As a member of the Alberta Romance Writers’ Association, I’ve had the honour to meet some incredible authors. Lorraine Paton is one of them. In the two years or so that I’ve known Lorraine, I am continually impressed by her complete devotion to all aspects of the craft. She writes (obviously), critiques, teaches workshops, runs courses for ARWA on social media, has nearly 2,000 Twitter followers, manages her website and blog and takes the time to support her fellow writers.
Truth be told, she makes me feel bone lazy. Her passion is intense, and her many reviewers on Goodreads are passionate about her novels. She’s had so many 5 star reviews, so rather than take the time to add another review, Lorraine has allowed me to share an excerpt from her first novel Devin’s Second Chance:
“Mom found your camera thing.” He held it out to her.
She rose and took it from him. Her fingers licked over his palm. Her touch was the strangest thing—like fire and feathers. It was hot, soft and sent tingling ripples up his arm. He swallowed.
“You didn’t have to bring it in.”
“No, I guess I didn’t have to. I wanted to.” Shit. As soon as the words were out, he knew it was true. He liked her laughter in his home, her humming, and especially the soft way she touched his arm when she got excited talking about her progress and her ideas. He’d been restless from the moment he woke that morning—knowing she’d finished her work and wouldn’t be back at the farm. He’d wanted to see her, but it was obvious she was less than thrilled to see him.
Claire’s gaze met his. She was surprised by his admission. Hell, he was surprised. Her mouth appeared so soft and it was almost as if she was leaning toward him. Damn it, he wanted to kiss her.
Lorraine, thanks for allowing me to interview you for Girl Tries Life.
Thank you, Victoria, for the opportunity to visit your blog! I’m excited to be here today!
What have you learned about yourself through writing?
I’ve learned to trust my instincts, that I can make my dreams come true, and … you know that old cliché about it not being work if you love what you do? That’s true!
Why does the romance genre appeal to you?
Romances are all about hope and optimism, so what’s not to love? If I read a book with a man and woman and they don’t end up together I feel horribly disappointed. Life is too short to court misery and heartache. I need my happy ending! And, as a writer, I want my readers to finish my book feeling happy, satisfied, and confident that anything is possible.
Why did you choose to self-publish?
My decision to self-publish was difficult and complicated – I definitely didn’t jump into it! I’d always thought I would pursue traditional publishing. I had my submission prepared and knew exactly which agents and publishing houses I wanted to approach. Then I started hearing some interesting things about indie publishing through Twitter and other sources. It prompted me to do a lot of research. In the end, it was clear that self-publishing was the best fit for me right now. I love the control and the opportunity. I’m so excited to see where it will take me!
What does success in writing mean to you?
Success is multi-faceted for me. When I first saw my book for sale on the internet – that was a success. The first time people I didn’t know signed up for my newsletter, went out of their way to tell me they loved my story, and told other people they loved my story – those moments were absolutely amazing and a huge success. I can’t describe how exciting and humbling those moments have been. Ultimately, though, my goal is to be able to support myself by writing full-time. I’m not there yet, but that would be the pinacle of success for me.
What kind of heroines do you like to write?
My typical heroine is fiercely independent. They tend to think they can do absolutely everything without ever asking for help. They have to learn to trust, open themselves to the opportunities of love, and recognize the strength that comes from being vulnerable. That journey can be a little rocky for them.
Describe your writing process. How long does it take you to write a novel from concept to final edit? Are you a plotter or pantser? Do you write daily or in sprints?
I’m all over the place! I have a lot of ideas plotted in my head. I usually try to write down the outline so I know what I was planning when I finally have time to write the story, and that approach has worked very well for me. I’m not sure if I should admit this, but I currently have about 10 novels (or more) plotted, waiting to be written. I love them all, which can make it hard to prioritize which story gets told next! I find I can’t go into too much detail in my outline, though, because then the story feels finished. I need to have space to play with the story line and the characters as I write. And the characters always have something to contribute so I need to be open to what changes they insist must be implemented. So, I think that might make me both a plotter and pantser.
My stories are usually built around one scene that comes to me first, then I have to figure out who the characters are and what they are doing. So, in that way, I’d say there is some “quilting” involved (I quilt that scene into the rest of the story).
I do not write daily. I’ve tried, and sometimes it works. But I usually write best when I know I have a big block of uninterupted time when I can sit down and become completely absorbed in the story. So I guess I’m a sprinter. During the writing process, I usually write about 1000 words an hour for the first draft. Editing always takes longer than I think it should. LOL. I’m not sure that I can quantify how much time it takes from idea to published because I’m usually writing another story while doing edits so my timeline isn’t really definitive.
Beverage of choice while writing: Hot chocolate or club soda with lime, depending on the season.
Favourite romance novel of all time: Oh! Tough question! Just a minute while I say “eeny, meeny, miny, moe.” And the result is: Elizabeth Hoyt’s To Beguile a Beast. Though J.R. Ward’s Lover Awakened is right up there, too. (I love Beauty and the Beast stories.)
Reading indoors or outdoors (presuming it’s summer!): Outdoors! I can’t wait to sit on my garden swing with a book in my hand!
Best book on writing you’ve ever used: Donald Maass’ Writing the Breakout Novel Workbook.
Blogging or tweeting: Tweeting.
Favourite non-romance novel: Another tough question! Today I’ll say The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova. Ask me tomorrow and I’ll probably say something else.
What are you reading right now: Mae Clair’s Twelfth Sun, a nautical mystery complete with a sexy romance. The author describes it as: Younger man, older woman, nautical riddles and romance. Fun, hey?
Lorraine has also written the second book in her morning lake series, Annie’s Christmas Plan.