Author Archives: Laurence MacNaughton

About Laurence MacNaughton

Laurence MacNaughton is the award-winning author of more than a dozen novels, novellas, and short stories. His work has been praised by Booklist, Publishers Weekly, RT Book Reviews, Library Journal, and Kirkus Reviews. He lives in Colorado with his wife and too many classic cars.

9 Surprising Things I Love about Writing (and One Thing I Hate)

Nerds That GeekTrue story: When I was 17, I met an African storyteller.

He traveled to distant parts of the world, collecting oral stories and writing them down for posterity. He was my first real-life writing teacher.

His feedback helped me get started as a writer. Within a couple of years, I had sold my first magazine article. I’ve been writing ever since.

I got a chance to talk about that experience (and a bunch of other sometimes-funny, sometimes-humbling stuff) on the ever-excellent Nerds That Geek website. Check it out.

P.S. Want a chance to win one of my new books for free? Get my author newsletter.

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Making Fascinating Monsters on The Bibliosanctum

The BibliosanctumHow do writers create fascinating monsters?

For me, it’s a many-layered process that involves thinking about where a monster came from, what it’s after, how it thinks, and what happens when it encounters the heroes.

I actually got the chance to dive deep into the monster-creation process and explain how to do it step-by-step, thanks to the marvelous Mogsy over at Bibliosanctum, the super-fabulous speculative fiction blog.

You can read my guest post here.

P.S. You can also get access to your own monster-making workbook when you get my author newsletter.

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Why Writers Should NEVER Carry a Notebook

Why Writers Should NEVER Carry a NotebookBefore I became a published author, I used to carry around a writing notebook in my back pocket.

You know the kind I’m talking about: the little black book that tells the world you’re a Serious Writer.

But that little notebook is a big mistake, I eventually learned.

Here are three reasons why you should ditch it, and what you need to keep in your pocket instead. Continue reading

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Forever and a Doomsday on the Rocky Mountain Writer podcast

Rocky Mountain Writer podcastThe best writing podcasts dig deep into the writing process and make you think. That’s why it’s always interesting talking to fellow Colorado author Mark Stevens on the official podcast for the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers.

Not only is Mark an award-winning author in his own right, he also asks the tough questions about what it’s really like to be a working writer. I’ve been lucky enough to be a guest on his podcast several times, and sometimes our talks take a turn that surprises even me.

In this latest episode, we talked about the inspirations behind the cast of the Dru Jasper series. Especially the fan-favorite demon-possessed car, Hellbringer.

We also talked about the difference between plotting a novel and leaving yourself open for inspiration while you write. Believe it or not, you can have it both ways.

By the way, Mark tried to get me to talk about my super-secret brand-new book (a new one that isn’t even out yet), and I couldn’t help but drop a few clues. Plus, we discussed how to handle working on several different books at once.

Oh, and I also got a chance to read the opening scene of my new book, Forever and a Doomsday.

Hey, there’s tons of good stuff in this podcast. Listen to it here.

P.S. Have you signed up for my author newsletter? I love to give away books and other cool stuff. Join here.

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Join me at MileHiCon 2019 this weekend!

MileHiCon 2019There will be more than 100 science-fiction, fantasy, and horror authors and artists giving talks, signing books . . . cats and dogs living together, mass hysteria. Join in the fun!

I’ll be on these panels:

Hidden Depths: Characters with Secrets
Friday 10/18/19 at 3:00 pm
Mesa Verde B

Self-Editing vs. Hiring
Friday 10/18/19 at 6:00 pm
Mesa Verde B

PG-13 Monsters: Not So Scary YA
Sunday 10/20/19 at 12:00 pm
Mesa Verde A

Fun trivia: This year’s guest of honor is USA Today bestselling author Angela Roquet, whose very nice blurb graced the cover of my book No Sleep till Doomsday: “An epic blend of magic, action, and humor.”

More details about this crazy weekend at https://milehicon.org/

P.S. Psst . . . you could score a signed paperback or other cool freebies when you join my author newsletter.

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“As much fun as you can have reading about impending doomsday!”

The wait is over! Forever and a Doomsday releases today (yay!) and the reviews are already pouring in. Here’s an absolutely fabulous recap of the entire series (that doesn’t give away any spoilers) from Fan Girl Nation:

Mixing together the atmospheric flavor of the action sequences from Buffy: The Vampire Slayer, airy hints of classic rock music, with a backdrop of fire and brimstone, comes the Dru Jasper series written by Laurence Naughton. This is an urban fantasy novel that hits the right combo the nostalgic vibes for the urban fantasy shows of the 90s/2000s in novel form. Except instead of picture perfect adults playing teenagers, this series has flawed and relatable adults doing the best they can while not ultimately freaking out…

Click here to read the whole review.

P.S. I’m giving away cool freebies — paperback books et cetera — to my newsletter subscribers. So if you haven’t joined yet, here’s your chance.

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6 Rules to Pump Up Your Writing

When considering who gives out the best writing advice in the world, the first name that pops up might not be Arnold Schwarzenegger.

But a decade ago, Schwarzenegger presented his “6 Rules of Success” in a now-famous commencement speech at the University of Southern California.

And these rules just might hold the key to your success as a writer.

Continue reading

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Forever and a Doomsday (Dru Jasper #4)

Forever and a Doomsday

A chilling cohort of soul-devouring wraiths has risen from the netherworld to crack open the final seal of the apocalypse scroll and bring the world to a fiery end.

To keep the scroll out of their clutches, Dru must solve a 2,000-year-old magical mystery, find a city lost in the netherworld, and unearth a crystal older than the Earth itself.

Can she elude the forces of darkness long enough to save her friends and safeguard the scroll forever—before the undead break the seventh seal and bring on doomsday?

Amazon Barnes & NobleBooks-A-Million | Kobo | IndieBound | Powell’s | Tattered Cover | Goodreads 

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4 Writing Pitfalls to Avoid at All Costs

4 Writing Pitfalls to Avoid at All CostsHas your writing fallen into a black hole?

Has your pacing dropped to a crawl, or your suspense become a snore?

Do you just feel stuck?

You might be sabotaging your own writing without even knowing it.

But don’t panic. Here’s how to avoid the four most perilous pitfalls of writing.
Continue reading

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4 Ways to Handle Foreign Languages in Fiction

How to Use Foreign Languages in Your NovelWhen a character in your story speaks a foreign language, should you write it out in that language, or in English?

How can you make the dialogue sound exotic without confusing the reader?

These are tricky questions.

Foreign languages can lend your characters and locations a more exotic flair, and even increase the dramatic tension in a scene.

But before you start sprinkling a certain je ne sais quoi into your prose, understand that you have four options.

Continue reading

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