Complementing the blog interviews, today’s Author Spotlight, the one hundred and fifty-fifth, is of urban fantasy author Lauren Grimley.
There are benefits to growing up in a small town. One of them is that often you are forced to use your imagination to create excitement. Growing up in Grafton, Massachusetts, Lauren Grimley frequently dreamed up stories and often wrote them down to share with her family and friends. She also frequented both the town and school libraries, though never lingered in the fantasy sections, preferring historical fiction or horror stories at the time. She did, however, have a fantasy of her own: seeing her name on one of those book jackets.
Putting aside her childhood dream for a job that paid the bills, Lauren became a middle school English teacher after graduating from Boston University. It was her seventh graders who set her back on the writing path when they convinced a rather skeptical new teacher that vampire stories were worth reading. Lauren now spends her time writing them when she should be correcting papers. If she finds free time beyond these activities, she’s likely to spend it on a beach with a book and bottle of wine close by.
Lauren Grimley’s debut novel, Unforeseen, was published as an ebook in April 2012 and as a paperback on September 28, 2012. It is the first book in an adult urban fantasy series featuring a strong heroine, plenty of action, a healthy dose of romance, and, of course, some vampires.
The second book in the series, Unveiled, is expected out early 2013.
And now from the author herself:
The world doesn’t need another vampire series. I know this, yet I’m writing one. The logical question that follows is, “why?” The answer touches upon the very reason I write. When I came home from an evening jog with the opening scene of the novel fully formed in my mind, I sat down with my notebook and began writing–because it was fun. The story that was developing in my imagination was the kind I liked to read for enjoyment. I wasn’t setting out to change the world of modern literature. I wasn’t writing with a larger audience in mind at all. I was writing for entertainment, mine and eventually, as I realized this was the novel I was actually going to finish, for other fans of the genre. Still, during that first year of writing, I found myself apologizing for choosing a genre so popular that it had become a favourite target of critics. As soon as the word vampire left my lips I’d feel the heat in my blushing cheeks.
I’m past that now. I’m perfectly happy to tell people I write about vampires and gifted humans and can do so without a hint of pink in my cheeks. Part of this change stems from being published. Even just having the backing of a small press does wonders for one’s confidence. Another part of it is knowing that my novel has something to add to the previous mythology. The urban fantasy world I’ve created is unique and offers readers of a popular genre something new to discover. Really, though, it’s about being reminded why I began writing to begin with, for enjoyment. There is no greater joy than when a reader tells me the book made her laugh or kept her up late. Realizing that the same words that entertained me (and sometimes frustrated me) during the writing process could offer the same escape to a reader is thrilling. If a critic wants to bite into a book simply because of its genre, I can now smile while telling them in the words of my main character, Alex, “Go flash your fangs at someone who cares.”
Unforeseen is the story of twenty-five year old Alex Crocker, a teacher who thought she had all the answers. She was sure gifted was a term delusional parents applied to their strictly average children, vampires were gorgeous dead guys in her eighth-grade girls’ novels, and Seers was a middle schooler’s misspelling of a department store known for power tools. Teachers, however, don’t know everything–-it’s Alex’s turn to be educated.
Running alone the night before school ends, Alex is violently attacked. She quickly learns she’s sought after for possessing a gift she never wanted, one that could kill her or provide the power she’ll need to protect herself and those she cares for. Hunted for her gift and haunted by her dreams, Alex is driven to fight, even if it means allying herself with those just as deadly as her enemies.
- Her personal website: http://www.laurengrimley.com
- Blog: http://blog.laurengrimley.com
- Twitter @legrimley: http://twitter.com/ – !/legrimley
- Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AuthorLaurenGrimley
- YouTube – book trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k4jIAt-U1iQ
- Unforeseen: Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk, Smashwords and Barnes & Noble
- Unknown (a short from later in the series): Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk
The blog interviews will return as normal tomorrow with multi-genre author Carmen Anthony Fiore – the six hundred and sixeenth of my blog interviews with novelists, poets, short story authors, biographers, agents, publishers and more. A list of interviewees (blogged and scheduled) can be found here. If you like what you read, please do go and investigate further. And I enjoy hearing from readers of my blog; do either leave a comment on the relevant interview (the interviewees love to hear from you too!) and / or email me.
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As I post an interview a day (amongst other things) I can’t unfortunately review books but I have a list of those who do, and a feature called ‘Short Story Saturdays’ where I review stories of up to 2,500 words (and post stories of up to 3,000 words), or posted for others to critique (up to 5,000 words) on the new Morgen’s Online Short Story Writing Group. Alternatively if you have a short story or self-contained novel extract / short chapter (ideally up to 1000 words) that you’d like critiqued and don’t mind me posting it online in my new Red Pen Critique Sunday night posts, then do email me. I am now also looking for flash fiction (<1000 words) for Flash Fiction Fridays and poetry for Post-weekend Poetry and Morgen’s Online Poetry Writing Group.
Four new online writing groups:
- Morgen’s Online Novel Writing Group (http://novelwritinggroup.wordpress.com / http://www.facebook.com/groups/508696639153189)
- Morgen’s Online Poetry Writing Group (http://poetrywritinggroup.wordpress.com / http://www.facebook.com/groups/388850977875934)
- Morgen’s Online Script Writing Group (http://scriptwritinggroup.wordpress.com / http://www.facebook.com/groups/319941328108017)
- Morgen’s Online Short Story Writing Group (http://shortstorywritinggroup.wordpress.com / http://www.facebook.com/groups/544072635605445)
We look forward to hearing your comments.