Sunday, November 25, 2012

The Magical Courtyard--The New Neoclassical Era

Isn't the term New Neoclassical redundant?
No. And here's why.

There have already been a few neoclassical periods in history. In literature, it came in the 17th and 18th centuries. In architecture, the 18th and 19th centuries. And another one in music came in the early 20th century.

Well, we've gone full circle. We're ankle deep in the new Neoclassical Age of Literature. We've been flung back to the old ways of writing, thanks to the advent of self-publishing.

It's a wonderful thing. Let me tell you why.

A long time ago, when writers gathered in Paris for inspiration (and alcohol), when artists were drawn to the Latin Quarter as if they were new vampires being drawn by Dracula, artists created with a sense of freedom. They sought their muses. They experimented with subject matter and mediums until they found their own voices, their own niche in the world. No one would presume to tell a painter how to paint, and no one would dare tell a novelist what his Great American Novel should be about.

Then art began to make money. A writer or painter didn't need to die in order for their work to fetch a nice sum. There was profit. Fiction wasn't just for some with discerning tastes. It was for all.

Then the publishing industry became more than an industry--it became a racket. It was the natural way of things. When writers put their pitiful needs for food and shelter above their art, they started writing what would best make them money. The Industry was happy to tell them what to write. And even the big names today write what will keep them comfortable. 


Now, it's 2012. Self-publishing has arrived. And those who write in popular genres can make more money than we could have with traditional contracts, for the most part. Are we writing what will keep us comfortable? You betcha. But as we run through the halls of the new establishment, opening doors of opportunity we'd never dreamed of, we've stumbled upon something amazing.

All hallways have led to a magical door. And when we shake off the awe and open that door, we find, in a fairy-filled courtyard, that we've been given the most glorious gift an artist might be offered--the ability to create what our souls dictate. We are back to those days of Hemingway where no one will tell us we cannot write a depressing story about an old man who catches the fish of a lifetime, only to have it end badly. No one can tell us we can't write a hero who cooks and sells meth (Breaking Bad). No one can stop us from handing our most beautifully bizarre creations over to the reading public, to let them love or hate them as they will.

We've become the artists of Paris again.

And writers aren't the only ones running these halls. The readers are in here too, reveling in their new found freedom, opening doors to worlds they might never have seen if the Industry were still under the control of the Committee. 

And I predict that this New Neoclassical Period will cough up some remarkable classics--creations we might have missed, might have never been born, if it weren't for this little money-making scheme called self-publishing.

So, if you're an artist--act like one. Dig deep. Go nuts. And get it all on the canvas.
If you're a reader--welcome to our happy halls!

L.L. Muir

Thursday, November 1, 2012


How do you all feel about anti-heroes? Not antagonists, not bad guys, just heroes who don't fit in the mold of romantic hero?

I'll be writing an anti-hero in December, when I start the third book in the ROMEO and JULIET series. I hope my romance readers aren't too thrown by the change. Maybe I should warn them ahead of time that I will, indeed, be changing back.

NOTICE: If you're a fan of my romances, note that the ISOBELLE book will not be a typical romance. Have a little faith in me because you're going to want to read it. It may possibly be the most romantic book I'll ever write. I'm excited to get started.

What do you think?

Wednesday, October 3, 2012


So, here's the deal.
I'm getting old and want to see what the hell I'm reading, so you'll have to put up with larger type.

For those of you who are wondering what will be coming out and when, here are the current pans in the fire. I usually have 
one project in creation stage=still writing the first draft,
one project in revision,  
one project in the hands of editors, and 
one project being prepped for launch.

As of this moment:
Creation: Wicked Enough (novella--Ivy and Wickham's story) 
               & also, Bones for Bread
Revision: Not Without Juliet
Editors: nothing 
Prepping for launch: Christmas Kiss (this should be on virtual bookshelves by October 8th)

I'm dancing as fast as I can. Thanks to all you readers who are waiting, both patiently and impatiently. I've been told by my editing staff that Christmas Kiss is uber cool! So, we've got that going for us!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Oh Crap! Another one of THOSE showers!

Good morning ROMEO fans!

Yes, I have, indeed, enjoyed another one of THOSE showers. If you don't know what I'm talking about, see the previous post.

Good news: it's in the same series as ROMEO, JULIET, and ISOBELLE. But this one will be IVY, a novella, and contains a letter written to Jillian from her Grandmother--The story of Ivy and Wickham, and his twin brother Walter. And you'll never believe who delivers the letter!

And for those of you who did not know that Isobelle was going to get her own book, well, consider this the big reveal. It will come right after Juliet, but you may get Ivy's story to tide you over in between.

Say hey if you, like me, love to be tided over.


Friday, July 6, 2012


First off, you should know that yes, I do bathe regularly. I swear I do. However, I do not do so lightly...

It is a fact that every epiphany I've ever been granted came while I was in the shower. Nearly every character breakthrough, every clever title, every major twist that has landed with angel accompaniment into my humble brain, has done so while I was in the shower.

Why is that frightening? I'll tell you.

When I take a shower, while working on book A, the UPS man of genius drops off a package for book G. G for hellsakes! And in the scheme and schedule of things to come, G wasn't even on the radar! G CAN'T be on the radar. If I put G into the schedule, something has to get bumped. And the people waiting for books  B thru F are going to be un. happy.

I hate making readers un. happy.
My job is to make them happy period.
I'm the Happy Spreader.
(Okay, so I spread other things from time to time--no, not sunshine, more pungent--but the majority of my day is spent asking myself 'what does the reader want' and 'why don't I give them that'.)

So, you see why I am afraid to get in the shower?

I'm headed to the fray of spray in a minute, and let me tell you, I'm freaking out.
I'll let you know how it goes, maybe in the comment section.

Maybe I can hum the whole time...

Monday, July 2, 2012

Drawing for Chocolate Winner.....

Congratulations, Susan W!
You've won some lovely See's Chocolates for participating in the Angels and Demons Blog Hop!
You'll be contacted shortly for a mailing address.

For the rest of you, you'll just have to read SOMEWHERE OVER THE FREAKING RAINBOW with the snacks you bring from home.

And no matter what book you're reading, or who wrote it, be sure to leave a review if you loved it. Reviews can help your favorite authors WRITE MORE BOOKS. Trust me.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Angels vs. Demons Blog Party

Welcome to Writer's Block-buster Blog!

If you're hitting this as part of the blog hop, then you'll appreciate short and sweet so you can get on to the next stop. And be sure to hit them all. Prizes await!

My question for you: 
In this exciting sub-genre of paranormal romances, do you prefer your hero or your heroine to be the immortal in the story? (In cases where only one is an angel or demon.) And please, don't let the cover of my pretty book sway you--the book with the lovely female angel.

Leave your answer in the comments so your name can be added to the drawings. One of you will also receive, from me, a lovely box of gourmet chocolates to eat while you read your next angel romance. Hint, hint.

Here is a little excerpt from the book: 

      She’d imagined all kinds of cravings, for all kinds of flavors during her short existence, but never for the taste of someone.
      He was looking at her lips so intently she didn’t dare move them. His lashes were incredibly long, golden brown. His nostrils flared suddenly and the entire world tilted with his face as he moved forward. His mouth met hers as smoothly as...breathing.
     She focused all conscious thought to the rise and fall of his chest, to his nearness, and she could have wept for her lack of taste in her mouth or sensation in her lips. For the first time, she mourned for the depth of experience lost to her. 
     This wasn’t the smell or feel of peaches, or the taste of corn coming apart in her mouth. This was mortality beneath her hands, against her fingers...and completely out of her reach.

NOW, hop around the party, people, and win yourself a Kindle Fire or a Nook!

Friday, June 8, 2012

The Midnight Attack--to be read in Neil Gaiman's voice

It's that time of night when you let your guard down, only for a moment--like forgetting to go back and close the front door after you've hauled in your groceries.

And in that moment, something pads through the doorway on soft feet and comes up behind you while you're putting your thoughts away for tomorrow.

"What if you can't do it again? What if you've written your last story?" it asks, before you can turn and stop the thought from finishing.

And there you are, with that question already taking hold in the shadowy layers of your brain, daring you to let it stay and get comfortable. Daring you to leave it there, just until morning.

"Let me help you test your dedication," it teases.

But you can't. You know you can't. You have to deny it, pull it out before the roots have a chance to twist their tiny spindles into you. Because it will take. 

Oh, yes, it will take...

You can't let the thought repeat, not even once. You've seen what it has done to others--others who have put down their pens to tend the lovely gardens in their minds, to spend their thoughts on things prettier than villains and conflicts and the need to throw rocks at a hero while he clings desperately to the teetering branches of a story.

But you cannot pause to imagine what that carefree life might look like for you. You cannot pause. You must spin 'round and slap that monster out of your head.

Of course you can do it again. You've done it so many times already, started with a blank page and created an entire world upon it. Something with weight. Something with girth when it's printed off. Something tangible.

It should even be easier this time. (Of course, it won't be, but you can pretend.)

And just in case, you grab a broom and chase the thing back out the door, to let it know it is not welcome in your house.

Let it wander the dark streets and find some other mind to contaminate with doubt. And with luck, the doors will all be closed. 

And if it returns, and scratches at your window, the sound will be drowned by your furious typing.

--LL Muir

Tuesday, May 29, 2012


My name is L.L. Muir and I have a problem.

It's time to stop trying to be everything to everybody, but for the life of me, I have no idea how to drop a genre. 

There are kids in my head, waiting patiently for their stories to be told. Star-crossed lovers waiting to meet. There are historical figures there too, from a history that has yet to be written. So many stories, so little time.

Let's be honest. I don't write to live. I don't write to make a paycheck so I can buy non-essentials and take vacations. 

I live to write.

I cover the essentials so I can get back to writing. I write to make a paycheck for those essentials so no one can complain about how much time I spend bringing my puppets to life.

A hundred years ago, there was a really great Helen Reddy song--I forget the title--about a guy she kept prisoner in her radio, and when she went into her room and turned up the music, it let him out. (Okay, so that may not have been the real lyrics, but to a madly-in-love-with-love ten year old, that's what I remember them saying.) That song must have had a substantial impact on me if only for the fact that I feel that way about my characters.

I'm holding them prisoner, in my office, in my mind, and they only get to come out and dance at my bidding. Why in the world would I not wish to spend as many waking hours as possible in my little menagerie?

But now I have an issue with space. I have new people knocking on the walls of my little radio/genie bottle, begging to be let out, but my room is too small. Even for a nut like me, there is only so much space in my head, and I need to let some of these characters move out so new ones can move in. So I'm giving them a new cage--a completed, covered, purchasable book--and tossing them out into the real world, contained, but no longer taking up physical space inside me...

And I've become addicted to the wiggle room, the empty chairs, the walking space between the furniture. I've also become addicted to the roar of the crowd as I toss those books and characters out to them. (NEVER underestimate the power of the crowd, even if you're a hermit.)

So I'm turning up the radio and letting the characters out as fast as my fingers can fly across the keyboard. I can only tell the stories in the order in which they arrive and pray the crowd doesn't mind waiting for sequels to make it to the front of the line. And thus, my dilemma; a humorous Halloween story, WHERE TO PEE ON A PIRATE SHIP.

Are the YA and Historical sequels coming? You betcha. They're pacing the room even as I'm typing, peeking over my shoulder, trying to guess what I'm writing, grumbling when it's not about them. 

And can I tell any of them that I've decided to no longer pursue their genre? Heck no! They'd kill me. They'd find a way to drive me  certifiably insane on the odd chance the nice doctors might allow me to write more than I do now... And if that failed, they'd escort me to the high roof and insist I jump. Because if they can't live, I shouldn't either.

And so, out of self-preservation, I've decided to take the safely insane road of workaholism. No choice, really.  But can you imagine if I wrote Horror? The characters that would lurk over my shoulder? *shudders*

I'd go to a Writers Anonymous meeting, but I don't want to be cured...

Friday, April 6, 2012


The most recent addition to the Muir Witch collection--a set of identicals, no less--is currently exploring the house of L.L. Muir. Every nook. Every cranny. Every pot, pan, and wooden spoon. The dog is hiding, smart thing.

I believe in my bones that my dearly departed grandmother, (Lorraine, by the way) stands on the other side of The Veil (between Heaven and Earth), peeking down and giggling. She was the daughter of a twin, the mother of twins, and I believe she and Grandpa Muir have been responsible for the uncanny number of twins in my extended family--all born, coincidentally, by the oldest daughters. I'll try to think of an appropriate way to thank them by the time I am called to the other side, but I'll try to refrain from blessing my descendants with duplicates.

Taylor and Taytum have recently turned two and concluded that we are all here for their entertainment and snack production.L.L. Muir

Word production on the current manuscript has come to a screeching halt.

I myself feel a holy crap decade coming on.
Heaven help us all.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

YA GUEST BLOGGER!--The Book of Your Heart

Welcome Mari Mancusi to WRITERSBLOCK BUSTER!

She's talking about SKATER BOY and the book of YOUR heart.

SKATER BOY: The One that Got Away...

You always have that one book you've written. The book of your heart. Maybe it's a little autobiographical. Maybe it just reminds you of a simpler time. Whatever the reason, when you flip open this particular book, it just makes you smile.

Skater Boy, is like that for me. My first ever young adult novel, originally published in mass market paperback in 2005. Even though I didn't love the cover (which was made to resemble the popular iPod advertisements of the time) I felt there was something special inside. Maybe it's because it has a little bit of my own story, wrapped up in fiction.

Yes, one of my very first loves was a skateboarder. One my parents didn't approve of. And though our relationship didn't have a happily ever after and I now admit my parents were probably right, I always managed to retain a soft spot for those rag tag boys and their boards. So maybe it isn't surprising that the book still holds a special space in my heart.

Unfortunately now it's long out of print and hard to find. And when librarians or readers ask about it, I've had to shrug my shoulders. Heck, even the wife of my former boyfriend found me online to ask about obtaining a copy. (Which was, um, a bit awkward to say the least!)

But good news! Thanks to digital publishing, Mrs. Skateboarder and all the rest can finally read the book again. With a hot new cover that I adore and updated pop culture references to align with the times. (My husband calls me George Lucas for always updating my old books. (There are actually 3 different versions of Boys that Bite and Stake That if you read closely!) He thinks the books should be a moment in time. I, however, prefer to keep things fresh!)

In any case, now the book of my heart, the one I thought had turned to paperback pulp forever, is now breathing new life online. And I'm able to share my favorite story with brand new tween and teen readers who weren't old enough to check it out the first time around. And bonus--with self-publishing, I can do it for a bargain price, avoiding the traditional publisher overhead.

We're living in a thrilling time for publishing. It's a little scary, with things changing so fast. But it's a little awesome, too. Five years ago, an author was powerless, her books disposable at the whims of bookstores and publishers. And so many stories died forever, after only a few months on the shelves.

Digital publishing changes all that. Now old stories can come back to life. Authors can take charge of their careers. And readers can only benefit, with a wider selection of material to choose from. And that, to me, seems like a true happily ever after.


PS No, I'm never letting my daughter date a skateboarder.

SKATER BOY is available for $3.99 on Amazon, B&N, iTunes
Contact Mari

Twitter: marimancusi

Monday, February 20, 2012


You remember the movie THE TRUMAN SHOW?

What we thought was the horizon was only a wall camouflaged by the publishers, part of the magical cage we all chose to live in because we were taught it was the only way to be happy, fulfilled writers. Well, someone found the door in the sky, and the writers are all escaping.

The agents, planted among the cast to keep the writers distracted, don't have many left to work with. But there are some. Does this mean it would be a great time to get an agent's attention? Probably. An editor's attention? Probably.

What you need to know is, the games are live.

There are two of them.
Which game are you going to play? Personally, L.L. Muir is playing them both. But first, I'm going for the bow and arrows! Proof here.
It doesn't really matter as long as you know the rules and payoffs for both.
But be careful about what you sign; you may have more leverage than you thought. You might be the only actor left on the lot. But you'll never know if you're not keeping up.

Unlike The Hunger Games, you won't be risking your life if you take some time to view the pile, look at your options, seize your best opportunities.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

A HOLY CRAP MOMENT--and remembering a dream

You remember that commercial where the chick says, "Don't hate me because I'm beautiful?" Well, this is going to be one of those commercials, baby.

Don't hate me because I'm...GOING TO SCOTLAND!

Yes, sports fans--and mixed metaphor fans--I get to blow this taco stand and get the hell out of Dodge. No, not NOW, but a year from June-ish. (This summer is all about getting my boy to Disneyland.) But come the spring of 2013 Hubby and I are going to tour it on a motorcycle.

I know this probably bores you to tears, but know this: going to Scotland has always been the end game. Discovering I was Scottish, when 12 years old, had a helluva lot to do with me becoming a writer. I can remember how excited I was the day after I found out. I remember the hallway at South Davis Junior High. I remember the Formica flooring! I remember the dim lighting and the side of the library where I found that first Scottish novel. And I remember thinking that if Scotland weren't on the other side of the world and in another century, I would have liked to live there. (I was told there was no Scotland anymore, that it had been swallowed up by England.) It was years later when I saw Scotland on a current map that I realized real people lived there, in real time. And the dream began.

I'm so glad I won't be going on a senior citizen tour.

And what has made it possible? Finally publishing a Scottish novel. Scotland has brought me to Scotland. Obviously, Scotland wants me there!!! I'm just trying to make Scotland happy.


Saturday, February 11, 2012

Book Reviews - Bookin' It Reviews: Introducing Going Back For Romeo by L.L. Muir

Book Reviews - Bookin' It Reviews: Introducing Going Back For Romeo by L.L. Muir: Bookin' It reviews, in cooperation with Bewitching Blog Tours, welcomes author L.L. Muir here today to share her latest release, Going Back ...

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


Just a little fishy advice.
Keep swimming. Just keep swimming...
You stop swimming, you die.

For the rest of this week, I'll be attending Life, The Universe, and Everything--The LTUE Writers Conference. I'm not going just because I'm on some panels. I'm not going just to let everyone know about my latest release--although of course I am.

I'm going because there are plenty of things I can learn from other local writers--and let me tell you, there are some big boys and girls attending. The state produces great writers as if the climate and soil is perfect for them.

And if I don't keep learning and keep believing that there is something to learn, I'm dead in the water, baby. Just like Susie Wong, my lovely calico fish that was just belly-up in the bowl one morning when I was nine. I was certain the one I decided was the boy fish, Kung Fu, had harassed her to death. Turns out I was right. They were fighting fish, apparently. Doh!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Mary Martinez guest posting!

For a surprise and a change of pace, I've invited author Mary Martinez to guest blog here on writersblock buster. A change is as good as a vacation, as an old workaholic boss used to say. So here she is, Mary, from Mary's Garden Blog. Her story is great...
Thank you, L. L., for inviting me to visit your blog. Since it’s Valentines month, I’m going to tell you a story about how I met my husband.

It was a long time ago in the ancient time of life after divorce. I was a single mom with three kids, and poor. One weekend the girls at the office wanted to go to Studebakers a local hang out in downtown Salt Lake City. So I scrambled to find enough for a babysitter, which left exactly 2 dollars for the cover. Yes, I drank water all night. And the guys that were asking me to dance were babies!

This was long before ‘cougars’ or I may have been tempted.

All of us were standing around and one of my friends said, ‘last one on the dance floor buys pizza.’ I was broke I couldn’t afford to lose. Literally. So I pointed to a guy, dark hair, mustache and glasses and asked “Does that guy, the one who looks like Sonny Bono, look older than me?” and when the unanimous vote was ‘yes’ I went and asked him to dance.

We got along great, I thought he was cute and I think he thought I was too, then I told him I was getting a divorce and it would be final in August (this was June or July). He seemed disappointed, and then informed me he didn’t date women who weren’t divorced yet. DANG.

So the summer passed and I went to Studebakers with my friend from work and as it so happened, it was August. Guess who was there? I had a bit of money in my pocket and ordered a beer and asked the waitress to take it to him. But while she was gone to get the order he came over and asked me to dance. Unfortunately, the beer never made it to him because we were on the dance floor. We danced all night and as he walked me to my car I told him about how I’d ordered a beer for him. He thought that was ‘sweet’.

The next night I had a date with an old high school crush that I’d met at the reunion a few weeks before. Well, let’s just say it didn’t turn out and when I got home the night was still young. I said to the babysitter “Can you stay longer? I want to go see if the cute guy is at Studebakers again.” AND HE WAS!

With another woman.

I danced a bit with some friends and then I thought I’d better go home so the babysitter could also. Besides I didn’t want to hang out and watch him with this other woman. As I left I caught the waitress and bought a beer—paid for it this time—and pointed out where he was sitting and said to tell him this is the beer that got lost last night. And then I walked out the door and went home.

The following day he called me and we talked for four hours. And we’ve been together ever since, 23 years.

There you have my story. Or did I make it up? What do you think?

You can find out about my new Beckett Series at

You can find me on twitter @marylmartinez
Or visit Mary’s Garden Blog

Sunday, January 15, 2012


Since Science and Nerds are all the rage these days, let's take the scientific approach to this mystery: why are you not writing?

Examine what you are doing instead of writing. Make a little chart, even if you only do it by hand--gasp!--make a chart of yesterday, or whichever day it was that you meant to fill with a word-count, but failed miserably. If it's today, then start at the top with "Read a blog instead."
Followed by "Made a second breakfast instead," or whatever.

The trick is to write down what you did, followed by the word 'instead.' It will help you realized that you chose to do those things instead of writing. You gave them higher priority.

And after you've filled the page, take a look. Were half the things you chose to do silly little time-sucks?

As Sheldon Cooper might conclude, perhaps you don't want to write after all. Maybe the next little section of time-suck can be spent examining why you do or do not want to write after all.

With all the avenues for publication out there--if publication is your goal--you're going to need to a lot of product to sell. If you only needed to be able to say, "I finished the Great American Novel," then feel free to pet your pretty GAN. Trot it out for company. Trim it's toenails now and then. Buy it a pretty bow. But here's the important part:

You don't need to waste your time visiting blogs like this. You might be better off looking for pet accessories.

For the rest of you, those who've come here truly looking for a way to get your butt in the chair, attach an imaginary GPS to your arse and follow it around for a while. It's cheating on you. It's cheating you out of your dream and it's time for an intervention.