Guest Post by Lauryne Wright, Author of the Other Worldly Series

Image courtesy of Unsplash

Do you ever become overwhelmed? By life, by news of the day, by that next scene you’re fixing to draft but fretting over?

That’s how I feel as I plot book five of my Other Worldly series. Like the last three, I was off to a speedy start only to stall after a dozen chapters. Yet I know that spurt will return sooner than later, galvanized by a clickbait headline or outrageous news story compelling me to put pen to paper and craft a few crazy headlines of my own.

I have, after all, set an expeditious pace for myself in publishing four books in two years, though the first, Alienable Rights, took me two and a half years to turn into a reality. Life was highly ridden with personal angst when I first braved a tale of aliens among us, so it’s a wonder that what began as a cathartic endeavor to promote human decency and decry bigotry evolved into a riotous romp of romance and galactic adventure.

Who knew I could write comedic, rapid-fire dialogue? As protagonist Rowan Layne was recouping her own lost sense of humor despite discombobulating alien voices in her ears, I was finding ways to make funny a world gone mad. I wrote book two, Feeling Alienated, in springtime when the COVID pandemic bloomed, spreading doom and death and sometimes all-consuming fear, so the title was quite apropos.

I didn’t write about viral plagues, but instead I channeled stress to create an otherworld of opportunity that couldn’t be embraced in real life.

I swore I’d slow down with book three, Aliens Abound, but I was done drafting by Halloween. Maybe because its pages allowed Rowan Layne to flee Earth and a bad guy president intent on monstrous evil. If only I could have as well. Instead, I began writing book four, Being Alien.

Was it isolation and a world in stop-gap mode that compelled me to compose so abundantly? Perhaps. It also enabled me to travel to fantastical places like the moon and Mars, but also to Scotland, without ever leaving my couch. That could be why high-octane action scenes are my greatest writing challenge.

As I wrote this spring, I experienced Highland castle trysts, dining on fabulous fare, and strolling through ancient stone circles—scenic spots closed to the public at the time but not to me as an author, gallivanting through internet ether to bring titillating tales of identity and intrigue.

If my imagination was wont to wander to that chapter taking place farther than my typing fingers had fathomed, I’d pause to ponder, meander, before dashing willy-nilly, as Rowan would say, into that next adventure.

I’ve pursued research for crucial details in my labyrinth of a journey, to borrow a phrase from Labyrinthians, a species from Mars with intuitive genes and uncanny insight in the series. Because, as Stephen King noted, characters have a way of taking over, and they will inevitably connect plot themes and concoct outrageous outcomes.

Writing, it turns out, is a way to unmask my inner yearnings and assuage angst. It’s said that a novel must sustain tension and conflict in its pacing. But crafting a fantastical world is a way for me, and my characters, including imaginary superheroine Luna Moth Woman, to triumph over life’s all-too-real tribulations.

Periodically, however, I must let my mind rest. Because once in a writing frenzy, I’m liable to undersleep and oversnack—or ignore critter attempts to divert my attention. With plans for more novels, it’s crucial to keep Morris the kitty from chewing my notes and to take my dog, Bodie, for daily walks.

You never know where inspiration might take flight. Those looming clouds could bring rain, unless they’re camouflage for a flying saucer. And that flitting hummingbird is likely an alien.

It was percolating all along, this dream of being a prolific author—a fearless novelist wherein I transform how we view the universe and each other. It’s not a mere fantasy, as long as I write and keep self-paralyzing worry at bay.

And I must remember to savor those moments where I belly laugh at my own words, or rather the voices of colorful characters who brighten my world, and hopefully someone else’s.

Lauryne Wright was once a government lawyer and local newspaper columnist, and now lives in Las Vegas with her dog and cat. Her website, with its Luna Moth Woman blog, promotes her novels and the feminist, sociopolitical issues they address.You can view an interview with Lauryne and the Uglycat Press here.