Fun

The Best Worst Summer Bookstore Trip Ever

Best Worst Summer Bike RideAs I kid, I was a voracious reader. My sister was too, so between the two of us, we went through books at an astonishing rate. One summer, when I was probably nine or 10 years old, I realized I had run out of good things to read. Uh oh!

There I was, out in the middle of the country, at the height of summer vacation, and we were out of books. Can you imagine the horror?

So I hatched a mad genius plan. We would ride our bikes to the bookstore!

The nearest bookstore was a place called the Paperback Trader, and they were pretty much the only affordable option for a kid on my particular budget. Besides, I was absolutely certain we could get there and back before anyone noticed we were gone.

Somehow, I convinced my sister to go along with me in this scheme, even though it hadn’t occurred to me just how far away the bookstore really was.

In fact, round-trip, it was a full 25 miles.

Still, we knew the way by heart, since our parents had driven us there and back so many times to buy books.

We were ready for the journey. My sister’s bike had a banana seat and a white plastic basket decorated with flowers. I had a black fixed-gear Huffy bike with checkerboard padding. I also had my backpack, two Whatchamacallit candy bars, and a whole pocketful of quarters for buying books.

What could possibly go wrong?

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It Happened at the Tattered Cover

Life is so weird. Steven Tyler from Aerosmith was at the Tattered Cover on Friday, when I had my book signing. I did not, in fact, get a chance to ask him if “Dude Looks Like a Lady” was actually about Vince Neil from Motley Crue. (But I have my suspicions.)

As always, the Tattered Cover was a fantastic place to do a book signing, and I’m eternally grateful to all of the wonderful people there for having me. Sorry about the mess.

I did get the chance to make new friends and talk about the inspirations behind A Kiss Before Doomsday, including secret underground bunkers, magic crystals, go-go boots, demon-possessed muscle cars, and the fact that zombies don’t drive. At least as far as I know.

Then I read one of my favorite scenes, answered a bunch of questions from my endlessly smart readers, and gave away handfuls of brightly colored crystals – in this case, sucrose crystals. (Rock candy!) Afterward, we celebrated at the scrumptious restaurant next door, modestly called The Goods.

None of it would’ve been possible without my unstoppable agent Kristin Nelson, my tireless editor Rene Sears, all of the good folks at Pyr, and most of all, the support of readers like you. Thank you so much for making this book a success!

Kristin Nelson and Laurence MacNaughton at Tattered Cover - A Kiss Before Doomsday

Funny, I thought the Tattered Cover would have maybe four or five books on hand…

the actual kiss before doomsday

The real kiss before doomsday. (Or at least, before the book signing.)

Laurence MacNaughton and fans at Tattered Cover

I’m a fairly tall guy, but my friend and fellow Colorado author Kevin Wolf is six-foot-six.

2017 Book Signing at Tattered Cover - with boots

True story: my lovely wife’s go-go boots are so fabulous that I actually put them in the book. Watch for the scene where Dru goes undercover at a sorcerer’s masquerade. These are the boots.

Kristin Nelson and Laurence MacNaughton cut the cake at Tattered Cover

Now available in paperback, ebook, and my favorite format of all – cake!

Tattered Cover bookmark

The coveted “golden bookmark” from the inestimable Tattered Cover. This is seriously cool. I don’t feel worthy.

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Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything) on Friday July 14 at 4pm ET

Reddit Books - urban fantasyJoin me on Reddit today and ask me anything.

Seriously. Any questions you may have about writing, publishing, crystals… muscle cars… cheeseburgers… whatever. Hey, I’m happy to help. Continue reading

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Why I Became a Writer (And It’s Not Why You Think)

Shockingly, this is a picture of a sledge hammer.

Hammer time! (Sorry, couldn’t resist.)

Do you ever wonder if maybe we make crucial life choices based on completely misunderstanding the world around us?

One of the most common questions I’m asked in interviews is: What made you decide to become a writer? I tend to talk about reading and storytelling as a kid, playing with an old typewriter, that sort of thing.

But really, I think it all goes back to a broken plate glass window.

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Until we get lightsabers, here’s the next best thing.

Not a lightsaber, but an actual real-life shard of selenite.

Not a lightsaber, but an actual real-life shard of selenite.

In my book, Dru fights demons and creatures using magical crystals.

Here’s what’s cool: all of the crystals she uses are magically charged versions of actual, real-life crystals: quartz, amethyst, galena, pyrite, etc.

Being a writer who writes about crystals, I’ve naturally built up a modest collection of crystals over the years.

The towns in the Rocky Mountains are rife with rock shops and lapidaries, some of them little more than a room in someone’s house. If you know where to look, you can find some pretty cool stuff.

Here’s a picture of my biggest crystal find yet: a natural selenite wand. Because of its mineral structure, selenite is fiber-optic, which my lovely wife is demonstrating here with LED lights.

In the books, this wand belongs to Dru’s ultimate nemesis, an evil crystal sorceress bent on destroying the world.

Fun stuff! Especially because, hidden in the between all the fancy magic, there’s a little bit of science. Neat-o.

Did you know I’m giving away some actual crystals from It Happened One Doomsday? Enter to win by subscribing to my newsletter. Click here.>

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Last Chance: Win a Crystal!

Enter to win one of these five real galena crystals!

Enter to win one of these five real galena crystals!

Today is your last chance to win a genuine galena crystal like the one Dru uses to battle demons in IT HAPPENED ONE DOOMSDAY.

These precious-metal crystals (containing up to 2% silver) are reputed to ward off supernatural forces, and have been prized for thousands of years.

They were even used to line the eyes of the pharaohs in ancient Egypt.

Now, you could win your very own galena crystal.

Certificate of AuthenticityMined in the USA, it comes with a certificate of authenticity from The Crystal Connection, signed by the author. (That’s me!)

To enter to win, just subscribe to my author newsletter. Click here.

Excerpt from It Happened One Doomsday:

After a moment’s consideration, Dru picked up a shiny chunk of galena. Like most galena crystals, it looked like it had been formed from a half-dozen different little cubes all fused together, and it had a dark mirror-like sheen, like a highway patrolman’s sunglasses.

She took a moment to weigh the crystal in her hand, until she could feel the faint whispers of its energy synchronizing with hers. “Here. Let’s start off easy. Let me have your hand.”

Greyson put his arm on the counter, and she pushed back the sleeve of his leather jacket. When she touched the galena to his wrist, the crystal popped with a cold blue flare of light, like an old-fashioned photo flash, accompanied by a sinister sizzling sound.

Greyson yanked his arm off the counter and sucked his breath in through his teeth.

“Wow,” Dru said, with a little thrill of triumph, mixed with a tinge of surprised fear. She’d never seen galena react so spectacularly before. “Bingo. Looks like we have a demon.”

To enter to win your own galena crystal, just subscribe to my author newsletter. Click here.

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Book signing at Lakewood Barnes & Noble

Not a lightsaber, but an actual real-life shard of selenite.

Not a lightsaber, but an actual real-life shard of selenite.

Can’t make it to the Tattered Cover on July 19? No worries.

I’ll also be at Barnes & Noble in Denver West Village on Saturday, July 16.

Besides signing books, I’ll also have a live demo of the actual crystals Dru uses in the book to fight demons and other creatures of darkness. Just wait til you see what a natural selenite wand looks like when you light it up with a multi-colored LED. Hint: it’s cool.

Here are the details:

WHEN:
Saturday, July 16 at 1:00 PM

WHERE:
Barnes & Noble – West Village
Denver West Village
14347 West Colfax Avenue
Lakewood, CO 80401
303-215-9060

See you there!

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Doomsday at Walmart?

It Happened One Doomsday at Walmart

Toothpaste, shampoo, hot dogs . . . and my book! All at Walmart.

I swear, I never saw this day coming.

Hey, you know, I’ll celebrate any new milestone. Including this one.

So here it is:

Today, for the first time, I have a book that’s available at Walmart.

And I’m . . . Proud? I think?

Yeah, why not. I’m proud to be at Walmart.

There. I said it.

So now, while you’re shopping for all of your favorite low-priced deals at Walmart.com, you can add my book to your shopping cart.

Why not, right? It’s a good book. At a good value.

At Walmart.

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the good gals and bad guys in It Happened One Doomsday. Subscribe now. >

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Bestseller?! Surely, Google, you jest.

Ever Google yourself? Sure. Usually, nothing unexpected turns up.

Until one day you find yourself listed as a bestselling author:

Best Seller It Happened One Doomsday

What? WHAT?! Just about fell out of my chair when I saw this!

My new book, a best seller? Nah, that can’t possibly be right.

Probably just some miscalculation deep in the Google gearbox. But still, it’s fun to see!

Stay tuned for some cool giveaways, bonus chapters, and a chance to read the top-secret alternate ending on release day! Click here to sign up for my author newsletter. >

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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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