Archive for the ‘My Books’ Category

May Give-Away

May 7, 2013

The winner of the April Give-Away was Kyley of Indianapolis, IN. The May Give-Away will be a hardcover copy of my new book Under the Light (which comes out on May14th and is the companion novel to A Certain Slant of Light.) If you’d like to join the drawing please send me your name and physical address via the “Email Laura Whitcomb” link on my website. If you already entered any of the drawings to win an advanced reader copy of the new book, no need to enter again. Good luck all!

bk pic

And if you are in the Portland, Oregon area on Thursday, May 16, please come to my signing/reading at Powell’s Book Store in the Cedar Hills shopping center. 7:00 in the evening. Chelsea Pitcher, author of The S Word, will also be reading/signing. Do come if you can!


April Give-Away

April 4, 2013

The winner of the March Give-Away is Ashley of Green Cove Springs, Florida. The April Give-Away will be another advanced reader copy of Under the Light (the companion to A Certain Slant of Light.) Enter by sending me your name and physical address via the “Email Laura Whitcomb” link on my website.

UtL comes out on May 14. Here is another teaser:

UtL ARC cover

I felt drawn to move in a specific direction as if I was in the blackness of outer space and there was only one star to follow. I flew slowly at first, east, between buildings, then over railroad cross bars and along farm fences. I became more confident and started gaining speed, even though I still had no idea what I was looking for.

It’s heading straight for you, I heard some voice inside me whisper.

Instead of scaring me, this only made me want to get there faster. The world rolled forward, the horizon in front of me curling like the crown of an ocean wave. And then, in a rush of magnetic energy, I was swung around and stopped, hovering in midair. Whatever was coming at me had passed by me, or possibly through me. I set my feet down in the grass of an open field where the horizon in every direction was flat. Not a hill or tree to give it shape or size. I had no idea how many miles I’d flown or what state I was in. The heavens came smack down to the earth all around and I could see the faint curve of the planet in the distance.

But the field wasn’t completely empty. About a hundred yards away, I saw a boy levitating three feet off the ground. He came to rest with his sneakers in the grass and walked in my direction as if he’d forgotten he could just fly to me.

Movie news!

July 17, 2011

I’m thrilled to announce that Summit (the producers of the Twilight movies) is optioning A CERTAIN SLANT OF LIGHT and the script that Kristin Hahn wrote for it. It’s so exciting. I’ll keep you updated!

News Flashes!

December 2, 2010

The German Book Awards — SILBERLICHT (the German translation of A  CERTAIN SLANT OF LIGHT) is on the shortlist for the German Book Awards. If you’d like to vote, go to:

and thank you for your support!

Give-Aways — The winner of the November Give-Away was Misha of Uttar Pradesh, India. I’ll send out that copy of YOUR FIRST NOVEL next week. The December Give-Away will be a signed copy of NOVEL SHORTCUTS, my second writing book. If you’d like to enter, send me your name and physical address using the “Email Laura Whitcomb” link on my website at: and let me know if you do NOT want to be on my snailmail list for periodic goodies like bookmarks and postcards.

Writing Tips — Congratulations to everyone who participated in Nanowrimo (the National Novel Writing Month) — I hope you all got even more words under your belts than you expected. And I hope you loved what you wrote. Starting in the February issue of the Willamette Writers Newsletter, I’ll have a monthly column. To join WW and get the newsletter, visit their site at: Also in 2011 I will post writing tip blogs twice a month. Look for them around the 7th and 23rd of every month.

Glimpses of THE FETCH

October 26, 2010


In honor of the softcover of THE FETCH this month, here are a few excerpts with some Fetch-ish images.

(from Chapter One) Calder was a Fetch, a death escort, and had been since his own death at the age of nineteen. He had been a Fetch for 330 years, and so had seen many women in the Death Scenes to which he had been sent. He’d watched women drowning, one with seaweed twisting her gown into a mermaid tail, another in a pond surrounded by lilies that glowed like funeral offerings about her floating hair.

He’d seen women lost and broken in ivy-choked woods and in open fields where they lay fallen in the snow, half covered like gravestones. Some died safe in their downy beds, some forgotten in alleys.

He had also seen many women who tended to the dying – this one washing her sister’s face with lilac water, that one praying and weeping with her father. Some had been nursing soldiers, others dreaming beside husbands they did not realize had ceased breathing.

For the last 330 years Calder had seen thousands upon thousands of mortal women, so he did not understand why, on this day, the sight of this particular woman afflicted him.

(from Chapter Two) . . . for a Fetch, Calder was young. The Order of the Fetch, on the other hand, was old–it began when the ruins of the first garden could still be found hiding in the desert beside a river, a blanket of green vines having grown over her like a shroud, and, in this moist cave that was once Eden, at the heart of her darkness, the Tree of Knowledge bowed to the earth.

Abel, the second son of Eve, the first to die in Eden, became the first Fetch–he was there, in a rocky field east of the garden, standing over the body of his father as Adam took his last breath.

(from Chapters Fifteen & Sixteen ) Calder saw and heard the men at the same moment. The crunch of leaves and twigs under foot. The glint of one man’s damp forehead, the flash of the shovel blade. There were two of them, only a dozen paces down the slope. Calder spun around and threw his arms around Ana and Alexis, held them to his chest and kept his back to the men. Both brother and sister were perfectly silent. He stood as their shield and they trembled together under his chin.

He held his breath and could feel Ana and Alexis do the same as they listened to the soldiers tromping through the leaves below them. One coughed and wheezed as he marched; the other sighed as he swatted at bushes with the shovel.

“Maybe dogs had them,” said one.

“Dogs? You’re an idiot.”

“Wolves, then.”

And now higher up on the slope, above their hiding place, more footsteps and the swishing of branches and ruffling of shrubs. It seemed they were surrounded by searchers. Calder willed the men to overlook them. Ana hid her face against his shoulder. Calder tried to imagine a wall around the place they stood, making the three of them as invisible to the guards as he used to be before he’d borrowed a body. He imagined the men seeing the white of his tunic and their skin, and the black of his hair and the coat that Ana wore, as the dark and light of a gnarled and mottled tree trunk. The three were so still, they were rooted to the ground as steadfastly as any larch or fir beside them.

YFN also Kindled up!

June 7, 2010

P.s. to the last blog entry. YOUR FIRST NOVEL is also available on Kindle. (Guess I should do my homework.)   =)

SLANT goes Kindle

June 4, 2010

A CERTAIN SLANT OF LIGHT is now available on Kindle.

I don’t have a Kindle myself (it’s too sad to think of giving up the feel of a real book in my hands) but maybe someday. My sis thinks it would be great for traveling and research materials. True! To purchase SLANT on Kindle follow the links here (to the right) to SLANT and then Amazon.

Good news . . .

January 31, 2010


I turned in my novel! Yes, UNDER THE LIGHT is now in the hands of my beloved editor at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Kate O’Sullivan. Stay tuned for a teaser in the near future. Ah, it’s nice to have a short rest.

Other good news? The movie option for A CERTAIN SLANT OF LIGHT has re-sold to Kristin Hahn (producer of THE DEPARTED!) I’m delighted!

More news soon . . .

Under the Light, rough

January 12, 2010

Well, I finished a rough draft of UNDER THE LIGHT.

Now I’m going through, chapter by chapter, and in addition to revising for the big stuff (answering questions like, “Do I love this part? Does this feel right?”) I’m also checking for the following things as I read and rewrite:

Is the voice right? Jenny (my first person narrator) needs to sound like herself.

Am I aiming at the crosshairs of the chapter? (See my blog post from 10/30/09 to learn more about crosshairs.)

Are there any transitions between scenes that I need to fill in? (Sometimes, to help my writing speed along faster, I skip the transitions and mark the spots so I can go back later and write them in.)

Are there “inserts” I need to include? (Sometimes I get good ideas while I’m running errands or watching a DVD and I write down the tidbits on scraps of paper and then insert them later.)

Is the cliffhanger at the end of the chapter good enough?

Are there questions I need to answer? (Sometimes I can’t remember a detail so I type in a question mark for a minor character’s name from a previous scene or what day of the week it is. Now’s the time to get those things right.)

Fitch x 2? Okay, this one’s harder to explain. It means . . . like Janet Fitch (author of WHITE OLEANDER) do I say something fresh and fascinating at least twice per page?

Does this chapter support the novel as a Stand Alone? Meaning, if someone had not read A CERTAIN SLANT OF LIGHT, would they still be able to follow what’s going on in this chapter in a significant way?

Am I giving SLANT fans what they crave?

Am I being true to the main characters’ emotional arcs?

Are my pay-offs set up right or do my set-ups have satisfying pay-offs?

Are the settings described vividly and are they interesting enough?

Can I make the bad stuff worse? (See my blog post of 11/26/09 on how this heightens tension.)

Yesterday I got through chapter one. By this time next week I want to have rewritten the whole manuscript. I’ll keep you posted.

By the way, best of all great good wishes to those who started novels in November (for National Novel Writing Month) and who are now finishing those manuscripts. As my dad used to say, “You’re doing a terrific job!”

A work in progress, part two

September 2, 2009

I have been working on my newest project UNDER THE LIGHT (a sequel to A CERTAIN SLANT OF LIGHT) and I’ve been finding the process fascinating, like remembering a forgotten dream or finding that deja vu is actually not a trick of the mind. Hard to describe. As I discover who Jenny and Billy are, and the emotions that rock their relationship, as I lead them down the path of discovery toward the possibility that ghosts inhabited them, I get more and more excited about scenes later in the story. (I’m only on chapter six at the moment.)

Thought you'd like to see the Italian cover of SLANT.

Thought you'd like to see the Italian cover of SLANT.

A fan gal emailed me three years ago or so and told me never to write a sequel to SLANT because it would never be as good. I agreed with her at the time. But eventually Jenny and Billy’s story started to materialize in my imagination and had overpowering appeal. Maybe UTL won’t be as good as ACSOL, but I’d like to prove us wrong by making it equally good. We shall see!