Posts Tagged With: short stories

How to Turn a Short Story into a Book Series

Lightbulb Moment

DING! (That’s my lightbulb-moment sound effect.)

Believe it or not, IT HAPPENED ONE DOOMSDAY started out as a short story.

I was struggling with another novel, so I switched gears and wrote a fun little story about this awkward wannabe sorceress who ends up breaking the evil curse on a bad-boy hero with a muscle car.

It was half scary, half funny, and people seemed to really get a kick out of it. They kept asking me what happens next.

And I had to say, “There is no next. This is it.”

But I really got hooked on writing these characters, so I expanded it into a novella. My critique group was extraordinarily supportive. I kept bringing them new pages of rough draft as I wrote it, and we tossed all sorts of crazy ideas around.

I just kept expanding the story until it became a novel. The day I finished it, I called my wife to tell her, and she asked, “How does it end?”

And I said, “Guess.”

She said, “You know what would be really cool?” And she sketched out a completely different ending from the one I had just written.

Not just different. It was better, and ultimately it meant expanding the book into a series.

So with a sigh, I went back and changed the ending. And at that moment, everything clicked. I had the feeling that I was really onto something.

This ended up being the first book I’ve ever written that received offers from multiple publishers. My literary agent, Kristin Nelson, sold it in a multi-book deal.

I’ve already written Book 2, which should come out in the summer of 2017, and I have more stories on the way. Get free previews and short stories when you subscribe to my free author newsletter. >

Categories: It Happened One Doomsday | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

5 Jazzy St. Clare mysteries solved

Okay, first, here’s a brand new trailer from the ever-spectacular folks over at Booktrack.com:

Can’t watch the video? Click here to see it on YouTube.

Now, back to the mysteries of Jazzy St. Clare:

Did you know that there actually was a real-life Saint Clare? Me either, until recently. Some other things you didn’t know about this story:

1) The original title was “The Case of the Missing Mummy”. Accurate, but not as catchy.

2) The sound effect of the lioness’s hiss is actually a recording of an air leak. Listen closely and you’ll hear it.

3) I used the same swing music from The Case of the Green-Eyed Werewolf to give Jazzy a theme song. Because every good detective needs a theme song.

4) My ever-creative wife came up with Jazzy St. Clare’s name — and she names most of my characters. Which is good, because I tend to come up with names like Agatha Whistlethorpe. And “Jazzy” is just so much cooler.

5) The Case of Mummy’s Secret is a 2013 Litquake winner. Yay! Okay, so, you’ve probably heard me crowing about that before. But I’m just tickled pink whenever I win an actual hard American cash prize for one of my stories. I dunno, maybe I got one too many “certificates of participation” as a kid.

Now, back to you.

What are you curious to see next from Jazzy St. Clare? Want to see her solve a vampire case … explore the Black Lagoon … go heel-to-heel against Spring-Heeled Jack? Now’s your chance to chime in. Leave me a comment or email me.

Categories: Ebooks | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

2013 Litquake Winner! The Case of the Mummy’s Secret

Urban Fantasy Short Story Winners

Sign up to get free urban fantasy stories in your email!

I’m so proud to announce that my fun-size urban fantasy short story, featuring sassy noir detective Jazzy St. Clare, is a winner! Thanks to everyone who has read my Jazzy stories — more than 1,000 of you so far!

To celebrate, I’m giving away this story for the rest of the month — so you can enjoy The Case of the Mummy’s Secret absolutely free.

All you have to do is sign up for my newsletter at www.LaurenceMacNaughton.com. And I’ll email the story to you lickety-split.

(Even easier: just click here to join.)

Also, I want to give a shout-out to the fine folks at Booktrack.com for making it so easy to discover new stories and new authors in an amazing cinematic way, with music and sound effects. I love it.

In fact, you can listen to The Case of the Mummy’s Secret right now, live on Booktrack. Just click here.

Also, don’t miss The Case of the Green-Eyed Werewolf, and the free sample of Conspiracy of Angels.

Do you like urban-fantasy short-shorts? Or do you prefer longer stories? Let me know what you think!

Categories: Ebooks, Free Stuff, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Just launched: Sci-Fi Short Story Magazine

Back in the day, when someone launched a new indie Sci Fi magazine, production usually involved a lot of black and white photocopies and a remarkable device we called a “stapler.”

Now, we’re in the 21st century.  Behold the power of digital publishing.  Gotta love it.

I haven’t yet picked up a copy of “Sci-Fi Short Story Magazine,” but I will say that the cover art rocks.  And the title, well, the title pretty much says it all.  Contributors include Elizabeth Barrette, John Cosper, Jim Courter, Ron Savage, James R. Silvestri, Shelly Li, Michael D. Matula and Joseph Farley.

If you’ve read this magazine (or appeared in it), let me know.  I want to hear about it!

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Hailing Frequencies Open

Got a favorite science fiction author you’d like to see interviewed on Sci Fi Bookshelf?  Make yourself heard!  We’ve had some great voices stop by for a chat, and more coming up shortly.  So stay tuned, true believers!

In the meantime, if you’re looking for a daily dose of uber-short stories, try 365Tomorrows.com.  They’ve been putting up brand new science fiction daily for five years now, with no sign of slowing down.  Strange, experimental, but most of all short, these stories are like snackable science fiction — after the first one, you can’t stop!  Check them out here:
http://www.365tomorrows.com/

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