They Write the Books – Edward Aubry

One of the cool things about posting reviews (when a certain someone actually remembers to do them) is that every so often, the author will reach out to you Cool, right? Well, this happened to me a few months ago, after posting a review of his awesome book, Unhappenings.

I’m happy (and you should be too) to welcome author Edward Aubry in today’s Author Spotlight!

Tell us a little about yourself.

For much of my adult life I was a math teacher who dreamed of being a novelist. Of late I am a novelist who teaches math to support my family (still not making those millions in royalties, at least not yet). My bachelor’s degree was in music. That, the math and the writing allow to me to model for my students the fact that no one has to be exactly one thing. My first novel was released in 2010, and I am currently writing my sixth, with plans for many more.

How did you get into writing?

Seventh and eighth grade English class. I happened to have a teacher who pushed all the right buttons to spur an interest in writing fiction, as well as some fantastic starter tips for how not to suck at it. She actually told me at the end of eighth grade I was one of the worst student writers she had ever seen when I started her class, and by the end of those two years I was one of the best. She gets full credit for that transformation as far as I am concerned.

How did you come up with the idea for your story?

Unhappenings was originally two different time travel stories I was working on separately. One of them had to do with the central idea that every trip through time permanently changes some aspect of the past. That was partly a reaction to The Time Traveler’s Wife, which is a beautiful book, but has consequence-free time travel, in the sense that the past can never be changed. The traveler simply becomes part of events that have already happened. I wanted to push that idea as far as possible in the opposite direction. The other story was about someone using time travel not for great heroics or power, but for a simple, petty and purely selfish reason, and the catastrophic consequences that would have. Eventually I realized they were the same story from two different angles.

Who are your favorite authors?

Neil Gaiman. Lois McMaster Bujold. Dan Simmons. Mark Twain. Kurt Vonnegut. Stephen King.

If you could only recommend one book, which would it be?

Not fair! Okay, Hyperion by Dan Simmons. Apart from the fact I was absolutely consumed by it when I read it, it hits a multitude of completely different tropes and genres, and does so seamlessly in the context of a single collective novel. It’s a masterpiece of story-telling, and a great place for any aspiring writer to start in their quest for models to follow.

*Bonus * What one person (living or dead) would you share a meal with? And why?

I’m sure this is because his passing is still very fresh, but it would have to be David Bowie. I want to know what someone so phenomenally talented at pushing boundaries is like when he’s at home. While I don’t operate on anything near his level, my goal when writing my novels has always been akin to the way he approached music. Aim for the unexpected, invent new genres, perfect, move on, do not rehash. It would be utter conceit to say I do those things, but I want to, and he did. Oh, my, he did.

Thanks for stopping by, Edward! And thanks for an awesome read😉

 

Edward Aubry

Edward Aubry is a graduate of Wesleyan University, with a degree in music composition. Improbably, this preceded a career as a teacher of high school mathematics and creative writing.

Over the last few years, he has gradually transitioned from being a teacher who writes novels on the side to a novelist who teaches to support his family. He is also a poet, his sole published work in that form being the sixteen stanza “The History of Mathematics.”
He now lives in rural Pennsylvania with his wife and three spectacular daughters, where he fills his non-teaching hours spinning tales of time-travel, wise-cracking pixies, and an assortment of other impossible things.

Books and Blogs and More Things – Oh My!

I’ve tried writing a few different stories lately (I try to pop one out every month or so) but now I can’t. Well, I’m sure I could, if it wasn’t for that darn manuscript I still have up—the one I’ve been working on since May, the one I can’t stop writing (awesome right? I know!). Even this post is unexpected because every time I’ve sat down to write one, I end up adding another page to Better Than This (working title). But I’m writing this away from my computer, so it actually has a chance of being written. Yay!

And, while I have some steam going, a few things:

Rozmarie (9)

How cool is this? She came to me and offered to design one for FREE. Free! Whoo-hoo! Thank you, Universe, for having my back. And thank you, Leandra, for this amazing cover, and for being clever enough to add that awesome tagline because I definitely wouldn’t have thought of it myself.🙂

  • Seattle was a blast! I left the scorching FL 90-100 degrees weather to be swept away by the North-Western 70 degrees breeze. A-MAZING. Other than a few mishaps involving a van, the caterer and thrown-away vows, everything went off perfectly. Here are a few pics I remembered to snag along with one I pilfered from FB:

20160806_150846 20160806_210149 20160806_210334 20160806_210615 20160806_230136 Catie and Andy

Congratulations Catie & Andy!!!!!!!!!!

  • So this book I’m writing…

I’m totally pansting it like I normally do, but I have a rough sketch of it in my head and I’m coming to the part—the BIG part—that I know is going to break my heart. Something happened to a character in my last book, Crusade Across Worlds, and I was sobbing when I wrote it. Not that anything terrible is going to happen to these characters, per say, but guys—GUYS—send me tissue packets because this is going to be really hard to write. But I’m going to do it. For you, I’m going to do it.

  • Last (but certainly not least) I’m participating in Blood Moon Rising on October 4th. It’s a month-long event on FB for authors of Horror or authors who use horror as a subgenre, which, surprisingly I do. I’ll be taking over that day, so if you’re curious, stop by and read some super short stories, novel segments or learn some crazy cool stuff you never knew about yours truly.

Okay, I think that’s all for now. Virtual high five for writing something besides BTT (like a blog I just paid to renew. Hurray!) Off to write now.

Because, like, what else is there?

IWSG – Still Here

So I missed last IWSG.

😦

It felt weird. Like missing the school dance when all your friends are going. You want tag along, but it snuck up and you have nothing to wear. Bad analogy…you get it. So here I am, back again, ready to not be kicked out of the group for missing twice in a row. Yay for remembering on time!

I’ve been not posting much because I’m taking a mental breather. Pressing pause on the whole this is me being a writer stuff. A pause—not a stop. I’m still writing. I write every day. I write in the morning before work and after, when Batman and Appa are occupied—time I should probably use to mop the floor but I sit my butt down and type away instead. I’ll get to the floor one of these days.

So writing is not the problem.

Not that there is one. I feel fine. I’m working on something I love, but have no idea how it will end. Or what it will turn into—one giant novel or four novellas or two books or what. I keep going back and forth and then remind myself I don’t have to decide now. Which is awesome, because I’m not sure where to go next. And that’s where the pause comes in.

Besides writing, I don’t know what my next move is. I’m a terrible advertiser and ridiculously stupid with technology, so if you’re reading this, believe me, I’m more shocked than you are. I’ve got four published books out, another on Swoon Reads, and a project I don’t want to talk about. Yet. (There’s no need to jinx it.) So I’m taking it easy, putting the gear in neutral and coasting for a bit. I’m watching. Learning. Participating in group discussions (eek!) and really getting an idea of what other people are doing. How they’re getting noticed or the tactics they’re using to cultivate a fan base. Am I going to try these things? Possibly. But I don’t have to decide right now.

Right now is for writing.

And you, IWSG🙂

Insecure Writer’s Support Group (IWSG) is a monthly blog hop for writers at all levels to share their fears and insecurities in a safe and encouraging place. Please drop by and say hi to Alex Cavanaugh who started this nifty concept in bringing us all together.

P.S. If I don’t respond to a comment, it’s because I’m in Seattle for the next few days for a wedding! (Congratulations Catie and Andy!) I’ll get back to you as soon as I can🙂

P.P.S. Happy 30th Birthday to an AMAZING friend I’ve known for almost twenty years. I love you, Ari!

They Write the Books: Lori MacLaughlin

(I haven’t posted in a while ((besides IWSG)) and it’s not because I’m dead or depressed or stuck in a Walking Dead marathon – I’m writing. I don’t know what I’m writing or why, but it’s coming out of me like good looks and charm, so I’ve got to catch it while I can. More on this later.)

With that out of the way, I’m very pleased to welcome author Lori MacLaughlin, who has recently released the her second book, Trouble By Any Other Name, sequel to Lady, Thy Name Is Trouble.

Displaying TroubleByAnyOtherName_FrontCover.jpg

road in steppe receding into the distance

road in steppe receding into the distance

 

Tell us a little about yourself.

I’m a lifelong Vermonter (northeastern USA for readers outside the States) with two wonderful teens. My parents instilled in me a love of reading, so it wasn’t much of a stretch to go from reading stories to creating my own. I grew up on a dairy farm and used to spend a lot of time running around in the woods, imagining I saw fairies and dreaming up swashbuckling adventures. The most fun things I’ve done so far, not related to writing, are flying a sail plane, driving the length and breadth of Great Britain seeking out castles and ruins, and going to Disney World.

How did you get into writing?

My mother is responsible for that. I was not long out of high school when she first suggested I write down some of the stories in my head. I thought, okay, why not try it? I had no idea how much fun it would be to make my stories come alive with words. When I’m on a roll, it’s nirvana.

How did you come up with the idea for your story?

I’ve always been a tomboy, and when I was younger, I enjoyed doing what would be considered more boyish things like driving tractors and doing farm work. I could probably count on one hand the number of times I was caught in a dress. A girly princess I was not.

So the main character I created for my stories was a lot like me. More ranger or pirate than princess, handy with a sword and able to take care of herself. I wanted to be the one doing the rescuing, not the one who needed to be rescued. I created stories where she could do just that. I made up adventures for her that I would like to have that fit into the maps I’d drawn of my imaginary world.

Who are your favorite authors?

Hmmm… for fantasy authors I’d have to say J.R.R. Tolkien, Terry Brooks, Ursula K. LeGuin, Patricia A. McKillip, and Cornelia Funke… to name a few.

If you could only recommend one book, which would it be?

J.R.R. Tolkien’s Fellowship of the Ring. The Lord of the Rings trilogy is heroic fantasy at its best.

*Bonus * What one person (living or dead) would you share a meal with? And why?

I would choose J.R.R. Tolkien. I would love to talk with him about his maps and how he created Middle Earth.

Thank you, Lori for being here with us! And congratulations on the release!

***

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.

LoriLMacLaughlin

You can find her here:

Website/Blog

Goodreads

Buy Links

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Kobo

iBooks

IWSG: Do it. I did.

Today I’m releasing my fourth book.

Woo hoo!

And also *don’t look at me*

Well it’s up on. On Smashwords and Amazon and I’m very proud of myself for having gotten to this stage. It’s taken a lot of time, and a lot of effort, and I’m happy I stuck through it all.

I will say Crusade Across Worlds was more difficult to write than the first three, partly because of how the story went, but it had a lot to do a lot with what I was experiencing in my own life at the time. Thank you to everyone who’s read Escape, Plague and Discovery, or who’s offered a kind or supportive word. It means more than you know. Truly.

So, yep, here it is.

Fourth book in the series.

And guys—GUYS—shit just got real.

CRUSADE ACROSS WORLDS - 2500

Fallon has just returned from three months of training and is eager to fight against those who enslaved her. Joining up with Reid and the gang, they set out to prepare for the Vermix’s final attack—a highly prophesied invasion that could mean the possible end to a centuries-long war. But when unforeseen events arise, causing the plan of defense to crumble, it will take everything they have to survive what will certainly become a turning point in the Arizal War.

Find it on Smashwords here.

Find it on Amazaon here.

For all of you terrified weirdos out there like me, I clicked the publish button. And if I can do it, you can too. And if you can’t, read through a few more of these blogs. You’ll find the encouragement you need.

Insecure Writer’s Support Group (IWSG) is a monthly blog hop for writers at all levels to share their fears and insecurities in a safe and encouraging place. Please drop by and say hi to Alex Cavanaugh who started this nifty concept in bringing us all together.

IWSG – And the Battle Rages On

Insecure Writer’s Support Group (IWSG) is a monthly blog hop for writers at all levels to share their fears and insecurities in a safe and encouraging place. Please drop by and say hi to Alex Cavanaugh who started this nifty concept in bringing us all together.

I’ve been kind of out of it lately.

I don’t want to talk to anybody. Don’t want to do anything. I’ve got too much to say but no energy or desire to say any of it. Which leaves me in this weird sort of funk that has me questioning my day-to-day happiness as well as my mental stability, something every artist does but never talks about. Sshh. You didn’t read it here.

I’m fine. Really. It’s just the dark thoughts that plague most people (and not usually me) have been repeat offenders lately and that’s something I’m not used to. So I don’t know what to do. When the demons do come knocking (the rare occasions it happens), I’m able to bat them away—quite successfully, I might add. I’m optimistic this is the life I’m supposed to be living. I’m blinded by the belief that I’m meant to tell stories. To write. And always have been. But I’ve been struggling to live in the positive. My brain feels like a weary battlefield, neither optimism nor depression surrendering, both battling to rule my outlook on everything I do. And that’s what April has been for me. A month of constant war.

I have been writing. So there’s that. I have a book coming out next month, after all—the fourth in a series I love. But I don’t want to promote it. I don’t want to advertise or talk about its release. I simply want to sink back into my shell and send out a few texts to the handful of people I know are awaiting its release. It’s sad, really. That I’m back here again. I had so much gusto a few months ago and now I’m trying to decide each day if I want to be happy or sad. It’s weird and it’s scary and I hate that it’s part of the process. I hate that I have to go through it.

I guess the good thing about April is the unexpected inspiration for my next book. I’m excited about it, which has renewed some of the optimism, but the giant 3-0 circling my head is a constant reminder of the failure I continually convince myself I am. I’m thirty and not there yet. What does that say about me? What does that say about my talent? What does that say about how the rest of my life is going to go? And suddenly the demons are back. I hate them, and I hate myself for giving into them.

But I’m still writing. I’ve posted this, haven’t I? (Please God let me not chicken-out and post this). Things will be okay. I’m sure they will. After all, Crusade Across Worlds is coming out next month and ITR is still in its best stage—the unwritten period when everything is just a montage of scenes, a movie trailer of highlights I want to write.

Ah, the beginning to any creative piece. The inspiration. The possibilities. I do think, despite all the demons and mental exhaustion that goes along with being a writer, that this may be one of my very favorite things in life.

So I’ll cling to that for now.

 

IWSG – I Guess This Post is a Win

Insecure Writer’s Support Group (IWSG) is a monthly blog hop for writers at all levels to share their fears and insecurities in a safe and encouraging place. Please drop by and say hi to Alex Cavanaugh who started this nifty concept in bringing us all together.

I had a bad day last week.

The funny thing was nothing terrible caused it. I didn’t get a bad review or rejection or someone pull me aside and gently suggest I get my shit together and do something else with my life. Nothing like that. And actually, it was a pretty great day. Work was slow. Weather was nice. Absolutely nothing awful triggered the emotional breakdown I had while throwing the ball around with Appa. Each day after work I set aside some time to play with the little guy and that day, for whatever reason at all, the fact that I was releasing my fourth book had me in tears.

So often I focus on the positive, on the optimism and good in every situation that I forget there’s a flip side. Or maybe I just ignore it. Eventually, though, it catches up with me because I figured that if I had three works out there and nothing was changing—nothing was getting better in my writing career, did that mean it never would? Did it mean I lacked the talent/skill/ability? Did it mean writing wasn’t ever going to work for me? From here—today—those questions sound silly. Whiny, even. I’ve wanted to be a writer my entire life. I went to school for it, worked in the evenings after day-jobs and on the weekends for it, and haven’t given up yet. So why wouldn’t I be able to make a successful career?

But I’m thirty. I have three books out. Nothing (that I can see) is changing. And so I cried. I cried because I was disappointed in how things were turning out. I cried because I saw so much success in my friends, in the families they’ve created and the accomplishments they’ve carved into the world. I cried because I’d had other dreams for myself, other goals, that I pushed behind writing, that I sacrificed to be able to focus on the only thing I’ve ever (truly) wanted to do.

And I’m still not there yet.

Any kind of creative pursuit is torment. And most of it, self-inflicted. I’m not good enough. I’m not good enough. I’m not good enough. It chants through each risk we convince ourselves to take when we find the courage to do so. Every blog post for me is both exhilarating and anxiety-ridden. I love it and I hate it. I look forward to it, and dread it. I do my best to focus on the positive, always knowing the negative is a shadow’s length at bay. And sometimes, especially recently, I’ve watched the shadow grow larger. Stronger.

That’s why I find myself flirting with the idea of giving up. It feels good. It feels good in the way it shouldn’t, like I’m committing the crime without having to deal with the repercussions. So I revel in it. Just for a moment. What if I never wrote another blog post? What if I never ignored the torment to focus on the pleasure again? Would that make me happy? Would that fix things? Or would I only make it worse?

It’s a constant battle and one I don’t think will ever really go away. But I’m posting this, so I’ve convinced myself to try at least one more time. And that’s something. Some little win when I wasn’t sure it made sense to keep posting on a site so rarely visited. Like I said—it’s a constant battle, and I’ll probably go through this every month for every post if I (hopefully) continue to blog.

Oh, and someone else in the group must have been experiencing similar questions and feelings because I saw a post about doing other things with your life if writing falls through. One of the commenters suggested watching Elizabeth Gilbert’s (author of Eat, Pray, Love) Ted Talks.

I did, and it helped. It’s definitely worth the watch:

https://embed-ssl.ted.com/talks/elizabeth_gilbert_on_genius.html

And if you’re the curious type:

Appa, after a nice long game of fetch.

Appa, after a nice long game of fetch.