Welcome Lori. Thanks for stepping into my spotlight this month. To
start off, please tell us about yourself.
LW: Hi Winnie, thanks
so much for having me. I’m excited to be here. I’m a native Texan
and I currently live near Fort Worth. I’m a registered nurse, but I
no longer work in nursing, although I just received my certificate
in forensic nursing. (Doing research for a suspense novel I’m
writing.) I’ve been writing full time for ten years. I sold my first
book to Silhouette Romance in 1994. 39 books later, I’m still at it.
I’m married, no children. Lots of pets. An Australian Shepard/Red
Heeler mix named Cinnamon, who I taught to do all kinds of tricks. A
black cat that showed up as a kitten on our doorstep on Halloween,
so you can guess what her name is. We also have seven ducks and one
I’ve never been much of a hobby person. Before I wrote, reading was
my hobby, and then writing was my hobby, now it’s my job. I do enjoy
exercising—yes I know, I’m sick. I love to cook and I love to
travel. Good thing I married an airline mechanic.
Let’s talk about your own personal road to publication:
Is there some individual, group or event that you can point to as
the catalyst/impetus that set you on the road to becoming a writer?
LW: I wanted to be a
writer from the time I realized real people wrote the books I loved
to read. My father was a journalist, and he had a strong interest in
writing fiction and studied it extensively although he never wrote
fiction. He did write several songs and had a hit back in the
sixties. He’s been my primary mentor for all of my writing life. My
husband is the inspiration for my heroes. <grin>
WG: Tell us about your journey.
LW: I wrote my first
short story when I was eight. My first “book” when I was twelve. I
got an A+ on a writing project in high school and I mailed it off to Alfred Hitchcock magazine. I got back a handwritten rejection letter
urging me not to give up. I bawled my eyes out not realizing what an
extremely good rejection letter that was. Then I went to nursing
school—because my journalist daddy told me it was darned hard making
a living writing. I didn’t write while I was in college, but after I
got my degree, I started thinking about writing again.
WG: How many books did you complete before you sold your first?
Have all/any of them sold since?
LW: Books seemed too
daunting so I wrote short stories. Over the course of eight years I
wrote sixty short stories and they were all rejected. I decided I
must not know how to write and took a creative writing class. The
instructor told me to forget short stories and to write books. I
thought oh gosh, books are so long. I looked around and noticed
Harlequin romances seemed really short. I read a few to see if I
could do it. Then in 1990 I sat down, told myself I was going to do
this or die trying and wrote my first romance. It took me eighteen
months to finish it.
That same year, I joined RWA and learned so much. I started entering
contests and my first novel won the first contest I ever entered. I
even got an agent with that book, but it never sold. In the meantime,
I was writing my second novel and submitting it to contests. I finalled in 19 contests with that one and that’s the one that
ultimately sold to Silhouette Romance. Raleigh and Rancher, written
as Laura Anthony, came out in 1995.
I went on to sell eleven novels for Silhouette until there was an
editorial change and I was orphaned. I went two and a half years
without another sale, but I was writing all that time. I wrote a chicklit novel before chicklit was cool and while editors were
complimentary about the book, no one knew how to market it. Then I
wrote a paranormal when paranormals weren’t selling. Later, after I
got published again I was able to sell both of those novels to
Harlequin because the market had changed. So much of this business
I sold six novels to Duets before that line folded. Then I moved
over to Blaze where my career has done very nicely. In December of
2002, I sold my first single title to Warner and I’ve done six books
for them now. The last two books for Warner I sold on a 25 word high
concept pitch. When the sale (and the pitch) was announced on Publishers Marketplace my agent and I received interest from eight
movie production companies.
The hilarious thing was all I had written was that 25 word pitch and
here I had all these movie people wanting to see the manuscript. The
book, THERE GOES THE BRIDE, comes out this March.
WG: What changed most about your life as a direct result of selling
that first book?
LW: Honestly, the biggest change was a personal one. Selling that
first book, knowing that I could set a lofty goal and achieve it,
gave me the courage to leave a bad marriage. That courageous act
ending up bringing me the most wonderful man in the world. I’ve been
so blessed. But none of this would have happened if I hadn’t taken
those first tentative steps toward my dream.
What about your writing process:
Do you maintain a set schedule? Is there such a thing as a typical
day for you?
LW: I try to maintain
as much of a schedule as I can. I was a night shift nurse for 20
years so I never got into the habit of getting up early. My normal
writing schedule is to get up at nine a.m. and write until twelve. I
write 10-15 pages in that time. Then I have the rest of the day to
do business correspondence, speaking engagements, research, etc.
That’s on a normal writing day. Sometimes, because I write for two
publishers and have tight deadlines, I end up having to write a book
in two or three weeks. During those times, all bets are off. I write
from the moment I get up to the time I go to bed with only short
breaks. It’s a horrible schedule and I have a love/hate thing going
on with that process. It’s exhilarating to write a book that fast,
but it wears you out.
WG: Do you set writing goals for yourself?
LW: Oh yes. I always have. I set yearly, monthly, weekly and daily
goals. I don’t always achieve them, but I do set them.
Do you have a ‘mood setter’, something (music, ritual,
environment, etc.) you use to get you going when you sit down to
LW: No. I get out of bed and go at it. I take that back, I must
have my diet Dr. Pepper first thing in the morning. <grin>. When I
am in that frantic write-a-book-in-two-weeks-mode, I do listen to
brain sync tapes or classical music to stimulate my creativity and
keep me moving forward on the project.
WG: Do you do a lot of up front plotting before you start or do you
just dive in?
LW: I am a reformed seat-of-the-pantzer and you know what they say
about a reformed anything. Seriously, seat of the pantzing was
incredibly painful for me but I didn’t know any other way to write.
So I started learning plotting techniques. It’s made all the
difference in the world for me.
WG: Do you normally start with storyline or with character or with
some combination of the two?
LW: Usually I get an
idea of a character in a particular situation. Lately, however,
since I’ve started perfecting the high concept, I start with a
marketable idea, and go in search of a character to fit it.
WG: Do you find certain themes or
character archetypes making recurring appearances in your stories.
LW: I used to write a lot of caring
nurturers when I was still nursing. Now I find myself drawn to more
adventuresome heroines or heroines who are just finding their
adventuresome sides. I’ve always been all about the heroine and her
journey. The heroes were standard handsome hunks. But I’ve been
listening to readers and realized most of readers don’t give two
figs about the heroines, it’s all about the hero for them. I’ve been
working harder to make my heroes more front and center.
My reoccurring themes seem to be about facing your fears or letting
go of the past.
WG: Is there anything else you'd like to tell us about your
Basically that my process alters with every book. Sometimes it’s a
small thing, sometimes it’s a big thing like utilizing a whole new
technique. It doesn’t stay stagnant.
you have a favorite sub-genre as a writer? As a reader?
LW: I prefer a fast
paced read. Mystery, suspense, adventure. I like to be on the edge
of my seat.
WG: Is there a genre you haven't been published in yet that you'd
like to try your hand at someday?
LW: Yes, I want to write a straight suspense. And I’m working on a
Young Adult novel—that’s gasp! Seat-of-my-pants.
WG: Do you have any advice to offer writers still striving toward
LW: Don’t give up. Write every day, even if it’s only a paragraph.
Realize that the journey to publication is usually a long one. Have
fun along the way. It’s a process, not a race. And if you feel that
if a publisher called you tomorrow and wanted to buy your book that
it would be a magical fairytale come true, then you’re not working
hard enough. By the time you get that call, you should feel like you
darn well earned it, no magic involved.
WG: Is there some
piece of advice you received or bit of ‘conventional wisdom’ that
you wish you had ignored?
LW: Someone told me
to write for Silhouette Romance because it was a great place to
break in. I wrote for the line because of that reason, not because I
loved those stories. Write what excites you. Don’t do it just
because you think it will boost your chances of getting published.
What will happen is that you’ll find yourself writing stories you
don’t care about and soon enough your readers will figure that out
and your sales will dip and you’ll get the boot.
WG: What do you find to be the most rewarding thing about being a
writer? What do you struggle with the most?
LW: Creating stories is the most wonderful thing. Especially when
you have an ah-ha moment and figure out something that’s been
My greatest struggle is with my own insecurities.
WG: When you’re not
writing, what do you do for fun?
LW: I’m a real foodie
and I love to go shopping at those upscale grocery stores with all
the fancy foods, spend too much money, come home and cook up
something daring that ends up tasting sumptuous. Until I read Bet Me by Jenny Crusie I’d never had Chicken Marsala. Oh, gosh, I fell in
love with it. Now I make it at least twice a month. (But I do a
WG: I love to collect quotes, all kinds of quotes - inspirational,
quirky, motivational, profound, etc. Do you have a personal
favorite you'd like to share.
LW: I picked this quote because it’s the central theme of my life
and my novels:
better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even
though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits
who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray
twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat.” --Theodore
WG: Please tell us about your current project.
My current book THERE GOES THE BRIDE is out this month from Warner
books. It’s the first book in the Wedding Veil Wishes series. It’s The Sisterhood of the
Traveling Pants meets Bride magazine. Where
four best friends share a magical wedding veil they find in a
Here’s the back cover blurb:
Legend claims this antique Irish wedding veil can grant your heart’s
But be careful what you wish for…
THERE GOES THE BRIDE
The moment Texas socialite Delaney Cartwright touches her veil,
she knows she can’t go through with her wedding. And it’s not
just because she envisioned a stranger’s dark eyes and
irresistible lips the second her fingers touched lace. But she
can’t simply call it off. This wedding to her nice, predictable
childhood friend is the social event of the season (not to
mention her mother would freak). So she hatches an escape
plan: she’ll hire her own kidnapper. How hard could it be? After
all, she already had a practice run when she abducted her fiancé for
a night of romance. Okay, so she accidentally grabbed the wrong
man. It wasn’t her fault Detective Nick Vinetti with the sizzling
and oddly familiar eyes had crossed her path—and looked game for all
kinds of sexy fun. Now, with an altar to avoid and a cop to dream
on, this runaway bride is feeling for real—and hoping a little Irish
magic will unveil the true destiny of her heart.
Tell us about plans for future books.
LW: The second book in
the Wedding Veil Wishes series, ONCE SMITTEN, TWICE SHY, is written
and turned in but I don’t have a publication date for it yet.
I’ll have a book out from Harlequin Blaze in September 2007. It’s
book #1 of a new series I’m doing with Carrie Alexander, Jamie
Denton and Isabel Sharpe. The series is tentatively titled THE
And I have another new series of my own coming out from Blaze in
2008. It’s Desperate Housewives meets Grey’s Anatomy. CONFIDENTIAL REJUVENATIONS is a hush-hush boutique hospital for the
crème-de-la-crème on the banks of the Colorado River in Austin,
Texas. There’s some strange goings on at the hospital and of course,
lots of hot guys, strong women and steamy sex.
And before we close, tell us how your fans can get in touch with
LW: Write to me at Loriwilde@aol.com
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