My Five-Year-Plan

It starts with one friend. A status update or strategically posed-for picture via Facebook or Instagram. You blink. Suddenly, what has started with one person snowballs into an avalanche. There are hundreds of pictures of engagement rings, wedding dresses, ultrasounds, infant alien babies, the list goes on (though, not always in that order).
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And then there’s you.

You, who can barely commit to what you want for dinner, much less to a single person for the rest of your life–baby or partner otherwise. And, like, wasn’t it just yesterday that you and Suzy-What’s-Her-Face went stag at high school prom together? Now Suzy is married and seven months pregnant and you’re looking around like, “Maybe I’ll buy a goldfish.”
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Meanwhile, every family reunion or event you attend comes with one inevitable question: “So are you seeing anyone?”
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As someone who was born and mostly raised in the South, my future seemed pretty straight-forward: Graduate high school, go to college, get married, have kids, settle down. It was only until recently that I saw a tremendous flaw in what I had previously worked out to be an otherwise foolproof five-year-plan. Now, before I go on, please don’t mistake this as a letter of judgment or a self-important sermon of advice. By all means, everyone is entitled to their own choices. And I respect anyone who can, in full confidence, make those life-changing choices. These are just my own personal thoughts.

Several months ago, I made what many would call an impulsive decision to quit my job and transfer in the middle of my junior year, from a small college in the middle-of-nowhere Texas to a very large, very intimidating university in Alabama. It was one of the scariest decisions I’ve ever made, and also my first major decision as an adult (can we talk about how much being an adult sucks, btw?).
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Last week I finished up my junior year of college at my new school. Since then, I can count at least ten of friends who are my age and have recently gotten engaged and/or announced they have a baby on the way (Congrats to everyone this applies to, by the way!). According to the stereotypical initial five-year-plan, I should be among these masses. I should be in a serious relationship by this point in my life, maybe even be making concrete plans for a traditional white wedding that would inevitably come after my graduation next spring.

In reality, I remain firmly single, the most serious relationship in my life being that of my unnatural love for pizza, and maybe my eleven pound toy poodle (Truthfully, I never really know how she feels about me). And you know what? Though it has taken me a little time to realize it, I’m ok with these things, even–dare I say?–happy with them.
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I look around and I see how happy my friends who are in serious relationships are and I feel happy for them. Because that is certainly not a feat that is easily achieved. And then I look at my life. I’m twenty-one years old, almost finished with college, and…oh yeah, have, not one, but three FREAKING novels that have been published in the last two years! WHO DOES THAT?

And here’s the even crazier thing.

I’m not nearly close to where I want to be in life. I want so, so much more for myself before I finally “settle down.” I want to move to the Big Apple after I graduate and live in a swanky apartment. Eventually, I may even make it to my dream cottage in Oxford. I want to dye my hair purple (though, let’s be honest, I’m not quite that bold). I want dogs–lots of them. I want to travel. Most of all, I want to write. I want to write until my fingers fall off, from the second I wake up in the morning until the very late hours of the evening. And if somewhere along the way, I happen to meet my “soulmate” and fall in love, get married, and all that other jazz, then good for me.

Until then, I want to live my life for me, and for me alone. Call it selfish. I call it a journey of self-discovery (forgive me for the cliche). Because, in all honesty, I feel I owe it to myself to figure out who I am and what I want before I can permanently tie myself to another human being and expect them to be happy with me when I’m not even fully happy with me–yet.

There are a lot of people who would disagree with me here, people who think their lifetime of happiness revolves around another person. But I think we all owe to ourselves to see who we are apart from another person before making any life-changing decisions. So for those of you who are feeling a little behind in life because you’re one of many whose five-year-plan hasn’t quite panned out, I say embrace it. Embrace the chaos. Embrace every beautiful second of never knowing what’s coming next. Because that’s life. I think we owe it to ourselves to use these last years of young adulthood to be a little crazy, to be selfish and impulsive and adventurous. God knows they’ll be over before we know it–or so I’m told. Most of all, I think we owe it to ourselves to be happy.
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Quick Update

Hey, friends and readers!
Quick update with my life: I’ve recently started doing some writing for a tabletop gaming company, because I’m a huge nerd that also needs money to eat.
For anyone interested in my own books, I recommend checking their Facebook page out, and, if you’re feeling supportive, helping them in their kickstarter campaign.
From one creator to another, every little bit helps.
Additionally, be sure to keep an eye out for the short stories I’m writing for them (If you’re interested), though I will, of course, share them as they are posted.
P.S. Don’t worry, I am still hard at work on TLR 4 in the meantime.
Xoxoxoxoxo

https://www.facebook.com/HeroesTears

Tips to Being My Friend: A Guide

Many of those who know me know that I’m not always the easiest person to understand, or even get along with, for that matter. Like anyone, I have my quirks. But in order to help any current and/or potential friends understand me a little better, here’s what I think to be a pretty thorough guide in the process.

1. Expect me to never share my food with you. That’s not to say I won’t share my food with you. Just don’t expect me to. I hate when people assume.

2. While we’re on the subject, I can usually always be bribed with food, most specifically, pizza. If there’s free pizza involved, count on me being there.

3. I don’t function properly before 10 AM and without coffee. Take special note of this one. I don’t care what you could possibly have going on. I’m not waking up early to do it.

4. This is a give-take-relationship. Mostly, the kind where you give me your food and I take it.

5. I only befriend people who are more physically unfit than I am. That way, when the zombie apocalypse comes, I can trip you.

6. FYI, I don’t cook and I’m not gonna learn. Just as I require my theoretical future husband to be able to cook, any friends must be able to do the same. Honestly, I can’t be expected to survive on my own.

7. Netflix marathons are a must. If you’re not capable of sitting on your a$$ for 8+ hours while blankly staring at the TV, I suggest you back out now.

8. Understand, my dog, Lily, is an excellent judge of character. If she doesn’t like you, I certainly expect I won’t like you either. Additionally, any potential friends are required to like, nay, love Lily. She is my ultimate bestie.

9. I hate wearing pants. Consequently, I can’t always be expected to wear them. I frequently walk around the house in nothing but underwear and a t-shirt. I feel it’s only fair to give this disclosure.

10. I am a huge nerd. I have no problem admitting that I’ve seen and/or read LOTR, Harry Potter, and StarWars. For your own good, it’s best if you understand any and all references to these sagas. Otherwise, it will be ugly.

11. You must be willing to look less attractive than me (girls, specifically) in the presence of hot men, for reasons I don’t need to explain. This is possibly the most important rule of all.

12. Again, if you’re a girl, it helps if you wear the same size in clothes as I do. Sometimes, a girl needs a little help outside her own wardrobe.

13. When you are baking (cookies, brownies, cakes, etc.) always plan on giving me first dibs of the mixing bowl and spoon. This is non-negotiable.

14. Two-for-one deal on food? My opinion is necessary.

15. I’m probably always poor. Plan on spending most weekends at home in front of the TV, where I don’t have to spend what little money I have.

16. Accept that it’s very possible your parents (especially your mom) will come to love me more than she loves you. It’s nothing to be ashamed of. I can be very charming.

17. You must be willing to keep any secrets I tell you, even if that secret is that I secretly like T-Swift’s music… What? She’s catchy!

18. Doing laundry? Throw some of my stuff in there with it!

19. I am in complete, irrevocable love with Robert Downey Jr. Not only must you encourage this obsession, but you must also plan for the day when I do finally meet him. On that day, I will need one heck of a wingman/woman. Plan on being up for the job.

20. You are not allowed to have big news or special occasions on the same days that I have big news or a special occasions. Your birthday is on February 23rd too? Change it.

21. A true friend must be willing to kill zombies with me, both in real life and fiction.

22. I love a good horror movie. Unfortunately, they’re not much fun to watch when you’re by yourself. Insert yourself into this situation.

23. I will openly admit that I consider social media creeping as a favorite hobby. If you’re not willing to creep on someone with me via social media, I don’t see this working.

24. I regularly enjoy Gossip Girl marathons. Anyone who doesn’t get as emotionally invested in the fictional lives of Blair and Serena doesn’t belong in my life.

25. Above all, understand that though this must seem like a high list of demands, this friendship with me does go both ways. Naturally, what kind of friend would I be if I didn’t offer the same things to any of my friends that I asked in return? Though I may be highly demanding at times, I would also do anything for my friends. A friendship with me is a lifetime commitment.

A Plea for Mercy: A True Story

Here’s my sob story:

A couple of weeks ago, my *awesome* roommate decided to get rid of our cable without asking for my input first. This happened literally two days before The Walking Dead midseason premiere.
After a very emotional phone call to my mother–I mean, what’s a gal to do when she has no access to her very favorite show?–we determined that I would be able to still watch TWD via an app offered by Dish.(Holla at Mom and Dad for sharing, btw.) Alas! Crisis averted! Right???

Not!

So here I am, trying to watch the one thing that makes my week a little brighter amidst an otherwise dreary life of someone always wanting my money or mundane quibbles with small-minded people, only for it to keep freezing and buffering ever two seconds–when I can even get the thing to actually load.
I don’t know what I’ve done to deserve this.

Maybe it’s karma for all those pieces of gum I took from mom’s purse growing up. Maybe it’s for making a mockery out of dad and calling him a doughboy. Maybe it’s for making fun of my grandma that one time when she mistakenly said “thug down” instead of “turn down.” Or for listening to that one T-Swift song on the radio before secretly buying it on iTunes to enjoy it in private without being judged. Or maybe it’s for all those times I’ve judged someone based on their inability to speak or spell proper English.
Whatever it is I’ve done, I would like to verbally and publicly repent every slightly-wrong-deed I’ve ever committed. I’m sorry. I really, honestly and truly am.

All I want at this point in my life is to watch zombies eat people and Daryl Dixon kill them with his crossbow. Is that too much to ask?

*Hangs head and sobs in anguished despair.*

Ask and Thou Shall Receive

I come bearing exciting news–at least for me.

Recently, it has been brought to my attention that, much to my great humiliation, my first novel The Guardians contains a great deal of typos. For shame.

I just wanted to let all my readers know that your comments have been taken into serious consideration, and after a pitiful email to my wonderful publishers, have received the green light to take a trip to the past and make the necessary corrections to my firstborn child.

Despite the tedious edits and time spent during my first time around, mistakes still managed to slip through the cracks, for which I am truly sorry. After all, I am a writer, and a perfectionist at that, and am just as exasperated by this event as anyone else.

The good news, however, is that I am set on fixing any mistakes I have made. Starting today, I will be pulling out the original post-manuscript and taking the red pen to it (figuratively). I hope to be done with this within the next week or so, and will update everyone as soon as I send it back in to the big guys in charge.

Once again, I would like to apologize to everyone. You guys take time out of your lives to read my writing, and for that, it should be nothing less than perfect.

Thank you to everyone who has brought this to my attention, and to those who continue to show their support to TLR books.

XOXO
K.L.

The Answers To All Your Questions….

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Hey all!

I know it’s been some time since my last post, but I feel I owe it to all my readers to let everyone know what’s going on with me and my books!

Where have you been, K.L.???
For starters, I haven’t posted in forever because I really am pressed for time these days, even as I’m writing this sentence. Recently, I had a very big move (all the way from Texas to Alabama), and am now in the middle of my junior year at Auburn (War Eagle!). So anyway, big move=no time for anything and the same goes for the multiple literature classes I’m now taking, which all involve a lot of reading and even more writing (and not even the fun stuff!). Because of this excessive amount of writing research papers about other pretentious stuff, writing for fun has been (dare I say?) difficult lately. But I promise, I am still writing, if only a little at a time.

A big thanks!!!
Before I continue, I would live to give a humongous thank you to everyone for your kind words–seriously, it means the world to me!–and say that YOU GUYS are the reason I love this job. This has definitely not been the easiest of careers to follow–maddening at times–but y’all make it worth my while.

So what’s up with TLR series???
Ok, so, enough with the sappy crap. Many of you have messaged me over the past several weeks in regards to The Apprentice and the future of TLR series. DO NOT FRET. It’s not over until the fat lady sings! …please take no offense to that, just an expression! Anyway, this is my promise to you guys that I still have plenty to write about Evin’s journey, though whether Emma will or will not return I still cannot confirm. I just wanted to assure everyone that there is a story left to be told, but if my news about Emma only served to make you sadder, then, well, job well done on my part.

So when’s the next book supposed to come out???
Probably the most asked question, as of late. To that I can give no definite answer. As I said, being a full-time student who’s currently on the prowl for a part-time job (unfortunately, writing doesn’t exactly pay the bills ): ) it’s extremely hard to be able to write whenever I want. In short, I very much hope to have the fourth book done by next year, but again, no promises. I can promise, however, to keep everyone updated throughout the journey.

Anything in the works in the meantime???
Ah, yes. The other reason why TLR has been put on the back burner for the time being. Those of you who read my most recent book know how much darker it was in tone compared to its companion books. Of course, that was intentional, as I felt I really needed to give this particular book a little more than what anyone had seen so far. Unfortunately, the darkness of this book did make it mentally harder to write than the other two. There was a lot going on in the 500 something pages, a lot of planning involved! Because of this, I felt I needed to start work on something else, something drastically different, before resuming my work on TLR series. Because I would hate to give anyone anything less than my best! Rest assured, that though I cannot say anything else, there are other things in the works, which I am sure you guys will enjoy just as much as TLR series!

Closing words
In short, I just wanted to let everyone know that I’m not dead–very much alive, in fact–and that yes, I do have loads more books planned. Again, when these so-called books will make an appearance is hard to say. I live a busy, if not boring, life. But they are coming! Again, thank you guys so, so much for your words of loveliness and encouragement! It gives me the drive I need to keep up the hard work! Stay strong, my lovelies!

Much love to all,
K.L. ❤

On “The Apprentice”: Why I Had to Kill a Main Character

So in the last few weeks, I’ve had multiple people contact me with concerns about TLR series. “Will there be another book?” or “When does Book Four come out?”

To the first, I say yes. I do plan on writing seven books featuring the LeFays. Besides, what kind of a person ends an entire series the way I ended “The Apprentice”? I am devious, yes. Cruel, even. But I am certainly not a sadist! Now, that having been established, I cannot give a set date nor time frame for TLR 4. The last couple of months have seen me very hard at work on many different and unrelated projects, one of which in particular has consumed most of my free time. And I promise, it will be just as awesomely action-packed as TLR series!

Now, I do believe a bit of explanation is in order for the way I ended things in my last book! If you feel at all wrong or cheated by the terrible events that have happened in TLR up to date, you have every right to feel that way. However, here I feel I must justify my decision for killing off such a major character.
For those that have yet to finish “The Apprentice,” I suggest you stop reading here.

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Emma is dead. Gone. No longer with us. Zilch. I agree, it’s awful. Poor Tristan. ☹ So why did I do this? Why would I kill off such an important character? Quite simply, my lovelies, because I could. Far be it from my to be a predictable writer. I didn’t want my readers getting too comfortable with the thought that all of my main characters would remain safe, that I couldn’t kill anyone. Not only that, but Emma’s death serves as a vital plot movement, which will be carried out in my next book. It’s interesting to see how death can affect the people closest, and I’m very excited to also explore this idea.

“The Apprentice” was the darkest book of the series to date, but was only the beginning. I’m sorry to those of you who have suffered at the tips of my fingers (little writer humor for you there), but here’s to not promising any happy endings in the future. Thank you to everyone who has read all of TLR books and contacted me, and please bear with me as I continue work on the next book.

-K.L.

Book Signings and Blog Fests!!!

Hey all!

Just wanted to let everyone know that books 1&2 of TLR are currently still on backorder at Hastings Entertainment, which means that unfortunately, it is unlikely they will arrive in time for my signing on Saturday. The good news is that the awesome book managers did manage to snag several copies of The Apprentice, and have it set back until then.
We’ll just have to make due with what we have!

While I’m at the announcements, I thought I should let everyone know that my author friend, Apryl Baker is hosting another blog fest in October. She has been kind enough to give me a spot in the festivities, and It. Is. Going. To. Be. Amazing. Of course, “The Apprentice” will be featured, along with character bios, interviews, etc. So here’s what I need from my readers/friends.

I would really love to make some book trailers, but I’m an author, not a director, so my film skills are limited. Anyone have any recommendations? Head over to http://mycrazzycorner.blogspot.com/ and check out the site for what to expect!

See you all this Saturday at the signing from 4-9!

Pandora’s Box

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Hello all!

By now, I hope that everyone has had the chance to buy my most recent book “The Apprentice” and maybe even finish it. With that in mind, please don’t forget to leave a review for it when you do!

While we’re on the subject of new releases, have y’all heard of Pandora??? Pandora is a box-set of tons of paranormal books, including some works written by a couple of my close author pals, Apryl Baker, Kelly Blount, Delsheree Gladden, as well as bestselling Rebecca Hamilton!

And the best part? It’s only 99 pennies!

Pandora is set to release August 5th, and I don’t know about everyone else, but I personally cannot wait!

Please show these amazing authors some support by clicking the link if you’re interested:
http://www.amazon.com/PANDORA-Rebecca-Hamilton-ebook/dp/B00M04OSAC/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1406571260&sr=8-2&keywords=pandora%27s+box+set

Happy Release Day!

For those of you who don’t yet know, “The Apprentice” has finally released!

Also, there is currently an ongoing chance to win a free ebook copy!

Links for purchase and contest below:

http://www.amazon.com/The-Apprentice-Lost-Realm-Book-ebook/dp/B00M0DSXP4/ref=pd_rhf_se_p_imgnr_1

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/books/1119983455?ean=2940149684823

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/18a7275e117/