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I have a new book out as Lauren Esker, Handcuffed to the Bear. It’s been added to my books page. (Hopefully Amazon will have the “Look Inside!” working soon. At least it’s not just me; it looks like things are laggier than usual right now.) It’s tropey F/M romance, this time on the general theme of “handcuffed together and hunted in the wilderness”. With extra bonus ensemble action.

I’m planning to put together a print version of the first 68 pages of Sun-Cutter for Senshi-Con in September. I worked on the cover today – process photos are posted at the Kismetcity tumblr and also on my Patreon.

SOMEONE WHO SHALL REMAIN NAMELESS challenged me to write a submission for this anthology (the werefolk one, not the alien artifacts one, though both sound fascinating). SOMEONE ELSE WHO SHALL ALSO REMAIN NAMELESS pointed me toward this one.  (I have the worst friends. And by worst I mean best.) I’m somewhat snowed under, but hoping to manage a submission to at least one of these!

And speaking of things I don’t have time to write, I think this week’s flashfic challenge at Chuck Wendig’s blog sounds marvelous — this week, create a character and sketch them out in 250 words or less. Next week, all these characters will be up for grabs for people to write about. This kind of collaborative fiction-writing totally sounds like my jam. In fact, I might work on something for that tonight …

Crossposted from Wordpress.  
layla: grass at sunset (Default)


I have a new alias! I will be writing het (F/M) romance as Lauren Esker.

(Some of you who follow me here have heard me talk about this elsewhere, so this won't be news to you.)

Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing – Can the big bad wolf and a sheep shifter have a happy ending? Curvy farm girl Julie Capshaw was always warned away from the wolf shifters next door, but Damon Wolfe is the motorcycle-riding, smoking hot alpha wolf of her dreams.

Lauren’s books will be mostly paranormal romance and romantic suspense. Feel free to like and follow "her" (me) on Facebook; I'll have snippets of upcoming novels, photos reference for the books, and stuff like that. There shouldn't be anything non-worksafe, although the books do contain sex scenes.

Crossposted from Wordpress.  
layla: grass at sunset (Default)
My fantasy story The Bride In Furs is online at Plunge Magazine.

I'll also have a sci-fi story in an anthology called Fierce Family from Crossed Genres. I'm not yet sure when that will be out (sometime next year, I'm guessing). That one has telepathic ice dragons in it. Hey, I grew up in the '80s, okay?
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I have a fantasy novella in Big Damn Heroines, a small-press SF/fantasy erotic anthology released today from Storm Moon Press celebrating "plus-sized women kicking ass". It's under my romance/erotica alias, Layla M. Wier, which I clearly suck at keeping separate from my Layla Lawlor author identity, i.e. my real name. (Probably I should just give up.)

Anyway, my story is called "Finder's Keeper":

Cat can find anything that’s been lost, from personal items to missing people. The one lost thing she can’t seem to find is herself. She scrapes out a meager living in the poor district of her walled desert city, until a friend and lover from her past, Mirsagh, comes to seek Cat’s help. As the two women journey into the desert in search of a missing merchant’s son, Cat will find herself pushed to the limits of her physical and mental strength, and forced to confront feelings for Mirsagh she thought she’d left behind years ago. But none of that will matter if neither of them makes it out alive …

Right now the anthology can only be purchased through Storm Moon Press's website. Most of their other titles are available from Amazon, etc, so I hope this one will be soon. :)
layla: grass at sunset (Default)

My attempts to get my novel agented have been met with resounding, deafening silence. I haven’t even gotten a request for a partial yet. (The way it works is: you send out a query letter, and if they’re interested, they ask to see a “partial”, i.e. the first few chapters; if they like that, they ask to see the whole manuscript.) The lack of response is somewhat disheartening — okay, I’ll be honest, it’s a lot disheartening — but it’s also making me think seriously about self-publishing. Or, more specifically, I’m thinking about serializing the novel online for free.

This isn’t a “holy cow, I must suck” kind of thing. I know that I am still at the apprentice level of learning my novelist’s craft … and possibly farther down the apprentice curve than I had realized. It’s hard to juggle all the elements that go into a novel: plot and character and worldbuilding, dramatic tension and description and action and quiet character moments. I wrote the best novel that I possibly could, but there’s a very real possibility (getting more real with every week that goes by with no response) that it’s not quite enough to catch an agent’s eye. I think it’s a good novel and I’m deeply in love with the characters. Could it be better? Sure. Hopefully the next one will be. And in the meantime …

The more I think about self-publishing, the more I like it. I don’t want to go flying into the endeavor without making a good plan, though. After all, I have an entire novel (edited, beta-read, researched to within an inch of its life) and a sequel that’s complete in rough draft. I don’t want to squander them. I want to make them work for me.

So what is the best way to approach it?

At this point, I’m thinking of serializing the novel on my blog, a chapter a week, and also having it available as an ebook. I’m still trying to think about how to handle the timing of the ebook release. Having the ebook available while I am still serializing the novel is a good incentive to buy: you read all the free chapters, and need to go get the ebook to find out how it ends! As opposed to waiting until it’s all online and then releasing the ebook. However, I need enough of the book online to make a good teaser. And releasing the ebook at the beginning also makes it impossible to edit the story in response to reader comments (it’s not going to be a choose-your-own-plot-point free-for-all, but I do think I’d be a fool not to take advantage of readers pointing out weaknesses, typos and so forth).

So what I’m currently thinking is this: I’ll serialize half the book (that’s about 3 months at a chapter a week), then have a release party for the ebook, then serialize the other half. If people prefer to wait and read it online, they can certainly do so! If they want to buy the ebook, there will be a good stack of chapters to sample, and some buzz generated by those chapters as well. (Hopefully.)

And, yeah, I could go the safe route and just release it as an ebook, forget putting it online for free. But you know, honestly, I actually think I’d sell more books that way? Or, at least, I want to try. I think it would be a very interesting project. Serializing stuff is fun. I love doing webcomics. I enjoy reading serialized fiction. Can I make money at it? Well, I don’t know. But I’m kind of excited to find out.

Here are some things I’m pondering:

  • Should I have a dedicated community or blog for the novel, or just release chapters on my main blog?
  • When to release the ebook? At the beginning, middle, end of the serialization process?
  • Should I try having a subscription option, with extra content? I was seriously thinking about doing something similar to Catherynne Valente’s Omikuji Project, where a very cheap monthly fee ($5 or so) gets you access to all kinds of cool stuff: extra stories, artwork, character bios, sneak peeks of upcoming stuff.

Ummm … thoughts? Ideas? Tell me I’ve lost my mind and I’m jumping the gun on giving up so quickly on traditional publishing?

Crossposted from Wordpress.  


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December 2016

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