Today, it is my pleasure to host Lori L. McLaughlin regarding her new book Lady, Thy Name Is Trouble. I am currently reading the book and enjoying it very much. I will have a review soon. Anyway, here’s Lori –
When I first started writing, I wrote with abandon, the words flowing out of my brain in an unruly mess. There was no polish, no finesse. So many things about the craft of writing I didn’t know. Eagerly, I submitted my story, raw as it was, to a big name agent I met at a local writers’ conference. She saw potential in the story and agreed to take me on and market it for me. My excitement turned to disappointment, when she wasn’t able to sell it.
In and around life’s obligations, I continued to work on the story. As I learned more about the craft of writing, I began to see the flaws. Characters needed more depth, one in particular needed to be more likable. I expanded my world building, added plot twists, and sent out another round of submissions to other agents. The original agent I’d worked with had since retired. I had a few requests for partials and one for a full manuscript, but no takers.
Discouraging? Yes. But I believed in my story and refused to give up on it. If a big-time NYC agent had liked the premise enough to take a chance on it when it was that rough, there had to be a nugget of worth in there somewhere.
With the help of my writer’s group, I revised. I got married, had kids, lost my husband, didn’t write for a year and a half. The story waited for me. When I finally went back to it, I read it with an altered perspective, colored by life’s experiences. My muse returned, and my writing matured. I realized that if I really wanted to be a published author, I needed to start taking it seriously. Life is too short, as I’d been made painfully aware, not to pursue my dream.
I finished a rough draft of Book 2 to ensure consistency throughout the story arc. I hired an editor, polished the manuscript, and learned about self-publishing. I’d always said I wanted to be published in the traditional manner. But with the changing and shrinking markets, the chances of being accepted by an agent were getting slimmer and slimmer. The uncertainty and the real possibility that it could take months or even years to go through the submissions process sent me down the self-publishing road.
My self-publishing path hasn’t been easy. Exciting, yes, and frustrating, and often overwhelming, but I had faith in myself and in my story. A little Yankee determination and stubbornness go a long way. On February 27th, my book baby was born into the world to take its place on real and virtual bookshelves everywhere. I embraced my dream and made it real.
So what did I learn from all this? To believe in myself and my stories. If you feel you have something to say, say it. Don’t ever let difficulties or circumstances silence you. Never, ever give up. As the saying goes, where there’s a will, there’s a way. And if you have dreams, pursue them with a passion. Life is too short not to go for it. To quote the Nike slogan and one of my favorite mottoes: “Just do it.”
LADY, THY NAME IS TROUBLE
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.
More about Lori L. MacLaughlin
Lori L. MacLaughlin traces her love of fantasy adventure to Tolkien and Terry Brooks, finding The Lord of the Rings and The Sword of Shannara particularly inspirational. She’s been writing stories in her head since she was old enough to run wild through the forests on the farm on which she grew up.
She has been many things over the years – tree climber, dairy farmer, clothing salesperson, kids’ shoe fitter, retail manager, medical transcriptionist, journalist, private pilot, traveler, wife and mother, Red Sox and New York Giants fan, muscle car enthusiast and NASCAR fan, and a lover of all things Scottish and Irish.
When she’s not writing (or working), she can be found curled up somewhere dreaming up more story ideas, taking long walks in the countryside, or spending time with her kids. She lives with her family in northern Vermont.
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