Loralee Lillibridge found a cowboy for life in a Yankee
Loralee Lillibridge grew up in Texas loving cowboys and rodeos, but relocated in Michigan after her marriage to a handsome Yankee who stole her heart. She still favors country love songs, and seeing a field of Texas bluebonnets can make her cry, but she admits the West Michigan lakeshore has a beauty all its own.
Even as a child, Loralee’s love of books, combined with a vivid imagination, fueled a desire to create her own stories with characters readers could care about. Her first attempt was a neighborhood play about a pirate who rescued a princess. (Original, yes?) Needless to say, the audience only consisted of her parents and the boy next door who reluctantly played the role of the pirate.
Now she enjoys writing emotionally fulfilling stories centered on the relationship of a man and a woman and their often rocky road to love. Heart-warming stories of ordinary people and extra-ordinary love.
Loralee is former president and founding member of the Mid-Michigan Chapter of RWA. She
her chapter and her wonderful critique partners for their
unlimited support and encouragement on her roller-coaster ride to becoming a
published romance author.
When not writing, Loralee enjoys reading, spending time with family and friends, and traveling.
Could you please start by telling us a little about yourself?
Thanks so much for having me here at Romancing the Heart. I’m a native Texan who enjoys traveling when I’m not writing or reading books by my favorite authors. I’m a member of Romance Writers of America, Mid-Michigan chapter of RWA, Sisters in Crime, and Published Authors Special Interest Chapter (PASIC). I currently reside in West Michigan with my husband and am blessed with four children, nine grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
Do you plan all your characters out before you start a story or do they develop as you write?
Usually a character will make an appearance in my mind that starts the thought process of who they are and what do they want. From there, I do a brief written character profile that leads to who they know and where they come from. The profile becomes more detailed as each character develops. From there, the story takes off (hopefully). My first draft is a hodge-podge of dialogue and one sentence action that makes no sense to anyone but me. I change the beginning several times before I find the right “hook” and can finally move forward in the story. I’m not a fast writer, but I do try to be a clean writer and correct spelling, etc. as I write. (Probably why I write so slowly.)
How much research do you do for your books? Have you found any cool tidbits in your research?
The most interesting research I’ve done to date was at Therapeutic Horsemanship of West Michigan http://www.thwm.webs.com/ for my first published novel, ACCIDENTAL HERO. I was blown away by the awesome program and its importance to physically and emotionally challenged students. The director and volunteers there love what they do and the students reap the benefit of their expert riding knowledge. The results are amazing and I was thrilled to be allowed to write about the program.
What main genre do you write in?
Do you have a ritual when it comes to writing? Example…get coffee, blanket, paper, pen and a comfy place.
I start my writing day early – anywhere from 4:30 to 5:30 A.M. and always with coffee. I prefer quiet while I write and often I sit and let my thoughts sort through the scenes I want to write that particular day. Sometimes, if nothing comes to mind, I close my eyes and meditate. Thinking peaceful thoughts, envisioning pleasant places I’ve visited or counting my blessings always works.
Do you have a specific writing style?
I’d describe my writing style as small-town warmth with a touch of Texas twang.
Can you please give us a sneak peek at any of your upcoming books?
HILL COUNTRY MAN is my current contemporary romance release.
When you have writer’s block how do you break free?
Taking a walk outside when weather permits or else walking on the treadmill. Both stimulate my thought process…but don’t ask me why!
How can readers find out more about you and your books?
Check out my Website, like me on my Facebook author page Loralee Lillibridge - Author, follow me on Twitter @LLillibridge or meet me Across The Back Fence, my blog page.
Do you belong to a critique group? If so, how does this help or hinder you?
My critique group is fantastic. They provide first reads, help with scene structure, plotting ideas, honest critiques, but most importantly, they are my support - my lifeline when things go wrong and the wind beneath my wings. I’m very fortunate to have them.
What was your first published work and when was it published?
My first published book was ACCIDENTAL HERO, a Silhouette Special Edition released in 2005 and the result of my research with equine therapy programs. A book I’m very proud to have written.
Life is full of choices. The right ones are never easy. Rafter a painful divorce, Maggie Oliver returns to her hometown of Shade Tree, Texas, hoping the peaceful Hill Country ranch life will restore her self-esteem and help tame her rebellious fifteen-year-old daughter. When fire destroys her home and ex-rodeo star Sam Banner, now a local police officer, races back into her life, she vows to steer clear of Sam’s particular brand of trouble. The seductive Texas charm of her ex’s best man has always been a threat to her heart. . .a heart that could be broken again by the secret he’s kept from her for years. How can Maggie trust herself to make the right choice this time? Sometimes, all it takes is a leap of faith and the love of a HILL COUNTRY MAN.