Friday, March 20, 2015

Guest: Lori L. MacLaughlin and mini-celebrations

Please welcome guest Lori L. MacLaughlin, author of Lady Thy Name Is Trouble



What Bilbo Baggins and I Have In Common

One of my favorite scenes in the beginning of Tolkien's The Hobbit, is when Gandalf spreads out on Bilbo's table the map of the Lonely Mountain, given to him by Thorin's father, Thrain. Gandalf speaks of the secret passage into the mountain, and Bilbo's curiosity gets the better of him. Though he wants no part of an adventure involving dragons, he loves maps and can't resist having a look.

I, too, love maps — particularly those drawn from imagination. They speak to me of paths unknown, adventures that await if only I'd take that first step. When I draw maps to go with my stories, I can create vast forests or soaring mountains, walled cities with mighty castles or frightening places in the deepest dark. New worlds flow from pencil to paper, ready to be populated by the denizens of my mind.

The story fragments swirling in my head give birth to landforms and waterways that expand into worlds that, in turn, help me visualize the emerging plot. I find that having a map solidifies my story and makes it more real to me, though both map and story are fluid until the final word is written.

In a previous post on my blog, I shared the map I drew for Lady, Thy Name Is Trouble. Now, I'd like to share the map that goes with it for Book 2, Trouble By Any Other Name. I actually drew this map first, but realized the story started way before my characters reached this part of the world.





My kids and I watched an animated movie a while back, where the characters found a topographical map that covered the floor of a room in a lost pyramid they'd discovered. They stepped on the map and fell through into the mysterious world the map represented. I always wished I could do something like that. Imagine the adventures one could have...


Does anyone else out there draw maps to go with the stories you write?



Lady, THY NAME IS TROUBLE

Trouble is Tara Triannon’s middle name. As swords for hire, Tara and her sister Laraina thrive on the danger. But a surprise invasion throws them into chaos... and trouble on a whole new level. Pursued by the Butcher, a terrifying assassin more wolf than man, Tara and Laraina must get a prince marked for death and a young, inept sorceress to safety. There’s only one problem – eluding the Butcher has never been done. Aided by a secretive soldier of fortune, they flee the relentless hunter.

Gifted with magic and cursed by nightmares that are all too real, Tara must stop an army led by a madman and fend off an evil Being caught in a centuries-old trap who seeks to control her magic and escape through her dreams – all while keeping one step ahead of the Butcher.


Available at:




LoriL. MacLaughlin traces her love of fantasy adventure to Tolkien and Terry Brooks, finding The Lord of the Rings and The Sword of Shannara particularly inspirational. She's been writing stories in her head since she was old enough to run wild through the forests on the farm on which she grew up.
She has been many things over the years – tree climber, dairy farmer, clothing salesperson, kids' shoe fitter, retail manager, medical transcriptionist, journalist, private pilot, traveler, wife and mother, Red Sox and New York Giants fan, muscle car enthusiast and NASCAR fan, and a lover of all things Scottish and Irish.
When she's not writing (or working), she can be found curled up somewhere dreaming up more story ideas, taking long walks in the countryside, or spending time with her kids. She lives with her family in northern Vermont.


Mini-Celebrations for Celebrate the Small Things:
1. It's Friday.
2. My daughter's dance performance last weekend was fun!
3. Both of my daughters are racing this weekend - flat-water sprint canoe (oldest) and kayak (youngest). 
4. Guests: Shelley Sly and Lori L. MacLaughlin
5. Maps. :)

39 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

The closest we can get to falling into maps is by reading books and playing D&D.

Tyrean Martinson said...

Very true, although I love the imaginative thought of falling into a map or a picture. :)

lorilmaclaughlin.com said...

Yes, both of which are fun.

lorilmaclaughlin.com said...

Thanks again, Tyrean, for hosting me!!

Tyrean Martinson said...

You're welcome, Lori!

Cherie Reich said...

Congrats, Lori! I love maps. I find they make the world more visual for me as a writer and as a reader.

Marilyn Parel said...

Congrats to you. I'm a map lover with absolutely no sense of direction.

Lexa Cain said...

Lori - I love the idea of falling through a map into another world! I've never made maps for my books, but I made some in my D&D-ing days for the players' adventures. More dungeons than topographical though. lol

Tyrean - It's great to hear your daughter's dance recital was fun! I'm wishing both your daughters huge luck for the race. It sounds exciting! Share some pics of the kayakers next week. :)

lorilmaclaughlin.com said...

Thanks, Cherie! Yes, they do for me, too.

lorilmaclaughlin.com said...

Oh, no, that can make getting places a challenge. Thank you, Marilyn!

lorilmaclaughlin.com said...

I've always thought it would be exciting to find a portal to another world, whether through a map or some other doorway. Dungeon maps are fun, too. :) And mazes. I've made some for my kids before.

Tyrean Martinson said...

Thanks, Lexa! Yes, I'll try to remember to share some pics. I have a video of the dance but I wasn't sure that everyone would want to add another couple of minutes onto their stop.

Emma Adams said...

The idea of falling through a map is such a cool concept!

L.G. Smith said...

I love maps. I studied cartography in college and even minored in geography. Seems maps and fantasy go hand-in-hand. :))

And I LOVE your cover, Lori.

Dixie@dcrelief said...

Lori, I love maps and your ideas make the story soar!

Tyrean - "flat-water sprint canoe (oldest) and kayak (youngest)." That will be fun. My passion was tubing. (smile) Enjoy! Thanks for hosing Lori.

lorilmaclaughlin.com said...

I so agree!

lorilmaclaughlin.com said...

Yes, they do. I can't have one without the other when I'm writing. Studying cartography would be fascinating. Thanks, L.G.!

lorilmaclaughlin.com said...

Thank you, Dixie!

Heather Holden said...

Even though I'm an artist, maps have always stumped me. I don't think I could manage to draw one even if my life depended on it, LOL. How cool that you draw your own for your stories!

betty said...

Tyrean, thanks for visiting my blog (Bench with a View) and your comment. Interesting to read about Chris and her interest in drawing maps for her stories/books. I'm not a writer, but a reader, and I do enjoy looking at maps if they are included as part of a story/book I'm reading :)

betty

suearcher2 said...

I am terrible at drawing - I envy you your talent, Lori! And I love that idea of journeying through a map (as long as it's not a map of arctic regions - then you can forget it! Especially after the winter we've been having.)

Tyrean, nice to meet you! I'm looking forward to exploring your blog.

Tyrean Martinson said...

I enjoy them in books, too, but I keep the ones I draw for my books to myself because they are rather badly drawn . . . so they are just for reference.
Thanks for visiting!

Tyrean Martinson said...

It's nice to meet you, too.

Tyrean Martinson said...

I am impressed by Lori's ability, too. My maps are drawn for reference only . . . no one else gets to see them. :)

Tyrean Martinson said...

Thanks for stopping by, Dixie! Water sports are great!

Tyrean Martinson said...

Wow! I think I would like to study cartography - that sounds like fun. :)

Tyrean Martinson said...

Me, too!

Juneta Key said...

I love the title of this post. Great tour. I am starting on the end and working backwards. My situation and life events this month and the next few months is changing some of my writing habits as life interferes. I have not drawn maps, but reading this makes me want to give it a try. Much Success Lori. Great post Tyrean.
Juneta @ Writer's Gambit

Caryn Caldwell said...

So fun! I LOVE when books have maps inside! There's just something about them that makes my imagination come alive.

lorilmaclaughlin.com said...

Drawing the map is half the fun!

lorilmaclaughlin.com said...

Ha, ha. Thanks, Sue! I am in complete agreement about the arctic regions. I am so done with snow and cold.

lorilmaclaughlin.com said...

Thanks, Juneta! I hope you do give it a try, and I hope things smooth out for you soon!

lorilmaclaughlin.com said...

I agree! I always spend time going over the map before I read the book.

Suzanne Furness said...

What a great idea! I haven't drawn a map for a story before but it might be fun and help picture a fantasy land.

Kate Larkindale said...

I'm not a fan of maps. I have huge difficulty reading them and can never navigate successfully from a map. I think the fact I can't ever remember left and right is part of it… Thank goodness for GPS, right? I prefer verbal directions using landmarks.

lorilmaclaughlin.com said...

I find maps really helpful and am lost without them, literally.

lorilmaclaughlin.com said...

That's funny, I'm just the opposite. I can't use a GPS. I never know where exactly it wants me to turn, and I find it distracting to have a device talking to me. I've always been more of a visual person.

Sandra Cox said...

This sounds like an 'edge of the seat' read.

Sheila said...

I love looking at old maps especially the ones with an X where the treasure is buried.