Monday, April 04, 2016

Interview with Lori Soard, author of 'Cupid's Quest'



Lori Soard has a PhD in Journalism and Creative Writing, but she's hardly the stuffy professor type. She loves nothing better than a good romantic comedy and thinks the good guy should always win and the ending should always be happy.

From an early age, Lori started honing her story telling skills. As a kid she was rarely seen without a book in her hand, even walking and reading at the same time. Her first stories were about the world around her. At twenty she wrote her first novel, which she admits was horrible. At twenty-one, she sold her first article to a local newspaper. Once she got that taste of having others read her work and realizing that she could reach others and touch their hearts, there was no turning back for this natural born writer.

"If I can make someone's day just a tiny bit better," Lori says, "if I can make them smile even though they are sad, make them think things could be better, make them understand how much God loves them, then I have accomplished something. I write my stories, articles and books with that one person in mind who really needs the message. If I can change one person's perspective, then I've succeeded."

Lori is a life-long Hoosier and lives in southern
Indiana with her two daughters, husband and beloved pets. "During the extreme low points in life, it has been my animals that have seen me through. There is nothing like the deep devotion of a dog or the unconditional love of a cat." Lori adores animals and while some of her dear friends have crossed over the Rainbow Bridge she will always stand by her belief that animals make the world a better place.
Her latest book is the inspirational contemporary romance, Cupid’s Quest.
For More Information
About the Book:

Title: CUPID’S QUEST
Author: Lori Soard
Publisher: Grace Nicole Books
Pages: 201
Genre: Inspirational Contemporary Romance

The only life Gracie has ever known has been the nursing home and the residents who are like family to her. Now, she risks losing it all and her friends scattering to different homes if she can’t come up with the money to save the business.

Between caring for his ailing mother and running the family farm, Brandt is stretched thin. Too thin. When his mother begs him to enter a local scavenger hunt, win the prize money, and convert the farm into an orchard, he knows he can’t refuse her anything, so he reluctantly agrees.

While seeking clues to the scavenger hunt, Gracie and Brandt keep bumping into each other. Gracie’s always had a crush on him that keeps her from stringing two coherent words together. Brandt doesn’t understand why she dislikes him so much she won’t even talk to him. If the nursing home residents would settle down and stop getting into crazy shenanigans long enough, the two might figure out that they have more than a little in common.

For More Information

  • CUPID’S QUEST is available at Amazon.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.

Q: Welcome to The Writer's Life!  Now that your book has been published, we’d love to find out more about the process.  Can we begin by having you take us at the beginning?  Where did you come up with the idea to write your book?

I actually came up with the idea for a unique town called Cupid’s Crossing. I kept dreaming about this little perfect town where magical things happen and where people fall in love and stay in love. I created a map with some map software, named buildings, and started to think about the people inside those buildings.

It was when I came to the local nursing home called Days Never New, that I suddenly had the idea for my main character. Gracie’s parents started the nursing home and she has lived there here entire life. The nursing home residents are her dearest friends. From there, Cupid’s Quest just came to life for me.

Q: How hard was it to write a book like this and do you have any tips that you could pass on which would make the journey easier for other writers?

There were times when the words flew off the keyboard, but there were times when I was blocked. My biggest challenge with this book was with an 80-year-old woman named Libby Henderson. She kept trying to take over every scene she was in and it was very challenging to keep the focus on the growing romance between Gracie and Brandt instead of on Libby Henderson’s antics. However, this character will appear throughout the series, so she isn’t done telling her story just yet.

Q: Who is your publisher and how did you find them or did you self-publish?

I was originally traditionally published through Thorndike Five Star, but when they cut their romance line and their editor left I moved to a small press. Just this past year, I made the leap into self-publishing after being encouraged by a number of author friends. I really like that I have more control over every aspect, but it is a lot more work, so I won’t say I will never again go with a traditional publisher. For now, I’m enjoying the self-publishing platform, though.

Q: Is there anything that surprised you about getting your first book published?

I had a wonderful experience with Russell at Thorndike. He was a very encouraging, but professional editor. What I loved about working with him was that he didn’t try to change my story or characters, but he did help me enhance everything.

I would tell new writers two things. First, don’t give up. Keep honing your craft and one day someone is going to believe in your story as much as you do. Second, don’t cave just to get published. If you feel that you want to keep your book sweet, don’t be forced into writing a steamy love scene. If you want to write a steamy love scene, don’t be forced into cutting it. Be respectful and explain why you think things are vital to your story. And, do listen to your editor. He or she knows a lot and can make your book better. But, in the end, your name is on that book.

Q: What other books (if any) are you working on and when will they be published?

I’m working on the second book in the Cupid’s Crossing series. It is called Change of Heart and is Sinclaire’s story. Sinclaire is the single mom from the first book. The old folks appear again in the second book and we get to catch up with Gracie and Brandt as they plan their wedding and everything goes wrong.

I will also re-release some of my backlist this year, including my historical inspirational romance Dear Viking.

Q: What’s your favorite place to hang out online?

I spend a lot of time on Facebook and Twitter. I like Facebook because my very large family is on there and I can keep up with what they are doing. I also have a lot of friends from all over the country I’ve met over the years and it is a good way to connect with them. I’m in several promotional and networking groups. Facebook is probably my biggest time waster online, but I can’t imagine going without it for an extended period.

Q: What’s your nightly ritual before retiring for the night?

I am truly so very boring. If I am at home, I am probably already in my PJs. I want to be comfortable. I do the typical things like wash my face, brush my teeth, put on night cream. I am very blessed in that I can lay my head on a pillow and fall asleep within minutes. I rarely suffer from insomnia. And, when I sleep, I tend to sleep pretty sound. So, I don’t always need a full eight hours to feel refreshed. I am a big night owl, though, so my “nightly ritual” may be more of a morning ritual as I don’t head to bed until four or five a.m. on many nights.

Q: Finally, what message (if any) are you trying to get across with your book?

Cupid’s Quest is an inspirational romance. Although I would consider it romantic comedy, it has a deeper message, too. It is about friendship first and foremost and the things we’ll do for our family and friends to save them, keep them safe, and keep them happy. But, it’s also a message of redemption and how even when you give up on God, He does not give up on you.
  
Q: Thank you again for this interview!  Do you have any final words?

A number of years ago I read a book titled The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren. As I was reading that book, it hit me that God’s purpose for me all along has been pretty clear. A couple of times I tried to walk away from writing, because it is a challenging life of uncertainty both financially and professionally. However, I was always pointed back to writing. I began to realize that my purpose is to bring Him glory through writing. So, my goal with every book, every article, and every story is simply to touch people’s lives in some way. If I can offer some small bit of hope, inspiration, or even just make someone smile and feel a bit happier, then I’ve done my job and fulfilled my purpose.