TNA: Hi, Lori, thanks so much for being here with us today. Why don’t we start out by having you tell us a little bit about yourself? Hobbies, interests, odds and ends things that make you, you.
Lori: Hi Lisa! :) Thanks for having me by. I’m Lori and I write erotic romance. I’ve been writing since I was thirteen (mostly paranormal fiction), and I haven’t stopped since. I have a houseful of cats, which includes my hubby. I live in Orlando, way too close to the mouse for my liking, and oh yeah, I’m a CEO.
TNA: Have you always written M/M Romance? What is it that compels you to explore gay relationships in your writing?
Lori: No, I always wrote the characters as they were. I didn’t try to change them whether they were gay, straight, bisexual or trans*. I guess I explore gay relationships because of my gender identity, which can only be described as genderqueer. I’ve lived most of my life trying to conform to society’s idea of who I should be.
TNA: What was your first published M/M title? Do you remember the precise moment you came up with the story idea and knew you wouldn’t rest until it was told?
Lori: It was Steam, actually. I was completely pleased when Dreamspinner published me in their newsletter. Just so you know, there are sometimes little snippets posted in their newsletter that are from your fave authors at DsP so make sure you read through for the good bits :)
TNA: If you could go back in time, to the moment you sat down and began writing that first story, what’s the one piece of advice you’d give yourself?
Lori: Enjoy this time. Being unpublished had a lot of freedom where I didn’t have to color within the lines. I didn’t have pressure to get it all right.
TNA: Let’s chat a little bit about your latest release, which is actually a re-release, Home for the Holidays, the sequel to the recently re-released The Replacement Guitarist. Will you tell us a little bit about Jason and Blaze and how you came up with the idea for their story?
Lori: The first character I came up with from that series was Jason. He just wanted to fall in love and he had one requirement. It couldn’t be with someone he worked with. Then Blaze entered the picture and Jason wanted to break all his rules.
TNA: And with the re-release of Home for the Holidays, you’ve also expanded the story. For readers who read it in its original publication, would you care to share, without giving away too much, what they can expect from Jason and Blaze after the holidays?
Lori: Blaze is leaving for Europe and they have to be apart for three months. Jason has to stay in the States to manage his artists so there is lots of storing up good memories for the long road ahead. But the road of life isn’t always easy. Jason and Blaze have some insurmountable tasks ahead of them.
TNA: What do you find sexy about guitarists, or musicians, in general?
Lori: I think it’s their art. Artists are sexy, whether they are photographers, musicians, painters or writers. They are creating something that is part of their soul and show it to others. There is something very exciting and voyeuristic about it.
TNA: Which of the characters gave you the most difficulties during the writing process, Jason or Blaze, and why?
Lori: Jason definitely. He may have been the first character to come into my mind when I started writing the story but he’s very guarded. He’s been hurt a lot and in some ways he’s still very childlike. Unfortunately he has a lot of pain to face in the coming books as Blaze breaks down those walls.
TNA: Would you care to share an excerpt from Home for the Holidays with us?
Lori: Excerpt –
When Blaze reached the street, a horse drawn carriage like the ones he’d seen in Central Park was parked in front of the restaurant. Jason gestured for him to get in and he cocked his eyebrow. “A horse-drawn carriage. Really?”
Jason grinned. “I’ve always wanted to go on one but I’ve never had the chance to.”
“You’re kidding, right? A hot guy like you couldn’t rope a date into going with you?” Blaze teased.
Jason ducked his head. “There wasn’t anyone I wanted to take with me before you.”
Blaze grinned, honored by the gesture. “Really? Well, then I feel special.”
Jason got in and offered his hand to Blaze to help him into the carriage. Blaze smiled, getting in and settling down onto the leather seats. “Are you sure it’s okay for us to do this?”
Jason frowned. “Why wouldn’t it be?”
Blaze shrugged as Jason settled into the seat next to him. The driver gave her order to the horses and they set off. Once the carriage rolling smoothly, she glanced over her shoulder at them. “There are some wool blankets if you need them. It’s supposed to snow tonight.”
Jason reached for them but Blaze caught his hand. “I’m allergic to wool, Jase. Besides, I don’t think I need it. My coat is lined.”
Jason leaned over and whispered, “I think she told us that so we could snuggle under the blanket.”
“Oh… well, in that case….” Blaze grinned, and when Jason pulled back and returned the smile, a thrill of happiness ran through him. Jason threaded their fingers together, and tucked the blanket around their bodies, being careful so it didn’t touch Blaze’s bare skin.
Blaze looked around at the buildings as they made their way toward Central Park, the hoofbeat of the horses creating a rhythm of its own. Jason squeezed his hand through his lined gloves, and he looked over at his lover. “Having fun?”
Blaze nodded. “Are you?”
Jason reached up with his other hand and cupped Blaze’s cheek. “Yeah.”
He smiled as Jason leaned in. Their lips met in a gentle, unhurried kiss and when he pulled back, Jason trailed his gloved thumb over Blaze’s cheek. He leaned in again, and this time he slid his tongue in to meet Jason’s, and he moved closer to his partner.
Blaze felt something against his cheek, and he reached up to brush it away with his finger. Nothing could distract him right now, not when Jason sucked on his bottom lip gently. Blaze sighed softly, and reached beneath the thick material of Jason’s jacket to pull him close.
Something else brushed against his cheek. It must have been his hair and he tried to make a mental note to get a haircut, though Jason drove away the thought with another kiss. He felt the sensation again, and he pulled away from his boyfriend to brush the strands out of his face.
Jason opened his eyes a fraction but Blaze barely noticed. Snowflakes stood stark white against Jason’s dark curls before they melted. He grinned. “Jase, look! It’s snowing.”
Jason looked toward the sky and his smile took Blaze’s breath away. When Jason looked back, his eyes were shining as the snowflakes melted along his impossibly long eyelashes. “Perfect,” Jason said softly.
TNA: I know this is sort of like asking you to name your favorite child, but of all the stories you’ve written, do you have a favorite? If so, which and why?
Lori: I really love The Long Con. I adore Tony and Bradley. While Tony is the character I adore from there, I also love Bradley because he’s so completely broken. A lot of people think he is so perfect but that’s only because he’s beautiful. He’s a very dark character.
TNA: If you could bring one of your characters to life, who would you choose and why?
Lori: Tony Terranova! (OMG, I love him) I could write them for the rest of my life and never get tired of Tony. He’s such a good submissive.
TNA: What would you say are the best and worst parts of the writing process for you?
Lori: The best part is when I hit my stride in whatever story I’m working on and the words are flying down on the page. I love that. It is so awesome. The end of Home for the Holidays was a lot like that. It just flew onto the page.
The worst part is reading this story time after time. I must read it well over a hundred times in its worst forms before it morphs into the book you all read. And sometimes the worst part is writing The End. It’s a gratifying feeling to finish, but knowing their story is done can be sad sometimes.
TNA: Are you a plotter or a pantser? Whichever you are, why do you feel that method works best for you?
Lori: Ooh. I’m a plotter. I love plotting and sitting down and figuring out where everything goes but if I have it all too figured out, something has to change. I really hate it when I have something awesome planned out and then it flies out the window. It all works out in the end though.
TNA: If you could have one superpower, what would it be and why?
Lori: Invisibility. Sometimes I don’t want to be seen. Actually, the cats would really like that power when stalking each other to pounce and play! :)
TNA: If time travel were possible, where would you go and why?
Lori: I don’t know that I would actually want to use time travel. Doctor Who ruined it for me. If I can’t travel with The Doctor as his companion, then I don’t want to go. In reality, I’m happy where I am.
TNA: Would you care to share a little bit of information on any of your current WIPs?
Lori: As always I’m working on too many stories to list but I’m working on future books in the Replacement Guitarist Series (which is half done), and the Dangerous Affairs series, and Stefan’s book is going to be next. Yay! :)
TNA: Where can readers find you on the internet?
Website | Twitter | Facebook | E-mail: lori at loritoland dot com (super sekrit ninja style!)
Thanks again for being here with us today, Lori, it was great hosting you!
THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED