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Prequels…Why I Wrote One

October 19, 2018– When I wrote Obsessed with Her, I knew exactly how it was going to end, and I also knew that there was going to be a prequel. A prequel yes, a sequel no. Lacey, what the hell are you talking about? Ok, let me back up for a second.

A prequel, as you know, is a story that precedes that of a previous work. It’s a story that comes before a story, but it doesn’t need to be written or released before the original. Does this make sense? Whereas, a sequel is something that comes after the original work and is only published after the first book or movie comes out.

When I wrote Obsessed with Her, I deliberately left out a bunch of information. Not so much that the reader would have a bunch of loose ends and questions floating around, and not so much that the book would be unfinished, but enough that there would be room for a prequel. I decided on this method because it was imperative that I told the story in this way. I began with the end in mind and chose to tell it in such a way because it matters to the plot and the development of characters. That being said, the prequel to Obsessed with Her is a story in its own right, it doesn’t just fill in the gaps. The prequel allows readers to pick up either book in whatever order and have a full, edge of their seat story that can stand alone…the prequel just makes it that much better.

Prequels, when done correctly, do the following things: 

  1. They preserve the original material. Both stories should fit smoothly together.
  2. They resolve unanswered questions. A character’s backstory can allow questions to be answered as to why they are who they are and why they act in such a way now.
  3. They tell us something that we don’t already know. Prequels shake up the way the readers view the original characters.

I hope that you’ll take the time to read both books, Obsessed with Her and Becoming James Cass (coming winter 2020). And I hope that you’ll consider writing a prequel to your book.

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What Do You Have To Say? Why Morals Matter

August 15, 2018– We’ve all been in awkward situations when we meet someone or where we’re at an event and the person who corners us, has nothing to say. What do we talk about? Where can I escape to? Where the heck is my husband to rescue me? Usually, talking to people is easy for me because I like to keep informed about a little bit of everything that’s going on in the world, however, there are times where I find myself with nothing to say because the conversation has run its course or perhaps the other person and I have nothing in common.

Guess what? The same holds true for everyone who reads your novels. It happens. There are novels out there with nothing to say, and fiction readers have high expectations of being engaged on a deeper level when they pick up a book.

Here are some interesting facts that you should know before you write your first or next novel.

  1. All stories have underlying morals. If they didn’t then no one would bother to read them. Morals are the glue that holds us together. For example, in my novel, Obsessed with Her, there are a TON of morals. Some of the questions that the reader must ask themselves while reading my book are pretty dark. What would they do if their child was missing? How far would they go to find out what happened to her? Would they do the same thing if they were in the main character’s shoes? Every novel must possess some kind of moral fork in the road; if it doesn’t, your reader will be disappointed, snap your book closed, and hurl it across the room.
  2. Readers seek out stories that are on par with their own beliefs. For example, romance readers are largely female, mystery/thriller readers are somewhat conservative with a longing for justice, and techno-thriller readers are most often military personnel. Every reader believes in something, and it’s our job as writers to make them question their beliefs…which leads me to my next point; the number of fiction readers who deliberately seek to have their morals changed are slim to none. This does not mean that they don’t want to be stretched or see the world in a different light, they do! They just don’t want their own beliefs and morals converted.
  3. Readers are not looking for what is comfortable, familiar, or politically pleasing. Fiction is most interesting and unputdownable when points of view and beliefs are different, engrossing, compelling, and detailed. Take your reader to the edge of what they believe, and you’ll make a long-term connection. Plus, they’ll love your book, hopefully, and become a life-long reader of your work.

The moral of this post? Have a moral in your story. Make it interesting. Push the limits.

Happy writing, X LLB

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How To…

July 25, 2018- Today, I’ll be giving you three things that you MUST DO if you want to create an unputdownable book. Yep, that’s right, Un Put Down Able is a real word that is in the dictionary. Who knew?

So, you want to create a novel that readers tell you that they just couldn’t stop reading?
Here’s what you need to do to ensure that this happens:

  1. Start where the action is. You’ve got to get your reader hooked right out of the gate. If your intro is boring, what does that say about the rest of your book? I know that some people will say that it’s crazy to judge a book by the first page, but I’m here to tell you that people do. Start with action, and you’ll hook your reader for sure.
  2. Create compelling problems for your characters. I’ve said this time and again, your reader MUST be invested in your characters, they must care about them, and be interested in seeing them solve the problems that you, the author, has presented them with. The conflict that you set up must be high stakes. It can be as simple as something like having two love interests and trying to decide between the two, or it can be something as complex as trying to save the world from an alien attack. Also be sure to layer the character’s problems for even more fun!
  3. Pick up the pace. Literally. Shorten the end chapters, pick up the speed at which your reader reaches the end of your book. Make the last few chapters breakneck and be sure to tie up everything with a bow.

If you follow these three tiny tips, I promise that you will create something that is unputdownable for your readers! Happy Writing!

X LLB

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My own novel, Obsessed with Her, where the last few chapters were shortened to a page or two. 
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Please Forgive Me If You End Up In My Novel…

July 4, 2018- First, let me say Happy Fourth of July to all of my American friends; I hope that you’re enjoying lots of celebrations!

We all spend a lot of time in public. Writers do too even though there is a common misconception that we never leave the confines of the same four walls because we are chained to our desks writing the next great Canadian/American novel. I think the difference is that authors listen carefully when they’re around other people. We have to because that’s where ideas come from.

I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve used a real-life conversation that I’ve overheard somewhere in one of my books. Whether it’s in line waiting for coffee, in line at the bank, or hanging out at the airport, there is always a massive amount of inspiration that is ready to be harvested. A particular conversation in my psychological thriller, Obsessed with Her, is a real-life conversation that I overheard in Starbucks one day while I was writing. That’s why it’s so imperative to always be prepared and carry some kind of writing utensil with you and something to write on because you never know when inspiration will strike like lightning! Worst case scenario you can whip out your cell phone and jot down some notes to implement into your writing later.

People often ask me if I write about real people in my novels. The answer is complicated and a sort of yes, but no. I take inspiration from people who I interact with, but the whole character is not based on them. Individual characteristics, oddities, and quirks often make it into the book, and if the person is unusual in the way that they speak, stand, or look, it’s definitely making it into my writing.

So, for every person who asks if I’m writing about them, I am.

This mug to put in front of your laptop at any given time: | 18 Perfect Products Every Writer Will Want Immediately

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So, You Want to Kill a Character? Let Me Help;)

June 18, 2018– This complete guide to knife blades is totally awesome and useful when it comes to killing people. Let me be clear because I know the FBI or whatever we have in Canada is reading my posts… and I’m on a list somewhere after writing Obsessed with Her. What I mean is, this is a cool guide for killing off your character in your novel should you choose to do so by way of stabbing. Or cutting up into bits. Or dismembering. Sigh, I love the smell of murder in the morning! This guide will lend to your credibility as a writer and nothing is better or more important than getting your facts straight. Check out the guide below!

Guide to knife blades

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May Schedule

May 1, 2018- Alright friends, here is the May schedule of book signings and upcoming events! I hope to see you out and about because I love meeting old and new friends!

May 3, 2018– I have the privilege of speaking to a fantastic group of women about the Business of Writing and Memoirs at the Westover Women’s Institute. I can’t wait to share some ideas and chat with some fabulous ladies!

May 4, 2018– I will be the guest author at a school in Hamilton where I will be sharing all of our picture book titles, Panda the Very Bad Cat, Phillip Star, and Deer Diary with the students. These visits are as much fun for me as they hopefully are for the students.

May 12, 2018– Author L.L. Colling will be signing copies of her newest thriller, Obsessed with Her at Indigo Erin Mills from 12:00-3:00; Stop by to say hello and get your copy signed!

May 19, 2018– Obsessed with Her book signing event. Meet the author, L.L. Colling at Indigo Burlington from 12:00-3:00!

May 26, 2018-L.L. Colling continues her tour of Obsessed with Her and will be stopping by Coles in Welland. You’ll be able to get your very own copy signed and chat with the author.

More events to come! Stay tuned for updates.

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20 Days of Giveaways is in Full Force!

January 2, 2018- I’m happy to say that my brand new thriller, Obsessed with Her will be hitting store shelves on Saturday, January 20th from 1-4 pm at my official book signing. The event will take place at Indigo Stone Church in Hamilton where I will be signing copies of my newest thriller. To mark the occasion, I’ve decided to run a fun little contest called The 20 Days of Giveaways! Each day from January 1st to 20th, I’ll be giving away a gift card that coincides with what is happening in each chapter. So far, an Air Canada gift card has been awarded on day 1 and we are well into day 2 with the prize being a Starbucks gift card! Follow me on Facebook to find out how to win! I hope to see you at my book launch and Happy New Year to all of my readers, family, and friends.

X LLB

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Obsessed with Her (It’s FINALLY Here!)

December 27, 2017- Obsessed with Her is finally here. Get it on Amazon now, or in stores on January 20, 2018. What would you do if your child was missing? How far would you go to find out what happened to her? Obsessed with her is every parent’s worst nightmare.

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Are You on the List? Pre-order Now!

November 29, 2017- Hello friends! I just wanted to say that the support for my upcoming thriller, Obsessed with Her has been amazing. Thank you to everyone who has sent me messages asking about how to get a copy, here’s the rundown. I’ve decided to do a very special first edition of 100 copies, if you’d like your name on the pre-order list to receive the first edition, please send me a message via email (lacey_bakker@yahoo.ca) or Facebook messenger and I will ensure that you get a copy! Spots are filling up fast, and I’m so grateful to each and every one of you that have joined me on this journey. Thank you for all of your kindness and love.

XO LLB

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