>Interview & Giveaway with Lori Wilde

>Update 11/16/11 7:07am: I will include all entries received until I get around to choosing a winner this morning **G** Thanks for coming by!!

Today’s guest is New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Lori Wilde. She has sold 64 novels and novellas to four major New York Publishing houses.

Her new release The Christmas Cookie Chronicles: Carrie: A Twilight, Texas Story releases tomorrow, November 15th. We’ve got giveaways — and I’m trying out Rafflecopter, so let me know what you think!

Come join a meeting of the First Love Cookie Club!

“On Christmas Eve, if you sleep with kismet cookies under your pillow and dream of your own true love, he will be your destiny.”

Carrie MacGregor doesn’t believe this—not one bit. She might be a “paid up” member of the Cookie Club and the local Sweethearts Knitting Club, but she’s not about to give in to the forced ho-ho-ho of the season. And why?

Mark Leland. When he left town he broke Carrie’s heart. Now, the local-guy-made good is back, hosting the reality show “Fact or Fantasy.”

Fact: Mark broke her heart. Fantasy: her friends think they’ll be getting back together. But could the magic of a Twilight, Texas Christmas make Carrie’s secret dreams come true?

Get your copy at Amazon or Barnes and Noble

Lori, tell us about your upcoming release.
I’m very excited about these three Christmas ebooks that continue to follow the adventures of the club members from my Twilight, Texas series. Book one is about Flynn MacGregor’s sister, Carrie, who’s fully coming into her own as a woman, when the handsome man she impulsively married in Vegas when she was seventeen comes back to town determined to debunk the Sweethearts myth.

What’s your favorite thing about the book featured here today?
Getting to revisit characters I’ve known and loved right along with my readers.

What sparked the idea for this book/series?
The huge success of my Twilight, Texas series. I’d left a lot of loose ends dangling and these ebooks were a way for readers to find out what happened to all those secondary characters when they get books of their own.

What creates the biggest conflict between your hero and heroine?
The hero a reality TV host come back to town to debunk the romantic myth that brings tourists flooding into Twilight. If he debunks the myth, it not only threatens the town, but his happily-ever-after with Carrie.

Why did you put these two together?
I wanted to explore the dynamics of a hero who made a huge success paired with the woman he left behind in order to achieve that success.

What is your strategy in creating villains?
The villain in this book is the hero’s boss. She’s in the story to put pressure on him to chose his fast lane lifestyle over his hometown and high school sweetheart.

What was the hardest part of this book to write and why?
The hardest part is juggling my schedule. I teach writing, am going to school for my Masters degree and I write five books a year.

Tell us something unusual about rhe creation of this book.
To research the hero’s career, I had to watch a lot of reality T.V.

What do you love most about this book/series?

Getting to revisit the characters and town. I really love Twilight, which is based on a real town where I once lived.

Is there a message in this novel that you want readers to grasp?

That dreams can come true if you just dare to believe!

Does your novel have a theme? How did that come about?
All my novels have themes. I consider the theme before I ever write the book. The theme guides ever aspect of my writing from character development, to plot, to the choice of clothing the characters wear. I believe theme is one of the most important elements of any good story.

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
Stephen King

Who or what has influenced your writing, and in what way?
My father. Before he retired he was a teacher, journalist and songwriter. He gave me Dwight Swain’s book, Techniques of the Selling Writer when I was thirteen. He’s my real mentor.

How does your family view your writing career?
They’re very proud and supportive. I couldn’t ask for a more supportive family. I’m blessed.

What entity do you feel supports you most in your writing career outside of family members?
RWA.

What is your writing routine?
It’s crazy and follows no set pattern. If I’m on deadline I’ll write 60-80 hours a week or more. So I’m writing from the time I get up, to the time I go to bed. If I’m not on a tight deadline (which is rare), I’ll get up and write for three to four hours in the morning and then take the rest of the day off.

How do you keep in touch with your readers?
FB, Twitter, Blog, email, snail mail, newsletters.

What are you reading now?
I usually read three or four books at once. I’m reading a book on health, a book on psychology, a book on writing and the ARC of Piper Maitland’s Acquainted with the Night. It’s an awesome book!

What is in your TBR pile?
Um, do you have all day? I have a TBR that stretches to the ceiling.

What would you like to tell readers?
Keep reading! Authors wouldn’t exist without you. Thank you, thank you. I am so grateful for readers.

What is your preferred genre to read for pleasure?
Historical fiction.

Do you have a second career? 
I’m a writing teacher and now, an editor for Entangled Books.

What did you do before you became a full-time writer?
I was a registered nurse for 20 years.

What, in your opinion, are the most important elements of good writing?
Emotion, emotion, emotion, emotion. And a compelling voice.

What do you know now that you wish you’d known when you started writing?
How extremely difficult it is. I would have worked harder much sooner.

How do you develop your plots and characters? Do you use any set formula?
The plot springs from character. Fully develop your characters and you’ll know your plot. I use the Enneagram to create compelling characters.

What tools do you feel are must-haves for writers?
Persistence, determination, stubbornness.

How would you best describe your books?
Heartfelt.

What would you write if you could do write anything you wanted to write?

Honestly, I can’t answer that. I write what I know will sell. I make a living doing this. I can’t afford to indulge my whims. This is a career for me. I love storytelling, but I want to write what readers want to read.

What do you most like about writing? Least like?
Everything. I live and breathe it. I love how hard it is. What I like least? The fickleness of the publishing business.

Which is your favorite of the books you have written?
They’re all special in their own way.

What dreams have been realized as a result of your writing?
Hitting the NYT and USA Today list. It only took 20 years.

What would you say is your biggest writing quirk?
Hmm, not sure what this means. Probably my intensity. I’m pretty single-minded about writing. I truly eat, breathe and sleep it.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
Watch movies. Knit. Play angry birds. Travel.

What are your current projects?
I’m currently writing a new three book series for Blaze. I’ve also got a new series coming up with Avon next year about cutting horse cowboys.

Where can we find you online?
www.loriwilde.com

Do You Have Any Undiscovered Or Hidden Talents? If So, What?
I can tie a cherry stem with my tongue.

Are You The Same Person You Were As A Child, Or Much Different?
Much different! I’ve was extremely shy to the point of pathology. I knew I had to overcome that if I wanted to be a writer. Yes, writers need to be extroverted at times. So bit by bit, I learned to put myself out there. Now, I have so much fun, I’d never go back to being shy.

Do You Believe That The Cup Is Half Empty Or Half Full?
Half-full.

Favorite Midnight Snack?
I recently got healthy, so that’s changed. Once upon a time it would have been chocolate chip cookies. Now it’s spaghetti squash with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese. I feel so much better now!

Are You An Introvert Or An Extrovert?
I’m still an introvert, but I have to get out every two-three months or I go stir-crazy.

Are You A Window Person Or An Aisle Person?
Aisle! Don’t hem me in.

Do You Like Short Or Long Hair On A Guy?
Short.

Ever Hit A Jackpot On A Slot Machine?
Nope. I don’t play slots.

How many pillows do you like to sleep with?
Two since I tore my rotator cuff.

Do you believe in snipes?
Nope.

Which do you like more—rainy days or snowy days?
It rarely snows in my neck of the woods, so snow.

What is Your Favorite Beverage?
Iced tea.

Do You Have A Recurring Dream? What Happens In It?
It’s the unprepared dream. I’m back in nursing, the shift is over and I haven’t done a thing.

Are You Usually Late, Early Or Right On Time?
I am usually right on time; but I’m married to guy who runs late. It drives me crazy when he makes me late.

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Lori Wilde has sold 64 novels and novellas to four major New York Publishing houses. She holds a bachelors degree in nursing from Texas Christian University and a certificate in forensics. She has also served as the RWA National conference workshop chair and PAN retreat chair. In 2007 she was honored by her local college as alumna of the year.

Lori is a past RITA finalist and has four times been nominated for Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice Award. She’s won the Colorado Award of Excellence, the Wisconsin Write Touch Award, The Lories, The More Than Maggie, the Golden Quill, The Laurel Wreath and The BestBooks of 2006 Book Award.

Her books have been translated into 22 languages and excerpted in Cosmopolitan, Redbook, Complete Woman, All You and Quick and Simple magazines. She lives in Texas with her husband Bill.