Dolphin Legacy Contract!

I just signed a publishing contract with Creativia for The Dolphin Legacy, one I co-wrote with dolphin naturalist Dean Bernal.

Imagine ocean swimming in crystalline waters. All alone. Then three small dolphins join you. They’re all splashing, clicking, and whistling but one young male keeps staring as if he has known you since the days of Atlantian myth.

That’s what happened to Dean Bernal in the turquoise waters off the Turks and Caicos Islands. In that moment, his friendship with a wild bottlenose dolphin, named JoJo, began. He didn’t know it then, but their relationship would become world famous, inspiring millions.

After the death of his two dolphin companions due to human ignorance, JoJo grew closer to Dean. This lone, social dolphin introduced him to the waters and fellow creatures of his ocean realm and provided me with an extraordinary gift previously bestowed to no human: the secret life of a wild dolphin.

Making Mom Proud

“Laurie, guess what was in my inbox?” She barely waited for me to ask what before giddily telling me she’d gotten an Amazon ad with my book at the top.

“My daughter, the star,” she said giggling.

It looks like my publisher is hard at work again.  Promoting its authors. Well. Thanks Creativia Publishing.  It’s nice to know that even at my age I can make Mom’s proud.



In the Hot Seat with Jay Asher

” I wanted to see if you are able to attend the 9/12 SLO Nightwriters meeting? It promises to be a good one and your input would be invaluable – which I and others would greatly appreciate it if you can make it.”

When I got this email from my publicist, I had no idea what I was getting into. I imagined a meeting, like before, where I’d help critique various pieces of work. But when I arrived and was asked to put my name on a slip of paper, I was confused. Then, Susan explained that the names were going into a can to be pulled out randomly during the meeting for a hot seat session with Jay Asher.

Public speaking has always been my greatest fear so I tried not to let my shy side take control and give me a panic attack as I took my seat among other Central Coast writers.  Over the next hour, names were called as I focused on calming my breathing for when my turn came.

“Laurie Woodward,” my publicist, Brian Schwartz announced.

Go for it. I told myself, holding my recently published Artania high as I giddily approached the hot seat.


Jay w - Laurie-4Jay chuckled as we said hi. As soon as I looked in his kind face, my nerves calmed.  I’ve known Jay for years, since well  before either of us were published. Long ago we were both attendees looking for agents at various writers’ conferences and other events in California. Long before his Thirteen Reasons Why became a New York Times bestseller and Netflix series. And he has always been good people. Unassuming. Humble. Accepting.

Jay looked over his list of questions and asked, “What sort of a writing schedule do you have?”

I sighed. That was easy to answer. “I get up every day and write for at least an hour. No matter what. That way I get to start the day in my head.”

Then he asked me to describe my book.

And I froze.

“Umm. Artania is where all art is alive….” I stuttered my way through a confused explanation, kicking myself for not remembering my pitch.

I saw the sympathetic faces in the crowd. Feeling sorry for me. And I realized that these people were no threat.

I took a deep breath and imagined speaking to a group of parents or my students. Thought about Artania’s theme.

“I believe that we all have a special part of ourselves,” I said turning to the audience. “Our artistic side. For some, like you, it’s writing. Others it might be painting or dance. But each is absolutely unique. And what I try to do in Artania, is honor that beautiful part of us.”

Jay w explain


Like all writers do.

Even when they’re in the hot seat.

Dating Life: A Poem

You want me to perform on stage

For you alone

An actress reciting lines written long ago

When you first imagined nubile girls

And felt stirrings sensual and strange


You ask for a curtain call

But the first act has not yet begun

Or even been rehearsed


I am outside this theater looking up

At its neon lights.

Wondering whether to step inside


Or run from their harsh glare

To the soft twinkling

Of country summer.


You want my ecstatic dance

To rise like a crescendo before your eyes

My limbs twisting and convulsing in

Tribal rhythms


But the music has yet to play

And I am wrapped in the silence.


You want an aria, a magnum opus

A soprano hitting notes so high

As to shatter hearts.


But I am just a woman.

And can’t even sing on key.


Artania Launches at Number One!

These last two weeks have been such a whirlwind of emotions. From reeling over a publishing deal to getting the manuscript ready to awaiting Artania’s release, I’ve been swirling. Then Creativia released the novel on Amazon and it hit number one. To say I’m feeling gratitude is a full on understatement.

Dreams. Realized.

Buy Artania!

Key Words

Would you like your new book to rank high on Amazon? Have you always dreamed of seeing “number one” next to your novel? If so, use Amazon’s key word function to narrow its category. Choose as specific of a niche as possible. For example, my recently released Artania: The Pharaohs’ Cry  reached number one by being in the category of “Children’s” then “Arts, Music, & Photography” and “Art” and finally narrower still in “Painting.”  Because the category was small that shot my rankings up.

So, what are you waiting for? Play with your categories and watch your ranking soar!