Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Author Interview: Lori Leger

by Sylvia Ney

Lori Leger, born in the tiny town of Gueydan, Louisiana, is the sixth of eight children. Her mother, a retired teacher's aide, still resides there. She knew she had a knack for writing her senior year of high school when she breezed through Miss Lucille Saltzman’s Advanced Composition class. However, she didn't write her first book until she was forty-nine. By then, she was well into the fourteenth year of her career as a road design drafter with the state, and thirteen years into her second marriage. Her husband Michael and she have five wonderful children between the two of them, all grown. Though they love having the house to ourselves, they also adore getting frequent visits from their children and ten grandchildren. To learn more, please visit her website: http://www.lorilegerauthor.com/ 
1) Please tell us about your current MS. - It's called Green Eyed Lady and it's a Mainstream Fictional novel with elements of romance and suspense. It was supposed to be Book 5 of my La Fleur de Love series, but I’ve recently decided to start a new spin-off series, so this will be Book 1 of…whatever I decide to call it…I’m open to suggestions on names. I’ve been struggling to finish and get it published by the beginning of September. The main female protagonist is Angelique Baptiste, an interesting young woman of Cajun and Creole bloodlines, who was introduced in Brown Eyed Girl as the jealous ex-girlfriend of Red McAllister. I’d written her as so unlikeable that I thought it was my duty to give her a book of her own and show her good qualities. After all, she wasn’t a bad person, just a little determined to use any means necessary to get her man. In this story, she’s caught between two leading men, Detective Mike Harper, also introduced in Brown Eyed Girl, and Liam Nash, a bodyguard you meet in Heaven in Your Eyes. Both men are struggling to win her over, no easy feat, since Angelique is determined to remain celibate for a year as per her therapist’s instructions to stop using sex as a factor in relationships. It forces all of them to raise their moral standards at least a notch or two.This novel includes a heartbreaking subplot involving a young mother of twin baby girls whose efforts to escape her abusive husband are hindered by an unfortunate car accident. It’s mildly sensual without being explicit, tackles serious matters of domestic abuse and personal loss, while adding enough humor and snappy dialogue to keep it from being too dark.

2) Is this a hobby or do you plan to make a career from writing? After nearly five years of what my husband called ‘an increasingly expensive hobby’ (due to the cost of laptops, online classes, contest fees and conferences) and after starting to receive a better quality of encouraging rejection letters, I took the self-publishing plunge in August of 2011. I’d published two full length novels by December of that year in both e-book and paperback format, and a short story in e-book only. I found that the publishing and self-promoting end of the business was time consuming enough to force me to make a choice. By the middle of February, my sales were good enough to consider leaving my job of 18 years to write full time. Though I’m not rolling in money, I’m making enough to pay my bills while I pay my dues as a writer…and every day is Saturday!

3) What music, places, people inspire you? I love country music, so much so that I used the title of a James Otto song, Last First Kiss, as an inspiration for my second book. It’s all about finding that new relationship, hopefully the last relationship you’ll ever have. You can only have one first kiss with a person, and if you’re lucky, it will be the last first kiss you’ll ever have. Three years ago, I had the opportunity to meet James Otto in person after a concert, and he signed my unpublished manuscript for me. He said his wife loved to read romance novels and I should send him one when I got it published. So…I did. I contacted his PR person and told her about it. I sent the autographed books to James and Amy, his wife, whom I discovered co-wrote the song with him, and they were so thrilled, they did a web story on it. It was featured on TheBoot.com (read it here) and also on James Otto’s web page. My husband and I got to see him a couple more times this past June for CMA music fest in Nashville.

I also love Cajun music—my brother, Mark Hebert, is a renowned Cajun fiddler. I love the history of the Acadian people—Belizaire, The Cajun is based off of my great grandfather (maybe one more great in there?) One day, I’d love to write stories set in that time period…tackling the hardships women faced after they were forced out of Acadia (Nova Scotia) on ships, separated from their menfolk. It was a tragedy most Americans know little about and I’d love to bring those stories to life as a series of books.

4) What do you do when you have writer's block? I never have writer’s block…what I have is A.D.D. when it comes to writing and internet usage. I’ll connect to the internet for the purpose of researching the healing period of a stress fracture, and the next thing I know, two hours have passed and I’ve updated my website, ordered books, downloaded music or pictures, checked my email, my Facebook, left a review on Goodreads, and tweeted half a dozen people….but I still know nothing about the healing time of a stress fracture. I really am like the dog in the movie UP…squirrel…and I’m off in two different directions. I’d say there’s hope that I’ll grow out of it, but I’ll be fifty-four in October, and I think it’s more likely I’ll die this way.

5) How long did it take you to write your current MS? I started this one two years ago, I think. I worked on it for a couple of months, then took an online writing workshop and realized I needed to rewrite my previously written books…ALL of them. So I stopped in my tracks and started from Book 1 of the series. As I rewrote it, edited, re-edited, and edited again, I self-published it, and started on the next. I’ve been on this one about a month and have another three weeks of work, at least. So, all in all, four months, give or take a week or two. I’m kind of anxious to see if it’ll take less time the next time around…since I’ll be starting fresh and not having to re-write.

6) Have you ever attended a writer's conference? A few and I LOVE them! I wish I could afford to attend all of them. My first was a big one…RWA (Romance Writers of America) National conference in Orlando. I’ve attended the Jubilee Jambalaya conference in Houma two years in a row, and will be attending the Moonlight & Magnolia conference in Atlanta, Georgia in October. I was supposed to be attending the Killer Nashville conference this year, but had to cancel, due to the time conflict with my book release the beginning of September. But, my registration is paid for next year already and I plan on attending then. RWA National will be in Atlanta next year, and in San Antonio the year after. Those also may be doable.

7) When working on your current MS did you complete an outline first or did you just start writing? I never use an outline or a storyboard or anything like that. I have a calendar nearby so I can keep track of days during the story. Before I start, I have a basic idea in my head of what I want the characters to achieve throughout a period of time and then I just write. I’m not a plotter…I’m definitely a pantser!

8) What is your writing process like? I don’t have a set schedule. When I was working, I’d get up early and try to get writing in before I left, which didn’t work out too well for me. More often than not, that made me late for work since I hated to stop what I was doing to get ready. Now that I can sleep as late as I want to, I stay up late and sleep late. I hardly ever get to bed before 2 a.m., and when I do, I generally toss and turn for an hour, anyway. Between my husband and I, we have five children and ten grandchildren. They all live nearby, so I get plenty of interruptions…and I don’t mind one bit.

9) Do you have an editor or agent? Neither. I go over my completed manuscript at least three times, and then I send it to a friend of mine, an ex-co-worker who’s wonderful at catching typos. My previous career of drafting road design plans with the state of Louisiana has taught me quite a lot about editing my own work. But it’s mostly taught me that fresh eyes are better.

10) Would you care to share your opening paragraph (hook) with us?

He removed his black Stetson, and pulled his faded jeans at the knees to kneel in front of the single, granite headstone. Passing a hand over the two names etched into the slab, his green eyes scanned the inscription beneath Kimberly’s name.  My Wife, My Loves, My Life

Her author pages may be viewed at Amazon and Barnes&Noble. You may visit her blog cajunflair.wordpress.com  find her on twitter @lleger641 and facebook www.facebook.com/lorilegerauthor or her fan page http://www.facebook.com/lorilegerauthor?ref=hl . You can connect: Lleger641@yahoo.com and cajunflair@lorilegerauthor.com.

Her La Fleur de Love series consists of: Book 1: Some Day Somebody, Book 2: Last First Kiss (Consistently on Amazon Ranked Best Seller list since February of 2012), Book 2.5: Hart’s Desire (Previously e-book novella only, recently printed in paperback), Book 3: Brown Eyed Girl and Book 4: Heaven in Your Eyes.


  1. I agree--good interview. Lots of information about you and your work. Kudos to you for working so hard to make your dreams come true.

  2. Thanks ladies...I feel this urgency to get my stuff out there as soon as I can. I got such a late start at it, I guess I feel as though I'm running out of time!

  3. I also wanted to let everyone know that the new spin off series title is Halos & Horns and book one is Green Eyed Temptation, formerly named Green Eyed Lady.