1.) What propelled you to become a writer? I always wrote as a hobby since childhood, but it wasn’t until I published my first book on a whim in 2012 that I started to have designs on actually being an author.
2.) What’s your genre of choice and how did you end up there? Women’s lit and Romantic Suspense tend to be my niche genres. The ideas I have for stories just happen to fall into those categories, and those are the ones I’ve been most interested in writing in thus far.
3.) Do you engage in any rituals before or as you write? Not really, but I always have music playing.
4.) What book are you currently trying to promote? How would you pitch it in three sentences? The current book I’m promoting is “What I’d Do For Love.” My pitch in three sentences: Greer Patterson has always felt alienated from everyone except her father and her husband. When she discovers her husband’s infidelity, she snaps, kills him and frames the side piece. Now, she’s in search of a new love, and she’s determined not to let anyone get in the way of fate again!
5.) What’s the most daring thing you’ve yet to write but think you should? With every book I try to increase the cleverness of my plots and outdo the last book I wrote, but I never know what I’m going to do until I do it.
6.) What was the best sex scene you’ve ever written OR most enjoyed by your fans and why? I’m not really sure. I’d have to say it was the first sex scene between Brenda and Lane in Behind Closed Doors because it was the first romantic one I’d ever written and a lot of readers seemed to think it was erotic.
7.) Generally, what sexual position is most preferred among the characters in your novels? I’d say they vary, though doggy style is maybe the most selected.
8.) Which one of your characters would you date? Why? Describe him. I’d date Lane from “Behind Closed Doors” and “Liar’s Ball.” He’s 6’4” with an athletic physique, dark brown skin, low fade, and a neatly cropped goatee. He’s a finer and slightly darker version of Alonzo Mourning from the Miami HEAT.
9.) How long did it take you to see that you had grown a noticeable fan base? When I published my 3rd book “When I’m Bad I’m Better” I was shocked at how many readers already knew my name and were waiting for a new release from me. It stayed at #1 in its genre for a few weeks and I was pleasantly surprised.
10.) What has been the most successful avenue in winning readers to fans? Promotions on social media have worked best for me, whether it has been through my own promotions, or via using a paid promoter.
11.) Which has been the most valuable lesson as an author? Always do your best to put out the best version of your work the first time.
12.) Where can we find your books and where can we find you? My books are on my website, www.kfjohnsonbooks.com , Amazon, Barnes & Noble and in other retail online stores. They are also available in some local distributors in Indiana, Florida, Atlanta and Virginia. I can be found in any of these places online or on social media.
What propelled you to become a writer? I’ve always enjoyed writing. I wrote short thriller stories and some sci-fi, but never published any of them.
What’s the name of your first published book and how’d you come up with the concept? Quake was my first book. I knew I wanted him to be a P.I. and fall for the sister of a client he was investigating and that I wanted to include some voyeurism in the story.
What’s your genre of choice and how did you end up there? I write erotic thrillers. I published Quake on a dare from my cousin, to write erotica. The thriller element came about because that’s what I always wrote in the past. It’s also my favorite genre to read.
Do you engage in any rituals before or as you write? No, lmao
What book are you currently trying to promote? How would you pitch it in three sentences? PENALTY is a sports romance with a lot of humor. Like all my books, there are unexpected twists. It releases on May 12th and I hope everyone enjoys it.
What do you want or think a reader will get out of this book? I hope they get hours of entertainment out of it. My characters are always flawed like real people and they all have struggles to overcome. What they get out of it depends on the reader.
What’s is like being a male erotica author and do you think it’s different than if you were a female? I enjoy being an author and everything about publishing. I think the support I’ve gotten from readers has been amazing and I appreciate it. I think there are some readers who hesitate to read romance written by a male and hopefully they’ll take a chance on my books.
How long did it take you to see that you had grown a noticeable fan base? I don’t really know what counts as a noticeable fan base. Is there a certain number I should be shooting for, lmao? I don’t focus on numbers or other authors. I keep looking forward and focus on what I need to do.
What has been the most successful avenue in winning readers to fans? I write the best books I can and that’s all I can do. I put a lot of time and effort into making my stories original and each one different. It’s awesome to see readers appreciating that.
Which has been the most valuable lesson as an author? I don’t know that I’ve learned any life lessons I didn’t already know. I think life lessons are universal and apply no matter what your profession is.
Where can we find your books and where can we find you? My books are only on Amazon - https://www.amazon.com/author/jacobchance
Here are my links to follow me -
Spoiled by Chance Reader’s Group:
1.) What propelled you to become a writer? I have always had a passion for writing and when I was a kid I used to write poetry but once I got ahold of Zane's Nervous book and the Coldest Winter ever by Sistah Souljah I was hooked and knew from then on that I wanted to be a writer.
2.) What’s the name of your first published book and how’d you come up with the concept? My first book is titled Trust Issues. The concept of the book came from some experiences in my life and I took that and came up with a storyline that continued to grow. I grew up in a neighborhood that was full of poverty but we used what we had to maintain, also it was very hard to find real friends so the ones I had I kept them close. This book touches on so many things that I feel women can relate to when they read it and that’s what i was going for.
3.) What’s your genre of choice and how did you end up there? I don’t really have a genre of choice because I love all types of books like I do music, the Trust Issues series just happens to be in the Urban Fiction family but I hope to branch out into other genres as I continue to mold my craft.
4.) What book are you currently trying to promote? How would you pitch it in three sentences? I’m currently promoting the entire Trust Issues series because you can’t have one without the other. I would say that it's a story of five friends fighting to keep their situations in tact but the trust issues are real and you never know who to trust.
5.) What do you want or think a reader will get out of this book? I think they will get the whole nine when reading this series. Love, sex, lies and betrayal this book will definitely have you giving people that claim to be for you the side eye.
6.) What’s the biggest challenge you’re facing as an author? The biggest issue for me right now I would have to say is time, because there are just not enough hours in a day for me to focus on my craft. Slowly but surely I’m getting it together though so it won’t be a challenge for to long.
7.) What was the toughest part about writing this book? It took me almost two years to write the first book to this series because I kept second guessing if I would be good enough and meet the expectations of the readers so I would start and stop until I finally just decided to go with it and here I am.
8.) Do you engage in any rituals before or as you write? Music is my ritual, that is my go to that helps me put pen to pad or stroke those keys on my laptop. Music takes me through all the emotions I need to feel when I’m writing so that I can come up with the best characters and their situationships as I like to call them.
9.) What words of encouragement do you live by? The words that help me are those that I feel every author should live by and that’s just to write from your heart, don’t rush your flow just let it come to you and the work will be that much better.
10.) Which author has been your biggest influence? One of my most favorite authors of all times is Noire but there are so many that influence me.
11.) Where can we find your books and where can we find you? My books are available on amazon kindle, if you have kindle unlimited (Ku) you can get them with just one click and as far as how to find me I’m on Facebook as Tia Barnes, Author Tia Barnes, my group That Girl Can Write is a group that I encourage everyone to check out because there are tons of amazing authors in there. I’m on Instagram @imsexyintheskinimin, my twitter is @Barnestia34. You can also contact me through email at authoress to email@example.com
Book Review Cafe Vanessa Taylor
Tell us about your book club.
We are Book Reviewers, Blogger, and Promoter. Reading is our escape so we wanted to help the authors (like yourself Ms. Wright) get noticed more. Help them since they help us, you know? :-)
How is the structure of it set up—who are the memebers?
We are a family owned Book Blog. Everyone on the team is trusted by me. if I didn’t trust them then I wouldn’t trust them with your books <3
How was the idea conceived and how long has the club been established?
Well, my mom and me love reading. And we already wrote reviews after we read them! So we figured why not? I don’t know the exact date. Somewhere from July - August maybe? Sorry.
Do you know how many books have been reviewed so far?
No, I do not. But we loved reviewing their works of art. :-D
Is there a genre least likely to be reviewed or are all genres welcomed?
All genres are welcomed. If we don’t have a reviewer available that specializes in that genre, it might be put off a little while until they are available. Does that make sense?
What are some of the key elements that you look for when accepting a request for a review?
Our main concern is if we have a reviewer for that genre. We always want to give a honest review, and have the author satisfied with the review, and reviewer enjoying the book.
What reputation is your club striving for?
We want the authors happy and satisfied. Always.
What are some of the struggles that your club is facing or has faced and how did you overcome them?
I think what we are facing right now is trying to get our blog built up.
What’s the most rewarding part about being part of a review club?
Helping the authors, and reading of course.
What’s it like pushing through a book that is failing to live up to your expectations?
It can be hard but if that happens we tell the author where we think it could be improved in a private email, Facebook message, text, etc. Then we write the review of the positives. :)
Have you ever read a book that just ripped your emotions inside out? Care to share which one(s)? What’s it like to find a book that can grip you in such a way that leaves an imprint?
I have read some. A lot in fact.
One of my favorites so far is Always the One and Always Us by C.C. Monroe. :-)
Where can we find you and your book club?
Blogger Reviewer Melissa Teo
1. As a blogger, what topics do you tend to write about?
I mostly write reviews about the books I have read and loved. I also share cover reveals, release blitzes to help authors to promote their books.
2. Do you blog about every book you read or only the ones that stand out to you?
Every book I read gets a review on the blog.
3. How often do you blog and do you ever get writer’s block? How do you overcome it?
I post on the blog every day. Sometimes I will get “reviewers block” if that’s even a term lol and will have trouble conveying how a book has made me feel that usually happens with the book that Wow me.
4. How long do you think it takes to build meaningful traffic to your website? What were some of the most effective ways to make sure that you had an audience?
That’s a tough question I’ve been blogging for just over a year now and have a solid following of 6,500 on the blog site. And just shy of 6K on our facebook page. For me I am amazed that even 10 people follow the blog. I usually try on the facebook page to ask open ended questions, I find interacting with people is key.
5. Is it hard to come up with topics?
Since its specifically geared towards books I would say no since there are so many wonderful books out there to read. Time is more my problem as I don’t have the time to read all the books that I want.
6. What do you think is the most stressful thing about blogging?
Coming up with new and exciting things that our followers would be interested in, social media is always changing and you have to keep up with the trends. .
7. What book really made you develop a love for reading?
When I was younger I loved the Beverly Cleary books, babysitters club. Then as I got into my teen years I read VC Andrews Flowers in the Attic. I stopped reading when I went to college and rediscovered my passion with the 50 shades series.
8. What missing elements would make you put a book down for good?
For me a book needs to grab my attention within the first 10% I would say, If a book hasn’t done that whether with the storyline or the characters then I usually will put it down and come back to it later but I may struggle to read it.
9. How many books do you typically read in a month?
I would say 10 to 15 books.
10. Do you lean more toward traditionally-published books or self-published?
Indie 100% I have found so many wonderful authors that self publish.
11. Which author are you trailing right now and why? Are they an Indie or traditional author?
C.M. Owens without a doubt is my number #1 fav author, as I was browsing Amazon before I discovered the online book community I came across her Sterling Shore Series. I grabbed the boxset with the first four books and devoured them. I wanted to know more about her for some reason and decided to google her. Found her facebook page and have been a “stalker” ever since. She is an indie author
12. What are certain things that you look for in self-published books that you typically don’t concern you with mainstream authors?
I don’t think I look for anything different whether it’s self pub or mainstream. The bottom line for me is if you can write a story that makes me feel something then I will gladly one click. I tend to go into books blind I don’t usually see whether they are indie or traditional. It usually for me takes a title, a cover or I’ve seen someone else raving about the book.
13. What kind of advice or requests do you think most readers could get behind regarding authors and their books?
Besides writing a good story, interaction, readers love to have that interaction with authors that they love.
14. What can authors do to make their readers’ melt or die from excitement?
I would say interact make yourself accessible, make them part of your writing process. It is so exciting to be able to interact with authors, when they post about their current WIP or they ask questions like what do you guys think? Also, it doesn’t have to be about books either build an environment that gives readers a place to feel they belong to and feel safe and that is half the battle I think.
15. Do you find that readers generally prefer books to be produced faster if it meant reading around 200 pages, or that it’s worth the wait if a book is produced slowly but with 500 pages or more?
Reader will definitely wait for a good long story.
16. What marketing tool used by authors do you feel is a complete miss? Which ones do you find most effective?
I think that authors need to invest in themselves, be personable and not just hey buy my book get to know your readers build a relationship with them.
17. What genre do you read the most and why?
Romance I love romance and will read most sub genres. I tend to switch from Dark to contemporary to new adult to Rom Coms but tend to stay within the Romance Genre.
18. Do you have a book club that people could join? Is it geared toward a particular group?
I do have a book club, it is specifically for ladies and it is not for the faint of heart. We tend to get rowdy in there. The book club is called B.A.N.G. (hopefully that name will tell you what kind of group it is. HAHA) Here is the link: https://www.facebook.com/groups/BookSmackedBangers/
19. Where can we find your blog site?
1.) What propelled you to become a writer?
A: I've always been writing. Ever since I can remember, I was filling up my journals with all sorts of different things. Sometimes it was the standard 'dear diary' stuff, and other times it was with random stories in my head. In school I loved when we had a creative writing assignment and I excelled.
2.) What’s your genre of choice and how did you end up there?
Romance is my 'umbrella' genre. But within that genre I tend to write in, romantic suspense, dark romance, New Adult romance...and well pretty much everything. I don't know how to stick to one genre and I probably never well. In one of my books alone there will usually be 2-3 genres alone.
How I ended up here was...well. As much as I adore the works of Stephen King and other authors outside the romance genre. My heart pulls toward romance. That doesn't mean all my books are 100% centered on just the romance aspect (in fact it's usually 50/50) but I love when a romance is intertwined within a really good story.
Plus I'm also a perv who loves sexy times, whether it's a slow burn or a wham-bam-thank you-ma'am .
3.) What book are you currently trying to promote? How would you pitch it in three sentences?
The Complicated Hearts duet is my current WIP and it's set to come out this summer.
Hmm, just three? Okay ::Deep breath:::
It's everything you hate in romance books.
You've never read anything like it before.
4.) Which book gave you the hardest time when writing and why?
It's a toss up between Complicated Hearts and the last book in the Blame It on the Shame series.
In regards to the Shame series: It was the hardest because I'd spent a year with these characters and it was so very hard for me to let them go and I wanted to make sure I gave them the ending that fit their story. It was a brutal, story. It wasn't always hearts and butterflies...but it's without a doubt one of my favorite books that I'll ever write. And Ricardo and Lou-Lou are etched in my soul.
As far as Complicated Hearts: it's difficult because I'm doing something completely different. For one, it's not dark. It's total NA. And secondly: Well, it will have some m/m parts (none of my books have had m/m in the past) as well as m/f, and m/f/m.
Some days it's exciting and other days, I'm so hard on myself because I want to do these characters' justice and I know I have to tell their story the right way, even though I know not everyone will like it. (In fact, I'm betting most won't because it will be too uncomfortable for them due to how unconventional it is.)
5.) What seem to be your characters’ favorite sexual position?
Lol Doggie Style. They like that ass. ;)
6.) You write bold content and give plenty of action. Was there any idea or content that gave you pause? If so, how did you get past it to put it on paper?
Yes, a few actually. There was something that happened to a character in part 2 of a popular series of mine...that I KNEW no one saw coming and I knew was going to be hard for most of my readers to digest.
Personally it was one of the hardest things for me to write about...but it needed to be done and the character deserved to have her side of the story told, no matter how heartbreaking it might have been for us to endure.
I got past it by reminding myself that it wasn't my story...it was theirs. Every messed up part of it was their story and I had an obligation to tell their story in full, no holds barred.
7.) Is there anyone in your family that would make you “die” if they read your books?
Well, my father has already come to my house and pretty much stole one of my paperbacks. I really didn't want my mother in law to read my books, but alas. The hubs was fixing her computer one day, she asked him to order something on amazon for her and BOOM.
She bought my book. I told the hubs (or rather, screamed) and asked him to tell her not to read it. (She's VERY conservative.)
She promised she wouldn't read it. But I secretly think she has.
8.) Which character from your book would you date and why?
Man, he is sexy. Dark, dangerous. And he's just walking sex and masculinity.
He's also smart and has a vulnerable side to him that only his girl gets to see.
9.) If you could turn any book into a movie, which one would it be?
I've been told that Blame It on the Pain (Jackson's story) and Blame It on the Shame should without a doubt be a mini series on netflix and I 110% agree. Either that or showtime or HBO.
10.) Which author has been your biggest influence?
Personally I'm a fan of K. Webster. Not only is she talented, she's so versatile it's inspiring. I also love that she just goes for it. She has a confidence that's enviable and I'm still in awe that I can pm her and she'll message me back and we actually talk.
Also A. Zaverelli. She's part poet, I swear. I honestly love the way she writes....it's book butter. So smooth and rich and just addicting as hell.
Also, I remember not too long ago when hardly anyone read my books (before I had readers or a groups etc) she took a chance on me and read one of mine. Then she told people how much she liked it. I credit her so much for helping me in regards to the indie world. I know whenever I have a question or am unsure about something, I can pm her and pick that intelligent brain of hers.
11.) What has been the nicest review or anything said about you that you'd wanna share?
There was a reviewer (not a blogger and not someone who runs in the book world circle) just someone who picked up, Blame It on the Pain one day and gave me a gushing review. She ended that review with- 'Please don't ever stop writing.'
It was a poignant moment (and review for me) because the book world was starting to get to me and I felt like I was hitting a brick wall and no one would take a chance on me or my books.
I seriously thought about not not publishing anymore because the stress wasn't worth it.
And then I read that. A reader who decided to pick up my book, despite the lack of reviews at that time. Someone who took a chance on me.
I cried. What was probably a simple sentence for her, touched me so much.
12.) Where can we find your books and where can we find you?
As of now all my books are available on Amazon and I'm part of the KDP program so they're all exclusively on amazon.
In the future, I plan on branching out a little and I'm super excited for that.
You can always find me on fb: https://www.facebook.com/AshleyJadeAuthor/
1.) What propelled you to become a writer?
I'm an obsessed reader and an obsessed writer. Writing for me is compulsive, in the same way swimmers can't live without water and runners have to feel their feet pounding on the pavement. There wasn't a single moment in which I've decided to become a writer. I always knew, from the first book I've picked and read by myself (The Little Prince), that this was my destiny.
2.) What’s the name of your first published book and how’d you come up with
It's called Tyed and it's a rom-com on the shorter side (though it is still considered a full-length novel). I remember it all started when I wanted to write a heroine that was as awkward and introvert as me. Everything else kind of fell into place and before I knew it, I had a novel. I remember reading the whole thing and thinking: "okay, what now?"
3.) What’s your genre of choice and how did you end up there?
I really don't have one genre. Tyed was a rom-com, Sparrow was dark-ish, Blood to Dust was SUPER dark, Vicious was almost-dark and Ruckus is just plain emotional/with a touch of humor. I let my characters and their personalities and the world they live in set the tone for the genre. Rosie and Dean ("Ruckus", coming out this May) were two people with a great sense of humor, so it didn't make sense for them to have a dark story. Vicious, however ("Vicious", my last novel) harbored a lot of secrets and dark stuff he needed to deal with. So it really depends on the story.
4.) What book are you currently trying to promote? How would you pitch it in
My upcoming release, Ruckus, is coming out this May 26th. In three words: Emotional. Rollercoaster. Angst.
5.) Which book gave you the hardest time when writing and why?
They've all been a pain in the ass to be honest. Writing comes with a lot of self-doubt and hours upon hours of digging inside yourself to try and find the right words and voice that you're trying to convey to your readers. My books usually have a suspense element so it's even harder, and to make things really really bad, I always seem to choose a subject I know absolutely nothing about and write a book about it.
6.) What’s the biggest challenge you’re facing as an author?
Ignoring the voices in your head telling you that it's crap.
Every. Single. Day.
7.) You publish books at a good rate. How do you make this happen?
I try and write at least four times a week and when I'm not writing, I have a beta or two go over it so I can refocus by the time I get back to my WIP. And I read. A LOT. Reading inspires me.
8.) What’s your favorite or most successful marketing technique?
I'm not very good at marketing to be honest. I try and do giveaways for signed paperbacks and ARCs whenever I can to help spread the word.
9.) If you could turn any book into a movie, which one would it be?
Mine, or someone else's?
I would have liked to see Veiled Innocence by Ella Frank become a movie.
Mine....hmm, I'd say Vicious or Sparrow from my published work. Sparrow would probably be more cinematic but Vicious is more marketable.
10.) If you could date any of your characters, who would it be?
None of them. My boys are all horrible villains who torture my heroines until they realize that they are crazy in love with them.
11.) You still can’t believe that this person has read your book? Who is it and
God...so many. Basically every single author I've read and adored before I became a published author myself.
I think Jay Crownover was the one person who really made me lose it. She gave me a shout out after reading Blood to Dust and for the first few hours I thought it was one of my friends who hacked into her social media to pull a prank on me.
12.) Where can we find your books and where can we find you?
you can find all of my books on Amazon and you can find me on my author page - https://www.facebook.com/authorljshen/
or my official page - www.authorljshen.com
Joshua Holton Sr.
1.) What propelled you to become a writer? I believe every writer has to be a reader first. I grew up reading Stephen King and a number of other authors. I started making up stories in my head and writing it down on paper. As soon as I did, I fell in love with the process of writing. When I got married four years ago, my wife actually inspired me to put pen to paper and create these beautiful stories of love. Out of all the authors I ever read, she has been my greatest inspiration.
2.) What’s the name of your first published book and how’d you come up with the concept? My first book was called Whispers of Passion. I just wanted to explore two different subgenres of Romance: erotica and contemporary. The book was around 90 pages long. The ideas for the book came to me quite quickly in a period of six weeks.
3.) What’s your genre of choice and how did you end up there? I chose romance because there was plenty of competition. Romance is by far the most challenging genre to master. I enjoy a good challenge when it comes to writing. My wife actually inspired me to begin writing these types of stories. Wives are amazing, aren’t they? (Laughs)
4.) What book are you currently trying to promote? How would you pitch it in three sentences? I am currently promoting my book called For Now, Forever. My pitch: Are you seeking an interesting read? If so, check out my new book called For Now, Forever. It is a romantic tale that will leave you breathless. It is now available on Amazon.com.
5.) What do you want or think a reader will get out of this book? I think that they will learn that true love is always possible no matter what age you are, no matter how many years go by and no matter how hopeless it may seem. That’s the undeniable message in all my books.
6.) What was the toughest part about writing this book? The toughest part about writing a book is always the conception of the idea.
7.) What has been your favorite or most impactful review so far? Reviews are always fun to read because you get to see what the readers like or dislike. If they liked something about my book, I usually want to keep doing the right thing. On the other hand, if they disliked something about my book, I keep their opinion in mind when I'm crafting my next book and do my best to improve on it.
8.) What are the advantages and disadvantages of being a male writer in the romance genre? The advantages of being a male writer in the romance genre is I can blend any other genre with romance. For example, if I wanted to write Science Fiction, I can add an element of science to a romance story. Or, if I wanted to write Thriller Fiction, I can add an element of thrill to a romance story. I can add other elements as long as I keep that core love story the same. The disadvantage to being a male writer in the romance genre is the fact that romance is the largest genre in the world. And most amateur male authors find it difficult to stand out in this genre because there's so much competition. That’s the challenge I faced going into this genre. I still face it every so often.
9.) Which one of your characters pushed or challenged you as a writer and why? Usually all my characters are challenging to write. Keeping them fresh and original in every book is challenging to do, considering the fact that, every character known to man has been done before in both book and film.
10.) Every writer experiences doubt. How did you pull yourself up from that moment? I will admit doubt does creep in from time to time. I deal with it by keeping my faith in God and staying prayed up. I believe my faith is what has kept me going throughout the years. Without God, I can do nothing on my own.
11.) Where can we find your books and where can we find you? My books are available on Amazon.com. And I can be found on Facebook and Instagram. My Facebook is Joshua Holton Sr and my Instagram is joshua_holtonsr.
Lori Windsor Mohr
THE ROAD AT MY DOOR
1.) What propelled you to become a writer?
I was better able to connect with others through writing than face-to-face.
2.) What’s the name of your first published book and how’d you come up with the concept?
THE ROAD AT MY DOOR is a memoir told as autobiographical fiction.
3.) What’s your genre of choice and how did you end up there?
Writing what we know is one thing, writing what we want to convey is another. I didn't want to write about me. I wanted to write about the experience of depression, the destructive power of secrets. Memoir seemed an obvious choice.
However, that form has limitations. Its true memoirists use a novelist’s tools to bring readers into the moment: dialogue, scene, descriptive detail. But as a literary form, it didn't allow the creative freedom I needed for writing the most compelling, fluid, readable story possible.
In Road, I compressed time, reconfigured the family, combined two characters into one—
decisions made for building tension, keeping the emotional focus where it needed be. In the end, this wasn't about truth versus fiction. It was about what I hoped readers would experience.
The character of Reese Cavanaugh allowed me to create the best version of me that would move the story forward, draw readers in. Reese is prettier, smarter, funnier than I ever was. And she became her own person as the story evolved. I hated saying goodbye. In fact I kept tweaking the manuscript because I didn't want the story to end. Reese Cavanaugh brought magic to the writing, taking me to that sublime gray space between reality and illusion where you find creativity.
If I've written well enough, readers will be too enthralled and moved to care much whether the story comes from real life or not. They'll go where Reese Cavanaugh leads them, connect on a feeling level with their own experience. That's the emotionally satisfying experience I wanted to offer. I couldn't get there with memoir.
4.) What book are you currently trying to promote? How would you pitch it in three sentences?
THE ROAD AT MY DOOR, set against the backdrop of the Cold War and the 1960’s sexual revolution, follows protagonist Reese Cavanaugh on a dark journey to save her family without destroying herself. ROAD is a perfect storm of conflicting beliefs about love of self, love of another, fast-changing attitudes about sex, and the toxicity of family secrets. Through Reese Cavanaugh, Lori examines the deep tension between appearance and reality, portraying a family in turmoil.
5.) What do you want or think a reader will get out of this book?
I want readers to have an emotionally satisfying experience on the importance of connecting with others. Depression and secrecy are byproducts of the loneliness we grapple with every day. Look at Facebook posts. We share ordinary moments—a beautiful sunset, a yummy meal, political views, pride over our kids—things that take on added meaning when we share our feelings with someone else. Connection with another human being is essential.
6.) What was the toughest part about writing this book?
Genre and voice, in my opinion, are at the heart of the writing process. I had misunderstood voice. I was looking to genre. I had a good story, a complex character, the structure for telling it. But even with all the elements in place, I didn't get voice. I didn't understand that these aren't separate entities, but that voice comes from content. They're inseparable. As the medium between writer and story, voice has to be right. I still wasn't connecting.
I went back to genre, the choice of fiction over memoir. I didn't want readers to shake their heads at a sad story, a memoir. I wanted them to feel something. The only way I saw to do that was to get them to care about Reese Cavanaugh. That's the answer that had been eluding me.
7.) What has been your favorite or most impactful review so far?
Author David Corbett endorsed my book and his review is on the back cover:
"Lori Windsor Mohr has created in young Reese Cavanaugh a heroine with much, much more than a unique voice. Yes, she’s instantly likable. Yes, she has pluck and wit and the hapless charm of vulnerable youth. But through a series of harrowing ordeals and misplaced allegiances that would break most young women her age – all in the pursuit of just one person she can trust – Reese also demonstrates such an irresistible combination of spine and heart, insight and sheer humanity, that I dare you to pick up this book and not fall in love. Add to that a menagerie of equally unforgettable characters and you have one of the most engaging novels you could ever hope to encounter. Buy it, read it. Now."
—David Corbett, award-winning author of The Mercy of the Night and Done for a Dime, named a New York Times Notable Book.
8.) Writing seems to run in your blood? Tell us who else in your family has the writing bug or knack for grammar.
My son, Michael Mohr, is a fabulous writer. He's had numerous short stories published in a range of genres and is currently working on his second novel. He’s also an editor.
9.) Which one of your characters pushed or challenged you as a writer and why?
Reese Cavanaugh, the protagonist, was hard to write. I knew if I wanted readers to care, I had to inhabit Reese Cavanaugh, become her, go through her experiences, feel what she felt. Once I jumped off that cliff, I was able to offer readers the all-important emotionally satisfying experience I keep talking about, the opportunity to connect with something in their own lives. I was able to tell the story I wanted to tell.
Ten years later, THE ROAD AT MY DOOR is that story.
10.) Every writer experiences doubt. How did you pull yourself up from that moment?
I knew I had a good story. What kept me going was the belief that if I wanted to tell it, I had to figure out the best genre, find the right voice.
11.) Where can we find your books and where can we find you?
1.) What propelled you to become a writer? My year two teacher. She just made you fall in love with reading and writing. She would take us out into the playground or onto the sports field and really make us capture our surroundings in our work. Mrs. Williams will forever be my favourite teacher throughout my education.
2.) What’s the name of your first published book and how’d you come up with the concept? Thirty Days: Part One. I didn’t come up with the story concept…the story concept chose me to write it. I’m so grateful it did.
3.) What’s your genre of choice and how did you end up there? Contemporary Romance and Suspense Romance. I’m not exactly sure, it just seemed to be where I fit in.
4.) What book are you currently trying to promote? How would you pitch it in three sentences? Always You. An ugly cry to rival all others. Be prepared for a book hangover. You’ll always ask yourself, ‘What would I have done in May’s position?’
5.) Which book gave you the hardest time when writing and why? Right now I’m writing ‘Winner.’ This book is my hardest to date. It has so many layers and so much it could have included—I’m trying to find a balance between what is essential and what is not necessary. So, I’d say it’s harder to find the balance and create a good pace with this story.
6.) What’s the biggest challenge you’re facing as an author? Trying to make myself available to my readers as much as possible. Being a mother and having such a full life already makes it hard sometimes to really ensure I’m connecting on an appreciated level by those who follow me.
7.) If you could write an erotica book using already-established characters from one of your books, which two people would you choose? Abigail and Marcus.
8.) Which character from your book would you date and why? Marcus. (Swoon.) He is an alpha male with a beautiful heart. His love runs so deeply he’d do anything for the one he loved.
9.) If you could turn any book into a movie, which one would it be? Always You. This story is one that will never leave a person once the covers are closed. Also, I want to watch people cry. What? I’m evil. Haha
10.) Which author has been your biggest influence? Colleen Hoover is my secret mentor (Don’t tell her though…it’s a secret.) I love her personality and humility as much as I love her work, and I feel like she brings a lot to the table with everything she does in this industry. I would never want to be her, I like me, but I admire her greatly.
11.) What has been the nicest review or anything said about you that you'd wanna share? I’ve had so many exemplary reviews that I’d never be able to choose one. However, being given my first one-million-star review was excellent. Also, I love how a lot of my reviews say that I have very real to life characters and a strong skill of writing secondary characters into my work. It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy reading such things.
11.) Where can we find your books and where can we find you? All my books can be found on Amazon, iTunes, Kobo, Barnes and Noble and Nook. Always You, will be going into bookstores (Australia only) sometime in 2017.
I’m on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and I also have a website which is www.bellebrooksauthor.com