Dusty Hard Drives

Have you finished a manuscript and, if so, is it a rough draft?

I’m digging the interview style questions in the #PNIWritingChallenge. This is day 4 and, as you can see, we’re moving on from where we write – Useful Utopia – to what we write.

Indeed I have completed manuscripts. Three of them, as a matter of fact. Whether they are rough drafts or not depends on the manuscript, honestly. Let’s break them down, shall we?

All three of my books are available through Amazon at a minimum, though two are available through other online distributors like Kobo, Barnes and Noble, et cetera. For fun – and because I am a sales type person – I will include links for each book.

Extremity – Initially titled Snapshot, this is one of my favorite story lines. It’s also the first manuscript I completed. I’d like to imagine I learned style and formatting and whatnot from writing it, but no. That came later. I began writing the book in August of 2008 and finished writing it in July of 2009. Yes, the tech is ridiculously out of date.

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It’s a thriller, of the FBI persuasion. This novel is so far away from other books that I’ve written genre-wise that it has been suggested I use a pseudonym for it. I am considering that advice.

Extremity takes place mostly in Michigan and Chicago. I used my hometown of Richland, Michigan, as the inspiration for much of it and my friends, family, and classmates recognize the landmarks. I also discovered they believe the characters are based off of them which couldn’t be farther from the truth but I like to let them think they have an inside track.

There’s a serial killer on the loose and they’re gunning for our main character, freshly minted FBI Agent Sean Stone. With the help of his former partner Nino, they cross the country following the brutal path of a killer who likes to leave taunting notes for Agent Stone – “Hello, Beautiful, long time no see …”. Eventually we discover there is history between our hero and our villain (because of course there is).

Again, this story line is one of my favorites. I keep meaning to go back to re-edit this book now that I’m far more experienced and haven’t gotten there just yet. It ended up published because My Companion is a big fan. As I wrote in the dedication: books that are only on hard drives don’t actually collect dust but they may as well.

This book is in desperate need of editing. I jump perspectives repeatedly, sometimes in the same paragraphs I think, and it can make it difficult to read. I also had fun jumping around on the timeline. Ideally I’ll streamline this one, but we shall see.

As I sit here writing this posting, I find I’m considering taking this story and blending it with one that includes hacker Brad Witson and Chef Marie Lee Chase from At Wit’s End. We’ll see what happens with that in the future.

This title is gory, including scenes of bondage with barbed wire, rape with objects such as wine bottles, scalping, and other assorted nastiness. It is currently available only on Amazon, through the KDP program.

Extremity by A.K. Lawrence on Amazon. Average four star reviews thus far.

Odd fact: Out of all of my titles, this one does best in Europe.

Freedom’s Treasure – I have been speaking/writing of this one quite a bit lately. With the help of the amazing JC Wing and Brandi Salazar as editors and proofreaders, and the brilliantly creative Chelsea Barnes as cover designer, this book was recently re-released. I’ve been harping on and on about it for a while now.

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First fun fact: I wrote this book on a dare. There was a competition by a probably globally known publisher that my sister ran across. The idea was to deliver it chapter by chapter so readers could vote. Winner was published and I believe there was a contract in there somewhere.

I enthusiastically threw myself into the project. This was in 2010, I believe. I did not complete the manuscript in time to have it submitted for the contest. When it was ready I submitted it to that same publisher and they declined the option.

I finished writing this manuscript in 2011. It was My Companion’s first experience with an obsessed author, as we had just met at this point in time. I self-published on Amazon after my fourth self-edit.

It has since gone through two more self-edits and then the professional edits so it’s safe to say this one is not a rough draft.

Anna Molly Mylan wants to escape big city life (she is a reporter in Grand Rapids, Michigan, so, you know, a not so huge metropolis). She rents a cabin in the deep woods of Baldwin, Michigan, so that she can concentrate on writing her first mystery novel.

She meets quite the interesting cast of characters, including on her first day a very naked and wet Hunter Williams. He was mowing the lawn and needed a shower. She never heard him come in, he had no idea she was there.

Anna stumbles across a real life mystery in this small town and, with Hunter’s help, is determined to solve it. They aren’t the only ones hunting for treasure left behind by a runaway Civil War era slave.

Romance, danger, and some hilarity ensue. This title is safe for most audiences. There are some passionate scenes but the language is kept under the profanity limits.

5 Star reviewed, you should check it out and see what all the hype is about. What hype? The hype I keep trying to spin. Humor me!

I’m currently in the first third portion of writing the sequel. Yay!

Freedom’s Treasure on Amazon

Freedom’s Treasure on Barnes & Noble

Freedom’s Treasure on Kobo

Freedom’s Treasure on iBooks/Apple

At Wit’s End – “Oh, one of my favorite stories,” she says wistfully.

My third manuscript, and most recently completed. I began writing this one while first living with My Companion. He got to watch as I tore my hair out trying to make these characters do what I wanted them to. Eventually I just gave them control and went along for the ride. It turned out better that way.

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He realized how obsessive being an author can be when I had to tune out MY FAVORITE NFL TEAM’S CONFERENCE PLAY-OFFS because the characters wanted me to write the ending NOW NOW NOW GET TO IT NOW NOW NOW WE CAN’T WAIT WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING WATCHING FOOTBALL WHEN YOU CAN TELL US HOW OUR STORY ENDS NOW NOW NOW WRITE WOMAN WRITE!

My team won that game, lost the Super Bowl. Ugh. Then I had to wait months for the new NFL season. It was a chain reaction of annoyance.

At Wit’s End was the manuscript I used to sign with The Company That Shall Not Be Named. Everyone who worked on it with me adored it. Until they read Freedom’s Treasure. Everyone loves that damn book. Did you notice how I love FT until I start talking about At Wit’s End? Yeah, I’m weird that way.

TCTSNBN hooked me up with professional editors and cover designers. My editor helped me mold that book in ways that re-taught me how to write altogether. My style is completely different now and I can thank a wonderful woman named Chelsea Jack for that.

She made me decide between cyber thriller and romantic suspense. We went with Romantic Suspense. Some day I’d like to sit with Chelsea and re-write it as the cyber thriller, purely to see the differences. It would definitely be a vanity project.

Quick synopsis: Brad “Wit” Witson is a hacker, a guy who works for a financial company in New York. He’s referred to as Kid Midas of Wall Street because he has a young face and everything he touches turns to gold.

A domestic terror attack kills his best friends while he escapes the blast. He goes into an emotional tailspin and vows vengeance against the militia that killed his friends. Little does he know the militia wants him, as well as access to a program Wit designed that can cut through firewalls and all other safety measures called IGGY.

Marie Lee Chase is a chef preparing to start her own catering/event coordinating business. Her sleazy boyfriend steals all of her money and disappears. Marie is connected with a faceless hacker on the Internet named Zero (Witson). Romance, danger, humor, it’s all there.

Rough draft? Definitely not.

Another 5 Star reviewed book, this is also available on multiple sites. INCOMING LINKS! DUCK!

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1ZIsk7j

B&N: http://bit.ly/1rjOVeH

iTunes: http://apple.co/1YjviAd

Smashwords: http://bit.ly/28uHnHE

So, those are the completed manuscripts, as asked. I may have given more information than anticipated, but I’m good with that. How else will you hear of my books?

Questions? Thoughts? Comments are always open.

 

 

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