TBB: Hi, LoRee! Welcome to our blog. We're so excited to have you!
LP: Thank you for the opportunity to visit The Borrowed Book.
TBB: Tell us a little about your writing. Is it hard for you?
LP: I’ve realized more this year than ever before, how much I need the Lord in my writing. I have to pray when I write. Period. Zoe McCarthy considers God her Co-Author. I love that.
Tuesday I mentioned my struggle with the post, "Take it to Jesus, No Matter what IT is." Though I’d prayed specifically, flow didn’t come until I sang “What a Friend We Have in Jesus.”
Every aspect of the writing process has proven troublesome for me at some stage. I have an idea file consisting of various lengths of interesting tidbits from itsy newspaper notes to several pages of magazine articles. Most of the time, I consult that notebook for beginning sparks.
TBB: Are you a morning person? A night owl? Do you arrange your schedule to allow for the most efficient, productive time for writing?
LP: Morning? Ugh. It doesn’t matter if I get out of bed at 6 a.m. or 8:30 a.m. I don’t wake up until after 10:00. I’ve always been thankful I take notes in church because my mind is a blank. I’m a night owl when it comes to reading. Before I fall to sleep I try to hit where and/or what I’m writing the next day. My best writing time is between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. so that’s when I write during the daily-word count stage of my first draft. I set the goal of 1000 words and often go beyond. I try to make appointments later in the afternoon. Tuesdays and Thursday I exercise at noon. Some days the writing doesn’t happen because I go ahead and run errands while I’m in the city. My study is upstairs and I try not to sit for longer than 40-45 minutes. I most often call it a day by 7 p.m.
TBB: When working on a manuscript, what do you do when you get stuck?
LB: Eat chocolate. No, I save that for a self-reward. I do chomp on chewy candies, and for some reason, it works. Even walking out of the room for a drink of water clears the cobwebs. If my head is spinning, or I’m tempted to twiddle my thumbs, I get up from my desk. The act of moving clears my head. I’ll exercise, go outside, or walk the dog. If I’m totally lost in a fog, I’ve been known to watch a movie, read, or even work a crossword.
TBB: Have you ever performed an action you want one of your characters to carry out in order to help you visualize or describe it? Were you ever embarrassed by doing so?
LP: Yes, I have. And I’m so thankful I was alone. In my first story (that will never be submitted for publication), the heroine’s father died in a fluke fall on the basement stairs. Our wooden basement stairs are unfinished, so I contorted my body every-which-way to get the logistics of the fall. Again, in the story where my father’s homicide is fictionalized, I placed myself in odd positions near our pickup parked on our rock driveway. Imagination has to take over, but I’ve stood or sat in various places inside the house, imaging a world I’d created in order to get logistics. The worst I’ve ever been caught at was speaking dialog to myself.
TBB: If you felt the Holy Spirit urging you to quit writing, would you do it?
LP: Oh, my, yes. Life happens. God knows my future, I don’t. He’s granted me the desires of my heart. I’ve thought about what I’d do instead of writing. I don’t know how I’d spend my time other than lie around reading and gaining weight. I love to piece quilt. However, I have arthritis in my hands. Attempting to thread a needle either brings tears or laughter. The only repeated motion that doesn’t hurt my hands is typing. I call that a huge blessing.
TBB: Does your best writing flow? Or are you most satisfied with the work that you’ve labored over, sweating and groaning?
LP: I believe it’s both. The absolute finest writing moment is when the characters take over and my fingers fly. I groan when I search the weasel words, such as "was." I’ve found seven cases of "was" on a page, and that did make me groan. I still struggle in my writing. I try to keep learning. I’ll continue to seek my friend Jesus.
|Pelican Book Group, 2015|
Shattered by the loss of her parents, Deena pours her love into her patients at an assisted living facility. When the son of one her charges starts showing up to spend time with his mother, Deena's wary heart is warmed by his attention to his mother...and to her. Simon is plagued by his ex-wife's disappearance years before. When he meets Deena, who closely resembles the woman, he fears his attraction is based only on Deena's looks. But she exhibits a warmth his ex-wife never had. Dare he risk his once broken heart? As two lonely souls pursue a tentative, budding love, secrets and lies come forward to tear them apart. Can Simon and Deena overcome loss and allow their hearts to mend?