Wednesday, March 18, 2009


This is our first time to have Loree with us on the blog. Welcome, Loree. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.

I’d have to say there’s a little of me in every character I’ve written, regardless of age, gender, or good-guy/bad guy status. Like most authors, I rely heavily on my opinions, beliefs and background while considering what motivates my characters, as well as how they react to situations and events.

What is the quirkiest thing you’ve ever done?

Hmmm…I suppose I’d have to say that I paid my way through college by literally singing for my supper. Yep. You read correctly. Instead of "the piano lady" found in hotel lounges all across this great land of ours, you would have found me, strumming my Yamaha and crooning tunes requested by patrons. And hoo-boy did I learn a lot about human nature, watching the actions and interactions that took place all around me, Monday through Saturday, from 9 p.m. ‘til 2 a.m.!

When did you first discover you were a writer?

I’m not one of those authors who can honestly say “I wrote my first story while still in diapers!” For me, the concept dawned when I was in my early 30s, the by-product of my career as a freelance writer. Writing all sorts of stories, on assignment for a wide variety of newspapers and magazines, I was frequently frustrated by the way editors and/or publishers changed certain facts to appease advertisers. One day it hit me: If I was gonna write fiction for a living, why not admit it, and pen a novel! I did just that, sold it, and the rest, as they say, is history!

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.

Wow. Now that could take pages and pages! I’m one of those goofballs who will read anything, from cereal boxes to junk mail. I have a vast collection of non-fiction books on my shelves, on topics that run the gamut from self-help to gardening. The novels I like best can’t be filed under a single genre, either. I read anything I can get my hands on, from light romantic comedy, to mysteries, to suspense and psycho-thrillers. My favorite classic? Steinbeck’s East of Eden. My favorite more-contemporary title? Watchers, by Dean Koontz.

What other books have you written, whether published or not?

With a total of 68 books in print, I can’t in good conscience list every title here. I’ve written for many publishers (Barbour, Chelsea, Silhouette, Harlequin, Steeple Hill, Summerside, and more). I’ve written fiction and non-fiction for children and adults (and even had one novel optioned for a TV movie). Right now, I have fourteen books in progress, in various stages of completion, on my desk. Of those, four are sold and two are holding the interest of editors. There area literally dozens more false starts and completed novels that will probably always stay in those dark file drawers, right where they belong!

How do you keep your sanity in our run-run world?

Um…answering this one assumes I AM sane! Seriously, I credit the love and support of my husband and daughters for helping me keep my feet planted on terra firma. Then there’s good ol’ Cash, our formerly-abused, now overly-spoiled German Shorthaired Pointer whose devotion and loyalty promise to keep me humble. And if all that fails to remind me life is about far, far more than what appears on my computer screen, God always manages to find innovative ways to put my focus back where it belongs.

How do you choose your characters’ names?

I’m a strong believer in the old "Words Mean Things" mindset. With that in mind, I want my characters’ names to reflect who and what they are.

What is the accomplishment you’re most proud of?

Without question, it’s my happy marriage of 37 years to my very own romance hero, Larry. Close on the heels of that accomplishment, my beautiful daughters.

If you were an animal, which would you be, and why?

That’s easy! I’d be a wolf. No doubt about it. I researched them years ago, while writing Montana Sky, and fell absolutely positively in love with the magnificent beasts. They’re smart, savvy, family-centered, and loyal to the death. And the vain-woman side of me has to point out that I’ve never seen an ugly wolf!

What is your favorite food?

Omygoodness. I love love LOVE food. There are three things I don’t like: lima beans, peas, and squid. I figure I must’ve driven my poor mother nuts, putting things in my mouth. But my all-time most-favorite love-it-best-food of all? Gnocchi, made like my Nonna used to make it, smothered with thick and rich, meatless Italian tomato sauce.

I noticed that Olive Garden has added a chicken and gnocchi soup. I'm going to try it next time I'm there. What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?

By far, patience has always been my greatest stumbling block. Or more accurately, lack of patience. This is not a business for sissies, and anyone who’s been around as long as I have has learned the hard way that the publishing industry is way, way worse than the Army when it comes to the “hurry up and wait” philosophy! If I figure out a way to overcome it, I’ll let you know! Seriously? Prayer is the one and only method for climbing over that particular hurdle.

What advice would you give an author just starting out?

Don’t swallow the Silly Pill known in so many circles as “write the book of your heart.” Instead, save yourself a ton of time and heartache by studying the market. Find out what readers want by spending time at your favorite bookstore, and watching what genres seem to be flying off the shelves. Then, using that information, go back home and bend “the book of your heart” so that it meets those reader demands.

Very good advice. What would you like to tell us about the featured book?

BUY IT and READ IT! I’m not kidding! Okay, for the more serious-minded souls out there, I’ll say this: Paradise features characters who must overcome sad pasts in order to find happiness, fulfillment, and love. Set in Pennsylvania’s Amish country, readers will meet a few of "the plain people" whose friendship and spiritual counsel help the hero and heroine come to grips with adversity, grief, and self-righteousness.

How can readers find you on the Internet?

Easy! Visit, or (And if you drop me a note, your email becomes your official entry form that might help you win a free copy of Love Finds You in Paradise, Pennsylvania!)

Thank you, Loree, for spending this time with us today.

Readers for your convenience, I'm including a link where you can order the featured book:

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy. Be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won, or you could sign up for FeedBlitz in the right hand column, and the posts will come to your Inbox.


Cecelia Dowdy said...

Coincidentally, you crossed my mind recently and I was on your website, looking at this book! I hope I win!
~Cecelia Dowdy~

Deborah said...

please enter me! now that I've discovered the Love Finds You series, I want to read them all!

Loree Lough said...

Hey, you guys! Thanks for popping by and reading the interview. But don't stop sure to peruse every area of Lena's terrific blog, and her web site, too!

Ditto those other terrific Love Finds You titles. (And did you know that Summerside has a non-fiction side called Ellie Claire, where they produce all sorts of gift books and other neat stuff!)

All-righteee then, I'm off to put Cecelia's and Deborah's names in a hat; in a week or so, I'll choose TWO names, and both 'posters' will receive a free, autographed copy.

Looking forward to hearing more from Lena's devoted fans!


raspberrygirl said...

I would love to win this book! Please enter me in the contest!

Thank you so much!!

my email is ohiobuckeye91 [at] gmail [dot] com

Veronica Leigh said...

Please enter me into the contest too. Thanks and God Bless.

Loree Lough said...

Uh oh...just noticed that Lena chooses the winner! OOPS! Well, to make up for my oversight, she can choose a winner and I'll choose a winner. How's that sound, ladies!

Lena Nelson Dooley said...

Actually, Loree, you can choose them if you want to. Just give me the link where you will post the names, and I'll put it in my Winner post.

Sheila Deeth said...

I guess I'm another one who reads almost everything, though my family generally eat the same cereal day after day so cereal boxes become a bit predictable. I really enjoyed the last book I read set in the Amish country, and your long list of books sounds great. Maybe I should take your advice on the "bending."

Sandee61 said...

Loved the interview and would like to be added to your giveaway list.
Thank you!



Renee said...

I absolutely love Loree Lough's books! Plus I love the LOVE FINDS YOU series, I'm reading "Last Chance, California" from that series right now! I'd love to read this book please enter me!


Marla said...

Thank you for the entry. sounds like another good book.

pat jeanne said...

Thank you, Lena, for this interview with Loree. I just loved it. Glad to get to know you better, Loree. Please enter my name in for her latest Love Finds You in Paradise.


Loree Lough said...

So great to hear from all of you today! I hope to find even more replies here, tomorrow, and the next day...and the next, because getting to know all of you better is such a joy!

We'll keep the prize-winning thing going as Lena originallyplanned it, 'cause as the sages say, 'if a thing ain't broke, why fix it!' hehehe

I'm happy to report that Paradise is flying off the shelves at stores all over the country. And if the emails I'm receiving are any indicator, y'all like it. (I'll never again poke fun at Sally Fields for saying: "You like really, really like me!" hahahah)

But seriously? It's a genuine pleasure, hearing from those of you who've emailed me privately to share how the story touched you...even those who said stuff like " you know how to wring the tears out of your readers!"

Looking forward to more comments (and finding out who'll win the book).

Have a wonderful evening!

Martha A. said...

I am glad to read you started when you are 30...maybe there is hope for me yet! Please enter me to win your book!

kalea_kane said...

I have heard so much about this series. My husband is from Pennsylvania, and I have only visited so far via my mind. :) I'd love to try a spin via Loree's book! :)


G.R.I.T.S. said...

I did a review on Love finds you in Humble Texas & it was great, I can't wait to read & review this one too! Please enter me to win!!!


Abi said...

Oh, I'd love to win this book. Please include me in your drawing.

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

windycindy said...

I really like books set in Amish
Country! I really smiled a lot while reading your interview with Loree.
My goal was to be a freelance writer like she has been! Please enter my name in your drawing. Many thanks,

lastnerve said...

I have heard so many good things about this book, I would go crazy if I won! Thanks so much

mez said...

Another cereal box reader here! I would love to visit Paradise via Loree's book, please add my name in the drawing. Thanks.

sarahw said...

sounds like a great book. please enter my name . thanks,
sarahwoll at hotmail dot com

Cleda said...

Would love to add this to the "Love Finds You" books I have read... love reading about the Amish... a very interesting interview can't wait to explore Loree's websites...... thanks for including me in the drawing.


Ausjenny said...

this looks like a good book and a good interview please enter me.

Edna said...

I would love one of your books, I love to read and this would be a new one, May God bless

Carolynn W. said...

I've read several of the Love FindsYou books and I really enjoyed them. Would love to read this one too. Thanks for the chance to win!

rebornbutterfly said...

I'm writing a review on a previous Love Finds You book and i'd love to do a collection of reviews on this series