozy things. I need my winter essentials to get me through the cold evenings when I get to settle in with a good book.

 - Long shirts and sweaters. Bare midriff? Nuh-uh. I need covered from neck to knees. I have this sweatshirt and it is divine. Super soft and comfy without being bulky.

 - This hand cream. Forget the perfumed, frilly stuff. This will beat back the driest skin.

 - Thick wool socks, to keep toes warm, two pairs at once, if necessary. Not the cute kind you'd wear with pressed pants, but thick ugly boot socks. Not pretty, but they get the job done.

 - Thin, comfy leggings to wear under jeans.

 - Hats and scarves are non-negotiable must-haves.

 - And my favorite chapstick.

Now if I could just get my puppy to be that sleepy and sweet...

Sunday, November 9, 2014

The Fearless Playlist

The soundtrack for the story that plays in my head. Part III coming 11/14!

"Famous in a Small Town" - Miranda Lambert
"House of the Rising Sun" - Jypsi
"Nothing But The Water (I)" - Grace Potter & The Nocturnals
"What Do You Think About That" - Montgomery Gentry
"Home" - Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros
"The One That Got Away" - The Civil Wars
"Girl Is On My Mind" - The Black Keys
"Relax My Beloved" - Alex Clare
"Fine Line" - Little Big Town
"Stranglehold" - Ted Nugent
"Ain't No Rest For The Wicked" - Cage the Elephant
"Run This Town" - Jay-Z
"Airplanes" - B.o.B. feat. Hayley Williams
"Landslide" - Dixie Chicks (cover)
"Little Lovin' " - Lissie
"Strange Desire" - The Black Keys
"Heart Like Mine" - Miranda Lambert
"Devil's Backbone" - The Civil Wars
"Outlaw Man" - The Eagles
"Long Line of Losers" - Montgomery Gentry
"All I Wanted" - Paramore
"Electric Worry" - Clutch
"Always" - Saliva
"House of the Rising Sun" - Eric Burdon & The Animals


I come from a long line of losers
Half-outlaw, half-boozer
I was born with a shot glass in my hand
I'm part hippie, a little redneck
I'm always a suspect
My bloodline made me who I am.

"Long Line of Losers"


There is a house in New Orleans
They call the Rising Sun
And it's been the ruin of many a poor boy
And God, I know I'm one.

"House of the Rising Sun"

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Gorgeous Weekend

I don't figure there's too many of those left before we get into another four-degree, bare-limbed, miserable winter, so I better enjoy them while I can. I spent lots of time outside with this goober today.

Viktor being a diva

Viktor helping plant pansies

That's a foam cup on his head in the top picture, held on with medical tape, to help train his ears. They're still a little stubborn, but he thinks the cup is super chic, obviously, because he strikes poses like he's modeling for a dog food ad.

I took him for a walk down our very rural street today. It's a lovely walk, with new, thick pavement and lots of shade trees, very few houses, the smell of tree sap everywhere. It was the first time Viktor's been on a street walk, and I wasn't prepared for the amount of pulling he'd do, even with the choke chain. Oh my Lord. I am not in good enough shape to keep up with this dog. The muscle cramps...ouch.

Gonna have some vino and work on Fearless while I wait for my calves to stop twitching. Hopefully you got to enjoy this awesome autumn weather too.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Five Things Before Next Friday

Just a week away, y'all! I'm really excited about this part of the story, and the last part, still to come. Here's five quick things to know before "All-American Monsters" releases next Friday.

1. It's my goal to release the final and fourth installment of Fearless before Christmas. This is such a busy time of year, and what with my time-vampire puppy, it'll be a push, so forgive me if it's after. But I really, really want to have the entire book out there for you all by mid-December.

2. In part IV, we travel to New Orleans, so that'll be fun.

3. Once all four parts are released, I'll be putting together the complete novel, and then I'll be hosting two giveaways so I can put paperback copies in readers' hands. There will be a Goodreads giveaway as well as a social media giveaway in January; entry details to come, so be on the lookout.

4. After Fearless, I'll begin work on book two in the Dartmoor series, Price of Angels. It's teased in "All-American Monsters," so be on the lookout for Holly.

5. Keep your eyes peeled for Keeping Bad Company cameos in Part III when you download it next week.

Cheers to Friday.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Workshop Wednesday (I know it's Thursday, sorry) - Don't Compromise

Have you seen the trailer for Age of Ultron yet? If not, do enjoy. It both feeds my need for an Avengers sitcom, and sets the scene for this film as darker, and much more sinister than the first Avengers.

I've mentioned a time or hundred how much I love the Marvel Studios films. Perhaps because I'm geeky, sure - my dad used to read bedtime Fantastic Four comics to my brother and me when we were very small. "It's clobbering time" became part of daily lingo - but I credit Marvel wtih creating movies that far surpass any expectations for superhero films, and creating stories about real people...who just happen to have superhuman abilities. Or happen to come from Asgard. You know, no big.

I didn't get to watch more than five minutes of the 75th anniversary special Tuesday night - TV-watching isn't really an option with Viktor in the house - but I watched long enough to catch a phrase I've heard repeated in several Marvel specials. The execs continue to say that they want to create movies without compromising. Create characters audiences can identify with, feel for, cheer for. I think that's a fantastic lesson to take away for anyone in the creative arts - Don't compromise.

The superhero film genre is restrictive only so far as you allow it to be; the same can be said for any genre. What Marvel has done so well is provide real-world motivations for their characters. In place of cliché, they build in these incredible human stories that take a hero who could so easily appear shiny and plastic, and make him or her compelling and dynamic instead. These are movies about the characters; character epics with a wonderful superhuman spin. It isn't a movie about Captain America, but about Steve Rogers, and his struggle between his own inherent honor and a dishonorable world. Loki is not a cackling madman, but a fallen prince with a psyche powered by myth and a tragic backstory that has lent him a truly warped concept of personal justice. Tony Stark the "genius, billionaire, playboy philanthropist" riddled with guilt, dealing with the repercussions of his actions. All the little personal dramas play out on a grand, global scale, the fate of the world (nine realms, sometimes) hanging in the balance; but it is the characters we love above all, and not simply the adventure.

The same idea can be applied to writing. You are only limited by the genre if you allow yourself to be. Just because you write about a certain world or a certain time, it doesn't mean there are constraints on you as an artist. Am I writing about bikers right now? Sure. But it doesn't mean I have to adhere to any kind of bad-boy romance novel standards. The standards only exist because so many writers have kept to them. And why should I compromise? Why should any of us? I'm writing a family drama, just like I have with my previous novels; this one just happens to take place within a narrow, counterculture world. There is no script. There is no timeline, no standard. The story evolves as the characters do, not the other way around. Don't force a character to meet a point. Make the points revolve around the characters.

And don't compromise. Look how well that's working out for Marvel. :)

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Next Friday

Expect Fearless Part III: All-American Monsters next Friday, November 14. Wish me luck in meeting all my daily goals between now and then! I can't wait to share this part of the story with you all.


As the club prepares to bury one of their own, the rival Carpathians MC takes new, unexpected steps toward drawing the Dogs into an all-out war. With the city of Knoxville turning against them, the Dogs walk a knife-edge between defending their turf and their families, and engendering some goodwill in this city they refuse to relinquish. Defenseless against remembrance, Ava must choose between the future she built for herself in college, and the future she’s wanted since girlhood. Because Mercy’s all-in this time, and heaven help whoever gets in his way.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Little Gems

It's a good day when I hit my word count goal before noon. That means anything I get done in the evening is bonus progress. The scenes I finished this morning were the kind that surprise me while writing, taking turns I didn't expect. Proving yet again that the characters are steering this ship, and I'm just along for the ride, taking notes for them.

Writing is fun - I love it - but let's be honest: when you write as much as I do, you have days when it feels like drudgery. One of my favorite ways to keep things fresh is to build intrigue into the characters. The characters have to be interesting and multi-dimensional if I'm going to spend that much time with them, day in, day out. I love unexpected traits, little hidden gems. Mercy loving to read is an important tidbit for me as a writer. It gives him texture, and it helps bind him closer to Ava on a personal level. I love these shelves, and this window frame, the old wall clock. The room looks something like I imagine his living room in the apartment above the bakery.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Hello November

It's pretty splendid, barring the first frost, and the cold I caught thanks to it. Just in time for Halloween candy to taste like copper.

Let's just call Workshop Wednesday a wash until this coming Wednesday. Sometimes, schedules just gotta be flexible.

I watched Part One of Death Comes to Pemberley last night. Part Two airs tonight on PBS at nine, here on the east coast, if you want to catch it. Sometimes, when you're home sick, you stumble across something worth watching. I never get to watch TV anymore, so it was a treat. I love the idea of catching up with the Pride and Prejudice characters several years in the future, plus the murder mystery twist for added spice. And all things BBC are gold.

Also, it's been a really great week to be a Marvel fan. They released their lineup for the next five years. And tonight, there's this gem.

Looking forward to warm dinner and more Austen awesomeness. Writing until then. Hello, November, let's not rush through things too quickly like last month, okay?