Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Shoebox Love by Laura Bickle + Giveaway

And I bring you another one of my favourite authors, the lovely Laura Bickle whose urban fantasies besides featuring incredibly unique and rich world-building, poetic storytelling will suck the reader in instantly (I just loved her Anya Kalinczyk and Oracle series!). Laura's latest release is a YA series with a mind-blowing and once again unique premise: a dystopian Amish YA story! So please give Laura a warm welcome and read on to discover what stories get to be shared with the world and which ones stay hidden. And of course don't forget to enter the fantastic giveaway at the end!

Shoebox Love
by Laura Bickle

Note from Laura: Happy Third Blogoversary to Stella! Stella is one of my most favorite bloggers, and I’m so excited to have the opportunity to share in her blog birthday celebration with you!

Sometimes, it’s hard to decide what pieces of writing should go public and which ones should be kept private. I have a lot of “shoebox books” and stories that will never see the light of day. They’ll stay home, underfoot, and never fly out of the nest. And for very good reasons! Deciding to submit and expose writing to the world can sometimes be a scary thing. But, over time, I’ve learned what kinds of things feel safe for me to put out there and which should lovingly be kept in shoeboxes under the bed.

A piece of writing is sometimes a learning tool. I’ve got a few manuscripts lying about that were really training grounds. The first novel I wrote is like that. I was figuring out how to put together the pieces of the book and how to control language. It completely got away from me and became incredibly long and tangled. But I learned a lot from that experience about basics like making chapter breaks and working with viewpoint.

Occasionally, something I create is too personal to put out there. I find that I’m in danger of this when I’m using writing to work through an issue or when the heroine is too much like me. She becomes my avatar to work through problems and ideas, and it becomes more of an internally-driven work than an externally-focused one. Journals also fall into this category for me. These are things for me alone.

And that always brings me to an important question in deciding to share writing: Is this work that will speak to a broader audience? Sometimes, what I’ve made has value to me, but isn’t going to translate well to others, no matter how much revising I do.

Source: Magnus Manske
Other times, a piece just doesn’t gel. I have ideas and characters I want to work with, and then the theme doesn’t come together. Sometimes the material or genre I’m working with just aren’t marketable at the present time. These, I put away and consider for later. It may just be an issue of timing or needing the concept to ripen. Sometimes, those characters and settings can be reused for a new work.

Whatever the reason for a shoebox book, I never regret it. It may become the basis for a new work that I can share with others, or else it has provided me with valuable writing experience. For me, it’s part of growing as a writer, and I love those shoebox books as much as the ones that make it out into the world. They’re the chicks that stick around the nest and keep it warm, even as some of their brothers and sisters make their way out in the world.

Laura Bickle's professional background is in criminal justice and library science. When she's not patrolling the stacks at the public library, she can be found reaming up stories about the monsters under the stairs. She has written several contemporary fantasy nov-els for adults, and THE HALLOWED ONES is her first young adult novel. Laura lives in Ohio with her husband and five mostly-reformed feral cats. For more about Laura, connect with her at

The Hallowed Ones by Laura Bickle

Book #1 in the Hallowed Ones series

Katie is on the verge of her Rumspringa, the time in Amish life when teenagers can get a taste of the real world. But the real world comes to her in this dystopian tale with a philosophical bent. Rumors of massive unrest on the “Outside” abound. Something murderous is out there. Amish elders make a rule: No one goes outside, and no outsiders come in. But when Katie finds a gravely injured young man, she can’t leave him to die. She smuggles him into her family’s barn—at what cost to her community? The suspense of this vividly told, truly horrific thriller will keep the pages turning.

Buy at Amazon - Kindle - Book Depository


Laura has very generously offered a copy of The Hallowed Ones to a lucky commenter!

To be entered just fill out the Rafflecopter form below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway is open worldwide and ends on 5 April 2013!

Good luck!

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