Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Road Trips, Blizzards, And Truth Stranger Than Fiction

It's my pleasure to have Lori Foster as my guest Over Coffee. I thoroughly enjoy Lori's books. Although I've only recently discovered them and quite by accident.

One day, making a trip with some co-workers to a three day seminar, I realized I left my book at home. The car group stopped at a little mom and pop store that had a small selection of book. A few I had already read, most were authors I hadn't heard of. A book caught my eye by an author I hadn't read before. It was Lori Foster and the book, Too Much Temptation. I read the back cover and thought, wow, this sounds like a fun read. It was. After that I bought several of her back list, like Jude's Law and Murphy's Law. Then I read one of her Mixed Martial Arts books and loved it.

I'll admit it, I'm hooked and I'm really looking forward to Drew's story (excerpt link below).

Like most authors, I sometimes need a break from writing. Not often, because whenever I’m away from writing too long, I start to get antsy. Usually, even when upsetting things happen, my writing is my escape, my entertainment.

But losing my dad... that was a blow. He passed away on the 11th, and I’ve been struggling with writing ever since. I did manage to finish my last single title not too far behind the deadline. But then I was supposed to do a novella that is now late. (It was originally due Feb 1st!)

So anyway, hubby and I decided on an impromptu trip to Tennessee to look at gorgeous lakefront vacation property. Usually a short road trip will rejuvenate me and I get back ready to leap into a story. This time, I came back exhausted!

See, we blundered into one of the worst winter storms Tennessee has ever had! It didn’t really hit until we’d cleared Ohio and Kentucky – two states that know how to deal with snow. We had already travelled too far to turn back, so we pushed on – past a lot of semi tractor-trailers that were overturned, in a ditch, upside down and demolished, past several police cars that had slid off the road, past numerous cars that had spun out of control – too many to even keep count – and past a horrifying accident that involved an ambulance upside down in a ravine. We said a quick prayer that the ambulance hadn’t already been carrying an injured person.

It was a harrowing ride – what should have taken 6 hours ended up being almost 9. Given the pile-up of snow on either side of the road, there was only enough room for one vehicle. You couldn’t see the exits even if you wanted to take one, so forget potty breaks. The wiper blades kept freezing over, meaning we could barely see out of the windshield. Hubby drove hunched over the steering wheel, holding it in a death grip.

When we did finally reach the hotel, it was all but buried so we had to plow our way into the parking lot, and then got snowy to our knees getting in the door.

As I took my two little Chihuahuas in and hubby was unloading, we realized we’d forgotten the suitcase holding our clothes.

We had the bag with our shower supplies, my hair stuff (brushes and blow dryer) and make up, and a mostly-eaten bag of snacks. We had several other bags filled with things that my doggies needed. THEY were set, with their cushy bed, their leashes, their food, water bowl, medicine, blankets, a variety of treats, etc...

Of course, once at the hotel, we weren’t about to head back out in search of food or clothes. The room was awesome, but I was uncomfortable and hungry and I wanted clean socks! Thank heavens the internet worked! I’d have gone bonkers if I had to do without that, on top of not eating and not having cozy PJs.

Everything was so snowed-under, that even that next morning we couldn’t get out to see the vacation property. The roads were all but shut down, and you can imagine that roads surrounding new building sites near a lake sure wouldn’t have been a priority for road crews.

Totally bummed, we ate a wonderful breakfast supplied by the hotel, and then headed back home. It was again rough travel until we hit Kentucky, then smooth sailing. But along the way... I got a neat plot idea! See, that novella I have to start is all about spring break and flings and I can’t think of a better way to get things going than to have my couple get sidetracked by a snowstorm when they’re expecting sandy beaches. Heaven knows, I’ll have plenty of experience now to pull from! Every complaint you just heard from me will be in that story!

So now you know, much of what’s in my books is complete and total fiction, but every so often, some of it is based in fact! I’m not going to tell all of the “real” parts, but this time, I don’t mind sharing. LOL.

  • Do you use real experiences in your writing?
  • How much ofreal life goes into YOUR writing?

    Back Cover Blurb:
SBC president Drew Black is as controversial as they come. But the hot-headed entrepreneur is a perfect match for his popular sports club venture: uncompromising and extreme. Maybe too extreme. With a reputation for saying what he thinks, Drew's been causing a lot of friction. That's why someone's been called in to clean up his image—before he does any permanent damage.

The lucky lady is Gillian Noode, a PR expert who's smoothed out the rough edges on many a man. But Drew is rougher than anyone she's ever met, and he refuses to change for any woman, for any reason. To make matters more complicated, Gillian's starting to like him raw. Now, opposites aren't only attracting, they're igniting. But in the rising heat, which one of them will end up on top?
First Chapter Excerpt

Since first publishing in January 1996, Lori Foster has routinely had 6 to 10 releases a year and has become a Waldenbooks, Borders, USA Today, Publisher’s Weekly and New York Times bestselling author. Lori has published through a variety of houses, including Kensington, St. Martins, Harlequin, Silhouette, Samhain. She is currently with Berkley/Jove.

Lori believes it’s important to back to the community as much as possible, and for that reason she ran special contests in conjunction with a publisher, facilitating many first sales for new authors. She routinely organizes events among authors and readers to gather donations for various organizations.

Along with her good friend, Dianne Castell, Lori hosts a very special annual “Reader & Author” event in West Chester Ohio. Proceeds from the event go to benefit worthy causes, including the Hamilton County YWCA Battered Women’s Shelter, the Animal Adoption Foundation, and The Conductive Learning Center for children with spina bifida and cerebral palsy.

In 2007, Lori put together “The Write Ingredients” a cookbook of recipes donated by popular authors. Proceeds from the cookbook go toward Lori’s ongoing “Troop project” of collecting and mailing fun, and sometimes necessary items to our troops.

In 2008, Lori coordinated eleven other authors of her choosing, and through Berkley, arranged for the publication of a special anthology of novellas about empowering women. Proceeds from the anthology will go to the Battered women’s shelter.

In 2009, another anthology with Lori and a new set of authors will be published with proceeds to benefit The Animal Adoption Foundation.

Stop by Lori's website for the lastest from LL Foster and Lori Foster


~Sia McKye~ said...

Lori, welcome back to Over Coffee. I have to tell you, I've been looking forward to this book for months.

Grab some coffee, put up your feet, and enjoy your visit. I even have treats for the girls. :-)

Elle J Rossi said...

Hi Lori,

I remember driving in those conditions once. I was alone and going up a mountain no less. It was terrible so I feel for you. But what a great idea for a story!

I think my writing has a good mix of real life and complete fiction. I draw on real life for accuracy of emotion and detail but then I throw in the fiction to make it better.

Good Morning, Sia! The coffee is spectacular!

Lori Foster aka L. L. Foster said...

Hey Sia,
Actually I already have my feet up, and I'm still drinking my coffee! I'm good to go. LOL


Lori Foster aka L. L. Foster said...

Hey Elle, I think that's probably what most writers do. We write about things we've experienced, but in a different way to keep the story interesting, fresh and new!
Thanks for sharing,


Danica Avet said...

Hi Lori,

I've said this before (and at the risk of sounding like a fangirl) I can't WAIT to get my hands on Drew's book! Squee!

My family has provided me with endless amusement and inspiration, so using anecdotes from my real life is a must. I like to think that having whacky scenes throughout a book makes it that much more believable.

As for the snow, I'm afraid I can't comment. We don't get much snow down here in south Louisiana. When we do though, we're too stunned to be in anything but awe, lol

sonya said...

Hi Lori,

I have already devoured Back in Black, and I loved, Loved, LOVED it. Also, enjoyed your story line with Brett. I'll go back now and reread it more carefully so that I can take in all of the details.

Overall, this was a fantastic series - your best to date. I think Back in Black was a good ending book.

On another note, my prayers have been with you this past month. I know that it has been difficult. Don't push yourself, your muse will return when the time is right.

Lori Foster aka L. L. Foster said...

Danica, you'd probably get a lot of snow if I decided to visit. LOL. Thank you for the "squee!" I soooo hope you enjoy Drew's story!

Lori Foster aka L. L. Foster said...

Thank you Sonya. I appreciate all the kind thoughts, and the enthusiasm for the book. Funny thing about muses, whether they return or not, contracts must be fulfilled and deadlines must be met. LOL. So I trudge on!
I'll get there, easy or difficult, so I'm not too worried.


Kat Sheridan said...

Hi, Lori! I'm a long time fan, and can't wait to get my hands on this one as well! I have to tell you, sitting here in Florida, you had me shivering and shaking with your harrowing tale. I'm from Columbus, OH, and this the first winter I haven't had to deal with that nightmare weather. We got here about a week ahead of that evil stuff you hit, and I kept watching the news and saying prayers for all those folks on I-75, dealing with those windy roads and snow/ice. SCARY! (And right now, before you forget, go stick an extra pair of fuzzy socks in the glove box--you never know when you might need them!)

Even though I write historical romance, I don't think we can help incorporating our real experiences into the work. Just yesterday, I was trying to run errands, in the pouring rain, with lightning all around. You better believe that feeling of being bone-chilling wet and caught in a storm will make it into a book somewhere!

~Sia McKye~ said...

Lori, your story reminded me of the year my husband and I decided to go visit my family over Thanksgiving. We were stationed in the SF area of California and at the time, they had a place in the mountains of Northern Idaho. Roads through the Siskyou Mountains were clear, no Problems.

The morning we left it started to rain at home. Little did we know at the time, that this was the break in several years of drought and it was a doozy. By the time we were half way through the mountain passes, there were Chains required signs up and State Road blocks checking for chains. We were too far to turn around so forged on. Harrowing trip. We had to stop at a hotel about 3 hours from my mom's. I couldn't drive anymore and I was a wreck--I had an altercation with a stupid driver zooming by me with a U-Haul trailer and he set me off into two 360 degree turns. I came so close to going over the right side embankment--it was a drop of hundreds of feet. It was called a wing and a prayer, goosing the gas which caused me to slide back across the highway and into the median. Snowpacked--no to the car, but I was stuck in 4 feet of snow. Trucker stopped ahead of me, had this long heavy canvas sorta strap, hooked it to my car and pulled me out. We traveled another 40 minutes out of the mountains and I found the hotel. Left the fully cooked Turkey in the car--like putting it the freezer. Hubs, Cocker Spaniel, and me waded through the snow to our room where I promptly collapsed. Hubs filled the bathtub and stuck me in it.

Trust me, the fear, the dealing with the conditions, The yipping dog as I went into the first spin, hubs who had been asleep, waking up and yelling out in fear? You don't forget them and you definitely use those emotions in your writing.

Lori Foster aka L. L. Foster said...

Kat, I can easily see you incorporating that into a historical novel! I'm glad you got your errands done without incident.
Great idea on storing the warm socks too! I should pack a pair in my laptop case, because (knock on wood) I've never forgotten my laptop! LOL

Sia, what a tale! And what a nice hubby!


Lori Foster aka L. L. Foster said...

Everyone, I need to head out for some business and won't be back until after dinner. I'll check back in then.
Enjoy your day!


Helen Ginger said...

Lori is amazingly prolific. Does she live on coffee?

Did you ever get to actually see the stunning lakeside property?

Straight From Hel

VA said...

I agree with Sia, I tend to use emotions more than events that from real life. Or sensory observations, the taste of Caribbean salt while sailing, crisp wind on the moors just before it snows, the darkness of a full lunar eclipse in the middle of the ocean, etc.

Lori you're new to me, so off to read the exerpt. Thanks Sia.

Lori Foster aka L. L. Foster said...

Morning Helen. Actually, I drink decaf! LOL. But I've always been a little hyper. :-)
No, we never did get to see the property, at least not in person. I have seen it in photos and it IS stunning, indeed!


Lori Foster aka L. L. Foster said...

Wow, VA, you've obvliously been out on the water, huh? I know more about lakes than salt water, and it shows in my books. ;-) Love boating and swimming, skiing, and just being in the fresh air and sunshine!


Nancy J. Parra said...

Hi Lori- love your books!

Hi Sia, thanks for sharing Lori with us. Cheers~