Lauren Alder


Lauren Alder (the pen name of Laurie E. Smith) has forged at 25-year career in the professional comics industry, including projects for the Big Three and an Eisner Award nomination (which she shared with her husband, comic book veteran George Freeman). She is a lifelong science nerd who harbours a powerful fascination for dinosaurs, archaeology, and the sociology of food. She loves stories that provide the reader with plenty to think about after the last page has been turned, and considers the following comment from a beta reader to be the highest possible compliment: "[The Codex of Desire] is not a restful book. It will challenge your paradigms and leave you exhausted at the end. AND I LOVED IT. I look forward to reading this book again and encourage anyone who likes a different point of view to read it."

"The Codex of Desire" is the tale of a human paleontologist who unearths a small feathered theropod dinosaur fossil with a decorative metal band wrapped around one of its forearms. When he touches the bracelet (which is an alien-engineered memory storage device), he is mentally transported back in time, 67 million years, to experience the tragic entwining of five dinosaurian lives. Love, violence, lust, war, secrets, and betrayal unfold before his eyes, and when so many savage desires collide it might lead to the nuclear extinction of an entire civilization.

Smashwords Interview

Who are your favorite authors?
At a science fiction convention in 2017, I ran a panel on "Watership Down" in honour of Richard Adams, who had passed away the previous year. We talked about the ways in which that particular book can be used to introduce children to adult themes through literature, and I was overjoyed to see so many people in the audience who love Richard Adams as much as I do. The clean, hard-hitting lyricism of his work has always inspired me to be a better writer.

I am also a big fan of Robert Graves ("I, Claudius" and "Claudius the God" in particular); he had a talent for bringing history to life and drawing engaging characters, which I've tried very hard to emulate.

I re-read "Watership Down" and the "Claudius" books at least once a year; a third book which joins that honoured pantheon is "The Iron Dream" by Norman Spinrad. Spinrad's ability to weave disturbing visions and evoke both wonder and horror through mere words is a skill which I admire tremendously .
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
As both a writer and a freelance commercial artist, each day presents me with new creative challenges, and I can shift focus from writing to visual arts and back again in order to keep the flow of inspiration 'fresh". For me, a day in which I haven't created something new, or at least improved on something already created, feels like a wasted day -- and those new creations could include words toward my current novel, colouring a comic book page (or two, or ten) for one of my professional clients, mocking up some quick pencil sketches for artist trading cards, or writing posts for my Facebook author page, my WordPress blog, or my Twitter feed. I always have a good reason to get up in the morning, brew that first pot of fresh coffee, and hit my workflow.
Read more of this interview.

Where to find Lauren Alder online

Twitter: @lsmithnovelist
Facebook: Facebook profile


The Codex of Desire: A Tragic Tale of Prehistoric Love
Price: $5.99 USD. Words: 133,760. Language: English. Published: August 23, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » General
An ancient dinosaur civilization is threatened with destruction when Girn'ash, a shrewd and secretive female slave, falls hopelessly in love with Tir'at~Esk, a dashing enemy fighter -- and she will do anything in her power to win his freedom. But can anyone escape the cruel desires of the Most Potent Chieftess Ev'ora, whose overriding goal is to claim the handsome captive warrior for her own?

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