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Sunday, March 26, 2006:
A fun interview with talented romance writer Lori Foster
This is another interview that I had to re-publish due to some blogger issues. Luckily I still kept a draft of it! Lori was extremely generous with her time and is always supporting wonderful causes. She is passionate about many things, very honest, and loyal, and I think that's what draws people to her, plus she's so down-to-earth and easy to approach. If you ever get a chance to meet her, you'll be glad you did. Here's one chance:

June 9th & 10th
West Chester, OH

Author Lori Foster is one of my all-time favorite writers. Between her family and her writing, she is one busy woman, but she was gracious enough to take the time to answer some questions I had for her. This is what she had to say:

SA: Lori, you've been a published author for about 10 years, is that correct? It's amazing the number of books you've written in that time! How much has the industry changed since you first started writing and do you think it's gotten easier to become published? What are a few observations you could make about what you've seen over the years?

LF: I've been published since 1996. That's when my first book hit the stands. It is definitely "harder" to get published now, and it was plenty hard enough 10 years ago. But one big difference is that there are a lot more options now. It seems each publishing house has several different imprints or lines, some of them brand new and looking for authors to fill the ranks. Paranormal, erotica and Christian markets have really opened up the playing field. Authors aren't as limited in what will sell. When I started, super sexy books were exclusive to a very few authors. Now it's the biggest market.

SA: If there is one defining attribute about you, it would be your devotion to your family and making them your first priority. I believe it's one of the reasons your readers identify so strongly with you. With a husband and three sons, how do they look upon your writing and how have they influenced how you write and what you write about?

LF: My husband and sons are mega proud. So proud that they sometimes embarrass me with their bragging. They don't read what I write, but they never hesitate to tell others that I write it. They've influenced me in that they have the moral character and personal strengths of the heroes I write. Just as I couldn't write a mean, whiny, self centered or weak hero, I couldn't raise one or marry one either ;-)

My husband is the finest man I know, and my boys all make me very, very proud.

SA: You are very much involved in several causes, most notably troop donations, and the battered women's shelters, which is where proceeds from your reader/writer get-together are going. Your books have been about strong, healthy relationships, and how men respect and admire the women that they love. How do you feel about the impact your stories can have on women who have been in abusive relationships, and is that part of the reason you are so involved in supporting this cause?

LF: I'm involved in supporting a lot of causes because I believe in paying it forward. I've been very blessed, both personally and professionally. Whenever I know I can help, I want to. It's the right thing to do, so I do it. But yeah, it's really rewarding when I receive letters from women (and some men) telling me how my books have encouraged them, or helped them through a bad time. It means a lot to me.

SA: The UFC. It's one of your passions. [Okay, off the record: Pardon my ignorance, but what does it stand for???] What is it about the UFC that interests you and do you plan to write additional stories involving the unique world of wrestling?

LF: The Ultimate Fighting Championships! Awesome stuff. I'm totally addicted to watching and one of these days, I hope to attend a live event. I'm definitely planning on writing more books involving men from the UFC - although for the sake of my stories, I'm renaming it the SBC so that I don't have to worry about accidentally insulting anyone involved in the organization. I know a lot of the rules now, but not all of them, and making a mistake would be really easy.

Anyway, these are primo specimens of manhood! Guys in the best possible physical shape. Against an ordinary guy on the street, they'd dominate in a heartbeat. The fun part? The majority of them aren't bullies. They don't get into street fights. That's not what they're about. You listen to them talk, and (again) most of them are polite and articulate. They're married men with children and they always mention their loved ones first. They seem like gentle souls in a warrior's body. It's a romance writer's dream combination!

My absolute favorite is Randy Couture, because he started out as a wrestler, and he's a very soft spoken, highly intelligent man with a streak of honor a mile wide. The one time I saw him lose, he did it with such great sportsmanship and class that he'll always be my favorite. However, it is not a sport about mere wrestling. This is mixed martial arts. The men who get in the octagon have to know how to kick, punch, wrestle, grapple, submit... they have to know multiple fighting techniques. They're highly trained and very dedicated.

Yes indeed - I'm writing several books that involve the UFC, although the books are not *about* the UFC. It's just that the heroes have a background with the sport, and it's helped to mold them into the men they are. (as a note, PRIDE is another mixed martial arts sport that's just as exciting, but stationed in Japan instead of the states.)

SA: Which authors have influenced you over the years, whether it's because of their writing or for another reason?

LF: Stella Cameron would be #1, because of her generosity, her kindness, her talent...Stella's the whole package ;-) Catherine Coulter and Julie Garwood because of their writing styles - Coulter with dialogue and Garwood with larger than life heroes. Jayne Ann Krentz because of her family oriented settings. Linda Howard because of her super sexy alpha heroes. I've been very fortunate to meet a lot of of incredible authors.

SA: Okay, we know you also have a weakness for action movies. List a few of your favorites and why do you prefer them to the "chick flicks"? Do you have an all-time or current favorite hero/heroine from the movies?

LF: Wesley Snipes of BLADE will always be my favorite. I'm so bummed that
he's done with the series! But Ryan-what's-his-name will make a nice substitute, I think. I also adore the TRANSPORTER movies, with Jason Statham. Chick flicks turn me off because they're usually picking on men, making them out to be shallow, or uncaring, while depicting women as complete twits. Not my thing.

SA: What type of music gets you jazzed? Do you listen to music as you write? Do you have a writing "ritual"?

LF: I like loud, fast music. Kid Rock, Uncle Kracker, Macy Gray, Tom Petty,
Drowning Pool...Yes, I listen to music while writing, and usually I'm eating, and burning candles.

SA: What is a little-known fact about Lori Foster? Do you play an instrument, speak numerous languages, play hockey?

LF: I have NO musical ability, can barely speak English (unless hillbilly counts) and I'm the least athletic person I know. To be honest, I lose count going up and down stairs and often trip myself. Sad, but true. However, I'm a good waterskier. And I'm fairly artistic. I love horror movies, as long as they don't involve slow torture. I'm a rabid republican. I love to help people, but only those people who are trying to help themselves. All in all, I'm a very, very ordinary person.

SA: Does it shock you how popular you are with your readers? Does it still seem surreal when you see your books out on the shelves?

LF: It really does. I'm just me, not someone special. I'm happy, but I didn't need career success for happiness. When I started writing, I never thought about the popularity angle involved. I just wanted to prove myself, to myself, ya know?
But it's a great gig and I'll never tire of it!

Feb - JUDE'S LAW, Kensington single title
Mar - WILDLY WINSTON, Berkley antho & single title trade reissue
Jun - BAD BOYS OF SUMMER, Kensington antho


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