Author Interview – Lori Verni-Fogarsi
Debra: Hello! Welcome to another edition of Talk Radio with NO Radio and I have a special treat for you today! Two time award-winning author of Momnesia, and Everything You Need to Know About House Training Puppies and Adult Dogs, Lori Verni-Fogarsi will be in the house, any moment now. Lori’s new book, “Unexpecting” is releasing today through Brickstone Publishing and we are privileged to be one of the first stops on her blog tour.
While we wait for Lori to arrive for her interview, I want to officially announce that YOU CAN WIN A COPY OF “UNEXPECTING” by entering to win between now and the 29th. I will close the contest on the 29th and then randomly select the winner – 1 entry per person on the interview and up to one per day for RT’s of this interview post. Here’s how to enter: SIMPLE! Enjoy the interview and then make a comment at the bottom about something discussed in the interview. RT the tweet for this interview (no more than 1 time per day) for additional entries. (The winner will be able to choose either Kindle or paperback. However, in order to choose paperback, they MUST be at a Continental US Mailing Address.)
Some interesting facts about Lori – she was born and raised in New York City before moving to Raleigh, North Carolina in her mid-thirties, happily married mom of two, stepmom of two more, and has two cats, both rotten. Lori says she does some of her best writing at Lake Gaston, where she sets up in the sunroom and lets the creative juices flow while also keeping an eye out for heron. On the opposite side of the spectrum is that a lot of her writing is also done on her laptop in her car while waiting in the dancing school parking lot for her daughter!
So there it is, enter to win your FREE COPY OF “UNEXPECTING” RELEASED TODAY and I hope you enjoy our show. And, I love it when they have perfect timing, I just heard a vehicle pull up outside so let’s go greet our guest!
<takes microphone, goes out double doors and finds Lori pulling a kid’s hair tie from the leg of her jeans and points to the one stuck in the strap of her sandal, notices Tiara, perched on Lori’s head, shoos the dogs away but Lori is no help as she is playing with them so they are ignoring me>
Debra: Hi, you must be Lori, sorry ’bout the dogs, my son apparently didn’t put them in their pen before he left for school today.
Lori: Kids! <chucks hair ties back into her SUV and closes the door> Nah, don’t put the dawgs away, they’re too precious!<Lori is now on the ground, getting dog hair all over her beautiful blouse and just laughing and teasing with the dogs>
Debra: Welcome fellow dog lover! So many folks are afraid of these two but they are just big babies, great guard dogs too!
Lori: Did you say guard dawgs? Pit bulls right? They get such a bad rap, it’s a shame, since they’re so friendly. I saw two other huge dogs when I first pulled up, why aren’t they out too?
Debra: Yes, they are, Fancy and Smokey, now you two go play and leave Ms. Lori be, shoo! <off they go, heads hanging but obeying> Those are Great Pyrenees and they aren’t very social, they are livestock guardian dogs, their instinct is to scare you away from their pen. They are friendly but just not used to people. You would love to pet them, though, they have the softest fur!
Lori: Oh, I would be covered in that long fur, I just know it and wouldn’t care a bit! It’s really beautiful here Debra, you are very lucky!
Debra: Wait until you see my writing nook in front of the big picture window! So, Lori, I just announced that our readers can enter to win a copy of the new book, anything you want to say right away to our audience?
Lori: <laughs but tries to stifle the laugh> Oh, we’re live already?! Hi, everyone, thank you for being here today! So exciting! <waves to the microphone and they both laugh>
Debra: Shall we? <leads the way to the studio doors> Lori, I love the tiara and your boldness for wearing it in public, tell us about that, would you?
Lori: Oh, my coffee mug! I dropped it when I saw the dawgs, oh, here it is-
Debra: I have a kitchen and a fresh pot of coffee inside, no problem!
Lori: Fresh coffee? Thank goodness! Now I know we’re soul mates! Oh, and the tiara, well, nothing monumental necessarily happens, as the author, on the official book release day. However, since it is monumental to me, I wear my jeweled tiara for the day in my own personal celebration. And of course, my husband and best friend, Mark and I will drink lots of wine later! <follows Debra into kitchen, rinses off the coffee mug and is searching for the coffee pot>
Debra: <pours coffee from the pot and grabs a big bag of M&M’s and a bowl, Lori’s eyes are wide and watching what Debra does with the bag as she follows her from the kitchen and to the sitting area> How wonderful and you should celebrate, it is a big day and I am honored to be part of it with you. I noticed you have several things planned for each day of the tour, you have put a ton of planning into all of this and its been truly amazing for me, to look to you as an example of how to market in this eBook commerce that is our reality today as authors.
Lori: Thank you! I’ve enjoyed working with everyone that signed up to do this tour with me and it really has been a great experience. <grabs a handful of M&M’s as Debra pours the bag into the bowl on the coffee table, chuckles>
Debra: So, shall we get started then? <grabs some M&M’s, shuffles through papers to find the interview questions>
Lori: Mmm <chuckles>, yes, of course, I’m sorry, I keep chuckling because we sound so different and I am having a hard time understanding everything you say. Between your Southern accent and my New York accent, we sound like complete opposites!
Debra: I know, right? I am struggling a little too, you talk so fast but I actually did a lot of work with New Jersey and New York executives back in my corporate America days so it’s a little easier for me. You could slow down a little though, it’s how fast you talk that is throwing me off?
Lori: I’ll try! <drags out the two words and laughs>
Debra: <laughing> Ok, Lori, you’re killing me, you are such a hoot and have tripped my giggle switch! Ok, here we go, ladies and germs, first question- Lori, set aside all the author, book, blog tour stuff and just share something about yourself, what do you do for fun?
Lori: Ok, here’s a little tidbit, pretty personal and you can laugh… we do! There is a local wine bar my husband and I go to occasionally, and my favorite thing of all is boating on Lake Gaston. We love to just ride around looking for birds, turtles, and other wildlife, and we call ourselves “The Sunset Hunters,” where we try to find the best spot to view the sunset in the summer. We fancy that we’ll have our own TV show!
Debra: Oh, that is awesome! Sounds like you and Mark, was it?
Lori: Yeah, Mark-
Debra: Sounds like you and Mark might have the next great reality show there! Can you tell us all a little about the tour, maybe more about the live launch party?
Lori: Last year’s live launch party for “Momnesia” was amazing! Almost 100 guests attended and we all had a great time… especially me! I felt SO honored to have an actual line of people wanting to chat with me and have their book signed! I am extremely (no seriously, over-the-top!!!) excited about the upcoming live launch party for “Unexpecting,” as I anticipate potentially 150 or more guests, and can’t wait to meet new readers and see some of my existing fans! Plus, this year it will be even more organized, as I will have several lovely young ladies (my fifteen-year-old daughter and some of her friends) helping out with the prize entries, technology for the Kindle book buying on-site, etc. AND, my stepson is being our designated driver, so my husband and I can party the night away and not have to worry about driving!
Debra: Amazing! I really appreciated the invitation too, Lori, I am sorry I couldn’t make it but will come to the next one, I promise and as successful and talented as you are, I am sure there will be another one! Another questions then, tell us, what’s the best and worst thing about being an author for you?
Lori: Without question, it is the fluctuation in emotions during the stopgap of time between when my book is completely finished, and when readers first start reading it and posting reviews. One minute I am confident that my book is fabulous and the next moment I’m certain that it’s not fit for human consumption. It isn’t until I start getting feedback from actual readers that I’m able to just relax and accept that most readers do enjoy my books.
Debra: That is hard, that waiting, I tend to try and focus on something else and it never works! <laughs> Do you have a favorite review or has anyone expressed a particularly nice compliment about your writing which stands out as your most memorable piece of praise?
Lori: I have received so many wonderful e-mails from readers telling me that I changed their life in some way, and those have been the most meaningful to me. Whether a mom who was struggling with maintaining balance in her life, a woman who felt understood, or a pet owner who was spared from feeling like they need to get rid of their dog, they are the ones that mean the most. As for professional reviews, there have also been some really good ones, including:
“An unforgettable journey laced with humor and reality.”
“Smart, crisp dialogue and a fast-moving, entertaining plot make [the book] a fun, 5-star read.”
Debra: Do you need more coffee, yet, I am going to grab a glass of water, want anything? <is up and walking towards kitchen>
Lori: Nah, I’m fine thanks, I’ve been watching past your shoulder at those two watching us though, can’t we let them in?
Debra: <turns and looks at the brats leaving slobber on the double glass doors, rolls eyes at them> Sure you can, if you’re sure they won’t be distracting for you?
Lori: <jumps from chair and opens the doors, dogs rush in and settle around her feet as she sits back down, Debra returns from kitchen and bursts out laughing>
Lori: They just know a dog lover when they see one, sorry, I do spoil pets, can’t help it! This is so casual and comfortable and I was expecting a more formal radio interview, nice to have this break in the hectic pace of these past few weeks!
Debra: Fantastic, that just made my day Lori! I do this stuff for fun, a creative outlet if you will and to do something original and different and I always hope the authors enjoy the experience. So, just for fun, could you sum up the new book, “Unexpecting” in 3 words?
Lori: Makes you feel.
Debra: Nice. I started reading it, I am about a third of the way through it and will be finishing it tonight if I have to stay up way past my bed time…it’s amazing. I am not old enough to relate to Shelley at that level and I only have one teenager but there is so much about her and the experiences that you wrote so well about in the book that I totally relate and love all of the characters. Even the teens that are such pains in the butt and I love that Shelley and David are so realistic about dealing with their teens…I try to be with my son and maybe that’s the aspect I related to the most. Anyway, I was wondering if you ever feel yourself becoming quite emotional when writing a particularly intense scene and is there a specific passage in particular where this was the case?
Lori: It’s interesting that you asked this because I didn’t experience this with my other books, although “Momnesia” did contain a lot of emotion. However, with “Unexpecting,” I was surprised at the intensity with which my emotions became overwhelming at times. I actually had to take a break for a few weeks when writing the part about the Big Terrible Incident with David, and I was bawling my eyes out while typing the book’s ending.
Debra: Wow, now I want to cut this short and finish the book right now-but we won’t! What changes would you like to see take place in the publishing industry over the next few years?
Lori: Ooh, I’m so glad you asked! With the explosion of indie authors and boutique presses, I think there is a great need for the industry to mature: I am so disappointed when I pick up a book that is riddled with spelling and grammatical errors! No matter how great the story is, or how wonderful of a writer they may be, every book needs professional editing and it is unfortunate that there is not yet any regulation in the industry to help weed out those that have not taken the steps to do that.
Debra: Oh I couldn’t agree with you more. I designed the structure of my editing business to meet this need specifically…editing is so expensive and by eliminating overhead I can offer access to great freelancers at much lower pricing than the industry standards. What’s interesting is that the freelancers on my team, worked for those big firms and now make the same as they did then – the markup was huge for the companies. I hit that hurdle myself when I wanted to publish my first book so I took a step back and decided to provide a service that these newer authors couldn’t afford otherwise, the number one reason they are publishing without it. They dream and write and then hit the editing hurdle and can’t afford it but they don’t want to give up on the dream…that was me, too, I just had the editing experience to do something about it, so I am trying. I hope to see some regulations at some point, there needs to be a centralized society like there is for published authors I think, we could chat on about this for a while!
Lori: In my opinion, it’s like this: When you’re published by a large, traditional publisher, they put money into necessary things like editing and marketing, but you receive a much smaller royalty per book. With independent publishing, you need to invest in that editing and marketing yourself, and receive the return when your royalties start coming in. Just like you wouldn’t launch a pizza place without investing in ovens up front, neither should you publish a book without investing in editing up front. Plus, you’re likely to make much more money over time when readers are not “turned off” by your books in the first place!
Debra: Well said, absolutely. It’s such a shame that they can so easily ruin their reputation and affect all future book sales if they don’t realize this right away before making the mistake. How about something else about you that we won’t find on the Internet?
Lori: My husband and I dream of an unusual type of retirement: We want to have a small, manageable home on Lake Gaston (in NC/VA), but go and live for 1-3 months at a time in various places around the world. The list of places is huge but just a few on our dream list include Portugal, Italy, Argentina, and Hawaii. As you can tell, we believe in dreaming big!
Debra: You have to dream big, is there any other way? So, what other indie author would you recommend to readers and why?
Lori: Without a doubt, one of the best books I’ve read by an indie author was “Scent of Triumph” by Jan Moran. It is beautifully written, well researched, and really takes you back in time, while integrating the concepts of a strong, modern woman.
Debra: What would you say is your biggest strength as a writer?
Lori: I think that what readers enjoy most is my conversational writing style that feels almost as though you’re chatting with a friend. That aspect combined with the commiserative feeling of being understood, make readers enjoy both an escape and personal validation at the same time.
Debra: Lori, that nails it for me too, exactly what I am enjoying about the book right now! I want to take a minute to tell our audience a couple of things and then we can wrap up?
Lori: Sounds great, and thank you so much for hosting me on your blog! It’s been a pleasure getting to know you and I hope to get to know some of your blog’s readers too. Maybe they’ll comment below? (Hint, hint! Wink, wink!)
Debra: So, I think Lori has an amazing website and you can learn more about her here: http://www.loritheauthor.com/about-lori/ and make sure you check out this page too as it tells you all about this blog tour we kept mentioning, huge event, lots of prize winning opportunities and this is an author that you should be watching…she is going far! http://www.loritheauthor.com/unexpectingrelease/ A special thank you to Lori for the time she spent helping me understand how to be part of the tour, it was all new to me!
Shelley and David are a couple of almost-empty-nesters whose children are just about all off to college. Preparing to embark on the next stage of their life, they’ve just ordered white furniture and are planning the vacation they’ve waited their entire lives to take.
Everything changes when Alexandra, seventeen and pregnant, shows up on their doorstep and announces that she’s the daughter he never knew he had! Their life is catapulted in a completely different direction, abounding with dilemmas: Not only do they have an additional child, but also a baby in a household that had been just about to become serene. How much should they help her? And how could they not?
Shelley feels like she no longer fits in anywhere and to top it off, having two seventeen-year-old girls suddenly plunged into being sisters and school mates is not exactly warm and fuzzy. When Alexandra’s behavior starts to become erratic, the couple is faced with even tougher decisions to make.
Hold on for an emotional yet witty ride as you join this family of characters in a story of love, loyalty, heartbreak, and humor that will stay with you long after you turn the last page!
If you’d like to buy a copy of “Unexpecting” now, please click here! Available in paperback and Kindle.
Bye bye – until next time! Coming soon, Simon Okill and Kenneth Fore….
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