Friday, July 2, 2010

The Ride of Your Life by Loree Lough

I’m happy to welcome guest author Loree Lough to this week’s Fortifying Friday. She’s here to share encouraging words with us – and you’re in for a treat! Enjoy!

The Ride of Your Life

As a kid, few things excited me more than hearing my parents say, “We’re going to the amusement park!” Back then, I was an adventure junkie. The bigger and more scary the roller coaster, the better I liked it. I didn’t mind waiting to belt myself into a rickety car. After (perhaps) one minute of giggling and screaming, the ride ended, and I got right back into line, and kept it up until my folks waved the flag of parental surrender. I’m still not sure exactly when (or why) it happened, but one day, the thrill turned into fear. These days, I can’t even hang curtains unless the chair I’m standing on has a sturdy back and arms to give the illusion of security!

Dreaming about becoming a published author is a lot like a roller coaster ride. The “light bulb” idea? That’s us, belting ourselves into the car. Each tick-tick-tick as it climbs to the top of the first hill? One stage of story development. Tick: Setting/time period. Tick: Character development/motivation. Tick: Point of view/dialog. Tick: Conflict/conflict resolution. Eventually, the ticking stops because we’ve reached the top…and we bullet toward the next valley. Then it’s tick-tick-tick as we deepen every story element and heighten the emotion. After all the ups and downs called Edits and Rewrites and Second-guessing Ourselves, we reach the final hill—the steepest of them all—and type THE END. During that last plummet, we’re holding our breath and our hearts are pounding as we hit SEND.

Now we’re back in line, waiting, waiting as editors and agents sift through hefty slush piles. We stare at the phone, but it doesn’t ring. We watch the mailbox, but the letter carrier doesn’t arrive. We read email, but “We’d like to offer you a contract!” isn’t among the messages. So we belt ourselves back into that car and start our next stories, praying as we make another trip around the coaster that good news will soon be delivered.

Meanwhile, author friends share “war stories” about books painstakingly written that haven’t sold. About publishers that go belly-up. About editors who move from Company A to Company B…and whose replacements don’t ‘get us’. Bookstores fold, the tally of distributors shrinks, agents cull their client lists, and the few editors still accepting proposals are doing double- and triple duty. And we can’t help but ask “Is my dream worth all this agony?”

Yes. It’s worth it. It’s worth every in-line, in-car, up-and-downhill tick-tick-tick moment. Because at the end of the ride—whether one or a thousand of our books reach bookstore shelves—we’ve accomplished what so many dream of and never experience: Our names on the spine of a book.

Funny, but the thrill of this ride has never become fear, and something tells me it never will.

At last count, best-selling author Loree Lough had 74 books, 63 short stories, and over 2,500 articles in print. Dubbed by reviewers “the writer whose stories touch hearts and change lives”, she has earned dozens of “Readers’ Choice” and industry awards.

Be Still…and Let Your Nail Polish Dry! has been joined by Prevailing Love and Tales of the Heart (Whitaker House). Also from Whitaker, Beautiful Bandit (#1 in Loree’s “Lone Star Legends” series) will be released this June. From Ashes to Honor (#1 in her “First Responders” series from Abingdon) is expected to hit the shelves summer, 2011, along with her third Love Finds You title, LFY in Folly Beach, South Carolina (Summerside).

Loree and her husband split their time between a little house in the Baltimore suburbs and a really little cabin in the Allegheny Mountains, where they cater to a formerly-abused Pointer whose numerous vet visits inspired the nickname ‘Cash’.

To find out more about Loree and her novels, please visit this sites:
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