Topic: Author Interview
Lorena McCourtney the person:
1. What three words do you think describe you as a human being?
Christian, wife/mother, writer.
(Is that cheating, to combine two words into one? Or the literary equivalent of creative accounting?)
2. How do you think others would describe you?
I used to be "that quiet little dark-haired girl." I'm still quiet and still little (4'11" doesn't change), but the rest is long gone. Now, I'm not sure. Makes me rather curious, actually. How would they describe me?
3. Please tell us what you are most passionate about outside of writing.
Skip this one, okay?
4. Do you have any pets? If so, introduce us to them.
No pets at the moment. We're away from home quite a bit, and it would be rather difficult to take with us the "pets" we've had in the past: numerous horses, dogs, cats, a couple of rats. What I miss most now is not having a cat. There's something about having a purring cat curled up in your lap that helps put life problems into perspective.
5. What is your most precious memory?
Seeing my son when he was first brought to me in the hospital. Looking at me with big blue eyes (which later turned hazel), as if he was so wise and knowing - and I wasn't.
6. What is your most embarrassing memory?
A real-life embarrassing moment or two may make it into a story line, but I'm not going to elaborate on any of them here!
7. If you weren't a writer, what would you be doing with your life?
I always thought if I weren't a writer I might turn out to be an eccentric little old lady with seventeen cats. At one time what I really wanted was a ranch, to be out there raising cattle and horses. But now I can't imagine myself as anything other than a writer.
8. In two paragraphs or less write your obituary.
No, that's a problem someone else will have to cope with.
Lorena McCourney the writer:
9. Can you describe the time you realized you were indeed a "real" writer?
I thought I was a "real" writer when I sold my first article to a magazine, a piece about my dad, when I was still in high school. But I wasn't.
I thought I was after I'd sold a half dozen children's short stories. But I wasn't.
I thought I was when I sold my first book. But I wasn't. (It got lost in the shuffle between sale and publication and never even made it into print.)
I thought I might be when I held my first published book in my hands.
Now, after 39 published books, on a good day I think I am. On a not-so-good day, when the computer screen is blank, or I've just deleted most of the last three days' work, I wonder whatever made me think I was, or ever could be, a "real" writer.
10. What is going on with your writing these days?
I'm working on my Andi McConnell Mysteries, a series about an older woman and her limousine. We're planning five books in this series, and I'm working on Book #3 now. I'm a slow writer, so with two more to go after this one, I have my writing lined up for the next couple of years.
11. What are your future goals for your writing?
I think I've finally found my niche, writing lighthearted, fun, cozy mysteries. But lurking in the back of my mind is a darker adventure/romance set in the future. Plus a couple of women's fiction novels.
12. Can you describe a typical writing day for you?
My writing day always starts with Bible and prayer time. I get to my computer about 9:00, check e-mail and answer the most pressing ones. I open the file with the chapter previous to the one I'm working on. Revise it. Revise the current chapter up to the point of blank screen. I realize I revise way too much, but it seems to be a compulsion I can't break. Then I try to write something new to advance the story.
I break at noon for lunch with my husband, who is retired.
Afternoon is hopefully getting a few more pages written (and rewritten) and taking care of the business aspects of the writing life. My brain tends to turn to mush around 4:00-5:00, so I quit about that time.
13. Why do you write?
Probably because I can't imagine what I'd do with my life if I didn't write.
14. What writer most inspires you? Why?
The Bible, which had a number of different authors, is my biggest inspiration. Other than that, I often get a little jolt of inspiration from whatever I happen to be reading at the moment. A book I'm reading right now that I find inspiring is Listening for God by Marilyn Hontz.. But I may also get smidgens of inspiration from the cartoon strip Zits or an e-mail from a friend.
15. How do you define your writing?
Since I can't come up with an answer to this, I guess I don't define it. I just write.
16. In one sentence-what do you want people to say about your writing in fifty years?
"Lorena McCourtney, a prolific writer from the early 21st century, wrote memorable cozy mysteries that transcended the genre is both plot and character." (Dream on, Ms. M., dream on.)
Lorena McCourney the details:
17. Can you tell us where to find more information on you? Website? Blog?
No blog yet.
18. Is there a place where readers can reach you?
There's contact info on my website.
19. Can you list all your book titles so people can look for them?
I've had 39 books published, under my own and several other names. These go back a long ways and are mostly out of print so I'll just list the most recent ones.
The Andi McConnell Mysteries (Thomas Nelson)
Your Chariot Awaits (current release)
Here Comes The Ride (coming in May, '08)
The Ivy Malone Mysteries (Revell)
Invisible (Winner,. Inspirational division of Daphne du Maurier Mystery/Suspense awards)
In Plain Sight (Finalist, Daphne du Maurier Inspirational division)
On the Run (Winner, Daphne du Maurier Inspirational division)
The Julesburg Mysteries (Revell)
Whirlpool (RITA finalist)
20. For new readers-what can they expect when they read your book(s)?
Probably a character who's older in years but not in heart. Quirky people. Some laughs. A twisty, turny mystery plot. A Christian world view, but no preachiness.
21. Take as much space as necessary to speak to our readers-what would you like them to know about you and your writing?
I've put a fair amount of me into my most recent books. I wrote my Ivy Malone character (an older woman who thinks of herself as an LOL - little old lady - who discovers she seems to have aged into invisibility) came from some personal experiences. From the reader response I've had, a lot of women, not necessarily older ones, have encountered this same brush with "invisibility." It has struck a real chord of recognition.
My new series is also about an older woman, her problems not with invisibility, but with the murders that keep intruding into her life. Like that dead body in her newly acquired limousine.
Like most writers, I love to hear from readers. Look at my website and contact me.