The Devil Within is now a hashtag!

First and foremost, I’m a guest blogger on Tami Lund’s site today! Check it out at http://tamilund.com/?p=2353. Tami is an awesome paranormal romance writer who I met through the Writing Wenches, and I featured her on my blog a week ago when I was in Punta Cana. Check out what I wrote about Gideon, who you all are going to hear a lot about as I work on editing his and Lana’s story.

Today, I registered a hashtag for #TheDevilWithin! Last year, I started using Twitter for the first time to try to promote myself and my work. I heard as a writer that social media presence is a “must have” in this day and age. I fought against it though, because honestly, Twitter? I thought it was silly, but it’s a great way to support authors and have others support you. It’s a great way to meet contact and even pitch work. So send me some love on Twitter by hastagging #TheDevilWithin.

I ordered my books this week, but I haven’t received them yet. Yesterday, I went to my parents’ house, and my dad had my book. I’ve always felt like my dad is my harshest critic (I’m sure my kids will say the same about me when they’re grown). It was great for me to go over there yesterday and the first words out of my dad’s mouth were, “I’m reading your book, about halfway through, and it’s great. The characters are great and it’s extremely readable.” My heart felt happy in that moment. These are the words an author longs to hear from their readers. When their words resonate with an audience. That’s what’s writing is all about. Oh, yes, and sanity too (in my case).

Here I am with my book:

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My dad said he wanted me to sign it as Lulu. Lulu is a character in the book, a cousin the same age as William. And she has alopecia universalis like me. She does have aspects of my personality, but she deals with alopecia so well. She’s fierce and she doesn’t let anyone mess around her. In essence, she’s the child I wish I had been when coping with my alopecia in grade school.

Don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter to be entered into a drawing for a free signed copy of #TheDevilWithin:  http://eepurl.com/bo4ILP

Introducing Tommy from The Devil Within

It’s 5 AM, and my dog is outside barking at the world. It might be time for a bark collar.

Today I’m going to introduce you to Tommy from The Devil Within. Tommy is one of my favorite characters, because he’s multi-dimensional. Tommy is William’s cousin, in his twenties, who takes on the role of an older brother or father figure for William. Tommy grew up in a fairly charmed life with his mother Mimi and his Dad, also named Tom. He went off to college then dropped out, came home and knocked a girl up then married her. Tommy struggles with being an adult while feeling a lot like a kid. But Tommy has a soft side, and he turns into a savior for William in many ways. Without Tommy in the picture, William would have been lost.

When I wrote about Tommy, I wanted his character to be complicated. In the book, William struggles with thoughts of guilt and sin, and Tommy is perhaps the most sinful character in the book, but he’s also the most loving, caring, and kind. He’s the character who knows right from wrong even though his choices might not always reflect that.

After finishing this book, Tommy’s character has stuck with me. I keep thinking about him. I’ve thought about expanding his story, or maybe writing shorts about him. Through the writing process, he became my favorite character in the book. I wonder if you’ll feel the same way.

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Introducing Lulu from The Devil Within

Okay–just so you know, I will be experimenting with the theme on this blog over the next couple of weeks. Mainly, I need a theme that will allow me to have plug-ins or put a form so you all can sign up for my newsletter. And speaking of newsletters, if you’re interested, you can sign up over at my Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/laurengreenewrites) or send me a message through the Contact Form on the “About Page,” with your name and email address.

I went to the beach this weekend, and I didn’t do any prep for this blog. Yesterday, when we got home I was exhausted and didn’t write at all. I’ve been writing a lot lately, and I think it’s because I need to be editing. Writing is the lesser of two evils. (Ha–actually I love writing but editing is akin to cleaning up my room, which everyone knows I hate to do).

I decided to introduce you to Lulu today. Lulu is William’s cousin in The Devil Within. She and William are the same age. They attend the same school, and they’re best friends. Lulu also has alopecia universalis (hair loss over the entire body). When I wrote Lulu, I didn’t intentionally make her bald. I’m not one of these people who has to put myself into a book, but when Lulu was created she had alopecia. She’s a nine year old child who knows what it’s like to be different. She’s protective of William and loves him fiercely. She also knows William is being abused, but can’t fix that problem.

As a nine year old child, I was different from Lulu. I did not feel at home in my skin. I had patchy alopecia, meaning I had random bald spots on my head (now I have alopecia universalis). I was in the 4th grade at a public school in Alabama, and being bullied by a boy who was a lot stronger and bigger than me. He said mean things to me, verbally and physical abused me, and was generally a horrible person to me. I had a lot of hate for that kid, but his hate turned into a lack of confidence in myself. It meant I was afraid to talk about alopecia. It meant I thought little of myself. Basically, the bully got what he wanted: power. I didn’t want anyone to know I had it, and so a few years later when I went to camp for five weeks, I kept my hair in a ponytail for five weeks and didn’t wash it to keep people from finding out I had bald spots. It took me a long time to get over the unkind words of my bully, Rondre. It took me a long time to realize I’m beautiful for who I am, not for what I look like on the outside. It took me a long time to realize that just because someone chooses to hurt you with their words doesn’t mean those words are true. And it took me a long time to accept myself.

But Lulu is not like that. She accepts herself for who she is. She is a strong child who doesn’t let other people tear her down. She brings out the child in William. She lets us see who William could be if his world wasn’t falling apart. She is his advocate and his friend, and she is self-assured and strong, partially because she has to deal with having alopecia herself.

At this point in my life, I’ve forgiven my bully. I don’t know what was going on in his life when he decided to pick on me, but he must have been suffering too. I wish I had the confidence Lulu had in my book when I was growing up. But I didn’t then. Now I do. Accepting and loving yourself is important. Don’t let anyone take that away from you.

Introducing William Hill

Today was one of those days where I didn’t know what to blog. Lately, I’ve been busy procrastinating. I haven’t felt well since Sunday, and on Monday I was sick and watched seven episodes of Scandal. I mean really folks, why didn’t someone tell me what I was missing? Amazing. I love this show, and now it’s all I want to do, but I have a book coming out. No rest for the weary. (I really wouldn’t have it any other way).

So, I decided to write about William. Who is William? He’s the main character in my book, The Devil Within, which is due to be released on June 22, 2015! William is a nine year old boy who is growing up in Pine Level, Alabama. He’s very much like any typical nine year old: swinging on tire swings, playing in dirt, loves comic books and super heroes, and discovering himself. William has a younger sister, Maybelle, and an older brother Roy. William shares a room with his brother Roy (and boy, do I know what that’s like–Allison!), and is always getting into his big brother’s stuff. One fateful day, before the book begins, William’s mother, sister and brother are ripped away from him in a horrible car accident while William is at home sick. He’s left to be raised by his father, Leroy, who is an alcoholic and a religious zealot who has no idea how to deal with his own grief. Over the course of a year, William grows and changes in the face of daunting circumstance and finds an ally in his grown cousin Tommy.

Interested now? On June 19th, right here, I’ll have a cover reveal on this site. And stay tuned over the next couple of weeks as I introduce the characters from the book, so you can get to know them a little better!