Author Archives: Laura Ayo

Write Now, Research Later

Laura Ayo

I’m five days into one of the biggest personal challenges I’ve ever taken on as a writer. Like thousands of other writers across the globe this month, I’m attempting to write a 50,000-word manuscript in 30 days during National Novel Writing Month. To hit the target, I need to write 1,667 words a day. I’ve either met or come close to that goal all but one day. On Nov. 2, I only wrote about 400 words. I’d love to say that life got in the way that day. I had work to do, children to mother and other responsibilities that needed my attention. But the reality of the matter is I spent four hours working on my novel that day. So, what happened to result in such a low output? I got sucked down the research rabbit hole. Continue reading

Finishing a Novel One Step at a Time

Laura Ayo

I had the privilege of meeting Newbery winner Linda Sue Park when she visited my daughter’s school last month. In preparation for her visit, I re-read “A Long Walk to Water.” The novel is based on the true story of Salva Dut, one of thousands of Sudanese “Lost Boys” who were separated from their families during the country’s civil war in 1985 and traveled on foot for hundreds of desolate miles to reach a refugee camp in Ethiopia. In the story, Salva’s uncle motivates his nephew to keep putting one foot in front of the other by breaking up the daunting trek into smaller, manageable parts. Continue reading

Motivated by the Painful Truth

Laura Ayo

Few people like to look another person in the eye and admit they’ve failed, especially if that person is someone who is depending on you or views you as a role model. That’s one reason experts recommend that you find someone to hold you accountable when you’re trying to reach a goal. Continue reading

Book Endorsements 101

Laura Ayo

A dear friend recently asked me to provide a quote for the jacket of a book she wrote. I’ve had the privilege of accompanying this woman along her journey to write her story since day one, so, of course, I said I’d be happy to share my opinion of her work. I was flattered that she asked, even though I had never composed a cover quote. After re-reading the endorsements on several books in my home and scouring online resources for guidance, I thought I’d share what I learned. Continue reading

Crabs May Yawn, but They Don’t Write Well

Laura Ayo

My favorite pair of pajamas has grumpy-looking crabs with “Crabby in the Morning”  written all over the fabric. That phrase describes me well on most days. It especially suits me if someone or something wakes me up before my alarm goes off, or if my alarm beeps at me with any number lower than a seven glowing on the display. If it’s dark and below 40 degrees outside, I’m even more crabby. And if it’s below 20 degrees outside, I am the evil queen of all the crabs in the kingdom. I woke up today at 5:30 a.m., but because it was only 53 degrees outside, my level of crabbiness was manageable with some caffeine. Lately, however, I’ve been pondering how my sleeping patterns affect other aspects of my life, particularly my writing. Continue reading