Hello and welcome to my blog, Author Interviews. My name is Fiona Mcvie.
Let’s get you introduced to everyone, shall we? Tell us your name.
My name is Lorrie Farrelly.
Fiona: Where are you from?
Fiona: A little about your self (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
I’m the award-winning author of Western historical romance, contemporary romantic suspense, and sci fi/paranomal romantic suspense. A graduate of the University of California, Santa Cruz, and Northwestern University, I’ve been a Renaissance nominee for Teacher of the Year, a ranch hand at Disneyland’s Circle D Ranch, and a Jeopardy!television quiz show champion. Two of my books, TERMS OF SURRENDER and TIMELAPSE, medaled in the 2014 Readers’ Favorite International Book Awards. Both were also first place winners in the 2014 Chanticleer Awards (Laramie Award category winner TERMS OF SURRENDER and Cygnus Award category winner TIMELAPSE.)My short story THE LONGEST WAY HOME won the 2016 Peacemaker Award for best Western short fiction.
I live at the beach in Southern California with my husband Wally, daughter Jenn, and granddaughter Evie, 4. I have two other kids, Alison and Chris, and two grandsons, Christian, 16 (who recently became an Eagle Scout), and Connor, 12.
I’m especially interested in the history of the American Civil War and the Old West, and I also love romantic and speculative fiction.
My books are available as ebooks, paperbacks, and audiobooks at http://www.amazon.com/Lorrie-Farrelly/e/B008P3LJ0O
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
I recently had the marvelous opportunity to join over 40 wonderful authors to produce the 50-book AMERICAN MAIL-ORDER BRIDES series. Each book is the story of a mail-order bride in a separate American state or territory. My novel is the fourth book in the series: MOLLIE: BRIDE OF GEORGIA.
Set in Atlanta in the last decade of the 19th century, MOLLIE is an emotional and riveting story of the healing power of love. When a young woman answers an advertisement for a mail-order bride, she confronts an unknown and very challenging future.
Years of brutal warfare have left the South with far more women than men. What, Mollie Winters worries, could be so wrong with Dr. Nicholas Avinger that he was forced to advertise for a wife?
Despite her misgivings, Mollie takes a desperate leap of faith. Arriving in Atlanta with little more than a few pieces of clothing, two pairs of shoes, and the manuscript of her wildly melodramatic, romantic adventure novel, she prepares to start a new life with the attractive but irascible Dr. Avinger.
A haunted man who prefers animals to people, Nick Avinger has driven away more than one assistant, as well as his latest fiancée. Mollie Winters might just fill both bills, if only he didn’t want her so much. And if only he didn’t fear how much he would hurt her.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I’ve always loved to write, but my first novel, TERMS OF SURRENDER, came about when I discovered some old family papers from the Civil War era. The documents, a parole pass and an Oath of Allegiance, chronicled the surrender of one of my ancestors who fought for the defeated Confederacy.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Publishing TERMS OF SURRENDER was a huge step for me in becoming a professional writer. Though I love all my stories, it remains the book closest to my heart.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
In studying the 1865 parole pass and Oath of Allegiance, which allowed my great grandfather to return to his home after the defeat of the Southern armies, I was struck by the enormous emotions those documents represented. How would a soldier feel returning home – should he still have a home to return to – following years of brutal warfare and crushing defeat? Would he be embittered? Relieved? Humiliated? Defiant? How would he begin to pick up the pieces and forge a new life from the ashes of the old? I couldn’t stop thinking about what the answers to those questions might be.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
“Surrender” covers so much territory in this novel. As Diane Donovan wrote in her review in the Midwest Book Review, “TERMS OF SURRENDER is about surrender on many levels, from military to surrendering one’s heart and preset notions…(From) drama and threats, to humor and emotion: all spring to life…Descriptions are evocative and compelling…Readers can expect to find humor, violence, gritty action, and exquisitely-wrought tension throughout…(This) is for readers who seek more depth and layers in their stories.”
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
I’m sure I’ve been greatly influenced by my favorite authors (Nora Roberts, Stephen King, Linda Howard, Robert B. Parker, and many others), but my style is my own. I owe those authors a debt of gratitude, though, for their brilliant ability to grab readers’ emotions and hold their rapt attention.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Even though my stories are fiction, I hope readers will find the characters very human and relatable, with emotions, struggles, and desires everyone can understand, even if a story is set in the past or in an alternate reality.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
Although I’ve been to most of the locales I’ve used for story settings – except, of course, the nightmare town of Hel’n Gone (in the short story “THE SHERIFF OF HEL’N GONE”) or the alternate version of Washington, D.C. in TIMELAPSE – most of my research is done online, especially if the story is set in the past.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
For most of my novels, my husband, Wally Farrelly, a graphic designer, did the beautiful cover work. On MOLLIE: BRIDE OF GEORGIA, he createda gorgeous, colorized period photo of Jennie Gregg Farrelly (1883-1954) to portray Mollie. Her portrait is surrounded by a striking American flag motif by edhGraphicsused for every book in the series.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
My novels all have some form of the message that love is the greatest healer of wounds to the heart and soul.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest? Who is your favorite writer, and what is it about their work that really strikes you?
I could (LOL) write a book on this topic alone. There are so many talented and gripping writers! Recently I’ve read MaileMeloy’shold-your-breath page-turner DO NOT BECOME ALARMED, Daniel Kehlmann’s chilling YOU SHOULD HAVE LEFT, and George Saunders’ poetic and profoundly moving LINCOLN IN THE BARDO. All of those stories were so compelling that I read them straight through.
For my all-time favorite writer, it’s a draw between Stephen King and Nora Roberts. To my mind, there are no better storytellers and no one who understands human nature better than these two brilliant writers.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
I have to thank the Orange County (CA) Chapter of Romance Writers of America, who named an early draft of TERMS OF SURRENDER a finalist for the Orange Rose Award. I was thrilled and very grateful. It was a tremendous motivator.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
It has been a challenging and rewarding second career for me. (My first career was teaching.)
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
No. The story seems to me to be exactly what it was supposed to be.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
I was delighted and awed to learn the true story of the beginnings of the Atlanta Zoo, which started out as an abandoned, broken-down circus menagerie.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
In that happy circumstance, I’d leave the choice to others. After all, the characters are already real people in my head!
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
Read, read, read! In reading, we absorb the power and flow of language. Write constantly. If you write, you are a writer!
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
I hope you will enjoy my books and stories, and I appreciate you more than I can say!
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
NICHOLAS AND ALEXANDRA, by Robert K. Massie. It’s not a new book, but it’s absolutely riveting. It’s the true story of how the chronic illness of one small boy – and his parents’ anguish and actions because of it – helped to bring down not only a whole family, but an empire that had stood for hundreds of years.If anyone doubts one person can drastically change the course of world events, this book is a must-read.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
No, but I remember the first series I loved: THE BLACK STALLION books by Walter Farley. The first book that truly made history come alive for me was the Newbery Award-winning RIFLES FOR WATIE by Harold Keith. Books I still reread from my childhood include Frances Hodgson Burnett’s THE SECRET GARDEN and Robb White’s THE LION’S PAW.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Just about everything! LOL
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
My all-time hero, a man who was deeply, incredibly brilliant and empathetic in both mind and soul: Abraham Lincoln. No one has ever spoken or written more powerful, righteous, and moving words. No one I can think of has ever served his country with such grace and nobility and selflessness while bearing so much crushing despair and responsibility.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
I love doing things with my family, movies, travel, anything Disney (I once worked at Disneyland, as have two of my kids), and of course, reading and writing. I’m an animal lover.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
My current favorites are The Walking Dead, Doctor Who, The Mist, Wynonna Earp, and Game of Thrones. I also love reality shows like Little People, Big World, I Am Jazz, Who Do You Think You Are? andUnearthed. I was sad when Hell on Wheels ended, but at least it had a hopeful ending!
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
There are very few foods I don’t like! Blue is my favorite color and I’m a fan of classic rock and roll.
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
Don’t care. My kids can figure that one out.(Hopefully, though, it won’t say About darn time!)
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
Website is https://sites.google.com/site/yourbestreads
Amazon author page is http://www.amazon.com/Lorrie-Farrelly/e/B008P3LJ0O.
My Facebook author page is https://www.facebook.com/LorrieFarrellyAuthor.
Many thanks, Fiona!