Tuesday 12 April 2016

Blog Tour Interview - Cupid’s Quest by Lori Soard

Cupid's Quest
Author: Lori Soard
Publisher: Grace Nicole Books
Pages: 201
Genre: Inspirational Contemporary Romance

Book Description:
The only life Gracie has ever known has been the nursing home and the residents who are like family to her. Now, she risks losing it all and her friends scattering to different homes if she can’t come up with the money to save the business.

Between caring for his ailing mother and running the family farm, Brandt is stretched thin. Too thin. When his mother begs him to enter a local scavenger hunt, win the prize money, and convert the farm into an orchard, he knows he can’t refuse her anything, so he reluctantly agrees.

While seeking clues to the scavenger hunt, Gracie and Brandt keep bumping into each other. Gracie’s always had a crush on him that keeps her from stringing two coherent words together. Brandt doesn’t understand why she dislikes him so much she won’t even talk to him. If the nursing home residents would settle down and stop getting into crazy shenanigans long enough, the two might figure out that they have more than a little in common.

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Author Interview

1. Who are your favourite authors of all time?
My reading tastes are pretty eclectic. My favorite authors include Jane Austen, Stephen King, Dean Koontz, and Karen Kingsbury. So, you go from a classic romance to horror to inspirational modern novels. I love nothing more than to discover a new favorite writer, so I really enjoy reading books by new authors. My daughter introduced me to John Green and I really like the emotional depth of his work. He gets down into the soul of his characters.

2. If you could travel in a time machine would you go back to the past or into the future?
It’s funny you should ask this, because my daughter and I just talked about this topic. I decided that I would go into the future. My oldest daughter and I have some odd conversations – perhaps because we are both writers/creative types. We were watching the movie Suffragette and I told her that I really was thankful to have been born in this time period and in this country, because I would not want to have to live without my modern conveniences or the ability to do anything I want to do and go anywhere I want to go, etc. So, we had this lengthy discussion about where we’d time travel to if we could. And, I said I’d go forward in time to see how things had changed and because I believed women would still have rights and they’d have even more modern conveniences by then. I’m definitely not a person who ever likes to rough it. Give me a spa over camping any day.

3. If you could have a signed copy of any novel what would it be and why?
I would love a signed copy of Pride and Prejudice. I re-read the book at least once a year and I just love the skill Jane Austen had with getting into the social mores of her time period. There is so much subtlety in that that book, even more so than some of her other books. You really must read it more than once to fully appreciate it.

4. If you could invite any 5 people to dinner who would you choose?
I think I would shoot for the moon and invite people like the Queen of England, Meryl Streep (my favorite actress), Dwayne Johnson (so we’d have some eye candy), and then I’d invite my best friends to round out the evening. I would cook my lasagna, because it’s the bomb and the best dish I make. And I’d ask them a million questions. It would probably sound more noble to invite great minds, but I think these people have lived truly interesting lives and that it would make for excellent conversation. The best friends would be there to help me feel comfortable and make everyone laugh.

5. Have any hidden talents you would like to share?
I have a serious talent for making mountains out of molehills. If my daughter is five minutes late, she’s been kidnapped and is being held for ransom and I’m thinking through how I’ll rescue her. I am convinced that the neighbors down the road have some nefarious thing going on and I wonder if they know I’m aware of it and if I’m in danger. Then, I decide they are just odd people. At least once a week, I am certain a serial killer is making that noise outside my house.

Fortunately, I can often use these flights of fancy for my novels. Unfortunately, they sometimes lead to strange situations. For example, the day the new neighbors were trying to get information on a house for sell in the neighborhood and I yelled at the door that I had a gun and to go away (I didn’t have a gun). To be fair, it was two rather large men, in the middle of the day and they were going from house to house, knocking on doors, and walking around the backs of houses. It was very suspicious looking because no one ever comes back in here. I thought they were up to no good. Ha ha

6. Do the words come easily most of the time? How do you unblock your writer’s block?
Most of the time, I can write pretty easily. Occasionally, I have not exactly writer’s block so much as that I just am not in the mood to write block. I’ve learned that it isn’t going to go well when those times hit. It is best to do something else, refill my creative well by reading, watching old movies, or binging on a Netflix show. I am usually able to get back to work the next day once I give myself a little downtime.

7. Which character is your favourite and why?
Libby Henderson, without a doubt, is my favorite character I’ve ever written. Mrs. Henderson is a senior citizen in my latest series Cupid’s Crossing. She first appears in Book  #1, Cupid’s Quest, but will be featured throughout the series.  She is in her 80s and she doesn’t take nonsense from anyone, although she’s pretty willing to give it. She gets herself into funny situations and heaven help those around her when she does.

Libby Henderson tries to take over any scene she enters. I have to really work hard to keep her from taking over the entire book. It’s been so much fun getting to know this character. She is not a thing like any of my sweet, gracious grandmothers. However, she is very lovable in her own grumpy way.

8. When it comes to writing, what are your strong points? What are your weaknesses?
I feel like I’m pretty good at coming up with characters and putting them into tough situations. However, I struggle to stay interested in a book once I get the first draft out. I might write the book in six weeks but spend the rest of the year struggling to edit it. I have to work in short bits when this happens and will even fall asleep while editing. In 20+ years, I’ve not figured out another way to do it. I just have to put the time and effort into the edits. It’s not my favorite part of writing, but it is an important part of writing.

9. What type of books do you enjoy reading?
I read many different genres. I also read a lot of non-fiction. I kind of like to absorb information. It doesn’t all stick, but sometimes bits and pieces do and I can pull this up in my memory when writing and then go research it more. My favorite nonfiction books are recipe books and how-to books. I also have started to enjoy books on history more – the ones that delve really deep into historical events. The last one I read was on Lizzie Borden. It presented some compelling evidence from the actual court records and I am now convinced she did not kill her father and step-mother. I don’t think she was even physically capable of killing them with the strength that was required.

I also love romance. It will always be my first love, but most of all I like a book that makes me care about the characters and then ends satisfyingly. I will say that if an author makes me fall in love with a character and then kills that character without warning or for good reason that she will lose me as a reader. I am still angry at Veronica Roth over the final book in her series, but I won’t give it away and spoil it for readers who haven’t discovered the series yet. I enjoy mysteries and suspense as well.

10. How long does it take you to write a book?
It varies so widely. Because I freelance as well, if I have a heavy schedule, I might only have an hour or two a day to spend on fiction. When that happens, I try not to look at how long it is taking, but just at making a little progress each week. When freelancing is slow, I can knock out a book pretty quickly.

My goal is to one day only focus on the fiction, but at this point I have to have a balance between to two because the non-fiction is my bread and butter. I also love the clients I work with. At this point in my freelance career, I am able to pick and choose my clients a little. The ones I’m working with are very smart, savvy business people. Not only do I enjoy providing content for them, but I’ve learned a lot from them about business.

About the Author
Lori Soard has a PhD in Journalism and Creative Writing, but she's hardly the stuffy professor type. She loves nothing better than a good romantic comedy and thinks the good guy should always win and the ending should always be happy.

From an early age, Lori started honing her story telling skills. As a kid she was rarely seen without a book in her hand, even walking and reading at the same time. Her first stories were about the world around her. At twenty she wrote her first novel, which she admits was horrible. At twenty-one, she sold her first article to a local newspaper. Once she got that taste of having others read her work and realizing that she could reach others and touch their hearts, there was no turning back for this natural born writer.

"If I can make someone's day just a tiny bit better," Lori says, "if I can make them smile even though they are sad, make them think things could be better, make them understand how much God loves them, then I have accomplished something. I write my stories, articles and books with that one person in mind who really needs the message. If I can change one person's perspective, then I've succeeded."

Lori is a life-long Hoosier and lives in southern Indiana with her two daughters, husband and beloved pets. "During the extreme low points in life, it has been my animals that have seen me through. There is nothing like the deep devotion of a dog or the unconditional love of a cat." Lori adores animals and while some of her dear friends have crossed over the Rainbow Bridge she will always stand by her belief that animals make the world a better place.

Her latest book is the inspirational contemporary romance, Cupid’s Quest.

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