Trouble By Any Other Name Book 2 Lori MacLaughlin

road in steppe receding into the distance

Sequel to Lady, Thy Name Is Trouble 

Author: Lori L. MacLaughlin 

Release Date: May 16, 2016 

Genre: Fantasy 

About the Book:

Tara Triannon is no stranger to trouble. She’s yet to find an enemy her skill with a sword couldn’t dispatch. But how can she fight one that attacks through her dreams?

With her nightmares worsening, Tara seeks answers but finds only more questions. Then her sister, Laraina, reveals a stunning secret that forces Tara to go to the one place Tara’s sworn never to return to. Her troubles multiply when Jovan Trevillion, the secretive soldier of fortune who stole her heart, is mentally tortured by an ancient Being intent on bending him to its will. And worst of all, the Butcher — the terrifying wolf-like assassin she thought she’d killed — survived their duel and is hunting her again.

Hounded by enemies, Tara sets out on a harrowing quest to discover the true nature of who she is, to come to grips with the new volatility of her magic, and to defeat the evil locked in a centuries-old trap that will stop at nothing to control her magic and escape through her nightmares.

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Today I welcome Lori MacLaughlin back to my Author Spotlight on Writer’s Gambit. I met Lori through the Insecure Writer’s Support Group (IWSG) community, which we both take part in.  She first appeared in my Author Spotlight March 19, 2015, with the first book in her high fantasy series, Lady, Thy Name is Trouble.

The sequel, Trouble by Any Other Name continues the fun in an ongoing high fantasy adventure that had plenty to keep me reading with good pacing and plenty of action. I had no problem getting right back into the action of the adventure.

The first book ends on a high note with two kingdom’s uniting to celebrate the defeat of a common enemy. Our gang of adventurers feeling more secure in triumph, as book one ends, except for our heroine Tara, who is being attacked through her dreams.  Lori did a wonderful job of layering shadows and hints of future troubles through Tara’s fears.  

Today’s interview is to talk about that second book, Trouble By Any Other Name, released on May 16,2016 as Tara’s adventure continues.  

The story picks up right after the celebration with Tara doing the one thing she has been warned against doing until they can understand her gift better.  If you have not read the first book you definitely want to read it first to get the complete feel of what is going on because book 2 continues smoothly on without making it hard to remember what occurred in the first book.


JK:  What I want to know is how hard was it to achieve the one big book effect between the two books? Careful planning? Plotting? Or did your story naturally flow into it or all of the above?


LM:  The story naturally flowed into it, for the most part. I’ve always been a pantser, so plotting was minimal. I had ideas for some of the key scenes, and I knew the ending. I had actually tried to plot out the story during a much earlier draft, but once I started writing, the story wound up going off in unexpected directions and I just let it go where it would. The supporting characters’ personalities revealed themselves to me as well, as I wrote.

One important thing I did was to finish a rough draft of Book 2 before publishing Book 1. I wanted to make sure everything was consistent throughout. It delayed the publication of Book 1, but it was well worth it.


JK:  How much research did you do for this second book or had you already done the research needed before you wrote either book in the series?


Lori:  For Book 2 I researched boating. My characters spend some time on a longboat. I’ve been in canoes and kayaks but never a longboat, so I read up on them. I also watched whitewater rafting videos. It was fun giving my characters a wild ride down class IV+ rapids. I’m not sure if I’d want to go down them myself, though. I’d probably get seasick.


JK:  As I create these questions I am trying to avoid redundancy and not to ask the same things I asked you in the last interview.   What gave you the idea for using dreams as way for danger and attack? Is there any dream symbology involved in your plotting?


LM:  I’ve had many dreams, both good and bad, that seemed so real I felt when I woke up like I’d really been wherever the dream took place — you know, those heart-pounding, sweaty, intense dreams where you wake disoriented. I thought, what would happen if your mind got stuck there and couldn’t get back to your own reality? That’s what happens when my heroine Tara gets trapped in the nightmare dungeon.

I didn’t use any specific symbology, at least not consciously. I chose what would creep me out the most — underground tunnels and spiders.


JK:  I love wolves. They are sort of a spirit animal to me. What inspired the idea of the wolves and Captain Natiere, the Butcher?


LM: I’ve always loved wolves, too. They are such fierce and beautiful animals. Many years ago, I watched the movie “LadyHawke,” and the character Cezar, the wolf trapper, stuck in my head. The image of a dark, sinister hunter with a scarred face who wore a fur cloak took shape in my mind. He wasn’t a wolf trapper, though. He was one with the wolves. They were his companions, his kin. As my story developed, so did he. When I first started writing, I had no idea of the magnitude of his story arc. He became my favorite character.


JK:  How many books will there be in this series?


LM:  There will be at least one more. After that, I don’t know. It depends on where Book 3 goes. I also have ideas for a prequel about Tara and Laraina’s earlier years as swords-for-hire.


JK:  When can we expect the next book? Do you have any plans for other stories/books beyond this series?


LM:  I don’t have a date yet for Book 3. I’ve been working on another fantasy adventure story, not related to this series, and I’m so close to being done with it that I decided to finish this one first before jumping into Book 3. I don’t think readers will be too upset, though, because Book 2 has a satisfying ending without cliffhangers.

The new story is called “The Road Once Taken,” and it features another strong female lead. I hope to publish it in the spring of next year.


JK:  What is the one thing you want readers to understand about your story that might not be obvious?


LM:  I like stories with a lot of action, and from reading the blurbs, you might think that the books feature mostly action and not much in the way of character development. That’s definitely not the case. Character development is vitally important to me. Flat characters make for boring books. The action serves to deepen the characters and their relationships and help bring them to life.


JK:  What has life been like since you released the first book?


LM:  Insanely busy, but in a good way. When my first book was published at the end of February 2015, I went from a 2 – 3 week blog tour right into the April A to Z blogging challenge, then jumped into some local promotional events. It’s not easy for self-published authors to get the word out. You have to really put yourself out there in as many ways as you can.

While this was going on, I worked with an editor on Book 2 revisions. I wanted to publish it within a year of my first book to keep the momentum going. Book 2 came out mid-May, so I only missed it by two and a half months. That’s not too bad. And now I’m just finishing up another blog tour.

And of course, the craziness of everyday life filled in around and flooded over everything else. Keeping it all on track has been a real challenge, to say the least.


JK:  What are the best two things you have learned since publishing? Or advice?


LM: I’ve learned how wonderful and supportive the writing community is. So many people have gone out of their way to help me. I can’t tell you how much I’ve appreciated it. I’ve also learned that going waaaayyyy outside my comfort zone won’t kill me. If anyone had told me a few years ago that I’d be interviewed on TV, I’d have said they were nuts. But I did it, and I survived, and I’ll likely do it again to promote Book 2.

So my advice would be to never let fear stop you from pursuing your dream. You may not think you can do it, but you can! All you need is determination, perseverance, and a daily repetition of the Nike slogan, “Just do it.”


JK:  What is the most unusual or funniest or memorable experience you have had since your book release?


LM:  When I was selling my first book at VT Comic Con last fall, a young woman came up to my table and said, “I’ve seen this book!” She had been looking at the wildly popular Sarah J. Maas books on Amazon not long before that, and my book had popped up in the listings as being similar to the Maas books. I thought that was pretty cool. I was even happier when she bought my book.

Another memorable moment happened at an event this spring, right before my second book came out. A woman stopped by my table and said she had read my first book and loved it. She talked about the characters by name as if she cared about them and mused about what she thought might happen to them in Book 2. It gave me kind of a strange warm feeling to think that the characters I had created that were so real to me could be that real to other people. Mind-boggling.


JK:  Any last words for our readers?


LM:  If writing a book is your dream, go for it. Pursue it with a passion. And never, ever give up.


Thank you so much Lori for returning to my Author Spotlight. I hope you will give us another shot with the next book too.


Thank you, Juneta, for having me over! And yes, I’d be more than happy to.

road in steppe receding into the distance

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LoriLMacLaughlinAbout the Author:


Lori L. MacLaughlin traces her love of fantasy adventure to Tolkien and Terry Brooks, finding The Lord of the Rings and The Sword of Shannara particularly inspirational. She’s been writing stories in her head since she was old enough to run wild through the forests on the farm on which she grew up.


She has been many things over the years – tree climber, dairy farmer, clothing salesperson, kids’ shoe fitter, retail manager, medical transcriptionist, journalist, private pilot, traveler, wife and mother, Red Sox and New York Giants fan, muscle car enthusiast and NASCAR fan, and a lover of all things Scottish and Irish.


When she’s not writing (or working), she can be found curled up somewhere dreaming up more story ideas, taking long walks in the countryside, or spending time with her kids. She lives with her family in northern Vermont.


You can find her here:

 Website/Blog – Goodreads – Facebook – Google+ – Pinterest





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