Featured Author – Jessica Lourey
I am featuring author Jessica Lourey this period. Recently, I was reminded by my book group – Sisters In Crime (yes, I’m a sister) about Jessica Lourey’s workshop: “Write & Sell Your Novel: From Idea to Publication.” My book group continued their encouragement stating that I did not want to miss out on this great opportunity to learn and network. Therefore, like a good groupie, I attended. This is where I met an amazing woman, Author Jessica Lourey.
Jess Lourey (rhymes with “dowry”) is an Agatha, Anthony, and Lefty-nominated author best known for her critically-acclaimed Murder-by-Month mysteries, which have earned multiple starred reviews from Library Journal and Booklist, the latter calling her writing “a splendid mix of humor and suspense.” Jess also writes sword and sorcery fantasy, edge-of-your-seat YA adventure, magical realism, and feminist thrillers. She is a tenured professor of creative writing and sociology, a recipient of The Loft’s Excellence in Teaching fellowship, a regular Psychology Today blogger, and a TEDx presenter.
from Jessica Lourey’s website
The workshop was held on a cold, dreary, miserable Saturday, and started at 8:30 in the morning. I did not say donuts and coffee at 8:30, I said the workshop begins at 8:30. I had to drive over an hour to get to the venue. Plus, take a shower, yes, before I left.
Jessica started promptly at 8:30. As early as this was I gave her a check-mark for starting promptly on time. Little did I know she was about to break the record for check-marks I’ve awarded in one day.
Jessica Lourey is the critically-acclaimed author of over 20 novels, articles, and short stories.
We sat down with our workshop packets, our colorful index cards, and began. Using her new book, Rewrite Your Life, Jessica moved us in a smooth pace encouraging interaction, participation, completing exercises, and taking breaks at perfect times. Her time management rewarded Jessica with still more check-marks.
Based on the process Lourey developed and field-tested in the wake of her husband’s suicide, Rewrite Your Life is devoted to the practice of discovering, healing, and evolving through fiction writing. It combines research, practical and engaging guidance, and personal experience to meet readers where they are and take their creativity and personal growth to the next level.
Yet, my biggest surprise was when I realized I was sitting in the most productive, and applicable workshop I have attended since I began my education for the purpose of honing my writing craft. Jessica never failed to answer any question we asked, nor give an answer that was not relative. Her system uses orange, purple, white and green index cards to help visualize the path the story is taking then adjusting if necessary. Her teaching method is easy to understand, make it yours, and execute.
As the workshop came to a close, I was ecstatic with my new found set of writing tools. Yet, despite my enthusiasm, I knew the 24-Hour-Later test was coming. While most course are promising in the beginning, later, trying to apply them to reality they fall short. However, this time I had different expectations and hope. Tomorrow, away from the learning environment, removed from the intoxication of “new”, could I recreate the same excitement, and the same convincing argument that I was holding onto something truly transforming, or was I simply caught up in the moment once again.
In my opinion this course is a must for anyone who writes anything professionally, and privately. I wish I would have taken this workshop long ago. But, as perfect as the material is, and even though Jessica created the material, I feel strongly that it was Jessica Lourey’s writing knowledge and personal experiences that make this workshop so invaluable. I would encourage anyone to look at her website to look at this workshop along with all her other workshops and online courses. I will take it a step further. Do yourself a favor, if you normally don’t click on links, if you don’t click on another link in your life, do yourself a favor and click on this one. Read through the sixth paragraph.
Jessica is one of those people you meet and feel as though she is steering you right. She has a teaching talent beyond her writing skills, and writing skills beyond her teaching talent. Which is the perfect segue into her books.
When not teaching, reading, or dorking out with her family, you can find her dreaming of her next story. Rewrite Your Life: Discover Your Truth Through the Healing Power of Fiction, the only book to walk readers through the healing process of transforming personal experience into bestselling fiction, released May 2017.
From Jessica Lourey’s website.
I will close this by saying, it was a privilege to meet Jessica Lourey. The knowledge she has planted within me is knowledge that I will nurture and share from this day on. I hope you, too, get the opportunity to meet Jessica. Yet, at the least, take her workshop on “Rewriting Your Life.”
If you are wondering if the workshop passed my 24-Hour-Test; Twenty-four hours later, not only was I using my notes, and adding to them, I was applying them to my latest manuscript, and highlighting portions in the book Rewrite Your Life. Oh, and by the way, I am now the proud owner of stacks of my own orange, purple, white and green index cards. I believe it’s safe to say, the excitement is indeed real.
Below, I have listed most of the books she has written. Clicking on the titles will take you to her website, and the book. This way you can review it and purchase as many copies as you wish.
(This list does not include her Shorter Stories)
The Toadhouse Trilogy: Book One
The Savages of Underrock
We Shall Be One