Conversations with FaithInspires: Best Selling Author Loree Lough

Author Loree Lough

I first met Loree when she was doing research for her 2011 novel From Ashes To Honor. She is an incredible talent devoted to using her gift to giving faith compatible entertainment. She has published 100 novels working with some of the top fiction publishers in the business. I interviewed her so that our readers here could get to know her just a little bit better.


Before you became a writer, you toured as a musician. Can you tell us a little about that ?
First, I’d like to thank you for inviting me here!I started out in a little pub called The Rocking Horse Inn, in a suburb of Chicago, where my dad arranged to have me sing one of the many songs I’d written with a friend of his, Bobby Pierce. Somehow, although my guitar wasn’t in tune with the piano, Bobby’s band managed to follow along with me. The guys in the band also asked if I knew any other Country songs. I did, I sang, and they played and harmonized. The audience liked it so well, they invited me back. Then my dad got the wild idea that, with an agent, I could perform in places other than Chicago. I auditioned for a guy (whose name I can’t recall!) at Artists Corporation of America, based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He liked my style, booked me in a few small pubs nearby, and when the feedback from my bosses was positive, he found me work all across the U.S., where I sat in “the piano lady’s” spot in hotel lounges — just my Yamaha guitar and me — crooning whatever tunes the patrons requested. And the rest, as they say, was history.
How did you come to be a writer ?
My husband’s job took the family to Richmond, Virginia, where I answered a NEEDED: NEIGHBORHOOD CORRESPONDENT ad in the local paper. After 4 or 5 of those newsy articles came out, the editor asked me to write a story about the area’s EMT services (so my involvement with first responders goes WAY back!). She liked the feature, assigned more stories, and soon, editors from other newspapers and regional magazines were calling with story assignments. When we were transferred back to Baltimore 2 years later, I had a “clip book” filled with nearly 300 published articles, which I showed to editors here, and soon, they, too were giving me assignments. At last count, I had more than 2,500 articles in print (more, if I count those “ghosted” for professionals in techincal and trade publications).
What was your first big break, and how did it come about ?
As my “clip book” continued to grow, I noticed a disturbing trend: Editors, making changes to salient facts in the stories to appease advertisers. One night over supper, I said to my husband “If I’m gonna write fiction, I might as well try my hand at a novel!” I signed up for some fiction-writing classes at the community college, read every how-to-write-a-novel book I could get my hands on, and joined local and regional writers groups. And then I sat down to “try my hand” at writing a novel. I submitted POCKETFUL OF LOVE in November of ’93, and it was released in August of ’94. Twenty years later, my 100th book, SAVING ALYSSA, was released.
After over 100 published novels how do you keep the fresh ideas flowing ?
Ideas are like air…they’re everywhere! At the movies, in church, browsing the aisles at Wal-Mart, watching TV. When something (it rarely matters what) piques my curiosity, I play the “What if…?” game. Example: Local TV news covered a story, days before Halloween, about some teen boys, pulling a harmless prank. They made a dummy of old clothes, old shoes, and an old hat, and gave it a pumpkin head. Then they tossed it onto the railroad tracks. You can imagine the surprise of the engineer, who called authorities…who started an hours-long search for “…the vagrant that had stumbled in front of a moving train.” Search dogs joined search and rescue personnel, helicopters flew overhead, only to discover a newspaper-stuffed “man” wearing holey clothes and sole-less boots. So I asked myself “What if those boys caused more trouble than a couple hundred accumulated manhours and thousands of dollars in rescue equipment? What if they scared that poor engineer so badly, he suffered a heart attack? And what if, after hearing on the news how their little prank went wrong, it changed the course of their lives?”The result was “The Turning Points” series for Harlequin’s Love Inspired line. Each novel began with the building and placement of the dummy, as told from a different boy’s point of view. The stories pick up years later, and feature boys-turned-men: A cardiologist, a cop, a lawyer, a firefighter. Yep. All that from one 2-minute segment on the local news!
What does your Christian faith mean to your writing ?
It’s such a part of who and what I am that it naturally finds its way into everything I write. It’s what keeps me going when times get tough (and they get tough often in this wacky business!). It’s what motivates me to push onward when I’m tired from back-to-back all-nighters, trying to meet deadlines. It’s what helps me devise stories around everyday occurrences, and highlight character traits that mirror our own. I guess I could have saved you a lot of time by saying “My faith is everything!” LOL
How many hours a day do you write ?
Most days, I put in 8 solid hours of writing time. That does NOT include research about the era and area where a story is set, and finding beautiful one-of-a-kind prayers for first responders, written by talented, spirit-filled pastors like my pal, Reverend Robert Crutchfield. It also includes interviews with people working at the jobs/careers I’ve given my hero/herone. Everything from the weather to holidays, from clothing to modes of travel, from words used during that time period to books and newspapers of the day. And it doesn’t include time spent staying in touch with readers and fellow writers on social networking sites.
You write sitting on an exercise ball instead of a chair, how does this affect your writing ?
I hate to sound cliche, but the exercise ball lends balance to my writing! LOL Seriously? I sit here for so many hours in a row that good posture is critical. Before The Ball, all this sitting gave me a stiff neck, backaches, wrist and leg cramps. This new one is weighted with sand, so it doesn’t try to escape when I stand up! LOL
What one tip do you have for somebody who is looking to improve their writing skills ?
I urge them to sign up for classes, workshops, seminars. Read every how-to-write book they can get their hands on. Join writers groups in the area, and attend conferences whenever possible. Conferences are fantastic places to network! Not only will hopeful writers meet others facing the same struggles, they’ll pick up tips to avoid some of the pitfalls. They’re also great places to meet, face to face, with editors and agents, and (God willing!) open the door that will shorten the proposal process.
Can you tell us a little bit about your current work in progress ?
ONCE A MARINE is the first novel in the “Those Marshall Boys” series (Harlequin Heartwarming). A contemporary novel set in the Denver/Vail area of Colorado, it features Zach Marshall, a former Marine who, after his sister is attacked, puts his self-defense skills to use by opening a studio where he teaches others how to protect themselves from similar attacks. There, he meets Summer Lane, whose attack left her too afraid to leave her house for nearly two years. ONCE A MARINE is due for release in January.
Also releasing in January, CURRENCY OF THE HEART, the first in my “Secrets on Sterling Street” series for Whitaker House. Set in Denver in the 1880s, it’s the story of two strong, stubborn people who are more interested in protecting the secrets of their past than in assuring a happy, stable future…alone or together.
Thank you so much, Robert, for introducing me to your friends. I’m honored, and hope everyone will feel free to contact me on Facebook or Twitter, where I’m happy to answer more questions about their quest for publication, or these stories!
Secrets on Sterling Street (Whitaker House historical series)
Those Marshall Boys (Harlequin Heartwarming contemporary series)
A Child to Love (Heartwarming contemporary series)
For Love of Eli (Abingdon’s Quilts of Love series)
A Man of Honor (Abingdon’s First Responders series)
Lone Star Legends (Whitaker historical series)Join me at Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ &!

About Rev. Robert A. Crutchfield

Bi-vocational minister who is Founder and Editor of FaithInspires.Org As seen in Google News, SelfGrowth.Com, etc.

Posted on July 28, 2014, in Children, Christian Books and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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