Indie House Books is pleased to present an interview with Lori McIntosh. Lori is the author of Everybody’s Friend and she graciously agreed to let us ask a few questions that we are sharing with you. We hope you enjoy what Lori has to say.
IHB: Briefly describe your journey in writing your book.
Lori: I put pen to the paper or fingers to the typing and with a lot of imagination and life happening around me, I wrote a book. It’s amazing and I’m so glad I did it. I hope you feel the same way after you dive into the pages.
IHB: When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
Lori: I wish I could say it was an epiphany and one day I said, “I’m going to write a book.” But what I can say is God gifted me with an imagination and the ability to put that on paper where hopefully people either relate too or get lost in being someone else for a while.
IHB: Why did you decide to become a writer?
Lori: I’m a writer? Haha! I don’t even think of myself as a writer. I guess I should but usually when people meet me they don’t say, “Hey, she’s that writer.” They say, “Hey, that’s mom or that’s the solutions consultant for Hobsons.”
IHB: What inspired you to write your first book?
Lori: Reading a lot and realizing that I can do that too. So I tried it and here we are! I will say that my first book was tame in comparison to Everybody’s Friend. Coming from a small town, you have no idea what people will think or say but to heck with that philosophy…let’s get wild with it!
IHB: What do you hope readers will take from your writing?
Lori: I hope they relax and have fun with it. I hope they cry, and laugh, and fall in love. Reading is therapeutic and I want to be that good daily therapy.
IHB: What is your writing schedule like?
Lori: Schedule? You are kidding right? I write in between kid events, after work, during my lunch, before bed…whenever I can sneak away!
IHB: Do you have any writing quirks? (Favorite shirt, pen, time of day?)
Lori: I am extremely superstitious so you would think I would have writing quirks but I don’t believe I do. Maybe that’s what I’m missing to becoming that New York Times bestseller? Hmmmm I need to work on that one!
IHB: Where do you get your ideas for your books?
Lori: This is easy! Everyday life….life happens and I write about it. Okay, so I embellish a little to make it sound juicy and romantic. But watch out, you could very well be my next character.
IHB: How many books have you written? Do you have a favorite?
Lori: I’ve written two books. Southern Like That is my teenage romance novel and Everybody’s Friend is my adult romance novel. I am working on my third now. Everybody’s Friend is my favorite! It is steamy and exciting and it was oh so fun to write!
IHB: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
Lori: I learned it takes a lot of words to make a good novel. LOL! I can assure you there are a lot of unfinished books out there for that reason alone! Unfortunately, I learned that getting a romance novel published is extremely difficult. Not very many people want to take a chance on you which is unfortunate because there are a lot of great writers out there that just haven’t been given the time of day.
IHB: Are you a full-time writer or part time?
Lori: Part time. Somebody has to help pay the bills and I’m not Nora Roberts yet.
IHB: What genre do you write in? Is there more than one?
Lori: You could put me in Contemporary Romance or Chick Lit? Or I could come up with my own genre and call it “Real World Romance.” Just place me wherever it sells!!
IHB: Do you hear from your readers? What is their most asked question?
Lori: Yes! The most asked question is, “Do I know somebody in this book?” LOL…it might be you! Hehe!
IHB: What do you think makes a good story?
Lori: A good story is one the reader can feel a connection or at least want to live vicariously through a character. I deal with real world romances. People have alcohol addictions, people have affairs among other things but they get through them with a little love or sometimes you see them crash and burn but that’s life and you pick yourself and go on to the next chapter. Life is just one big book.
IHB: What motivates you to write?
Lori: It’s fun! I love getting lost in a story. Writing makes me smile. But, I do it for me and I just hope others enjoy it.
IHB: Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? What do you do to overcome it?
Lori: Definitely! You wouldn’t be a writer if you didn’t experience this. I step away from it. Sometimes I go have coffee with a friend or I get lost in my family for a few days. I go experience more life and the stories just keep flowing.
IHB: Do you use outline?
Lori: Nope. I just let me fingers flow and deal with the storyline and how it flows towards the end.
IHB: What is the toughest part about being a writer and how do you get past it?
Lori: Not being able to market my book is hard. When you have a full time job other than writing, you can’t get your name out there as well and therefore the chances of you being the next big thing are slim. But, I write because I like it and self-satisfaction and a sense of accomplishment help me move past that hurdle.
IHB: Is there anything in your story based upon a real life event? If so, tell us about it.
Lori: My books are based on real life events with some bling. I have a lot of friends and I travel so I experience and see a lot of people. The best books are written by what you have seen or know and a lot of imagination to give it that kick. Life happens and what I try to do is draw from this, make it romantic, make it real, let people know that things happen and it’s not just your story but one hundred other people have probably felt your pain or fallen in love just like that. Maybe I even help spice up the bedroom?
IHB: Where can people find out more about you and your writing?
Lori: I have a Facebook page (Everybody’s Friend) and I’m on Twitter (@lmcintoshbooks). I honestly, keep my tweets up better than Facebook but the best place is to purchase my books (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords) and then you have a little piece of me every day. I bet that excites you…lol!
IHB: What is your marketing plan?
Lori: I wish I could have one! For now, it’s word of mouth, Facebook and Twitter. And you being so kind to interview me helps tremendously!! You rock!
IHB: Is your book self-published? What are your thoughts on traditional versus self-publishing?
Lori: My first book was traditionally published but by a mass publishing company and my second is self-published. For marketing reasons, I would love to be signed with a good publishing company so if anybody out there reads this and wants me….bring it on! Traditional publishing companies have way more to offer because it’s their job. That’s a no-brainer but also my opinion.
IHB: What are your feelings about ebooks (for Kindle or Nook)?
Lori: My first book is in paperback only and there is a lot to be said about the actual feel of paper in your hands and knowing that the author is you. My second book is an ebook and honestly, that is all I read now. I read a ton more now and I love it! Technology is awesome!
IHB: What do you do when you’re not writing?
Lori: I work as a Solutions Consultant for Hobsons. Change of career after seventeen years in college admissions and I love it! I am a wife and mother of two fabulous children. My son will play major league baseball one day and my daughter will be the next Taylor Swift. Just saying!
IHB: What is the most important thing you’ve learned during your journey as an author?
Lori: Patience. It will all come together and when it does, look at what you have done.
IHB: Do you have any advice for new authors?
Lori: Write! “Just do it,” like the Nike commercial says. You never know if you could be the next best seller unless you put the pen to the paper.
IHB: What’s next for you?
Lori: Life of course! And, I have started another adult romance that plays off one of the friends in my book Everybody’s Friend. But, I also have a real job and a baseball game to attend and a solo festival to cheer on my girl.
IHB: Is this your first published work? What other types of writing, if any, have you done?
Lori: No. I wrote Southern Like That which is a teenage romance novel.
IHB: What books or authors have most influenced your life or writing?
Lori: Well, I will give credit to Danielle Steele and her book Secrets, my first good beach read (of course, I was just a baby then…haha) but I love Nora Roberts and honestly, I read Indie Authors and love them. I fell in love with Christian Grey when he was only 99 cents!
IHB: What kinds of books do you like to read?
Lori: Romance of course!! Sappy love stories with hot love scenes get me every time. But love it when they add a twist, like “I didn’t see that coming.”
IHB: Please give us a brief synopsis about your current book and when and where it is available.
Lori: Maggie, the main character, invites the reader to attend a reunion/party of the eighties in a small Louisiana town. This reunion will have the reader intoxicated with alcohol problems, enticed with sex and torn between first loves as they walk down the path with Maggie’s friends to meet up with their old high school classmates.
Devoted and gorgeous, Maggie was always there. This party would be no different. Maggie would be the official greeter joined by the overzealous class clown and one of Maggie’s dearest friends, Eddie. Leading up to this reunion proved to be quite interesting. A lot had happened to the students that filled the halls of that small-town school.
Eddie was struggling with an alcohol addiction. John wasn’t sure why his stomach did somersaults when his new partner was present. Megan was full of secrets that only her husband and a local strip club could identify. Fred continued to irritate everyone around him while masking his problems at home. Caroline, the wealthiest girl in school and the one who beat Maggie out for cheerleader, disowned her family and married a man of a different race. Many more students walked down that path and Maggie allows the reader to live vicariously through each of them. What could possibly be the story of the next guest?
Sparkling new clothes arrive on bodies that hadn’t aged a bit and others that without the help of some name badges would still be a mystery. As the night progresses, history will be revisited and memories will be made to last well into the next twenty years. Sally, Maggie’s best friend, gets seduced in the back of a truck. Another alumnus creates a splash that keeps the gossiping girls giggling in their wine glasses. Eddie adds a wealth of funny stories that fill the crisp night air. Even Maggie has her fair share of excitement that unfolds as an old high school flame appears at the end of a very entertaining night. After all, what’s a small town without a little drama?
IHB: If there was one thing you could tell your readers, what would it be?
Lori: Read! And even if you are reading romance or history or science fiction, just read. It makes you happy. It makes you smarter. It makes you a better person!