Today thriller and mystery author Lori L. Robinett sits down for an interview. Learn more about Lori and her books at her website.
When did you realize you wanted to write novels?
When I was about 10 years old, I began to fill spiral notebooks with my stories. Even back then I knew that’s what I wanted to do!
How long did it take you to realize your dream of publication?
<Cough> a long, long time. I drafted my first novel in 2004, during National Novel Writing Month. That book was published in 2014. Yup. Ten years. A decade.
Are you traditionally published, indie published, or a hybrid author?
Hybrid, technically. My first book was published by a small press, and they offered a contract on the next book in the series, but I declined. I like the control that indie publishing offers me – I can subcontract out my cover and editing to end up with a product I can be proud of.
Where do you write?
At home, generally. Sometimes in my home office, but often sitting on the couch with my laptop in my lap.
Is silence golden, or do you need music to write by? What kind?
It depends. For my first mystery I listened to a lot of Nickelback and gravelly-voiced singers. While writing my last novel, Fatal Obsession, I listened almost exclusively to a channel called “Angry Breakup.” It worked quite well!
How much of your plots and characters are drawn from real life? From your life in particular?
The plots don’t come from my life . . . but do come from things I see. For instance, I read a news release about cancer research being done at the Nanotechnology Center at the University of Missouri a couple of years ago. That intrigued me and niggled at my brain for several months before the idea for Fatal Obsession germinated as I began to wonder what would happen if nanites were injected before the patient had cancer.
Describe your process for naming your character?
I look through baby name books, use online character name generators . . . and then the name usually comes to me at 2 a.m.
Real settings or fictional towns?
I use fictional towns in real locations. Fatal Obsession is set in eastern Tennessee, and I created a fictional town called Enterprise in the real Technology Corridor near Oak Ridge. That said, my main character goes to Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, and visits real places.
What’s the quirkiest quirk one of your characters has?
Hmmm. I’ll have to think about that. There’s not much quirk in my current book . . . but another of my manuscripts (in the to-be-edited pile) has a character who is a former pro wrestler, and he routinely goes jogging in electric blue spandex. It makes me smile just to think of him!
What’s your quirkiest quirk?
Not sure if this qualifies as a quirk -- or if it just makes me a nerd -- but I’m a Trekkie. That means I spend my vacations going to Star Trek conventions, can spot Trek actors a mile away, and one of my most prized possessions is a print signed by George Takei, Walter Koenig and William Shatner (all autographs which I got in person).
If you could have written any book (one that someone else has already written,) which one would it be? Why?
Black Beauty because I loved the way that book took the voice of an animal character and gave it realism and depth and emotion.
Everyone at some point wishes for a do-over. What’s yours?
Oh, wow. There’s a lot I’d like to do over. My biggest would be to go back and have another go at being a mom to my girls when they were younger. I’d stress less about what others thought of me, and spend more time playing with them.
What’s your biggest pet peeve?
Greed. I can’t stand people who are greedy. I mean, come on, there’s plenty of stuff to go around. Share.
You’re stranded on a deserted island. What are your three must-haves?
A replicator (Trekkies will get that one), an e-reader loaded to the max with all sorts of books from every genre, and a lifetime supply of sunscreen (I have two colors: white and red).
What was the worst job you’ve ever held?
I was a telemarketer selling children’s books. I spent hours dialing numbers, reading a script, and getting rejected. It sucked.
What’s the best book you’ve ever read?
That’s tough, but I have to say, it might well be a little ebook called Getting Dumped by Tawna Fenske. It’s like a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure for grown-ups. It’s funny and creative and you can read it over and over.
Ocean or mountains?
Do I have to choose? I want to lounge on a beach with mountains reaching up to the sky behind me.
City girl/guy or country girl/guy?
I’m a city girl who dreamed of living a country life . . . who found my country guy, who made my dreams of living out in the country come true.
What’s on the horizon for you?
I’m working on the next book, which is about a young woman inducted into a secret society of powerful women.
Anything else you’d like to tell us about yourself and/or your books?
I put Easter eggs in all my books. They’re goofy little things that only certain people will get. For instance, in one of my books, there is a character named Mr. Ian Woon. That’s an anagram for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). In another book, a main character’s last name is Frakes, the last name of the actor that played Will Riker in Star Trek: The Next Generation.
I'm a scrapbooker. One of my books, Diamond in the Rough, even has a special edition, which contains a section of projects shared by Gina, the main character, who owns a scrapbook store.
Also - if folks sign up for my mailing list (they can find the form on my website), they’ll get a free copy of Train of Thought - which includes a sneak peek at my next book.
Fatal Obsession, A Widow’s Web Novel
A technothriller ripped from real research. A mother’s love for her unborn child, a man’s love for his dying mother - both caught up in a race for survival. Baby Eve is the subject of a secret experiment, resulting in the potential cure for cancer coursing through her veins as she grows within Sophie’s stomach. A rich, powerful man is determined to harvest that research to save his mother before she is eaten alive by cancer. Sophie goes on the run to save her baby from the only man who knows what is growing within her. An innocent babe and a sick old woman fight for their lives, but only one can survive.