<![CDATA[LAUREN ROBINSON - Blog]]>Thu, 09 Jul 2020 17:21:50 +0000Weebly<![CDATA[What The F*** Is Synesthesia?]]>Sat, 16 May 2020 09:05:47 GMThttp://laurenrobinsonauthor.co.uk/blog/what-the-f-is-synesthesiaPeople ask me a lot of questions about The Boy Who Saw In Colours, but one question that always seems to rise to the surface the most is "what does your title mean?" 

The Boy Who Saw In Colour follows a young synesthete in 1940's Germany. 
But what is it? 
Synesthesia is a perceptual phenomenon in which stimulation of one sensory or cognitive pathway leads to involuntary experiences in a second sensory or cognitive pathway. 
In other words, your senses are mixed up, causing one to hear colours, see scents, and taste sounds along with different sensory experiences. 
As adults, our five primary senses – hearing, sight, touch, taste, and smell – are processed by the brain independently, but at birth, they are interlinked. As the brain develops, a gene comes into play that cuts all the other connections. In some cases, though, this pruning isn't complete, and some extra neural connections remain in place.
One theory is that we all have synaesthesia to varying degrees; it is simply that some of us are more aware of the sensory stimuli.
There are also a few documented cases of acquired synaesthesia, where individuals experience synaesthesia for the first time later in life, following a head injury or severe emotional trauma.

“I know that the number four is mustard yellow. Mother always insisted that numbers couldn’t have colours; or months, or letters, or people, but I thought that was nonsense.”

Excerpt From: Lauren Robinson. “The Boy Who Saw In Colours.” 
My whole life, I've had an emotional connection with colours, albeit to a lesser extent than the protagonist, Josef. It can be described as having a sixth sense, and almost everyone I explained it to thought I was mad. Admittingly, I did too before I started research for The Boy Who Saw In Colours. When I was a child, I used to choose friends based on the feeling they gave me when I was around them, and later in life, I used this same technique when choosing romantic partners. 
​The emotional label that comes with synaesthesia is quite a powerful one. If I don't like the synaesthetic feeling of something or indeed someone, it's not an easy feeling to shake off. It's a very personal inner feeling that stays with you. 
The Boy Who Saw In Colours is a unique look at a subject we are all somewhat familiar with - life as a German child during WWII. It is a novel that will engage all of your senses and an experience that everyone should have. The Boy Who Saw In Colours takes us on a journey back to Josef's youth, beginning at age 12 and ending at 17. We join him on a journey into his upside-down view of Nazi Germany, and how the moustache man managed to hypnotise the minds of a generation. Sounds are tasted, memories have colours, the strong do not survive, and the best chance of survival may be in a concentration camp. With a hot passion for art and painting, Josef shows us what it was like for a young boy who dared to dream in a time of chaos where his mere existence could get him killed.  
As an artist, Josef expresses his emotions in the only way he knows how - painting. At some point, he realises that it is because of the mere existence of art that he can express himself at all. 
Colours and art change his life. 

Pick up your copy of The Boy Who Saw In Colours here by clicking on the images: 

<![CDATA[#VEDAY2020 - History Blog]]>Mon, 04 May 2020 17:39:12 GMThttp://laurenrobinsonauthor.co.uk/blog/veday2020-history-blogIn the days leading to VE day, there are many men and women we could be celebrating, and all are worthy of our praise and adoration. I would like to take this time to honour ALL children who inspired #TheBoyWhoSawinColours, the innocents of war, and I will be posting about them in the coming days.
The military use of children can take three distinct forms: children can take a direct part in conflict as child soldiers; they can be used in support roles such as porters, spies, messengers, and lookouts; or they can be used for political advantage and propaganda.
Does this boy look familiar?
His name and age are unknown. The Americans captured the young boy in 1944. He thought removing his uniform would help him evade arrest. This young man should have been safe, protected by the people he trusted, but instead, the adults acted like maniacs. What chance did the children have? Instead of staying up all night just to read an extra page of the adventure book he'd been reading, the nightmares of his fallen friends kept him awake. Their screams punch through the night.
I don't know what happened to him after the war or what kind of life he chose to lead, but I hope wherever he is, that he is happy and safe.
<![CDATA[A Quick Word With Douglas Falk]]>Fri, 27 Mar 2020 09:00:27 GMThttp://laurenrobinsonauthor.co.uk/blog/a-quick-word-with-douglas-falk
Douglas Falk's 'The Voyage' follows John Willander, who finds himself reluctantly drawn to an ambitious investigation of a clandestine theory – lured into the rabbit hole by his enigmatic new friend from Stockholm University, the privileged William Milton. William is intensely determined to exhume the mother of all conspiracy theories from its dormancy, and usher in the renaissance of a notorious worldview which has been dead and buried for five hundred years… until now.

​  John Wilander finds himself reluctantly drawn to an ambitious investigation of a clandestine theory – lured into the rabbit hole by his enigmatic new friend from Stockholm University, the privileged William Milton. William is intensely determined to exhume the mother of all conspiracy theories from its dormancy, and usher in the renaissance of a notorious worldview which has been dead and buried for five hundred years… until now. As John’s pleas for sanity fall on deaf ears, a decision is made; with the aid of astrophysicist Dr. Celeste Wood, the table is set for a voyage to Antarctica that, if successful, could re-shape the world as we know it for all the years to come – with or without him.J ohn Wilander finds himself reluctantly drawn to an ambitious investigation of a clandestine theory – lured into the rabbit hole by his enigmatic new friend from Stockholm University, the privileged William Milton. William is intensely determined to exhume the mother of all conspiracy theories from its dormancy, and usher in the renaissance of a notorious worldview which has been dead and buried for five hundred years… until now. As John’s pleas for sanity fall on deaf ears, a decision is made; with the aid of astrophysicist Dr. Celeste Wood, the table is set for a voyage to Antarctica that, if successful, could re-shape the world as we know it for all the years to come – with or without him.
​I managed to grab a quick word with Douglas Falk, author of the 2019 novel 'The Voyage', for a short interview. 
1) Tell me about your personal process of becoming an author. Which aspect surprised you the most, and why? Querying? Editing...etc. 
It began as a hobby, as it does for most people. About a decade ago, when I was around 18, I had a wild idea for an epic fantasy story and became so obsessed with it that I began skipping class just to focus on it. Alas, I never even finished two chapters. I just wasn't ready. I gave up and moved on with my life. Fast-forward to late 2017. Out of the blue, I had another wild, ambitious idea for a novel - I was so excited for this premise that I just had to have a crack at it, and I quickly realized that I was on to something. The words just flew by, and I finished the script in about three months of intense writing. I sent it off to every publisher I could think of in my home country, Sweden, but I got turned down. Words cannot describe how crestfallen I was after that.

Sweden is a small country with a minimal market, and once you've been turned down, well... As the months passed by, the dead script kept gnawing at me. I had to get it out there somehow! And that's when I realized I faced a decision: to give up entirely or to sit down and translate the entire script from Swedish to English, and hope for better luck in the English-speaking market. Long story short, it did! I got several offers, both from the U.S. and the U.K. I settled with hybrid publisher Mascot Books from Virginia (in the Washington D.C. area) around this time last year, and then the editing process began. The aspect that surprised me the most probably came after the book had been published. You see, I had not realized that some of the most difficult work was ahead of me - the marketing and the promotion. I do have a publisher, and they did market it a little bit, but for the most part, it was all up to me. When I publish my next book, I know what to expect, and how much I'll have to fight for it.
2) I know it's a little depressing, but how has Covid-19 affected your writing? 
It has affected me quite a lot. While life has always been and always will be fragile, knowing that society may never be the same again after this does something with you. No-one knows what is happening, and you find yourself distracted by the news more often than not.

3) Your debut novel, The Voyage, is a bit of a niche market. What can readers learn the most from your book? 
Does my novel belong to a niche market? Well, yes... and no. Allow me to explain: So, the premise of my novel is that the Earth is flat - which is, of course, a conspiracy theory that the very vast majority will scoff at. But in the realm of fiction, that is not necessarily a dealbreaker. Because, I would wager that the same 99% would, while dismissing it as a real thing, be intrigued by the notion as a concept. It certainly interests me, in any case. Right now, I am re-watching one of my favourite TV shows, LOST. Watching that show requires a ton of suspension of disbelief - weird smoke monsters, supernatural stuff, and time travel. That show was huge back in the day, with a very devoted fanbase. Did the majority of the fans of LOST believe in time travel? I would wager that they didn't - they suspended their disbelief. I believe that any premise can be pulled off, whatever it is about if it's done well. I hope and believe that is the case in my book.
4) Will you be doing book tours when the current situation dies down? 
Will I be doing book tours when Corona blows over? Well, I've never done a book tour, but it sounds a lot of fun. I am an indie author, though, so I can't really say that my following is huge or anything, but I am up for most things.​
5) If you were running the 100-yard dash with a new writer, what writing wisdom would you bestow upon him/her before you reached the 100 yards? 
That is a hard one. I would say that you should above all NOT quit writing just because of some rejection letters. We all get those!​

<![CDATA[Selfish Humans]]>Wed, 25 Mar 2020 09:09:11 GMThttp://laurenrobinsonauthor.co.uk/blog/selfish-humansIf this whole thing has taught me anything, it's how selfish MOST of us are. People are dying all over the world because of war, sickness, and poverty; children are homeless in Haiti without even an inch of love, but because it doesn't directly affect us, we don't care. "Suck to be them," right?

No, instead, we criticise. We shame the mother's who fled their countries to do anything it took to save their children. "Damn foreigners coming here to steal our jobs." We condemned the boy who grew up homeless in Pakistan. Who, between the bleeding and fighting, was reading and writing, got himself into a fancy university, and is now your surgeon. "Why can't we hire doctors in our own country?"

Covid-19 is NOT worse than Ww2. The two are not comparable. Don't twist my words, however. Saying this does not negate how uncertain and terrible this time is.

I'm happy that we are taking the measures necessary to keep each other safe, but please be kind. Support your neighbour, help that friend, and when this is all over, think of the rest of the world, too. Don't be so quick to judge.

...Because someday, the person needing help, or just some caring, will be you. That's why I care.

If you enjoy my writing, then you will love #TheBoyWhoSawInColours.

Pre-order April 20th.

"...a bold, poignant and ultimately soul-searching novel."

"Beautiful, raw, and heartbreaking."

<![CDATA[Imposter syndrome and book trailers]]>Tue, 17 Mar 2020 18:16:59 GMThttp://laurenrobinsonauthor.co.uk/blog/imposter-syndrome-and-book-trailers​Friends and foes, the time has come to kill an image of myself that should have died a long time ago. 

We all have a version of ourselves that exists only in our minds. 

You wake up in the mornings, find yourself in a conversation, face to face with someone less than perfect. Who would choose me first? I can't write a book. I can't learn how to play that instrument. I'm too ordinary to do extraordinary things. 

But that is not my story. 

I realised that, for a long time, part of me was still stuck in the mind and body of that sixteen-year-old girl with no friends.

Here is what I did to combat that: 

1) I had patience in my ideas. 

I found an idea that I was genuinely passionate about, did the reasearch, and spent years working on it. I didn't give up on the first hurdle. I spent nights combing through texts about WW2 Germany, and I became a spectator in real life people's upside-down worlds. I cried for their losses and cheered for their triumphs. Those people deserve their stories to be heard. There are so many lessons we still haven't learned.

2) I realised that my life is fleeting, and I didn't want to spend it living in other people's worlds and being a victim of their doctrine. That's why I'm not afraid to be prideful, and I pity anyone who misinterprets that for arrogance. I spent too much time doubting, underestimating, and ridiculing myself. It's time I give myself the same credit I give to everyone else. I will speak up for what I believe in front of large groups of people without wondering if I belong there. I will perfect my radio presence. I will write guest blogs for every website I can find. I will promote my writing, and I won't apologize for it. 

3) I HAVE friends, and they are extraordinary, even if most of them do live on the other side of the world. 

4) My main characters are special—specifically Josef. Above anything else, he is dazzling and original: bold, brave, daring, real, and a wonderful character I can't wait to share with the world. But in my eyes, he represents a version of me - the sixteen-year-old me with no friends. I learned that there were parts of her that were beautiful, but I was too scared to let them show. Josef has taught me many things, but the main thing I have learned is never to let the naysayers stand guard on my life. It's MY life, not yours. He taught me to keep doodling and to never get too comfortable being a version of me someone else created in their minds. 

That got a lot more intense than I had initially planned. It's supposed to be a fun blog, damnit! Not a blog you think about at 3 am. 

This is what happens when the gym's closed. 

I am also collaborating with the wonderful Henry Hyde to work on the book trailer for The Boy Who Saw In Colours, and I wanted to share a little bit of storyboarding with you. Keep those eyes open and make sure you're following me on Twitter and Facebook for sneak peeks. I can't wait for you to see it. 

<![CDATA[Coronavirus and books]]>Sun, 15 Mar 2020 09:23:00 GMThttp://laurenrobinsonauthor.co.uk/blog/coronavirus-and-booksSince Cornavirus has hit its peak here in the UK, people are staying in, locking doors, and blessing themselves with hand sanitizer, so I thought now was a good time for me to give my two cents on the matter. 

As many of you already know, I sadly had to postpone my book launch due to Coronavirus concerns. I don't want to be the author that gives someone the virus for venturing out to celebrate with me. Despite hoping that we have a solution by April, I simply cannot take the risk. The new date has been arranged for May 8th, which works beautifully, as it was the date in which WW2 ended in Europe. I can see the marketing now. Just beautiful. 

I don't want this post to be all doom and gloom, like many posts I have seen on the wonderful web. I want this blog to be a place where you can come to escape all the negativity the world is forcing upon us. 

Reason to smile number one.

A baby infected with the virus has the all-clear to leave the hospital and is recovering. Please share this post to combat all the negative ones filling our timelines. These journalists are trying to find hope. 
Click on the pictures for more information. 

Picture is not mine, but courtesy of Pinterest. 

Reason to smile number two.

Mr. Chang is a well-known figure in my home town of Derry for many reasons, but he is especially good at keeping our spirits up during this insane time. Just...look.  ​Check this raving maniac out on Facebook here. 

When you use Ricebowl App for A ‘contactless Delivery Option !’
You are Not suppose to Open the door & say to the driver:-
“ What’s Happening Mucker? 1st Class service Mucker!”
Your delivery will be left outside."

Picture belongs to RiceBowl
Reason to smile number three.

My grandmother.

The poor soul went to the doctors the other day, and on the way out, she used some hand sanitizer. Only, she forgot herself and blessed herself with it. That's one way to keep the virus away. 

In all seriousness, keep safe, look after each other, and if you have any funny stories of your own, share them below. 

Oh, and remember to... wash your hands. 

Lauren Robinson 

<![CDATA[Why do I write?]]>Thu, 12 Mar 2020 10:05:49 GMThttp://laurenrobinsonauthor.co.uk/blog/why-do-i-writeWith the release of my debut novel (baby) rapidly approaching, I decided to let everyone into a little part of my mind.  A scary place, guys! 

The written word helps me express my feelings in a way the spoken word cannot. The version of me that exists in between the lines of my book is the truest version of me, one that I find hard to let out in day-to-day life, and one that very few people see. 

Why did I choose to write The Boy Who Saw In Colours? 

The answer to this question has many answers, but here are a few points. 
I remember being a teenager in 2013, and as many schools do, they taught us about WW2. Me being me, I decided to do further research, and I was shocked to learn that there were many people with stories that the history books don't teach you. Stories keep the world revolving, and it didn't seem fair to me that some people's stories were forgotten, so I decided to write. Through the eyes of my characters, I've written many stories -- that of my friends, my family, and many from myself. 
The second realisation was also a bit of a fluke. I noticed myself writing in a very lyrical and off-beat descriptive prose, describing the taste of music and the colour of sadness. I thought I was going mad. 

Absolutely. Raving. Mad. 

A quick google search confirmed that I was writing about synesthesia, and that's the moment I fell in love with Josef and the story. From then on, I knew my story was unique, and I had to share it. 

This will be the primary place I post about my book, so make sure to keep your eyes open. Sign up for my newsletter if you don't want to miss out on the pre-order dates.