One of my favorite things to do is sit around the fire. Whether it’s away in a campground or at home in front the chiminea, some of the best conversations I’ve ever had, have been with a cozy flame and sparks drifting up into the night sky joining the stars. So, wherever you’re from, whatever troubles today brings, Relax for a few and sit with us around the fire. I hope you enjoy our conversation. Please feel free to leave comments or questions below. Also, if you would like to keep up with Around the Campfire and information, don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter. Okay, without further delay…
Today please help me greet our guest, Alana Lorens. Alana has been a published writer for more than forty years. She practiced 30 years as a family law attorney, which has informed many of her books, including those from the Pittsburgh Lady Lawyers series and she's also a Wild Rose Press author. And as any good host should, may I offer you a beverage?
A nice Irish Coffee would suit quite well, thank you.
So funny you should request that. My son and his wife gave me an Irish Coffee kit for Christmas this year, here you go. Tell us have you ever camped, or as I call what I do, Glamp.
I have been a camper for years! First camped in the Florida Keys with my ex in the back of his pickup truck in the early 1980s. Then we got several tents and took the kids camping in the Keys for many years, and after we moved to PA, to Cooks Forest. With my next husband we got an RV and then I took several cross country trips with a daughter and a friend. Loved it. Certainly much more comfortable in an RV.
I'm so happy to have another "happy" camper with us. I never realize so many had bad experiences when they were young that turned them off to the experience. And of course the mode of choice makes all the difference. Tell us about your latest project. What’s the title and genre?
Tender Misdemeanors—it’s a romantic suspense novel
Can you tell us about it in one sentence or two?
They can’t help falling in love—but should the cost be murder?
Love, mystery and crime. How long did it take you from conception to publication?
This story took about five years, but that’s because I went through a divorce in the middle of it and got myself very off-track. Actual writing time was approximately eight months.
I have a myriad of projects at various stages of development, how about you? Anything you’re itching to get to?
Haha! Always. I try to keep a document in the files where I stick snippets of this and that, hoping I remember to get back to them if I ever finish what I’m working on in priority status.
My current projects are a contemporary high-school reunion romance, and a science-fiction romance with two humans and a gender shifting alien.
So many stories, so little time😉 Are there any mentors, authors, or books, other than yours, you would like to give a shout-out to?
I have a superior critique group back in Erie, PA, a subdivision of Pennwriters called Fellowship of the Quill. The writers are dedicated and diverse, and each person knows a little something about something special. For example, I was the lawyer in the group, so anyone who was writing about legal matters could ask me whether their piece rang true. When I moved south a few years ago, that was one of the things I missed most—but they’re meeting on Zoom now because of social distancing, so I can actually participate again! One good development from Covid-19.
It's important for writers to have a community. And now the internet offers so many options. Tell us, what does literary success look like to you?
I’d like to say I want a best-seller. I mean, what author doesn’t? But I’d be satisfied if people read the books and like them. That’s why I write them. Believe me, it would be an easier gamble to just buy lotto tickets if what I was looking for was a pile of money.
Life Hacks for Authors. Do you have any tips, tricks or anything you specialize in that you would share with others.
We all know the famous saying, Write What You Know. As a family law attorney who practiced for 30 years in Florida and Pennsylvania, I have to say that it certainly gave me a lot in insight into people’s emotions and motivations. I saw some really good people go through some really bad situations, especially when domestic violence was involved. I learned that sometimes, there is no happy ending. Many times, what defines a happy ending depends on the people involved. It’s like your question above on literary success. I have writer friends who have created wonderful manuscripts but if they can’t get an agent and traditional publishing, they just shelve it. I’d rather proceed with small press (or others do with self-publishing) and at least get my books out there for people to enjoy.
Now the fun questions pick 5 or if you like more but no more than 7.
If they made a movie about your life, what would the title be and who would play you?
What the $&$%^#& Were You Thinking?
And probably Kathy Bates
If you could only choose one song to play every time you walked into a room for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Uptown Funk by Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars. It always gives me a pick me up!!
Would you rather have unlimited international first-class tickets or never have to pay for food at restaurants?
Oh this one is easy—I live in Asheville, NC, which is foodie HEAVEN. So many good restaurants, but a little pricey for the tourists, you know what I mean? It’s sad right now, seeing so many of the small, family-owned places struggle—I wish I could save them all!
Did you ever win something? What?
I did—about five years ago I was playing bingo at Archie’s Seabreeze right on the beach in Fort Pierce, Florida and I won just over a thousand dollars on a game. We were headed to Universal Studios the next day, so needless to say the kids got their Wizarding Wardrobes!
What was your first job?
Waitressing at a Big Boy restaurant. All my friends used to come out and hang on the weekends and sabotage my stations by switching the salt and peppers, and pouring ketchup is the cream…oh geez. But it was fun to work with a couple of other friends—someone to sympathize with!
What subjects should be taught in school, but aren’t?
EVERYONE should have to take classes in adulting—cooking, sewing, fixing appliances, easy car fixes, money management, critical thinking, and especially learning that it’s okay to be alone. This would save so many bad impulsive relationship problems.
If someone came up to you and said, “Hey, do that thing you do!”, what thing would pop into your head first?
Definitely dropping a sarcastic line on someone!
Alana, thanks for being part of the Campfire. Please leave us some information about you and your book. Also, where we can find out more about you.
Thanks so much for having me!!
Caryn Orlane has law enforcement in her blood; her father was a cop, and his father, too. She's a federal agent in northwest Montana, protecting the old forests and keeping the peace.
Levi Bradshaw also believes in protecting the forests, but has a very different MO. He's the leader of a group of eco-warriors, determined to save the trees of the Bitterroot by legal—and illegal—means.
When they meet in the woods at gunpoint, their encounter ignites a spark of interest, despite operating on opposite sides of the law. When their worlds turn on them, they only grow closer. If they don’t work together, can either survive?
Author Bio: Alana Lorens has been a published writer for more than forty years. She practiced 30 years as a family law attorney, which has informed many of her books, including those from the Pittsburgh Lady Lawyers series. Currently a resident of Asheville, North Carolina, she loves her time in the smoky Blue Ridge mountains. One of her novellas, THAT GIRL’S THE ONE I LOVE, is set in the city of Asheville during the old Bele Chere festival. She lives with her daughter, who is the youngest of her seven children, two crotchety old cats, and five kittens of various ages.
You can find out more about today's guest below
Barnes & Noble:
Website : https://Alana-lorens.com
Amazon Author Page https://www.amazon.com/Alana-Lorens/e/B005GE0WBC/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1