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L.T. Suzuki

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Blogs by L.T. Suzuki

Lori A. May: Author Extraordinaire
7/21/2009 5:46:51 AM    [ Flag as Inappropriate ]

Today's blog features the multi-talented author and poet Lori A. May.
LS: I know you are accomplished in so many areas and on so many levels in terms of your writing profession. Your novels The Profiler and Moving Target, tends to conjure up images of a writer with a second life in law enforcement. Is it possible for you to share some aspects of your life that is reflected in your work?

LAM: Honestly, I think the only thing my crime-fighting characters and I have in common is a love of coffee! While I admire and appreciate the work done by law enforcers Ė on a community, state, and federal level Ė my role in fighting crime only goes so far as to live vicariously through my characters. Of course, I am also a fan of books and movies where criminal intentions are met with crafty investigators, but againÖ my role is observational only. I do hope, though, that my interest and appreciation for law-enforcers come through my storytelling in a realistic reflection.

LS: Was a career in writing a lifelong ambition? When did you know this was what you wanted to pursue?

LAM: Like most writers, I have very early memories of writing stories as a child. In grade five, I think it was, I wrote and published a homemade book and asked the school library to carry it. Actually, perhaps due to the kindness and encouragement from teachers, I kept that passion and continued to pursue the dream. I was in high school when my first articles were published in the local newspaper and my first poems began appearing in literary journals. So I guess the ambition has always been there. Even when I wasnít submitting as a younger adult, I was always writing. Itís just something thatís always been a part of my life.

LS: For the aspiring author, can you share your first response when your agent contacted you with word that he sold your first novel to a publishing company?

LAM: I had the unfair advantage of having already spoken to the acquiring editor prior to the sale. The editor and I had chatted in between her seeing the partial submission and the full, so I knew there was an interest. My agent had been kind enough to keep me posted as to the publisherís interest, so once we got the final word, it wasnít entirely a surprise, but it was still the best news ever. I was delighted and grateful and just so excited. I continue to feel that way anytime I receive word of a new publication coming through, whether itís a book, an article, or a poem. No matter the publication size, itís always thrilling to know my work is going to be read by others.

LS: Not only are you a successful novelist and poet, your writing is very diverse, from writing business proposals, media releases, press kits and more. In terms of writing, what gives you the greatest gratification?

LAM: I have such a passion for community not-for-profits that support emerging artists. Thus, while itís not my main profession, I often find myself helping out a group by writing grant proposals or media materials to help them develop their audience and ability to support artists. Itís a side-passion of mine, which I enjoy doing occasionally. Of course, there is no greater enjoyment than in working on my own creative writing, whether that is a new poem or a new book. Thereís just something wonderful about sculpting words from a blank page and seeing how it develops into something others appreciate. Iíve enjoyed writing novels, but I am also very excited about the release of my first book-length collection of poetry, stains: early poems, which comes out this September.

LS: Do you have any rituals you follow as you hunker down for a writing session?

LAM: Coffee. I drink lots and lots of coffee. Really, thatís my only ritual: I have a coffee mug to my left and the computer mouse to my right. From there, my day begins and ends with a soothing cup of java .

LS: When your novel The Profiler reached the WaldenBooks bestseller list, did you feel pressure to have that same level of success when you work on subsequent novels?

LAM: For me, hitting a bestseller list isnít about being labeled a bestseller; bestsellers come and go so itís more about the proof that people read my work. Thus, the only pressure I put on myself is to write stories and poems I hope others will enjoy. Thatís the main goal of any writer. Sales only suggest people are buying the books. I hope people are buying them and enjoying them.

LS: In your search for a literary agent, do have any advice you care to share with writers seeking representation, but feeling bogged down by the rejections?

LAM: It is far better to be unagented than have an agent who is not the right fit. Just like love, the right agent will come along in time. Until then, writers shouldnít settle for anything less than a true champion of his or her writing. Keep up the search; take the positives in any personalized rejection as a learning experience; and remember that writing should always come first.

LS: As a full-time novelist and a contributing writer for international publications that include literary periodicals, how do you find time to read? What are you reading now and why?

LAM: I simply have to make time. I love reading and always feel behind on my to-be-read pile. Itís very important, though, to give myself that break and enjoy the variety of voices out there. Right now, I just picked up The Secret Diaries of Charlotte Bronte, by Syrie James, also the author of The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen. I am a big fan of Bronte, so I am looking forward to the meshing of fact and fiction to discover a new appreciation for one of my favorite authors.

LS: Youíve received rave reviews for your first two novels. Do you have plans to stick with this proven formula or do you have plans to surprise your fans with something completely different with your next novel?

LAM: Right now, I am working on a new novel for young adults, which does have some suspense elements to it. Even when not writing about criminal activity, I love weaving in suspense or an emotionally intense drama. My characters always have something to lose, something that drives them. While I have plans for other adult suspense fiction, my previous two novels were published with Silhouette Bombshell, which no longer exists. So readers will see me in a new market and some broadened storylines, but they can always depend on high-stakes drama in some manner.

LS: Being as multi-talented as you are, where do you see yourself ten years from now?

LAM: Ten years from now, if I am still writing novels and poetry and seeing my work enjoyed by readers, I will be happy. Iíd rather speak to quality than quantity, so as long as my voice continues to develop, as long as my craft continues to improve, I think I can set no greater goal for myself than to continue entertaining readers.

LS: Thank you, Lori, for taking the time from your busy schedule to do this guest blog! Itís a fascinating look into your life and career as an author and I wish you great success in all your literary pursuits. To learn more about Lori A. May, visit her website at www.loriamay.com. You may also follow Lori on Twitter .loriamay.

Coming soon to amazon.com and bookstores:
stains: early poems by Lori A. May
Available September 2009
Paperback, 5_ x 8_ "
88 pages
Bohemian Steel Press
ISBN 978-0-9735824-0-6
$15.95
Web: www.loriamay.com
Email: lori.loriamay.com


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Ishtar's Redemption - Trial by Fire by Ann Frailey

Ishtar is exiled but he must find a way to keep his sanity and return to his sons before it is too late to save himself or them...  
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