I’m having so much fun connecting with all the smart authors and bloggers I’ve met online. This is the latest entry in my series of conversations with other romance authors, who join us to share about their creative process, their habits, their inspiration, and more. Our guest today is Lori Ann Bailey who writes historical fiction and is a lover of Happily Ever Afters.
- You said on your about page on your website that you hated reading sad stories because they were emotionally draining, so you started reading romance for the happily ever afters (HEA). How central do you think those are to the romance genre?
Absolutely critical. That’s why we read romance. I need that emotionally satisfying ending and even though some people are good with a “happy for now” ending, I just can’t do it. That’s the good thing about historical romance, it’s necessary to wrap it up with a serious commitment at the end due to the restrictions of the time period.
- Your first book Highland Deception came out on August 22nd. How long did it take you to go from initial idea to having a final complete book done as a first time author?
The idea for Highland Deception popped into my head two to three days before I started writing it. From the time I typed the first word to publication it’s been almost a full 21 months. It took three months to write, then six months of submitting to contests, editors, and agents for feedback. I had interest after that period, but it was another four months before I had a signed contract with Entangled Publishing, then eight months of revisions and edits to publication.
But it’s not fair to say it all started there and I knew what I was doing from the beginning. I wrote two and a half books before Highland Deception. Neither of which are fit to be published right now, but both have taught me valuable lessons in craft and story development. Without that basis, it probably would have taken a lot longer.
- How important do you think it is to connect with other romance authors?
Crucial – I wouldn’t have a writing career without the supportive network of people I was lucky enough to find. I’ve always had stories floating around in my head, but until I found my writing tribe and Romance Writers of America, I didn’t know the craft. The workshops through my local RWA chapter have been phenomenal and my fellow romance (and young adult) author friends have given me valuable feedback and encouragement. My favorite quote is “A rising tide floats all boats.” I don’t know who came up with that, but I do know I’d be a ship lost at sea without my friends.
- Can you describe your writing process for us?
Highland Deception started with one scene that popped into my head, then the story grew around it. Highland Redemption and Highland Temptation (books 2 & 3) have both grown from the characters in Highland Deception. It seems that lately my starting process changes with each book I write. A new series I have mapped out in my head started with one single line.
After I have an idea of who my characters are, I start to formulate the tropes I think fit best with my characters, then build the story around them. A trope is a tried and true story line that readers look for, but twisted into something new, examples include – Cinderella story, friends/enemies to lovers, reformed rake and many more. Once I have a starting point, I try to find that dark moment -what could possibly be the worst thing that happens to these characters to force them to become what they should be- and work back from there.
- What’s your favorite type of hero in a romance novel?
Alpha heroes that can be Betas when alone with their ladies.
Special thanks to Lori Ann Bailey for participating in this series! Visit her website at http://loriannbailey.com and sign up for her newsletter, follow her on Goodreads, Amazon, Instagram, and like her on Facebook and become her friend. You can find her NEW book, Highland Deception here.
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This post was written by Julie Andresen