Bestselling Author, L. Loren holds a Business Management Degree from the University of Mount Olive. As a former call center supervisor, her desire to write lay dormant for years, until she found the courage to live her dream. She is currently based in Birmingham, AL with her loving and supportive husband.

Loren created her own brand of erotic romance that she dubbed LoveRotica – Love stories with an edge of sexy. Her catalog of sexy stories is self-published and available on Amazon. Her stories and poems have appeared in various anthologies, publications and literary journals. L. is also the curator of the Love is Color Anthology, available for free on Smashwords.

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1) First, I want to thank you for taking the time 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? What about being a writer frustrates you the most?

Thank you for having me. I have always been drawn to the written word. As a child I lost myself for hours in the pages of my favorite books. As a teen I dabbled in writing after receiving encouragement from a few teachers. However, I did not embrace my gift until I was in my forties.

What I love the most about being a writer is the opportunity to express myself in ways I would not be able to in my real life. Writing allows me to travel to places I only dream about. I can reach people on the other side of the earth.

As far as the frustration I feel, I would have to say the inability to make more time! Lol. I am always in need of more time to get things done.

2) Can you tell us a little about your book(s) and where our readers can find out more about them and you?

Sure! I write Interracial Romance with an edge of sexy that I call LoveRotica. My stories always include a woman of color, usually African American, who is strong, yet vulnerable.

My books are available on Amazon. If you’d like to check me out please feel free to go to my website and join my newsletter. I also am very active on social media: Facebook – @l.lorenwriter; Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest – @rebirthoflisa

3) Where do you draw your inspiration from for the stories that you manage to weave together and the characters that you create?

This is a fun question. A lot of my inspiration comes from my dreams. I have so many topics waiting in the hopper for me to write the story. I also gain inspiration from everything around me. I use pictures, past experiences and stories from others around me as well. There’s this meme that says something about if you wanted me to write a better story, you should have acted better. I love that. It gives me life!

4) Do you have a schedule for when you write? Do you outline your novels? How long does it generally take you to finish a novel? What projects are you currently working on?

Wow, that is a mouthful. Let’s see, I do have a writing schedule, but I do not always stick to it. I have to write when the inspiration is hot. When I am on a deadline, I usually force myself to sit down and write. Lately it seems I am always on a deadline, at least through the end of the year.

I do a loose outline for the story, but I like to allow my characters to take the story over as I write. I do, however, make sure I have a clear understanding of what I want to say in each story. I have no idea how long it takes to pen each story. I write until the characters are quiet.

Currently I am working on several projects: Blind Spot is a paranormal story in the Once Upon A Villain Season 2 Series coming on September 23rd. Next, I have Honey Dripper, my first book in The Lunchtime Chronicles Season 3 due for release on October 21st and then Mr. Grinch’s Secret Love, my contribution to the A Very Alpha Christmas Series, releasing on November 16th.

5) What’s the first book you ever read that really moved you emotionally? Who is your favorite author to read? What book are you currently reading?

I have always loved to read so I will answer this question a little differently. I will tell you about the first interracial romance book I read that moved me and that was Twyla Turner’s Scarred. I fell in love with romance books the day I read that book. She remains one of my favorite indie writers. I have so many others that I love that it would be almost criminal to mention only one. Lol

I just finished reading the Fearless Series by Amarie Avant. I absolutely fell in love with the main character Vasilli Karo Resnov. I did a tandem read where I read the books while listening to the audiobooks. The narrator for this series was excellent. His voice was so compelling, causing me to listen to it again after I finished the series. Amazing story.

6) 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?

Well, this year has been pretty good to me as far as my career is concerned. (knock on wood) I received three #1 bestselling books so far, keeping my fingers crossed for the rest of the releases. I can’t tell you how excited I was when I got that honor. I have so many people to thank for helping me achieve that goal. My mentor, Siera London and my husband, Doug are at the top of the list.

In the next five years, I hope to still be cranking out bestsellers, and hoping to grab that USA Today Bestseller title. I would love to also have an income that will allow me to live a comfortable life. Wouldn’t you love to have that too?

7) How have you dealt with rejection within your writing career? What is your advice for other writers to better be able to cope or navigate their way through the publishing process, be it traditional or self-publishing?

Rejection is just a part of life, no matter what career path you choose. The only advice I would give a writer is keep writing and be sure to write the stories you want to write. Do not allow yourself to be convinced to write stories that you are not passionate about.

8) Do you find it hard to juggle the creative side of being a writer against the business side of being a writer, in terms of marketing and promotion and things of that nature? How hard has it been (or easy) for you to build up your author platform?

When I first started taking my writing seriously it was difficult for me to switch hats from artist to businesswoman. Now, it is like second nature. After a while and lots of help from fellow authors and my mentor, I have become used to writing being a business. As far as my platform, well I am still building it. I am always looking for ways to improve and for new readers. I think this will always be the case for me. I never want to get complacent.

9) So many writers say that they hate reading their own work. Do you ever enjoy reading your own work back to yourself after it’s out there for the rest of the world?

I absolutely love reading my stories. I once read a quote from Toni Morrison that said, “If there’s a story you want to read that hasn’t been written, you must write it.” I took that to heart. Every story I have written has been one that I want to read. I make it a point to read my work after every release. I take off my writer hat, replacing it with my reader hat. If I am able to keep my own interest, then I am confident the readers will be happy. I never forget that I was a reader first and foremost.

10) 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?

In my opinion, it is never too late as long as you have breath in your body. I didn’t find the courage to release my words into the world until I was in my forties. That is considered a late start in any industry. I do not regret one moment. I am a firm believer that things happen in their own time and when they are supposed to happen. The only way your age can hinder you is if you allow it to do so. Write the words!

11) 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?

Now this is the question of all questions. I have to agree that writing is a great vessel to cope emotionally and mentally. I think my ability to read others’ emotions shows through in my writing. I want people to feel like they know the characters I write about. When you read my books, I never want you to feel like you can’t relate, even if the character is vastly different from you. There is the human connection that I try to bring forth allowing readers and characters to connect on the same level.

Being in tune with the emotions of others in my writing is what helps me feel empowered. In person I am an introvert. I shy away from strangers and new situations until I feel comfortable. My writing helps me to relay emotions that I would usually keep guarded and hopefully help someone who reads my stories to feel like they are not alone.