Welcome, Lori, it's so lovely to welcome you to my site today! I think you are my first self-published author to visit and I would love to learn more about your journey. I attended a conference this summer and self-publishing caused a huge discussion that went over several sessions, lol!
Hello Rachel, thanks for inviting me over. This is my first European interview. (waves)
1) What is your writing routine? I try to get in at least an hour or two of writing or rewriting, editing, etc. a day. Not that easy when I hold a five day a week job. If I wake up early enough, I’ll try to get some writing time in, but that doesn’t happen often since I leave for work at 6:30 a.m.
2) Which author/s inspire you to write? Actually, the only author who’s ever ‘inspired’ me is my daughter-in-law, Trish Leger. I’d dabbled with writing once about fifteen years ago, but I give Trish the real credit. About 4 years ago, she asked me to read a manuscript she’d written and critique it for her. Of course, I didn’t know a thing about critiquing back then, but it thrilled me to read those words written by someone I actually knew. My kids were all out of the house by then, so I thought “Hey, I could do this.” Once I started there was no turning back. I don’t need inspiration to write...I just need the spare time.
3) Which is your favorite romance subgenre to read? I love contemporary mainstream-like romances with lots of juicy characters and subplots. I like a little suspense thrown in the mix, also. To write? The same thing...contemporary, because I don’t have the time for the researching that’s required by historical works. It’s got to be a romance because I have no interest in wasting the reader’s time by ending a story on a sour note. I like my happy endings. My books also have lots of characters and subplots...sometimes two romances for the price of one...and lots of dialogue. I adore writing snappy, natural sounding dialogue. I want to make the reader want to become involved with my characters lives.
4) How do you deal with criticism/rejection? I know everyone must answer this with “It’s a learning experience,” and it is. I treat all criticism the same way, whether it’s from an office co-worker, a critique partner, my family members, or coming from an editor’s rejection letter. I use it to transform my writing into something better. In my job as a drafter of road design plans I deal with it every day. I have civil engineers marking up my plans with a red pen, so I’m pre-conditioned not to get too upset over red marks on white paper. It’s just another part of the job.
5) What do you expect from an editor? I’m self-published, so I don’t have an actual editor, but I have a few people that pick it apart for me. One is great at finding typos and grammatical errors, one is a writer that catches my POV switches, another tells me when something doesn’t work for her and catches timeline mistakes. I’m fortunate to have good friends to help me out. I took a wonderful class with Margie Lawson that taught me tons about editing and writing using dialogue, action, body language and the senses. After that class, I went back and began to rewrite and edit my own work. I knew it worked because the rejection letters got phenomenally better after that.
6) Tell me about your latest release. Last First Kiss is Book 2 of my La Fleur de Love series. It has returning characters from Book 1, (Some Day Somebody). It’s the story of a woman with two small daughters who’s lost the love of her life, and the man who’s trying to convince her it’s okay to love again. It’s a sweet romance, for the most part, thought there are a few steamy moments woven in.
Tease us with a blurb or short excerpt. How about if I treat you with one of the steamy moments?
Giselle looked up as Jackson walked around the waterfall to the opening of the man made grotto. He stood there, all tan and ripped, looking like a Greek god with beads of water spotting his bronzed skin. Her fault? Well, if that was true, she couldn’t bring herself to regret being the cause.
“Came in here to cool off?” he asked.
“It does feel good in here. I’m amazed at this design... It’s custom, right?” she asked, as country music began to play softly from built in speakers somewhere inside the cave.
Jackson searched until he found the speakers. “All right, he said he’d find the time to wire it for sound one of these days.” He turned back toward Giselle. “He drew up a basic sketch, I designed it for him, and he built it. It’s something, isn’t it?” He leaned one arm against the wall of the grotto and crossed his foot at the ankle.
“You designed it?” She shook her head in disbelief.
“I just told Red what would and would not work from the engineering standpoint. We hammered away at a design until we were both satisfied.”
“You ever thought about going into business for yourself? I know people who’d pay big bucks for a service like this.”
Jackson shrugged. “I might get enough clients in a city like Lafayette, but Lake Coburn’s only half the size.”
“You don’t understand. You wouldn’t have to find clients-they’d find you. Architectural firms would kill to have someone like you to turn to. You and Red could make a huge profit off of this one design.”
He shrugged like it was no big deal. “It’s something to think about, I guess.”
Giselle closed the gap between them. “I’m amazed at you, Jackson. Is there anything you can’t do? You sing, you dance, you played baseball, and you design fantastic pool grottos. Your uncle says you’re a natural horseman, not to mention the excellent engineering work you do. Is there anything else I should know about?”
“I may have a few more tricks up my sleeve. I guess you’ll have to stick around if you want to find out.”
“I’m extremely impatient. How long are we talking about?” she said.
He shrugged and gave her one of those sexy as hell lopsided grins.
“How long was that?” She inched closer.
He gazed into her eyes, looking as though he was damn close to losing control. “I didn’t say.”
But damn close wasn’t close enough for Giselle. She reached out a single nailed finger to trace from above his breastbone all the way down to the waistband of his suit. The look on his face was well worth the show of bravado. “What’s wrong Jackson? You look surprised.”
Jackson sucked in his breath and lifted both hands, in surrender. “Hey, you’re the one in control. You’re supposed to tell me when you’re ready.”
“Maybe I’m ready for just a little more.” She hooked her finger into the waistband of his swimming trunks and pulled it forward. Before she could look down for a peek, he grabbed her wrist and pulled it away.
Jackson backed her up against the smooth surface of the wall then grabbed her hands and laced his fingers through hers. He raised them above her head, one on each side, effectively pinning her against the wall. Leaning forward, he brushed his mouth against her neck just below her left ear.
Her pulse quickened at the feel of his warm breath on her dampened skin. Instead of kissing her neck as she expected him to, he raised his head to speak softly in her ear.
“I have to tell you, Hon, I don’t mind a little teasing now and then, but I’m no masochist, and I’m sure as hell no saint. Here lately, being around you is agony.”
“What’s the matter big boy?” she gasped, trying to lighten the mood. “You afraid it’s going to stunt your growth?”
The look Jackson gave her revealed he hadn’t found much humor in this particular situation.
“What is it you want from me Giselle?” he whispered hoarsely. “I think you know how much I want you, but I need to know how far you’re willing to take this little game of yours.”
Giselle stared into the depths of his hooded eyes, dark with desire. “In time...all the way, but we’re not alone here, Jackson.”
“Red’s a grown man and knows better than to bother us. It’s dark back here.” He brushed his mouth lightly against hers.
She closed her eyes, ready to abandon all will, ready to give him whatever he asked of her.
8) Which is your favorite character in the book? Tough call. I love Jackson, but I also love his uncle, Bill Broussard. Why? Jackson is caring, sensitive, wounded man who lost both his parents at a young age, and he’s sexy as all hell. He’s just spent fifteen years in a hellish marriage with a shrew of a woman who was an expert at lies and manipulation. Bill, who experienced his own tragedy as a younger man, put his love life on hold to raise his nephew. He’s mature, wealthy, self-confident, just as handsome and sexy as his nephew...and ready to get on with the act of living and loving.
9) What are you working on right now? I’m working on a short story called Hart’s Desire. It ties in to Book 3 of the series as a subplot of the main couple. Melinda Dawson and Greg Hart were high school sweethearts back in 1974. When she gets pregnant their parents plot to keep them apart. She’s sent to a home for unwed mothers in another part of the country. Thirty years later she returns to her hometown and the two mature adults don’t exactly pick up where they left off.
10) Your biggest piece of advice to aspiring novelists? Practice your craft and don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. Take classes, read books on writing, read the type of books you want to write, and believe in yourself. Find your own style of writing and always strive to improve your craft.
11) Where can readers find you?
My website: www.lorilegerauthor.com
Some Day Somebody: Book 1 of La Fleur de Love Series
Now available at Amazon http://tinyurl.com/3q74hdh
Barnes & Noble: http://tinyurl.com/3rr329g
Last First Kiss: Book 2 of La Fleur de Love Series
Also Available at Amazon: http://tinyurl.com/3dl5tb5
Barnes & Noble: http://tinyurl.com/3qu39jt
Great to see another self-published success, Lori - self-publishing is getting more and more popular and I wish you lots of sales!