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Wild Wild West Steampunk Con 2014 Wrap Up!

Posted by erinlausten on March 14, 2014

Imagine my excitement when the opportunity to attend the Wild Wild West Steampunk Convention appeared just as I finished Cibola’s Revenge. Wow, this conference was tailor made for this series! Set in the Arizona Desert at Old Tucson Studios, this conference delivered on every promise. For three days we were immersed in the Victorian west, surrounded by Steampunks and Cowboys. Be still my heart, it was fabulous!

If you ever have a chance to visit the studios, it is a brilliant trip any time of year. You get a taste of the old west and a whole lot of movie history. Tucson, itself, is one of my favorite towns, full of character and gorgeous landscape. As you come over Gates Pass you see the full expanse of a forest of saguaros, something you won’t see the like of anywhere in the world!

The energy of the conference was catching, as we spent time in the old barn, hanging with various merchants of Steampunk gadgets, gizmos, and gowns. If you like to add a little fantasy and science fiction to your history, this is the genre for you.

Professor Elemental was the king of the crowd, performing, recording, and being an all-around gracious gentleman. I can’t say enough about how awesome he was to the guests. My favorite part—his super hero pose is a pugilist with a sassy grin. What a great ambassador for Steampunk! If you haven’t seen his work, I highly recommend Cup of Brown Joy.

The best part was the time I got to spend with people I have come to know and love in the scene. I was able to catch up with a great friend and talented artist Jenn Hopkins. I can’t say enough about how amazing this woman is. Her art ranges from paintings, to computers, to photography, to… seriously, she does it all. I look forward to watching her take over the world with her art!
Mantecoza was out in full form as well. And I am extremely excited to hear we are likely to see something by Fall of this much anticipated film! CAN’T WAIT!

I got to meet a bunch of new talents as well. I was very excited to be included on a panel of authors. Eddie Louise was gorgeous and gracious. She spent years across the pond in Scotland, but can I say, we happy to have her back with us in the States! I look forward to seeing her books as they make their way to the U.S.!

And the highlight to my con, was a total geek fan moment. Lindsay Buroker was also on the panel. I got to sit on the panel with LINDSAY BUROKER! I love this woman. Her Flash Gold novellas are some of my favorite works. I love adventure. I love strong women. I love fantasy. She has it all! And I got to sit on a panel with her. Yes, I did a happy dance. I’m still doing a happy dance. I have so much respect for her and her work. And she is just as sweet and beautiful as her blog suggests.

All and all, by the time I left Wild Wild West Steampunk Con, my head was spinning. I even sold some books. It was brilliant! I am already excited for next year!

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The fire is right behind me of course!

Posted by erinlausten on December 12, 2013

I love seeing progress. There are many times when it seems nothing will ever be finished, but after this month, I’ll have completed five projects total. Three done for my alter ego Amie Archer, and two for Erin. I really can’t explain how good it feels, but I have promised several people I will never let the backlog gather like it has this year. One project at a time! I swear. Ok, maybe two. Or three. But no more than that. Really. I mean it. Honest.

You may have noticed by previous posts Unforeseen is available, YAY, and that was a huge deal. It was one of those books that hung around in my head for too long. And now that it is out in the universe, I am excited about it again. I miss Grace and Lucius already. I guess I will just have to include them in Unrepentant: Viator Legacy Book 3. But I miss Carlo more, so he gets top billing in this book.

And I would jump right on that, except I have some unfinished business with a certain Lady and Cowboy (Slim—Love him, Seriously. I mean, who else could flirt with disaster so unabashedly and still come out on top? With a grin and oozing charm? Only Slim. Le sigh.) Cibola’s Revenge is on its way to the finish line, just a few more tweaks and we’ll be ready for the victory lap. Christmas is looking to be very good for release. I am extremely excited about this new book in the Cibola Universe, and about the adventures the next year will provide as I visit various steampunk events to share the series. If you haven’t checked out Wild Wild West Con yet, take a look. It is a fabulous event at Old Tucson. Steampunk in the old west, really you can’t do better. (Well in my mind, since I dig that kind of thing!) I’ll be there with a table of signed copies of all my available books, and will also be presenting on the topic of Steampunk Archaeology. Yes, you heard right. Steampunk Archaeology. Come to the con to find out what I’m up to (evil grin).

Once Cibola’s Revenge is off my plate, I will definitely be ready to work on Unrepentant—except that I’m not. I am working on Deadbeat. I have had Deadbeat in my head since 2010, so really, it is way overdue and I have had several requests to see those words put down in print.

So there you have it. I am finishing up the last bits of what I have finished, and starting new projects. I’m excited about the New Year!

And I promise, I WILL be writing the Viator Legacy Book 3 in 2014. It may come out in the Summer/Fall rather than Spring. Hang in there folks, we’ll know what happens to Carlo and Lisa soon enough. First, we have a buck-toothed vampire to contend with.

Cheers!

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Finally!

Posted by erinlausten on December 5, 2013

First and foremost – Thank You!
I know you have all waited and waited and waited. We were almost there, then the gremlins hit! Those little buggers conspired with some brownies I’m sure. For there was my beautiful manuscript, or at least the pathway to it, but I could not open it. Corruption most horrid! This heroine, however, persisted and perservered. I won’t bore you with the gory details, they don’t matter anymore. What truly matters is Unforeseen is here!

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Available NOW at Smashwords and Amazon!

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The Excitement… It’s Overwhelming

Posted by erinlausten on November 13, 2013

I’m just a tad excited. Ok, a lot excited. I’ve told you about Unforeseen coming out next week. I have comments back from Betas on Cibola’s Revenge and shooting to have that out by Christmas. But now, I have a new announcement, I am launching a new Pen Name, to  write my happy, fun, lovely romances. Oh, they are fairly steamy too. They just don’t fit in the same vein as my Erin Lausten books. So if you like sweet, steamy fantasy fodder, check out Amie Archer at http://amiearcher.wordpress.com/

Now what has me super excited is not only am I telling the world Amie exists, but I am also releasing her (my) first book. It’s a novella, it’s hot and just in time for Christmas. Before you ask, it is titled Cabin Fever. Oh yeh, did I say hot? Yum. In addition to this first book, I will have two more out before Christmas. So if a heat-filled romance is something you like, check out Amie Archer’s blog and like her on Facebook!

Wait… did I say I have three books for Amie, and two for Erin coming out before Christmas? Yes, yes I did say that. No I am not a mutant (though you could say some of my characters are… Viators maybe? Hmmm), but I do have that many books to release. I just happen to have a backlog which is finally getting cleaned out.

How am I handling all this insanity? Well, I can say I’m just a little nutty. Not the normal nutty, but a more frazzled, excitable, happy nutty. I couldn’t do this without a huge support staff. Well, not huge, but the help and support these key players provide is HUGE. Consider  yourself warned that you will see a flurry of madness over the next couple of months and then we’ll be back on track. After the madness I’ll be working on a new project. A super-secret project ….ok, I can’t keep secrets. It’s about vampires…and werewolves… and fairies… and centaurs…and Chihuahuas… um, yeh, I said Chihuahuas. It’s going be a blast. It will be MY fun take on the supernatural genre. So, keep watching—things are about to get Verrrry interesting.

<a
Smiley

Posted in News, plotting, publishing, writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

It’s Almost Here!

Posted by erinlausten on November 4, 2013

I promised, and promised, and promised… Finally, it’s happening! Book Two of the Viator series is on its way. Unforeseen follows the story of Grace and Lucius as they discover the depth of the conspiracy facing their peoples and confront threats that just might hit a little closer to home than anyone expected. The E-book will be available November 20th at top online bookstores and watch for the Print book to be released by the first week in December. I’ll have links available on this blog and my website at http://erinlausten.com as soon as the books are available.

To tide you over until then, here’s a look at the cover and a sneak peak at the book:

 

“You say that a lot. I am not certain what you mean,” Grace said.

“I say what?” Hailey said.

“Dude.”

At that Hailey burst into a loud laugh. Several passengers across the aisle looked over. “Dude is by far the best word in the English language.”

“I know that it has had numerous permutations through history. But you use it in ways I have never read.”

“Well. It used to mean a city slicker. It was a derogatory term for men from back east that didn’t fit into the west. But it was picked up by the California surfers and then teenagers. When I grew up, dude was required to be said in every sentence. That and certain swear words that I have tried to use a little less. I just can’t seem to get rid of dude.”

Fascinated, Grace gave a tentative smile. “But what does it mean?”

“Well. It can mean just about anything. Mostly a feeling. For instance, let’s say you said something I wasn’t expecting. I would say ‘Dude’,” the word came out short and changed in pitch toward the end. “But if you said something I didn’t agree with I would say ‘Dude’.” This time the word was said low and long.

Grace giggled. Then tried it herself, “Duuude.”

Hailey threw back her head and let loose another of her hearty laughs. Lucius peeked over her head. “Tell me you are not teaching her to speak your language.”

Both girls fell into a fit of giggles. Grace hadn’t had this much fun in…well, ever.

 

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Bring on the Confetti!

Posted by erinlausten on October 13, 2013

I finished the first run of edits and Cibola’s Revenge is at my betas. Crossing my fingers they love it; Double crossing my fingers I get good feedback to make it even better than it is.

AND, now, what to do next? This writing life is fab, but seriously, no one is telling me the answers or what the next step is. I love being independent and making my own decisions, but sometimes I wish I had a map. No. A manual. That’s right. Where is the manual? I’ve read the ones which claim they’re The Manual. But they aren’t. So what next?

Ah, let’s wing it. That’s what Hailey would do right? Not that I think Hailey is much of a role model, but at least she’s authentic. So here we go.

My next project is begging to be written, so I think I’ll go with that. Prepare yourself for a look at the paranormal realm you’ve never ever seen before.

So much fun!

 

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Lightning Round!

Posted by erinlausten on October 4, 2013

Ah the light! It burns! It burns!

Alright, I’m out from beneath the proverbial rock and ready to give the latest update. I promise I have not been sitting on my hands all this time.

First bit of Happy news: Unforeseen is in the final countdown. I have the last minute edits in hand and a book cover in production.  With luck we’ll have a launch very soon now. Yes, I know, “HOW LONG CAN YOU POSSIBLY TAKE???” Sorry. Life has been, shall we say–Interesting.

And just as exciting, Cibola’s Revenge- the full length novel that continues from where Cibola’s Promise left us, is through the first draft stage AND the required two week “don’t you touch it, no, not at all, leave that book alone, stop thinking about it, let it stew, let it sit, Dear GOD why are you still thinking about it” stage. Now I am in 1st revision which, with luck, means it heads off to my first readers in a week. With that same luck, we’ll have that one ready for the holidays. Happy day!

What did I do to distract myself from the book while it settled in my brain? I geeked out of course. Last  weekend was Keen Halloween here in Phoenix. A fabulous get together of Artists and an opportunity for me to spend my money on awesomeness you just can’t find on a daily basis. This fab production was put together by one of my favorite artists SteamCrow.  Honestly, I can’t effuse enough about the awesomeness.

My dear friend, (and partner in crime), fell in love with some steampunky pumpkins, and even got one to sit on her shoulder for the rest of the day. It certainly drew attention our way out of the mall, but hey, she likes conversation starters. So I took notes for future book characters.

My son had a blast learning to fold origami bats. Admit it you want to try. But one thing… bigger paper is better.

I met steampunk author, Michael Bradley, showing off his books and I just had to pick one up.  I can’t wait to read it. But I’m not allowed to read in genre during the revision phase. It makes me over-think my prose and it all goes downhill from there. Oh the pain, the torture. Well I will just have to move through my revision at all speed then!  

My husband has a brand new Batman picture to help him make it through the furlough. “Great Government debacle Batman!” “Don’t worry little buddy, we’ll make it through!”  I walked away with some fabulous prints, that make me happy every time I look at them, from Diana Levin.

And now I am set to finish up these two books and get started on the next. Mwhoohahahahaha!

(Note to self: Will ending with the evil laugh be too much? Eh, when have I ever worried about it being over the top?)

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Ride the Wave or Blame the daemons?

Posted by erinlausten on September 20, 2013

Ride the Wave or Blame the daemons?

I found this TED Talks – Elizabeth Gilbert segment really interesting and I wonder what you all think.

 

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We’re in a relationship – Surprise!

Posted by erinlausten on September 5, 2013

Writing is about relationships.

Ultimately the biggest relationship is established between the story and the reader. However, beyond that there are relationships between the narrator and the characters, characters with other characters, the characters with their situations and the characters with their environment. Each of these aspects creates a unique perspective. For the author, the challenge comes in presenting these perspectives effectively in unique and authentic voices.

People are people. And there are so many different kinds of people. An author is only one person, with their own personality, worldview and perspective. Some of the greatest stories present that perspective in an engaging and dynamic voice. This drives the reader to absorb the story and experience as something new and fabulous.

But within a story, an author must also present perspectives that may not be their own, as illustrated by their various characters. The most talented writers can create characters with vastly different perspectives that build a story arc which is both believable and fascinating. We want authenticity in our stories, and authenticity relies on a world that mimics our own. No one person sees the world exactly the same.

So how does the writer do it? Not without some serious work.

It is easy for all of us to become insolated. It is more comfortable to surround ourselves with like-minded people. We strengthen our confidence in our own worldview by accepting those things we like and disregarding those we do not. We watch the news we like, read the websites that justify our feelings, and discuss politics with others in our political party.

Things get interesting when we break beyond the safety of our perspective and seek out those that think differently or even directly contradict our ideas. Even more difficult is stepping away from what we know and believe to try to understand the thoughts and worldview of another in a way that is objective and not qualitative. The question is not to see if the person is right, but to be able to see how that person may react to any given situation.

When an author can create a unique personality with opinions, belief, history and experience so vastly different from themselves, it is an amazing feat. It is one that I strive for with varying degrees of success.

So, why is this on my mind today?

I have gone beyond my comfort zone in my latest manuscript and I have learned so much. In general I have limited my characters with control over the story’s perspectives. In the Viator novels, I have had two characters with points of view that the reader is privy to. In other stories, I have limited it to one. But in the latest Cibola novel, I have five active points of view. Is it overkill? Possibly. But I have been able to explore the motivations, philosophies, needs and desires of five extremely different personalities. Some are dark while others are optimistic. Some navigate the world with morals that leave me uncomfortable and others have personal challenges I do not have myself.

As I draw near the completion of the first draft, I am struck by how vivid the relationships between these characters have become. I have seen growth and challenges I could not have seen otherwise. They have taught me so much and I find I am looking forward to the end, when I can step away for a while, then return to look on these fascinating people with a new eye.

This is why I write. This is the magic of stories. How fabulous.

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The Monster at the End of the…

Posted by erinlausten on August 22, 2013

When I was in college, I thought when I got to that last semester I had it figured out. I knew how to write papers quickly and efficiently. I could research with the best of them. I knew what the professors expected and had established a time management plan that worked for me.

Boy was I wrong. That last semester was the hardest of all. Everything I said above was true, but that semester almost killed me. I still remember calling up my dad crying, wanting to quit, and just all around throw in the towel.

Why? Well the courses weren’t hard. The professors were great. Everything was fabulous. So why was I a wreck?

It came down to one, small, yet extremely relevant reason. It was the LAST semester. My brain decided I was done before the end. Finishing that degree was one of the hardest things I’d had to do. And ultimately, I discovered that finishing period was the culprit. Not the actual activity, but the grand condition called Completed.

I have discovered this as a trend in subsequent projects, and especially those that take extended periods of time. Graduate school was the same. Then I started writing books and ran into the same issue.

Finishing a book is rough.  But just like with anything else, you have to put your head down and just get it done.

I keep telling myself that. And yet, here I am again. I have five chapters left. I’m so close, I’m not even looking at word count anymore. I have a series of scenes that are laid out before me and just need to be written. It’s exciting. It’s invigorating. It’s driving me nuts.

Five chapters. I even have the outline in big bold letters on the Huge dry erase board my fabulous husband built for me.  And…. My brain decided I was done last week. Now it wants to think about what happens next. What are my plans when it is done? What revisions do I need to focus on first? Where do I go next? How long will I let it sit? When will I be able to send to my Beta Readers? How soon will I be able to have it released?

Oh My God. IT ISN’T EVEN DONE!

You can see the problem. So what’s the solution? Well, I have declared war on my brain and told it to shut the hell up. I am going to write a chapter tonight if it kills me. Then I will write another the next day and the next day. One day at a time. I am going to stop thinking and just write.

I don’t care if it sucks today. I can fix it in revision. I don’t care if I missed something. I can fix it in revision. I don’t care when it will be released. It never will if I Don’t FINISH, so that’s just a stupid thing to get in the way of writing.

It will be done, and with luck, my next post will have some fabulous news. Wish me luck!

Oh, and, yes, I did make it through that last semester. Thanks Dad.

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