Today we have something a bit different. Author Loree Lough spent some time with fellow writer Chrissy Drew and has gifted us with her interview! Take it away Loree!
Tell us a little about yourself.
I've always loved to write. All the way back to elementary school. Give me a topic, I'll write about it. I took journalism in junior high, ah, middle school, and wrote for the school's newsletter. I used to dream of writing greeting cards for Hallmark, but that is a hard industry to get into. But, so is getting into the book publishing world.
I am married to my Darlin’ going on twenty-seven years. When we met, I had two teenage boys, who now have families of their own, and each has a son and daughter. Darlin’ is my very best friend. He's supportive of my writing, including the need to attend conferences, my creative brain … Example: When I see something that makes me blurt out, "That would make a great story!", he just looks at me and shakes his head. Oh, the love!
Growing up in a suburb of Detroit in the 1960s was a trip. Back then, we couldn't wear slacks to school. It was so cold walking to school, our snot froze. No joke! I've been in the clerical-type career my whole life. Daddy started me off by making me answer calls for his business. So I've been a secretary, office manager, and senior administrative assistant. I had a property and liability insurance license (where I was on their newsletter staff), and a manicure license. (But in all honesty? I used my fishing license most.) I even worked the old school switchboards. It was at a stockbroker, Dean Ritter Reynolds. The elderly lady that was training me had no sense of humor at all. It was, answer quickly and take another call. Many, many times, I'd answer so quickly, the name came out as, "Dean Witter Wenolds." I still laugh about that. I'm not even sure the place exists anymore.
I love to garden, take spontaneous drives with Darlin’, read, write, and now enjoy my little sidekick, Tanner Drew - The Pup. (He has his own Facebook page and YouTube channel). He's so much fun.
Did your past job(s) prepare you for writing fiction?
As mentioned, I was on the newsletter staff at the insurance company and, as a senior administrative at a well-known computer company, I was on staff as a writer for the global administrative assistants, interviewing other administrators and their managers, and writing stories of local happenings, etc. I also created a newsletter for our local Neighborhood Watch several years ago.
Do you consider yourself ‘first a reader’ or ‘a writer, always a writer first!’?
Hmmm. That's tough. Can I be both? I love to read, especially the genre I write about.
Have you always wanted to be an author, or did your love for the craft come over you gradually?
Always. The industry has changed so much since I started pursuing a publishing dream. But, with social media and the information highway, there are so many avenues. I blog too. Even if it doesn't reach many, it's a place I can vent, share my feelings about "stuff," and just write.
Do you remember the very first thing you had published?
Yes, The Dog Next Door, by Revell books. It's an anthology. I wrote about our beloved MoneyDog. On a whim, I submitted the story and it was accepted. I was over-the-moon excited. My first submittal and it was accepted! And they paid me. I was a paid, published author!
You now have 11 books in print. Two for Revell, and nine for Inspire Press, via Inspire Christian Writers. Is there a word to describe how that feels?
How long does it typically take you to write a novella/novel?
Ha! I am ... have been writing my contemporary romance novel series for several years. It has changed so much, i.e. the title, the characters, pretty much the storyline. This will be my first published novel. Do you like how I said that ... "will be?" I'm confident, and with God's backing, I will be published.
Are you a plotter or a seat-of-the-pantser?
Pantser, definitely. If I had to outline, I'd never get any writing done. I write as I go. To me, it's more exciting as I'm feeling what's happening as it's happening. That excites me. I get to know my characters as I go, and then evolve them.
Where do you get your story ideas?
Mostly, my imagination. Ideas pop in my head and I write them down. I don't always write about them all. I have another story I started that has nothing to do with the series. I think it's what writers do. Most anyway.
What does your typical writing day look like?
Well, I wish I could say I write every day. But I don't. I should, though. When I do, it's mostly late morning, or early evening. Lately, it's been a lot of editing. Sometimes, it’s hard to ‘sit and do.’ I feel, "will I ever complete this project?" But, I'm finding out that editing is where some of the magic happens. And I have an awesome mentor.
How has publishing changed since you?
As mentioned, it's validated my craft. Makes me want to be a better writer.
What are your favorite things about being a published author?
My first published story in The Dog Next Door, I had gotten an email from a reader. I was shocked. Me? A reader sent me a message? She wanted to let me know that she loved my story and my writing style. Well, I'll be. That was amazing. That was one reason I want to publish more and more.
And your least favorite?
Rejection. I've submitted to a couple of high-profile conferences for scholarships, and have been rejected by both. I've submitted to an agent, who sent me a wonderful rejection letter. It just wasn't my time. So, I write on.
What advice would you give an aspiring author?
Never give up. Attend conferences. Join writer's groups, critique groups. Don't take anything personally. That was a tough one for me. I'm a sensitive introvert. Until you get to know me.
Of the books you’ve written, do you have a personal favorite?
Although the Revell anthologies are really cool, I love the stories I've written for Inspire. One in particular about my husband. It's in the book, Inspire Faith and my story is called, "But Lord, He's a Good Man."
Where do you see yourself in a year (in five; in ten)?
Still writing. But being published as an author of novels. Plural!
What are you working on now?
A contemporary romance series, set in a northern Michigan town.
Where can readers find you? (web site, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc.)
Blog: chrissydrew.com (a work in progress)
Twitter:@chrissydrew55 (I don't use Twitter much, though.)
Dogs are truly one of God's finest creatures, a marvelous gift for us humans. In the perfect follow-up to A Prince among Dogs, Callie Smith Grant compiles a delightful collection of true stories that celebrate the dogs in our lives. These stories will touch our hearts, renew our spirits, and show us how God made these wonderful creatures for unique purposes.
Readers will love these uplifting glimpses into the lives of ordinary and extraordinary dogs and the people who love them. The stories are warm, captivating, and ideal for a good curl-up-and-read or a perfect gift for any dog lover.
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