Saturday, April 5, 2008

Louisiana Saturday Night w/Lenora Worth

There's a lot more to my North Louisiana writer friend, Lenora Worth than just a pretty face; there are pretty feet too. I remember hearing Lenora say she loves shoes, so every time I see a pair of pretty stilettos, I think of her. And then I remember Isaiah 52:7 (Amplified Bible)
How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good tidings, who publishes peace, who brings good tidings of good, who publishes salvation, who says to Zion, Your God reigns!

Lenora Worth is one of my very favorite authors. I don't have to read the back of one of her books to know it'll be good. Her stories are filled with emotion and detail. Her characters become my friends. If a wannabe writer needs an excellent author to study, I suggest Lenora Worth.

1) How long have you been writing and what is your writing process? I’ve written just about all my life in one form or another. My process—get an image or a scene in my head and write the book based on that scene. Sometimes it’s a character, sometimes a place or situation. It’s fun to take that and create a story out of it and this happens to me time and time again. I love it.

2) How does your heritage or living in Louisiana influence your writing? Well, I’m Southern to the core. Born in Georgia and lived in Louisiana for over 25 years, so my writing reflects Southern culture, dialect and mannerisms. I love writing with a bit of Southern gothic. I’ve written stories set in other parts of the country, but I always come back to my roots and write what I know.

3) How do you inspire yourself and do you write anything other than romance? I get inspired by songs, hymns in church, reading the paper and putting two different articles together and saying what if??? I also love to read everything from magazines to romance, suspense and historicals. I write romance and romantic suspense but would love to write a historical one day.

4) What are the biggest surprises you've encountered as a writer? My characters! They always surprise me and we kind of grow together through the story. The best surprise—readers who really love my writing. I enjoy getting letters but I’m always so surprised when a reader tells me that my book helped them through a bad time, or uplifted them when they were down. That’s very rewarding.

5) What's the best advice you were given about writing? To read, read, read. And to practice, practice, practice.

6) What is your proudest writer moment? When I reached a certain financial goal—that was nice. But the best moment was a couple of years ago when I received a nice Harlequin pin for the milestone of writing my 25th book for Harlequin (most of them from Steeple Hill!) That number has now increased to 35 (by year's end).

7) What is your favorite self-marketing idea and is marketing a challenge for you or are you a natural? Marketing is challenging and my favorite thing is to hand out as many books as I can. I don’t do a lot of gimmicks—I just hand out books.

8) What have you learned about yourself in this writing process? That I am much stronger than I ever knew and that I’m not as dumb as I thought I was!

9) What's the most difficult thing about being a writer? The waiting and wondering. Will I ever write another book? Will I earn out on my royalty statement? Will the editors figure out that I can’t really write?

10) What kind of support staff do you have? Not the secretary or publicist or research assistant we'd all love to have, but the family, the crit partners, the prayer team, or whoever helps prop you up when you're in need of some props.
I have a wonderful group of writer friends—this is the true gift of being a writer—the many friends I’ve met along the way. That is just about as good as being able to write books each day. I can’t tell you how many times they have held me up, comforted me, prayed for me, made me laugh and kept me sane. It’s a blessing. And my husband is a saint for accepting me and letting me do my thing. He's my rock.

11) What was the last book you read and why did you read it? I just finished Debby Giusti’s “MIA: Missing In Atlanta”. I read it because she’s a good friend and I found that title intriguing. Very good book, by the way.

12) What's your best advice for new writers? If you want to write, then write. Don’t make excuses. Learn, read, learn some more, write, read some more, learn even more, read, read, read, and don’t stop writing.

WRAP UP: Tell us about your blog, your website, whatever you're working on or what you've got coming out.

I don’t blog. I’m so boring, I just can’t seem to come up with anything good to blog about. I save my words for my books (grin.) I do have a website: I’m working on the third book of my secret agent series. Book number two—Heart of the Night—will be out in January 2009 and this book—Code of Honor-will be out sometime in 2009. I love this series. The first one—Secret Agent Minister—is a finalist in the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence! Very exciting.

Warmhearted, Wholesome, Worthwhile

Secret Agent Minister--Finalist Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence!!!
March 2008--Mountain Sanctuary
April 2008--Reissue--Something Beautiful/Lacey's Retreat
May 2008--Face in the Shadows (Reunion Revelations)
August 2008--Lone Star Secret (Homecoming Heroes)


Erica Vetsch said...

Another lovely post. I won a Lenora Worth book at the ACFW bookstore this past year. :) Happy me!

35 books for Harlequin. What a terrific accomplishment.

Love these interviews, Jess.

Marcia Gruver said...

Great interview, Jess. Made me want to run out and buy all of Lenora's books. Thanks for sharing her with us.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Jess, for your kind words. You are a good friend! And yes, I do love shoes. It's a bad habit but a fun one and one of my greatest joys is finding a clearance rack full of shoes!

Again, thank you for your sweet words. They mean the world to me!

Lenora :)

Linda Goodnight said...

Hey Lenora (waving),

Congratulations on that Gayle Wilson final. I don't think I knew that! Better go buy a new pair of shoes to celebrate!

Linda g

Missy Tippens said...

Great interview, ladies!! Lenora, I've always been so envious of your gorgeous shoes. I'm such a comfort person that I wear clunky ol' clogs all the time. I'm so boring. :)

Jess, I love your blog!


Missy Tippens said...

I also meant to say congrats on the Gayle Wilson final!! (Sorry, got distracted by the shoes.) :)

Jessica Burkhart said...

Great one, Jess! :)

Pamela S Thibodeaux said...

great interview, Ladies!

Lenora, it's so nice to hear from you!

Good luck and God's continued BLESSINGS on your writing!