Interview with bestselling author Loree Lough

LoveOfEli

Loree, I can’t tell you how excited I am to have you on The Claymore and Surcoat. I’m looking at your website here, and I see you have 79 books in print?

Before I answer your question, I’d like to thank you for providing this opportunity for me to get to know your readers…and let them get to know me a little better. And I’d like to say what a pleasure it’s been, getting to know you better since meeting you at the Montrose writing conference last July! You are such a sweetheart and a talented writer, too!

Thanks Loree . . . Why don’t you go ahead and answer that question while I try and stop this blush from creeping up my face.

Alright. Actually, it’s 98 books in print. The early ones aren’t available anymore, so I removed them from the website list. <g>

With that many novels, I’m curious, is it like having a hundred children? Do you think about the characters in your earlier books? Do you miss spending time with them?

I guess in some ways, it is like being Mother Hubbard, with so many children I don’t know what to do! Except that I’m always 100% in control of the paper kids! From time to time, an “old” character will come to mind, but for the most part, I’m 100% into those in my work-in-progress. I miss them all…for about two days after a book has been turned in, approved, and on its way to the printer’s…because by then, I’m wrist-deep into the lives of the characters in the next book.

Tell us what your office looks like. Are you neat and organized, or is it total chaos?

The area where I actually work is organized, but I’d hardly call it neat! With research materials (character descriptions/background and motivational info, books, interview notes, maps, pages I’ve printed from Internet investigations) all around me, things look messy, but I can put my hands on what I need within minutes. Beyond my work area are cartons of books (to send reviewers, endorsers, TV/radio/print media interviewers, and contest winners) are piled 4 high against one wall. My treadmill stands against another wall, and there’s a freezer in here, too. So at first glance, it looks like a cluttered mess, but…. Who am I kidding? The office is a cluttered mess!

So is mine, I won’t tell anyone about your mess, if you don’t tell anyone about mine. Oh, wait, I think we just told EVERYONE!

Tell me a little about your newest book, For Love of Eli.

In every book I write, I fall a little bit in love with my hero (sh-h-h…don’t tell Larry!), and in this one, he’s Reece Montgomery. In my head (and heart!) he looks a little like this:

cute_male_doctor_c-257x283

Every heroine is a little bit me (the part that isn’t whiny, demanding, petty, or self-centered) and exhibits traits I’ve overcome (like holding grudges, or being super-sensitive), or traits I still aspire to attain (such as an ability to overlook the day-to-day nuisances that are part of life). Taylor looks like this:

 trendy-shag-hair

And because every child is based on my own kids, gran-dorables, nieces and nephews, they’re smart, intuitive, sensitive to others’ moods, with a real talent for communicating, verbally.

For Love of Eli is a sweet, satisfying story that’s built around the creation of a quilt…and the building of a family. The parallel between fashioning a quilt and constructing a lasting relationship was a challenge, considering how different Reece and Taylor are when the story begins. But page by page, as they learn bits and pieces about one another’s former life—and Taylor finds scraps of cloth that will tell the story of Eli’s parents’ lives—a warm and lasting pattern emerges.

I just love your characters, Loree. Your heroines give us role models to look up to, and your heroes. . . . sigh . . .

I have just one more question for you. Would you share a favorite recipe with us?

Just one favorite? That won’t be easy, because I have hundreds! Most recently, though, my favorite is the cheesecake recipe featured at my website’s Newsletter page (http://www.loreelough.com). But for those of you who don’t feel like amblin’ over there, here it is:

cheesecake

LOREE’S BALTIMORE-STYLE RICH ‘N’ CREAMY CHEESECAKE

INGREDIENTS:1-1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
4 tablespoons melted butter
5 – 8 ounce packages Philadelphia cream cheese (NOT low-cal or low-fat!)
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 cup sour cream
4 eggs
DIRECTIONS:Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Bring all ingredients to room temperature (to avoid cracking). Mix crumbs with butter, and press into a 9″ spring-form pan. Bake crumbs at 325 degrees for 5 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

Mix cream cheese, sugar, flour and vanilla, MEDIUM SPEED, until blended. Add sour cream, mix until blended. Add eggs one at a time on LOW speed, JUST until blended (do not over-mix).

Pour mixture over crust. Run a sharp knife through the mixture (to remove air bubbles), taking care not to disturb the crust. Place a shallow pan of water on the bottom oven rack, and place the cheesecake on the rack above it. Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour, or until center is almost set.

Turn off oven and open door slightly and allow cheesecake to “temper” for about 15 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to sit for 10 minutes.

Thanks for visiting, Loree.

Beannachd Dia dhuit. (God bless you).

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