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.

3 Ways to Be More Organized

3 Ways to Be More OrganizedA reporter recently interviewed me about how to be more organized. Which I secretly found funny, because I don’t feel particularly organized. At all. And yet people frequently tell me that I am the most organized person they know.

Pfft. Obviously, they don’t know the real me, right? Just because I color-code my file folders, divide my work into 30-minute increments, and constantly update the lists I keep of my other lists . . .

You know what? Maybe I am more organized than I think.

Anyway, here are my top three tips: Continue reading

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How Effective Is the Pomodoro Technique?

The Pomodoro TechniqueThe Pomodoro Technique is deceptively simple.

Set a timer for half an hour or so, ignore all distractions, and focus on your work.

On the surface, it seems far too simple to be effective.

But it does work. Amazingly well.

In fact, I can pinpoint the exact moment my novel-writing career took off a few years ago. It happened right after I adopted the Pomodoro Technique.

Once I started using a timer, eliminating distractions, and tracking my results, everything changed. Continue reading

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What Every Writer Should Know About Theme

What Every Writer Should Know About ThemeTheme seems to be one of those angst-triggering bogeymen that writers constantly wrestle with. But when you examine it closely, there’s really nothing complicated about it. Theme is simply the lesson the main character learns over the course of the story.

(Or, in the case of a tragic ending, the lesson they failed to learn.)

Every story, from the silliest comedy to the deepest work of literature, delivers a moral message on some level. It basically says “life is like this.”

Think about some of the most famous movie quotes of all time:

“There’s no place like home.”

“Greed is good.”

“Use the Force, Luke.”

All of those quotes point directly toward the theme of the story. Continue reading

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OUT NOW: No Sleep Till Doomsday (Dru Jasper #3)

No Sleep Till Doomsday, Dru Jasper 4A wicked enchantress has stolen an amulet that will destroy the world in 24 hours. Unless Dru and her sorcerer friends can get it back, the seas will boil, the stars will fall from the sky, and the earth itself will split apart. Overall, bad news.

To make things worse, Dru’s half-demon boyfriend Greyson and his demon-possessed muscle car, Hellbringer, are hiding a dark secret. Can she trust them?

As the clock runs out, Dru is locked in a high-octane chase with a pack of killer shape-shifters, the grim mystery of a radioactive ghost town, and the most powerful speed demon on Earth.

Can Dru unravel Hellbringer’s secrets, outwit the shape-shifters, and find the amulet before the dawn of doomsday?

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes | Books-A-Million | Kobo | IndieBound | Powell’s | Tattered Cover | Goodreads 

COMING SOON: Forever and a Doomsday (Dru Jasper #4) is now available for preorder!

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Exclusive interview with Angela Roquet, USA Today bestselling author of Flesh & Blood

Angela Roquet, USA Today bestselling urban fantasy author

Angela Roquet, USA Today bestselling urban fantasy author

If you haven’t yet read anything by USA Today bestselling author Angela Roquet, you’re in for a real treat.

At the moment I’m posting this, her brand new book, Flesh & Blood (Blood Vice #7) has 5.0 stars on Amazon. This is urban fantasy you can really sink your teeth into. ; )

Here’s Angela to tell you, in her own words, what inspires her, what she loves to read, and why urban fantasy is her favorite genre to write. Continue reading

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Never Suffer Writer’s Block Again

Never Suffer Writer’s Block AgainHave you ever sat down to write, and found that everything you wrote seemed terrible?

Every writer has felt that way, at one time or another.

Here’s the uncomfortable truth about those critical thoughts: they can actually help you become a better writer.

But only if you know how to recognize those thoughts for what they are, and then train yourself to have them at the right time.

There are two sides to your creative process.

The creative side of your writing process helps you get the rough draft down on paper.

The critical side, on the other hand, helps you revise and polish the final draft.

In order to be write, you actually need both of these very different thought patterns in your head. You just can’t have them at exactly the same time. Continue reading

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How to Create Characters in 60 Seconds

How To Create Characters in 60 SecondsWhen you create great characters, they walk onto the page and make your story unforgettable.

They can bring every scene to life.

But creating characters takes tons of time and effort, doesn’t it?

Not necessarily.

I’m here to show you how you can create an impressively good character in 60 seconds or less.

 

Sound impossible? Here’s the secret:

You don’t need to write ten pages of backstory to make a great character. All you need is four short sentences.

Sentence #1: Name & Appearance

What is this character’s name?

If you don’t have a name in mind yet, use a placeholder name. (More on names in a moment.) Next question:

How would you describe this character’s appearance, in a single word, or as few words as possible?

Don’t limit yourself to just hair, clothes, or general physical description. Get creative. Come up with any noticeable outward feature that sounds good, and jot it down.

Continue reading

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Book Signing with Molly Tanzer at BookBar

A little over a year ago, I did one of my favorite book events of all time. I joined New York Times bestselling author Carrie Vaughn and the fabulous J.L. Forrest at the BookBar.

It’s a bookstore. And a bar. Brilliant.

The place was packed. People were having a great time. Everything was so completely overwhelming and amazingly exciting.

Not only was it fun, it was also meaningful, because we all got to sit down and have thought-provoking conversations with readers.

Also, since there was plenty of wine everywhere, us authors sounded pretty brilliant. ; )

This week I’ll be heading back to the Bookbar. This time, I’m teaming up with the amazing Molly Tanzer, author of Creatures of Will and Temper. She’ll be reading from the next book in the series, Creatures of Want and Ruin, which moves the action from Victorian London to Prohibition-era Long Island.

I, of course, will be reading from No Sleep Till Doomsday. (Funny urban fantasy with crystal magic and demon-possessed muscle cars. Unyielding mayhem. You know the drill.)

Come join us and have a great time!

Bookbar author signing event Laurence MacNaughtonBook Signing Event Details:

Saturday, March 9, 2019
7:00 PM to 9:00 PM

BookBar
4280 Tennyson Street
Denver, CO 80212

RSVP on Meetup.com

Don’t miss out on any upcoming events! Subscribe to my author newsletter.

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Introducing the Six-Figure Master Fiction Plot

Lester Dent Master Fiction PlotEver wish you could write a novel in just a matter of weeks . . . and then sell it for good money?

Lester Dent did exactly that. In fact, he wrote his first novel in just thirteen days.

You read that right. Thirteen days.

Over the course of his career, he wrote nearly 200 novel-length stories. He crammed the pages of pulp fiction magazines with stories cranked out under various pen names. During the Great Depression, while legions of writers were starving, he boasted that he made $18,000 a year with his writing. In today’s terms, that’s more than $250,000 a year.

He often wrote a book-length story every month, using a “master plot” formula of his own devising.

Wouldn’t it be great if you could get your hands on that top-secret recipe for success? You bet it would.

So here it is. Continue reading

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Answered: Your Most Burning Questions About Editors

James Persichetti, Developmental Editor at Lost Hat Editorial Services

For every brilliant manuscript that grows into a best-selling novel, untold thousands of others get dumped into the recycle bin. What’s the crucial difference between them?

Ask Jamie.

Over the years, James Persichetti has seen more unpublished manuscripts cross his desk than most people could read in a lifetime. He started out at the incomparable Nelson Literary Agency (Bird Box, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, etc.).

Now, he’s launched Lost Hat Editorial Services, a boutique editing business that helps writers like you succeed. Here he is, in his own words, to tell you how to find the right editor, polish your book to perfection, and avoid the biggest mistakes aspiring writers make. Continue reading

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