Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Guest Post By LM Brown: Why Authors Are Like Magpies

Why Authors are like Magpies


I suppose it must seem a little strange to compare authors to a breed of bird, but please bear with me whilst I explain.  

Magpies, as I am sure you will know, are rather distinctive birds who are quite taken with shiny things, often stealing them for their own.  I recall as a child losing one half of a set of earrings that I had carelessly left on the ground whilst I was enjoying the summer sun.  The bird, with no regard at all for me and my friends, swooped down and took off with the little silver bauble and it was never seen again.   

There is far more to the magpies than you might at first realise, as I found out while looking them up for this blog post.  They are actually very intelligent creatures and are one of the few to be able to recognise themselves in the mirror.  They engage in elaborate social rituals and some studies even indicate that they are capable of expressing grief.   

However, they are most famous for stealing things for themselves.  

Now, I am not calling authors thieves, but we are easily distracted by new shiny things that come across our paths.  We’ve all been there.  You hit Google to go research some vitally important detail for your latest story and before you know it a new shiny has appeared before your eyes and you are off on some tangent, gathering together your new idea, often completely forgetting what you came online for in the first place.  

Facebook is probably my worst hangout for losing track of time when I should be doing something more productive, but it is also a place where you can find a lot of inspiration when you are starting a new project.  Unlike Twitter, where you usually have to click a link to see a picture that has been shared, on Facebook it is right there in front of you (depending on whether Facebook is sharing things properly of course).  

A picture may say a thousand words, but a good inspirational one can generate ten or even a hundred times as many words when a writer sees it.  

My latest novel however, is not one that was inspired by a picture, but by a UFO sighting of my own. 

Now, before you all start pointing and laughing at the crazy author who thinks she has seen aliens, let me remind you that UFO stands for Unidentified Flying Object, which is exactly what I saw. To this day I still have no idea what it was.  

What I saw was the commonly seen formations of orange lights travelling across the sky one night.  The popular belief about these is that they are Chinese lanterns, but I disagree. They were in perfect formation and remained so the entire time they stayed in my line of sight. They also travelled far too quickly to be such things and speed was constant.  Having seen Chinese lanterns on numerous occasions, I like to think I know the difference.  

They could have been aircraft, though something about them made me doubt that was the case.  If they were aircraft, they weren’t the usual ones, which I could actually see in the sky at the same time and looked completely different.  My doubt was only tiny, since I am usually quite sensible, but since me and my family are firm believers in the paranormal and I have certainly seen some strange stuff myself over the years, the doubt was enough to spawn a story about a young man who sees a spacecraft coming into land, without realising the love of his life is on board and that his own life is about to change forever.  


My Boyfriend’s an Alien by L.M. Brown


Zak, an alien from the planet Trimmeron, is a member of a race of beings who transform into other species during their years of puberty. It’s customary for the youngsters to be fostered to the worlds native to their new forms, to study and learn about the races who will play an important part in their lives.

When Zak turns into a human, it comes as a surprise to everyone, for only one other before him has ever done so. Nevertheless he is sent to Earth, a world he views as primitive and barbaric. He arrives with a chip on his shoulder and attitude to spare. He does not believe that anyone on Earth could have anything to teach him.

When Zak meets college student Sam he soon discovers he has a lot to learn, not only about humans, but also about himself.

Trapped on an unfamiliar world and in a strange body that seems to have a mind of its own, Zak has no idea what is happening to him—only that Sam seems to be the key to the strange afflictions he is suffering from.

But can an alien find love with a human being?




The lights were already down when they made their way to a pair of seats near the back of the room. Sam sat down first and Zak took the seat near the aisle.  

“You’ll really enjoy this,” Sam whispered as the big screen in front of them played a commercial for some kind of vehicle.  

Zak whispered back to Sam that he was sure he would. 

As the film played on the screen, Zak began to feel rather strange. There was something happening down there and it was totally out of his control. He shifted in his seat and tried to change his position so it wasn’t as obvious. 

Sam laughed at something happening up on the big screen in front of them. The sound sent a zing right through Zak’s body, culminating in an uncomfortable tightening of his jeans. This had been happening to him quite a lot recently, but not to this extent.  

Zak tried to concentrate on the movie, but it wasn’t holding his attention as it had before. His awareness of Sam heightened with every minute.  

“Are you okay?” Sam whispered.  

Zak groaned as Sam’s warm breath against his ear added to the problem down below. 

“Fine,” Zak hissed. 

Sam took him at his word and dipped his hand into the big tub of popcorn. At the touch of Sam’s fingers brushing against his own, hidden in the confectionary, Zak sank even lower into his seat as he tried to figure out what was happening to him. 

Sam put a handful of popcorn into his mouth and started to chew. When Sam placed a hand on Zak’s thigh the pain in his groin became unbearable and he shot up from his seat. “I’ve got to go,” he said, causing several other people in the cinema to shush at him. 

He didn’t wait for Sam to reply. He grabbed his jacket and bolted for the exit.

Buy Links

Available from Totally Bound

Or, if you can wait a couple of days, it will also be available at Amazon, All Romance Ebooks, Barnes & Noble and other online stores from 24th January 2014.  


L.M. Brown lives in England, in a quaint little village that time doesn't seem to have touched. No, wait a minute—that's the retirement biography. Right now she is in England in a medium sized town that no one has ever heard of, so she won't bore you with the details. Keeping her company are numerous sexy men. She just wishes that they weren't all inside her head. 

L.M. Brown loves hearing from readers so don't be shy. 


Where to find L.M. Brown

Twitter - @LMBrownAuthor


  1. Thanks for having me here today Lexi.

  2. Commenting again under my google account so I can get notifications. :-)

    1. I'm glad you're on today. I enjoyed your magpie article. ^_^

    2. Thanks. I'm glad you liked it

  3. Love the magpie reference.

    1. Thanks. It came to me after all the "ooh shiny" posts on Facebook. :-)