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October 23, 2013

10 Questions with Lori Foster

Where did you grow up/live now?

Cincinnati, Ohio

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

A teacher! I have great respect for motivated, caring, inspiring teachers who positively impact children’s lives. But as it turns out, while I love kids, I’m terrible when trying to teach anything. It’s a good thing I’m a writer instead.

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

There was no one defining moment. It sort of crept up on me, at first telling me I was a daydreamer, and later telling me I was too introspective, and maybe fanciful. I started by creating stories in my head. Yeah, you can imagine what most thought of that. ;-) And then I wrote a few longhand, just for my own entertainment with no real thought of ever trying to sell.

I think it was when I attended a small local writer’s conference. At that time I’d written about 4 books. They were terrible – definitely not something I’d want in print. But without realizing it I was teaching myself to write. Anyway, at this conference I talked to some unpublished writers – several who had been working on a single book for years.  I had that “wow” moment, and thought maybe I had what it took.

Where/When do you best like to write?

I prefer my desk at the lake house and I write from the morning, say around 10 am (after I’ve finished emails and online stuff) until 5 or 6pm. When I’m under a close deadline that expands with me starting earlier and going later in the day.

I’m only at the lake house during mild/warm weather though, and I like my office space at home too. At the lake house, my desk overlooks the lake, and at home my desk faces French doors that lead to the pond. Water inspires me!

Do you have any interesting writing habits or superstitions?

I write well with chaos. If the house gets too quiet my mind wanders away from my book. I usually have the music playing pretty loud (and yeah, I sing along and bounce in my chair) with a few candles burning and my many pets bugging me every few minutes. My desk at home faces the pond so I can see the fish jump and the occasional hawk snag a meal.

My desk at the lakehouse faces the lake so I can see the fishermen go by, the skiers and boaters... I like water and find it very inspirational.

How does a new story idea come to you? Is it an event that sparks the plot or a character speaking to you?

For me, I sit down to write and things happen. I’m usually as surprised as readers are with how things work out. For Rowdy, I knew Pepper (heroine from RUN THE RISK) had a brother. When he showed up, I realized who he was and what he wanted... he showed me his background at the same time he showed it to you – to all of my readers. In one scene, he walked into a bar – and there was Avery. I didn’t plan her, didn’t know she’d be there, but boy, Rowdy sure took notice. J I know that makes me sounds nuts, but that’s how the writing process goes for me! I like to be surprised.

Buy Getting Rowdy at Amazon

Is there a message/theme in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

I don’t really think in terms of sharing a message. I write what I enjoy reading, the way my characters tell me to write the story, without much in mind except entertaining. However, my characters are all about protecting children, being honorable, protecting others, etc... Oh, and you know, I guess there is a message!

Love makes everything better. J

On a Friday night, what are you most likely to be doing?

Depends on the time of the year. If it’s warm weather, I’m either taking a boat ride, a walk with hubby, or settled down to watch a DVD movie. If it’s colder weather, odds are it’s the TV. We hit up the movies just about every Friday, but earlier in the day to avoid the crowds. J

What's the best writing advice you have ever received?

At a local conference, before I’d ever sold, I met Stella Cameron. We hit it off and she was so kind that she offered to look at my work. I drove home (squealing all the way) and snatched up a manuscript, then drove back to the conference hotel. Stella sat on the bed in her room and read through several pages with me anxiously watching, my stomach in knots. And she said something life-altering. I don’t remember the exact words, but she told me I would definitely sell, that my voice was special, and that she was impressed.
That was really welcome praise, considering I’d been working on selling a book for 2 years. It had been revised, then revised again... and each time I sent it off I had to wait another 6 to 9 months.

Later that same day she sort of trapped a Harlequin editor in the elevator and asked if she was going to buy my book. (At that point the editor had had the revised manuscript for over 8 months.) When the editor waffled, unsure, Stella said she would just give my manuscript to her own editor with her recommendation – and the Harlequin editor said, “No, I’m buying her.”

I still smile when thinking of that. After waiting all that time, Stella got an editor to commit to me in an elevator at a conference hotel.

How could I not revere that woman?

Oh, and besides all that, Stella is an AMAZING author! I still love her work.

What was your favorite book as a child?

Well, sadly, I wasn’t much of a reader until after I’d had 3 kids and my sister introduced me to the joy of romance novels. Before that I read a lot of my grandma’s “True Romance” magazine stories.

I do remember reading “The Contender” but I don’t remember liking it more than those magazine romance stories.

About the Author

Since first publishing in January 1996, Lori Foster has become a Waldenbooks, Borders, USA TODAY, Publishers Weekly and New York Times bestselling author. She also received the Romantic Times “Career Achievement Award” for Series Romantic Fantasy and Contemporary Romance.

Lori believes it is important to give back to the community as much as possible, so she routinely arranges events among authors and readers to gather donations for various organizations.

Girl Who Reads is an Amazon advertising affiliate;  a small fee is earned when purchases are made at Amazon through the above link. The views, opinions, and beliefs of contributing writers are their own and do not necessarily reflect those of Girl Who Reads. 

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