about the author
Lauren Smyth is a sixteen-year-old homeschooler with a passion for writing, acting, and music. As the daughter of an Air Force fighter pilot and university professor, she has lived in many places across the United States and Europe, from which she gained her love of travel and foreign languages. She currently lives in Ohio with her parents and her two cats.
Share your five favorite books of all time.
L: The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (Arthur Conan Doyle), The Thirty-Nine Steps (John Buchan), A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court (Mark Twain), The Will of an Eccentric (Jules Verne), & The Billion Dollar Spy (David E. Hoffman)
B: Lovely variety there!
What is your favorite activity or hobby not related to books?
L: My favorite activity not related to books is playing the piano. I’ll take any chance I can get to play, but grand pianos are especially tempting. If I see one sitting out in the middle of the airport, in a restaurant, or in a hotel, I’m definitely going to play a few songs!
B: How wonderful for people nearby, the world needs more musicians for sure!
Do you have a favorite bookish habit?
L: I love collecting things that remind me of my favorite stories – a Sherlock Holmes shirt, a book-shaped necklace, or a print of a quote. And, of course, if there’s a chance to quote my favorite book in public, I won’t miss it!
B: So fun!
Share the inspiration behind Stories of the Night.
L: The original premise of the story was inspired by an organization called the Civil Air Patrol (the “official auxiliary of the United States Air Force” that teaches teenage cadets about aviation and military careers).
What would happen, I wondered, if the Civil Air Patrol was called upon to act like the Air Force and participate in combat? From there, the idea developed naturally over the course of several dishwashing and weed pulling sessions.
B: I’d say that’s a good use of that time spent doing chores, great multitasking!
What are some of the challenges you faced while writing Stories of the Night?
L: One of the biggest challenges I faced while writing Stories of the Night was learning to write in the airplane. First, there’s never enough space, and second, it’s always loud. I even wrote while listening to the passenger behind me snore so loudly that I could hear him through my noise-canceling headphones.
However, it was a dedicated time when I knew I’d have nothing better to do, so I tried my best to focus on my work. The practice paid off. I can safely say that not even snoring can distract me from my writing.
B: Getting in the zone and blocking out the world around you is great for productivity!
What is your reading style?
L: Voracious. That’s how I’d summarize it in one word. One of my favorite accomplishments is filling up the storage on my Kindle with books I’ve read, which I didn’t know was possible. Since there’s never a bad time for reading (except when you’re supposed to be writing), I take every chance I can get.
One of my favorite reading spots is on the rocks in Monterey Bay, California, but I’ll curl up on the floor, outside in the grass, or anywhere that’s warm and comfortable. I enjoy both print and e-books, but I usually read e-books since they’re easy to carry when I travel.
B: I like your style very much indeed!
What books are you reading right now?
L: I’m re-reading The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes for the fifth, sixth, or seventh time – I’ve lost track because it’s one of my favorite books – and starting A Book of Escapes and Hurried Journeys by John Buchan. I gravitate toward classical literature, and some of my favorite authors include Jules Verne, Arthur Conan Doyle, and Mark Twain.
B: Well, they ARE classics for a reason. Can’t go wrong with a good book!
What projects are you working on now?
L: Six months ago, I was skiing for the first time this season. Another skier, who had been smoking marijuana, crashed into me from behind and left me with a knee injury that required surgery and a year’s recovery.
While things could have been much more serious, the accident gave me a unique perspective of how drugs can affect not only the person using, but the people around them.
My current project is based on this experience and communicates that addiction should always be taken seriously, no matter the strength or type of drug.
B: I hope you have a complete recovery and may God bless you for using that experience to challenge and inspire others!
What’s your writing style?
L: My writing style is as messy as my bedroom. Before I begin a story, I usually know the beginning and perhaps one or two scenes from the middle. I rarely know the end until I’m at least halfway through.
With my current release, Stories of the Night, the end popped into my head while I was writing the second to last chapter. I’m slowly learning to plan ahead and be confident in the story’s direction before I begin writing, but I still don’t write anything down in advance.
Instead, I have conversations with myself in the shower, washing dishes, or solving quadratic equations. It’s definitely worth the confused stares from people who overhear.
B: Do what works, right?!
Do you have any writing quirks?
L: The most consistent quirk is that I always listen to music while writing, especially songs by Ludovico Einaudi. Another is that I do my best writing when sitting on the floor – carpet, wood, tile, or anything else. Whenever I sit somewhere more comfortable, I get too relaxed to focus. I also keep an assortment of multi-colored digital sticky notes on my desktop with everything from one-line writing prompts to books I want to read as inspiration.
B: My daughter also listens to music while writing and ends up in odd positions so you two have a couple of things in common there. Thanks so much for sharing with us today, Lauren!
about the book
Title: Stories of the Night
Author: Lauren Smyth
Publisher: Ambassador International
Release Date: July 1, 2019
Genre: YA Suspense
Alisen, a teenage girl, is routinely awakened by the same terrifying dream.
The nightmare gets more detailed and longer every night, but the terror remains the same. She tries to dismiss it as something she ate, or maybe a book she read, but then she meets Kale.
Kale is having the same nightmares.
Believing there must be a deeper meaning, Alisen and Kale delve into politics and biblical prophecy. Together, they discover that everything in their dreams has a counterpart in real life, which leads them to believe that something terrible is coming. Is there any way avoid this catastrophe and save thousands of lives? Or will their worst dreams come true? They must choose whether to turn to God or to each other to save them from the very end of the world.
Stories of the Night combines political intrigue, biblical prophecy, and military adventure into a suspenseful story that leaves the reader with the choice of where to place their ultimate hope.
(1) winner will receive a signed print copy (US only)
plus (1) additional winner will receive an ebook
Enter via the Rafflecopter giveaway below. Giveaway will begin at midnight July 8, 2019 and last through 11:59 pm July 15, 2019. US only. Winners will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. Print US only. Ebook available internationally. Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.
Say hi to Lauren in the comments and share your thoughts on our chat and the story!