Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Writers Wednesday: Loretta Rogers

Today I’m happy to welcome award-winning Wild Rose Press author, Loretta Rogers. Loretta, your newest book, FORBIDDEN SON, was released in March and immediately nabbed 4-Star ratings. It’s a contemporary, but your other books are stories of the Old West. What prompted you to move away from the Historical Western?

Quite often authors find themselves orphaned—meaning their chosen genre has, for whatever reason, lost its popularity with publishers. While my Historical Westerns are thriving, I thought it might be a good idea to challenge myself in a different genre. So what did I do? I chose to write a book loaded with flashbacks, and we all know flashbacks are not popular with editors. I didn’t intend for the plot to go in that directions, but when the characters took over, flashbacks was the end result. I’m so happy that my editor, Nan Swanson, saw the potential in FORBIDDEN SON. Authors never know how a book will ‘fly.’ But to receive 4-Star ratings is extremely exciting.

Please tell us about FORBIDDEN SON.
Blurb:
High school dropout Honey Belle Garret never thought of herself as poor white trash—just poor. In the summer of 1964, her world changes forever when sinfully sexy and very rich, Tripp Hartwell III offers her a ride in his convertible. When Tripp proposes marriage, it is the happiest day of Honey Belle’s life. Then, unbeknownst to Tripp, dire threats from his father force Honey Belle and her family out of town and into silence. Hidden in another state, Honey Belle determines, successfully, to make something of herself. She keeps a scrapbook of news clippings about the young man she had to leave behind. Seventeen years later Tripp is not only a lawyer like his father but a Vietnam War hero and a United States senator. Before anyone can question the strong resemblance between him and a new congressional page, Honey Belle has to tell Tripp the truth. And he must come to terms with the knowledge that he has a son by the woman who stole his heart and then mysteriously disappeared.
Excerpt:
He towered over her, his stare drilling into her. His eyes seemed to capture her from hair to high-heeled shoes. Clearing her throat, she tried to appear businesslike.


“Have I changed so much that you don’t recognize me, Tripp?” This wasn’t at all the way she had rehearsed the scene in her head. She didn’t blink an eye—afraid any reaction might betray her uncertainty.


“Look, miss, I don’t have time for twenty questions. I meet a lot of people, if—”


She wanted him to remember, to remember her, to remember—what? That seventeen years ago she had walked away from him? That she hadn’t had the courage to stand up to his father and fight for her position in the life of the man she loved. That for sixteen years she had raised the son he never knew existed. She should never have left Tripp. So much guilt, for so many mistakes. She had no one to blame but herself.


She lifted her eyes to his. “Seventeen years ago, in Charleston, South Carolina, I asked you to take me for a ride in your shiny white BMW.”


The silence of the office closed in around her.

Ah. Sounds intriguing. What’s your next project?

Currently, I’m working on a full-length historical romance that takes place during the Sapoy Rebellion in India. I’m also working on a novella which is a contemporary military romance that takes place in Afghanistan. I’m enjoying the research for both books, but often find myself lingering over the interesting facts (procrastinating, actually), instead of working on my page counts.

Oh, my goodness, I do the same thing. That’s one reason I love researching. Do you plan to return to the Old West?

The Old West is my favorite era in history and to write. I have five historical westerns plotted out. My problem is deciding which book to work on next. I do have a full-length western and a novella releasing in 2013; MCKENNA’S WOMAN from The Wild Rose Press and COWGIRL COURAGE with Avalon Books.

What one tip would you offer writers?

Just one tip? (she says with a smile). Actually, the best tip I can give writers—especially beginning writers—is to read…read…read in the genre they plan to write. While plot and characterization is always the meat and bones of a novel, there is also a formula to each genre. Westerns tend to be plot driven, while contemporary romance leans toward character driven. By reading, writers can see where the plot twists are, how many scenes in certain genres, how much or how little romance in certain genres; how action tags enhance a scene; and how all those elements formulate into a good publishable story.

Is there a special place you like to write?

My office is a converted bedroom which looks out over a spring-fed creek. Some writers enjoy listening to music while others seem to concentrate better when surrounded by noise in coffee shops. I like silence and the calming effects of watching the wood ducks or otters and even the occasional gator that swim by. Maybe someday I’ll write a story that takes place in a swamp.

LOL. I don’t know about a swamp, but I agree--silence is golden for me.
How do your story ideas come to you? (Which do you visualize first, characters or plots?)

Ideas come to me in different ways. Sometimes the title of the book pops into my head first, other times, I dream the story, and at other times a character’s name comes first. Whichever happens, if I’m near my computer, I type the information in my ‘idea’ file. Quite often when I do this, ideas seems to flow. I just go with it until I run out of juice. Then I return to whatever I was doing. Unless it’s washing dishes or vacuuming, then I find excuses to stay at the computer.

Is there anything you haven’t been asked that you’d like to share with us?

Many writers ask how I built my fan base. The answer is simple—develop characters that readers want to invest time in, write plots that make readers laugh or cry, or keep them turning the pages. Give readers that ‘aaah’ moment when writing ‘The End.’ The ultimate goal is to write books that will cause readers to clamor for your next novel.

Thanks so much for being here, Loretta. Please come back to visit again.

Thanks for hosting me, Barbara. It’s gracious people like you, who help authors like me extend our voice to the public. I’ve had so much fun answering the questions.

FORBIDDEN SON: Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Available in both print and ebook
Rating: Spicy
Page Count: 254
Print ISBN 978-1-61217-000-8
Buy Link to FORBIDDEN SON:The Wild Rose Press http://bit.ly/zShp1l
Buy Link to FORBIDDEN SON: Amazon.com http://amzn.to/z55cqh
YouTube link to FORBIDDEN SON book trailer: http://youtu.be/xXSOIyp3Xxg




25 comments:

  1. Great interview! Loretta, your advice to newer writers is spot-on.

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    1. Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment, Roni. Writing is a tough business, and many new writers struggle to know the best way to get started.

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  2. I tell writers in our local group to read, read, read the genre in which they want to write. Some of them look at me with blank stares and then attempt to do the opposite. As if they are so good at writing, they don't need to study the genre. I could just scream. LOL Your advice was--as Roni said--spot-on. Great interview.

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    1. Vonnie, thanks for dropping by. I hear what you're saying. It's amazing how many people think they can sit down, whip out a book in a matter of week and send it off thinking they have the next best seller. Sadly, they learn the hard way.

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    2. Hi Vonnie, I so agree with you and Loretta, although I do know a couple of writers who makes it look so easy, it hurts :) Good to see you.

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  3. great interview, Loretta! I envy you the view from your office -- sound idyllic! Best of luck with Forbidden Son; I'm off to check it out!

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    1. I appreciate you dropping by Jennifer. I hope you enjoy "Forbidden Son." Let me know.

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    2. Welcome, Jennifer. I agree about the view from Loretta's office. Sounds wonderful.

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  4. Thanks Loretta. You have captured our writing mind with ideas and insomnia. Why insomnia, you ask? I say insomnia because you have awakened our inner thoughts on how to successfully write our stories and we can’t get back to sleep!
    Barbara G.
    PS Am trying to figure out how you are going to have the open range cowpoke cross paths with an alligator. Grin.

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    1. Cowboys and alligators?? Now that is a thought provoking idea, Barbara. I appreciate your support.

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    2. Barbara G. I had to smile at your image of cowboy v. alligator. But I'll bet Loretta could pull it off :)Glad you stopped by.

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  5. The stars have spoken, Loretta. (all four of them) It appears your genre transition held immediate gratification for your self-imposed challenge. Your growing list of fans continue to reap the rewards of your challenges and your willingness to share your writing experience.
    Continued success!
    sb from the swamp

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    1. Hi Obie, thanks for leaving the swamp long enough to drop by. Thanks for leaving a comment.

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    2. Humm,sb from the swamp--sounds like a story there LOL. Thanks for coming.

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  6. Great Interview, Barb and Loretta. FORBIDDEN SON sounds like a "must read".

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    1. Thanks, Mona. So glad you came by for a visit.

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  8. I know the 60s were known for drugs, free love and hippies, but I remember the sixties as still an era of romance, and FORBIDDEN SON sounds wonderfully romantic. Great interview, ladies. Can't wait to read it.
    Diana Locke

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    1. There are some touching moments in FORBIDDEN SON. I hope you enjoy the book. Thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment.

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    2. Diana, I agree that the 60s--strange as they might have been--had plenty of romance :) Thanks for saying hello.

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  9. Your newest release as well as all the ones you have planned sound great! Nice to get to know another TWRP'er, lol Wishing you all the best!

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    1. Nice meeting you, too, Kellie. I really enjoy being a TWRP author. My editors are wonderful to work with, and the graphic artists are the best.

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    2. Hi Kellie. Glad you stopped by--taking time out from your own great post over at www.petitfoursand hottamlaes.com.

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  10. Hi Loretta, Thank you so much for being here. I've enjoyed it tremendously. Hope you'll come back soon.

    And thanks everyone for your great comments. See you next week.

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    1. Hello Barbara, I love meeting people and talking to them whether it's in person or via blogs/internet. I appreciate you hosting me.

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