Come On In And Say Hi To Loree Lough
In a previous post I shared my gratitude toward a very special lady. I know without a doubt I would not be a romance writer today if it was not for Loree Lough.
Author bio: Loree Lough
Bestselling author Loree Lough once sang for her supper, performing across the U.S. and Canada. Now and then, she blows the dust from her 6-string to croon a tune or two, but mostly, she writes novels that have earned hundreds of industry and “Readers’ Choice” awards, 4- and 5-star reviews, and 5 book-to-movie options. Her 105th book, Sweet Mountain Rancher, #2 in “Those Marshall Boys” series for Harlequin Heartwarming, released in August, 2015. Also new on the Latest Release list, Guardians of the Heart, (#2 “Secrets on Sterling Street historical series from Whitaker House). Next up, #3 in both series, Nashville Dreams and Healing of the Heart. Stay tuned for more in 2016 and 2017!
Loree enjoys sharing learned-the-hard-way lessons about the craft and the industry. Her comedic approach makes her a favorite at writers’ organizations, book clubs, private and government institutions, and college and high school writing programs in the U.S. and abroad.
A writer who believes in giving back, Loree dedicates a generous portion of her income to favorite charities. (See “Giving Back” @ http://www.loree lough.com to see the list.) She loves hearing from her readers, and answers every letter, personally.
This is great. I’m so thrilled and grateful Loree has interrupted her busy schedule editing romance book number 107 to visit me today. Please help me make her feel at home by asking her lots of questions, she might not like me saying this, but she’s a fountain of knowledge.
Welcome Loree and thank you for taking the time to stop by. I’ve tried to dream up some questions which might be a little different from the norm. I’m sure my readers would love to read your responses to them.
Anne: You have so many articles, stories and books in print, do you remember how you felt when your very first romance was accepted for publication?
Loree: Oh, I sure do! It was February, 1994. I was loading the dishwasher when Steve Reginald, then-editor for Barbour Publishing, called to see if I’d be interested in having my novel published with the company’s “Heartsong Presents” line. I did a little hand-over-mouth jig while trying to decide: Utter “Why, thank you; it’s an honor!” in a rational, professional tone of voice, or squeal “Whoop-dee-doo!” If memory serves, I blurted something in-between. Steve followed up with a whole bunch of other stuff that, in my Holy mackerel, I sold a book! fog sounded something like “Joyya abalbloza biblila blahbeedee blah.” And Steve, ever the kind and understanding professional, waited a day to call back and repeat what he’d said: Pocketful of Love would release in August.
I had the privilege of talking with Steve many more times during my years with Heartsong, sometimes to discuss cover art details, other times to talk about release dates. All these many years later, I get just as excited every time an editor says “We’d like to send you a contract.” I’m doubly blessed to say that although Steve isn’t editing for Barbour anymore, he’s still a dear and trusted friend (who has written a couple of novels, himself)!
Anne: You literally sang for your supper a few years ago. While you were singing, did you also perform some of your own songs?
Loree: Yup, I did sing a few of the tunes I’d written, all on my own. Mostly, though, I crooned popular tunes of the day (because fulfilling audience members’ requests is what helped fill my tip jar with coins and dollar bills)!
Anne: To achieve so much, you must be disciplined with your writing. Can you give us an insight into your working day?
Loree: First thing every morning, I make myself a cup of coffee. Strong, black, and as hot as I my tastebuds can stand it. After racing around to tidy the house (i.e. start laundry, make beds, supper in the crock pot, etc. –because I’m a tad OCD and can’t concentrate with clutter and chaos around me), shower, and dress, I sit down to edit the last scene written the day before…and I don’t stop until I’ve put in 8-10 hours and produced 4-5,000 words.
And if you believe that, I have the keys to a free Lamborghini…
I really do work 8-10 hours, and at the end of that many hours, I really have written 4-5,000 words. But—and that’s an even bigger ‘but’ than the one I’m sitting on—I’m often interrupted by…LIFE. Meaning, that 8-10 hours might be spread out over an entire day. And night. Which is why you’ll often see me brewing a 3rd (or 4th) mug of coffee at 2 or 3 in the a.m.
Anne: Can you suggest a highlight of your career?
Loree: There have probably been a couple hundred over my 20-some years in the business: 5-star reviews, producers asking for ‘book-to-movie’ options, awards presented by my peers are all exciting and memorable. But every time a fan letter arrives (and I receive anywhere from 10-50 a week), I’m reminded why I’m not teaching, or serving stale peanuts on some airline, or welcoming shoppers at the local Wal-Mart: Every thumbs-up and “I can’t wait for your next book!” from a reader is its own highlight.
Anne: Could we entice you to visit New Zealand sometime soon?
Loree: Oh, it’s definitely high on my list of Places I’d Love to See!
Anne: Tell us about your latest release.
Loree: Well, two books were recently released, back to back: Sweet Mountain Rancher (#2 in Harlequin Heartwarming’s “Those Marshall Boys” contemporary series) and Guardians of the Heart (#2 in Whitaker’s “Secrets on Sterling Street” historical series).
Sweet Mountain Rancher:
Nate Marshall used to be a yes-man…until being so agreeable cost him dearly. But Eden Quinn has a way of getting him to reconsider his “just say no” policy. Which is how a bunch of troubled teens end up at his ranch for the holiday weekend. The boys in Eden’s care are a handful, and Nate can’t help but be attracted to the feisty, independent woman who keeps them in line. This cowboy knows Eden’s no damsel in distress, yet it’s clear hers isn’t a one-woman job. If she’s so determined to do everything on her own, how can he help her…let alone get her to fall for him?
Guardians of the Heart:
Nell Holstrom wanted no part of the barren gold mine that had taken her grandparents, parents, and younger brother—even if there may still be wealth, hidden deep inside it. Instead, she went to Denver and took a job as housekeeper at the old Stone Hill Inn.
Asa Stone was barely a boy when his father dragged him and his brothers to fight with Colonel John Chivington. But Asa refused to participate in the raid on the peaceful Cheyenne and Arapahoe—and when the smoke cleared, his father and eldest brother lay among the slaughtered. Besieged by guilt (could one more gun have made a difference?), Asa wandered the West for years before returning to Denver to rebuild the ramshackle hotel he’d inherited.
Together, Nell and Asa work hard to restore Stone Hill. But when disaster strikes, he retreats in despair, and Nell is forced to return to the family’s mine. Asa faces the hard fact that he’ll never be the man Nell deserves. Can he overcome the dark secrets of his past? And will Nell still love him when she learns the truth?
Website – www.loreelough.com
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/LoreeLough
Twitter -https://twitter.com/LoreeLoughAutho (and yes, the R is missing on purpose LOL)
Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing your valuable time with me and my readers, Loree. Friends, remember the differing time zones, there are many hours between EST and NZDT. Please check back to see Loree’s replies to any questions/comments.
News Flash: This is the ideal time to announce our forthcoming venture. So readers, be on the lookout for a brand new blog starting right here very soon entitled Heartbeats, Heartaches and Heartburn. Loree and I will be joining forces and pooling our resources to share with you some of our writing experiences, and so much more. I can promise you’ll find us sharing funny, provocative, heartwarming and heartbreaking stories of how we see life in general and in particular the romance writing industry. We look forward to you joining us each week.