I know it’s been about a year since I posted that I was taking a year off, so I just wanted to check in.

It has actually been quite lovely, with some interesting consequences. I started getting a full night’s sleep. I didn’t have to stress as much, but I still do. (This might just be a feature of my personality.) I lost 25 pounds. (Not from a diet. It was weird. I think it was due to sleeping properly, less stress, and being able to take more time to make proper meals and not try to sugar-nibble myself through the day instead. You know I am a fan of chocolate, but there’s a difference between a good dessert and chasing a sugar high to keep going, as we all know.)

I am slowly starting to work again, but on Antoine’s book (La Vie en Roses) rather than Elias and the jewel thief’s (Paris Nights), which I had originally intended to be next. It is very hard going still, though–Antoine’s story has SO MUCH STUFF going on at once that I can’t weave it together right. So I may need to try playing with something else for a while–we will see. The other problem is that I don’t want to have to get up at four a.m. anymore! And that was when I always wrote–four to six every morning, before my daughter got up and I shifted to family care and then headed off to campus. So I’m still trying to figure out how to carve out other spaces.

I think I do better fairly removed from social media, though, so I must say that I don’t plan to be very present on it, and I’m sorry. I think I am a hermit writer and might have been better suited to an era when hermit writers were so much a given that it seemed redundant to put those two words together. It’s just very, very distracting to me, and contributes to that feeling I mentioned before, about having my soul covered in Post-It notes. I think more deeply and make better stories when I make a bit bigger of a space for those, and you know how the internet and social media just kind of nag at you all the time, trying to pull your thoughts and attention their way.

I do have some lovely photos from France and Spain to share, for those interested. (It depends on how much you enjoy seeing other people’s travel photos.) So I may try to put some of those up, but please don’t feel the need to be distracted by them, if social media is distracting for you, too!

Here’s me very happy and relaxed in the trunk of a mammoth in Barcelona last month. Barcelona is a very fun city, for those who haven’t been. My recommendation: Rent ebikes or e-scooters to get around and make sure to reserve tickets for Sagrada Familia in advance. It is absolutely worth seeing, the light is incredible, but the crowds are crazy-making even when you do have tickets in advance, so bear it in mind.

I hope you all are winding up wonderful summers and that you have been enjoying many new good authors! I have not been reading romance, but if you are open to some other genres, a few recent books I can heartily recommend: AJ Pearce’s Dear Mrs. Bird (lovely!), Naomi Novik’s Spinning Silver, and T Kingfisher’s Clockwork Boys duology. The last two are fantasies, with a touch of romance, although the touch is quite tiny in Spinning Silver. All have great strong female leads.

What about you? What have you been doing, and reading? Any good books you would recommend? Any lovely photos of you relaxed and happy that you would like to share?

  • June Wade

    Hi Laura
    What a lovely picture you’re looking fab
    It goes to show that you need to take care of yourself.
    Kind regards

    September 7, 2018 at 3:09 pm
  • Emily Yager

    Elias and a JEWEL THIEF??? How did I not know about this?? I can’t wait. But I’m glad you’re taking some time for yourself too!

    September 10, 2018 at 3:46 am
  • Patricia Hansen

    So glad you’re doing well and I can’t wait for your next book. Hope you made it safely through the hurricane.

    September 15, 2018 at 6:04 pm
  • Patricia Hansen

    Gosh , don’t know if my first message went through so guess I’ll try again. Glad to hear that you’re doing well and selfishly on my part, that you’re writing again. Your books are wonderful and among my absolute favorites. Hope you made it safely through the hurricane!

    September 15, 2018 at 6:12 pm
  • Belinda Heppenstall

    Really nice to read you have been taking care of yourself – something we should all give priority too, but somehow often don’t! Heading out of winter into spring here in southern Australia – and where I am, the blossom trees are now out everywhere – beautiful. I’m happily re-reading your books and while I would love you to be able to find the time to write some more, I would really prefer you don’t rush yourself and come to hate the process and then (horror) decide to “retire” from writing altogether! Seriously though, you should continue to look after yourself and hang onto that ‘relaxed in a mammoth trunk’ feeling.

    September 19, 2018 at 3:17 am
  • Leena Garandan

    Totally relate to social media being a distraction that nibbles at your concentration and whines away like a cranky child in the background.
    So lovely to see you refreshed and hear you are writing again – the witching hours are when the creative light shines brightest.
    Shine on 🌟♥️

    October 22, 2018 at 7:27 am
  • Ruth Flescher

    Thank you for taking time to post the update. Let me assure you that as a buyer, I’ll still be here whatever the time is between publication dates. I don’t want to love you to death! Please take the time you need to remain happy and healthy.

    If you liked Spinning Silver, try The Bear and the Nightengale (Katherine Alden, I think), An Unkindness of Magicians (blanking on the author’s name), or Charlaine Harris’ latest, An Easy Death. All well worth the time.

    October 29, 2018 at 3:41 am
  • Rif

    Hi Laura, glad you have had a great year! I’ve been off social media for a while too and i feel less cognitively cluttered all round. My book rec for you would be the Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews… really immersive and great world building. You are one of my few auto buy authors and i absolutely love your Amour and Chocolate series. Have reread them many times and have spent many happy hours doing so. THANK YOU for your wonderful stories! All the best 🙂

    November 14, 2018 at 12:56 am
  • Ros Clarke

    Well, I just came to see if there’s any news on Antoine’s book, so I for one am glad that’s what you’re working on! But definitely not at 4am or making yourself ill. I can wait. Probably. 😉

    November 27, 2018 at 2:49 pm
  • Mitzi Knight

    I’m a little behind on reading this post as it’s mid-December. I can totally relate to having to step back from your writing and recharge yourself. In this day and age we all kind of lose ourselves in the hectic pace and demands the world around us puts on us. It took me a long time to realize that if I didn’t take care of me than I would have nothing to give to anyone after awhile. I hope you find the balance you need so you can keep writing as you are one of my favorite authors. Have a wonderful and magical holiday season and Happy New Year full of happiness and chocolate. Also thank you for sharing your wonderful talent.

    December 19, 2018 at 4:55 am
  • Esther

    This post is beautifully written, and it makes me excited for that day when you are ready to release your next book.

    December 20, 2018 at 4:22 am
  • Danielle

    So happy to check in on your website and see you’ve been posting since your hiatus! I’m thrilled you are finding more time for yourself and can’t wait to read Antoine’s book. A Kiss in Lavender was a lovely book so I’m looking forward to the next one.

    January 26, 2019 at 9:56 pm
  • Sherry S

    Laura, sending some love from sunny Seal Beach, California. I’m so glad you’ve created more balance in your life and are taking this time away. I (and I’m sure many of your fans) will just keep re-reading your stories until you decide if you want to write more.


    March 28, 2019 at 12:03 am
  • Roxane Medlam

    I don’t know if you will see this as it’s been quite a while since the last comment. I just wanted you to know that ever since I took the recommendation of a reading group member, I have been immersed in your books. I have bought all of the paperback copies and read nothing else for weeks. Your writing is magical. I don’t know how you can write, continue working and have a family. No wonder you needed time off! Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your stories.

    October 26, 2019 at 2:42 am

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