Surprise!! With the expansion of the conference from three to four days, we decided to go for gold and reach out to not just two, but three keynote speakers to start every day of the conference with inspiration and motivation to help you make the most of your time at the con, as well as your time after it.
Our Friday Keynote Speaker is none other than the crazy like a fox, detour-embracing, award-nominated, Lauren Miller.
I stumbled upon PARALLEL thinking it might be a time travel book. It isn’t, in the traditional sense. If you’ve seen the movie “Sliding Doors” with Gwenyth Paltrow, there is that kindred idea of how different circumstances and choices take us on different life paths. From the Amazon blurb:
Abby Barnes had it all planned out—high school, college, career—but one decision made in her senior year of high school changed her carefully mapped-out future.
When Abby wakes up the morning of her eighteenth birthday, it’s as though her past has been rewritten. Abby discovers that a cosmic collision of parallel universes has erased her old reality. Now Abby is falling in love with a boy from her Parallel’s memories—a boy she’s never even met. She’s living the life she always wanted, but what if living her Parallel’s life means she loses her soul mate?
I enjoyed the book so much that I immediately grabbed FREE TO FALL. And, WOW. It’s a story about trusting your inner voice, aka, your intuition. Set in a not-to-far-in-the-future world where your inner voice has been dubbed an “illness” called The Doubt, and your decisions are left up to your smartphone handheld device designed with a special algorithm that ensures you can’t fail and are always happy, college freshman Rory Vaughn is thrust into a world of secret societies and the ultimate hottie (OMG, North! Le sigh). While she tries to sort out her past, and her future, she struggles with figuring out who to trust, herself most of all.
When I read it, I felt that instant connection with the message of the book and our community. I trusted my gut, and asked Lauren to join us. I am beyond thrilled that she accepted. For anyone who struggles with recognizing whether your inner voice is coming from a place of doubt and fear or leading you on the right path, I highly recommend this book. For the Kindle Edition of FREE TO FALL, click this affiliate link. And for PARALLEL Kindle Edition, click this aff link.
Lauren Miller is an entertainment lawyer and writer in Los Angeles where she lives with her husband and two children. Lauren wrote her debut, PARALLEL (HarperTeen) while on maternity leave from her law firm job and blogged about it, an experiment she called “embracing the detour” (also the name of her blog). Many people told her she was crazy. When she realized they were right, she told no one and kept writing. Her second novel, FREE TO FALL (HarperTeen), was nominated for YALSA’s 2015 Best Fiction for Young Adults reading list. You can find Lauren online at www.laurenmillerwrites.com.
Finally, check out the book trailer for FREE TO FALL. It’s intriguing, and a little scary.