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. What is your age?
Hello everyone. My name is L. Loren and I just turned 48!
Fiona: Where are you from?
I currently live in Upstate, SC.
Fiona: A little about yourself (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
I attended college in North Carolina at Mount Olive College, now Mount Olive University and received a degree in Business Management. I worked in the corporate world for years until I finally decided to live my dream of becoming a writer. With the support of my loving husband I am finally able to do what I have always wanted, but was afraid to – write. I have been married to the man of my dreams for 17 years and we do not have, nor do we want any children.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
My latest book Egyptian Nights was released in June 2017. It is my version of a contemporary adult fairy tale about a young woman named Egypt who is cursed by her mother’s dying declaration. She thinks she is unworthy of love and lives her life having lots of sex, without the benefit of a relationship. One day that all stops when Harper Beckmann walks into the restaurant where she is an executive chef. She wants him for casual sex, but Harper denies her, looking for more. He breaks all of her rules designed to keep men at bay. It is a true love story.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I have been writing since I was young, however I only recently allowed myself to share my writing with others. I self-published my first LoveRotica series, The WanderLynn Experience under my pen name L. Loren last year. It is a three book series – Book 1 The Layover, Book 2 Island Adventures and Book 3 Destination Home.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I have always felt like a writer, but the day I opened the box that contained my first published work, I felt I could call myself a writer. It was a great feeling actually holding something that I created in my hands and seeing it for the first time. Amazing!
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
Ideas for my books usually come to me in my dreams. I had an overwhelming feeling one morning when I woke up and needed to write down my dream. That turned into me wanting to write a story about it, which turned into a book.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
The WanderLynn Experience was the name I chose for the series and that came from the story. Originally it was named something else and then once I finished the first book, I changed it. The main character is named Lynn Sutton and she owns a luxury travel concierge service. The goal of the company is to provide customer service excellence to an elite customer and they dubbed their service The WanderLynn Experience. Add the idea of wanderlust to the main character’s first name and shake it with an experience you’ll never forget and you get the title.
The Layover came into play because the love interest, Connor is stuck in the airport for the holidays until he runs into his mentee, who invites him to spend the holidays with his family. Since Connor is already enamored with the young man’s aunt, he happily accepts the invitation. The travel layover leads them into a whirlwind romance.
Keeping with the travel theme, the additional books in the series are appropriately called Island Adventures and Destination Home.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
I don’t really call what I do a writing style. There is nothing formal about it that would garner a specific name. I just write the way my brain thinks and try not to emulate anyone else’s style. My stories will consistently have a strong female woman of color as the main character. That is the one theme I will try to display throughout my stories because I think this is lacking in the genre.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
My stories are completely fictional. I may incorporate a few personal traits in my characters like my love for Rocky movies or Michael Jackson music, but the stories are not real. Some of the stories may contain things I have always wanted to do or are influenced by things I have watched or read. Sometimes there may be something I have done in the past that I want to put in the story like traveling to a specific place or trying a certain food for the first time – little influences like that.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
I don’t have to travel in order to craft the works, but it is a bonus if I have already visited the places and gotten a feel for them. I watch the travel channel a lot and there are so many places I want to visit, but haven’t had the opportunity to yet. I don’t let that stop my characters from going to these places. I sometimes live vicariously through my characters.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
My book covers were designed by a talented young lady named Dipali Dutta who I found online.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
I want my readers to grasp that love is a verb and you must work for the benefits of it. There is no easy route. I also want them to know that women of color love hard and deeply and deserve love too.
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 recently discovered Joslyn Westbrook who writes Chick Lit and I connected with her writing. I can’t really pinpoint one favorite writer because it changes with my mood, but I have always loved Maya Angelou and Zora Neale Hurston. As far as indie authors, I really love Eliza David, Olivia Gaines and Twyla Turner! Those ladies have a special gift of writing novels that capture your attention. In fact, Twyla was the one who inspired me to write erotica.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
I befriended this very wonderful lady named Colleen Chesebro on social media about three years ago. She is the loveliest woman. No matter if it is a blog post, a poem or a book, she is always, always supporting me and encouraging me. I can really say she not only does that for me, but with most anybody she runs across. She is awesome!
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Yes ma’am! I had to let my Southern Belle out on that one. I see writing as a career and I don’t want to do anything else. I would hate to go back to corporate after being so free to express myself.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
That is a great question and the answer is NO! I fought tooth and nails with the editor on this book. She hated my concept and I loved it. She did not get what I was trying to portray, but the majority of the readers so far do. Sometimes you have to push forward with your first mind and not let others influence you because they don’t get it.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
I learned to think outside of the box and stick to my guns. Because I was writing a fairy tale, I was told it had to be a certain way. I rejected that and decided to write what came naturally to me. My creativity could not be contained on this one and I stood my ground. I love the outcome.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
I always try to picture someone for inspiration when I begin the writing process so this is an easy one. The actress Keke Palmer inspired the characters of all three sisters in my Triple Threat Series. They are identical triplets and I felt Keke has such a great personality that she could be three different characters. My pinterest board depicts that as well. She is just so versatile. The love interest Harper Beckmann was inspired by a model named Bertil Espegren, but I am sure he could play the lead with some acting lessons.
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
People always tell would be writers to write and be consistent. That is great advice, but I would add to write something you love and are passionate about. It comes out in your product and the readers can tell.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
I would like to thank those who have read my work and loved it. It makes my day to be able to put a smile on someone’s face because of something I wrote. I even want to say what’s up to those who didn’t care for my work. Your opinions and comments keep me on my toes and cause me to reflect on what needs to change. To those who are yet to read my work… what are you waiting for? Take a chance on a new writer.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
I just finished Renaissance by Yecheilyah Ysrayl. It is a great story set in the time of the Harlem Renaissance. Right now I am starting on 51 Sleepless Nights by Tobias Wade, a collection of short horror stories.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
I think the first book I read by myself was Clifford the Big Red Dog. I can’t say for sure, but I remember carrying that book around with me everywhere.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
These days anything makes me cry. I get emotional over commercials. Lol Seriously, music is the one thing I know that can elicit so many emotions that I have to cry. As far as laughing, I love to laugh. I enjoy an occasional compilation of crazy pet bloopers on social media. I can’t get too caught up in those because they will suck all of my time up when I should be writing.
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
I would love to pick Maya Angelou’s brain. She was such a wise woman. I love her books and poetry, but the knowledge she had about life and the people she knew – EVERYTHING. I can only imagine the stories those who were in her inner circle were privy to.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
I am an avid reader and lover of music. I love watching women’s basketball and most sports in general. I dabble a little in poetry and am pretty crafty.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I am a huge Rocky fan. I love the entire franchise. Sylvester Stallone holds a special place in my heart. I am a big movie person so there are a lot of faves on my list. As far a TV I am into law shows so I used to love Criminal Minds until they fired Hotch. My husband has gotten me into The Walking Dead and Fear the Walking Dead. I love the new Issa Rae joint Insecure and on Netflix the British show Chewing Gum.
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
I am a foodie so this is hard. I love pasta and believe it or not salad. My favorite color is orange followed closely by purple. I have eclectic taste in music, but my favorite artist of all time is Michael Jackson. Right now I can’t get enough Rihanna, Solange and Kendrick Lamar. You can also throw in a little Tim McGraw and I’ll be happy.
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
Noooooo! Ok I had a moment there. If I wasn’t a writer I would love to be a movie director.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
I don’t know if I want a headstone. I plan on being cremated and have my ashes scattered so there will not be a gravesite. I would just like to live in the hearts of my loved ones and have my words act as my memorial.
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers? Sure! My author website is http://llorenwriter.wordpress.com Be sure to sign up for my newsletter!