Interview with Loree Lough
Affaire de Coeur Welcomes Author Loree Lough
Bestselling author Loree Lough’s award-winning novels have earned 7 book-to-movie options. Her 105th published book, Sweet Mountain Rancher (#2, Harlequin Heartwarming’s “Those Marshall Boys”) released in August with Guardians of the Heart (#2 Whitaker’s “Secrets on Sterling Street”. (Coming soon: #3 in both series!)
Loree believes in giving back, & dedicates a portion of her income to charity. (See "Giving Back" @ http://www.loree lough.com to see the list.) She loves hearing from her readers, & answers every letter, personally.
Interview with Author
Affaire de Coeur's
December Calendar Girl
When did you start writing and why?
When a job transfer took the family to Richmond, VA, I answered the “Community Correspondent” ad in the local paper, thinking…what better way to get to know the new neighbors and neighborhood! It didn’t take long to realize I loved everything about the job, from interviewing people to researching the area, and within weeks, my editor was making regular (for pay!) assignments. Before long, editors from other regional publications started calling, and by the time we transferred back to Baltimore, I had nearly 300 articles in my ‘clip book.’ After our return to Maryland, I continued freelancing for city, county, state, and national periodicals. When I hung up my ‘stringer’ hat to don an author’s cap, the number had grown to more than 2,000.
What have you learned about writing since you started?
I’ve learned to keep very careful records! Authors’ checks aren’t taxed, meaning it’s important to track every penny earned and every dollar spent on the craft.
I’ve also learned that it’s just as important to continue learning, honing my skills, sharpening my craft. Because the publishing industry is a quickly-changing, wild and wooly competitive world, and the sages were spot-on when they said “You’re only as good as your last work!”
Tell us about your new book or series.
Actually, there are two series.
The first is a contemporary for Harlequin Heartwarming (my 2nd series for them) features three cowboy cousins whose boyhood shenanigans inspired all who knew them to preface their entrance with “Here come THOSE MARSHALL BOYS again!” The mischievous blond boys became hard-working, handsome men who chose different career paths that took them far from the Double M Ranch. Despite their differences, two things remained the same: THOSE MARSHALL BOYS held tight to family ties…and yearned for the love of a good woman.
The second, a historical series for Whitaker House, centers on the lonely (and sometimes dangerous) roads people travel when protecting dark secrets. The main characters in the SECRETS ON STERLING STREET series have lived in the shadows for so long that secrecy has become a way of life. Their grit and strength is put to the ultimate test when they meet the one person who might tempt them to confess all…if only they can open their hearts to the possibility of love and acceptance…
What is your idea of a perfect day?
Give me a quiet autumn day, and I’m a happy gal!
Do you have any hobbies?
I love cooking and baking, gardening, making things from and with wood, painting and sketching. In short…if a thing can get me dirty, make me sweaty, or break my fingernails, I’ll probably love it!
What authors do you admire?
I’ll read anything by London, Steinbeck, and Hemingway. In fact, I’ve read just about everything they’ve published…several times! I think my appreciation for the music of their words is why I enjoy writing historical fiction. And I have a sneaking suspicion that’s why I prefer Westerns to ‘regular’ novels…
What is the worst thing about being an author?
Distractions! Writing is a solitary profession, and there’s a good reason for that: When an author is ‘on a roll,’ when the words are flowing and the ideas are churning, LIFE will inevitably rear its annoying, intrusive head: You ‘spike’ a fever; the water heater springs a leak; a storm takes out the electricity and your Internet connection; a family member needs attention or affection… The list goes on and on and on. But the deadline is immovable. And since you’ve already cashed and spent your advance check… <shrug>
The best thing?
The best thing, by far, is hearing from readers, either by regular mail, email, or social networking messages. Over the years, I’ve tucked nearly 80,000 notes and letters into my “READER LETTERS” file (which now takes up two entire drawers). The best way to get back on track after one of LIFE’s distractions is to sit on the floor in my office and pick a few random letters and read the positive, upbeat things readers have said about a character, a book, a story’s theme…or all three! And let’s face it: Readers are the only reason I’m writing, and the only reason any publisher issues contracts. We authors owe them everything!
What do you expect to be doing 10 years from now?
God willing, I’ll continue doing exactly what I’ve been doing since 1994, when my first novel (Pocketful of Love) was released.
What can we expect from you next?
Books one and two for each of the series described above are already available. In the next few months, the third book in each series will hit bookstore shelves. There are a few proposals out there, awaiting publisher approval, and God willing, contracts will soon follow!
Pass on some words of wisdom, please, to aspiring authors.
I’d have to say…listen to the ‘tried and true’: Read, read, read and write, write, write. To that I’d add: Join a critique group; enroll in writers’ organization; attend classes, workshops, and seminars taught by seasoned pros; attend conferences; enter contests judged by seasoned pros; read every how-to book you can get your hands on. And by all means, submit your work. You’ll experience rejection—we all do!—but you’ll learn from every “Thanks, but no thanks” you receive. Change your viewpoint so that you start seeing rejections as stepping stones, not stumbling blocks. Because that’s exactly what they are!
Scheduled to release in February, 2016:
Pre-order/Purchase Healing Of The Heart (Secrets Of Sterling Street V3)