Upcoming Agent Spotlight Interviews & Guest Posts

  • Caroline Trussell Agent Spotlight Interview and Query Critique Giveaway on 5/20/2024
  • Jenna Satterthwaite Agent Spotlight Interview and Query Critique Giveaway on 6/10/2024
  • Bethany Weaver Agent Spotlight Interview and Query Critique Giveaway on 6/26/2024

Agent Spotlight & Agent Spotlight Updates

  • Agent Spotlights & Interviews have been updated through the letter "K" as of 3/28/2024 and many have been reviewed by the agents. Look for more information as I find the time to update more agent spotlights.

Debut Author Interview: Lauren Thoman and I’ll Stop the World Giveaway and IWSG Post

Happy Wednesday Everyone! Today I’m excited to have debut author Lauren Thoman here to share about her YA mystery I’ll Stop the World. I’m super excited to read it because I love mysteries, and this story also involves time travel.

Here’s a blurb from Goodreads:

The end and the beginning become one in a heart-pounding coming-of-age mystery about the power of friendship, fate, and inexplicable second chances.

Is it the right place at the wrong time? Or the wrong place at the right time?

Trapped in a dead-end town, Justin Warren has had his life defined by the suspicious deaths of his grandparents. The unsolved crime happened long before Justin was born, but the ripple effects are still felt after thirty-eight years. Justin always knew he wouldn’t have much of a future. He just never imagined that his life might take him backward.

In a cosmic twist of fate, Justin’s choices send him crashing into the path of determined optimist Rose Yin. Justin and Rose live in the same town and attend the same school, but have never met―because Rose lives in 1985. Justin won’t be born for another twenty years. And his grandparents are still alive―for now.

In a series of events that reverberate through multiple lifetimes, Justin and Rose have a week to get Justin unstuck in time and put each of them in control of their futures―by solving a murder that hasn’t even happened yet.

Before I get to Lauren’s interview I have my IWSG Post.

Posting: The first Wednesday is officially Insecure Writer's Support Group Day.

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

The awesome co-hosts this month are:  Jemima Pett, Nancy Gideon, and Natalie Aguirre!

Optional Question: Do you remember writing your first book? What were your thoughts about a career path on writing? Where are you now and how is it working out for you? If you're at the start of the journey, what are your goals?

Oh yes, I remember when I wrote my first middle grade fantasy 20 years ago when my daughter was about 6 years old. I’d just read the first book in the Harry Potter series and had an idea I was excited about. It’ll probably be the only book in my life where I wrote the draft quickly.

I was so excited about the story and getting published back then. I worked on the manuscript for about ten years.

But then I watched how some authors flourished and others struggled to get a new publishing contract over the years as I featured debut authors here.

And then I lost my husband and my job and became an empty nester fairly quickly. I’ve shared about my struggles a lot after he died and how I lost the desire to write for about six years.

Thankfully, I’m writing again. The process gives me great joy. But after all I’ve seen in the publishing industry and everything I’ve gone through, I’m not sure that I want to get published anymore. I’d need the support of a traditional publisher to do it. The path to that road to publication is filled with rejections, struggles, and a lack of control over much of the process. Of course, there is joy too in getting a book published and sharing it with readers.  But, with everything I’ve gone through in life, I’m not sure I care enough about being published to go through it all.

I’m just taking it day by day for now. I’ll see where my journey leads over the next years and what my goals become.

Interview With Lauren Thoman

Hi Lauren! Thanks so much for joining us.

1. Tell us about yourself and how you became a writer.

Hi Natalie, and thanks for having me! I’m a mixed-race Chinese American who was born and raised outside of Philadelphia, PA but has lived outside of Nashville, TN for more than a decade now. I’ve got two teenagers, two dogs, and a husband who keeps accumulating fish tanks. We also foster dogs, so there is frequently a whole pack of furry friends roaming around our house. In addition to writing books, I’m also a freelance pop culture writer, writing about movies and TV for various online publications.

Unlike a lot of authors, I actually haven’t been a writer my whole life. Although I’ve been a lifelong reader, and I always enjoyed writing assignments in school, I didn’t decide to try my hand at writing a book of my own until my second kiddo was getting ready to start preschool. I’d just finished reading The Hunger Games trilogy and had a massive book hangover, and nothing else I picked up to read was scratching that itch. So I impulsively decided I’d just write my own book. Nothing beyond a couple vague scenes came from that very first idea, but it didn’t take me long to come up with another one, and that turned into a whole book. It wasn’t good enough to snag me an agent or sell, but it was definitely enough to get me hooked on writing. I’ve been writing ever since.

2. I’m like you. I didn’t start writing until I became a mom. Where did you get the idea for I’ll Stop the World?

The idea for I’ll Stop the World came from a lot of places. First and foremost, I wanted to write a time travel book. Time travel stories have always fascinated me (I’ve actually written about them a fair amount in my pop culture writing) so coming up with my own unique spin was incredibly appealing to me. But of course, a time travel story can look like just about anything, so figuring out my own was a matter of asking myself what other elements tend to draw me into a story.

I tend to really enjoy clockwork universes, where every piece of the story is a cog that affects something else in the story (Breaking Bad is my favorite example of this). I love big ensemble casts, and stories told from multiple points of view. And I like stories that keep you guessing all the way until the end. And then in the realm of time travel specifically, I am particularly drawn to stories that wrestle with big questions of fate and free will and how we move through the universe, and the impact our actions and choices have on the world around us. I also thought it would be interesting to do a time travel story where the protagonist is left uncertain about the mechanism behind the time travel—where he doesn’t know how or why he traveled, or what he’s supposed to do about it. So all of those thoughts kind of tumbled around in my head for a bit, until they eventually coalesced into this story.

About Your Writing Process

3. I’ll Stop the World is a mystery made more complicated because Justin travels back in time. Share how you created the mystery aspect of your plot. Do you have any tips and/or book recommendations on how to write a mystery?

My biggest tip is do not do what I did and attempt to just fly by the seat of your pants with no idea where you’re going. That just leads to a deleted scenes folder that is twice as thick as your actual book. Definitely don’t recommend that.

Once I realized that you can’t just wing a mystery (at least not one that’s very satisfying to read), I had to rein myself in and think through it a lot more intentionally. I started with the ending—what actually did happen to Justin’s grandparents 38 years ago, and how is he going to try to change it? Is he going to succeed? What does a satisfying conclusion to this story look like?

After I’d figured all of that out for myself, I worked backwards, asking myself which characters were instrumental to that ending, and which of that group needed their own point-of-view in order for readers to understand the full story. But of course, if a character is going to have their own POV, they also need their own conflict and ARC; they can’t just be there in service of the ending. So I then had to flesh each of them out to make sure their chapters both worked to further the overall story, and added something individually, as well as working to make sure every character and subplot felt cohesive thematically. I also tried to seed in little clues as early as I could that would help the ending feel like it paid off. I did a lot of revising of earlier chapters to weave those pieces in as unobtrusively as I could. As a reader, I always like when a writer gives me all the clues I’d need to solve it on my own, even if I didn’t realize it at the time. So I tried my best to do that here.

I also was watching a lot of ensemble mystery shows at the time like Broadchurch, Mare of Easttown, and even Riverdale, and trying to take mental notes on what worked about those plots for me. How did they surprise me? How did they build tension? How did they handle their reveals? I tend to play my stories out like a movie in my head as I write, so I often tend to gravitate toward films and TV rather than books when I’m trying to get in the right mindset for my stories. The really bizarre thing is that even though I was watching all of these mystery shows, I still didn’t realize I was writing a mystery. I was just focusing on how to build toward a surprising yet inevitable ending, one that felt both emotionally and intellectually satisfying, and it didn’t even occur to me that of course I was following a mystery formula.

My best advice for plotting a story with a mystery element is to ask yourself three questions: 1) What really happened? 2) What do the characters think happened? 3) Why is 2 more compelling than 1? If you want what really happened to be surprising, you need to make a solid argument for why your characters spend so much of the story looking in the opposite direction. There’s got to be some really convincing evidence leading away from the truth. I wish I’d started here; it would’ve saved me a lot of trouble.

4. Thanks so much for your helpful tips. I want to write a mystery someday and will definitely use them. Reviewers have said that they couldn’t put down your book. How did you create a page-turner?

I’m so glad to hear that! When you’re writing, you honestly have no idea how others are going to receive it. Especially with a story that requires readers to suspend a huge amount of disbelief due to the time travel, it’s really a relief to hear that people are resonating with it. All I could really do when I was writing was make sure I wasn’t bored. Since I’ll Stop the World is written from multiple POVs, I tried to make sure that each one had some sort of conflict that readers would be invested in and eager to return to, which meant that I had to be invested in it. Anytime I found my mind wandering or feeling like I was just spinning my wheels in a chapter, I took a hard look at it and asked if this chapter was actually working. Often, that led to me throwing the whole thing out and starting over.

Years ago, I heard someone say about a super popular yet divisive YA writer something to the effect of, say what you will about the story, but she sure knows how to end a chapter. That stuck with me, and always plays in my head when I’m revising my chapter endings. I try to end each one on a question, maybe not a literal question, but something the reader is left wondering about so that they’re eager to keep going and find out the answer. Most of my chapters are also pretty short, which I hope makes it easier for a reader to think, “just one more chapter.” I try to avoid writing in good stopping places. If a reader has to take a break, I always want it to be against their will.

5. I like short chapters too. You are also a freelance writer and have a family. How do you schedule enough time for your own writing to be productive with your freelance writing deadlines and your responsibilities to your family?

Short answer: I don’t? That’s tongue-in-cheek, but honestly, I am frequently intimidated by writers who seem like they have the schedule juggling down to a science, and I most definitely do not. There are plenty of days (or even weeks, or months) where I feel like I haven’t been productive at all, or at least not in the way I wanted to be. So I think it’s important to state up front that I tend to have grand intentions of scheduling in enough time for all the things, but the reality is that some days I’m successful and some days I’m not and most land somewhere in between.

That said, I took several months off from freelancing when I sold I’ll Stop the World because I knew I wouldn’t have the time or brain power to be able to keep it up while going through edits. I just recently reached out to a few of my editors and told them I’m ready to start picking up some pieces again, but I definitely need to keep it light. The issue for me isn’t so much blocks of time as it is mental capacity. If I’m spending mental energy writing articles, I don’t have any left for creative writing. And it also takes me time to shift mindsets from one to the other. So even though I’m picking some freelancing back up, I’m trying to be protective of my time and only working on it one or two days a week, and only in the mornings. (I can never write creatively in the mornings anyway; I just stare at the blank page until after lunch.)

My kids are both in high school, so the bulk of my writing time happens during school hours. It’s not how I’d write if I was single and childless; the words flow the easiest for me at night, after dinner. But that’s my family time, and after the kids are in their rooms for the night, time for me to spend with my husband. So even though I’m a slower writer during the day, I’ve forced myself to try to fit it all in there. Nights and weekends are for family and rest. Unless I’m on a tight deadline, of course, in which case all bets are off.

Your Road to Publication

6. Holly Root is your agent. How did she become your agent and what was your road to publication like?

Holly and I actually went to college together, but didn’t know each other very well at the time. But when I first started writing, I read a slew of books that turned out to all be by Holly clients, even though I hadn’t planned that at all. So that told me that had very similar tastes! And she did remember me from college enough that we were Facebook friends. Still, though, the first time I queried her (with a fantasy novel), she passed. It just wasn’t there yet. I queried her again with my next book, and she signed me on that, but it didn’t sell. We went on sub several times, with a few different projects, and none of them sold. The passes from the editors were always very nice—over and over, I heard that the writing was good and the story was good, but it just wasn’t a fit for their list/the market/whatever—but after a while, even a glowing rejection just feels like a rejection.

I wound up taking a few years off from creative writing entirely, which is when I started freelancing. I signed with Holly in 2014, and by 2018, I was just tired and discouraged and needed to take a break for a while. I didn’t write a word of fiction again until the summer of 2021, when I decided to finally finish this time travel book I’d been working on on-and-off since I first signed with Holly. I finished it by the beginning of 2022, and we revised it together before sending it out on sub that March. She told me it would likely be months before we heard anything back, since such was the state of publishing after two years in a pandemic, and that didn’t phase me at all, since I was used to being on sub for ages, and for nothing to ever come of it. I really had no expectations anymore; I just figured I’d finished the book, I had an amazing agent, so why not?

But then we heard from one of the editors within 24 hours that they were very interested, even though they hadn’t even finished reading yet. Within the next couple weeks, we knew of several others who were preparing to throw their hats in the ring. But then the pre-empt came in from Mindy’s Book Studio, and it was just too good to pass up. So that’s the one we wound up taking. It was all extremely fast and unexpected and more than a little weird.

7. How awesome that Holly and you knew each other in college. What was the process of going on submission like? What tips do you have for other writers going on submission?

As I mentioned above, I’ve had several very different submission experiences. Several that led nowhere and took a really long time—probably around a year each, all told—and one that landed me a book deal and was done in two weeks. It was nerve wracking each time, although the last time was probably the easiest in terms of keeping my hopes getting too high, ironically. I’ve been to acquisitions with multiple books, only to have them not get over that final hurdle.

My best advice for other writers going on submission is to just try to let it go and trust your agent (if you have one). Once you’ve written the best book you can, the rest is totally out of your control, and you can tie yourself into emotional knots trying to figure out what’s going on in every editor’s head when the reality is that there’s nothing more you can do to sell that book or figure out if it’s going to sell.

If you get an offer, great! If you get multiple offers, amazing! If you get rejections, you can revise if there’s a common theme in their feedback—your agent is your best guide in figuring out whether there’s anything actionable in there, or if it’s just not the right fit—but sometimes there really isn’t anything you can do other than write the next book. Trust me, I find it super hard to follow my own advice, and am constantly sitting on my hands to avoid hounding my agent for updates that she probably doesn’t even have. But once a book is out on sub, the only thing I actually have control over is writing the next one, and my mental health is definitely best when I can focus on that instead of the one that’s out of my hands.

Promoting Your Book

8. How are you planning to market your book?

I am fortunate to have a great publicity team that is handling most of that for me. I’ve been sharing positive reviews and mentions on my social media, boosting sales, that sort of thing. Occasionally I’ll do a giveaway. And since I’m already used to pitching freelance articles, I’ve done some pitching of my own when I get an idea for something I might want to write that ties into my book. But mostly, I’m letting my publicists focus on the marketing, while I focus on the writing. Marketing is not my strength, so I’m happy to defer to the experts there.

9. How have you been planning for your book’s release in the year leading up to its release? What advice do you have for other debut authors?

I joined a debut group, the 2023 Debuts, which been a great resource in letting me know what I should be doing when, and has also connected me with some amazing other debut authors. I’ve had a lot of fun planning my launch party, which will have already happened by the time this interview publishes, so I hope it went well! I roped several other local author friends into participating in it with me, which makes it feel a little more like a party, and also less intimidating for me, since I won’t be the sole focus of attention. I’ve also been researching book festivals I may want to apply to, since I have always loved attending those as an audience member and would love to finally participate as an author!

Otherwise, I’ve just been taking my own advice and working on the next thing. I finished a proposal for what I hope will be my second book, and then moved on to drafting a new book after I sent the proposal on to my agent. In between, I’ve been responding to interview questions (like this one!) and writing guest posts that my publicity team sets up, but mostly I’m trying to enjoy this period of relative quiet when I don’t have anything under contract, nothing on deadline, and can just enjoy the anticipation.

My best advice for other debut authors is to work on the next thing, and try not to be an island. Join a debut group, for sure, but also plug into your local writing community (or even a virtual writing community, if you don’t know any local writers). I’m fortunate to have a wonderful group of local writer friends at all stages of publication, and we try to meet together to write and commiserate at least once every week or two. My family is so supportive of my writing, and I’m incredibly grateful, but publishing is just a deeply weird and confusing profession and industry, and no one gets it like other writers. My writer friends offer invaluable support, understanding, and encouragement for me, and also help keep me grounded when I start to spiral—which I think all writers are a little wont to do.

10. What are you working on now?

I’m back to drafting right now, and am working on a book that’s very different from anything I’ve written before, while still being very me. This one is a horror book for adults (although there are still some younger characters in there), set in a post-apocalyptic haunted house. It’s got even more narrators than I’ll Stop the World, because apparently I am simply incapable of keeping my cast small. I’m having a ton of fun with it. I hope people get to read it someday.

Thanks for sharing all your advice, Lauren. You can find Lauren at her official website, and on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Giveaway Details

Lauren’s publisher is generously offering a hardback of I’ll Stop the World for a giveaway. To enter, all you need to do is be a follower of my blog (via the follower gadget, email, or bloglovin’ on the right sidebar) and leave a comment by April 15th. If your email is not on your Google Profile, you must leave it in the comments to enter the contest. Please be sure I have your email address.

If you mention this contest on Twitter, Facebook, or your blog and/or follow me on Twitter or Lauren on her social media sites, mention this in the comments and I'll give you an extra entry for each. You must be 13 years old or older to enter. This book giveaway is U.S.

Upcoming Interviews, Guest Posts, and Blog Hops

Thursday, April 6 I’m participating in the Dancing in the Rain Giveaway Hop

Monday, April 10 I have an interview with debut author Meg Eden Kuyatt and a giveaway of her MG contemporary Good Different

Wednesday, April 12 I have an agent spotlight interview with Roma Panganiban and a query critique giveaway

Monday, April 17 I have a guest post by debut author Justine Pucella Winans and a giveaway of her YA thriller Bianca Torre Is Afraid of Everything

Monday, April 24 I have an agent spotlight interview with Jennifer Chen Tran and a query critique giveaway

Hope to see you on Thursday!





Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

Glad you're still writing, Natalie! Maybe you can dust off the MG fantasy one day, too!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Getting published is a struggle and can be painful. But just write to enjoy it and see where it leads you.
Thanks for co-hosting today!

Jennifer Lane said...

Hi, Natalie, your post has piqued my curiosity about your first manuscript. What has happened to it? Are you working on it now, or writing something new? Have any critique partners read it? If you decide the traditional pub route is too arduous (like I decided), have you considered self-publishing? It may feel too daunting, and you know a lot more about the publishing world from your blog than most writers do! I'm glad you found your way back to writing after your husband died.

Jemi Fraser said...

I think Day by Day is the best way to take everything! I don't have the personality for trad publishing, but I do love being an indie author.
Lauren's book has such an intriguing plot line - all the best to her!

Ronel Janse van Vuuren said...

The book sounds interesting.
You should check out the Self-Publishing Show podcast with Mark Dawson and James Blatch: they talk about different types of publishing, talk with different types of authors, etc. Perhaps you'll find something in their backlist of episodes to help you with the hurdles of getting published :-)

Ronel visiting for IWSG day If The Author’s Life Were a Fairy Tale

Liza said...

Hi Natalie. I'm so glad that you are back writing. If it gives you joy, comfort or a sense of peace, that's worth it in itself. Thank you for all the time and effort you give to other writers. Sometimes our successes in life appear in non-traditional ways. These blogs posts are so helpful and leave a mark.

As you know, I understand completely how hard life changes impact our creative abilities. I don't know if I'll ever be published either, but the writing saves me.

Wishing you the best.

Diane Burton said...

There is nothing wrong with writing for yourself. Enjoy what you're doing. Publishing (traditional or self) is a lot of work, and heartache sometimes. Do what works best for you.

Thanks for cohosting this month.

Jemima Pett said...

I agree, writing what you want and when you want it... excellent. And thanks for co-hosting today :)


Rebecca M. Douglass said...

Thanks for co-hosting, Natalie. And I was struck by Lauren’s comments on plotting. Matches what I’ve learned but I like some
Parts of her approach that I haven’t been doing. I’m making notes.

J.Q. Rose said...

I appreciate your honesty about trying to get a publisher for a book. And oh, the marketing. Writing the book is just the beginning. There is a time for every season. I'm glad you are authentic about the season for your writing. Enjoy filling up the pages with words. Day by day is the way to think of it. I am in that season too.

Loni Townsend said...

I feel you with your uncertainty about wanting to pursue publishing. I am at a similar point in my life, but I will probably self publish but not pursue it as a career.

cleemckenzie said...

Lauren's book premise sounds wonderful and exciting. I love a mystery that involves different generations, one affected by another.

I knew your story, and while mine has a different chronology, it's very similar. The death of a life partner changes us dramatically and forever.

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

Natalie, have you ever thought of writing a memoir? Thank you for co-hosting this month. Thank you for supporting other authors/writers. Thanks for inspiring this author. Kudos to you.

Jen said...

Lauren's book sounds very interesting! I like the time travel twist thrown in with solving a murder.

Writing is a very personal thing. Regardless of whether or not you ever seek publication, doing it because you love to do it is key. And continuing to encourage other writers is part of that process! Wonderful post and interview and thank you for co-hosting this month!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Time travel is a popular trope.

Write for the joy of it, Natalie. Publishing tough and stressful.

Jean Davis said...

I hope you keep writing and working toward publication. You never know how it will go for you until you try. All you're doing to help other authors along the way is fantastic. :)

Rachna Chhabria said...

Hi Natalie, I'm really glad that you are back to writing.

Lauren's book sounds super amazing. I just love the blurb. I'll add it to my TBR list.

Tyrean Martinson said...

First, Natalie, while I love that you are writing for the joy of it, I love your blog so much, I want to read your creative work, too. I hope someday, I can get a sneak peek at something you've written creatively, and if you ever get published or self-publish, I will be there, cheering your work!

Pat Garcia said...

That is very good medicine, taking it a day at a time.
All the best.
Shalom shalom

Shalom aleichem,
Pat G @ EverythingMustChange

Liz A. said...

That was quite the winding road to publication. I'll keep the mystery plotting points in mind. I have a story with a mystery element in it that I'm toying with.

Writing is hard. I'm glad you've gotten back to it.

Computer Tutor said...

What a thoughtful answer to the IWSG question. If I weren't completely familiar with the self-pub journey, I don't think I'd want to learn it. It's complicated, tedious, and technical. But, I've got it and wouldn't be pubbed without it. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Natalie.

Victoria Marie Lees said...

Thank you for co-hosting this month's IWSG question, Natalie.

No kidding, Lauren, what an awesome premise. Thank you so much for your solid writing advice. Yes, each character--even in mysteries--needs an arc and needs to be integral to the story. Wonderful! All the luck with this new release.

Nancy Gideon said...

Thanks for introducing us to Lauren! YA mystery! Sounds like a fantastic read. Thanks for sharing the co-hosting! Not like that's a chore. Love meeting new writers. Welcome back to writing!! I knew your couldn't stay away for long.

emaginette said...

It's like you're in my head today. To me the journey of writing is very rewarding. I love it and couldn't give it up if I tried. I tell myself I'll submit, but I rarely do.

Maybe I'm in it for the journey and the joy of it all and nothing else matters right now. hehehe

Anna from elements of emaginette now.

Sonia dogra said...

Hi Natalie! I hear you about publishing and the difficult road that it is. I don't have a solo book but I have three drafts. But for some reason I don't have the urge to see them published. Not right now and I guess unless I want it badly, there's no point. Thank you for co hosting.

Sandra Cox said...

Congrats, Lauren. Sounds like you've got a winner.
Natalie, You've sure had your challenges. I'm so very glad writing is bringing you joy. Wishing you happiness with it wherever your path leads.

Fundy Blue said...

Hi, Natalie! You always amaze me with your informative posts. I haven't been by nearly enough, but I've been in one of those challenging periods. Day by day is how I've been getting through life, especially since Covid began and I developed Graves and Graves Eye diseases. I'll be very curious to see where your journey leads! The interview with Lauren is awesome. Her books sounds really interesting ~ my type of read! I'm on my third reading of Moonflower Murders by Anthony Horowitz. The mystery was engrossing, and I've been rereading it to see how Horowitz structured the book and dropped clues to the outcome. Have fun visiting around today. Thanks for co-hosting!

Kate Larkindale said...

Glad you've kept writing. Sometimes it's the only way to stay sane!

PJ Colando said...

Grace and peace to you, Natalie. You're an awesome supporter of others.

diedre Knight said...

I'm glad you're writing again. Take your time, and enjoy the process. I watch a couple of Reedsy videos each month - just to keep sight of the path I want to be on.
Gosh, when I think of the times I've wanted to stop the world...But the premise of Lauren's novel is just too compelling to pass up ;-) Terrific interview.
Thank you for co-hosting!

Olga Godim said...

@Natalie: I think day by day is my approach too.
@Lauren: great interview, very informative.

Lynn said...

Hi Natalie,
You have coped well with life changing events that arrived all at once. It seems to me you love to write. Along with others, I suggest you consider writing for yourself. Perhaps publish an eBook?
Thank you for co-hosting our April blog hop.

Lynn La Vita

Sherry Ellis said...

I didn't even know you had a published book. Is it still available for purchase?

Sorry for all the hardship you've been through. But I'm glad you're still writing!

Nice interview with Lauren! I completely understand getting derailed when trying to be a pantser. I couldn't do it, either.

Gwen Gardner said...

Natalie, Life does get in the way. First and foremost, you have to love what you do. No pressure to publish until you’re ready, if ever.

Lauren, your book sounds fun! I will go check it out.

Brenda said...

So nice to hear that you're back to writing and that you're able to find some joy in it now. Thank you for the tidbits about writing a mystery Lauren.

Denise Covey said...

Natalie, I think you nailed the traditional publication process. Which is why I rejected it and went with self-publishing. You can still use all the services - beta readers, editors etc. Trad pub wants you to do most of the marketing yourself anyway which is where the work is. But it makes me sad that you may not try. I can only write when I'm happy, and have been going through stuff with my husband for months and have struggled to write much at all, but I am feeling better now and as I said in my post, have finally completed my Paris cookery school story. I wish you all the best for what you do for authors! It's so important!

Carol Kilgore said...

So glad to know the joy of writing has returned for you. If I didn't love it and lose myself for hours in it, not sure I could do it either. Write first for yourself. You're what's important.

Carol Baldwin said...

This seems like an incredibly hard book to plot and writer. Meanwhile, my heart is with whoever wrote the post for the ISWG. Is that you, Natalie? That all sounds very tough. Thoughts with you...

Carol Baldwin said...

PS--I guess that is about your Natalie. I'm glad you have the support of other blogger and writer friends!

kimlajevardi.com said...

Glad your writing joy has returned. Thanks for co-hosting!

Chrys Fey said...

I'm so happy that your writing and finding happiness in the process again. Whether you published or not is a decision only you can make. There's absolutely nothing wrong with having written a story being the end goal, and maybe just giving it to loved ones and friends to enjoy.

Samantha Bryant said...

It's lovely to feel swept away by an idea. @samanthabwriter from
Balancing Act

Angie Quantrell said...

Much thanks to both of you for sharing your writing and life journeys!

J Lenni Dorner said...

IWSG -- It is very important to decide what your goals are. Anyone can pop over to Smashwords or whatever and publish a book. But wanting sales, reviews, that stuff... it requires extra work and effort. It seems that very few authors get supportive help from a professional team with those bits anymore. (Only with big money.) So, yeah, it is daunting. Sometimes it's better to write for yourself.

Interview -- Followed all her socials (cool pics of the book in Target) and tweeted about it. Sounds like a really cool book. And yup, I follow you on the Google gadget thinger.

Happy IWSG day! Here's a giveaway- rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/4fa90ac761
It's April, so I'm focused on the #AtoZChallenge.
Proof of Existence, book two in my dark urban fantasy series, is out this month.
I'm running another giveaway on my blog.

J Lenni Dorner (he/him 👨🏽 or 🧑🏽 they/them) ~ Reference& Speculative Fiction Author, OperationAwesome6 Debut Author Interviewer, and Co-host of the #AtoZchallenge

Shannon Lawrence said...

While slightly different, I didn't start really writing with the goal of publication until I became a mom, similar to both you and Lauren. It's funny, because it's not like I had MORE time then. Something about it helped focus me.

I hope you can decide on whatever's best for you, publication or not, and that either way it continues to bring you joy.

Karen Baldwin said...

I had been working on a manuscript about me and the love of my life. Soon after moving to Mexico and starting a life with here with him, he died suddenly. I couldn't touch that manuscript for years and turned my attention to another manuscript - horror. But now I feel the need to let our love story get out. I'm in the process of finding an agent and I know the journey to publication can be arduous, but I'm willing to take it. Glad you are writing again.

jabblog said...

It's difficult to keep going when everything seems to be against you. It's good that you are finding the urge to write again.

Visiting from http://jabblog-jabblog.blogspot.com

Eileen Larkin Wilkin said...

Thank you so much for this interview! I would love a chance at the book giveaway - it sounds so good! I shared on FB and Twitter.
Your path is so similar to mine (although I'm still in the querying process - waiting to hear back on a request for a full!). I, too, didn't start writing fiction in earnest until well into motherhood. I, also, do freelance writing. My novel is YA, multiple POV, has time-travel, and was written largely by the seat-of-my-pants (which meant going back and weaving in more depth, etc.). I am so encouraged by what you shared - thank you!
P.S. Oh - and I love THE HUNGER GAMES. (-:

Toi Thomas said...

Thanks for co-hosting this month. Publication and writing are not the same thing. I love to write but publishing is something I'm only considering at the moment. Thanks for the lovely interview and giveaway.

Nick Wilford said...

Nice to see Lauren here! I'm in the same debuts group and it's definitely full of great resources. It was interesting to read more about her journey and how everything seemed to happen quickly after years of writing - sometimes lightning strikes. I admire authors who've written time travel. It takes a certain skill set to pull it off and do something different with it.

satkins said...

I have not read a time-travel book before-after reading the book excerpt this book sounds like one I would like to read-thanks

Danielle H. said...

I enjoyed this interview, especially the advice for writing mysteries. Thank you for letting us get to know this talented author. Time travel books are some of my favorites and mysteries are always fun. I follow Natalie on Twitter and the author on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. I shared on tumblr: https://www.tumblr.com/yesreaderwriterpoetmusician/713947618573713408/debut-author-interview-lauren-thoman-and-ill?source=share

tetewa said...

Time travel is a fun topic. I'm enjoying the new season of Quantum Leap, loved the original series! Sounds like my kind of read!

Even in Australia said...

I LOVE LOVE LOVE time travel books. It's the only kind of fantasy I read. Can't wait to read this!

Juneta key said...

I was sorry to hear about your loss even if has been awhile ago. So many things can affect the desire to write. I am glad you found your writing mojo again. Enjoyed the interview. Thank you for visiting with me.

Aziza Evans said...

This book sounds amazing
I follow on email with azizaevans@ymail.com

Adrienne Reiter said...

Thank you for sharing your story! I appreciate your vulnerability and am sorry for your loss. I'm sitting on manuscripts, too. I understand the feeling.

Janet Alcorn said...

What a great interview! Another book to add to my already-exploding TBR pile.

I'm glad you're writing again and finding joy in it. It seems like a lot of us struggle to stay in a groove through the ups and downs of life. And I too have some reservations about the publishing industry. I like the idea of taking it day by day. I think it's a healthier approach, at least for me.

Thanks for co-hosting IWSG!

Leela said...

I'm an email subscriber.