Jeanne: Congratulations on your first publication this past November. It was a short story in a Christmas anthology called The Christmas Snow Ball.
LaNora: Thank you. It was a lot of fun to write. It was my very first short story ever and it was a great learning experience for me. My publisher gave us a word count of 5000 to work with and it was a small challenge to write a complete story in so few pages.
Jeanne: The back drop of that story seemed so real to many of the readers. Can you tell us more about how you came to create a town like that?
LaNora: The town is loosely based on a town I grew up in. When I think back to this place its very Norman Rockwell for me and I tried to give my story that feel. It truly did have a small town feel and we really did have a lake behind our high school that we would ice skate on in the winter, paddle boat in the summer and gather around for the July 4th fireworks, while we picnicked under the colorful display of lights. The downtown area had these charming boutiques, and little restaurants. In fact, the restaurant in my story is a real restaurant that my high school friends and I would walk to for lunch sometimes.
Jeanne: That sounds like it was a magical place. Tell us more about the people you encountered there.
LaNora: None of the characters in my story are based on real people from this town; I’d like to say that because I’ve had a couple of people say, “I’m Rebecca, right?” and "You based Kelly on me." However, everyone I went to school with were beautiful people and I don’t say that lightly. I mean, really the Barbie and Ken’s of the teenage world surrounded me. The adults and teachers were the kind of people that I used to see on rerun shows as a kid. I loved the school I attended so I used part of it as I created this story.
Jeanne: What was it like getting “The Call” on this first book?
LaNora: Actually, The Christmas Snow Ball wasn’t the first story I got “The Call on. I wrote this six book novella series called Emergency Calls. When I wrote the books, my idea was to write six different stories where they all took place around one event but from six different points of views. After I wrote them, I struggled with how to market them. After I decided to try to get them published one at a time, I sent the first book, “Love Over Troubled Waters” to Soul Mate Publishing and they liked it. While I was waiting for a response to the first book, I impatiently sent the second one. The Call came approximately one month later when Soul Mate contracted the first and one week later contracted the second, The Unknown Son. Two months later, we were asked if we wanted to participate in a Christmas Anthology and still on my published High, I said, “Me! Me! Me!” I quickly came up with an idea, wrote up a quick synopsis, sent it in and it was accepted.
So even though “The Christmas Snow Ball was the first of my stories to be published, it wasn’t the story that got “The Call”.
Jeanne: How exciting all of this must be for you.
LaNora: I can’t put into words how amazing this is to me without sounding like a blubbering idiot. It is something that I’ve always hoped would happen but never truly thought would. All along this road to publication, I’d hear other authors say that there are thousands of people who want to get published but not everyone will get there. I figured, “yeah, that’s probably me, but I can still dream and I can still try.” I was fortunate enough to find a publisher that saw my stories the way that I did. They gave me a chance and gave me a foot in the door. Now if I can just go with it and get better and better with each book I’ll be way more than happy.
Jeanne: Seems like you could be on your way. When will the first book in the Emergency Calls series become available?
LaNora: Love Over Troubled Waters release date is March 2014. The Unknown Son is scheduled to be release May 2014. My full length paranormal book, Love Encounters will be released this summer 2014 and I’m hoping that a fourth, stand alone novella will be released for the Christmas season.
Jeanne: That’s awesome! Three books for sure and maybe one more for a total of four books all in one year.
LaNora: Yes, pinch me!
Jeanne: Thanks LaNora!
LaNora: My pleasure. Kind of creepy, huh?