Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Writers' Wednesday Welcomes Lori Leger

Welcome to Writers’ Wednesday where authors, both published and unpublished, share their experiences, insight, and writing tips. Today, I’m happy to feature Lori Leger.

Lori drafts road plans during the day and writes at night. She’s a PRO member of RWA, and RWA online, as well as the Bayou Writers’ Group in Lake Charles, Louisiana. She lives in Kinder, Louisiana with her husband, Michael, and one pet, an outside cat named Matou, a French word meaning male tom. She and her husband have five children, ten beautiful grandchildren with one more on the way.

Thank you for taking time out of your schedule to talk with us today. We’re celebrating with you because your first book was released one month ago and your second, just this week. Wow. Talk about fast. Congratulations on both.

Thanks so much for asking me, Barb. You have the distinct honor of being my very first guest blog!

I’m honored to be the first, Lori. Today you’re telling us about your first book. How exciting that must have been, to see that cover--which is beautiful, by the way. SOME DAY SOMEBODY is set in the year 2000 in the state of Louisiana...southwestern Louisiana, to be exact. What draws you to contemporaries?

Why am I drawn to write contemporary? Because I’m far too lazy to commit to the hard work and research it takes to write historical romance. I write what I know. I’m drawn to romance because if I’ve spent several days reading a novel and it doesn’t have a happy ending, I feel like I’ve wasted a week of my life.

I so agree about Happily Ever Afters. Would you please tell us a little about the book?

SOME DAY SOMEBODY, is the story of thirty-five year old Carrie Jeansonne, a woman in the midst of major changes. Her plans for the rest of her life include: Education (check), Career (check), Provide for her three teenagers (check), Divorce controlling, horn-dog of a husband (somewhat nasty, but progressing), and find some happiness (not so easy). She just wants to concentrate on her new career in Road Design with no added complications...Is that too much to ask?

Enter Sam Langley: Knocking on forty, newly divorced, and hating the single lifestyle. Formerly the office clown, his morose mood has prompted his co-workers to dub him “Oscar the Grouch” during the past year. After clashing with his new, outspoken co-worker, the surveyor can’t help but be drawn to this brassy, sassy lady with her take no prisoner attitude.

Plagued by her ex-husband’s can’t-take-no-for-an-answer intrusions and sleep depriving phone calls, Carrie is reluctant to allow another man into her life. By the time she decides Sam could be more than a friend, the mysterious phone calls lead to something dark and disturbing. As Carrie realizes she may be dealing with more than her disgruntled ex, she struggles to overcome the obstacles threatening her happiness, as well as her life.

Can she and Sam forge a path to happiness in a maze of intrigue and heartbreak before it’s too late for them? Or will the mysterious caller/stalker ruin her chance for a happily ever after? SOME DAY SOMEBODY is Book 1 of my La Fleur de Love Series, and is currently available in EBook format through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords.

Sounds wonderful, Lori. What’s your next project?
Book 2 of my series, LAST FIRST KISS was released Oct. 1. It’s a story about two co-workers, Giselle Granger and Jackson Broussard, who lose their spouses in the same multi-car accident. You’ll laugh at the antics of Giselle’s two little girls, cry along with a woman facing a future without the love of her life, and contemplate a cool shower as she discovers a new passion for an old nemesis. I include a generous and juicy two chapter preview of LAST FIRST KISS at the end of the first book.

What one tip would you offer writers?

Write, write, and write some more! I’ve heard you should read the type of stories you like to write, but I read all genres. If there’s one thing I wish I’d done sooner, it was to participate in Margie Lawson’s workshop. After taking that class, I finally got it...Dialogue, Action, Body Language, and Senses. Also, find a good critique partner you really connect with...and don’t take anything she says personally. All criticism is constructive. Once you’re finished writing, don’t be intimidated by the re-writing and editing. It’s all part of perfecting your craft.

Do you have any advice for us unpubbed writers?

Well, I got tired of trying to fit my square peg manuscripts into the round holes of the publishing world. I knew from the high quality rejection letters I’d received that my writing, characters, and stories were good enough, just not necessarily what they were looking for. At fifty-two years old and counting, I decided to give self-pubbing a shot. After a minor cancer scare two years ago, I realized how quickly my life can change. It’s made me take chances I probably wouldn’t have under normal circumstances, but I’m thankful I did. Self publishing is free if you come up with your own book cover and edit your own work. What do you have to lose? If you want to go the publisher route, remember to perfect your query letter. You only have one chance to make a good first impression.

That seems to be a popular movement now, Lori. You’re joining a special list of authors finding their way to the wide world of epublishing. All the best on the two books. Please join us again to tell us about your next.

Thank you for inviting me, Barb. I’ll be guest blogging with Rachel Brimble on my first overseas blog tour! Join me on October 25, at rachelbrimble.blogspot.com. Here in the good old US of A, you can find me at www.lorilegerauthor.com or my own blog site at cajunflair.wordpress.com. I welcome hearing from readers at cajunflair@lorilegerauthor.com. Connect with me on Facebook...Lori Hebert Leger, and follow me on Twitter: Cajunflair (lleger641@yahoo.com).

Book excerpt: Some Day Somebody

Carrie couldn’t believe she’d been at her new job for two weeks already. She enjoyed the relaxed working environment and had already formed lasting friendships with her co-workers... most of them, anyway.

On the second day of September she glanced up from her studying as members of the office car pool entered from the back door, as usual, nearly ten minutes late. From her own brief experience with the carpool, she was well aware of who to blame.

She’d never forget the embarrassment of being fifteen minutes late her second day on the job because of Sam’s inability to get to work on time.
She’d sat in that truck with the others, waiting for Sam, and seething at his tardiness. The driver, a member of his survey crew, refused to leave without him, so they waited at his designated pick-up spot until he finally arrived, fifteen minutes later than he should have been. Once he’d taken his sweet time to settle himself in his front seat place of honor, she’d given him a verbal chew-out he’d accepted with pure indignation. Since then, anytime they were in the vicinity of each other, the room temperature dropped to match her icy disregard for her co-worker.

She met Sam’s gaze briefly, as he dropped coins into the soft drink machine, before returning her attention to the study guide opened in front of her.

“Look at you, hard at it this early in the morning. I’m so impressed.”
Carrie responded in a dry monotone. “Goody...I can sleep at night.” She knew little about the man her co-workers called ‘Oscar the Grouch’, other than he seemed to be in a perpetual bad mood.

He folded his long body over to retrieve the can of Coke, and walked slowly toward her desk. “What’cha got there?”

“A study guide,” she said, returning to her book. The sooner she could get a couple of certifications under her belt, the better. Certifications plus time, meant a raise in pay, and boy did she need that. She’d just tanked up her car for the second time, since dropping out of the car pool. With the price of gas, her paychecks wouldn’t go far.

“Hmph,” he grunted, popping the lid on his drink. “That’s all you ever do is study. What’s the hurry? If you needed the money you’d still be in the carpool.”

She stared up at the man, shocked at his nerve. “If you’ll think back, genius, I tried that.”

“Uh huh, you got all uppity with me then dropped out.”
Carrie pointed at the large wall clock next to the entrance. “I can’t come to work late on a new job. Do you even know the meaning of probationary period?”

"Aw, five minutes here and there won’t hurt anyone,” he said, his tone a mixture of teasing and serious-as-a-heart-attack.

She blew out a frustrated breath. “Yeah, Sam...Whatever.” She returned her attention to her studies and flipped her notebook to a fresh sheet with a snap of her wrist.

“It’s not whatever,” he said, sounding overly confident. “It’s what is.”
When she ignored the comment, the smart thing for Sam to do would have been to walk away. Instead, he leaned one elbow on her desk, as though daring her to confront him.

Bantering with three brothers and a nearly ex-husband had left Carrie sharp-tongued, sharp witted, and itching to put him in his place. Being the new girl, however, she thought it safer to ignore his taunt, lest her position of ‘Last Hired’ become ‘Next Fired’.

Carrie released an irritated sigh and slammed her book closed. She stepped down from the stool at her desk and walked up to Sam, meeting his amused gaze with a sober one of her own. “You’ve got some damn nerve, Sam Langley.”