IWSG — My 2 Year Blogiversary!

Today’s the day for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group (IWSG) where, on the first Wednesday of every month, writers get together to share their insecurities and offer encouragement. The IWSG was created by Alex J. Cavanaugh, and you can learn all about it and sign up for it here. Insecure Writers Support Group Badge

On this date two years ago, I posted my first blog post. I was embarking on a new journey, the pursuit of my dream of becoming a published author, and I wanted to document that journey in hopes that it might help someone else who had the same dream.

I went back and read that first post and couldn’t help but smile at how far I’ve come. Not only did I achieve my dream, I’m on the verge of accomplishing it a second time. Barring any unforeseen circumstances, Book II: Trouble By Any Other Name will be published this spring.

To celebrate the revelation that dreams can indeed come true, I’m reblogging that first post. Never stop believing in your dreams.

*****

March 2nd, 2014 — It’s Time

Writing has always been a part of my life. It began with creating stories in my head for fun when I was young. Or rather, creating characters who wrote their own stories. I never told them what to do. My characters took care of that themselves. They lived their adventures, fought, loved, and sometimes died, in my mind. It was like watching a movie in my head, seeing and hearing the characters as if I stood beside them, holding my breath, along for the ride.

As I grew older, my mother suggested I write my stories down. Such euphoria ensued, sparking a dream of one day being a published author. To hold in my hand a book of my own making would be the greatest nirvana. But life being what it is, with the necessities of having a steady income to pay the bills, and later the beloved obligations of family, the dream stayed just that — a dream. Writing remained a hobby, though in my head my characters’ stories still clamored for release.

Until now. Now, circumstances are such that my dream might actually be within reach. I am going to self-publish my novel. There… I said it. I’m going to self-publish my novel and set my characters free. Wow. Just writing the words and putting them out there is enough to make me laugh and cry at the same time.

I know this will be a huge learning experience, and there will be bumps along the road, but I will persevere until I hold my book in my hand. It may not be the best book ever written, but that’s okay. It will still be nirvana to me.

This is my journey. I invite anyone who wishes to share it with me.

*****

Originally, I was planning to release my second book in April, but with A to Z coming up, I chickened out and decided on the first week of May. I hope to do a blog tour soon afterward.

If anyone would like to help me out by doing a release day post or hosting me during the blog tour, that would be wonderful! Please let me know in the comments. Thanks so much!!

 

 

 

 

 

© Lori L. MacLaughlin and Writing, Reading, and the Pursuit of Dreams, 2016. All rights reserved.

Celebrate the Small Things!

Celebrate the Small Things is a weekly celebration created by VikLit and now hosted by Lexa Cain to celebrate the happenings of the week, however small or large. You can learn all about it and sign up for it here. CelebrateSmallThings_Badge

I went to Barnes & Noble today, the first chance I’ve had to go back since my book signing on July 24th. I wanted to see if they’d put my book out on their shelves. When I had first approached them about stocking my book, they had said they made decisions about stocking books based on how book signings went. They ordered 30 books for my signing event, knowing they could return the leftovers to the distributor.

I don’t know what they consider a successful signing (I sold 8 books), so I’ve been watching the sales/returns at Ingram to see if they’d send the books back. As of this morning, they hadn’t.

So, what did I see on their shelves?

BarnesNoble_8282015

A dream achieved. Whoo, hoo! (Happy dancing!)

 

What other celebrations are going on out there?

 

 

 

 

© Lori L. MacLaughlin and Writing, Reading, and the Pursuit of Dreams, 2015. All rights reserved.

IWSG — I Did It!

Today’s the day for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group (IWSG) where, on the first Wednesday of every month, writers get together to share their insecurities and offer encouragement. The IWSG was created by Alex J. Cavanaugh, and you can learn all about it and sign up for it here.

After so many years of working on my book, it’s finally published! There’ve been snags and setbacks along the way, including a major formatting snafu with the e-book on release day, but I’m not focusing on that today. Nor am I thinking about all the insecurities that have increased a hundredfold now that my book is actually out there for all to see.

Right now, I just want to say Whoo, hoo! and Yes!! and dance around the house with glee.

On Friday, the print proof should arrive in my mailbox. I’ll get to hold the actual book in my hand, and it will finally start to sink in. I am a published author!!! Whoo, hoo! (More dancing around the house…)

And all aspiring authors take note — if I can do it, so can you. Just take that dream and make it happen. 🙂

9781942015000-Perfect-lady-thy-name-is-trouble_EbookCover

 

 

© Lori L. MacLaughlin and Writing, Reading, and the Pursuit of Dreams, 2015. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

Celebrate the Small Things — My First Novel Has Arrived!!

EDIT: Thank you to everyone! I’ve discovered some formatting issues with the e-book, and I’m working to resolve them. I’ll visit and reply to everyone as soon as I get this ironed out.

 

Celebrate the Small Things is a weekly celebration created by VikLit and now hosted by Lexa Cain to celebrate the happenings of the week, however small or large. You can learn all about it and sign up for it here. CelebrateSmallThings_Badge

It’s here!!!!

This week I’m celebrating a very BIG thing — my first novel is being released today!

Whoo, hoo!! I’m so excited! To think that after all these years, my book is finally in print. Well, sort of. It’s currently available in e-book form, but will be out in print form very soon, if all goes well. The color issues have been fixed, and the print cover file is being processed. All my fingers and toes are crossed that it goes through this time.

Either way, I’m going to celebrate!!!

9781942015000-Perfect-lady-thy-name-is-trouble_EbookCover

 

Trouble is Tara Triannon’s middle name. As swords for hire, Tara and her sister Laraina thrive on the danger. But a surprise invasion throws them into chaos… and trouble on a whole new level. Pursued by the Butcher, a terrifying assassin more wolf than man, Tara and Laraina must get a prince marked for death and a young, inept sorceress to safety. There’s only one problem – eluding the Butcher has never been done. Aided by a secretive soldier of fortune, they flee the relentless hunter.

Gifted with magic and cursed by nightmares that are all too real, Tara must stop an army led by a madman and fend off an evil Being caught in a centuries-old trap who seeks to control her magic and escape through her dreams – all while keeping one step ahead of the Butcher.

 

Available at:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Lady-Name-Trouble-Lori-MacLaughlin-ebook/dp/B00TT8NERU/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1425178824&sr=1-1&keywords=lady+thy+name+is+trouble

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/lady-thy-name-is-trouble-lori-l-maclaughlin/1121255932?ean=9781942015017

Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/lady-thy-name-is-trouble

 

 

What other celebrations are going on out there?

 

 

 

© Lori L. MacLaughlin and Writing, Reading, and the Pursuit of Dreams, 2015. All rights reserved.

 

The Turning of a Page

At the end of March, the proofreading will be done on my fantasy novel, Lady, Thy Name Is Trouble, and all that will be left to do in the writing phase will be one final going over to correct any mistakes the proofreader noted on the manuscript. Then the novel will be finished… complete… ready to move on to the next phase of the publishing journey. Once the formatting begins, there’s no going back. The words must stand as they are.

Strangely enough, I’m still trying to figure out how I feel about that. Excited — definitely. Hopeful, of course. Nervous — very. And a little sad — or maybe nostalgic would be a better word. This story has been building and growing for almost thirty years. I don’t think I’ve ever reread it without changing something — replacing a word, tweaking a sentence, or sometimes, in the earlier stages, rewriting whole passages. Soon, I won’t be able to do that anymore. The story will go beyond me, into the world. I’ve often read that to authors, the publishing of their books is akin to giving birth, and I would have to agree it’s an apt comparison. In the not-too-distant future, my book will leave the nurturing home of my imagination and take its place on solid and cyber bookshelves everywhere, out there for the masses to read and hopefully enjoy.

All the typical insecurities gnaw at me. What if no one buys it? What if people buy it, but then don’t like it? Or what if they buy it and do like it and it becomes a best-seller and someone makes a movie out of it and things get crazy and… Okay, okay, I know only a few ever get to that point, but hey, I can dream. Whatever the result, I will be happy — and proud of myself — for having reached way out of my comfort zone and accomplished what had always seemed an unattainable goal. I’m almost there.

What I Love

I write fantasy adventure. That’s what I love best — stories with lots of action, strong female characters, a bit of levity, and sighs of romance. Not the jump-into-bed-every-five-minutes type of romance, but the kind where the attraction builds into a true, caring relationship that, if given the chance, can transcend all the challenges the heroine and hero must face.

But love is not what the heroine of the story wants. Tara Triannon and her sister Laraina are swords for hire whose exploits across the Westlands are legendary. The one time Tara let her heart be touched, love burned her badly, and she has no intention of getting caught again by love’s fickle ways. However, when things go terribly wrong, the one man whose help she needs is the one man who can threaten her resolve. Jovan Trevillion, though, is a man of many secrets and accepting his help may be even more dangerous than keeping to the perilous path she and her sister already follow. But with the Butcher on their trail, their choices are limited.

Captain Natiere, the Butcher, an assassin with a tortured soul and the heart of a wolf, pursues them relentlessly. Harboring secrets of his own, the Butcher wants only to kill Tara and her companions to discharge a debt, and then he will be free to return to the wilds and perhaps find some way to fill his empty existence. Much to his surprise, his fate becomes more and more entangled with Tara’s with every passing step.

I never think of Tara and Laraina, Jovan, or Captain Natiere — or any of the other people in my book — as characters. They are as real to me as if they were made of flesh and blood. I love sharing in their lives and adventures, and it will be fun bringing them to a larger audience. Hopefully, they will be as inspiring to others as they are to me.

It’s Time

Writing has always been a part of my life.  It began with creating stories in my head for fun when I was young.  Or rather, creating characters who wrote their own stories.  I never told them what to do.  My characters took care of that themselves.  They lived their adventures, fought, loved, and sometimes died, in my mind.  It was like watching a movie in my head, seeing and hearing the characters as if I stood beside them, holding my breath, along for the ride.

As I grew older, my mother suggested I write my stories down.  Such euphoria ensued, sparking a dream of one day being a published author.  To hold in my hand a book of my own making would be the greatest nirvana.  But life being what it is, with the necessities of having a steady income to pay the bills, and later the beloved obligations of family, the dream stayed just that — a dream.  Writing remained a hobby, though in my head my characters’ stories still clamored for release.

Until now.  Now, circumstances are such that my dream might actually be within reach.  I am going to self-publish my novel.  There… I said it.  I’m going to self-publish my novel and set my characters free.  Wow.  Just writing the words and putting them out there is enough to make me laugh and cry at the same time.

I know this will be a huge learning experience, and there will be bumps along the road, but I will persevere until I hold my book in my hand.  It may not be the best book ever written, but that’s okay.  It will still be nirvana to me.

This is my journey.  I invite anyone who wishes to share it with me.