I consider myself blessed to be born with the reading gene. It was passed down to me by my maternal grandfather and my mother. Both were and are avid readers. My grandfather enjoyed Westerns and mysteries and my mom loves mysteries. I, on the other hand, love everything magic, paranormal, scifi, and fantasy.
Growing up, I quickly outgrew “kid’s books” and dove into authors like King, Rice, Barker, Koontz, and others in middle school. Coming from a small school, we didn’t read a lot of classics, and I decided to give myself an education in books like The Razor’s Edge, 1984, Fahrenheit 451, Frankenstein, Dracula, Little Women, Catcher in the Rye, etc, etc, etc, during college.
In med school and residency, I had to read a TON of educational books, but was able to squeeze in the Lord of the Rings trilogy and some other funs ones like Harry Potter. Then, in my last year of residency, I came across Twilight. I’d heard about how popular it was, and the first movie was coming out soon, so I wanted to see what the fuss was about. Turns out, I really enjoyed it. Then I read about how the author got her books published. It inspired me to start writing my own stories.
I tend to have an active imagination, so it was fun to dream up new people, now scenes, new stories, and actually create something. My first story was set in eastern Europe about 500 years ago. It had a ton of magic, werewolves, vampires, and even some time travel!
Soon after I’d finished drafting it, I got connected to the online writing community. I learned about beta readers, critique groups, and my more informal “formal” education on writing began. I’m greatly indebted to the folks I’ve met along the way—they’ve taught me so much!!!
Despite a lot of rejection (which is par for the course!), I kept writing and eventually got some offers of publication from small presses. My young adult fantasy, THE ZODIAC COLLECTOR, was published by Spencer Hill Press in 2014. It’s about twin sisters who use magic from their zodiac sign to fight a witch who wants to collect the entire zodiac’s power. I have a novella, SUNSET MOON, in an anthology titled, LORE: TALES OF MYTH AND LEGEND RETOLD. Myself, along with five other fantastic authors, incorporated folklore and myths from various cultures around the world into our stories. Mine focuses on Native American lore. I’ve been fortunate enough to have three short stories published as well; they are firmly planted in the horror genre.
When Georgia McBride from Swoon Romance offered to publish my first young adult contemporary, I was so excited that I cried happy tears! (I’m not a crier by nature, lol.) I’m really honored to have Adam and Darby’s story hit the virtual shelves. The paperback should be coming out soon, as well.
But my story hasn’t ended. I have a young adult sci fi dystopian coming out starting October 2016, titled IMMORTAL ALIENS: DAWN OF THE VIE. (Alien vampires take over the world and the protagonist, Justin, has to fight them to rescue his little sister. I repeat: Alien. Vampires.) Book two is in editing and is due out in 2017.
Despite the ups and downs, I have to say it IS all worth it. Why? When a reader tells me they’ve enjoyed a story, when a child’s eyes light up with excitement at seeing my book, and when I get to meet more readers/writers/bookish type people, it just Makes. My. Day. There’s no better feeling in the world.
About the Under My Skin
Under My Skin
by Laura Diamond
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Publication Date: April 12th 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Bookish Brit Adam Gibson is one wonky heartbeat away from a fatal arrhythmia. But staying alive requires Adam to become keenly focused on both his pulse and the many different daily medications he must take in exactly the right dosages. Adam’s torn between wanting to live and knowing that someone else must die in order for him to do so. He needs a new heart.
The pressure is getting to him. Adam stops talking to his friends back home, refuses to meet kids at his new school, and shuts his parents out entirely. His days are spent wondering if can cope with having a dead man’s heart beating inside his chest, or if he should surrender to the thoughts of suicide swirling around in his head.
And then a donor is found…
Outspoken artist Darby Fox rarely lets anything stand in her way of achieving her goals . Whether it’s painting, ignoring her homework (dyslexia makes a mess out of words anyway), kissing a hot boy she doesn’t even know, or taking the head cheerleader down a peg , no one has ever accused Darby of being a shy. She also happens to be the twin sister to a perfect brother with good looks, good grades, manners, and the approval of their parents – something Darby has never had.
Darby’s always had bad timing . She picks the worst time to argue with her brother Daniel. In a car with bald tires, on an icy road in the freezing cold, the unthinkable happens. In a split-second, everything changes forever.
Best to get it over with now. I type: I had the thought today.
I click send.
For a few seconds, I watch the screen, waiting for her to reply. I can’t expect Dr. Shaw to be right there to answer me. She’s probably in session with someone.
A group of students pass by, chattering and laughing, light at bubbles. They halt at the curb to wait for the light to change. They’re all wearing NYU sweatshirts and carrying messenger bags or laptops with silkscreen logos about “being green” and “tolerant of diversity.” Adventurers embarking on the quest known as Life. What it must be like to have a whole lifetime to look forward to, no dead end staring back at you.
My mobile buzzes.
It’s Dr. Shaw. Tell me the exact thought and context.
I had a flutter. After, I saw Mum and Dad. Their backs were turned to me and I thought: They’d be happier without me. They’ll be fine after I’m dead. I click send and try to ignore the gnawing pit in my stomach. My message seems dramatic now that I’ve sent it off for her to scrutinize. It was better left unsaid.
A bubble with three dots surfaces at the bottom of my screen. She’s typing right now. I suck in a dry, exhaust laden breath.
She replies: What evidence do you have that they’ll be happy?
That was simple. They were laughing.
Your death will be devastating to them.
My heart twinges a bit. Will be? Does she somehow know I won’t make it until I find a donor? Maybe the surgeon told her I’m not a candidate. I blink and re-read her statement. No, I’m over-reacting. She’s just countering my argument with logic. It’s her style to challenge me with the opposite idea so I’ll find the reality somewhere between. Still, I’m not ready to admit she’s right. Mum and Dad don’t need me dragging them down. I text, Yes, but they’ll be alright.
Of course they will. Life goes on.
Dr. Shaw is unrelenting in her approach. So different from Mum who tries to comfort me with delusional happy thoughts.
Right. And I’m such a burden on them now.
Whatever you think they’re sacrificing is nothing compared to how much you mean to them.
I’m tired of waiting for my heart to stop.
Do you want it to stop? You won’t suffer anymore.
About the Author
Laura Diamond is a board certified psychiatrist currently specializing in emergency psychiatry. She is also an author of all things young adult—both contemporary and paranormal. An avid fan of sci-fi, fantasy, and anything magical, she thrives on quirk, her lucid dreams, and coffee. When she’s not working or writing, she can be found sniffing books and drinking a latte at the bookstore or at home pondering renovations on her 225 year old fixer upper, all while obeying her feline overlords, of course.