Monday, August 15, 2016

Monday Musings with Jessica Lauryn

Everyone has a story.  Everyone’s story is different.  This is one of the first things I realized as I became aware of who I was and began to find my place in the world.  It’s also a fascinating phenomenon, THE most fascinating phenomenon, if you ask me, that every breath we take, every motion we make and every word that comes out of our mouths is part of a story—OUR story.  It’s up to us how we view the world and I choose to perceive my life as a story.  It’s so much more fun that way, seeing the ordinary for the extraordinary that it is—I enjoy every minute of it!

Books—our greatest source for stories spelled out on paper—have been a part of my world for as long as I can remember.  When I was a baby, my parents would read books to me every night.  I quickly caught onto the concept.  At age two, I memorized the book Fuzzy Rabbit by Rosemary Billam.  Of course, it wasn’t the same as reading the words but it was the STORY that stuck in my mind. It fascinated me, the simplistic view of the world the book portrayed and though I didn’t yet understand the terms what drew me was that the story had character development, a conflict, resolution and conclusion.  My fascination with this concept grew further when I was six, and watching Days of Our Lives with my Mom.  Soap Opera’s are not exactly the TV show of choice for the average six year old but I was fascinated once again, not only by the drama but with how the characters were all connected to one another within a small world.  Thus my love of series (connected characters, connecting stories) was born!

Two of my favorite series to read growing up were the beloved Ramona books by Beverly Cleary and Francine Pascal’s Sweet Valley High.  Like many young readers, I was drawn to books that entertained me but also to stories that CONNECTED characters and their worlds.  When I was into a character, I wanted to read everything I could about that character and so, as an adolescent, I got my hands on every book about Ramona, Ramona’s sister Beezus and Beezus’s friend, Henry.  When I was a little older, I enjoyed reading about the drama at Sweet Valley High for twin sister’s Jessica and Elizabeth be it with school, their friends and with the boys they were dating.  I was very excited about these young adult romance which introduced me to the concept of fantasy.  Looking back, I see that they served as a precursor to what would later become a major part of my life—the adult romance novel.

I didn’t plan on becoming a novelist.  I’m sure that there are some writers who know their whole lives that they want to be writers but for others it comes to us as more of a surprise.  In spite of my very early fascination with books that is in fact the way that it happened for me.  I graduated college in 2005 which was right around the time that the job market was beginning to change.  Unsure as to exactly what I wanted to do with my life I took an internship after graduation and while I was assisting fashion designer Norma Kamali with her beauty line I was giving a lot of consideration to exactly what it was I wanted to do with my life.  I’d sit out in my backyard for hours in the afternoon and just think—I looked forward to those times of the day when I could be in my own thoughts.  It dawned on me that if I could be doing anything at all it would be something in which my imagination would never have to stop, something which truly had no limits.  I’d taken several writing classes in college and I knew that I loved writing more than anything else.  What I did not know was how in the world I was going to get started with it.

A few of my college peers decided to form a critique group about the same time that I was doing my internship and when asked to join I jumped at the chance.  The class that we’d taken together was creative writing in drama (play writing) and that was what most everyone was there to do.  So I wrote a play (a romance--something very different than what I had been writing in school) but I realized that what I really wanted to be doing was writing something longer, much longer in fact.  Unlike many romance novelists-to-be I was twenty two years old and I’d never actually read a romance novel.  But as I loved romance more than anything else I felt compelled to write one anyway and flying completely by the seat of my pants I wrote a “novel,” a story in which I elaborated on the tale of an old personal crush and I worked our fantasy story toward a happy ending.  Though the book never saw the light of day I had found my path and had decided exactly what I should have always known I wanted to do with my life—write romance novels!

Not being at-all versed in my genre of choice, I had a lot of work to do and I quickly made up for lost time, getting my hands on every romance novel I could find and reading just as many non-fiction books about the craft of writing.  One of those books had a note in which the author stated that while many people envision the exciting and glamorous life of the writer, writers actually spend the majority of their lives alone, in a basement, writing.  I believe the statement was meant to scare people off.  I remember thinking, A whole lifetime of nothing but writing?  Wow, that sounds like so much fun!

Before the critique group dissolved, I wrote a second story which was inspired by the setting of the job I accepted upon completing my internship.  I borrowed ideas from my own life setting many times but it was not until I wrote Dangerous Ally, a story set in a grandiose mansion in Westchester New York which had nothing to do with any of my life experiences when I finally got “the call.”  The call for me was actually an email and I was in work when it came.  I said aloud, “Oh my God, I think someone wants to publish my book!”  The guy sitting next to me said, “No way, that must be spam.”  But alas it was not and in that moment the greatest dream I’d ever had (besides finding my own true love, of course!) had at last come true!

As is the case with all writers, I received many rejections on my path to publication.  Those rejections are a part of the writing journey and when seen in the right light they can strengthen the writing, as well as the author they’re written to.  I’m so grateful for every failure and every success I’ve had so far on my short writing journey and that brings me to the present day, in which I begin PASSION BETWEEN THE PAGES, a blog I hope to grow right along with me, a blog for both readers AND writers.  We all share the same passion, after all!  And books and romance are the greatest passions I know!  

In honor of PASSION BETWEEN THE PAGES' debut launch I'm giving away a kindle copy of my latest release, Dangerous Magic [The Pinnacles of Power]. Click below for a chance to win!  Good luck and happy reading!!!                                                                                      

Dangerous Magic Kindle Edition Giveaway

The most erotic dream of Corinne's life may not have been a dream at all...

★★★★★ "Dangerous Magic has it all--passion, suspense, mystery and mysterious happenings--a unique story line with plenty of action!" ~BookTalk with Eileen 




  1. Great debut! Looking forward to more posts! I also read Sweet Valley High as a kid, and your baby pictures are cute! So glad that you are following your dreams and your heart with the mighty pen!

  2. Thank you, Kelsey! Sweet Valley High was the best. I'm glad you enjoyed the post. Be sure to enter to win a copy of Dangerous Magic. I'll be posting more giveaways in the coming weeks. :)

  3. Good luck on the blog. Very nice first entry!

  4. I'm so glad you enjoyed it, Anna! Thanks for stopping by! :)