Lorena grew up in Californiaand attended St. Mary’s College in Moraga graduating with a degree in English. Losing her mother to cancer and the break-up of her marriage were the catalysts to Lorena publishing her first book 'Happy Beginnings: How I Became My Own Fairy Godmother', which is available from Amazon (http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B005KBQF0I/ref=pd_lpo_k2_dp_sr_1?pf_rd_p=103612307&pf_rd_s=lpo-top-stripe&pf_rd_t=201&pf_rd_i=0977681106&pf_rd_m=A3P5ROKL5A1OLE&pf_rd_r=02VVXKPAN11DR43RWWKC). 'Beatrice Munson' is Lorena's first novel.
Here's what she has to say for herself!
What started you writing and is it something you always wanted to do?
I always had diaries when I was a kid growing up, read books like crazy, and got A's on essay tests in high school. As a college student I was an English major who drove my professors nuts because I often thought that there wasn't so much symbolism in the works we read as the author just thought the phrasing sounded good. So I didn't intend to be a writer, but I think everything moved with its own energy to make me one.
Do you write full-time or do you have another career?
I am actually a full-time novelist now. I chose this last year to follow my passion and dreams and writing is what I love to do. Interestingly enough when I made that decision I got four new novel ideas in one day. Confirmation maybe? Since then I have had so many ideas that I now have nine novels in my writing queue, which should keep me busy for a while. They are all different stories except for the trilogy with a jade ring that will chronicle three generations of women from a family.
Describe your typical writing day.
Oddly enough I write better in a location. I often choose a store called Panera which is a sandwich/bakery that for some reason has a magical aura and allows me to write so fast I sometime have a hard time keeping up. It also has the added perk of delicious cookies and breads at my disposal!
I arrive early in the morning, set up my computer, and then order my goodies. Once I have a steaming cup of something I ignore the internet and get writing. I usually read the previous two chapters to get into voice and then let the scene play out.
I see my books like movies in my head which allows me to describe the location and create believable dialog. This means the writing flows as long as the muse is plugged in. I usually spend until about four writing so that's a full work day.
What inspired you to write ‘Beatrice Munson’?
I wrote my first book, Happy Beginnings: How I Became My Own Fairy Godmother after my mom lost her battle with cancer at 54 years old. My dad remarried very quickly and then my husband left me....all this happened within a three year time period. It was this loss of foundation and stability, that found me needing to look at who I was and who I wanted to be. It was then I started writing about my journey of change and finding my inner fairy godmother who was going to create a life that I wanted to live.
That's when Marissa introduced herself to me. I saw this woman in my head and she was a single mother living in a suburban neighbourhood (just like I was) and then Beatrice Munson showed up as a light to show Marissa she could be more than she was. I wrote half the book at the same time I was writing my memoir Happy Beginnings. I set it aside when it was half-way done and the muse seemed to have left. I just picked it up this last year and finished the novel in a nine hour writing session at Panera.
When I finished Beatrice I knew...this is what I was meant to do. After watching my mother battle cancer and truly face a life that I think she might have wished she had lived differently, I decided to take my chances and follow my heart and my passion.
How do you combine your writing career with being a mother of 6?!
Well, mine is a blended family so four of my kids are my daughters and their husbands who I count as my sons. They have three grandkids between them which is so much fun! At home is my son, who will be 14 and my daughter, who is 16. They are pretty self-sufficient and very supportive of my work. In fact, my son just started writing his own novel. I know I'm biased but it's really good!
What I love is that both of them are seeing me and my busband (more than a boyfriend, more like a husband) follow our passions and dreams which allows them to do the same in their lives.
What projects are you working on now?
I am working on getting my next novel out by November. That is called House on Plunkett Street and is about a girl who moves into an apartment and finds three ghosts that help her change her path in life. There is love, intrigue, great clothes, and fun.
I just finished my third novel, The Ex, which will be vastly different from the first two with the heroine having to be a bit more like a sleuth and Laura Croft mixed together. It's a fun ride.
How do you publicise your work?
I use the internet like many Indie Authors do. But I also believe in getting out face-to-face to your customer, so I try to do a lot of events and meet my target market.
However, I love the book review bloggers like you. You are champions for us Indie Authors and I greatly respect and appreciate the work you do supporting us.
Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
I usually give the simple advice of, write. I know it seems trite. But if you don't write then you can't have a book. I know sitting down and beginning the process can be daunting. But don't sit down to write a book. Don't put a lot of restrictions on yourself. Simply sit down and write what you are inspired to and see what comes of it. You'll find a story creates itself and you merely have to clean it up and rework it as you go.
Also, be professional in your product. Use professional editors, graphic designers, and make your work look like any you would find in a bookstore. Being Indie doesn't mean you cut corners. Make sure that you have a piece of work that holds its own in the published world market.
Other than your own, what’s your favourite work of fiction?
I have lately become quite enamoured of Stephen King. He is not only the master of fear (which I stay away from) but he is consummate in creating characters and weaving them expertly through a story. I learn a lot from him.
But I really love historical fiction, especially of the middle ages in England.
Which author had the greatest influence on you as a child?
My first memorable book was Katherine by Anya Seton. It changed the way I looked at England while travelling there. That power of the written word was not overlooked by me, even as a twelve-year old kid. The genre held a special place in my heart from that moment on. I read Ms. Seton's book, Green Darkness when I was an adult and visited the locale she based the book on and it still had such an impact on me that a book could change how you perceive a place.
Finally, and most importantly, you’ve lost your wallet, who do you enlist to help you find it, Poirot or Miss Marple?
Oh, I have to say Miss Marple because she'd stop for a spot of tea and I LOVE having tea. And of course, she'd find my wallet in time to pay for said tea.
Find Lorena at Lorena@LorenaBBooks.com or at www.LorenaBBooks.com, as well as on Facebook www.facebook.com/lmbathey and at www.twitter.com/lmmtoo