Lori…welcome to our blog! We’ll ask some traditional questions, and then surprise you with some you may not have been asked before!
Upcoming April Release: "A Perfect Storm" (Book Four
in the series "Men Who Walk the Edge of Honor".)
Books A Million
GIVEAWAY ALERT: Leave a comment for a chance to win a Lori Foster book (winner’s choice of a book title Lori has on hand) and t-shirt! Comments must be posted by midnight EST, 28 March. Please put your email address in with comment. USA addresses only.
Q: Tell us about the first book you published: how long did it take for you to write, sell, see it published.
A: Holy cow, that’s going back. My first book published was “Impetuous.” I don’t remember specifically how long it took me to write it, but I know I’d been writing for over 5 years and had completed over 10 manuscripts before I finally got sold.
I do remember that the publisher looked at that particular book and liked it, but wanted MAJOR revisions – to the tune of removing as much male POV as I could.
Since I didn’t yet have a computer, rewrites were a major pain, but I did it. Then that editor left and the revised manuscript was in limbo.
Finally, nearly a year later, a new editor picked it up. And guess what? She said it needed a lot more male POV. :-/
I revised it again.
Then she wanted me to move the first sex scene from chapter 4 as close to chapter 1 as I could. That took a lot more revising, but I bumped it up and had to retype the entire book again in the process. Eventually it sold. How long that all took, I can’t say exactly, but I know I felt like I was hanging over a cliff by my toe nails, and when I finally got “the call,” I was so exhausted from it all, instead of being elated, I only felt relief. :-)
Q: Now, tell us about the first book you wrote…is it the same as the first one you sold? If so, that’s fantastic! If not, what happened to it?
A: Oy, no. There is something like 7 unpublished books sitting in my closet upstairs. That’s probably where they’ll stay. I don’t have the heart to throw them away, and I don’t have the energy to reread them, put them into the computer, and revise them. I think of them as a valuable learning tool. I taught myself to write by writing. Amen.
Q: Every author has a routine/ritual/quirks they utilize for their writing. What are yours?
A: I’m an extremely motivated person. It doesn’t really take a lot to get me to work on my stories. But when everything is as I prefer it, I’m either at my desk in my office, which faces our pond so I can see the deer visiting, or the geese and duck landing. Or (in milder weather) I’m at the lake house, facing the lake, watching the boats go by or seeing the fish jump. I’m very much a water person.
I like to listen to my playlist, and burn scented candles.
Q: Where do your story ideas come from? Has any special place/thing/person/event inspire your books?
A: I can’t say where the ideas come from – everywhere I guess. Writers have ideas. ::shrug::: That’s how it works.
But most anyone who’s read me knows I like water. :-)
As a kid I spent every summer on a lake. We’d swim or water ski the day away. Boating, sunning ourselves, lazing around. Long walks. A LOT of my settings feature a lake.
Q: Tell us about your first book signing. We love details!
A: Oh, it was hilarious! It was at this little strip mall at a small, privately owned bookstore with this lovely Asian woman who treated us like royalty. So many people from my local RWA chapter showed up in support, and the bookstore owner was overwhelmed. But then... the crowd waned. Those twenty people who knew me finished up and left, and the owner started to fret.
She came over to me and said, “You sell more book.” It was like an order and a question both, and she was incredibly adorable and sweet.
Now, to this day, whenever I do a booksigning, my husband will order, “You sell more book.” :-)
I will always remember that woman with great fondness. Like a high school boy on prom night, we always remember our first. ;-)
Q: Lori Foster’s “Reader and Author” Weekend. Please tell us all about this annual event!
A: Dianne Castell aka Duffy Brown and I do the event.Our good friend Linda Keller, a retired CRM from BN, handles the massive bookfair for us.
Dianne and I came up with the idea years ago (2012 is our 8th event!) as a way to say “thank you” to the writing and reading community. She and I both greatly appreciate all the wonderful support of readers and other writers. We figured the event could be a way to get book enthusiasts together; new authors have an opportunity to meet editors, agents, publishers and other industry professionals without breaking the bank. Readers have an opportunity to sit with their favorite authors, talk books, take photos, get autographs, and just plain have fun!
It’s the truth, some conferences can get very expensive. If an author hasn’t yet sold, or has only sold a few books, it’s hard on the finances. And for readers, we prefer they keep their money for books!
So Dianne and I work hard to keep the cost of the entire weekend at an affordable $50. Yup, $50 – 8 years running!
There’s plenty for busy-bees to do, but there’s also constant “sit down and talk” time available for those (like me) who prefer a more laidback atmosphere. You can grab a like-minded reader, or a favorite author, and just kick back.
Our raffles are amazing. Authors and publishers provide the baskets, and we donate all our proceeds to a local charity. And our volunteers! Oh my gosh, Dianne and I could NOT do this without our incredible volunteers. This is as much their event as it is ours.
For the first time ever, we maxed out our space this year, so registration is closed. Sorry! Still, the booksigning is open to the public, and there’s always 2013. ;-)
Q: Advice time! Tell us one piece of advice you have for anyone looking to publish a romance book. AND, tell us one piece of advice what NOT to do.
A: What to do: Trust your voice. Forget what’s selling and write only what you love to write. Jump in with both feet. Make the book the way you envision it, not what you think will sell or what you think will be comfortable to the market.
What not to do: Critique groups. Contests. Critique groups will destroy your voice and voice is the only unique thing you have to offer. It is YOUR book, not book by committee. What a critique thinks is wrong might be exactly what an editor thinks is right. Don’t show that book to anyone who can’t buy it, unless the person is only looking for typos.
Contests give you that premature sense of validation. But it’s not a sale. I’ve seen new authors who write amazing first chapters to enter into contests, but never write the rest of the book. If that’s what you’re looking for, have fun! But if you want to publish a book, just write the book and send it to an editor – then if you want, enter a chapter. But get started on the 2nd book. Then the 3rd. It takes a long time to hear back from a publisher and you shouldn’t waste that time by merely waiting.
Q: Finish this sentence: Romance is…
A: Satisfaction. Only romance guarantees you a resolution to problems, a happy ending, a sense of triumph. No matter what happens in the book, we go into it trusting that it’ll all be okay in the end. There’s something very, very satisfying about that.
Q: Which one of your books is your favorite…the “book of your heart”? Why?
A: I only write books of my heart. :-) I love them all. Not saying they’re my “babies,” because they’re not. They’re just my books. But I wouldn’t write a book that I didn’t love.
Favorites include my Servant series written as L.L. Foster. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Gaby and Luther. Still. Always.
But out of straight romance, a few favorites are: Sam, from “My House, My Rules,” was just so macho and funny. Mick, from “Caught in the Act,” was so wounded and sexy. Axel, from “Playing Doctor,” cracked me up.
Thinking of single titles, I really like Trace, from “Trace of Fever.” But readers apparently liked Jackson the best, from “Savor the Danger.” Readers and I rarely agree on favorites. LOL
Q: What’s the difference between L.L. Foster and Lori Foster books?
A: Blood, gore, violence. I mean, there’s violence in my romances, with the heroes kicking some serious butt.
But as L. L. I let the villains do really violent things too.
Q: If you could meet with any author (dead or alive) who wrote any type of book, who would it be? What would you talk about?
A: I’ve met most of my heroes! Stella Cameron, Jayne Ann Krentz, Elizabeth Lowell, Catherine Coulter, Linda Howard... I think they’re absolutely amazing.
I guess the only fangirl moments I haven’t had would be with Johanna Lindsey and Julie Garwood. One day I’d love to meet them. If the conversation is up to me, I assume I’d just gush. LOL. But I’m always happy just to talk about live and what makes up a writer’s day.
Q: Tell us about your next release coming in April: "A Perfect Storm".
A: “A Perfect Storm” features Arizona and Spencer, characters introduced in “Savor The Danger.” They’re both edgy, capable, deadly when necessary, and out for vengeance. But when Spencer looks at Arizona, he only sees her youth, her vulnerability, and her sex appeal. It surprised that two such wounded characters could still be so amusing.
Where to find Lori Foster:
He never saw her coming…
Spencer Lark already knows too many secrets about Arizona Storm, including the nightmare she survived and her resulting trust issues. But in order to expose a smuggling ring—and continue avenging his own tragic past—the bounty hunter reluctantly agrees to make Arizona a decoy. Yet nothing has equipped him for her hypnotic blend of fragility and bravery, or for the protective instincts she stirs in him.
Arizona wants to reclaim her life, which means acting as bait to lure the enemy into a trap. Sure it's dangerous, especially with a partner as distractingly appealing as Spencer. But as their plan—and their chemistry—shifts into high gear, Arizona may discover there's an even greater risk in surrendering her heart to a hero….
Arizona Storm sat quietly on the overstuffed chair, her chin resting on her drawn-up knees, her fingers laced together around her shins.
In the quiet, shadowed room, she breathed in the unique aroma of aftershave and gun oil, and the headier scent of warm male. On the back of the chair behind her he’d tossed his jeans and a rumpled T-shirt. Close at hand on the nightstand, he’d placed his freshly cleaned gun and his deadly switchblade.
His discarded boxers lay on the floor.
He fascinated her.
After breaking into his house, she’d removed her sneakers and put them next to his boots by the front door. The air conditioning, set on high, left her toes cold, but he’d covered himself with no more than a thin sheet.
Again and again, her gaze tracked over him, from one big foot sticking out over the side of the bed, up and over his flat, solid abs covered by the snowy white sheet, to his chest – not covered by anything except enticing body hair.
With one arm behind his head, she saw his underarm and the dark tuft of hair there. Seeing that almost made him look vulnerable – except that, despite his relaxed pose, the positioning of his long arm made a thick biceps bulge.
At nearly six and a half feet tall, solidly built and finely sculpted, Spencer Lark was one of the biggest, strongest, most impressive men she’d ever met.
And she knew some really prime specimens.
His long lashes shadowed his high cheekbones, but that didn’t detract from the bruising beneath one eye. A recent fight? She smiled while picturing it, sure that Spencer had come out ahead. His skill at fighting intrigued her even more than his big bod.
Amazing, but even his slightly crooked nose held her rapt. When and how had he broken it?
She inhaled a deep breath and let it out in a quiet sigh that, given the silence in his home and Spencer’s acute instincts, disturbed his slumber.
Arizona admitted to herself that maybe she’d wanted to wake him. After all, she’d been watching him – and waiting – for awhile now.
His head turned on the pillow, his legs shifted.
Holding herself perfectly still, she waited to see if he’d awaken, what he’d do, what he’d say. She didn’t know him all that well, and yet… she did.
They’d met nearly a month ago while they were both on a sting. Immediately, they’d butted heads, and he’d infuriated her by interfering with her life.
But worse, he’d robbed her of the revenge she desperately craved.
Sure, he had his own need for revenge, so she understood his motives. She didn’t forgive him. Not yet, anyway.
But she did understand.
At least, she thought she did. Once they talked it over, then she’d decide for sure.
He made a soft, gravelly sound as he stretched that long, strong body. His chin tucked in. Muscles flexed.
The sheet tented.
Eyes widening, Arizona stared, not really alarmed, but no longer so at ease, either. She had a very dark history with aroused men, so she doubted she’d ever be unaffected by them. But she didn’t let it get in her way, not when she wanted something, not when she had a goal in mind.
She knew she should have taken Spencer’s gun, at the very least moved it out of his reach. But instead she’d found him in the bed, and before she’d even thought it through, she’d taken the empty seat and settled in to study him while he slept.
Since that fateful day when her destiny had been stolen from her, she’d seen him only a handful of times. She tried to stay away. She tried to forget about him.
She hadn’t been successful.
Stretching, he brought his hand out from behind his head, around to rub over his hair, across his face, down his chest.
As he gave a sleepy, growling groan of waking, that hand disappeared under the sheet.
Arizona’s lips parted and her heartbeat tripped up. She cleared her throat.
Freezing, without moving any other body part, he opened his eyes and met her gaze.
She frowned at him.
He didn’t look super-startled, and he said nothing. He just stared at her.
With his hand still under there.
“Yeah…” Semi-satisfied with his frozen reaction, she nodded at his lap. “You weren’t going for a little tug, were you? Because, as your spectator, I’d just as soon not see it.”
He brought his hand out and put it back behind his head, still silent, still watching her. Almost… relaxed.
His gaze was so dark, so compelling, she felt like squirming, damn it. “I mean, I guess I could wait in the other room if it’s really necessary. That is, if you don’t take too long.”
He disappointed her by not reacting. As if he often woke with an uninvited woman playing voyeur in his bedroom, he looked her over, from her bare toes up to her long, wind-tangled hair.
“Been here long?”
“Maybe half an hour or so.” Curiosity prompted her to ask, “Were you going to… you know?” She nodded at his lap.
“Most men say hi to the boys first thing.”
With no sign of discomfort, he shrugged one shoulder. “You broke in.”
A statement, not a question. She did her own casual shrug. “Since you’re not dumb enough to leave the place unlocked, yeah, I had to.”
He turned his head, but not to check on the time. He saw the gun still on the nightstand where he’d left it, and brought his gaze back to hers again. “You know how to make coffee?”
One eyebrow lifted high. “Trying to get me out of the room so you can leave the bed? I’m not squeamish, you know. I mean, with my background, I’ve seen plenty of –”
He threw off the sheet and sat up, effectively shutting down her snide retort.
“If you don’t know how to make coffee, just say so.” Spencer stretched again, harder, longer this time. Sitting on the side of the bed, he snagged up his boxers and stepped into them. As he stood, he pulled them up.
They fit like a glove.
He still had a tent going.
And she still stared.
Q: Anything else you’d like to add?
A: I’m always accessible to readers. I visit my FB every day, off and on all day, and I answer all my emails myself.
I often have fun goodies to give away. If you want some, send me an SASE (Self Addressed Stamped Envelope) that I can fill with stuff and drop off at the P.O. to return to you. Send the envelope to me at: Lori Foster, P. O. Box 854 Ross, OH 45061.