Glowing Author #19
Okay, hold onto your hats… today’s featured author has more than 2 million of her books in circulation! No, she didn’t write that many books… only 77 and counting. But her readers obviously can’t get enough of what reviewers have dubbed “the writer whose stories touch hearts and change lives.” So let’s give Loree Lough a real “Glowing Author” welcome:
Wow, Loree, you do inspire us! And you have a new book coming out. Would tell us about it?
Why, I’m more than happy to! J Maverick Heart is the story of nurse Levee O’Reilly, traveling with her doctor husband to open a medical clinic … when a ruthless band of outlaws kill the stagecoach drivers and her husband, and leave Levee to die on the desolate prairie. Alone and afraid, she makes her way to a small town and accepts the only job available: Teacher at the Eagle Pass schoolhouse. Traumatized by the event, Levee devotes herself to her students, leaving little time for romance.
Rancher Daniel Neville has battled doubts and distrust for most of his life. Wracked with guilt over his twin sister’s death, he views his limp—sustained in a stampede—as punishment for not doing more to save her. Wholeheartedly dedicated to serving his family and caring for the horses on the Lazy N, marriage isn’t even on his to-do list … and he intends to keep it that way.
Then a chance meeting brings Levee and Daniel together, awakening their long-ignored yearning for love and acceptance. Have they really found it? And can these two mavericks accept the plans God has made for their lives?
What compelled you to write this particular book?
For as long as I can remember, I’ve been a fan of the Old West. There’s something comforting about that period in history when right and wrong were as “black and white” as the images flickering on the old big box TV screen. It’s hard not to admire the strength of character inherent in the cowboys who blazed trails and braved bandits to carve homes for their families … and the courageous women whose love and support made it possible.
So I got to wonderin’ one day: What if one such woman followed her trail-blazing husband into the rugged west … and in a matter of minutes, became a penniless widow…?
Ahhh, story questions! They catch us every time. Who is your favorite character?
Oh, wow. I can’t choose between Dan and Levee, because they both display traits that I respect … for digging deep and stepping out in faith in order to turn self-doubt, fear, mistrust and broken heartedness into self-assurance and acceptance.
Have you always wanted to be a writer?
Well, sorta …. As an avid-reading kid who routinely lost herself in the pages of books, I became a “story analyst.” You know … one of those annoying people who sits beside you at the theater, muffling a gasp as she points at the screen because she’s figured out a major plot point? Yep. That was me. And still is!
Oh, me, too! My kids hate it! What part of writing comes most easily to you?
Based on what readers tell me, I’d have to say it’s a tossup between dialog and emotion-tugging scenes.
What’s the most difficult?
Typing “The End,” because by the time I get to that point in a story, I’m so in love with the people and the place that I don’t want to leave!
Sounds as though series were made for you! But do you find it a challenge to balance your writer’s life and the rest of life?
It’s a huge challenge, trying to ensure that my stories reach editors’ desks on time … without sacrificing time with family and friends.
How do you manage it?
It helps that I’m blessed with a personality and constitution that allows me to function “normally” on 3 or 4 hours of sleep. And coffee is definitely a blessing, too!
A silly question, I suppose, but here goes: Are you working on anything else right now?
I’m putting the finishing touches on the first book in my “First Responders” series, From Ashes to Honor (slated for release in August 2011 to coincide with the 10th anniversary of 9/11). It is the story of a New York City Cop and a department psychiatrist who, in the hope of escaping the misery inflicted upon them by the attacks, relocate to a quaint Baltimore neighborhood. Ten years later, they meet again, and find themselves face-to-face with the heartaches and losses they’d worked so hard to leave behind. (Stay tuned … a super new book trailer is about to hit the airwaves!)
I’m also working on Rio Grande Moon, the third book in The Lone Star Legends series. This one features Micah, another handsome blond-and-blue-eyed Neville cousin and the feisty Callie Roberts….
There’s also Love Finds You in Folly Beach, South Carolina, my 3rd LFY title, and two more novels in the First Responders series, and several more series that are under consideration.
If you had do-overs, is there anything you’d do differently in regards to your writing career?
The Lord might disagree when I say I’ve done my best to follow the path He has plowed for me through this thorny thicket that is the publishing industry, but when all’s said and done, I feel blessed in so many ways! Every day, my mailbox is stuffed with letters from readers—some of whom have become treasured friends over time—who tell me how God has delivered a particular message to them by way of one of my stories. What an honor to know He didn’t just recognize my limitations (too chicken to become a missionary in far-off lands), He saw to it that I didn’t ignore the talents He built into me!
Thank you, Loree, for sharing so much of your books and yourself.
“Marketing and promotions demand a lot more time and energy than I could ever have guessed! Like it or not, authors are required to stay on top of the latest trends in this constantly-evolving industry.”