Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Book Review: Summer’s Edge and Summer’s Double Edge

Today I want to announce the release of EBP’s summer anthologies, Summer’s Edge and Summer’s Double Edge. These anthologies are close to my heart not only because I edited them, but also because I had the opportunity to work with many of you who read my blog.


All stories play with the idea of a short-lived relationship—inspired by the summer fling. (Notice the season?) The stories contained in these two anthologies are sharp, insightful, and at times deliciously twisted. I’m not going to lie, some of the stories I had to put down and take a breather for. I’d find myself tensing up, nervous about where the story was going. That ability to physically affect the reader—especially in a short story—is a sign of a highly skilled writer. And these anthologies are full of them.

Within the two anthologies you’ll find all types of love and romance—along with adventure, murder, and the supernatural. While it’s a great summer read, don’t be surprised if these short stories stay with you long after you’ve finished them.

Happy writing,

Laura Carlson, Editor
American Editing Services

Monday, July 15, 2013

It’s Not You—Rough Drafts Suck

Hi everyone! Some of you are seasoned writers with many books under your belt. Others of you are struggling to finish that first draft of what will (hopefully) be your debut novel. And others of you fall somewhere in between these two.

As both a writer and an editor, there is one struggle that doesn’t seem to go away: writing a rough draft.

Most of my recent editing tips have focused on what to do towards the middle and end of a novel, but now I want to address those concerns coming from writers who are just beginning their first, second, or third manuscripts.

Why Rough Drafts are So Difficult to Write
Before I continue, let me clarify which writers I am addressing. If you are dismally aware of how little of your story you are managing to capture, then this post is for you. If you think you nailed your partial or complete rough draft, then you absolutely need to read some of my other posts on editing or, better yet, buy a book on the craft. (I suggest Jack Bickham’s The 38 Most Common Fiction Writing Mistakes as a great place to start.) As awful as it may feel, trepidation is a good thing when you begin a new story.

If you are having difficulty writing a rough draft, I’m here to tell you that you’re not alone. In fact, I’d argue that this is one of the most difficult aspects of the process. But why is this?

Logic Versus Imagination
From a physiological standpoint, it is difficult to engage the area of your brain that is responsible for creativity while simultaneously using the area of your brain responsible for your logic and reasoning skills.

Now, I am not a scientist, so you won’t want to take that information as the absolute truth, but I do think that this sheds some light on why writing a rough draft can be so frustrating. If you can really only use one of these two areas of your brain, then creativity will trump logic. After all, you are creating an entire story out of thin air.

But it’s not only the lack of logic that might make a rough draft difficult to finish. There’s also the issue of coming up with the entire story, which can be draining in and of itself, and remembering to insert all of those delicious nuances that excited you when you began writing the first draft. Both can be incredibly disheartening if you’re struggling with either.

How to Fix This
Keep writing. The truth is that these issues will probably not be fixed today, or tomorrow, or even next week. Writing is a process—a long one. A rough draft is your starting point. And I promise that when you reread what you’ve written in that first draft, it won’t seem nearly as awful as it does right now.

If you are particularly stressed about this, keep a journal at hand to write down all of those fixes you want to make. Some you’ll end up never making because the original story changed, and others you’ll implement in the next round of edits.

But make sure, above all, you continue to make progress writing that rough draft of yours. Rough drafts can be frustrating, but once you’ve completed it, everything that follows will be a whole lot easier in comparison.

Happy writing,

Laura Carlson, Editor
American Editing Services

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Mario Madness Charity Event!

Hi everyone,

I hope your week is going well! I wanted to make a brief announcement about a charity event American Editing Services sponsored that benefits St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Mario Madness is a weekend long tournament that starts tomorrow. It’s a three day video game marathon event that’s live streamed—but that’s not the best part. One hundred percent of every donation goes straight to St. Jude.

Here’s the site’s official “About” page:

Mario Madness is a 3-Day video game marathon where our team will play Mario video games spanning from the original title to the most current generation. The twist? The entire event will be broadcast live for everyone’s enjoyment!
The way this event will benefit St. Jude is that the more donations that we are able to collect on our website during the event, (all donations on the website go directly to St. Jude) the more Mario video games that will be unlocked for our team to play. Furthermore, as certain donation goals are met, we would like you, the audience, to suggest for members of the team or the entire team to do things to keep everyone entertained (keep it tasteful please!).

For more information, check out the Mario Madness website here!

Happy writing,

Laura Carlson, Editor
American Editing Services

Monday, July 1, 2013

Book Review: The Unearthly, by Laura Thalassa

It’s Monday again! I hope you all are enjoying the beginning of the week (or at least getting by)! Today I wanted to talk about something scary to me, which is my newly published novel, The Unearthly.

Before I include all the normal fun stuff that goes along with introducing a book here, I wanted to explain that I truly empathize with the pitfalls that each of you face when you write. Even though I edit for a living, I too have writer blind spots! That might come as a surprise to some of you, but I hope it also gives you a little courage to continue writing away if you are struggling. Even the woman cracking the yardstick up here and telling you what to do struggles to follow these guidelines. No one escapes without being thoroughly humbled. :) 

The Unearthly is a YA paranormal romance written by Laura Thalassa (my pen name).

The Unearthly

Laura Thalassa

The first time I was declared dead, I lost my past. The second time, I lost my humanity. Now I’m being hunted, and if I die again, my soul is up for forfeit.

After enrolling in Peel Academy, an elite supernatural boarding school on the British Isles, the last of the sirens, Gabrielle Fiori, only wants to fit in. Instead, the elixir meant to awaken her supernatural abilities kills her.

When Gabrielle wakes up in the morgue twelve hours later, something wicked is awakened in her, something even the supernatural community has never seen before. Now the only person who can help her is Andre de Leon, the community's infamous bad boy and the king of vampires.

Yet even his help can’t prevent the repeated attempts on Gabrielle’s life. Someone is after her, and they will stop at nothing to end her short existence. Only Gabrielle cannot let that happen now that her soul hangs in the balance, because she may have met the devil. And he wants her. Bad.

About the Author
Born and raised in Fresno, California, Laura Thalassa spent her childhood cooking up fantastic tales with her best friend. Lucky for her overactive imagination, she also happened to love writing.

Laura Thalassa lives in sunny Santa Barbara, California with her boyfriend, author Dan Rix. The Unearthly is her debut novel.

If you are interested in hanging out with me on my author sites, you can find me at, Facebook, TwitterGoogle+, and Goodreads. Don’t be a stranger!