1. Tell me about yourself. What got you started in writing?
I have loved stories as long as I could remember. My parents would read to me when I was little, and one of the things I was most excited about, when I started school was learning how to read. Just as fast as I started reading, I started writing. I started writing more seriously in high school and college, and got a few pieces published in literary magazines. The inspiration for my first book, which was based on The Book of Mormon, was from a verse in Alma in the Book of Mormon that talked about a young woman who was beaten by her boss Morianton, a pretty abusive man by all standards, and she ran away, traveled what had to have been quite a distance, and told Captain Moroni all of Morianton’s plans. I always thought that girl had spunk, and I wanted to write a story about her. So I did.
How do you schedule your writing time? When do you write?
I am a teacher and a mom as well as a writer, and so I have to schedule writing time around that. Mostly, my writing time is during the summer. I also write a little bit on the weekends when I am able to.
How and where do you write? Do you prefer a lap top or some other method of getting your words down?
I write at my kitchen table, on my laptop. It’s the easiest place for me to write. I wish I had a big old private office, but I don’t. My whole house is my office.
What's your favorite part about writing? Your least favorite part about writing?
My favorite part is going to book signings, and especially school visits. My last two books have been middle grade books, so I’ve gotten to do many school visits, and I absolutely love those. My least favorite part is when I’m trying to work through a scene, and I think I know how I want to do it, but when I write it down, it looks crazy and illogical, and so I have to go back and do it over again. And again, etc.
How did you come up with your book idea? How long did it take you to write your book?
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My two most recent books are about a little sparrow named Felicity. She can read, and because of this gift, she goes on an adventure in one book, and another adventure in the next. The idea for her came to be when I was in junior high, actually. I was on the bus on the way to school, and we passed a chain link fence. In the fence, there was a little bird perched in one of the diamond shaped squares, and I got the idea that if a bird and its tiny fairy friend were trying to escape from a hawk, they could fly through a chain link fence since they could fit, and the hawk would crash into the fence. Many years later, after having written and published my first few books as I was watching a few sparrows playing around, I remembered that idea. The thought came to my mind that the sparrow would be a female named Felicity, and the idea stayed in my mind, so finally I started writing it down.
What types of marketing do you do to promote your writing?
I use a lot of social media like Twitter, Facebook, etc. My first Felicity book, titled Felicity~ A Sparrow’s Tale, is perma-free on Amazon and a number of other online booksellers, like smashwords, Kobo, itunes, barnes and noble, etc. I also have a website and blog.
What are you currently working on? Do you have a new book out?
My second Felicity book, Felicity and the Featherless Two-Foot came out this last fall. It continues Felicity’s adventures, but this time, she’s dealing with a bunch of crazy unpredictable creatures that her fairy friends call people. She’s not sure what to make of their crazy ways. That one is my latest published book. This summer I plan to write a third book about Felicity’s adventures.
Do you have a project on the back burner? Tell me about it.
I’ve been working a little bit on a story that takes place in a fantasy world that involves lots of sword fights, intrigue, and a few kissing scenes. I think I’ll start working on it more seriously this summer, along with Felicity’s third book.
What would you tell a beginning writer who wants to publish but doesn't believe he/she has enough talent?
I would say that you should find out all you can about how to be a good writer by learning as much as you can. Take creative writing classes in school. Go to writers’ conferences if you can. Read books written by good authors, and see what they do, and how they weave their words to create plausible stories, and pictures in your head. Be willing to admit that your writing isn’t perfect, and can use polishing and improving. At the same time, be encouraged by your chances to better your skill, not discouraged. Don’t be too proud to listen to any constructive correction that you’re given; quite often, readers can see something in a piece of writing that the author simply can’t; but also don’t take it too hard, and remember don’t think you need to impress everyone. Most importantly, if you want to write, do it. Don’t let anyone (ANYONE) tell you that you can’t.
Thank you, Loralee! Learn more about Loralee here: