Brittany McLaughlin, a junior at Maryville College, is in the process of publishing her mystery thriller novel, “Languish.” The book is about a couple whose daughter is kidnapped. The quest they take to try to find their daughter tests human bounds, family trust and the individual psyche.
“This is the first time I’ve ever written this genre,” McLaughlin said.
McLaughlin spent roughly a month and a half writing the first draft of “Languish.” She began writing the book during the summer of 2014 and completed the first draft by the end of August. She spent a great deal of time researching, and, by the time she had written the first 11 chapters of her book, she had already spent about a week and a half on research.
“Any time you write a book, you’re going to have to do research, whether or not you want to,” McLaughlin said.
McLaughlin’s characters served as her inspiration for writing the novel.
“I always have characters in my head… I’ll see a couple people interact, and then I’ll be like ‘oh, that’s a really funny quirk,’ and then a character just kind of builds around it, and then they become something, and then they nag at you until you write something about them,” McLaughlin said.
Regarding her writing process, McLaughlin’s creative peak is between 7pm and 1am.
“I can’t write before 7pm. I’ve tried, and I always get distracted… if I start [at 7pm] and I don’t get distracted, or I don’t have anyone distract me, I can write for 5 or 6 hours straight.”
Alongside the process of writing, McLaughlin has had to endure the tedious process of editing.
“You can’t just edit the book one time,” McLaughlin said. “You edit the book, you have someone beta read it, you edit the book again, you have someone beta read it again, you edit it, you edit it, you send it to your editor, they tell you it’s crap and send it back, and you edit it again. It’s a lot of re-reading. It’s a lot of time spent on one thing, but you get used to it.”
Before completion of the final draft, McLaughlin moved quickly onto marketing her book. McLaughlin suggests authors should start marketing before they finish their books.
“Facebook, website, Twitter, Instagram, Vine. Social media is probably the best hot spot you can do. . . Make a page. Post everyday. You know, offer insights to your book.”
“This is not the first book I’ve written, and it won’t be the last,” McLaughlin said.
Before Languish, McLaughlin had written about ten books, and she had an allegory published in Teen Ink, a literary magazine for teens between the ages of 13 and 19, when she was in the 10th grade.
“I’ve always known how hard it is to get into writing, and how hard it is to make money in writing. . . In a perfect world, if I could do anything, that’s what I would be doing.”
One of McLaughlin’s biggest influences into writing was the amount that she read as a child, and that her mother read to her. McLaughlin has been writing for over 14 years, and she wrote her first story when she was about 6 or 7.
“I remember, I think, writing my first story on my grandmother’s computer, and it was like two pages long, and it was just a simple little thing. . . It was [about] this little girl that owned both a tiger and a jaguar, and they were all named Sasha, and it was ridiculous. It was awful, but I love it.”
Languish, which is being published through Amazon, is anticipated to be released on Jan. 1, 2015. The book will be available both as an e-book and as a printed book. E-books will be available on most electronic reading devices, such as Kindle, Book Nook, iBook, etc. Readers can find hard copies on Amazon, on McLaughlin’s website and directly from McLaughlin.
McLaughlin is currently waiting to hear if she will be able to have copies of her book in the campus bookstore and in the library.
Readers who want more information on McLaughlin and/or Languish can visit her website http://www.bemclaughlin.com/ and her Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/B.E.McLaughlinwrites.