Alternate Perspective: Zay in Chapter 1.

Alternate Perspective: Zay in Chapter 1.

SPOILER ALERT: DO NOT READ THIS IF YOU HAVEN’T FINISHED TEMPUS (Official Disclaimer: This text was not sent through a professional editor, so I can promise you there are some typos … somewhere … somehow.) Tempus Zay’s Perspective Chapter One … Continue reading

How to publish a book.

Want to know how to get published?

Now that my first published novel is out and about (the most terrifying and awesome feeling ever), folks are getting curious.

How long did it take you to write it? (1 year to write, 1 year to edit)

Where did you find the time? (Time isn’t change on the ground that you find, you make time)

Does it come in large print? (Not yet, Grandmother)

But the main question people want to know, and one that I wanted to know before I had this opportunity, is how in the world does a person go about getting a book published.

My Story:

2006:  I wrote a book. It was terrible. I queried it and got rejected.

2008: I wrote a book. It was slightly less terrible. I queried it and got rejected.

2010: I wrote a book. It was bearable. I queried it, got a little interest, but no representation.

2011: I wrote TEMPUS. I queried it, got a little interest, but no representation. Something in me KNEW this book was worth fighting for. So in …

2012: I spent a year re-dreaming TEMPUS. I sent out manuscripts to people I trusted for feedback. I got a critique partner. I edited, cut down, edited, cut down. I hired someone to edit it.

2013: I queried TEMPUS again. This time, Kitty Bullard reached out to me and asked if I’d like her wonderful publishing house, GMTA, to publish TEMPUS. I was in bed. I burst into tears.

2014: TEMPUS was released .

Quick Tips:

-Tailor your queries so you’re sending agents/publishers ONLY what they ask for. Do you fit in with their niche? Do they already represent someone like you? Do your research, and mention these things specifically in your query. I probably queried 25 agents/publishers with TEMPUS, but I knew each of them were looking for something like TEMPUS, and believed I added to their current list needs.

-Join a good database like Writer’s Market to keep yourself up-to-date on trends and current marketplace needs. This is also where you can get connected with agents, publishers, and other writers.

-Read good books to sharpen your usage and mind. I learned a lot from reading books like WARM BODIES (Isaac Marion), The DIVERGENT series (Veronica Roth), and THE MORTAL INSTRUMENT SERIES (Cassandra Clare). These people have already “made it” so to speak, so watching what they do teaches you what publishers want.

 -And, most of all, keep writing, keep writing, keep writing. If I had given up after book one, that would have been it. Rejection is hard. But I made myself a promise: I would not stop writing until someone published my book. I was just crazy enough to believe that I could do it. And, if you’re a writer, my guess is that you’re a little crazy, too. 🙂

If you’ve been published before, I’d love to hear about your journey.

Holly Lauren is the author of TEMPUS, a Young Adult Science-Fiction Romance out now at and Barnes and Noble.

Why I can’t sleep after finishing ALLEGIANT.




I can’t sleep. It’s been 3 days since I finished Veronica Roth’s ALLEGIANT (the final installment in her DIVERGENT series), and I am still wrestling with it.

First I have to say that Four and Tris (Four-Tris, or fortress, when said together–did anyone else catch that?) are some of the best YA characters of our time. They are gritty and real and I can see them.

But I don’t think Roth does them justice in ALLEGIANT.

First let’s talk about Four. He is brave, smart, decisive, and loving. He doesn’t always say or do exactly what Tris wants him to, but that’s REAL. That’s also why I hate the turn he took in ALLEGIANT.

I think the Four who puts himself through his own fear landscape to sharpen himself would never be naive enough to team up with people like Nita behind Tris’s back. He isn’t that weak. The real Four would have rebelled against the label of ‘damaged’ by rising above it–not defining it with his own actions.

And all the lying to Tris again? Ah! It got so old.

Finally, I don’t think the decision to help Nita is consistent with Four’s biology. He tested Abnegation. His first instinct should have been selflessness. Even in his dauntlessness, he was always selfless. (Helping Al, pushing back against Eric’s tyranny, caring for Tris before he fell in love with her.)  I don’t understand the self-serving/selfish metamorphisis he took in ALLEGIANT. It plagues me. It’s inconsistent.

And, yes, I hate the way Tris died. No, I don’t hate that Tris died–but HOW she died? It seemed so anticlimactic. So pointless. Actually, it was selfish. Why not let Caleb redeem himself? Why not let Caleb do this one selfless thing? She had to be the hero? Tris craved an escape from the pain of life. Dying was not a selfless act for her. Living was.

Yes, we cared about the city of Chicago. But not nearly as much as we cared about Tris and Four. It would have been nice to have spent more time seeing what Tris died for. Instead we are left with a melancholy ending, bleak in its brevity, painful to read.

I hate to sound so negative, because I really did love this series. Roth did so many things right. I learned a lot as a writer by reading it. But this ending? It wasn’t an exclamation point at the end of an adventure. It was an ellipses. It left so much to be desired.

What do you guys think?

The Dream Cast of TEMPUS.

TEMPUS’s release date is right around the corner, and in honor of the momentous occasion, I went ahead and “cast” the actors I’d choose if TEMPUS were a movie.

Please Note: I understand the budget for said movie would have to be astronomical beyond belief to afford all the good-lookingness and talent depicted in this reel, but a girl can dream, right?