Lorrie, thank you for joining me!
Q. Reading your bio, you've had quite a varied and interesting life, and I can see just from reading Dangerous where you've brought some of that experience into your book. Have you been able to draw from your life experiences in your other books?
A. Two of the biggest loves of my life, both at home and through work, have been kids and animals. I’ve been so fortunate through teaching, working with exchange students, and working at Disneyland’s Circle D Ranch, to have had the chance to get to know literally hundreds of wonderful (and, yes, even a few not-so-wonderful) kids. And I’m even more blessed to have had my own at home – although not quite so many! I don’t think I could write a story that didn’t have kids and/or animals in it.
I enjoy writing westerns because I so love them. That love is a gift from my dad, who used to tell me (with a completely straight face) his tall tales of riding shotgun with Wild Bill Hickok. He also loved road trips, and somehow Tombstone, Bodie, or Buffalo Billl’s gravesite always turned up on the tour, even if we were driving from Seattle to Vancouver!
All of my stories have at least a touch, and sometimes much more than a touch, of the paranormal. Growing up, I was fascinated by the work of such incredible writers as Ray Bradbury, Rod Serling, Charles Beaumont, Richard Matheson, Ambrose Bierce, and Shirley Jackson, not just in print, but on television as well. (I still get delicious chills remembering Charles Beaumont’s and Jerry Sohl’s creepy “Talking Tina” doll on The Twilight Zone, to whom spooky Chucky owes a very big debt: “My name is Talking Tina, and I don’t think I like you.”)
And most important of all – and the reason all my stories have such strong romantic elements – is the love and devotion of my husband, Wally. He’s been by my side since we were little more than kids, and if I’ve been able to capture in words what true love, passion, and great heart really are, it’s because he has shown them to me every day, and in so many ways.
Talking Tina! Oh my, that was a creepy one! Ok, from your answer above, I can see why your books are so rich and varied. Excellent insight you've given us all, thank you!
Q. Many writers end up getting inspiration for plots in rather unexpected ways. Was there anything in particular that sparked inspiration for writing Dangerous- or any of your books?
A. DANGEROUS came about because I happened to see a segment of the old Rescue 911 TV series. It was not a reenactment, but an actual video taken at the scene (and still available today on YouTube). When a pregnant doe was struck by a car on a Southern California freeway, several motorists and a passing Highway Patrolman stopped to help. As it was clear the deer was suffering and could not survive, the officer did the merciful thing and put her down. He then walked away, obviously very emotional. A few moments later, however, sadness turned to hope when a fawn was delivered. Named “Freeway,” the little fawn was taken to a wildlife preserve, where she thrived. I was so moved by that incident, I knew I had to write a story that incorporated a similar event. That story became DANGEROUS.
Q. Wow, that is incredible. I never saw that series but I'm going to watch that one on YouTube! Are you writing full time, or do you have a day job, as well?
A. I no longer teach full time, but since we have a very busy household – including a 20-month-old toddler and five animals – my time for writing is more part-time than full-time. Recently, I’ve been writing short stories, which seem to better fit my current, slightly scattershot, opportunities to sit down and concentrate. One of my stories, THE SHERIFF OF HEL’N GONE, will appear this fall in Prairie Rose Publications’ Halloween anthology, COWBOYS, CREATURES, AND CALICO.
Q. They say you can't force creativity. Do you have a strict routine you follow when writing, or just let it come to you?
A. I have to let it come to me. I don’t seem to have much choice, as that’s the only way writing has ever worked for me.
Q. I'm the same way. Knowing what you know now, what would you have done differently when you wrote your first novel?
A. Nothing. Everything was a learning experience, and one of the most important lessons I learned was that I needed to take independent control of my own work if I was to have a satisfying creative life.
Q. I couldn't agree more. Despite the mistakes we make, sometimes, there are valuable lessons that must be learned. With 6 novels to your credit, what can your fans expect to see next?
A. Right now, watch for my short stories and novellas through Prairie Rose!
Q. If you could give only one piece of advice to aspiring authors, what would it be?
A. Read, read, read! The more a person reads the work of terrific writers, the better he or she will write. It’s from reading that we intuitively learn structure, pacing, the flow of language, the art of writing. Of course, knowing the rules of grammar is absolutely basic. Make sure work is proofread and carefully edited. But most of all, read!
Q. I agree, it really does help! Is there anything you'd like to say in parting?
A. It was such a delight to talk to you today, Chameleon. Thank you so much for inviting me!
Lorrie, thank you! I look forward to reading more of your works!