"With impeccable skill and beautiful prose, she deftly pens a story of forgiveness, acceptance, and love, creating such fully developed characters that I could feel them next to me."
(Since Samantha and I have similar tastes in books, I have a feeling I'll enjoy it too.)
Lucky for our US readers, Lori has THREE copies of Sweet Forgiveness to give away.
Visit Lori at her website, Facebook, and Twitter.
What is your favorite compliment that you've received about your writing?
Thank you so much for hosting me today, Melissa. I’m always humbled when readers tell me THE LIFE LIST comforted them while they grieved the loss of their mother. I also love when I hear the books inspired readers, either to follow their dreams or forgive. I just received a message from a woman in Israel who asked if I would send a wedding message to her friend, who followed Brett’s journey after reading THE LIFE LIST. She quit her job and uprooted her life, including accepting a date that she normally wouldn’t have. She is now marrying the man!
What is a piece of constructive feedback from The Life List that you used for Sweet Forgiveness?
One of my characters had a potty mouth. Her voice sounded authentic to me, since I have a few friends who can drop the F Bomb as easily as the word “the”! But some readers were offended, especially older women, and I regretted that. One woman wrote to say THE LIFE LIST was the filthiest book she’d ever read. “I loved it, but I could never recommend it to my friends.” I wasn’t sure whether to say I’m sorry or thank you!
Did you learn anything new from writing Sweet Forgiveness?
I learned so much! First, writing a second book is terrifying! Still unpublished, I had no pressure when writing THE LIFE LIST. I figured my mother would read it, but other than that, I had no expectations. (Hope, yes; expectations, no!) Suddenly, the book sold and my agent was asking for the second novel. I’m a people-pleaser, so I was desperate to write a novel that wouldn’t disappoint. It was nearly crippling. Additionally, I was diagnosed with breast cancer while I was in the midst of writing, so that added an additional hurdle. It was hard to be light and breezy during those days and, for better or worse, I think this book is heavier because of my illness.
Can you tell us what the most difficult scene to write in Sweet Forgiveness was, and how you got through it?
Oh, my gosh! The very first scene was the hardest for me. Where, exactly, should the story begin? The Forgiveness Stones concept had to be introduced quickly, and I needed to do it in a way that was organic, without too much backstory. It couldn’t read like a non-fiction self-help manual! I must have scrapped a dozen versions of the beginning scene before finally settling on my character reading a newspaper article.
If you could cast the movie version of Sweet Forgiveness, who would play the lead characters?
First let me say, if the movie were ever made, I’d be happy with ANYONE in the leading roles! But if I could offer my two cents, I’d suggest Hannah be played by someone attractive but not gorgeous, someone with personality, but also a quiet vulnerability, like Rachel McAdams, Jennifer Garner or Reese Witherspoon. Hannah’s love interest is in his early 40’s, and I could imagine Mark Ruffalo, Matthew McConaughey, or my favorite, Hugh Jackman!
What is your favorite sweet treat?
I confess, I am a sugarholic! My very favorite treat is my mother’s homemade pie, lemon meringue, in particular.
What is a behavior you consider unforgivable?
I’d love to say I could forgive anything, but sadly I don’t have that much grace. I’m horrified by what’s happening in the world with terrorism. When I watch footage of inhumane murders and destruction of ancient artifacts, I find no mercy in my heart. (Sorry! I didn’t mean to end our conversation on such a downer!)
Thanks to Lori for visiting with us and sharing her latest novel with our readers.
~Introduction and interview by Melissa Amster
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US only. Giveaway ends June 23rd at midnight EST.