Or Not To Be

How cruel for relationship problems to tag along to the dead side

In a universe where time and space are limitless, where each person has one deathday per year, and where the deathday is a two-way portal, Anna finds herself suddenly on the dead side, facing the choice between death and life.

Before I attended my first writing conference a year ago, I took all of the advice. ALL of it.

I brought chapters. Nobody asked for them. Poor dead tree.

I brought my synopsis. Nobody asked for it.

I wrote and polished and memorized and practiced an elevator pitch. I’m kind of literal: I expected some rowdy elevator rides. The agents would not even make eye contact in the elevators. The writers were busting to spew their pitches. All were awkward–even more than on a regular elevator ride.

I wrote a tag line. Well. That was the hardest. There it is at the top of this page. I didn’t need it at the conference but writing it made me distill my book to its essence.

I brought my query letter and paid some dollars for 10-minute sessions with agents I didn’t care for because the good ones were full. That turned out to be the fun part–pitching to agents with my query letter. Talking to someone new about my book. Fun times. Real-time rejection from agents I wouldn’t have signed with–just for the sake of practicing talking about my book. Up close and personal rejection. Money well spent. (Literal meets sarcastic–kinda quirky, huh?)

The point is this: I made contacts at that conference that led to signing with an agent, which led to a ten-month editing marathon which turned my story into something new called a novel.

And here I sit. Dissecting each word. Tweaking every sentence. Blowing dust off of whole pages. Shining up my people and their funny sad story to share.

It’s coming on 11/11 which just happens to be Anna’s deathday. That’s not a spoiler. If I told you what happened after she died? Now that would be a spoiler. Hold on. Or Not To Be will be in your hands in 2014.



3 thoughts on “Or Not To Be

  1. Laura, I finished “Or Not to Be” back in early March and neglected to follow up with you. I got so wrapped up in the characters and their story I didn’t want it to end. The thought of the “other side” and moving through limitless space and time was a difficult concept initially but as the story evolved I felt anxious for Eddie and Anna and wanted the issues between them to be resolved. Of course I also needed to know exactly what happened to Anna the day she died and was surprised at the actual events that took place.

    1. Hi Stephanae,
      Thank you for reading my book, following the characters from my heart to the end, and letting me know you made it through!
      I got so wrapped up in my characters while I was writing this story that it was hard for me to let them go, to stop revising and just share their story. I truly appreciate readers like you.

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