Once upon a time, USA Today best-selling author Loree Lough sang for her supper, performing before packed audiences throughout the US and Canada. Now and then, she blows the dust from her six-string to croon a tune or two for the "grandorables," but mostly, she writes (and writes). Her stories have earned thousands of five-star reviews, 100+ industry and "Readers' Choice" awards, and seven book-to-movie options. At last count, more than seventeen million copies of Loree's books were in circulation, and by year-end 2021, she'll have 133 books on the shelves. She and her husband split their time between a home in the Baltimore suburbs and a cabin in the Allegheny Mountains, where she continues to hone her “identify the critter tracks” skills. She loves hearing from her readers, and answers every letter—personally.
Why I Started Writing:
I started writing decades ago, in response to an invitation in the Baltimore Sun’s “Sunday Magazine” section—observations on motherhood, marriage, life in our Baltimore suburb—that inspired positive feedback on the Letters to the Editor page, written for fun, not money. That feedback inspired the editor to make assignments for articles that appeared in numerous other sections of the paper. Those articles, read by the editors of other area periodicals, resulted in additional assignments.
When my husband’s job took us from Baltimore to Richmond, I showed my ‘clip book’ to the editor of the local paper, and to my delight, she made assignments, too. Before long, I figured out how to query other publications with suggestions for future features, and by the time we moved back to Baltimore (a year and a half later), my ‘clip book’ included articles written for a dozen or so local, regional, and national publications.
A few editors, unfortunately, altered salient facts in some pieces, something that did not sit well with me. One night, as I groused about this ever-increasing trend over supper, my husband said, “Well, if you’re gonna write fiction, why not try your hand at a novel!” Little did he know that when I took him up on that challenge it would lead to a brand new, satisfying and blessed career!
Authors Who Have Influenced Me:
One of my all-time favorite authors is Jack London. His well-defined characters and rich storylines never failed to hold my interest.
Another favorite is Edgar Alan Poe, a writer whose personal suffering and angst helped him create stories rife with emotion.
While teaching writing courses at area community colleges, I often used Dean Koontz’s Watchers to show students concrete examples of characterization, motivation, and the importance of ensuring readers’ emotional connection to each.
Books I Have Written:
Currently, I’ve added 131 titles to bookstore shelves. As every author will tell you, it’s tough to choose a favorite. Tough, but not impossible! Of the books I’ve written, I do have a few that are nearer and dearer to my heart than others. 50 Hours is one of those, mostly because it was written about a character struggling with cancer while I was going through the same struggles. I’m also fond of my First Responders series, written to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the tragedy that befell our nation on September 11, 2001. I spent countless hours, interviewing survivors of that history-changing event, as well as relatives of those whose names now appear on memorial plaques from DC to PA to NY. Of the three, the book—and character—that stays with me, still, is Dusty, the hero in the 3rd book: A Man of Honor.
What I'm Working On Now:
Currently, I’m honored and blessed to work on The Preacher Wore Black Leather, Book One in “The Sundown Diner” series for Elk Lake Publishing. The entire series is set in the fictional town of Reliable, Texas, and features quirky characters who share food (and town gossip!) at the Sundown Diner, a 50s style restaurant located just off the Interstate.
Each book highlights a specific character who ends up in Reliable because of vehicle breakdowns, an escape from past events, or a chance at new start. In every case, interactions with those who call Reliable home provide the impetus for hope and healing; some will leave with faith renewed, while others will become part of the amiable cast of characters who call Reliable home.
I’m also working on The Shadows of His Mind, Book Two in “The Shadows” series, and “The Garage Band” series (working title).