Thursday, October 2, 2014
Interview with Lorrie Farrelly
LORRIE FARRELLY is the author of a Western historical romance trilogy, contemporary romantic thrillers, and sci-fi/paranormal romantic thrillers. A graduate of the University of California, Santa Cruz, and Northwestern University, she's been a Renaissance nominee for Teacher of the Year, a ranch hand at Disneyland’s Circle D Ranch, and a “Jeopardy!” television quiz show champion. Western historical romance TERMS OF SURRENDER and time-travel romantic thriller TIMELAPSE are 2014 Readers’ Favorite International Book Awards winners, and TERMS OF SURRENDER is also an Orange Rose Award finalist. Lorrie and her family live in Southern California.
What is the most adventurous thing you’ve ever done?
A: As a college kid, I used to borrow a horse and ride alone up into the mountains above Santa Cruz, California. There were lots of trails and old fire roads, but it was very isolated and remote. Now I wonder what I’d have done if I’d ever encountered trouble, but at the time, it was exhilarating freedom! (And the horse was a sweetheart, too!)
What adventure would you like to have that you haven’t done yet if money and skill were no problem?
A: I’d love to be a paleontologist on a dinosaur dig – preferably with a team digging up a giant T-Rex that I’d get to keep!
Who are some of your favorite authors? What commonality do you see in them?
A: I have a huge list, and I add to it almost daily as I discover wonderful new writers! I will say, though, that some of the writers who most influenced me are Elizabeth Lowell, Linda Howard, Rod Serling, Richard Matheson, Stephen King, Harper Lee, and Robert B. Parker. They are all incredibly imaginative, and each has the ability to capture our minds and emotions with only the written word. They remind us what it is to be human, and they reveal the best and the worst of our natures.
I believe color says something about a person’s personality. What’s your favorite color?
A: Blue. It seems to me to be both serene and dynamic. Sky and water, crisp open spaces, clear streams, and deep oceans. Forget-me-nots.
If you could have a do-over life, what one thing would you do differently? What would you do again?
A: I wouldn’t change anything, not even my mistakes. (And there have been some doozies, believe me!) But everything has brought me to where I am today, and I cherish that.
What is your writing process from conception to finished MS?
A: When inspiration strikes, I write like crazy. When it doesn’t, I screech at my characters (while tearing at my hair), “What’s the matter with you?? For crying out loud, tell me what you do next!” If I’m writing a historical novel, I do a lot of research first, then go from there. And proofreading and good editing are critical!
Are you a planner, panster or both?
A: Pantster. I make it up as I go along. Sometimes I’ll write scenes out of order and then work my way to them. I’m definitely not an outliner, and I’m too impulsive to plan a story all out first.
How did you research for your book?
A: I decided to set my story, “The Sheriff of Hel’n Gone” in COWBOYS, CREATURES & CALICO, in a part of California that I was familiar with – the Gold Rush country of the Sierra Nevada foothills. As it’s a supernatural story, I didn’t need much more than a map and my imagination.
Lorrie and Buck
What is your all-time favorite movie? TV show?
I’m not sure I can narrow it down to one! My favorite movies range from To Kill a Mockingbird and Gettysburg to Jaws, The Empire Strikes Back, and Raiders of the Lost Ark. My favorite “sleeper” movie of all time is Séance on a Wet Afternoon, with Kim Stanley as an unstable, unsuccessful medium who convinces her husband (Richard Attenborough) to kidnap a child. She believes she will gain fame and success as a clairvoyant by giving “supernatural” clues to the police. This movie has one of the best twist endings I’ve ever seen. (As does the original novel by Mark McShane.)
As for TV shows, my all-time favorite is The Twilight Zone, but I also loved westerns. As you might imagine, my current favorites are Sleepy Hollow, The Strain, The Walking Dead, and Hell on Wheels. And I love anything by Ken Burns!
How important do feel writing workshops are to any writer?
A: I think it depends on the needs of the writer. I’m sure there are some excellent workshops out there that many writers would enjoy and benefit from. However, I find most workshops make me feel very anxious.
If you could learn one new skill, fear and money no deterrent, what would it be?
A: I’d like to rescue and rehabilitate marine wildlife.
If you had a million dollars to donate to any one charity, what would it be?
A: I’d choose an organization like United Way, which would distribute the money to areas of greatest need in community health, shelter, and education.
What advice would you like to give to an aspiring writer?
A: Read! There is no better way to understand the power and flow of language than to read well-written books by talented authors. Remember, too, that writing is communication. Technical writing skills are as important as creative ones, and can be learned.
Did anyone mentor you or help you along the way? Please tell us about your mentor and what you feel they contributed to your writing career.
A: I had wonderful teachers in school. Through them, I came to understand that the arts, history, and literature are all connected, and none exists without the others. Those teachers pushed to read, and the more I read, the more writing became natural to me.
What is the best advice anyone ever gave you?
Treat those you love, and those who love you, the very best you can, because love is precious, and not easy to come by.
If you could live anywhere in the world you wanted to, where would it be?
(Language is no barrier)
A: Actually, I love where I am. (California) There’s such an abundant diversity of both nature and culture. I could, however, do without our “seasons” of earthquake, fire, mud, and drought!
Where do you write?
A: At the kitchen table, mostly. I’m a great tuner-outer. My husband threatens to hang a sign around my neck that reads, “Huh?”
How much time do you devote to writing each week? Do you have a day every week that you take off?
A: I write when inspiration strikes. Lately, I’ve been writing short stories (like “The Sheriff of Hel’n Gone”) because, with an almost-2-year-old grand-toddler at home, it can be challenging to find long periods of time right now to concentrate on another novel.
What is a genre that you have not attempted that you would like to try?
A: I’d like to do a straightforward ghost story. Actually, the first thing I ever wrote professionally was a novella about a remote, haunted lodge. (Yes, I know – très original…LOL) But it was a good story, and I often think about dusting it off and having another go.
Is there anything you would like readers to know about you?
A: I’d love readers to know how much I appreciate them, and what a pleasure it is to share my stories with them.
CONTEST ALERT! Lorrie will be giving away an abook copy of Cowboys, Creatures, and Calico, Vol. 1 to a commenter. Be sure to enter your email address in your comment to enter.
Lorrie’s contribution to COWBOYS, CREATURES, AND CALICO, Vol. 1 western anthology from Prairie Rose Publications.
COWBOYS, CREATURES, and CALICO Vol. 1
Prairie Rose Publications
Lorrie Farrelly's contribution: THE SHERIFF OF HEL’N GONE
The Sheriff of Hel’n Gone by Lorrie Farrelly is a supernatural tale of a western lawman who must live one hellish Halloween night over and over, until a young woman from the future finds her way back to save him.
Blurb: Courageous frontier lawman Tom Reeves is doomed to relive the worst – and last – Halloween of his life, until the day he rescues archaeologist Hallie Constantine from the wreck of her Jeep. The question is, can she rescue him?
Tom paused, then reached in his bloodstained vest pocket and pulled out a pocket watch. He clicked it open, studied it. Hallie leaned over to see it as well.
“The second hand’s not moving,” she observed.
“Nope,” Tom agreed. “Quit workin’ quite a while ago. I just wondered if this time around it might be … well, never mind.” He snapped the watch shut, dropped it back in his pocket.
“Here,” Hallie said, taking out her cell phone. “I’ve got it.”
She showed him the faintly glowing screen.
“11:42,” he said grimly. “We ain’t got much time, Hallie. Be midnight soon.”
“What happens at midnight?” she asked, her voice low with apprehension. “Will the whole thing, all this mess,” she gestured as though to indicate the whole town, “will it all reset? Will it start all over again?”
He sighed. “I don’t know. It always has before, when I die.” Hallie squeezed his arm, and he gave her a brave, rueful smile. “But,” he went on, “there’s … something, and I can’t even rightly say why, but this time it feels … it feels like it might be the end. I think it’s my last chance, Hallie. I think you’re my last chance.”
The other contributors to Cowboys, Creatures, and Calico, Vol. 1 are:
The Bridesmaid by Tanya Hanson
Four nights in her dreams, a handsome cowboy tries to kiss her...letting Lydia think she's close to finding true love. Off to Colorado for her friend Milly's wedding, she's stunned to realize her cowboy is...Milly's bridegroom.
She's standing right in front of him, the beautiful woman Garner has ached to kiss for four long nights. Milly's bridesmaid. Can he betray his bride...even as his love for Milly turns to terror?
The Beast of Hazard by Sarah McNeal
Joey Wilding isn’t certain what’s killing the livestock in Hazard. Some believe it’s a bewitched beast, others a wolf gone rabid. As the town veterinarian, he’s seen mutilation before, but not like this, as if some-thing enjoyed the killing.
When Clare Beau asks Joey to help her injured wolf-dog, and begs his discretion, he begins to suspect he has found the Beast of Hazard—and its beautiful mistress. But as he walks through the woods after dark, something more ominous than any wolf stalks him from the shadows.
The Legend of Venture Canyon by Shayna Matthews
Marah’s world revolves around trickery and deceit. She is destined to dance for money, for no man has ever successfully freed her from the traveling prison. Some have tried, and failed. No one wants to become part of the show. No one.
Venture is a man who abhors lies and deception, but sometimes curiosi-ty can take hold of a man, in very forceful ways.
Wild Injuns, Wicked Trains, and Cerulean Blue by Cher’ley Grogg
Margaret Branson rides the train to the Wild West to get some sensa-tional stories for the Eastern newspaper. She meets resistance from the odd residents in this small Nevada town. But she’s full of grit and de-termination.
“I’m here to stay until I have a newsworthy story,” she tells the young sheriff with the cerulean blue eyes who urges her to keep on moving.
Raymond Simpson is a man of few words and plenty of action. Seeing that Margaret is set on getting her story, he leads her into the wildest adventure she’ll ever face—and one she can never leave, even if she wants to.
Wanderer, Come Home by Linda Carroll-Bradd
A recent widow on an 1874 Texas ranch, Vevina Bernhard lives with her 4-year-old son and a few hands. In charge for the first time in her life, she is frustrated she can’t get anyone to believe her land is haunt-ed. The sight of mysterious lights at night arouses her Irish supersti-tious nature and she wants to learn the truth.
Kell Hawksen is a wandering cowboy just released from the Texas Rangers who is tracking a stage robber. They meet in town after her failed attempt to get the sheriff to investigate, and Vevina hires him. Over the week before Halloween, they grow close. During the Samhain celebration, fire breaks out on the ranch, and Vevina and Kell battle both the danger and the depth of their true feelings. Will a justice-seeking wanderer find solace on a ranch with a widow determined to protect her land?