27 posts tagged parallel
Honored that #Parallel was featured as part of “Curtis Brown Discovery Day” at the wonderful @Foyles bookshops in the UK!
Want a signed copy of #Parallel? There are 5 at B&N at Hamilton Place Mall in Chattanooga, TN! (at Barnes and Noble)
Call me a rockstar and I’ll answer whatever questions you want! Check out my interview on A Book Obsession.
#parallel is out in the UK! And it’s a *favourite*!!
Novel starts in Atlanta, ends in L.A. - Like writer’s life
BY CHRISTOPHER QUINN
Lauren McBrayer Miller’s suppressed dream of becoming a writer was reanimated as she sat, at a remarkably young age, in a spot many would consider a dream job.
About three years ago, the 1998 Roswell High School graduate gazed from a glass tower where she worked as an entertainment attorney for a 600-member international law firm in Los Angeles, and she wondered how she had gotten there.
She was sure, she said, her life was on track. She had found true love and married her soul-mate, but was struck by being in that seat — far from where she had imagined herself when younger, as a writer.
“I was sitting and marveling,” she said. “Is this what my life was fated to become?”
That epiphany helped birth her first novel, “Parallel,” out two weeks ago from HarperTeen, an imprint of HarperCollins.
It tells the story of a young Atlanta woman who wanted to be a journalist, who meets her true love and is off to smoggy Los Angeles when two parallel realities collide. The heroine moves back and forth between lives in the two worlds, trying to control her fate and win her love.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution tracked Miller down for a few questions about the writing life and her new novel.
Q: So was it your goal when you were young to be writer?
A: Exactly. But I didn’t know how to make a career of it…In college, I thought I was going to go into journalism. [But her confidence waned at Yale University, and after an unsatisfying internship with Entertainment Weekly, Miller decided to go to law school.]
What are you going to do? Law school seemed like a respectable choice. And I thought if I were an entertainment lawyer, maybe it was a way to get into entertainment writing.
Q: How did you move into writing?
A: [She had worked on several film scripts] Then my husband and I got pregnant. And I panicked that I wasn’t going to be able to make the transition [to writer]. That is when I decided to turn my first script into a novel…in 100 days during maternity leave. That was the naivete of not having had kids, but I started working the day I got home from the hospital. My daughter and my laptop were my constant companions.…and because I had written a blog [about her life and novel], an agent contacted me.
Q: Was that your strategy, to write about your experience writing a novel and get noticed that way?
A: It was. I heard publishers liked authors who already had a platform and a voice. And you could have something to show them. But I didn’t think a blog would get me an agent.
Q: Would you recommend that to others who want to be writers?
A: I would absolutely recommend the way I did it. One, it was a way to get the draft done [she set public deadlines on her blog, which forced her to live up to them] Publishers want to see a whole book, not an idea. And two, the blog was fantastic for my craft. It’s a great way to vet something, to do some writing and see if you have a voice. It’s a way to activate your voice.
Q: So you’ve got another novel written already. What is it about?
A: [She does not want to give too much away] It’s about the power of technology over our lives.
Parallel, Lauren Miller, 419 pages, $17.99
What they said:
Why we’re buzzing about it: This is author Lauren Miller’s first book and it’s as drama-packed as your fave TV show. And no wonder—Lauren is a T.V. writer and entertainment lawyer in Los Angeles! The way Parallel is written in alternating chapters between the two realities makes it crazy addictive!
With Parallel on the shelves and Book 2 into my editor, I’ve started working on my idea for Book 3, a third standalone YA that feels contemporary but has slight sci fi elements. I’ve got the basic concept down, but I haven’t named my three main characters yet. So I was thinking, why not let one of you do it?
Here’s how it’ll work: Tweet me a pic of Parallel on the shelf in your local bookstore and you’re automatically entered to win (double entries if you post it on Instagram, too). If your bookstore hasn’t stocked the book, you’ll get TWO entries if you order it into the store (again, double entries for Instagram, which brings you to FOUR!)You don’t have to buy it — just order a copy at the counter and tweet me some sort of photographic proof (like a pic of the computer at the counter, or the employee who ordered it, or you standing in the store). Easy, right?
You’ll be entered to win for every bookstore you visit, with double entries for the stores that don’t have it on the shelf (assuming you remedy that problem, of course). Just make sure to include your pic and the name of the bookstore in your tweet. Oh, and don’t forget to include the hashtag #bookstoreblitz and my handle, @lmillerwrites.
Here’s an example:
#parallel on the shelf at B&N in Marina Del Rey! #bookstoreblitz @Lmillerwrites
I’ll pick the winner on May 30th, and he or she will get to name a main character in Book 3! Name it after yourself or someone else. Up to you!
Good luck. Can’t wait to see your pics.
USA Today contributor Jessie Potts recommends novels by Jax Garren, Lauren Miller and Rachel Hawkins on USA Today’s Happily Ever After book blog!
My sister-in-law, spotted with #Parallel in the wild!
It felt a little like my wedding day. There were logistics to think about, a fluctuating guest list, fears about how the hors d’oeuvres would taste, and a dress I was suddenly not sure about. My family was in town, and they kept asking me how I was feeling and whether I was excited.
Be in the moment, I kept reminding myself. Enjoy this. You only have a book party for your debut novel once. Still, it was hard, mostly because there were so many details to think about. Would the high school jazz trio have room to set up on the stage? Should we ice the drinks or just serve them cold? Where should I sign books? What should I say to the crowd?
Would there even be a crowd?
There was a crowd. It’s hard to know how many we had since The Last Bookstore has two floors and people were rarely in the same place at the same time, but we sold out of books and after two hours the caterers were out of food. It was what I’d been hoping for, a successful party, but when all was said and done, it wasn’t the size of the crowd that made the night for me. It was two guests in particular who showed up.
The first was Stacee, aka @book_junkee, who drove up from San Diego just to meet me and have her books signed. Stacee wrote a review of the event which you can read on her blog, Adventures of a Book Junkie. When I first got to the bookstore, around 6pm, the guy behind the counter told me I had some “fans” who’d already arrived. I assumed this meant my best girl friends, who I’d cajoled into coming early so the place wouldn’t be empty when the party started. But a few minutes before 7pm, I looked over and saw a girl I didn’t recognize but somehow knew was Stacee, since I’d seen on Twitter that she was coming. I figured she lived in LA and was coming for the food and music and books. But no. She lived in San Diego and she couldn’t stay for the food or music — she just came for one book, mine. She’d already read it and loved it and just wanted a signed copy.
When she said this, I just sort of stared at her, overwhelmed that she’d come all that way and that I didn’t have anything to give her, other than my lame signature and some bookmarks. I literally looked around the area where we were standing, trying to find something to offer her, because certainly she couldn’t be satisfied with what she had. Even my inscription in her book felt inadequate. #notetomyparallelself: bring something super cool and meaningful to your book party to give to Stacee.
It may sound cliche or precious, but meeting Stacee was the first of two highlights of my evening. Not because she came the farthest (though that was touching), but because she came solely because she loved my story. She didn’t owe me anything. There wasn’t an iota of obligation in her decision to drive all that way. She simply showed up to have a book she loved signed by the its author, and that made the entire event worthwhile.
The second highlight of my evening happened about 15 minutes later, when someone tapped me on the shoulder. I turned around, expecting my sister or one of my girl friends, but it was a face I hadn’t seen since my wedding (okay, there was that one time we pulled up next to each other at a stop light, but that’s a whole other story). Anyway, this face. It belonged to my best college guy friend, the one whose room I retreated to on a near daily basis freshman year to sob over my high school boyfriend who stunk at long distance relationships. This friend will always be dear to me, but had you told me we would never see each other again, I wouldn’t have been surprised. Our lives veered apart a long time ago. But there he was. At my book party. Unlike Stacee, he didn’t come for the book. He came only for me. I kept hugging him, unable to get over the fact that he was there. He was gone by the time I was finished signing books, so I didn’t even get the chance to say goodbye or to thank him for making my night.
The rest of the crowd were people I was less surprised but no less grateful to see. My immediate family and a cousin who drove out from Mojave. The couples in my small group. Former co-workers. Law school pals. Friends from church. The people who’ve been with me on this journey from the beginning, before any of us knew if I had it in me to write a book. Thank you, friends, for celebrating with me. Looking out at their faces, I felt again how blessed I am to have them in my life.
So after all that waiting, the party is over, and tomorrow is the big day. Parallel will hit shelves, and I’ll have to let go of my story once and for all. It’s scary and exhilarating and altogether awesome. It’s a moment worthy of a kick-butt party.
Exactly what I had.