Monday, December 9, 2013

Author: Lorrie Farrelly

I would like to introduce Romance author, Lorrie Farrelly.

Hi Lorrie!  I'm so glad you could join us today.  I can't wait to hear about your latest book.

Please tell us something about yourself.
A Navy brat and graduate of the University of California, Santa Cruz, and Northwestern University, I chose a career in education that included teaching art to 4th graders, drama to 8th graders, and finally, math to high school students.

I’m a three-time winner on Jeopardy! (despite forgetting the chemical symbol for sulfuric acid ... oh, wait - I never knew that in the first place). I’ve shepherded wide-eyed foreign exchange students along Hollywood Blvd. ("As many stars and lunatics as there are in the Heavens"), and happily curried and shoveled as a ranch hand at Disneyland's Circle D Ranch. And always, I write.

I’ve won a Presidential Commendation for Excellence in Teaching Mathematics, been a Renaissance nominee for Teacher of the Year, and a finalist for the Orange Rose Award in romantic fiction. I’ve never won the lottery, except where my family is concerned. For me, they're the ultimate prize.

For new readers—what can they expect when they read your book(s)?
I write Western historical romance and contemporary romantic suspense, as well as romantic, time-travel adventure. Everything I write has at least a touch – and sometimes much more – of the paranormal. And since my readers have done such a terrific job answering this, I’ll turn the question over to them:

“Not your typical romance. It was suspenseful, thrilling, and emotional!”
“The author puts so much wit into her dialogue.”
“I was prepared for a pretty love story, with some basic plot investments. What I got was a heart-melting, pulse-racing, beautiful piece of literature!”
“Ms. Farrelly develops the characters so well and handles their internal crises (and mutual desire) so eloquently.”
“Tense moments are put beside scenes denoting pure love and tenderness. It's a complementing mix that gives readers exactly what they are looking for in romantic suspense.”

You can't ask for more than that, now can you?  How do you balance writing with the rest of your life?
Life is balanced? Uh-oh, who knew? J  Seriously, though, I’m blessed with a very understanding family and the ability to tune out things going on around me. (My family jokes they’re going to hang a sign around my neck reading “Huh?” Or, hmmm, maybe they’re not actually kidding…)

You'll have to share a picture when that happens.  Can you describe a typical writing day for you?
I do my best work in the early mornings or late evenings. At those hours, I can go into my “writing trance” without burning dinner, starving the pets, or forgetting I was supposed to call in for jury duty.

Describe your writing space.
Since I write on a laptop, I can move around, but most of the time I’m working at the dining room table, and often to a background of Sesame Street or Disney Junior music. (See photo) I think I read somewhere that an ordered workplace indicates an ordered mind. I guess that means I’m, well, disorderly.

Disorder generates creativity, right?  What you are most passionate about outside of writing.
My family, first, last, and always. I have a terrific husband, 3 kids, and 3 grandkids. I’m very blessed – we live close together, all get along, and love to do things together: movies, travel, Disneyland. (Several of the kids and I have worked there, or currently do so now. Yes, we do have ears and say, “Cheers!” LOL)

It sounds perfect.  What genre(s) do you write? Why do you write the stories that you write?

I’m the author of six published novels. TERMS OF SURRENDER, a post-Civil War, Western historical romance, is based on some old family papers I found – my great-grandfather’s Parole and Oath of Allegiance to the USA following the War Between the States. He was allowed to go home after the Surrender only if he agreed never again to bear arms against the Union. I was curious to know why a good man would fight for a new country based on terrible injustice, and what would have been in his heart following defeat and great personal loss. Would he ever find peace again?

This book became the first of a trilogy of novels following the same family from the 1860s through the early 20th century. The succeeding books are TERMS OF ENGAGEMENT and TERMS OF TEMPTATION.  I’ve also written two contemporary romantic suspense novels – DANGEROUS and THE GUARDIAN’S ANGEL – and a romantic time-travel/alternate universe adventure, TIMELAPSE.

All my books have at least a touch – and sometimes much more – of the paranormal. (Not werewolves, zombies, or vampires, but rather such things as time-travel, telepathy, and angels.)
My favorite movies, TV shows, and books have always been either Westerns or spooky stuff. I’ve probably seen every Twilight Zone episode about 20 times. (I can even do the dialogue:  “TO SERVE MAN – it’s a cookbook!!!!!”)  And there’s nothing so uniquely American as Westerns. Who wouldn’t want to climb aboard a Stagecoach, Dance with Wolves, or holler after Shane to come back?

It sounds good to me.  Do your characters come to you first, or the plot, or the world of the story?
There’s usually some incident that captures my imagination, such as finding the Civil War papers did. Another time, I saw a news story about Highway Patrol officers who delivered a fawn beside the freeway after the mother had been hit by a car and mortally injured. That incident inspired DANGEROUS. 

What sets your books apart from other authors?
I write stories with a great deal of action and excitement, as well as deep emotion. Again, I’ll let my readers speak:

“The quality of writing in TERMS OF SURRENDER raises it above most romantic fiction.”
“The character writing is fantastically detailed, even in the most brief exposure throughout the book.”
“Fast moving, engaging plot, likable (and hate-able) characters, edge-of-your-seat suspense and great romance.”
“The level of detail and description in the writing put you right there with the characters, and parts of it made me laugh out loud, or moved me to tears!”

You know you've hit pay-dirt when you can ignite a reader's emotion.  How do you go about developing your characters?
I have an idea when I start who each character is, but they always have a way of taking over as I write. They truly seem to have minds of their own. Sometimes I’ll get frustrated and ask a character, “Why did you do THAT?” And, of course, the answer is, “Because that’s who I am!”

The character who grew most impatient with me was Bram Killoran, the Deputy Game Warden from new release TERMS OF TEMPTATION. He definitely had no time for my foolishness in trying to make him uncomplicated and carefree. I will, with ladylike manners, refrain from telling you where he kicked me.

He sounds like a character who was in control.  Out of all the characters that you've written, who is your favorite and why?
Well, I love them all, after all, or I couldn’t have written them. (Even the villains, whom I love to loathe.) But in my heart, my favorite is Michael Cantrell, the paroled, former Confederate cavalry captain who lost so much and was so in need of healing and hope.

Can you share a little of your current work?
This spring I released the third book in the “Terms” series, TERMS OF TEMPTATION. The heroine is Kinley Cantrell, Michael’s headstrong, impulsive, bighearted daughter. Here’s what local folks are saying about her:

That crazy Cantrell girl's at it again....
Well, can't say she don't have some grit....
Good thing her brother Ted was here, 'cause drunk as he is, ol' Purvis mighta got in a lucky swing an' fair killed her....
Dunno, reckon that little bit of a thing mighta killed Purvis first, feisty as she is....
Well, I declare, she isn't a bit like that sweet little twin of hers - and doesn't that give a body pause....
My oldest boy, Wesley, escorted her to the Harvest Dance last fall, don't you know, but turned out she spent the whole time bending his poor ear about bighorn sheep - or maybe it was muskrats or weasels or some other such nonsense, but can you even imagine...?
Heard she's got pens full of grizzly cubs and wolves up at that menagerie of hers, boxes full of rattlers, too....
Ya ask me, Cap'n an' Miz Cantrell oughta lock that one up an' throw away the goldurn key....

Where can readers find more information on you?

Can you list all your book titles so people can look for them?
Terms of Surrender (ebook, paperback, audiobook)
Terms of Engagement (ebook, paperback, audiobook)
Terms of Temptation (ebook, paperback)
Timelapse (ebook, paperback, audiobook)
Dangerous (ebook, paperback)
The Guardian’s Angel (ebook, paperback)

To close, I’d like to share an excerpt from my time-travel/alternate reality, romantic adventure TIMELAPSE:

WITH a roar to rend the universe, the fabric of time warped and fractured.

Brilliant shards of impossible light blazed, flared, exploded. Then, after what might have been seconds or might have been eternity, the searing light abruptly winked out and half-darkness enveloped two stunned, battered people. They huddled together in shock in a shadowed, empty room, clinging desperately to one another.

Trembling, Jessie eyed the closed door with dread and whispered, "What's outside that door, Alex? Your world or mine? Or something else altogether? Something much worse. Something ... terrible?"

He wrapped his arms tighter still around her, swallowed hard, shook his head. "I don't know."

Jessie shivered, turned her face to his chest, murmured against the scorched and filthy fabric of his shirt, "I'm afraid. It could be ... I can't even imagine. I'm just ... so afraid."

"Yeah," Alex nodded. "I know. I am, too." *

*copyright by Lorrie Farrelly

I was hoping you'd share a snip.  Lorrie, thanks so much for being with us today.  Your books sound fascinating, and I love the range in genre you provide.


Lorrie Farrelly said...

Thank you so much, Carol. It was a delight visiting with you and I truly appreciate being invited! Happy holidays! Lorrie

Susan Horsnell said...

Hi Lorrie. Wow, you are one special lady. I enjoyed this post and I look forward to reading your books.