About

 

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Photography by Cara Walton 

I live in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia with my husband, two sons, a dog, two cats, a hamster, fourteen chickens, an indeterminate number of honeybees, and whatever else happens to show up looking hungry (most recently a pig named Violet). I teach French to middle schoolers, fight with a broadsword, make fairy crowns, bind books, grow veggies, and write novels.

I write about worlds that don’t exist in an attempt to make sense of the one that does.

My novels are YA fantasies about girls discovering their purpose and power. There are also small angry dragons and a disproportionate number of tentacled creatures. I have written seven books to date, and am currently seeking representation. You can read an excerpt from my fiction here, on the magical Artipeeps website. My nonfiction appears here, via Just Be Parenting. This June, I have an Appalachian fairy tale retelling  appearing in the debut issue of the wondrous Exoplanet Magazine.

On this blog, I post about writing, motherhood, and tiny dragons. I love connecting with and  boosting creators of all stripes. Look for me on my Facebook author page and on Twitter @layne_brenna. At my home, I host a free monthly creative retreat called Make Time, and recently I have begun hosting online as well. If you’d like to join in, you can contact me here.

Here be dragons.

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14 thoughts on “About

      1. You are absolutely right! Too many great stories and not enough time to hear every last one. In publishing, too many talented authors with great stories and not enough agents to find them.

    1. I always appreciate advice about writing. 🙂 Thanks for the link; that’s an impressive body of work! I haven’t looked into self-publishing in any methodical way at this point, though I know it offers a lot of possibilities. It’s a very interesting option, and one about which I ought to educate myself more. I think that I’m at a point with my writing where I really need to learn more about all the options and focus on polishing my work. I think that self-publishing and traditional publishing both seem to suffer from a similar problem, which is that far too many people (unlike your excellent example) submit work before it’s as good as it can possibly be, and then you end up with slush piles or the kinds of unrevised, unedited nightmares that can give self-publishing a bad name.

  1. I was staunchly anti-self-publishing until just last year. The E-publishing-revolution changed that, because there is no cost/risk and no one is getting screwed. In the 90s, the “Vanity Publishers” out there had a scam: “Publish” (IE- print) all of these crap books, knowing full-well that the writer’s family and friends would buy them. They charged ~$20 per book, and the writer got $1. So those who you loved got hurt to encourage you.

    E-pubbing changed all of that, because now we can get our book out there for whatever price we set. (Most do $3-4). And, the author keeps 70% (Amazon), compared to the 5% of the old Vanity Pub scam. And, of paramount importance, self-pubbing does nothing to prevent you from submitting your work to the agents and Houses. It’s a win-win. Lastly, the cost of physical copies has dropped. Check out “Create Space” (also owned by Amazon) as an example.

    1. Daniel, that’s good to know. As I’ve started looking for opportunities to submit short pieces of writing, I keep running into warnings like, “If it’s previously been published, even on a blog, we won’t accept it.” So it’s good to know that the self-publishing doesn’t hurt as far as traditional publishing goes.

    1. That’s excellent–thanks for sharing! And I like how you address not only the crappy self-published novels but the dodginess that sometimes characterizes our writerly dreams. You’re absolutely right–we write for the love of it, because we can’t not write.

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