YES! New Book Deal Announced!

OMG, I want to frame this. My new book deal with a New York publisher is right at the top of today’s Publishers Lunch.

Laurence MacNaughton's debut urban fantasy IT HAPPENED ONE DOOMSDAY, about an inexperienced crystal sorceress who scrambles to stop the end of the world without falling for a muscle-car driving mechanic who is fated to become one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, to Rene Sears at Pyr, in a nice deal, in a two-book deal, by Kristin Nelson at Nelson Literary Agency (World English).

My new book deal is in Publishers Lunch!

Publishers Lunch is a daily publishing industry newsletter put out by Publishers Weekly. Essentially, it’s the #1 place for announcements about new book deals between literary agents and publishers.

According to the website, their subscribers number more than 40,000 publishing professionals.

And, you know … little ol’ me.

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How to Tell Good Inspiration from Bad

Yes. You.

Yes. You.

The other day, I was fielding questions about my upcoming novel when the topic of inspiration came up.

How do you know when you’re inspired by a really good idea?

And more important, how do you tell a good inspiration from a bad one?

I had to think long and hard about the answer to that. Because it’s not what you think.

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Free Fun-Size Conspiracy

Announcing a new book giveaway!

It’s like all of those miniature candy bars left over from Halloween – but with zero calories!

Actual size.

Actual size?

My debut novel, Conspiracy of Angels, is now in its second printing.

That makes right now the perfect opportunity to shrink the paperback from its hefty 6″ x 9″ trim size down to a more svelte and portable 5″ x 8″ size.

At the same time, my ever-industrious friend and erstwhile partner in crime Angie Hodapp has taken the time to freshen up the entire book, cover to cover, with a new interior design that’s bolder and easier to read.

Conspiracy of Angels title page

Wait, what’s that title again? **squinting** Can’t quite read it…

(Being a typeface geek, little details like this are ridiculously important to me. Let’s just say it looks good, inside and out. Nuff said.)

To celebrate, I’m giving away a free paperback copy of the new, smaller size to one lucky newsletter subscriber.

If you’re already a subscriber, you don’t have to do a thing. Just wait to see if you win!

(Or if you can’t wait to get your hands on the new paperback, you can always buy it on Amazon now. I won’t stop you.)

If you haven’t already subscribed, don’t wait to claim your chance to win. Click this link.

Happy reading!

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The Spider Thief: Benjamins

What is the deadly curse of the gold spider?

Enjoy this free excerpt from The Spider Thief!

It didn’t take FBI agent Cleo Barrett long to find Prez’s office. She just followed the thin strains of old funk music back through the warehouse.

Prez turned out to be a thin, middle-aged black guy in a sharp suit. He leaned over a granite counter in a little kitchenette, assembling a salad, his back to her. The stainless steel door of an expensive-looking refrigerator stood open next to him.

The rest of his office looked like a luxury apartment with all of the interior walls removed. A wide walnut desk with a leather wing chair sat off to one side.

At the far end, near a garage door, an old car sat under a gray cover, the fabric slightly wrinkled as if it had been disturbed. A well-used billiards table sat in the middle, the balls scattered across the lush green felt.

In a dark corner to her left, a caged-off area held printing equipment.

Could this be the source of the million dollars in counterfeit cash?

She kept one eye on Prez and crept over to the equipment. The smells of ink and chemicals filled her nostrils. She drank in the sight of the ink-smudged printing press and the light table littered with scraps of black film.


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4 Free Spooky Ebooks (with Sound Effects!)

When I was about nine years old, I ordered a cassette tape of Halloween sound effects out of the back of a catalog,

But here’s how big of a sound-effects nerd I am:

It wasn’t even October. Seriously.

Today, enhanced ebooks from combine two of my favorite things: sound effects, and reading.

So here are four free reads perfect for the Halloween season:

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Life Is a Filmstrip, Not a Snapshot

antique camera

Picture a snapshot of your future, and then you can find a way to get there.

We tend to think of life in moments, as if you snap a photo, and that’s your life.

Fixed, unchanging.

But it doesn’t work that way.

Life is more like a filmstrip. It’s constantly in motion. Wherever you are in life right now, next year will be different. It might be better. It might be worse.

More often than not, the difference depends on what you do today.

Five years from now, most people will be doing exactly the same thing they’re doing right now. Will you?

Or will you come up with a plan to make life better?

A plan doesn’t have to be complicated. You don’t have to have all of the answers right now. All you need to do is start thinking about what you want the snapshot of your life to look like five years from today.

Once you figure out where you want to go, then you can make a plan to get there.

Figure out what you need to build a bridge from today to tomorrow.

You might need training. You might need to enroll in a class or an apprenticeship program.

That’s where a lot of people get hung up. I’m too busy, they say. My schedule is packed. I don’t have time.

The truth? You do have time.

Like everyone on this planet, you have 24 hours a day, 168 hours per week, the same as everyone else. If you sleep eight hours a night, and work eight hours day, that still leaves you 56 hours a week for everything else.

Turn the television off. Spend half an hour a night reading a book. Books will change your life.

The average millionaire reads a nonfiction book every month.

Before I became a full-time writer five years ago, I read hundreds of books.

Not just how-to books about writing, but also all of the novels I could find to use as models for my own writing.

I started reading the Wall Street Journal and business magazines, too.

Take your time. Reread something if you have to. Understand it. Everything you read makes a difference.

Reading will make your life better.

Whatever you read today will give you knowledge that you didn’t have yesterday. And that will help you plan tomorrow.

Changing your life doesn’t happen quickly. It takes time.

Success is a process of getting better.

Changing your life isn’t just one thing, but a series of things.

It’s not easy. If it was easy, everyone would be doing it.

The difference depends on what you do today. Picture that snapshot of your future. And start planning a way to get there.

Did you like this article? Don’t miss the next one. Start your free subscription to my author newsletter. >

Categories: The Writing Life | Tags: | 2 Comments

What Do Men Really Think About Your Hair?

My next book is so new that even the title isn’t settled yet.

what men really think about your hair

Watch what happens when he runs out of shampoo.

But my agent sent me a nice note about how well I pulled off the simmering romantic tension between the lead characters.

Considering that the point-of-view character is a smart young woman, and I’m a guy (in my case, smart and young are arguable), this was quite a compliment.

And it got me thinking:

How do authors write about characters of the opposite gender?

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Spider Thief Steals Hibernating Tarantulas

pet tarantula

Just because it’s fuzzy doesn’t make it a cuddly pet.

Did you know that there’s a black market for stolen tarantulas?

Or that these spiders hibernate during the winter?

Can you imagine someone crazy enough to break into the dark, cobweb-choked crawlspace under a house and steal a bunch of giant spiders?

Yeah. My thoughts exactly.

Read the full article >

So, real life can be stranger than fiction. But still, I do my best to make fiction pretty freakin’ strange.

The Spider Thief: Omnibus paperback on Amazon >

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How to Be Creative First Thing in the Morning

If you want to write a book, why do it first thing in the morning?

how to be more creative

Are you more creative early in the morning?

Studies show that not only are we more creative in the morning, we’re also more optimistic.

In other words, we’re happier.

Sure, misery and angst have inspired plenty of creative geniuses.

But personally, I’d rather be creative when I’m in a good mood.

Wouldn’t you?

What’s the secret to getting creative?

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It Doesn’t Get Easier. You Just Get Better.

how to succeed at new years resolutions or die trying

Where do New Year’s resolutions go to die? Mostly, Cinnabon.

This is the week that New Year’s resolutions die.

I didn’t just make that up, by the way. I read it in The Wall Street Journal.

Also, there was something in there about bonds or treasuries or whatever.

So much for my financial resolutions.

Look, your New Year’s resolutions are doomed. But there’s a better way.

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Categories: Fun | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

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