8 Questions for Gretchen Carvajal

It’s a new day of a new year and to start things off for 2015, I figured I have a voice featured today of someone other than my own.  It’s been a while since I last released an interview on here, so I thought it would be nice to do that again.  As to the person who’s featured this time around, that honor goes to an incredible spoken word artist whom I’ve known since high school: Gretchen Carvajal.

Gretchen is more than just a fellow writer; she is someone whom I’ve always known for never hiding her voice, however that may be.  She expresses her art and her stories through the means of being a writer, artist, emcee, and performer.  She was born in the Philippines before moving to the San Francisco Bay Area when she was very young.  She is currently a student in the First Wave program at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.  She has partaken in many spoken word competitions over the years- including the national youth competition, Brave New Voices, when she was 17- and was recently a participant in The Ill List; the signature poetry slam invitational in Modesto, California.  She already has a chapbook under her belt called Daughter of the Sun and plans to write more books in the future to come.  To learn more about her, be sure to check her out on Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube
Continue reading “8 Questions for Gretchen Carvajal”

A Contemplative Writing Experience

It technically would have made more sense if I had written about this earlier in the year, when it was in the news.  However, I consider now to be just as good to write about it, not only for the mere fact that it’s been occupying my thoughts as of lately, but because it’s something to consider as I look to the new year and as I proceed forward with writing my second novel. Continue reading “A Contemplative Writing Experience”

Re-reading “After Dark” Post-Debut Publication

Today marks four months since the publication of my debut novel of A Moment’s Worth (crazy, I know) and the past few days, I’ve been re-reading a book that I read for the first time earlier in the year.  I’m re-reading Haruki Murakami’s After Dark.  Now normally I wait a while- such as a year, maybe more- before re-reading a book, just so I can re-read it with a refreshed mindset.  However, with a month left of school for me, I checked it out of my school’s library for a purpose that many tend to best put it as “for science.” Continue reading “Re-reading “After Dark” Post-Debut Publication”

Thoughts About NaNoWriMo

As you can see, it’s the beginning of another month; the beginning of November.  Halloween costumes have been retired and candy has been collected, and the streets of San Francisco are being cleaned up following yesterday afternoon’s World Series Championship celebrations (go Giants!).  While us Americans have another holiday to look forward to this month- Thanksgiving- for writers all over the world, this month is graced with another name, in regards to a project that begins today and goes through to the end of the month.  I’m talking about NaNoWriMo. Continue reading “Thoughts About NaNoWriMo”

Behind the Moments: My Influences

In honor of  the three months since A Moment’s Worth came out, for the month of October, I shall be doing a series where I reveal some background history of the novel each week.  I might include some content that may contain spoilers, so be careful when reading if you haven’t already read the book yet.  I hope you enjoy.

I have a style.  I’m very aware of that.  I’m also adept at coming up with original, creative ideas when it comes to storytelling.  I have not doubt about that.  However, like any creative person, I have my share of people whom I look to for inspiration and such; whose ideas I look into consideration and then develop it into something of my own.  For that matter, today I want to discuss who my three influences were when it came to writing A Moment’s Worth. Continue reading “Behind the Moments: My Influences”

Thoughts About the Reception of Indie Authors

As the market for e-publishing and easy access to doing so independently is constantly emerging in today’s age, it’s hard to for people to consider any inequality of any sorts when really us indie authors have the upper advantage over authors who are signed to a publishing house.  We have more control over the content of our books, we have control over its distribution, we get to keep more of the money that’s made from it, etc.  However, based on my observations throughout the past few months of being an indie author, there are also some negative side effects that come with being an indie author that’s more so of how we’re viewed and received by the general public, in comparison to our not-so-indie counterparts. Continue reading “Thoughts About the Reception of Indie Authors”

8 Questions for Sarah Dayan

Today I’m taking a little breather from talking about A Moment’s Worth and am, instead, providing the next interview of my interview series.  Two weeks prior to the release of my book, indie author Sarah Dayan celebrated a similar accomplishment when her debut novel, Greater Than the Still, became available for purchase.  Today, we will learn a bit more about the making of the novel, as well as her journey as a writer.

To give a bit of background info about her, Sarah Dayan was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, where she still resides to this day.  She is incredibly well-traveled, and has written about many of the places she’s been to for Toonari Post.  Other hobbies of hers include playing the piano and guitar, photography, and giving in to her sweet tooth.  You can learn more about her on her website and you can follow her on Twitter.  Be sure to also like the Facebook page for Greater Than the Still as well.

photo provided by Sarah Dayan
photo provided by Sarah Dayan

Continue reading “8 Questions for Sarah Dayan”

Thoughts About Identifying As An Author

“So, we have a real live author for you guys.”

Those were the words (or a statement that was something along those lines anyway) that my editor said when she introduced me before an audience of high school juniors and seniors at the continuation school she volunteers at.  About a month ago, she had the students enrolled in the drama class put on a stage adaptation (with my permission, of course) of one of the chapters from A Moment’s Worth.  I was there in attendance, only to follow up afterwards by partaking in a three-minute Q&A session.

It’s that statement that gets to me, and maybe it even got to some of the students as well; that I was identified as an author, a real live author.  For me, that’s a weird thing to process.  The title of “author” has always sounded really pro to me; like a title given to those who are high up on a non-existing caste system.  Not to mention that while the title is often used for those who produce written content- in particular books- the general definition of an author is anyone who is the maker/creator/originator of  anything. Continue reading “Thoughts About Identifying As An Author”

Special Sunday Post: The Book Blogger Test

I rarely do personality-esque quizzes such as this, but after coming across this one on Jodie‘s blog, it looked interesting and fun to do, so I decided to do it too.  While this blog is more so about my writing career and other interconnective ramblings, there are cases where I do bring books into play, especially since I am a reader… and it seems like such a natural instinct for a writer to do when not writing.  So anyway, here’s my take on this quiz and I encourage you to take it yourself if you want to.

-Lauren Continue reading “Special Sunday Post: The Book Blogger Test”

In Tribute to Maya Angelou

I couldn’t pass up today without doing a quick post about this.  Whether a writer or not, everyone has heard of, and have at least read one book, by Maya Angelou.

photo retrieved via Wikipedia
photo retrieved via Wikipedia

Maya Angelou, the woman who graced us with her lyrical words and books about growing up in the Jim Crow South, while proving herself to be a Renaissance woman, died today at her home in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.  She was 86-years-old. Continue reading “In Tribute to Maya Angelou”