Interview with Lori Connelly
Today I'm delighted to interview Lori Connelly, author of the Lawman Silver Creek
I was born and still
live in Oregon. Despite being a good student, my teachers complained about my tendency to daydream. The tales dancing through my imagination were frequently far more entertaining than real life. As far back as I can remember I made up stories, to calm my sister
after a nightmare, entertain myself in boring classes and write in countless notebooks, many never again to see the light of day. I earned a BS from Eastern Oregon State College and married my best friend almost twenty years ago. I’ve three brilliant,
handsome sons, one amazing daughter-in-law, a beautiful granddaughter and two spoiled dogs. When not writing I love to read, hike, camp, rock hound, and take long walks with my husband just after it rains.
As sheriff of Silver Creek County, Matthew Marson’s job is to look after his town. But when he fails to
protect the most important person in his life, Claire, from an attack, Matt feels as though he will never be able to forgive himself.
newly found overprotectiveness drives the headstrong Claire from his arms. She can’t see a future with a man who won’t allow her to follow her dreams.
a small town where everybody knows your name and your business, it’s impossible for the pair to stay apart, especially as Claire finds that she can’t completely turn her back on the lawman that she loves.
Welcome to the site, Lori, now here goes:
Can you tell us what prompted
you to first start writing?
As far back as I can remember I’ve made up stories to entertain myself to the
point that my teachers complained about my constant daydreaming. For years the stories I wove in my mind I’d share only with my sister, late at night. And then I became a teenager. I
filled notebooks with angst, bad poetry and stories. I’ve dreamed of being a published author since high school but I struggled with doubt and some life challenges for years before I felt ready to pursue it. I
started writing with the intent of publication in 2006.
was the first thing you wrote?
A poem about pink slippers and my Mother for her Mother’s Day present. I was six.
Can you summarise your latest work in just a few words?
After a trauma, her laid-back lawman is suddenly overprotective threatening the independence Claire prizes.
What was the inspiration for this book?
I like exploring what if’s to existing relationships. I’ve known
couples who survived a trauma, and then most fell apart afterwards. Few of the pairs worked through the aftermath and had a stronger bond. I wanted to show a glimpse into the lives of a couple who love each other
but a traumatic event has put their relationship in jeopardy.
Did you do any research for the book?
I used research I acquired while writing The Outlaw of Cedar Ridge and referenced works I’ve discovered while doing genealogy research.
What does a typical writing day involve for you?
I’m not certain I have a typical writing day yet, finding a balance
between writing, life, family, and other responsibilities is a work in progress. Usually I write for an hour or so as soon as I crawl out of bed. By then the dogs are looking at me with big, brown, sorrowful
eyes certain that they are starving to death. I get up; feed them, the fish and myself. For the rest of the daylight hours I write if I can grab a moment. As the day winds down, I settle
in a comfortable chair in the living room, laptop on my lap, and write until the need for sleep outweighs the need for just a few more words.
How do you
decide on the names for your characters?
Genealogy is one of my hobbies. I’ve
been researching my family history since my teens and have amassed a wealth of information. Until recently, many of my relatives had large families. In fact, my mother was the seventh of nine children and my
father the eldest of nine as well, although only seven survived childhood. Most of the characters in The Outlaw of Cedar Ridge, The Lawman of Silver Creek and the other books I’m writing and/or have planned to write in the Men
of Fir Mountain series are named after my ancestors. I open my family history program and scroll through all the names of those who lived in the period my story is set and choose one that feels right.
What are you working on next?
The third book in the Men of Fir Mountain series – working
title The Recluse of River’s Bend. It is my current WIP.
What has been the best part of the writing process…and the worst?
I love to write. Creating stories is magical. Within
my works, I control the action, reactions and outcome. Real life isn’t so generous. The best part is editing and layering, making the story the finest it can be.
The worst part has been trying to learn all that goes into promoting my books. I’m working on gaining more exposure as an author. However,
I feel awkward asking for reviews, to date rarely have, and have only done a handful of interviews. Often I feel as though I’m stumbling through a dark room, hoping to shuffle through without bruising my shins badly.
Do you plot your novels or allow them to develop as you write?
I have been a pantser who about midway through a project would decide to rough out an outline. However, with my current WIP, I’m trying out something new, scene and sequel cards, plotting out the whole story
first. At one point, I had all the cards spread out in order over the cover of my king size bed. The sight gave me a good feeling of accomplishment even though I had a ton of work ahead. I
should have taken a picture. This ‘new to me process’ is less messy than I’m used to, but I’m still enjoying it.
book(s) are you reading at the moment?
At the moment, I’m deep into my WIP and am not reading anything else until I’m finished. However,
my TBR pile is huge, Queen of Song and Souls by C.L. Wilson, Beyond Grace’s Rainbow by Carmel Harrington, Waking Up in Vegas by Romy Sommer, The Light of Burning Shadows by Chris Evans, Sapphire Ridge by Aileen Harwood, Sinfully Summer by Aimee Duffy,
On the Scent by Angela Campbell and… I could go on but let’s just say I’m lucky they’re ebooks or they would fill up my small house.
Do you have any advice for new writers?
For your voice to shine, to hone your
craft, practice, practice, practice. Read, write daily, write when you’re inspired and when you’re not, edit, rewrite, read some more and repeat. Never give up.
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