Hello from Lauren Layne!
Hey guys! Welcome to the first ever LL-Monthly (it was formerly the LL-Weekly!) sent out a day late, because we all know that's sometimes how I roll!
So, is it just me, or is January the month that just didn’t end?! Not that I’m complaining. After a whirlwind December, the slower pace was perfectly lovely.
But there’s just something about turning the page of the calendar to a fresh month with all those fresh possibilities.
Especially since I was really late to the party with my 2017 goal-setting. I’ve had a pretty good sense of the type of year I want 2017 to be, but it’s taken me awhile to identify what that actually looks like and how to break it down into measurable goals that will inspire action/change.
I finally zeroed in my goals, um, yesterday, which means that I’ve finally, finally achieved that new year/fresh start euphoria that eluded me all of January, ready to do All The Things.
More on my goals below. For now, let's get right to everything that's happening in LL land for February!
Book Releasing This Month
Love Story is out on February 14th!
It’s a second-chance standalone about two high school sweethearts who broke up after high school, and are thrown back together for a cross-country road trip, which of course, creates all sort of delicious forced proximity and sexual tension 😉
I’ve created an “Extras” page for it, with a trailer, playlist, exclusive excerpt and a mood board!
Cover Reveal - Ready to Run
In case you missed it on social media, my August release (Ready to Run) has a cover, and I love it! This is the first in my I Do, I Don't series, which is The Bachelor meets Runaway Bride series I’ve mentioned in recent months.
Book One is about a city-girl TV producer who heads to small-town Montana to recruit a notorious runaway groom/playboy for the new reality show she’s working on. Only he has no interested in participating, and the more she tries to talk him into it, the more she realizes that she wants him all for herself. (Also, this is my first firefighter hero, and I’m sort of alarmed by how much I’m swooning while working on it)!
RT "Best Contemporary" Nomination - Cuff Me
I was so excited to learn last week that Cuff Me was nominated for an RT award!
(I like to pretend this is the Golden Globes of the romance world, with the RITAs being the Oscars. or maybe it's the other way around? Either way I feel like buying a gown and sipping champagne!)
It was the best kind of surprise—this book is one my favorite that I’ve ever written, but I feel like I wrote it so long ago, and I got sort of swept up in the Oxford and Wedding Belles world. I’m delighted to see Vincent and Jill’s story getting some love 😃
What I'm Working On
It's still very much in "first draft" mode, but here's a quick look at a recent writing session:
LL Life :: 2017 Goals
As mentioned above, I’ve finally figured out how I want to implement my theme word of “elegant” this year. Elegant to me means two things … the one most people think of, which is all classy loveliness.
But the other is defined as this: the quality of being pleasingly ingenious and simple
I'm interpreting that as getting back to basics, but in a smart and deliberate way.
I’ve got a little of both elegant definitions built into my Big Three for 2017
(1) Getting out of bed by 9am
And now you’re all thinking, “Wait, LL, aren’t you forever yapping about how you usually wake up by 5 or 6?!” 9am sounds downright indulgent. Yes. Yes it does. Yes, BUT … for most of 2016, my schedule looked like this: wake up at 5am, grab coffee and laptop, and crawl back into bed, staying hunched over laptop writing until … well, way too long. It wasn’t all bad. I was wildly productive, and managed to release six full-length books and a novella with this routine. But it’s time to learn how to be as productive in a bra and mascara instead of an 8 year-old tank top from Old Navy.
(2) Write 100,000 words per month
This number probably doesn’t mean a lot to non-writers, but it’s … a lot. More than I’ve ever done before, but what are goals for if not pushing oneself, right?!
(3) Get a YA novel ready for publication
(Translation: YA = Young Adult/books for teens)
This one is actually part of what’s driving the 100,000 for month—in order to write YA and my contemporary books, I need to buckle down a bit, less wine, more writing. As far as why YA Some of you know that while I was out on submission with agents back in 2011-2012, I “killed time” by writing a YA novel. The plan was always to do both; adult romance as Lauren Layne, and then teen books under another name. But then, the Lauren Layne brand took off, and I’m not complaining in the least, but the YA bug’s never really let go. There’s more flexibility in the genre, fewer rules to follow. Plus, I’m just going to come right out and say this … I sometimes like writing first kiss, hand-brushing, secret longing scenes more than I do the actual sex scenes. There’s not as much room for that sort of “holding back” in my current genre, so YA feels like a good way to get stretch my wings a bit!
LL Release Schedule
Since I get a ton of people continually asking for dates/titles of my upcoming books, I've decided to put my upcoming release in every issue of The Monthly. That way new subscribers are always in the loop, and if you miss an issue, you won't miss a book!
Will Finn and Vaughn from Good Girl be getting their own story?
With Good Girl’s recent $0.99 sale, this question’s seen a revival in popularity! Alas, no plans are in place for those books. I have a very clear sense of each story, but other stories have simply been louder in the urgency that is The Writer Brain. Maybe a novella or side-project some day, but please don’t get your hopes up 😃
For Writers - My Writing Journey
After much gentle and not-so-gentle nudging, I’m bringing back the “For Writers” feature to the newsletter—I was struggling to come up with fresh content when it was every week, but every month, I think I can handle (knock on wood).
This time I’ve got a very lengthy (be careful what you wish for!) look at my writer journey. And by journey, I mean a look at my path from voracious reader to wannabe writer, to published author starting at age … 0.
As mentioned, it’s a long one, so click at your own risk, only if you have a beverage, snack, and an interest in how authors are made 😃
(will open in new window)
Until Next Month
Next issue of the Monthly: March 2, 2017
Gif of the month, representing LL's mood ...