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Posts Tagged ‘Unexpected’

2015… Wow!

Posted by erinlausten on February 2, 2015

Here we are in the second month of 2015 and I am amazed at how quickly it is going already.

When reminiscing on New Year’s Eve with my extended family I realized this year marks FIVE years since I published my first novel Unexpected! I can’t believe it. I feel like I’ve only just started this journey but looking back at the books since Unexpected I know it’s been a heck of a ride. And it is FAR from over.

To celebrate I am offering Unforeseen (Book 2 – Viator Legacy) for $0.99 from February 2nd until March 17th on Smashwords and Amazon! I love Grace and would like more folks to meet her. Lucius isn’t too bad either.

Let’s get ready for more adventures with Deadbeat coming out very soon and Unrepentant (Book 3 – Viator Legacy) coming out later this year. This wild ride just keeps on going.

Happy 2015 Everyone!


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When Characters Attack

Posted by erinlausten on July 3, 2013

I may have mentioned this previously, but I honestly have no control over my characters. Yes, I know, it sounds trite and like one of those things writers make up to sound more interesting. But trust me, I don’t need to make stuff up to think I am interesting—as my husband has repeatedly reminded me, I have an ego that makes it difficult to fit out the front door. Is it any wonder I don’t stay at home eating bon bons lounging in my awesomeness?

But I digress. We are discussing characters today, not me or my inflated confidence. Today I have an honest gripe with my characters.

In the past, we have seen Hailey from the Viator series swoop in like the girlfriend that throws herself at the boy checking you out across the bar. She’s high-jacked my blogs and my plots. And don’t get me wrong, it has made things highly interesting. But honestly, the issues I have had with Hailey stem from her stubbornness and fiery exclamations. She curses too much, can’t stay calm, and refuses to listen to orders. In general, though, she took the situations I threw at her and ran with them. I created the environment and stimulus. She reacted and moved us to the next scene. It was fabulous—(and did I mention?) highly entertaining.

One would expect that this pattern would continue with my other stories. And in general it has.

Enter Cibola’s Revenge and the mysterious characters jumping in for the ride without a by-your-leave. Oh yes, I have hobo’s grabbing hold of my plot lines. And what is even more frustrating is they come in exactly where they are supposed to and contribute essential and perfect aspects that apparently they knew I needed. I, however, remained oblivious until they wrote themselves onto paper.

Seriously? You couldn’t give me a heads up? Maybe a subliminal dream or a flash of insight? You just had to jump in there like something I had always planned.

And that’s the rub, because one would think if I had added characters then I must prepare for their appearance in previous chapters and would now need to go back to adjust the story for their arrival. Except, it seems I already have. Without intention. But they fit. Perfectly.

Sigh…I really thought I was driving this train.

Posted in writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Another Phoenix Comicon Wrap Up

Posted by erinlausten on May 30, 2012

Picture by phxcc

Wow. Can I just say Wow? What an experience!

I arrived at the Phoenix Comicon on Thursday, May 24th, and really, I had no idea what to expect. Well, that is not entirely true; this was my third year at Phoenix Comicon. The first two years I performed with a dance troupe at the Steampunk Ball, and then just enjoyed the rest of the con like anyone else. But this year was my first sitting behind a table.

And it was way worth it. I got more out of the first two hours on site then I ever expected, and it didn’t stop for the entire ride!

Thursday was the preview night, so many of the vendors were still getting settled as the early birds shuffled into the room.  I got to meet my neighbors, including James Barnett. I had a blast sitting next to James. His art work was phenomenal, and his attitude was even better.  Then, to my delight, Lizzy Ford was set up right in front of me. What a fabulous surprise. I’ve been following Lizzy’s work online for some time, and I had no idea she was an Arizonan. It was great just to have someone else going through the same thing I was, new to the Con and excited about meeting new readers. I can tell you, a nicer writer you just won’t meet! And her books rock too, so Bonus!

By the end of Thursday I was already grinning like an idiot, just happy to see my spanking new poster-sized pic of Cibola’s Promise up on the wall and my books lying out all pretty. I can’t remember if I sold any books that first night, everything is now all a blur.

Friday came fast, since we didn’t sleep great, and the excitement was starting to get to me, but we were there, and the crowds started to come. It was awesome having a front row seat to all the insane costumes and happy people running around the con. Where else can you see an Elvis Darth Vader? And the steampunkers were out in full force, which made me extra happy. I caught up with my old friends with Mantecoza and the awesome Lords and Ladies working the booth for the Society for Creative Anachronism. And by the end of the day, I had sold 6 books. SIX books. I was ecstatic! I went home exhausted, but grinning like crazy, and I knew I still had two more days.

And Saturday happened. Goodness help me, Saturday happened. Things just took off like a hailstorm. The aisle filled, people started stopping by and soon enough I lost count of how many books had walked away. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that men and women both were drawn to my table. I learned to talk about my work, and discovered more often than not I was helping to educate the public on what Steampunk really is. I had no idea it would be so fun, and those conversations were some of the best. It is an experience I won’t soon forget. And as the hours passed I started to get nervous, looking down to see if I would have enough books for one more day. By the end of the day, I had sold more than half of my stock. I should be good… Only one more day after-all.

And Sunday was as awesome as the rest. Conference fatigue was setting in, but my smile never left. Can you really get tired of the awesomeness? And then we got to the last hour, and I walked up to the table after a break, just in time to see the last of Cibola’s Promise taken from the table. That’s right. I sold out. I cannot begin to explain how amazing that was! Then I looked over at Unexpected. And there were only 4 left! I didn’t even expect to sell any of those! I mean, I wasn’t sure it would be the right book for this crowd. Boy was I wrong. I love being wrong!

And then it was over! My Comicon Table experiment was a resounding success. I had a blast with awesome friends and family that came to help me out (something I can never repay). I got to see things you just don’t see anywhere. And I walked home with Brent Spiner’s autograph.

Yeh. It was a pretty awesome weekend.

And with all the awesomeness, I have not been able to format Cibola’s Promise for Ebook. But I am on top of that, so you will find it online in the next couple of weeks. It will be a wild summer. Unforeseen, Book Two of the Viator Legacy Series, will be released by August, and I will be working hard on a few more projects that will hopefully be in your hands by the end of the year. Hang in there, we are in for a crazy ride! 

Posted in steampunk, writing | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

The Road to Phoenix Comicon

Posted by erinlausten on May 10, 2012

Three years ago I began a journey with a band of friends. I had just discovered steampunk and was active in a belly dancing troupe called Shahrinz. The troupe is still counted as my greatest friends, and my interest in steampunk has only grown. At that time, a wonderful opportunity fell into our laps. The Phoenix Comicon was looking for performers and we jumped at the chance. We decided to fling ourselves into the steampunk fray and performed with that in mind. Since then, the troupe has put together a number of shows with steampunk flavor, and I have begun writing stories about a Wild West that is a little bit strange and a lot of fun.

And so, we come to this year. I will be at Comicon once again, but this time, I will have a table with my new steampunk story Cibola’s Promise. I am extremely excited about this story. Its inspiration taps into so many parts of my life. From the beautiful troupe that helped develop the characters and their intricacies, to my life in the American West and love for history, it has been a true adventure in writing.

The Phoenix Comicon has been an excellent event for each of the years I have attended, and I know this year will be no different! The organizers know how to put together an amazing experience, and if you have the chance, I highly recommend a trip. With everything from Science Fiction, Fantasy, comic books, gaming, and novels, it is a pop-culture dream. And so I hope to see you there!

I will have print versions of both the new Steampunk book Cibola’s Promise as well as the first novel in the Viator Legacy Series, Unexpected. This will be the premier for Cibola’s Promise, so do not fret, I will have it available in E-book shortly, and both will be available through Amazon in print. If you make it to the event, I will be in Artist Alley at table 342!

And to you all, may your life be an adventure and full of surprises!

Erin Lausten

Posted in writing | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Must Speak Fluent ‘Dude’

Posted by erinlausten on December 6, 2011

Hi All! Yes, you guessed it, it’s Hailey and I’ve been tapped to blog again. Apparently Erin can’t seem to get enough of my priceless wit and personality. Or, which is what I find more likely, she is overwhelmed with the pressures of unexpected celebrity.

Ok, I’m kidding. She’s no runaway success. Not yet.

She is, however, stressing. She swears she’s inspired, but I know better. I’ve seen that crazy look in her eye before. She’s plotting some terrible stuff for this next book and is eager to share.  This means she has created ridiculous time lines and overly ambitious expectations of herself. Granted, she delivers when she puts on the pressure, but the rest of us tend to suffer. But what can you do? She’s the boss.

Luckily, I’m riding in the sidecar for this next book, so no more pirates, Nazis or evil scientists for me.

Hold on. She’s giggling. That is so not good.

Dude, I’m rethinking the day I signed up for this. Have I told you this story yet? No, ok, get this. I was sitting around in literary limbo. You know– that place where fictional characters chill until one of the muses smacks an author upside the head and creates inspiration. All the good characters get picked up quick, so by the time we get into a good game or conversation they get whisked off to the great paperback in the sky.   This left me with some of the less creative figments of imagination. Let’s just say I was getting sick of playing Gin Rummy with serial killers, weepy teens, and narcissistic heroes.

Then it happened.  I was wasting some time checking out the character classifieds. And there it was. Erin Lausten was looking for a kick butt heroine with a sense of adventure, a strong personality, and an ability to adapt to whatever got slung at her. I always wanted to be a protagonist and I figured an adventure romance was just the thing for me. And even better, there would be no vampires. I can’t handle needles.  I sure as heck can’t deal with a dude with two hypodermics sticking out of his mouth. I had turned down a ton of positions (ok, maybe not a ton, but a few. I’m not a total loser) because they had vamps in them.

The only stipulation was ‘must speak fluent dude’.

Ok, I know. What does that mean? Well turns out, Erin spent some time in Southern California. Some time being her formative adolescent years. She had what the world likes to affectionately call a Valley Girl accent. Except, it wasn’t totally. She was a far cry from the high-pitched atrocity seen in the movie Clueless. Hers was a little closer to what was seen in Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure.

Anyway, she wanted someone who spoke the language of her youth. But not the “Oh my god, she was like, totally for real” aspect of the accent. She wanted someone who understood the appropriate use of the word “Dude”.  Remember these?

Dude.  Anyway, I had some experience. I once read lines with a few aspiring B-movie characters hoping to break into the pot movies of the late 90’s. So I went in for the interview.

I was a little unsure what to expect. But she looked normal enough and we got along pretty good from the start. She’s your garden variety lady. Easy smile, smart eyes. A little pudgy around the middle, but hey, I’m not one to judge. I expect I’d gain a few over the years, if I weren’t a fictional character. Anyway. She asked if I wanted a chance at being a star and handed me the contract. What can I say, it seemed like a good idea at the time.

Next thing I know, she’s coming up with “ideas”.  And the rest… well let’s just say it was a bit Unexpected.

(Like how I did that? Yeh, I think Erin will like it too. Well time to go! Catch you all soon! And if you haven’t read my book, you know the one where I’m the star, what are you waiting for?)

Join Hailey and Derian in a fast paced adventure in time against forces no one expected. In fact, it was all quite Unexpected. Now on Amazon , Barnes & Noble, Apple, and Smashwords!

Are you interested in knowing the minute my books are available? Send me an email at and I will put you on the list. I promise not to spam you with a constant barrage of sales pitches. I’ll only send information when something new is out.
You can also keep tabs on my progress at my Facebook fanpage and on Twitter.

Posted in character development, Hailey, Unexpected, Viator, writing | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

A Plague On Your House

Posted by erinlausten on December 3, 2011

Actually, that title may be a tiny bit misleading. I do not wish a plague upon your house. As my house has recently been overrun with the beastly bugs that make the head swell with yuckiness, and the sounds of wracking coughs, I would never, in my entire life, ever wish this upon another. It has not been the best of weeks.

There I was, turkey in the oven, dressing, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, green bean cassarole, pie and family surrounding me. It was a fabulous Thanksgiving. And then disaster strikes. As my husband and I started scanning through the Black Friday advertisments it hit. And it hit hard. I’ve been down for over a week with the sniffles, aches, and pains of the general crud. And I had so many plans. <sigh>

Well, no worries. Despite being hogtied by a cold, things did get done this week. Unexpected is now available on Apple Itunes and at Barnes&Noble. Also, a fantabulous review by the author Beth Muscat went up a few weeks ago. I couldn’t be more pleased with her reaction. Check it out at Shameless Reviews and Promotions. And if you get a chance, check out her own stories at Amazon.

In addition, I have my edits back for my Steampunk short titled, Miss Chevious Debuts. Watch for that one to be released by Christmas. It will be a fun and mysterious adventure following the slightly unconscionable performers of the Marvelous MacHurdyGurdy Traveling Show. Check back here for details as the month progresses.

And, for those that did not have enough of Carlo in Unexpected, he is starring in his own short story series, the first being completed and waiting review by the Beta Babes. That one will be free and should hit the Web in January.

It is amazing what can get done when the brain is foggy.


Join Hailey and Derian in a fast paced adventure in time against forces no one expected. In fact, it was all quite Unexpected. Now on Amazon , Barnes & Noble, Apple, and Smashwords!

Are you interested in knowing the minute my books are available? Send me an email at and I will put you on the list. I promise not to spam you with a constant barrage of sales pitches. I’ll only send information when something new is out.
You can also keep tabs on my progress at my Facebook fanpage and on Twitter.

Posted in News, Unexpected, Viator, writing | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Unexpected Test Drive: Chapter 1

Posted by erinlausten on November 22, 2011

I am so excited to have this book available. Can you tell??? So far it has been fabulously received and I am tickled at the comments from my readers. In the tradition of sharing, I wanted to give those of you on the fence about whether you really want to crack open–I mean click the link to that Ebook–a taste of what the world of the Viator is all about. And here it is, Chapter 1 of Unexpected.


Chapter one

White. Why had she worn white? Hailey McIntyre grabbed a napkin and dipped it into her glass of water then scrubbed viciously at her shirt. The orange stain faded but she was left with a giant wet spot across her chest that would take an hour to dry. She sighed, gave it up for lost and returned her attention to lunch.

Jason smirked at her from across the table. She responded with a middle finger salute then laughed as her heart warmed. He was the brother she’d never had and those were the best kind. They never fought over parental approval or premium bedroom spaces. Their affection could be real without the history and it was absolutely perfect.

The wax paper crinkled as she wrapped her fingers around the special sauce soaked sandwich. Grease and caffeine had been just the thing to stop the incessant pounding in her head. She really needed to rethink the wisdom of going out to the bar on a work night. Casting a glare at Jason she wondered how he managed to always wake up no worse the wear from a night out. The man had to have some kind of party man super power.

Based on the sappy grin he’d shared when he passed her cubical that morning he’d gotten lucky the night before too. She said, “So, how do you do it? How do you walk out of the bar every night with a different man on your arm?”

He waggled his eyebrows and leaned against the back of the thin plastic yard chair that lent that special seedy ambiance to Rizzo’s Super Subs. His hands patted his belly. A black cotton t-shirt clung to his slight paunch. Black might be slimming, but it didn’t hide it all. “It’s the power of smokin’ hot abs, babe. I can turn a man on fire at fifty paces.”

Hailey rolled her eyes. “You are a piece of work.”

“A work of art, sweet heart. A work of art,” he said. The chair, fed up with the ill use, folded back on itself. Jason lunged forward, knocking the table several inches toward her. Swift hands saved her Diet Coke from tipping over onto her half-eaten pastrami-on-rye: The best damn sandwich in Los Angeles County.

“I wish I could turn a man on fire at fifty paces.” She replied placing her soda back onto the plastic checkered table cloth.

“Girlfriend, you turn men on fire with that caustic wit of yours. There’s just nothing left of them to walk out of the bar with,” Jason said.

Hailey snorted and cracked a grin. He was right. She probably could have a guy on her arm with relative ease. The trouble started when she got bored. And she always got bored. If they weren’t talking about the drunkfest the night before they were bragging about their recent material acquisition. The winner last night had bought himself a brand new, hot off the presses, smart phone. Then spent three hours showing her every feature, every app—every stupid little thing until she wanted to dump the slim silver gadget into her pint of Sam Adams.

Her beer survived—enough for her to finish it. The poor sap hadn’t been so lucky. As each agonizing minute progressed her remarks went from witty to scathing until she reduced him to a withering weed at her feet. She left the bar with glares pounding her back, convinced that at thirty she was well on her way to spending her life as the crabby spinster that lived in the corner house waiting for the opportunity to turn the hose on the neighborhood kids.

The candy red plastic lunch baskets sat among the balled up napkins and grease covered wax paper like eighteen wheelers in a twenty car pile-up. The clock on her phone flashed the time and her shoulders sunk. Ten minutes until she needed to be back at her desk, plunging back into the mess that was the marketing proposal. Ten minutes that would feel like half a gasp. The four hours left in the work day would no doubt feel like fifty years.

“Dude, we have to go,” she said.

Jason tipped his head back and drained the last of his full octane Mountain Dew. Then stood and brushed the crumbs off his lap. He held out his elbow and she slid her fingers into the crook of his arm. It was nice having a man treat her like a lady. It was too bad he wasn’t her type. Or that she failed to have the correct anatomy for him.

“So, you’re going to love this.” He pushed open the door to Rizzo’s, letting in the ozone rich Los Angeles air. “McDermott is preggers.”

“Dude! Shut up!” She stopped and slapped him on the arm. “She’s what, like fifty?”


“Wow.” She hugged her arms around her chest. Karen McDermott, their manager and all around crazy lady, was pregnant. The woman had mood swings as a rule. Add hormones and the office might go up in flames before she reached full term. Terrifying was the only word for it. “Who would marry her? The man must want to kill himself.”

“It’s Ron in operations.” Jason started down the three crumbling cement steps that led toward the tiny back parking lot.

Once she pulled her lip off the ground she ran after him. “Ron? Little Ron, the one with the crooked teeth that won’t look anyone in the eye?”

“That’s him.”

“Oh my god. That is too much,” Hailey said. Her beat-up grey Civic waited pitifully beside the alley trash bin. When they’d arrived the lunch rush just hit, leaving the sliver of land as the only option. Now, the lot was empty save for the three cars that belonged to the staff. Flies buzzed around her head and she held her breath against the stench as she slid along the car to the driver’s side.

Hailey rifled through her purse for the keys as a scrawny man approached them. His saggy pants and over large shirt swallowed him up in un-mastered ghetto style. The glazed eyes of the eternally stoned peered out from beneath a beat-up baseball hat pitched precariously on stringy hair. Jason watched him with shoulders tense and lips thinned. Cursing her choice in handbags, Hailey’s fingers swam through the mass of receipts, makeup and gum wrappers. The keys and her cell phone had sunk to the deepest recesses and neither cooperated with her desperate search.

“Hey man, what’s up?” Jason kept his voice cool and relaxed, but his stance remained wary. The druggie stopped five feet from the car and glanced furtively to the side, his jittery reflexes sent waves of warning flowing through her head. His long-fingered hand slid into deep pockets and she held her breath in dread.

Jason threw his hands up with palms out and fingers wide. “Look dude, we don’t want trouble, tell us what you want.”

The man’s eyes were frantic and his lip curled as he snarled, “Shut up, fag and get away from the car.”

A gun flashed toward Jason as the man strode toward the driver’s side. “Give me the keys, bitch.”

“I…I can’t find them,” Hailey stammered. The world shrunk around her and time trickled to a creep. Blood rushed past her ears in a deafening roar and the hairs along her arms tickled in anticipation.

“I said give me the keys!” The man’s yellowing teeth bared and his fingers clenched the handle of the gun. Hailey squeaked, praying he wouldn’t shoot Jason.

“I think I left them inside,” she replied.

A red flush spread up the man’s neck. Hailey felt it before she saw the gleam in his eyes shift from barely restrained violence to deadly intent. When the gun swung toward her, Jason’s shouts were swallowed in a cotton-like fog. Fear barely registered when the gun went off. As the world around her flashed bright white she prepared for the excruciating pain of a bullet hitting her chest. Everything slowed to a crawl but her thoughts ran sharp and clear. This was a hell of a way to die, she thought just before she blacked out.

When her senses returned a wave of nausea flipped her stomach into a round of cartwheels. A headache split an arc of hot fire through her temples and her ears felt like someone had stuffed in cotton, added water, and shook. Strange, this was not what she thought getting shot would feel like.

She opened her eyes. Expecting to see the concerned faces of a couple of hot EMT’s or at the very least Jason, she was surprised to find her nose inches from a giant wooden barrel. A thin iron band ran around the bottom that held together the bentwood slabs. The last time she’d seen a barrel like that was with her Aunt Sue at the Old West movie lot. She was ten and Aunt Sue was cancer free.

Flipping to her back, she closed her eyes. Nausea swamped her stomach and only after several deep breaths was she able to reopen her eyes. Through the darkness, slivers of light peeked through the cracks between the hand-hewn wooden boards that made up the ceiling. A drop of water careened from a crack and splashed on her upper lip. The cool wetness settled against her skin triggering a torrent of sensations through her body. Her ears popped open with a horrendous howl.

“Argh!” She cringed and slapped her hands against her ears. Muscles twisted and agony shot through to the bone. The suddenness of the pain and sensations crashed her system sending shockwaves through her fingers and toes. It was as if a switch turned off the morphine drip. She curled into a ball and rocked.

It was impossible to guess how long she writhed on the hard floor but it eventually subsided and everything inched toward normalcy. Little sounds outside her head crept in. The creak of wood shifting its weight echoed through the room. The soft hum of voices floated above the laboring planks.

A loud thunk slammed through the ceiling. A rush of water droplets splashed across her body, soaking her already damp shirt. She sat up and scooted back to lean against the hard plank wall. The room rolled from side to side. Nausea followed at a softer pace, but threatened her equilibrium nonetheless. If it hadn’t been completely ridiculous she would have sworn she’d been dumped on a boat.

The room plummeted down and to the side then heaved back to settle into a mild rocking motion. She pressed her ear to the wall. Water sloshed against the wood. It must be some kind of hallucination.

No one sailed wood boats anymore. Unless they were weird—or rich. Maybe she’d been kidnapped by a crazy rich guy. A hot crazy rich guy. Now that might be something she could handle.

She struggled to her feet and rested a hand against the wall. When her head stopped spinning and stomach quit rolling she scanned the room for a way out. A soft frame of light illuminated a door several feet to her right. The barrels surrounding her were bound tight with thick twisted rope to prevent shifting. Somehow she’d been stowed in the only free space large enough for a body to stretch out.

Hailey wiggled and wound her way through the barrels to the narrow walkway that ran through the middle of the room. Once she reached the door it wouldn’t budge. Was she trapped accidentally? She couldn’t think of a single reason someone would lock her in a place like this.

Her fists pounded at the door, but all she managed was a muffled thud. Shouts and screams it was then.

“Hey! Let me out!” The room rang but the sounds dulled before they could make it through the walls and ceiling. After several minutes she leaned in and placed her ear against the crack between the door and jamb. Nothing. “Argh!”

She slumped to the floor and banged her head against the door. Going hoarse wouldn’t help the situation. She banged her head against the door again and was rewarded with a sharp pain through her temple. Beating herself senseless wouldn’t help either.

The heavy moisture seeped into her pores. A couple hours in this place and she’d have fingers like a Shar-pei’s face. All the events that led to this moment were laid out in her mind and not a single one added up. She gave up trying to figure it out when the scenarios included fairy dust and magic wands. Closing her eyes she commanded herself not to freak out.

Metal scraping against metal woke her from an unexpected doze. She had barely enough time to scramble to her feet before the door swung open and a backlit figure stood in the hall. With his short legs and wide shoulders he looked more like a podium than a man. He took a few steps into the room before he noticed her standing there.

“Holy Mother Mary!” He jumped back several feet and grabbed the door jamb. His other hand flew to his heart. The stink of unwashed masculinity wafted to her nose and instigated a new bout of nausea.

“Why are ye in ‘ere boy?”

“Excuse me?” Hailey said and stepped into the light.

“Lordy! Yer a woman!” His wide eyes, gapping mouth, and gender identification issues suggested she hadn’t been expected.

“Last time I checked.” Hailey peered over the sweat drenched man into a dimly lit hallway. Despite the man’s diminutive height, his broad shoulders and thick neck kept her wary. “Look, I’m not sure how I got here, but if you let me through I’m sure we can…”

Meaty hands shoved her back with such violence that she landed heavily on her tailbone. The door slammed shut and she heard the metallic scrape of the key turning in the lock before she caught her breath.

“Shit,” she breathed. With trembling limbs she struggled to stand, adrenaline pumped her heart like a bilge. She didn’t care if he was built like a bull dog; the man was going to find himself flat on his ass when she saw him again. She rubbed her tailbone. The fact that she’d never actually hit a person wasn’t relevant. No one pushed her.

Shouts failed to bring him back. Several violent kicks to the door just bruised her foot. Eventually she sat and buried her head in her arms. The day was really starting to suck. After a while her butt went numb and she stood to pace. Pacing always made things better. It settled her mind and let the thoughts fall into order. It also prevented the flood of tears perched precariously at the edge of her eyelids. She hated crying.

The sound of the key in the lock barely registered. She spun around just as the door swung open and a huge shadowy man loomed in the doorway. All her false bravado fled and she took a step back as he advanced into the room.

His voice boomed, “What, Madam,” he grabbed her elbow and yanked her against his chest. “Are you doing on my ship?”

oin Hailey and Derian in a fast paced adventure in time against forces no one expected. In fact, it was all quite Unexpected. Now on Amazon and Smashwords!

Are you interested in knowing the minute my books are available? Send me an email at and I will put you on the list. I promise not to spam you with a constant barrage of sales pitches. I’ll only send information when something new is out.
You can also keep tabs on my progress at my Facebook fanpage and on Twitter.

Posted in Excerpt, Unexpected, Viator, writing | Tagged: , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

The Hero’s Journey

Posted by erinlausten on November 18, 2011


Image by David Bailey

The hero’s journey is a constant concept built into the collective consciousness to such a point that we know exactly how the story goes. From Gilgamesh and Hercules to Luke Skywalker and Harry Potter we know the characters, the struggles, and the victories. It is like a perfect song. All the elements converge to create a seamless experience we recognize and expect.

These men are faced with an untenable situation, endowed with the skills, talents, and the desire to do the right thing. But within themselves they have a flaw that they must conquer in order to overcome the obstacles. Hercules spent years atoning for his flaws in order to be the hero. Luke Skywalker overcame youthful inexperience and lack of patience. Indiana Jones fought snakes (my personal favorite).

Actually, Indiana Jones is far more complex than an adventurer with a snake phobia. His values often collided with opportunity, fame and fortune. His fear of commitment and obsession with what seemed to be missing from his childhood often stood in the way of him becoming a pure hero.

This is how we like it. A hero with flaws. A hero that fights against himself as much as he fights against evil. He becomes real. A man, not a god.

The hero’s journey is all part of the shared cultural experience and we recognize it when we see it. We recognize when it is not quite right as well.

The heroine’s journey is just as recognizable, though not necessarily as prevalent in the shared culture. Often this story is about a woman’s self-discovery. It focuses on growth and development of internal strength. These are fabulous stories, heartwarming and encouraging. The best will take a woman from a point of absolute vulnerability to a point of self-mastery and absolute understanding of worth.

But what about women put in the hero’s journey? This is what I love to write. Is the hero’s journey gender specific? Yes and no. Men and women think about the world differently. If you don’t know this I recommend any number of books by Deborah Tannen.  The story will reflect this unique perspective.

In theory the circumstances and challenges that face them should be a constant. However, the world will react to each differently based on their gender. It is all very confusing at times to keep straight.

And what happens when you put a man and a woman into the same journey? Does the story remain focused on just one? In many cases it does. In romance and urban fantasies the story is often focused on the woman’s journey and to a lesser extent her significant other. The development of the secondary hero fluctuates by the author’s preference. In a number of genres the genders switch in focus, with the male taking the lead.

In Unexpected the journey is skewed toward Hailey. But Derian’s perspective is also examined. The hard part is ensuring that all characters provide the real appearance that they are experiencing their own journey. This is what creates authenticity in the story and prevents the impression that the supporting characters are cardboard cutouts simply there to provide environmental backdrops for the protagonist.

Did I do a good job? I will have to leave that to the readers. Let me know what you think!

Join Hailey and Derian in a fast paced adventure in time against forces no one expected. In fact, it was all quite Unexpected. Now on Amazon and Smashwords!

Are you interested in knowing the minute my books are available? Send me an email at and I will put you on the list. I promise not to spam you with a constant barrage of sales pitches. I’ll only send information when something new is out.
You can also keep tabs on my progress at my Facebook fanpage and on Twitter.

Posted in reflection, Unexpected, Viator, writing | Tagged: , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Time Traveling Maniacs to Take Over the World!

Posted by erinlausten on November 16, 2011

If you have wondered why things have been quiet over the last couple of months I’ll fill you in. Life has been running at light speed. With several works in the pre-publication preparation phase, a children’s book being written by an alter ego, and life I kept my head down and focused on getting things done. For a fabulous article on Life and writing check out what Shelly wrote over at the Writers of Mass Distraction.

However, brace yourself because it is confetti time. That’s right. Unexpected is now available!

Cue the band leader folks, life is about to get exciting.

This novel has been in the works for just under a year. The characters and I have gotten to know each other in depth. In fact you may have already met Hailey in a previous post. Oh, and in this one too. She’s a spitfire that one and I assure you, we haven’t heard the last of her.

I am also eager to introduce you to her counterpart, Derian. He’s a nice guy. A nice guy that can kick some serious butt. He’s a bit quiet, so it may be like pulling teeth to get him out here, but I have some things hanging over his head, so I think I can bribe him to come out and play.

The Viator Legacy Series is packed with fabulous characters, many you will meet in the first novel Unexpected. I expect a few to spend some time here on the blog. Carlo and Poppi have already committed, but I have to keep them in line. We don’t want any more instances of character insubordination. So keep an eye out for that.

And Unexpected is only the beginning. The Viator Legacy Series is on its way to epic proportions. Unforeseen (Book Two) is close to a complete first draft. I have a number of shorts in the queue to explore the lives of some of the other oddball characters that have popped up along the way.

Check back for excerpts, character interviews, and who knows what else!

So, this is how it starts. You can find Unexpected at Amazon and Smashwords right now. Soon it will be available at Barnes & Noble, Apple Itunes and number of other fine online establishments. And yes, I do intend to have it available in print, but that may be a several months down the line, so jump in and join the revolution. Read an eBook today!

Are you interested in knowing the minute my books are available? Send me an email at and I will put you on the list. I promise not to spam you with a constant barrage of sales pitches. I’ll only send information when something new is out.
You can also keep tabs on my progress at my Facebook fanpage and on Twitter.

Posted in Time-Travel, Unexpected, Viator, writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Sometimes you have to remember to begin again

Posted by erinlausten on October 6, 2011

Hello out there! It’s me, Hailey again.

After what seemed like forever, Erin has allowed me to speak to you again. I am twenty eight years old and the woman can still ground me, can you believe it? I suppose I deserve it for misbehaving during my first introduction to you, but I said I was sorry and really don’t believe a two month hiatus was justified. But whatever.

Anyway, I’m back again and on my best behavior. Erin is pretty stoked about Unexpected coming out. With her eyes glued to the computer screen all day prepping it for publication she’s pretty much told me to take over the blog until she can get her head back in the game. Cool with me, except I don’t know what to talk about. So she gave me a title. Go ahead, look at it again. Yeh, I know, what am I supposed to do with that? And then she told me Steve Jobs died yesterday.

Seriously? My first day back and you throw something heavy like that at me? I mean, I can market the book. I can talk about light things like what I like to eat, why I am totally in love with Derian, and why I cringe at Poppi’s clothing choices. But this? About a guy like Steve? There are so many better people out there to talk about him and remember what he’s done for us.

 Look the truth is, I have never really thought much about how he impacted my life. He was just another pop figure, a guy in the headlines, a face for a brand. Except, he wasn’t. I learned how to type on one of those tiny Apple computers when I was in junior high. I don’t know what it was. I’m just not that much of a techie. But I do remember that it was an Apple. And now my life is surrounded by technology. And I think that may be the mark of the man. He didn’t just impact a small segment of the population. He changed the entire environment that we work within. I don’t go crazy over technology. I don’t know that much about how a computer works and when it breaks down I call for help. Actually, I don’t call for help, I scream for help, because my life and so many of our lives are intertwined with this new paradigm. We are surrounded by computers. We depend on them. The influence is undeniable. Was he a great guy? I don’t know. Was everything he did fabulous and indisputably positive for mankind? I doubt it. He was a man after all. And he was definitely not the only one that brought about this new world. But what we cannot deny is that he was and will remain a symbol of what we have become. History will only tell what the full influence has been, but he will no doubt be a major figure in the story of our current and future generations.

 Ok, so that was getting a little too deep for me. I have my moments I guess you could say. But I am going to finish with this. I am a character in a book. A book that will be available electronically. Millions will have the opportunity to read my story because of products Steve Jobs spear headed, but also because of opportunities brought about by this new world. Without the work that Steve and so many did decades ago in bringing computers to our homes and workplaces I would not exist. I would not have met Derian. I would not have discovered my super cool super power. I would not have… wait a minute. Because of this Erin was able to throw me into ridiculous situations with crazy maniacs out to take over the world. Do you know how many needles I had to deal with in this story? Do you know what it is like to run for your life because someone thinks you are the key to world domination? So all of my trouble is because of computers. Seriously? Seriously?

Hello, it’s Erin again. Before Hailey starts to go off the deep end I decided to cut her off. I am very saddened, as are many of us, at the passing of Steve Jobs. It is a good time to reflect on the impact the man has had on our lives. I don’t know if I would have had the opportunity to write this story and provide it to you electronically without the influence of Steve Jobs. There are tons of opportunities out there to create new things and share new ideas. And the best way to honor a man’s influence like Steve Jobs is to continue to create and provide new visions for the future. Where will this new world take us? Only we can decide.

Are you interested in knowing the minute my books are available? Send me an email at and I will put you on the list. I promise not to spam you with a constant barrage of sales pitches. I’ll only send information when something new is out.
You can also keep tabs on my progress at my Facebook fan page and on Twitter.

Posted in Viator, writing | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »