I am pleased to introduce my Spotlight Author: LORRIE FARRELLY
Before we get started talking about your books, tell us a little about yourself. Where are you from? What is your occupation outside of writing?
I'm a Navy brat (born in the
Navy Yard), though I've been a West Coast girl most of my life. I'm a graduate of Philadelphia University of California, -- proud tp be a Fightin’ Banana Slug (well, okay, we’re really lovers, not fighters). Following graduate school at Santa Cruz , I began teaching in public schools. I taught art to 4th graders, drama to 8th graders, and finally, math to high school students. (If anybody loses asymptotes, I can probably find ’em...). Though now retired from the Math Department at Northwestern University Ayala High School in , I still enjoy tutoring students. I'm a three-time winner on Jeopardy! (despite forgetting the chemical symbol for sulfuric acid … oh, wait – I never knew that in the first place). I've shepherded wide-eyed foreign exchange students along Chino Hills, CA Hollywood Blvd (“As many stars and lunatics as there are in the Heavens”), and happily curried and shoveled as a ranch hand at Disneyland’s Circle D Ranch. I love to stay busy!
Would you describe yourself as an introvert or an extrovert?
Don't even need to ponder that one. Extrovert. Absolutely.
Do you have any pets?
Between us and the kids (they all live nearby, so their pets are always over here with ours), we have 5 dogs: Golden retriever Dallas, Jack Russell mixes Dave and Buster, and mini poodles
and Spike. We also have 2 cats: Hobbie and Jack. (Jack was born in a stack of tires in a junkyard and is semi-feral. Even though we've had him 7 years, he remains very timid and lives in a cubbyhole in my desk. He keeps me company while I write, and I keep hoping he'll go fetch me a sandwich, but no.) Griffin
What are your favorite books to read?
I love J. D. Robb's (Nora Roberts) "In Death" series. Other favorite authors are Linda Howard, Elizabeth Lowell, Dean Koontz, Robert B. Parker, and Stephen King. I really like Nora Roberts' Circle of Six trilogy and the
series. But the book that has meant the most to me, as it has to so many others, is Harper Lee's "To Kill a Mockingbird." I reread it often, and am always struck by its brilliance and humanity. Chesapeake
Where is the most unique place you have traveled?
Aside from your successes in the writing industry, what in your life has given you the greatest sense of accomplishment?
My greatest joy is my family. We not only love each other, we actually really like each other. Don't know how much credit I can take for that, but I'm awfully grateful. I'm also very proud to have won, in 2000, a Presidential Commendation for Excellence in Teaching Mathematics, as well as a nomination for Renaissance Teacher of the Year.
How many books have you written and how many of those are published?
I've written 5 books so far. Two are available through Amazon.com (search my name) and a third is coming out soon. The published books are "Terms of Surrender," a Western historical romance, and "Timelapse," a romantic time-travel adventure. "Dangerous," a romantic thriller, will be released in a few weeks. My two unpublished works, a paranormal romance and another thriller, are still in the process of rewriting and editing.
Do you have one particular genre that all your books fall under (i.e. suspense, romance, etc.) or do you write in many different genres? I love romance, but I always want more to the story. Mystery, suspense, a bit of the paranormal, adventure -- these are elements that really excite me. Always, though, the heart of any story is the emotional relationship of the main characters.
How much character and plot detailing do you plan out before you begin writing a novel, or are you a “pantser” (fly by the seat of your pants) ? I admit to being mostly a "pantser." While I do plan characters and plot, I also ask the characters to tell me where they are going, and amazingly, they do. (Sometimes they go way off the road, however, and I have to call, "Hey! Come back! What are you doing?") Often just before I go to sleep, I'll ask characters what they're going to do next, and I'll wake knowing. I keep a pen and notebook by the bed, so those 3:00 a.m. whisperings in my head don't evaporate in the daylight.
Prior to becoming a published author, how many rejections did you receive? How did you handle the rejections? Because I'm published by Amazon Kindle, some might consider this a moot point. However, like all writers, I've had ups and downs. In one instance, I was about to close a deal for a screenplay of my novel "Timelapse" when the producer told me she intended to remove my name from the work and put hers on. I withdrew the material. I've had editors tell me readers don't like paranormal elements or that a blackhearted character should be "nicer." Despite "Terms of Surrender's" selection as an Orange Rose Award finalist (
Orange County CA Chapter of the Romance Writers of ), an editor told me readers wouldn't understand what the Civil War had to do with the Old West. I had a series of agents who did little or nothing for me. I knew my work was entertaining and of high quality, but I grew more and more unhappy having it lie idle in the hands of others. So, I "hired" (actually, drafted) my husband as my manager and agent. Now my books are selling well and receiving excellent reader reviews on Amazon. So I'm very happy! America
How and when do you write? Do you keep yourself on a schedule or do you work while the muse is with you?
I write constantly, though not always books. I write letters, articles, reviews, all kinds of things. When I'm working on a book, though, I tend to work very intensely until the work is completed. I have a hard time stopping once I'm rolling along.
If you have a new release coming out, tell us about it. My third novel, "Dangerous," will be released in a few weeks. It's the story of a passionate, highly ethical, but dangerously burned-out LAPD officer, Cam Starrett, who imagines his new job (Chief of Police in a small
town) will be a peaceful haven from the violence, grief, and anger that have shattered his soul. He wants nothing more than sanctuary and a little healthy boredom. California
His first day in town, however, finds Cam barreling headfirst into a possible murder and a wild roadside rescue, as well as into the arms of a courageous, conflicted young woman, Merry Hayden. Together,
Cam and Merry face an escalating pattern of bigotry and violence that threatens not only their lives, but the lives of everyone in the community.
If you have many books already released, tell us which is your favorite and why.
I love all my stories. If I didn’t, I couldn’t write them. My kids say they like “Timelapse” best because it reminds them of “Lightning” married to “Back to the Future.” (Wow, there’s an image.) Still, the book closest to my heart is “Terms of Surrender.” I know the people in that story, and I love them.
A personal history note: I was a very late-in-life child for my parents. At first, my mother thought I was a symptom of menopause. Amazing as it seems to me now in 2011, my dad was born near
in 1909. Southerners in 1909 weren’t much different from Southerners in 1865. I understood who they were, how they spoke, how they thought and felt, both good and bad. Atlanta
My father was a career Naval officer, an
graduate, and in every sense an officer and gentleman. His second career choice, he always claimed, was riding shotgun for Wild Bill Hickok. And even though those days were long past, it never stopped him from telling us stories all about it. Annapolis
If you could step into the world of anyone else’s novel or meet with any character, which/who would you choose?
How cool it would be to go on a murder-in-the-future case with Eve Dallas, the kick-ass homicide detective in J. D. Robb’s ingenious “In Death” series. The wildly imagined, yet wonderfully familiar, world of Dallas, her every-woman’s-fantasy-mate Roarke, faithful and spunky partner Peabody, and the whole rest of the team is so beautifully realized and fully inhabited that the appealing characters all but leap off the page. Who wouldn’t want to join in?
If you could give one piece of advice to writers trying to get published, what would that advice be?
Look into ALL the publishing options, both standard print and electronic, available now. Be sure your work is well-edited, listen to advice and constructive criticism, and keep writing. Don’t be discouraged. There are many, many creative and profitable avenues open to authors today.
What's up next for you and your writing?
I’m looking forward to the release of “Dangerous” in a few weeks. Then, on to the next book!
Anything else you'd like to share with my blog readers?
I hope you enjoy my books, and here’s to many more happy endings!
Where can we read more about you and your work?
Please visit my website:
Find more information and reader reviews of my work on Amazon.com. (Please search for me by name.)
Lorrie Farrelly, Author
Terms of Surrender
Thank you for visiting with me and sharing your work. Best of luck with your upcoming release.