Parting is Such Sweet Sorrow

I’m a procrastinator and as such, I waited until today to download all of my files for The Devil Within from Booktrope. I have been okay with Booktrope closing. There’s no other way to be. I haven’t let it hold me back, but I haven’t exactly let it drive me forward either.

Today I’m feeling a little sad about the whole thing. I put a lot of time, effort, and pain into writing the book. I spent hours editing and proofreading it (and yes, there were still mistakes–there always are). I spent hours thinking about William, his family, their lives. This book meant a lot to me. It took me in a different direction from my previous book, and I felt like I’d found my niche in dark Southern literature, if there is even such a genre.

The Devil Within Cover

I learned from The Devil Within how to give my characters depth and voice. And I’ve taken that into my other writing, finding the spirit of the characters to make them come alive in my books. The truth is, I’m not sure what I’m going to do with it at this point. I debated self-publishing. I debated putting it on Wattpad. What I really want to do is find a traditional publisher for my other works and then beef up The Devil Within. Maybe take it a step further. I’ve already started writing about Lily (Tommy’s girlfriend), a minor character in The Devil Within, because I felt like I still had a connection to the book. This is strange for me as I’ve consistently said I would not write sequels. It doesn’t seem so much like a sequel, more like a continuation of the timeline that I started in the book, sort of like Faulkner’s characters from Yoknapatawpha County.

At any rate, I’m stewing and trying to figure out what to do.

The Devil Within is still on Amazon for the next few days; however it could be removed before the 31st, or so we’ve been told.

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PS: The Devil Within is only available until May 31, 2016. Don’t forget to get your copy while you still can at Amazon.

Goodbye Booktrope

Today, I had intentions to write about the half-marathon (I’ll write a blog on this tomorrow) I completed over the weekend. But then I thought my time would be better spent sharing some sad news I learned on Friday night. Booktrope is ceasing business on May 31, 2016.

I have to say I’m not overly shocked. When I signed on with Booktrope in February of 2015, I felt intrigued by their model. I liked the team publishing idea, where the author works with a team and they promote the book together so they all get paid. But in reality, it didn’t work so well. I think Booktrope took on more than they could chew, opening up submissions and looking more at quantity than quality. A lot of wonderful editors, cover designers, and book managers didn’t make any money for services rendered. After the royalty breakdown, teams were receiving peanuts, and thus truly talented people began walking out the door. In several articles, revenue shortfall was cited as the reason for closure. Booktrope simply didn’t sell enough books.

I’m not blaming anyone for the demise. I’m actually looking at this as an opportunity to focus on Little Birdhouses, polish it, and begin submitting to traditional publishers. My sales of The Devil Within had been pretty good. Not wonderful, but I did make a little money on the book. And having been through this venture, I learned a whole helluva lot more than I would if I had never been published.

All of this to say, effective May 31, 2016, The Devil Within will be out of print. You have exactly 29 days if you’d like to buy the book. I don’t have any hard copies left on hand for those of you who know me in real life, so take a trip to the link above in order to purchase.

Thanks to my lovely readers! Hopefully my new book will be out soon, and I can get back to achieving my dreams!

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Weekend Wonder

I had one of those amazing weekends. Of course the weather helped. In the 70s. No humidity. Sun shining in a blue sky. No clouds. Plus, I finished my part of the yearbook, and it seemed like a huge weight off my shoulders.

I went into the weekend feeling a bit over-scheduled, but it ended up working perfectly. I had two book clubs to attend and discuss my books. The first book club met and discussed No Turning Back. I felt a little worried, because I hadn’t done a book club on this book. I self-published No Turning Back six months before The Devil Within, and it is not professionally edited. Part of me wanted to pull it off Amazon, but I do like the story. As a novice writer, many mistakes are made and not having the story edited was mine. I can, at some point, remove the story, have it edited and put it back out there, but at this point I’ve moved on and have bigger fish to fry (cliché).

The book club went off without a hitch though. It was at my neighbor’s house, and as usual I met some interesting people. I also met some women who are writers themselves. I always love meeting writers who are looking to start out in the business. It’s so motivational and inspirational to see others on the same journey as I am. Plus, at this point I have some knowledge I can impart to them because when you’re first starting out the process of getting published seems big and overwhelming

After the Saturday book club, we had a grilling extravaganza at our house. Rob made one of our friend’s famous rib recipes, and they tasted great. All the kids had fun playing outside in the sunshine, and of course we had a good time eating and drinking too much. I fell into bed feeling happy, content and loved. Isn’t that the best feeling?

On Sunday, I had a goal to run 9 miles. I’m still training for the half marathon, but my training derailed with my stress fracture. I’d gone to Montgomery Multisport and met with Malcolm about my shoes the weekend before, because I really think my Saucony Ride 7s were not the shoes for me. They aggravated my stress fracture. I bought new shoes, and Malcolm showed me how to do a runner’s loop. Let me tell you: my feet have never felt so good on a run. They weren’t sliding around or coming up in the back. Apparently I have skinny ankles. The run went well. I had to walk some of it, but my goal was to stay below a 12 minute mile, and I did  (just barely). I listened to Hamilton the Musical, recommended by my sister, and let me just say if you haven’t listened to this you should. What an amazing and tragic life Alexander Hamilton lived.

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Sunday continued to be gorgeous, and I spent some time up at our neighborhood playground with the kids and some new neighborhood friends. Then I had yet another book club meeting on The Devil Within. That book club went well too. I continue to be amazed at the generosity and the interest I receive in book clubs. It’s amazing to meet people who have lived such amazing lives. And I feel like all of these people could contribute to a story about the human existence. We had a great discussion about abuse,  the rigidity of religion in the South, and about the psychology of human beings. I always learn when I attend book clubs, and this time was no different. I think that’s what I enjoy most about them how books can bring people together, and give them a commonality. As a writer, there is nothing better than feeling like your reader can relate to you.

All in all the weekend felt so productive. And I was able to see people I loved and meet people I will grow to love. Who could ask for more?

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Inspiration and Godliness

This past week, I attended a book club to discuss my book The Devil Within and do a little book signing. I’m always a little nervous attending these functions, but it’s nothing a big glass of wine won’t cure. 😉 Luckily, the book clubs I go to usually have wine. Don’t get me wrong, I’m fairly outgoing but I’m always nervous and a little shy in a group of people I don’t know at first. It takes me a few minutes to come out of my shell.

Book clubs are always interesting, because sometimes readers have insight on your book that you didn’t necessarily have. Or their opinions about the characters and the events differ from the author’s own thoughts. I find this intriguing, and it’s one of the things I love most about writing: the reader’s reaction.

At this book club, one of the attendees questioned by inspiration. I’ve never had this happen before, but it made me think about inspiration. Because really, inspiration is a funny thing. Slimy, slippery, there one minute and gone the next. A single fleck of an idea that spins into a larger story like a blanket being spun from yarn.

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What about this sign inspired me to write about Will and his family? I’d driven past this sign a million times, and then one day as I drove past it I thought about a little boy, growing up on that beautiful rolling hill, in a family that used religion to justify abuse.

Religion and the South go together like peanut butter and jelly. But religion and big churches can always be used to further hateful agendas. They can be full of hypocrisy. They can provide so much good too: comfort, devotion, and social outlets. And looking at this sign, spawned the idea in my head of Will being stuck in the middle of the two: devotion to religion as a comfort and devotion to religion as a way to further hate.

What inspired me to write this book? My own background of growing up in the South. My own thoughts on how religion and Christianity ought to promote love and peace instead of hatred and judgement, a thought I’ve struggled with my whole life in respect to the promotion of the Christian agenda. Spirituality and godliness plus church don’t always necessarily go together. One can lead a Christian life without ever attending church. Or one can lead a life promoting kindness and faith without even believing in God.

Driving to Knoxville with my oldest son two weeks ago, we passed this sign and here was our discussion (He’s 11):

M: What do you think about the message on that sign?

C: I think it’s true. Church is good. God is good.

M: So do you think if you have a person who is always doing the wrong thing, and he’s hateful, and hurtful that if he goes to church the devil won’t get him?

C: Backtracks, Well, um, maybe not.

M: What if you have a person who doesn’t go to church, maybe doesn’t even believe in God, and mostly does the right thing (there is no always–no one always does the right thing)? Is that person doomed to an eternity in hell, because he didn’t go to church even though he was true and good?

C: You’re right. The devil wouldn’t get that good person.

It’s all about perspective. I’m interested in knowing what road my next flake of inspiration will take me down.

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Manic Monday

First and foremost, the important news:

The Devil Within ebook is available to purchase for free from November 9 – November 13th! Get it while it’s hot!

The Devil Within Cover

Who doesn’t like to curl up with a good book and read on a cold, rainy day. It’s cold and rainy here today. Yesterday was cold and rainy too. Instead of reading I binge-watched New Girl on Netflix and laughed my ass off. I got absolutely no writing done, because my hand was hurting. (Thanks rain) Also, because I attended an adult pajama party until 1 AM on Friday night and then my son had a spend-the-night party on Saturday night. Six eleven year old boys can be awfully loud, especially when their game of choice is Black Ops. Maybe by the time they’re 12 they’ll settle down and talk about girls? Or is that something that only girls do at spend-the-night parties–talk about boys?

Today, I have marketing to do and then I need to catch up by about 6,000 on NaNoWriMo. I’m figuring when I get my splint off my hand I’ll be able to make up for those words I missed, unless I have a productive Veteran’s Day. I’m not sure we have other plans this week besides the normal crazy shuffling around of three kids to various activities.

How was your weekend?


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It’s Been Nice Knowing You!

It’s been nice knowing ya! You know, in case I die at the Maze of Terror tonight. My husband said, “Oh, guess what? We’re going to do something new and fun on date night this week.” I should have known then I was in trouble. I hate clowns. Thank you Stephen King, and from what little I saw about this place there will be clowns.

Anyway, in case you didn’t know and aren’t going to die at a Haunted House tonight, my book The Devil Within is on sale until tomorrow, October 17, 2015 for 99 cents! That’s a super deal, y’all! What’s it about? It’s not about clowns. I can promise you that. It’s about a little boy named Will who is grieving the loss of his mother and siblings. He’s left in the incapable hands of his father, who is a little too obsessed with his religion. Sad, but filled with hope, Will must overcome both internal demons and the one who manifests itself within his father.

Don’t miss this opportunity to grab it while it’s still on sale!

The Devil Within Cover

After you read it, I’d love if you could leave a review on Amazon and Goodreads. Reviews help emerging authors establish themselves by reaching new readers! I’ll even thank you for your review, if I know who you are, and if I survive the Maze of Terror tonight!


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Persistence in the Face of Fear

Hey Lovely Readers! I’m fessing up as a slacker once again. With this short and busy week, I feel like I’ve been behind the 8-ball. But before I get to the point of this post, I don’t want you to slack and miss the opportunity to get The Devil Within for 99 cents! The sale ends on October 17th, so there’s not a lot of time! If you like Southern literature and coming-of-age novels with some grit then you’ll like this book.

The Devil Within Cover

Enough of my shameless plugs. Now back to slacking. Over the weekend, I started writing a new piece. Yeah, I know. I was supposed to stick to rural Alabama and Anna Kate. But I was stuck–seriously stuck. And then I wrote a short for the class I’m taking through University of Iowa (Go DUCKS!), and it begged to be expanded. And people in the class really liked it. And as a writer, I seek to serve my readers.

I also ran a lot this weekend, and when I run I think. And sometimes I overthink. As we all know from the post that’s circulating around Facebook, overthinking is a sign of being a creative genius (or so some article says, and I’d like to believe that over just thinking I’m nuts). Overthinking can also cause some issues. My thought process revolved around solving problems in both books when I ran, but pretty soon it turned into: Why am I writing? Does anyone even want to read my books? Why does it have to be so hard to land an agent? Will I ever finish editing Little Birdhouses? Can I even write a query letter? Is it worth it? And fifty thousand other rhetorical questions I could throw out of you. Rhetorical questions are a no-no in writing too, but if you know me you know I LOVE to break the rules.

Every writer questions themselves and what they’re doing and whether it matters. They want to hide behind a rock in the face of fear. Instead of facing the wolf, they’d rather curl up in their bed and be eaten. Do the brave thing and write the words, because if you don’t you’re going to be more unhappy than if you do. If you’re a writer then you have to write for sanity. If you’re a writer then you have a driving force and you need to write. If you’re a writer, I’m here to tell you DON’T GIVE UP! I have thoughts that my writing sucks and no one wants to read it. Everyone has those thoughts. Taking this online class has boosted my confidence as a writer ten-fold. I’ve received such great and positive feedback on my work. It’s nice to receive that after receiving tons of rejections for agents, because at least I know if I keep trying I will some day make it.

And what does making it even mean? It means making writing a priority in my life every day, editing my stuff, putting it out there and making a few bucks. Sure, I’d like to be rolling in the dough like Stephen King, but I know it’s not realistic. Maybe some day–we can all hope to dream. But the important thing is: Don’t give up! Don’t give into the fear. If you give into fear you’ll never know how far you can go (I even wrote a blog post about that not so long ago).

Now, if you want this same post with more colorful language go read Chuck Wendig’s post over at Terrible Minds. He knows what he’s talking about.

And I promise I’ll stop slacking (maybe). And I’ll write a blog post tomorrow morning before I succumb to fear in the Maze of Terror (that’s another story).

What do you do when you’re slacking or procrastinating (in anything, not just writing) and how do you get back to the task at hand? I play Civilization or binge watch Netflix.


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Adventures of Smithsonian Mug Continued

Does everyone out there in this great big world of ours feel like they never have enough time? Or is that because I’m an over-committer. I’m loving this free MOOC (massive online course–or something like that) I’m taking, and I’ve been spending a lot of my free seconds online with the class. And so today, I’m going to share the second piece I wrote for the class, in which the mug I personified becomes an object of conflict and desire. The assignment was to have two people fight about the object. I chose to do this with the mug as simply an object, not personified as in the last assignment.

Oh, and if you’re a visual person here is Grandfather Mug and Red Tall Mug from the last story “Smithsonian Mug.” You may want to read that one before you read this, but they can stand alone too.

Red Tall Mug and Grandfather Mug

Cracked Up
About 500 words

“I know I left Smithsonian mug on the shelf. Have you seen it, Rob?”

Rob sat at the table and upon hearing my words shifted his eyes and turned his back, ever-so-slightly, away from me.

“Haven’t seen it.”

I glanced at the pot of coffee, only two-thirds of the way full, instead of brimming over the top like normal. The rich aroma of brewed beans led me to Smithsonian mug.

“Ah-ha!” I said. “You have it.”

“It’s just a mug, Lauren. Get another one. Red tall mug is in the cabinet.”

“I don’t want red tall mug. I want Smithsonian mug. Smithsonian mug belongs to me. I bought it! I want to feel the curve of its warmth against the palm of my hand. And Smithsonian mug wants to be there too. I can tell.”

I slammed my fist on the table, and Smithsonian mug wobbled as black coffee spilt from its edges onto the white surface of the breakfast room table.

Rob’s startled eyes opened wide. “Smithsonian mug doesn’t want to be corrupted by milk. Black coffee only.”

“What are you talking about? Smithsonian mug loves milk. The feeling Smithsonian mug gets when he’s filled with coffee and then slurps up a teaspoon of milk. It’s like how a child feels dipping an Oreo and waiting for it to get just the right amount of soggy before popping it in his mouth.”

“Fine, you can have your precious mug!” Rob said.

He stomped toward me but didn’t see the Barbie doll on the floor until it was too late. It happened in slow motion. He tripped one leg held askance from his body as his arms flung out from his side, trying to catch his balance. Smithsonian mug flew through the air, coffee splashing the sage green walls of the kitchen. The deafening roar of the crash filled my ears as the precious mug shattered into small pieces across the tile floor. Smithsonian mug was no more.

“At least we can’t fight over it anymore,” Rob said. “I’ll get the mop.”


Some comments I received about this, is that my hand on the table was too startling and did not flow with the fight. I could see that, but anyone who knows me knows that I sometimes react more strongly than the situation calls for. My husband is also like this, and sometimes he’s non-nonchalant, like he is at the end of the story. Still, it gave me something to ponder in relationship to my story-telling skills, which is the point of the class after all.

What do you think? If you’re a writer, leave me a comment-story about an object that’s being fought over! I’d love to read it.


Did you know The Devil Within ebook is on sale until October 17th! Pick up your copy on Amazon: http://amzn.to/1QU3axK.

The Devil Within Cover


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The Devil Within is $0.99!

The Devil Within Cover

The Devil Within ebook is 99 cents between October 3rd and October 17th!

When nine-year old William loses most of his family in a car accident, he is left alone with a religious zealot of a father. As a result of his father’s abuse, William blames himself for his family’s death and becomes convinced the devil is leading him astray. The backdrop of life in a rural town in the 1960’s sets the tumultuous scene as William struggles to cope in a world no child should have to face on his own. Will William be saved, or will he succumb to the devil within?

What People Are Saying About The Devil Within:

5.0 out of 5 starsPop are so wonderfully described that they remain etched in my mind on August 4, 2015

The characters came alive for me in this novel. Will, Lulu, Miz Leigh, Pop are so wonderfully described that they remain etched in my mind. In fact, since I finished the novel, I continue to think about them. Aptly titled, this novel is heartbreaking and tragic but I found, curiously, that this novel sends a positive message about the triumph of a little boy’s spirit over unspeakable grief and abuse. This is a very good book and I highly recommend it. Looking forward to the next novel from this author.

Well written and strong descriptive characters, most of whom I wanted to strangle. It was not my usual read. The abuse this poor boy endured after a traumatizing event was torture! I felt broken for him. I wanted to hold him and comfort him. I could totally relate to how this boy felt consumed by the devil. The words people say to us get burnt into our minds and as a child we are so moldable to these perceptions that others imprint on us. I recommend this book but carry some tissues!
I couldn’t put this book down. I just had to know what happened to William. I love that one of the characters had a health condition that was practically unheard of in the period this book was written. The author makes it as common as freckles. Well done! I want to take this child home with me and just love him. There was definitely a devil in the midst. Well written and I am looking forward to the sequel.

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Funk and Whine

I’m in a writing funk again. I know it’s not a horrible funk, because I’m still writing. I’ve been writing mostly flash fiction and not focusing on my current novel-in-progress. I think I’ve pinpointed when these funks happen, during times of transition. My baby did just start Kindergarten after all.

Anyone who has had a small child knows how hard transition can be. Your kid is happily playing with Thomas the Train at Barnes and Noble and you say, “Okay Tommy, it’s time to go,” and he turns from a peaceful angel into a squalling monster. Transitions are inevitable throughout life, but even so they throw an emotional monkey wrench into our plans.

So, yeah, it should be no surprise to me that transition times wreak havoc on my creativity. Yet every time I delve into a funk I feel wholly unsettled. Like my skin is itching and no amount of scratching will fix the problem. The solution is easy: Just write, right? But it seems every time I power up Scrivener I stare at the words and Anna Kate, though she speaks to me throughout the day and begs me to finish her story refuses to show me the way the story should flow. And then I sigh, power down the computer and feel like the world is ending because I can’t write. I’m pretty sure every author has felt this way at some point or other. Maybe that’s why so many of them are driven to drink, that, and alcohol is pretty damn good!

Lately, instead of writing I’ve been reading a lot more but I haven’t finished any of the books I’ve started either. I’m struggling through Cold Sassy Tree, a Southern fiction book I loved when I was a kid. I’m loving Bird by Bird, but it’s slow going because I have so darn much on my plate. Instead of focusing on what I feel I can’t do this week, I’m going to take up all my pent up energy and use it on the treadmill, at Zumba, and maybe even attempt an Insanity class. Maybe working out my body will give me the motivation to tackle my project again and get some much-needed editing done on Little Birdhouses.

How do you dig yourself out of a funk? In life? In writing?


There is still time to enter the giveaway for The Devil Within! See what people are saying about the book over on Amazon! It now has TEN five-star reviews!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Devil Within by Lauren Greene

The Devil Within

by Lauren Greene

Giveaway ends August 31, 2015.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway


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