Sunday, February 1, 2015

Writing Shorts

I'm not a long winded author. In fact, I mostly write short novels. Little Birdhouses, my current work in progress, may be the exception. However, until a week or two ago, I'd never written shorts. I've been playing with flash fiction for the last few weeks. I've found I really enjoy it, but I have a hard time finding appropriate endings.

Endings are hard to write. I often rewrite an ending several times before settling on one. I let my characters lead me, but sometimes they don't lead me in the right places. I'm a "pantser," meaning I don't plot. I simply write from the seat of my pants. I generally, in my head, have an idea of where the story is going. I sometimes will jot down the next sequence of events on a piece of scratch paper. You should see my notes: a jumbled mess. Organization is not my forte.

Today, I'm working on a 2,000 word flash fiction/short fiction piece. It's for another contest I'm entering, and I'm having a hard time wrapping it up. I have until Friday (next) to publish it, so I do have some time to work with the ending. The thing about shorts, is it takes skill to get your point across. It takes skill to come up with the perfect ending, to get across your point in such a limited amount of space. The story needs to have impact within its short confines. I think that's hard to achieve, but when you do it can be amazing. Shorts have a way of giving a reader a snippet of life, like a memory.  Shorts often stick with you for a long time, because they DO make such a big impact. I'm envious of many short writers who can do it so flawlessly, and I hope to be able to write shorts like them some day. With practice, maybe I'll get there. 

And as a little teaser, here's a little video from Youtube. This is incorporated into my short, which will be posted on this site before next Friday! I hope you come back to read it.


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"No Turning Back," my novel is available:

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Saturday, January 31, 2015

No Turning Back: Release Day!

I can't believe it's here! Release Day for "No Turning Back." 

Here's a summary:

Kaia Hart seems to have it all: a career as a successful architect, two perfect children, and a handsome husband, Patrick, but she’s haunted by an accident in her past.  On a business call, one day, she’s surprised to find Asher, her once-love, has moved to town and will be working with her.  In “No Turning Back,” Kaia faces nightmares from her past and big decisions about her future, as the two worlds seem to collide.  Will Kaia give up everything for Asher, or will she find comfort in the arms of Patrick?  

Add it to your Goodreads reading list:

Where can I buy this book? Glad you asked:

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Barnes and Noble:

About the Author:

Lauren Greene was born in California, but raised in Alabama. After moving away and swearing she would never come back, she moved back to Alabama with her husband and her three children. Lauren currently works in the banking field.  Lauren has been writing since she was seven years old, and she's an avid reader.  "No Turning Back," is her first published work. Besides writing novels, Lauren also loves to write works of flash fiction.  You can find more of Lauren's writing on her blog and on Wattpad. 

You can find Lauren online:

Friday, January 30, 2015

On Being a Self-Published Author

I'm not quite yet a self-published author, but I will be tomorrow.  And let me tell you, there's nothing easy about being a self-published author. In fact, (excuse my language) it takes a shit ton of work.  I have been promoting the heck out of my book. I've had friends set up twitter feeds.  People are reviewing my book.  I've been trying to get bloggers and websites to promote my book.  There is so much work.

I love to write. It's my passion. I'm not crazy about all the other stuff.  I read, about two years ago, an article about how much time and effort it takes to self publish. I think I brushed it off, put it aside, and went on thinking, "la la la," this will be easy. Well, it's not.

The thing about being an indie author, is sometimes you're not taken seriously.  I tell people I have two full time jobs: executive assistant and writer (I really have more than that because I'm a mother too). And it feels like it. I wake up every morning at 5:15 to: write, edit, send email requests to bloggers, reviewers, format, request covers, upload, etc. This is a time consuming job.  The people who don't want to invest the time into finding the right communities to be part of, into marketing and promoting the heck out of themselves, well, they need to find something else to do. I probably spend about 50% of my time on trying to market my book, and the other 50% writing or editing.

In a perfect world, I could wake up write, edit a little bit, send off to an agent, BINGO, get an acceptance and never look back. But that's not going to happen. Even if I do end up with an agent (one day), I still have to make changes to the book and self promote. Many publishers these days play a hand in the marketing and promotion of books, but they don't do it all.  The bottom line: If you want your book to sell then you have to promote it.  You have to have friends who will share your link. You have to have an active twitter account.  You have to have reviews on Amazon (this is key), Goodreads, and blogs.  Your name and the title of your book needs to be visible on the world wide web.

Anyway, after reading all of this you might ask why I do it? And the reason is simple: I love writing. When you find something you love doing, you might jump through hoops to be able to do it. Plus, I have met some incredible authors who are living the same struggle as I am.  If I had never taken on this endeavor, I would never have met these incredible people, maybe never known their books existed, never been able to help them just as they're helping me.  It's so worth it in the end.

If you would like to read an excerpt of "No Turning Back," you can check it out here

You can buy it on Amazon. 

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Thursday, January 29, 2015

Lost and Found

Have you ever felt lost then found? (Now I sound like Katy Perry, don't I?) Throughout life, I think we grapple with how to feel "found." Some people achieve this by looking to a higher being: God, Buddha, Mohammed.  Some people find themselves by realizing what it takes to be happy: for me, that's writing.

When I was little, I had this pink and blue blanket. I've been told it wasn't my first blanket, that I had a white whale blanket that was lost, and then it was replaced with this pink and blue blanket that had been given to me at birth by my awesome grandparents, Gigi and Gipop.  (Who knows how much of this is true: my Mom and Dad could tell you).  I carried this pink and blue blanket everywhere. There's something about my family: we're all attachment oriented. My kids have their blankies too, and they won't sleep without them.

Well, I was one of those privileged kids. My parents had a housekeeper.  We went through several housekeepers, some that I loved and some that I didn't. We had one who stole $100 out of the freezer (why was it in the freezer in the first place?), one that drank out of my parents' alcohol bottles and refilled it with water, but we also had one that would talk to me, watch Little House on the Prairie with me, and who I still think of fondly to this day. But on this particular day, we had a new housekeeper. I tucked my blanket underneath my pillow, and I went to school for the day: sixth grade.  I came home that evening, and when I went to my room I noticed my bed had been made. I never made my bed. I figured the new housekeeper must have done the sheets and re-made the beds, so I began looking for my blanket, and it was nowhere to be found. The pit of anxiety welled up in my stomach, as I marched downstairs to my mom.

"Where is my blanket?"

"Oh, Lauren, it must be in your bed."

"It's not there, Mom."

"Well maybe she threw it away, thought it was a rag."

"How could she think it was a rag. It's my baby blanket!"

"It is rather holey."

So I went dumpster diving, and guess what? The maid had thrown it in the trashcan, but luckily the trash wasn't to be picked up until the next day. It went through the washing machine twice, and my mom told the new housekeeper that the blanket was special and not to be thrown out.

The blanket still lives in the top of my closet, well-loved.

It's funny how we find attachment in objects, security needed so we can make that next step: be it leaving our mothers as kindergartners or writing our first novel.  Before the blanket, I used to carry around one of my mom's satin slips, because it felt like her and smelled like her.  She replaced it with the blanket, because carrying around her slip could have been considered inappropriate.

When I lost that blanket, and thought it was gone forever, I felt so lost and insecure.  I used the blanket when I was sad, anxious, feeling bad, and it helped me get through those moments.  In writing, I have used so many things like a baby blanket to get me through too.  And there's no problem with that.  I've found writer's groups, and I've depended on them, stroking them for information, having them help promote my upcoming book, and creating a network for asking questions.  We all have crutches, and for a long time I used my insecurity as a hindrance, until I realized I needed to replace my baby blanket with something real and tangible that could help me get past the insecurity I felt.  Because let me tell you: everyone feels insecure, everyone is afraid of criticism: it's getting past those fears that allows you to be successful.

The thing is there are always going to be people who don't like your book.  There are also going to be people who love it. And I'm betting every published book has a typo. I know I've found them when I wasn't even looking.  We are all human, and therefore we will always make mistakes.

So grab a hold of your baby blanket, and find what you love to do. Don't be afraid.  Find security in the little things to help you move forward.

Guess what I did yesterday? An interview on Bookreader Magazine. You can check it out here:

If you liked this post, be fair and share! It helps an indie author out!

And by the way, Social Media has taken over the world: 

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"No Turning Back," is available for pre-order and will be out on January 31st! 

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