Author Archives: Lauren

Where to Find Me

As the hellsite that is the birdplace continues to do… whatever the hell it’s doing, here’s where you can find me:

Twitter (still, for now): @falconesse
Instagram: laurenmroy

I’ve also snagged the falconesse name over at cohost and Hive, though I only have so many braincells for social media sites right now. But if you’re there, yes, those are both me.

You can also find the jewelry I make over at, though we’re about to close for the remainder of 2022. (But hey, if it’s before 9pm Eastern on 12/18/2022, we’re 30% off! Check us out!)

I’ll update this accordingly if new sites crop up or some other weird thing happens, because Jesus Christ, this timeline.

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Dublin 2019 WorldCon Schedule

Oh, look, it’s a WorldCon schedule!

Saturday August 17th, 9pm
CCD – Wicklow Hall 1
Sam Hawke (m), Ali Baker, Julie C. Day, Devin Madson, Lauren Roy

Very often SFF stories centre on young women, with older female characters being consigned to background dressing at best and cliched depictions of elders and antagonists at worst. Is anyone writing stories that focus on older women? Where are the middle-aged heroines?

Monday August 19th, 12pm
CCD – Wicklow Room 1
Russell Blackford (m), Dr Máire Brophy, Lauren Roy, Paul Anthony Shortt

Villains come in many different guises. Characters like Marvel’s Thanos do terrible things for what they believe to be good reasons, whereas The Other Mother from Coraline is alien and terrifying. Do certain genres lend themselves to different types of villainy? Are villainous women held to a different standard than their male counterparts?

I hope to see you there!

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Boskone 55 Schedule

I will be at Boskone this weekend. If you spot me, come say hi!

17:00 (5:00pm) – Marina 3

In writing, it’s hard to navigate between inclusion and appropriation of a culture or cultural elements. But like it or hate it, people write what they know … or at least what they think they know. Complicating matters, the definitions of these two words are fuzzy for many. So, what is cultural appropriation? How do we incorporate cultures or aspects of cultures without crossing the line?
Panelists: Beth Meacham, Mikhu Paul, Carlos Hernandez, Erin Roberts, Lauren Roy

12:00 – Marina 3

The throne of the King of Horror seems more secure than ever, with recent releases including the novel Sleeping Beauties (with his son Owen), and movies based on his work including The Dark TowerItGerald’s Game, and 1922, plus TV series The Mist and Mr. Mercedes — as well as an anniversary reprint of The Stand plus a Christine video short and a collector’s DVD of The Dead Zone. Stephen King revitalized and sustained the horror genre through a rough period of redefinition and rebranding. What is it about his scary stories that’s so compelling? Why do his characters stand out? Which tales will keep our dark little hearts beating faster for years to come?
Panelists: Vincent O’Neil, Kenesha Williams, Paul Tremblay, Jack Haringa, Lauren Roy

20:00 (8:00pm) – Galleria

Live from Boskone: A special selection of tall tales as told by our program participants — plus audience members. All show off their open mic skills in the third annual Boskone Open Mic extravaganza. This year features the myths and legends of yesterday, today, and tomorrow! Each participant contributes his/her most legendary performance — a 5-minute story, poem, song, skit, interpretive dance, or whatever!

OPTIONAL: For extra appeal, feel free to come dressed as your favorite mythic or legendary character.
Participants: Elaine Cunningham, Kenneth Schneyer, C.S.E. Cooney, Carlos Hernandez, Gabriel Erkard, E. Ardell, Benjamin Newman, Roberta Rogow, Don Pizarro, Trisha Wooldridge, Mary Ellen Wessels, Edward L. Stauff

10:00am – Independence
Come see me read some stuff! Possible snippets from works-in-progress, maybe the Myths & Legends piece if people who missed that come. Requests taken, chocolate a strong possibility.

11:00am – Marina 3

That’s awfully funny! Horror and humor may be strange bedfellows, but the two genres can combine in surprisingly complementary ways. How can you best weave them together into a terribly amusing tale? And why do they work so well together?
Panelists: Don Pizarro, James Moore, Craig Shaw Gardner, Marianna Martin PhD, Lauren Roy

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The State of the Things

Hello, friends, it’s been a while.

This update is a bit overdue, because my brain (and my schedule) has been pretty full the last couple of months. So let’s dive on in!

If you’re not following me over on ye olde twitters, I left my day job in early September so I can write full-time, and hopefully next fall, go back to school to pursue that degree in astrophysics I didn’t go for the first time around. (No, I am not kidding.)

It was an incredibly hard decision to make. I loved my job – I got to talk about books all day. My colleagues are fantastic people. I adore my booksellers. And yeah, even though they’re no longer my accounts, they’ll be my booksellers forever, damn it. I’m still saying things like, “Oh, we have a book about that on the list,” or “We published <insert Orbit author here>. I loved that book.” But as my job responsibilities increased, the time and attention span I had for writing had steadily declined. I’ve been doing a shit-ton of writing for RPGs this year, but that meant there wasn’t a whole lot left for my own stuff.

I have, in fact, just tallied up all the words I’ve written for various games this year and uh. It’s currently at a hundred and thirteen thousand words. 113,400 at the moment, to be exact.*

That’s a sobering moment for me, because haha I’d been a bit down on myself for not writing enough, when the truth of the matter is, I did a hefty portion of that while I held down a full-time job that required a lot of travel. That’s more words than Night Owls, which clocked in somewhere in the 90K range.

So. Yeah. I’ve been writing! And I’ll update the My Works page so it’s all there.
/adds to to-do list.

I didn’t settle right down into writing, as there was travellin’ to do. I literally quit my job and went to Disney World. The trip was planned well before I gave my notice! But it was an amusing thing to say when people asked what I was going to do next. Came home and wrotewrotewrote for a couple more games, then was off again to be staff at Viable Paradise. While I was there, the fabulous Pippin Madconald and Erin Black unlocked a part of a story I’ve been struggling with for five years, since was a VP student. That’s a thing that’s getting written sooooon. Home again, more RPG writing, and off once more to Metatopia. (I will write about Metatopia at some point soon, I hope, because hooooly shit it was wonderful, and on several different axes.)

So, now I’m home, and caught up on deadlines, and I suspect it’s starting to finally, nearly three months later, sink in. I’ve been having end-of-work dreams all week long. Dreams where I’m in the office even though I’m no longer an employee, or I’m cleaning out my cubicle and finding things I’d forgotten about. (One involved me finding a tote bag, because of course it did. See: white lady in publishing.) I think — now that I have time to think — it’s maybe me letting go of the things I didn’t get done.

Okay, then, brain. You do you.

Learning that I don’t have to be at my desk 9-5 is strange. I’m still trying to get my head around it as I figure out how this all changes my writing process. I learned during a couple of deadline sprints that I can get deeply into the writing groove at three or four in the morning, but I’d really prefer to be sleeping then. I am pretty sure that groove hit because I’m on the East Coast, and at that weird liminal hour most of my social media feeds are quiet. When the Northeast got hit by that big windstorm the last week of October, we lost power for one day and internet for two. I got scads written during that time. I recognize that this is very much a me-vs-the-shiny thing, so I’m navigating the best ways to minimize distractions. (That’s not a call for advice, just acknowledging that it’s part of this adjustment period.) Minimizing my browser helps, so I don’t see the little dot letting me know there are new tweets to look at. I close Slack and sort of forget it’s there for a while. I learned that if you click toward the top of your screen and give your mouse a wiggle, everything else you have open in the background gets minimized.  Sometimes I afk altogether and write longhand. Letting this all be a work in progress, rather than perfect at the start, has been a challenge. But I’m getting there.

What’s next, then?

I’m working on a YA Arthurian fantasy with Hillary Monahan. I’ve put in some nice words in a zero draft of a new solo thing about an aging rockstar and her deal with the devil. I’ve got that SF short story that wants writing. I’ll be around here a bit more, and am pondering things I might stick in a biweekly-ish newsletter. I’ve got a date with Netflix, one of my favorite shows, and and a notepad for a blog series I’d like to do about the storytelling therein. I want to read all the things, and tell you about what I’m digging.

I’m eyeballing a Patreon as well, because I like having things like electricity and heat. (I am extremely privileged that my husband can support us both while I write. I know that I can sell stuff. But freelancing means the money comes in sporadically, so!) The rewards for that would most likely be flash pieces, snippets of works in progress, and maybe some tales from the Night Owls ‘verse. If there’s anything else you’d like to see, drop your ideas in the comments.

So that’s the state of the me. More soon, but right now, I’ve got a conversation between Billie and the devil to finish, so she can start getting the band back together.


*frustratingly, if I didn’t already have a SFWA membership from my book sales, all those words would not qualify me for one. But that’s another post.

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Boskone 2017 Schedule

If you’re at Boskone this weekend, here’s where I’ll be!

Victorian Vampires
Westin, Harbor II

Victorian vampires were more than just bloodsuckers. They had style. They had charisma. They had that special, unmistakable something. What is it that keeps us coming back for more? Why are these creatures such a perfect fit for this time period? Will their allure endure, or will they fade into the dusty annals of horror history?
Panelists: Theodora Goss (m), John Langan, Hillary Monahan, F. Brett Cox, E.J. Stevens, Lauren Roy

Westin, Independence

Like it says on the tin, I will read things to you. Stuff I wrote!
Panelists: me

The Perfect Teenage Hero
Westin, Harbor III

Teenage heroes are not just relatively younger adults. They are people who step up to save the world — perhaps because of their youthful enthusiasm, not-yet-dimmed idealism, and unique perspectives. What does it take for a young Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, or Katniss Everdeen to emerge? What experiences change them? To what extent are they just pieces in older players’ games? Can they really do it on their own?
Panelists: Ken Altabef (m), Lauren Roy, Jeremy Flagg, Erin M. Hartshorn, Michael Stearns

Brick and Mortar: Bookstores Then, Now, and Tomorrow
Westin, Marina 4

Despite surges in online and ebook sales: at least for now, bookstores are here to stay. Our panelists share their favorite stories about the printed matter palaces they love, how to support them, and what continued life they’re finding in today’s publishing world. How can we make better use of our bookstores? What purpose do they serve for authors, publishers, and readers? If they ever disappear, whatever will we do?
Panelists: Joe Siclari (m), Maryelizabeth Yturralde, Robert Howard, Ian Randal Strock, Lauren Roy

The Sense8 Sensation
Westin, Marina 4

It’s shot on locations worldwide and produced by the creators of The Matrix and Babylon 5, yet this Netflix TV original has largely flown under the radar. (Still, season 2 starts in March.) Panelists examine the intricate storytelling and dizzyingly diverse connections of this sens8tionally groundbreaking SF show. From gender, race, and religion to the struggle of coming to terms with one’s identity, Sense8 treats its subjects in ways network television would never touch. SPOILERS ABOUND for nonviewers, but why not sneak a peek anyway?
Panelists: Darlene Marshall (m), Lauren Roy, Gillian Daniels, Rob Greene, Jeremy Flagg

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Arisia 2017 Schedule

Somehow Arisia has snuck up on me. I’ll be there this weekend, huzzah! Here’s my schedule:


Crafting Memorable Worlds
10:00am, Faneuil

Before your characters go off on an adventure, you must first set the ‘stage’ upon which they will make their journey. Where do you find inspiration to build your fictional world? What ‘laws’ must your world follow? How do you describe it without purple prose? Our panelists will discuss how to make your world a character in your story and shape a canvas so memorable your audience will never want to leave.
Heard the Dice Hit the Table: Games as Fiction
11:30am, Marina 1

In the last 40 years, SF/F has had an uneasy relationship with the kind of games that generate fiction, both tabletop and computerized. From magazine submission guidelines that warn off fiction that sounds like it came from a tabletop game to stories about people playing games, gaming is clearly part of the storyteller tradition. How does fiction incorporate gaming and game materials, and what in gaming might help us find interesting literature?
Writing YA Fiction Teens Will Actually Read
4:00pm, Marina 3

Young adults are particular about what they read. Vampires? Werewolves? How about a spaceship warrior queen with a sword and a psychic cat? Before you can write it, it seems they’re off to the next great thing. But if you *listen*, young people are brimming with story ideas. Our YA-expert panelists will discuss what teens *wish* authors would write, what makes a teen’s eyes roll, and how to get past the gatekeepers to reach your teen audience. There will be Q&A at the end.
Keeping Long Tabletop Campaigns Interesting
7:00pm, Faneuil

GMs, has this ever happened to you? The campaign has stretched into its winter years, and every companion book and monster manual has been used. Your players are completing each other’s sentences, and you can even recite their likely takeout order from every local place that delivers. Don’t worry for help is here! Panelists will discuss ways a GM can keep a long-running campaign fresh and exciting.


Vertigo on TV: iZombie and Lucifer
11:30am, Faneuil

While neither show really stays close to their comic-book origins, both *iZombie* and *Lucifer* are successful shows that have been adapted from Vertigo books, and both have dedicated fan audiences. We’ll discuss both shows, talking about our favorite and least favorite elements of each, as well as how the process of changing from the comics has made things better or worse.

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2016 Award Eligibility Post

It’s that time of year where I ought to post my list of things published. Self-promotion is haaaaard, but it’s part of the job.

Here’s what’s come out:

If you’re an RPG-type person, two books I’ve worked on came out this year. I’m all star-eyed to have worked on them:

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Readercon 27 Schedule

Hellooooo cats ‘n’ kittens!

I’m going to be at Readercon this weekend, and I’ve got a pretty keen schedule. If you’re going to be at the con, come say hi!

Books That Spoil Themselves
Panelists: John Crowley, Jim Freund (leader), Max Gladstone, Yves Meynard, Lauren Roy

“Little did she know that was the last time she would see him alive” and similar lines in books go beyond foreshadowing and into the realm of spoilers. The movie Stranger Than Fiction explores the use of the phrase “little did he know,” and Joe Hill’s The Fireman (among many other books) includes several examples. Why and how do authors use this often derided literary device, and how does it affect the reader’s experience of a story?

Single Wise Advisor Seeks Same
Panelists: Kameron Hurley, Victoria Janssen, Shariann Lewitt, Robert V. S. Redick, Lauren Roy

Epic fantasy abounds with wise advice-givers who help steer heroes in the right direction. These figures are often epicted as elderly, unmarried or widowed, and childless. (Exemplars are Gandalf, Dallben, and Granny Weatherwax. The rare exceptions include Belgarath, Nanny Ogg, and Miracle Max.) Why do we find it so difficult to imagine these grandparental figures having emotional lives of their own? How might the shape of epic stories shift if advisors have more to do with their time than sitting around advising?

My Character Ate WHAT?
Panelists: John Chu, Mary Robinette Kowal, Ada Palmer, Lauren Roy, Catherynne M. Valente, Fran Wilde (leader)

“My Character Ate What?,” based loosely on Hollywood Squares, that uses food in SF as the subject matter for questions.

New Worlds For Old
Panelists: Susan Jane Bigelow, Greer Gilman, Theodora Goss, Lauren Roy, Ann Tonsor Zeddies

Our GoHs have created their own worlds and retold stories. What’s the difference in approach between creating from “scratch” and “reimagining”? Is one harder than the other? Do we ever really create worlds wholly our own or are we always cannibalizing bits of other worlds? Would we be able to tell meaningful stories in worlds utterly different from our own? How much of a world is physical and how much is societal behaviors and norms?

Panelists: Me!

I will entertain you with stories. On the docket: “In Memoriam: Lady Fantastic,” which I’ve been calling my angry lady superhero obituary, and a selection from Cantankerous, my YA SF work-in-progress. Think Leverage meets Firefly. 

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Boskone 2016 Schedule

Boskone is this weekend, and I’ll be there doing stuff!

Here’s where you can find me, if you’re so inclined:

Loose Ends and Contradictions in Doctor Who
6:00pm, Marina 4

*Spoilers, sweetie!* Doctor Who has become infamous for its loose ends and contradictions — most of which get explained away with a little timey-wimey flash and sparkle. Yet, we still love The Doctor. In fact, many of those seeming problems tend to open future storylines and plot points. Which do we most want to see resolved? Which seem too far gone to pull back? And will we see River again … or has that loose end been tied?
Panelists: Susan Jane Bigelow (M), David McDonald, Lauren Roy



Dating 101 in Urban Fantasy
11:00am, Marina 3

Magic is in the air! Dating comes with its own unique sets of rules when finding love within urban fantasy novels. You never know what secrets your special someone is hiding — or what’s really so “special” about her. Our panelists share their best advice for how characters can find true love while fighting against the imminent destruction of everyone and everything they hold dear.
Panelists: Darlene Marshall (M), Max Gladstone, E.J. Stevens, Charles Stross, Lauren Roy


Marvel Films vs. Marvel Comics
1:00pm, Harbor II

Marvel’s film and comics divisions are now under separate management. But differences have been apparent from the first as they expanded the mix of characters and story arcs. From Blade to Iron Man and X-Men to The Avengers — from Pepper Potts to Peter Parker, and Ben Grimm to the galaxy’s most motley “Guardians” — how have your favorites made the transition from panel to pixel, or back again? What elements of the comics should be retained, mixed in, or discarded? How true are they staying to the original source material? And most importantly, for you, which genre is the most pure fun?
Panelists: Gillian Daniels (M), James Bacon, Robert Howard, Errick Nunnally, Lauren Roy


The Sandman Legacy
3:00pm, Burroughs

At a time when the comics industry was trying to survive, Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman was published. Back then, many thought comics were dying. The Sandman opened their eyes. A gateway comic series for new readers, including women, how has its reputation fared in succeeding years? Looking back at its success, what impact has it had on comics? Could you describe the series’ influence on today’s comics, fiction, and film as, well, Endless?
Panelists: Steven Popkes (M), Susan Jane Bigelow, Grady Hendrix, Lauren Roy


4:00pm, Galleria

I will scribble on your stuff!


Superhero Open Mic
9:00pm, Marina 1

Kapow! Live from Boskone … enjoy the knock-out stylings of our program participants and audience members who share their open mic skills in the first-ever Superhero Open Mic. Each person gives his/her best 5-minute superhero performance – story, poem, song, skit, interpretive dance, or whatever! OPTIONAL: For extra appeal, feel free to come dressed as a superhero! Cash Bar Available.

The Rules: Boskone members are invited to join our participants in the open mic by signing up for one of the eight open slots at the door to the event, which opens for sign-ups at 8:30 pm. Each performer is given a firm 5-minute time limit (max), including set-up time. So a quick transition between acts is key.

Participants: Walter H. Hunt (M), Kenneth Schneyer (M), C.S.E. Cooney, E.C. Myers, Garth Nix, Don Pizarro, Lauren Roy, Mary Ellen Wessels


10:00am, Independence

Friends, that Hillary Monahan can’t make it on Sunday, so she’s handed me the keys to her reading. I’ll probably preview a bit of my YA SF novel-in-progress, Cantankerous, and whatever Hill puts in my inbox for your listening pleasure.


12:00pm, Harbor I/Kaffeeklatsch 2

Do you like coffee? like coffee, too! We should drink some (or the beverage of your choice) together! And talk about things!


They Played the Game of Thrones and They Lost
2:00pm, Harbor II

Some were good and some were bad, but all of them are dead. They have ceased to be. Rung down the curtain. Joined the choir invisible. Stiffs. Ex-Westerosi. Let’s pause to pay homage to characters who met their untimely ends at the bloody hands of George R. R. Martin, and recall their glorious or dubious or just plain icky ends. And while we’re at it, let’s speculate about who’s the next to go. Because there’s no use hoping that anyone will make it out alive.
Panelists: David McDonald (M), Laurie Mann, Lauren Roy, Michael Sharrow

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Arisia 2016 Schedule

Whoa, hey, Arisia is this weekend, and I’ll be there, doing things!

Here’s where:

I Live, I Die, I Live Again! Mad Max: Fury Road
Friday, 7:00pm, Marina 1

A sequel 30 years in the making that no one was demanding became one of the most acclaimed films of 2015. Was Tom Hardy a great replacement for Mel Gibson? Was the foregrounding of Imperator Furiosa and a largely-female cast a genuinely feminist act, or is the acclaim given to the movie a sign of how bleak genre filmmaking has become for women? How does a movie in which everyone is physically and/or emotionally scarred work as an action film? And does the plot itself hold up, and does it matter?
Panelists: JoSelle Vanderhooft (m), Barbara M. Pugliese, Randee Dawn, Joey Peters, Lauren N, Roy

Fantasy Reading
Saturday, 10:00am, Hale

I will read a thing to you! I don’t know what that thing is yet!
Featured authors: Matthew Kressel, Shira Lipkin, Julia Rios, Lauren M. Roy

Character Interactions
Saturday, 7:00pm, Bulfinch

You have your cast of characters, now how do you get them to interact the way you want? How can you make them fight, love, and laugh at each other convincingly? How do you make changes in a relationship between characters come about naturally, rather than seeming forced? Our panelists will elucidate on the finer points of getting your characters to behave with each other on the page the way you imagine them in your head.
Panelists: Vikki Claffone (m), D.L. Carter, Ken Altabef, Timothy Goyette, Lauren M. Roy

Mysteries in Games
Monday, 10:00am, Marina 1

Mysteries and investigation stories seem like a perfect fit for gaming, and many of us enjoy finding clues and questioning highly suspicious suspects. Sometimes though, the trail goes cold because of failed dice-rolls and imperfect mechanics. What approaches are RPG systems using to keep the mystery story moving? What should a GM do when the investigation stalls? Panelists will discuss which techniques can create an exciting and satisfying mystery-solving experience.
Panelists: Lisa J. Steele (m), Brian Liberge, Ed Fuqua, Andrew Kirschbaum, Lauren M. Roy

Don’t Quit Your Day Job
Monday, 2:30pm, Douglas

Hal Clement, Alice Sheldon (aka James Tiptree Jr), and so many other authors kept working their mundane jobs while writing. What can a day job bring to your art? Should going full time be the goal?
Panelists: Caren Gussof (m), Gabriel Squallia, Michael A. Burstein, Lauren M. Roy

I don’t have an autographing slot, but if you have something you’d like me to scribble in, come find me or tweet at me (@falconesse) and I will be happy to deface your book with my signature.

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