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Friday, March 6, 2015

Author Interview—Lori MacLaughlin

Lori MacLaughlin's debut novel is out now! Who else is excited to read LADY, THY NAME IS TROUBLE? Don't you just love that title? I recently read an excerpt on Lori's blog and was so excited to read her novel. Lori was kind enough to go into the hot seat and answer a few of my questions. Welcome, Lori!


What is your favorite line from Lady, Thy Name is Trouble?

I had to think about this for a while. I'm going to go with a line — two lines, actually — that mysterious rogue Jovan Trevillion says to my main character, Tara Triannon. "There will always be choices. You must choose with your heart and not your head." For Tara, who bears many emotional scars, choosing with her heart is a frightening prospect. Her struggle to overcome her fear of letting someone near her heart again is a pivotal moment in the story.

Ooh, I love those lines! What books or authors have most influenced your writing?

In terms of world-building and scope of adventure, I must credit J.R.R. Tolkien and Terry Brooks. Their amazing works left me in awe and gave me incredible heights to strive for, though I doubt I'll ever reach them.

Cornelia Funke, author of the Inkheart series, is another writer I admire. Her descriptions and use of similes and metaphors are wonderful, as is her storytelling. Her characters live and breathe as if they did walk right out of the book.

Tolkien is the king! What has been the hardest thing about publishing your novel?

The social media and marketing aspects have been the most difficult for me. I'm an introvert and would be more than happy to spend all my time in my little room, writing. I find it really hard to put myself and my writing out there, and not be overwhelmed by the worries and doubts. It's all very time consuming, as well.

I discovered, though, that I enjoy connecting with people through blogging, and I've met a lot of truly lovely people in the blogosphere. It's definitely time well spent.

Blogging is a great way to connect with other writers. What’s your next project?

My next project not related to Lady, Thy Name Is Trouble is another fantasy adventure novel I'm calling The Road Once Taken. I'm about two-thirds of the way through it. Here's a really short blurb:

While traveling in Vermont, Jacinda Harper comes across a fatal car accident. In fulfilling the driver's dying wish, Jaci is unwittingly transported into a world where magic rules in the form of a ruthless sorcerer who has been prevented from world domination by the lack of a single key. Jaci has that key.

Cool premise! Now for some fun questions!

Tell us about a unique or quirky habit of yours.

Well, I have this weird way of mowing my lawn. I think most people mow in a pattern, like around and around in a circle or back and forth diagonally. I've seen lawns with perfect diagonal or crosshatching patterns, and they look really nice, but I can't do that. I get bored going in the same direction all the time, so I'll mow a patch over here, then mow a path across and do a patch over there, sometimes in a circle, sometimes back and forth. It doesn't take any longer to do it that way, and it breaks the monotony. When my kids were younger, I used to mow maze paths for them to follow. Many adventures were had along those trails.

Haha. Sounds fun! Finish the sentence.

If I wasn’t afraid, I would __________. (What?) Skydive. I've always been fascinated by flight and wished I could fly without having to use a plane. There's no guarantee, though, that your parachute will open and work correctly every time, and it's a loooooong way down if it doesn't.

Someday, I want to ______________. (What?)  Travel more. There are so many places I'd love to see — Italy, Neuschwanstein, Machu Picchu, Greece, to name a few.

I would choose to skydive too! Here's one for you—If you had a time machine, where would you go?

I'd go far into the future and see if space travel like in Star Trek and Star Wars really happened. Are there other worlds out there with intelligent life?

Hmm, good question. If you could eliminate one thing from your daily schedule, what would it be and why?

Hmmmm. My first thought would be to pick a household chore, but in thinking about it, I really don't mind doing the chores, if I have the time to do them. Well, except for dusting. I hate dusting, but then, I don't do it every day. It really all comes down to time. I wish I could eliminate about two hours of sleep a night. If I could get by on five hours of sleep instead of seven, I'd have two extra hours every day I could spend writing. Unfortunately, my body says no to that option. Anyone out there know where I can find self-cleaning clothes and dishes?

Ahh, that's what I need. Laundry is the bane of my existence. So, tell me, what’s your motto in life?

I have two of them: Anything is possible if you believe, and Nike's "Just do it."

Those are great ones! Thanks so much, Lori!

Thank you, Kristin, for having me here!


Trouble is Tara Triannon’s middle name. As swords for hire, Tara and her sister Laraina thrive on the danger. But a surprise invasion throws them into chaos... and trouble on a whole new level. Pursued by the Butcher, a terrifying assassin more wolf than man, Tara and Laraina must get a prince marked for death and a young, inept sorceress to safety. There’s only one problem – eluding the Butcher has never been done. Aided by a secretive soldier of fortune, they flee the relentless hunter.

Gifted with magic and cursed by nightmares that are all too real, Tara must stop an army led by a madman and fend off an evil Being caught in a centuries-old trap who seeks to control her magic and escape through her dreams – all while keeping one step ahead of the Butcher.
Available at:

My Website/blog: http://lorilmaclaughlin.com

Lori L. MacLaughlin traces her love of fantasy adventure to Tolkien and Terry Brooks, finding The Lord of the Rings and The Sword of Shannara particularly inspirational. She's been writing stories in her head since she was old enough to run wild through the forests on the farm on which she grew up.
She has been many things over the years – tree climber, dairy farmer, clothing salesperson, kids' shoe fitter, retail manager, medical transcriptionist, journalist, private pilot, traveler, wife and mother, Red Sox and New York Giants fan, muscle car enthusiast and NASCAR fan, and a lover of all things Scottish and Irish.
When she's not writing (or working), she can be found curled up somewhere dreaming up more story ideas, taking long walks in the countryside, or spending time with her kids. She lives with her family in northern Vermont.
Social Media Links:
Twitter: @LLMacL


Anonymous said...

Thanks so much, Kristin! It was fun being here!

Tyrean Martinson said...

Wonderful interview! I'm with you on the skydiving and traveling more!
And the way you mow the lawn sounds like a lot of fun. I used to do it partly that way as a kid - I would mow in circles around my parent's property (an acre of grass, trees, and plant beds) and then, circle back the other way, then mow carefully around the edges of my mom's many plant beds - and then . . . it was all play until it was all done. Now, though, I'm on a mission for the fastest route . . . which probably isn't faster.

Anyway, sorry for the tmi - I hope you are having a wonderful blog book tour!

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Tyrean! I enjoyed your mowing story. Some great thinking and plotting goes on during those times.

Dixie@dcrelief said...

Kristen - Love this interview!

Lori -The Road Once Taken - this sounds as good the featured one. Mysterious.

Have a great weekend. Congratulations, Lori.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Dixie! I'm hoping I can get back to writing it soon.

Chrys Fey said...

Great interview, ladies.

I love, love, LOVE the cover art for Lady, Thy Name is Trouble. It's amazing! And that title? It's fun and eerie at the same time.

I love Lori's favorite line. That's something we should all practice doing.

Anonymous said...

Thanks very much, Chrys!

Liz A. said...

I love Terry Brooks, too.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for stopping by, Liz! I enjoy getting lost in Brooks' stories.