Introducing: The Catalyst Moon Fan Collective! ๐Ÿ˜

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Hi there!

So, it has been a while since my last post, naturally. Unlike previous times, there is a reason, but I’m not quite ready to share the details of my personal life to this extent. Suffice it to say that much in my life has changed, but I’m still 100% oriented toward all things Catalyst Moon.

Hey, speaking of CM… We have our very own Facebook group! It’s called the Catalyst Moon Fan Collective (though I’m not sold on the name & will gladly take suggestions) and you totally should join the fun! I thought it’d be cool to have one spot where we can chat, rant, gush, etc. about this labor of love. We’re small in number, now, but are vast in spirit!

So if you haven’t already, I encourage you to join the fun! ๐Ÿ˜Š

Link: Catalyst Moon Fan Collective

Until we meet again,

Lauren

on recent multi-media faves ๐Ÿ˜Š

Hello there!

I thought it might be neat to let y’all know of a few things I’ve been enjoying lately.

Books:

Master & Apprentice, by Claudia Gray (audiobook version)

I came for the Qui-Gon/Obi-Wan drama, and I was not disappointed. This book is set about eight years before The Phantom Menace. It mostly centers on the tumultuous relationship between my two favorite (canon) prequel Jedi, though it also features Qui-Gon during his Padawan days (in flashback form). Gray is one of my favorite authors, and she delivered another fantastic yarn with this book. Obi-Wan, in particular, was (is) PERFECT and no one will ever convince me otherwise. ๐Ÿ’œ

Queen’s Shadow, by E.K. Johnston (audiobook version)

Yes, it’s another Star Wars novel. But holy cats, what a doozy! Padme gets treated abominably in the movie prequels, but this book almost makes up for it. If you want political intrigue, gorgeous (and surprisingly practical!) costumes, badass women being badass, and just an all-around fantastic read, don’t miss this one. Plus the narrator also played Padme on the Clone Wars TV show!

We Set the Dark On Fire, by Tehlor Kay Mejia (audiobook version)

This YA alternate history was featured on NPR, which is how I learned of it. I think some of us could do with some feminist rebellion fantasy atm; if that’s you, then I highly recommend this book. Mejia’s prose was excellent, the story was tight, and I was thoroughly entertained. Plus LGBT romance!!! ๐Ÿ˜

Music:

I’ve been fortunate enough to attend several live Tipper events at the Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park in Live Oak, FL, and he’s become one of my favorite composers. His latest album, Jettison Mind Hatch, will take you places and feed your spirit. ๐Ÿ’œ Personal favorites include Sayonara, Vection, and Sahra.

Okay, I’ve never seen Jai Wolf in person, but I’m digging his debut album, The Cure To Loneliness. It’s intense, poppy, and emotional – right up my musical alley. ๐Ÿ˜˜ Personal favorites include Still Sleeping & Drowning.

Clozee’s new album, Evasion, is another powerful, electronic experience. I unfortunately missed her set at the last Hulaween, but hope to change that when/if she returns. Personal favorites include Bloom, Wander On, and Harmony. The remix album is also ๐Ÿ”ฅ๐Ÿ”ฅ๐Ÿ”ฅ

TV:

The Expanse – My husband and I binged the crap out of this! Holy cats…I was not prepared to love it as much as I did. The writing was tight and there were some amazing characters, including some kickass ladies. ๐Ÿ˜ I’m thrilled that Amazon has picked it up and hope to see season 4 soon. Favorite characters include Bobbie & Amos. ๐Ÿ’œ

She-Ra (new Netflix series) – Ummm… Okay, so #1, this is amazing and literally everyone needs to watch it. Even if you never watched the original, I’d at least give this a chance. Awesome characters, powerful storylines, and a TON of LGBTQ+ representation. There are two seasons out now with a third coming, and I can’t wait! ๐Ÿ˜Š

Podcasts:

Approachable with Sam Ravndahl and Alyssa Anderson. Just two gals, chatting about life. They’re hilarious – I’ve been a fan of Sam’s for many years now due to her fab makeup skills, but her personality keeps me coming back. This is a new pod, but I’m eager to see where it goes! ๐Ÿ˜

Feminist Frequency – Hopefully you all know by now that I’m a mega-feminist, so this pod has become one of my favorites. The hosts discuss pop culture, recent and otherwise, through the lense of feminist critique. Their breakdowns of movies, books, and TV shows have opened my eyes and made strive to be more inclusive in my work and my life. ๐Ÿ’œ

Joanna Penn’s The Creative Penn podcast is, hands-down, one of the most valuable resources for indie authors. Joanna’s energy blends professionalism and optimism in the perfect storm of “you can do it!” Her huge catalog of pods, plus the wealth of info on her site, has been a constant source of encouragement and inspiration.

So that’s that, for now! What are you reading/watching/listening to atm? Please share! ๐Ÿ˜Š

Thank you and stay awesome,

Lauren

Catalyst Moon: Storm is live! (plus Feelings About Things)

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Get yours here: US | UK | DE | CA | JP | AU

Every book is a journey of sorts, for the author as much as the reader. Storm is important, not just because of the characters’ struggles, but also on a deeply personal level for me. Storm is the first book I’ve completely self-published. Granted, I had to re-publish Incursion and Breach once I parted ways with Inkitt, but Storm is the first book where I was solely in charge of everything from editing to promotion.

I’ve learned SO much about self-pubbing, and hope to continue that trajectory with each book, but right now I’m content to just feel the love and pride that comes with overcoming a challenge. When I first learned that Inkitt wasn’t going to be publishing books on Amazon any longer, I was crushed. Like… I couldn’t stop crying, was utterly heartsick, devastated, etc. Maybe it was an overreaction, but my writing is so dear to my heart, so important to me, that their decision shattered my world.

But after I grieved for what I’d lost, I started to consider what I’d gained.

Freedom.

The only person I am accountable to is myself. I control the content, the edits, the cover, the release schedule, the promotion – everything. And while this realization was overwhelming at first, (and still is, at times), it’s also liberating, because my creative property – the thing I spend practically every waking moment thinking about, if not actively working on – is 100% my own. No one can take it from me. No one can tell me “that’s not going to sell,” or “we don’t like your ideas.” And that’s a damn good feeling.

If you’re an author and are wondering whether it’s “worth it” to try and get a publisher… I say no. Do it yourself; there’s no better time. Yes, the market is saturated with books, especially fantasy novels. Yes, it’s hard and will test the limits of your patience, experience, and fortitude. Yes, you will probably “lose” money, (though I believe that money spent in service of something you love is never wasted.)

But it’s 100% worth every struggle to see my labor of love brought into the world by my own hands, mind, and heart. Ultimately, I don’t care about making money (though it would be nice), I just want to write great books and share them with people who love them. That’s all that matters. That’s my legacy. ๐Ÿ’œ

Until we meet again, stay awesome,

Lauren

the only constant

Hello there!

Short but sweet post today. I have a lot to say and a dearth of time, but rest assured there will be much more on this subject later.

As of December 12, 2018, the Catalyst Moon series will no longer be published by Inkitt. I will be self-publishing book 3 and taking complete control (back) over books 1 & 2. Inkitt has elected to no longer publish ebooks, but rather focus all of their efforts on an immersive reading app they are developing. That was not the direction I wanted to take for my work, so we have parted ways. This is an amicable situation and I wish Inkitt the best of luck, but my own career is my priority.

This was an unexpected change. I’m both apprehensive and excited to set off on my own. I feel like this is a turning point in my professional career and am optimistic for the future of my series, my author brand, and my development as a writer/author. That being said, there’s a lot to think about – and do – so here’s a brief rundown of my action plan:

  • edit book 3
  • acquire a cover for book 3
  • figure out KDP/Amazon in order to…
  • publish book 3
  • revamp my author page/blog to one that humans can navigate
  • revamp the covers for books 1 & 2, and possibly #3, depending on how “economical” the initial cover is. In an ideal world, I’d get a gorgeous cover for #3 and use the same designer for the rest of the series, but I think that might take longer than I’m willing to wait before #3 comes out.

There’s more to do, of course, [coughmarketingcough], but this is where my focus is atm.

Other than share this development, my aim for this post is to let y’all know that if anyone wants an ARC copy (and eventually a free published copy) of Catalyst Moon #3, please let me know! (lalogareads@gmail.com) I don’t know how long it will take to get book 3 on Amazon, but I do know that many of you have been waiting for a year or more! So please drop me a line if you’re interested. ๐Ÿ™‚ Please also let me know your thoughts, feelings, hopes, fears, or whatever else you feel like sharing on this subject!

And don’t worry. Storytelling is the reason I’m on this earth. There will always be obstacles, but there’s a fire in my heart that cannot be extinguished.

Take care and stay awesome,

Lauren

PS: I’m not really a visual artist, but I’ve been having fun with the whole glitch art trend as you can see here:

If you’re into this, check me out on Instagram! @lalogawrites

 

The music of Catalyst Moon

Hi there!

Some of you might know that I’m a huge audiophile. Not only do I live for live music events like Hulaween (see picture above), music is my muse, my constant source of inspiration, so naturally everything I write has a soundtrack in my mind – and in (virtual) reality!

Here are the Spotify playlists for each Catalyst Moon book, even the ones you haven’t read yet. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Catalyst Moon: Incursion (Book One)ย 

Catalyst Moon: Breach (Book Two)

Catalyst Moon: Storm (Book Three)

Catalyst Moon: Surrenderย (Book Four)

Catalyst Moon #5 (title TBD)

Catalyst Moon #6 (title TBD, plus there’s only one song on this, but that will change)

I tend to curate these as I’m writing, so some songs may change, but this is pretty much a peek inside my brain.

What about you? What sort of music moves you? Inspires you? Brings you joy? Music is one of the best things in the world, and though I can’t create it (I’ve tried, and failed), I can’t go one day without putting on a beloved song or artist*.

Thanks for reading/listening!

Stay awesome,

Lauren

*Odesza. Always and forever, Odesza.

Update – March 2017

Hi there!

It’s been a little while since I posted anything, let alone an update, so I thought I’d let y’all know what’s going on in the Catalyst Moon ‘verse.

My beta readers’ feedback on Book Two is almost complete – yay! – which means that I’ll be starting the next round of edits very soon. (I’m aiming to start those by the end of this month.) Other than a few new scenes needed, most of the feedback called for relativelyย minor revisions for plot, pacing, character development, etc., so I anticipate sticking to the release date of July-ish 2017. Double yay! I must admit, I’m a bit nervous about how Book Two will be received, as it’s much darker in tone than Book One.

But fear not, because the saga will continue in Book Three! This thing is still in its rough draft state and needs a LOT of TLC, but I’m reluctant to start revisions on it until Book Two has been sent to Inkitt for publication. I’m a “discovery writer,” which means that, although I do work from a rough outline, I tend to “discover” the story as I write and edit, so it’s easier and more sensible for me to save my Book Three revisions until Book Two is “done.” (Or at least, as “done” as I can make it.)

Speaking of discoveries… I’m 100k words into Book Four, and have already resigned myself to the fact that I’ll need to a) pull a POV from it completely to make its own novella, and b) probably rewrite the entire thing. But it’s been a blast to uncoverย the story piece by piece. I know how the overall five bookย arcย will end, as well as a few key scenes/notes along the way, but much of the initial drafting process is an act of discovery for me. I’ve said before but I’ll reiterate here that this “arc” with Kali, Stonewall and the rest of the characters will take about five novels and two – maybe three – novellas to tell the way I want to. After that, I have MANY ideas for other novels set in the Catalyst Moon ‘verse, so stay tuned.

Okay, that’s all for now! Thanks for reading. ๐Ÿ™‚

Stay awesome,

Lauren