I’m so happy you asked!
On the heels of two Love Finds You releases (Paradise and North Pole), the next books to hit the shelves are 3-in-1 novel compilations released by Whitaker: “Tales of the Heart” (historicals) and “Prevailing Love” (contemporaries). The covers are just gorgeous, so I can hardly wait to see standing spine-out in a bookstore!
On the heels of those releases, a historical series for Whitaker that begins with “The Outlaw Wore Skirts” set in Eagle Pass, Texas in 1888. And then…. Okay. All right. I’ll spare the tedium of slogging through the rest of the list!
What genre do you write and why?
I write “inspirational romance”. By definition, that means “Christian”, and includes contemporaries and historicals that fall into the suspense, mystery, drama, and comedy categories.
The affectionate term is “inspys”, and I write them because God puts it on my heart to write them! He is the ultimate relationship expert. (Dr. Phil, step aside!) If we heed His word, the Lord is only too happy to teach us—from birth through death—how to get along with others. And in the case of love and romance, well, I have to believe He’s a big fan. Why else would he have started the world with a twosome!
First, I chose the time period, 1888…the year my beloved grandfather was born. Then I picked Texas for the setting because, well, who doesn’t like cowboys! Next I pored over old maps to find the perfect spot for the handsome Neville cousins’ ranch. About that time, I was ready to ‘cast’ the characters. Once I’d chosen their names, described them, given them interesting backgrounds, I needed to know what sort of tools and weapons they’d need, what style clothing they’d wear, how they’d cook and clean and get from point A to point B…and so on. I had to learn about the Texas Rangers, politics in that era. Trains. Stagecoaches. How banks operated back then. And so on. And so on. And…
Where do you get your inspiration?
Every day, the mailman delivers letters from my readers. Reading them is all the inspiration I need! Some have become dear friends, others close ‘pen pals’. Almost without exception, they share their own stories with me (hardships, joys, losses, successes, romance, heartache, etc.). It’s hard not to be inspired when nearly every letter ends with “…when can I get my hands on your next novel?”
What has been the hardest part of writing your novel and how did you overcome it?
Oh, without a doubt, time management is the most difficult thing about every novel I write! Life has a way of intervening, interrupting, interloping, intruding. There’s laundry to do, meals to cook, family outings to attend, lawns to mow, weeds to pick, errands to run…and there isn’t a thing we can do to stop or slow it!
I’m getting pretty good at saying “No” (though admittedly, it’s still the most difficult word that passes my lips), and I’m getting pretty dependent on my trusty oven timer (because it keeps me from spending too much time on this and not enough on that)!
I hope that when readers reach The End of any story I’ve written, they’ll feel as if they’ve made new friends in the characters who’ve inspired laughter, tears, and gentle sighs. I hope their hearts will pound with fear, ache with sadness, leap for joy, and thump with excitement. I hope they’ll grieve at their new friends’ losses and celebrate their successes.
But mostly, I pray that some facet of each story will touch them on a spiritual level—one they’ll remember for a long, long time to come—and that they’ll learn by the characters’ struggles and triumphs that our loving Father wants to be a part of our lives, every minute of every day…even as we’re reading for the pure old-fashioned pleasure of it!
Right now, I have three novels and three proposals in the works. I’m also teaching (writing), mentoring (new writers), writing articles and columns, and ‘tending’ my (writing) web site and blog.
Where can people find out more about you and your writing? The programs and speaking that you do?
They can find me on MySpace, Facebook, Shoutlife, and Twitter, at http://www.loreelough.com/ and http://www.theloughdown.blogspot.com/.
The best writing advice came from Nora Roberts, who when asked what is the secret to her success, “Park your bee-hind in a chair…and type.”
The worst advice, by far, was “Write the book of your heart.” (Because that book doesn’t have a market!)
Anything else you'd like to take this opportunity to say?
To writers of romance, I’d say be proud of what you do! With God’s grace and blessing, you will touch lives, mend hearts, and reach souls. This is very important work we’re doing, and while it should humble us that God has chosen us to help Him spread His word in this amazing and beautiful way, we should never feel defensive about what we’re doing for a living!
To readers of romance, I’d like to say be proud of what you read! Of course you need to make time to read the bible every day, to muse over devotionals that remind you how truly loving and merciful He is. But there’s a place for romantic fiction in your life, too, and you should never feel embarrassed to admit that you’ve chosen to spend a few relaxing moments treating yourself to the wholesome Christian messages found in inspirational fiction!
Now…go forth and read an Inspirational Romance!