Lori Zaremba is a full-time Internet Sales Manager at an auto dealership in the Greater Pittsburgh Area. Lori has published short ghost stories on Your Ghost Stories, as the Haunted_Cleaner and on her website www.lorizaremba.com
On her website, Zaremba refers to herself as the ghost magnet and briefly describes her humorous encounters with departing spirits. Lori began writing her fiction story as a creative offering of why a ghost would haunt. Before long the story became a novel Case One: The Deceit in the Trudy Hicks Ghost Hunter series. Lori currently lives in the suburbs of Pittsburgh with her husband Wayne and two fur babies Jaxson and Stewie.
1) First, I want to thank you Lori for taking the time out of your schedule to do this interview with me! When did you know that writing is what you were called to do? What is it about being a writer that you love the most?
Thank you, I’m glad to do this. I, for the most part, have been writing in some form or fashion all my life. I have written everything from poetry, lyrics and then later, ad-copy and business forms. When I started writing fiction, something clicked inside me, and my imagination went wild. It felt so joyous to create a story that was mine and mine alone. It felt like perfection.
2) Can you tell us a little about your book(s) and where our readers can find out more about them and you? I think I already know the answer from reading more about you but for our readers, where do you get your inspiration from for your book and for your characters?
Sure, Case One -The Deceit is the first book in The Trudy Hicks Ghost Hunter series. The protagonist is an ex-cop turned ghost hunter. Trudy Hicks is tough, smart and fearless. She treats each investigation as a cold case, following the evidence and going back in time to solve the mystery of why the spirits are in unrest. On the first day, Trudy meets Jason, a guy set on proving that ghosts don’t exist. As the investigation heats up so does the chemistry between the two. They form an unlikely partnership that meets with lots of challenges along the way. You will have to stay tuned and wait for Case Two to see what happens next.
Readers can learn more about Case One and upcoming Cases/books on my website www.lorizaremba.com, Amazon and Goodreads.
Ha! Yes, it’s true. A lot of my inspiration comes from folks who long ago departed the earth. I will try not to get long winded here because I could spend hours discussing ghosts. The short version is that all my life I’ve had these interactions with the afterlife that were mostly sweet and comforting. I also have been in situations where the communication was intense, and I could sense a lot of frustration. I wondered about these spirits and why they were so upset. Did they leave behind some unresolved issue? Did they depart during an argument or perhaps didn’t get the chance to confess their love? All these scenarios had my imagination going wild. That’s how the idea for Trudy Hicks Ghost Hunter came to life-The opportunity to write a compelling story about ghosts and to recognize that these chaotic spirits were really just people with problems, big problems.
3) What’s the first book you ever read that touched you emotionally? Did you have a favorite author growing up? What book are you currently reading?
Black Beauty by Anna Sewell. I remember reading it in class when I shouldn’t be of course and found myself holding back my tears, okay, I was actually sobbing in the corner of my seventh-grade Algebra class… I still recall so many of the life lessons I learned in that book.
I did. My mom was really into historical romances. I would take her books and read about things that were probably too risqué for a 10-year-old. She then purchased books by Barbara Cartland. I must have read a book a day that summer. There seemed to be a never ending supply of those sweet “Rated G” romances. Umm… right now The Magic by Rhonda Byrne. A spin-off of The Secret, these books keep me feeling good and focused on what I want.
4) What does your writing routine look like? Do you have a schedule for your writing that helps you to be more productive? Do you outline your novels? How long does it generally take you to finish a novel? What projects are you currently working on?
I do not have a routine just a lot of determination. I write every chance I get and I will tell you that much of my writing is done in the note section of my cell phone.
I don’t, even though I have a good idea of what each chapter will contain and of course how it’s going to end. I leave a lot open for creative improvements .My little secret is when I go to bed at night, I plot out the next chapter as if I’m watching a movie.
Case one took the longest. I didn’t know what I was doing. I re-wrote the book at least three times. I’ve greatly improved on Case Two-The Kept which is in editing, took less than a year to write and it should be out early summer.
I am currently writing Case Three-The Hex and I can tell you it’s keeping me up at night. Voodoo, a brothel, and some really cool witches. I’m excited about it.
5) What has been your most significant achievement as a writer thus far? Where do you see yourself within your career in the next five years?
Getting Published- I was able to tell my dad a few days before he passed away that I signed a contract with Limitless Publishing. I will never forget that moment.
My greatest hope is that I will find enough success with my writing to quit my day job and become a full-time writer. I see the completion of this series and a spin-off. I also have some other exciting ideas for some stand-alone novels.
6) What are your thoughts about how the publishing industry is drastically changing in terms of tradition publishing and self-publishing? How have you dealt with rejection within your writing career?
I think it’s good; it gives the writer options and more importantly-opportunity.
Rejection? Ha! I am still getting rejection emails from queries that I sent a year ago. I handled it by keeping my focus on what I wanted.
7) So many writers say that they hate reading their own work? Do you go back and read your work after it’s all edited, printed and out there for the rest of the world?
It’s not that I hate it. It’s more like I will want to change it, add more, and tweak things so on and so on. Now you can understand why it took so long to finish the first book.
8) If you could collaborate with any author and write a novel who would you write with?
I would want to write The Haunted Places of Italy with Frances Mayes. Her ability to make you feel that you are in the space that she is describing is impressive. When I read her book A Year In The World, I actually felt like I was on vacation. My part of the novel would be the chills, the phantoms, and all the deep dark mystery.
9) Do you believe that there is ever a point in life where it’s too late for an aspiring writer to become successful in this industry? Do you feel a late start would hinder their chances?
No. I think a good story is a good story and a book can be successful regardless of the age of the writer. I do believe from what I’ve been through these past few years, it requires a lot of brain stamina, especially if you work another full-time job. Somedays I wouldn’t have minded a fresher, younger mind.
I do not. Quite honestly I feel that writing is the one career where it doesn’t matter. Let’s face it people put their dreams on hold for so many reasons, family, economic situations, health. When the time is right, regardless of age, sit yourself down and start writing.
10) I feel like writing is a remarkable tool to help people not only express themselves, but also to cope emotionally and mentally. I know for me I write to be and feel more authentic. What unique quality is there about you, about your art, that you feel represents your authenticity? How does writing help you to be more empowered in your purpose?
For me, it is pretty much obvious. I’ve always had to be careful of how much of myself I revealed to people. Now I am embracing my weirdness, my gifts and expressing myself with joy. I am now in control of my destiny. Every experience I’ve had in my life-the good, the bad and the ugly, were all to lead me to this point. I am now the author of my story.