Hey, romance addicts. Author Alana Lorens joins us today. She will share her experience writing and publishing and
Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
Interesting question. Obviously I want readers to read my books. But I see some authors coming out with a formula book (read: any Hallmark movie plot) every couple months, and I can’t imagine doing that just to get a book out there.
When I get an idea for a book, it has nothing to do with formula. I focus instead on the characters. I write a story about them and the problems and joys they experience, whatever genre I’m working in. People who read them tell me they enjoy them, and I often hear, “Oh, I don’t usually like X genre, but your story was really different.” Right now I’m working on a historical romance set during the Spanish-American War in Key West, with pirates and other good things, and one of the writers in my group is a tough old retired police officer. Several chapters in, he’s raving about it and threatened us not to tell the F.O.P. that he’s liking a romance! ☺
Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym?
Well, yes. laughs I actually have two. I was a practicing family law attorney for 30 years. My books on divorce and other advice was then under my real name, Barbara Mountjoy. But since I started writing fantasy and science fiction, it didn’t seem very professional to use my lawyer name—I mean, elves? Really? So Lyndi Alexander came into being.
When I had several SFF books under my belt, I found I really wanted to write some romance books. But it didn’t seem right to have them under the same name—readers expecting more SFF would be disappointed. Alana Lorens, though, came right along to claim authorship of the romance and romantic suspense novels, including TENDER MISDEMEANORS.
What is the first book that made you cry?
No question—A Wrinkle in Time. One of the first sci-fi-fantasy books I’d read, but so much strong emotion and a well- written fractured family and how much they loved each other.
As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?
I’d be a spider, of course! One of those huge golden orb spiders, hanging in a doorway, swaying with the breeze, watching the world go by. I actually have a carved stone I picked up in the Southwest, traveling for research some years ago, with a lovely spider right on it. It sits on the desk to remind me to spin my yarns.
How did publishing your first book change your writing process?
Not only the first one, but maybe the first three? It was like a door opened, and I was finally on the side where I could find out what I’d been missing. I wrote for years and submitted, and even met with editors/agents at conferences, etc., but not until I actually had ongoing work with an editor did I start learning the good stuff. Just everyday practices like not using “was…-ing’ constructs, really cutting through to POV issues, recognizing passive voice—these all came through the give and take with an editor going page by page through my book. It was a revelation. I had an editor at The Wild Rose Press remark on how different—and so much better—my work was, even in ten years. Seeing what was cut and why is so much more edifying than just getting a form letter back as a rejection. I even had—and still do—an outstanding critique group, but unfortunately, a lot of them hadn’t gotten through the door yet either. It’s a shame, because we all want to put our best, editor-ready work out there, but if we can’t know what they really want, how’s that supposed to happen?
Thank you for joining us, Alana. All right, romance addicts, Check out Alana’s latest book, the romantic suspense, Tender Misdemeanors
Caryn Orlane has law enforcement in her blood; her father was a cop, and his father, too. She’s a federal agent in northwest Montana, protecting the old forests and keeping the peace.
Levi Bradshaw also believes in protecting the forests, but has a very different MO. He’s the leader of a group of eco-warriors, determined to save the trees of the Bitterroot by legal—and illegal—means.
When they meet in the woods at gunpoint, their encounter ignites a spark of interest, despite operating on opposite sides of the law. When their worlds turn on them, they only grow closer. If they don’t work together, can either survive?