Archive for the ‘Under the Light’ 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.

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!