Today on Novel Natterings, I'm thrilled to welcome powerhouse author, Alana Lorens. Powerhouse? Read on and find out why I've described her as such.... :)
Thank you, LaVerne, for being such a gracious hostess!
Its a pleasure Alana. Can you tell us a bit about yourself?I was the eldest of three sisters, and I played the mother role for most of my teens, as my dad was a single working dad. I had my first family in my twenties, two daughters; my second family, a daughter and two stepdaughters in my thirties; then I married again just after I was 40 and got two sons and a baby daughter four weeks old—all on the autism spectrum. So I’ve decided this is my “mommy” life—maybe in my next incarnation I can be more like the “Sex in the City” gals. I live in northwest PA in a house with 11 computers and two children, and my absent-minded computer geek husband.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?I was about ten years old, and I remember sitting in our dining room window, watching as my sister’s cat systematically killed and ate a small rabbit. I was scribbling madly away the whole time, marking the story down for history. My mother made me take it in to school the next day, and the principal reviewed it. He praised it and read it to me class—although now that I think about it, he may have been a little wary of my sanity and fascination with the subject I’d written about. I’m sure I’d have been referred to a doctor today—but that was the beginning of my career.
Do you remember what inspired you to write your first book?I loved reading romance stories—gothic romances, at the time, like Victoria Holt, Jain Aiken Hodge, Mary Stewart, Dorothy Eden. So when I was 14, I tried my hand at one, a time travel gothic romance. I sent it to an editor at Doubleday, who was kind and sent it back with a note that it was pretty amazing for someone of my age. I happened to find it a few years ago and it was HORRID. Bless her for being so kind.
I love call stories. Can you tell us about yours and your reaction?I’d made a personal connection with TWRP editor Kathy Cottrell at some point several years ago, and I sent her a manuscript I’d worked very hard on. She told me it was women’s fiction, not a romance. So I went back to the computer and wrote another one. She said it was women’s fiction. She was running the Class of ’85 series then, and I wrote her a story for that. The first reader didn’t like it. I was about to give up.
But I had a story burning in me from my online role playing game days, from when my husband and I met, so I gave it one last shot, and THAT one became SECRETS IN THE SAND, which TWRP published in 2011. I made a solid connection with my editor, who was equally delighted with CONVICTION OF THE HEART, and when she sent the email with a positive answer, I was thrilled! My writing wasn’t just a fluke—I was going to be able to tell more and more stories that I love.
That is so cool! :) What drew you to write romance?It just clicks for me. But I can’t write formula romance. Really. The “you must meet by page 2 and kiss by page ten and break up by page 30 and...” I’m really focused on telling the story. I think that’s why I like romantic suspense. It creates the framework of pacing a story correctly, developing the mystery and the tension and then the romance seems to wrap around those strands much more subtly but naturally, too.
What’s the most challenging part of the writing process for you?Waiting to hear back from editors!
LOL. I’m a pretty fast writer. I’d say I average four to six manuscripts a year, under all my different aliases, so even while I’ve got some that are accepted and in edits or waiting for covers or waiting for release, I’ve always got at least one or two I’m waiting on a Yes! From.
WOW!! That is amazing! I'm lucky to get two finished! Go, Alana! :)
What are you working on right now?I’m working on a three-volume YA post-apocalyptic series for Zumaya Publications, the real books of my heart that I can’t wait to see in print. I’m also working on the fourth book in my Clan Elves of the Bitterroot series (written as Lyndi Alexander). In June I’ll be travelling to Montana’s Glacier Lake area for research for that book. I’ve got edits for LOVE ME, KISS ME, KILL ME, a psychic vampire novel coming out from Hydra Publications in September, and I’ve also got my fingers crossed for a new romantic suspense novel set at Mardi Gras in New Orleans.
Exciting stuff! Latest news?I have a great blog tour going for CONVICTION OF THE HEART, being released June 8, and the women’s fiction novel SECOND CHANCES, which is coming out in July. After that, September 12 is the date for the release of THAT GIRL’S THE ONE I LOVE from TWRP.
Yay! More to look forward to :) Where can we find you and your books?I’ve got a booksigning at Fact and Fiction, a bookstore on Higgins Avenue in Missoula, Montana June 23, and I’ll be featured at the Meadville PA Market House Second Saturday in July, which is titled The Creative Process.
Otherwise, check out http://alanalorens.com or http://lyndialexander.wordpress.com for updates and news when the books will be available at amazon.com and the other usual distribution points.