Q: By now, most readers know a little bit about you. Would you tell us a little bit about yourself that not many people know?
LW: I’m proud to say I’ve been a participant in the Harvard’s Nurses’ Health Study—the largest and longest running investigations of factors that influence women’s health—for 25 years.
I graduated from high school a year early and was accepted into a program for licensed vocational nurses when I was sixteen. (Although I turned seventeen before the program started.) At the time I was the youngest person in Texas ever accepted into LVN school. I was an LVN for six years while I put myself through RN school.
I’m a fifth generation Texan and proud of it.
Q: Did you always want to be an author?
LW: Yes. From the time I was old enough to realize that real people wrote the books I loved to read, it’s the only thing I ever wanted to be. I was so certain of my destiny I was surprised to discover that most people aren’t always certain of their calling.
Q: How did you get your first break in publishing?
LW: Through joining RWA and entering chapter run contests.
Q: I’m sure readers would love to hear how the publishing world has changed over the years. Tell us what you see as the biggest differences over the years.
LW: Everything has changed. From the way books are bought and sold, published, printed, distributed and marketed. Technology has turned publishing on its ear. As readers and authors we are living in an exciting time. The only thing that remains the same is that a good story is, and always will be, a good story no matter the form or format.
Q: Tell us about your favorite character from your books.
LW: Ahh, that’s like asking a mother to pick her favorite child. And honestly, after seventy books, my memory is a little faulty on some of my earlier works. My favorite characters are always the ones I’m currently writing about. They’re the ones I’m living with now.
Q: What was one of the most surprising things you learned while writing your latest book?
LW: Members of Delta Force are called “operators” not “soldiers.” I did not know that until I started researching Delta Force.
Q: Was there ever a time when you felt like your career might stall? If so, tell us about it. If not, to what do you attribute your continued good fortune?
LW: Oh heck, every writer I’ve ever known has felt that way and continues to feel that way. This is not a secure career. There are all kinds of ups and downs in this business, most of it beyond your control. There is no pension plan or sick days.
No one makes you produce. You have to show up on the page every day, battle the doubts and demons and do it anyway. Someone once said, “If you can quit writing, then quit.” The entertainment industry is such a tough way to make a living. Most of us do it because we can’t not write.
Q: What tips would you give to aspiring writers?
LW: The most important piece of advice I can give is to park your backside in front of that computer every day (or at a minimum of five days a week) and put words on the page. Until you do that, you can’t do anything else. Make writing a habit and priority. Do it first thing in the morning if you can. It doesn’t have to be for very long in the beginning. Ten minutes (or if you like word count better, 100 words) a day will do to start. When that gets comfortable, make it fifteen minutes a day, then twenty… Just write. The rest will come. Just write.
If you’ve already got a regular writing schedule, then start pushing yourself to write more. Writing is the key, the secret handshake, the abracadabra. Do it, then do it again and then do it some more and just don’t stop. Ever. For any reason. Unless you decide you really don’t want to do this anymore, then stop and don’t look back. There’s no shame in that.
Q: If you could sum up your writing career in one sentence, what would it be?
LW: I’m living my dream.
Love With a Perfect Cowboy, TBR May 27, 2014 (can preorder at Amazon)
Melody Spencer was rushing up Madison Avenue when she spied him.
A tall, lanky man in a black Stetson logjamming the flow of foot traffic by moseying along at a lamb’s pace, craning his neck up at the skyscrapers as if he couldn’t believe they made buildings that lofty.
Two simultaneous thoughts popped into her head. One was: What a hick. The other was: I’m homesick.
Twelve years earlier she had marveled at the towering buildings when she first arrived in the city as a green freshman on a full academic scholarship to NYU. While she no longer stared at the high-rises, she still lived by one motto—Keep looking up. Vision, commitment, and hard work were what had brought her to this moment. She was about to receive the promotion she worked a lifetime to earn.
Why else would her boss, Michael Helmsly, have texted her and asked her to come in for a private meeting thirty minutes early on the same day that the creative director was retiring?
She shivered, smiled.
At long last her time had come.
A river of people flowed around the cowboy, some muttering obscenities, others flipping him off, a few glowering, but most not even bothering to acknowledge him at all. He was nothing more than a speck in their obstacle-laden day.
Although one smart-aleck teen—probably a tourist—hollered from a passing taxi, “Why aren’t you naked in Times Square, cowboy?”
The man tipped his Stetson at the taxi, briefly revealing a head of thick, whiskey-colored curls and a sense of humor. A navy blue, Western-cut sport jacket hugged his broad shoulders. The crowd obscured her view of his backside, but she would have bet a hundred dollars that tight-fitting Wranglers cupped a spectacular butt.
Cowboys always seemed to have spectacular butts, probably from all that hard riding in the saddle.
He turned his head and the morning light illuminated his profile—straight nose, honed cheekbones, chiseled jaw. He was freshly clean-shaven, but she could tell he had a heavy beard and that long before five o’clock he’d be sporting a shadow of stubble. In that regard he looked a bit like the actor Josh Holloway, who’d played Sawyer on the television show Lost.
A cold jolt of recognition smacked into the pit of her stomach. She knew this man! Had once both loved and hated him.
Luke Nielson, from her hometown of Cupid, Texas.
Lori Wilde is an Avon author. For more information about Lori and her books, check her author page at http://www.romancebooks4us.com.