Greetings and salutations! (Can you tell I’m bored of saying “hello” and “hey”. Gotta keep it fresh!) Exciting news here at Author Interview Corner. Next week I’ll be interviewing Lisa Morton, a very accomplished author who has won the Bram Stoker award enough times to make her a ROCKSTAR in my eyes. Yes, I am swooning over here. Also coming soon: I will attempt my very first video interview with author Suzi M. You guys will get to see me, flesh and blood (although with my affinity for dark fiction writers, we are no strangers to flesh and blood on this blog!)
Now onto this week’s star, LORI LOPEZ.
When and why did you begin writing?
It was a natural progression. I believe the interest began with reading. No wait, even earlier. Being read to. Also, eerie films that inspired me, captured my imagination, when I was small. Creepy television shows too. I remember being told at school that I had talents. I learned the mechanics of writing there, then combined it with the talents and voila! I’m doing what I love. I really think it was inevitable.
Can you tell us a little bit about your first novel “Dance Of The Chupacabras”? Have you learned anything since writing this book?
This was a special project inspired by my sons. I loosely based the heroes in the book on them, and it was great fun to write. The style is very creative and humorous, and quite eccentric. The plot encompasses multiple genres, there’s a wealth of characters, but the main idea is simple. A little girl is missing, and two brothers are lost, and they end up finding each other by accident. Then there are the many intricacies, such as Chupacabras, evil Aztec and Mayan gods, and so on.
The book began as a screenplay, inspired by a story I saw on the news about Chupacabras. I had interest but turned down an option because I was planning books and sequels; the company wanted to own all of the rights. Plus, it was for my sons. I started writing a novel version and spent years developing that. I work a lot faster now. Also, back then my audience was mostly faceless, whereas I’m getting to know readers on Facebook. Before I was waiting for somebody else to approve and accept my work. Nowadays, I just write and release my tales. It’s in my hands, and that’s a good feeling. I write according to my vision, my voice. I edit my way, according to my preferences. And I am free to apply my vision, as well as my artistic skill, to the covers. I have creative control. This is why I chose to self-publish as an indie author.
One of the things I find most interesting about your body of work is that your novel “An Ill Winds Blows” was written in one month’s time. From what I understand, it was for a competition in which the novels entered had to be completed in 30 days. Was the general idea for “An Ill Wind Blows” already present in your brain previous to this competition? How many hours, per day, did you spend writing this book?
I am still not a fast writer, and I really had to push myself to meet the average daily word count of approximately sixteen hundred. It took me probably a good fifteen to seventeen or more hours per day. It’s pretty much all I could do for that month. It was a strain for me, personally, so I’m most proud that I achieved the deadline of writing fifty thousand words in that time period. And the novel didn’t require much editing afterward. I edit as I go. I also check a lot for redundancy and put much thought into word choices as well as the flow and balance of each sentence.
When the contest began, I already had some of the characters and a rough idea for a plot, which I came up with just before the competition. I had decided to enter at the last minute. We were then given a prompt, which was “storm”. That fit right into my idea for a fantasy world. I wound up winning against some talented authors. But the best part was that, magically, I had written a book I feel extremely proud of.
Your writing style is very surreal, and the prose is thick with description. Do you find it’s easier to write short stories than novels? Or do novels give you more freedom to explore, more pages for the language to flow, thus making it easier on you?
I used to prefer novels. But the more short stories I write, the more I enjoy the challenge of crafting characters and a plot with depth in a concise package. The best part about short stories is that they give me the chance to use more ideas than I could if I stuck to book-length tales. Novels, however, allow the reader to connect more. They permit the writer to really live inside the characters for a while. I do like the extra space to develop a plot, but short stories can be just as effective and memorable.
Your short piece “The Lycaning” is a love story about genetic mutation and–if you ask me–has great potential for expansion. Have you thought about turning this into a novel?
It’s interesting that you mentioned this. I am currently doing just that, adding a Part Two. It will remain a short story, and both parts will be published together. But I’m expanding on the plot and theme with another conflict, villain, and some further developments that I think readers will enjoy. My one dissatisfaction with the original was that the actual werewolves only appear at the end. I did a very detailed cover of a werewolf, and I didn’t want readers to feel disappointed that the creatures are barely in it. There are some mutant were-zombies, but Part Two now features the werewolves and presents more background.
Another short story that captured my imagination was “Unnatural”. It had a unique (and deranged) plot. What inspired it?
Thank you, Lindsey. I wrote “Unnatural” for a Lovecraft anthology that ended up being postponed, but it was just one of the many ideas that bubble forth out of the cauldron of my mind. I love trees, and they tend to figure prominently in some of my verse and prose. Like much of my writing, the story makes a serious statement underneath the horror. Mostly it’s for fun.
You used to write songs, and you still write poetry. Do you have any poetry books available for purchase?
So far I have one volume of verse out in paperback at Amazon, POETIC REFLECTIONS: KEEP THE HEART OF A CHILD. The book contains prose and poetry from my monthly columns, along with song lyrics and additional poems from “a lifetime of versage”. Thought-provoking, romantic, humorous and dark, it’s quite an experience. I’ll be putting together a second and third poetry book soon, and releasing the E-book for the first.
What are you working on right now?
Besides Part Two of “The Lycaning”, I’ll be writing another werewolf tale along with illustrating a print version of my novel AN ILL WIND BLOWS. I will also be releasing a horror collection soon titled THE MACABRE MIND OF LORI R. LOPEZ.
What advice do you have for aspiring writers?
Don’t expect to get rich. Don’t write for the money. Write because it makes you happy, and you will never be disappointed.
Where can we find you on the web?
BOOK TRAILER FOR “DANCE OF THE CHUPACABRAS”:
AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE:
AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE U.K.:
BARNES AND NOBLE AUTHOR PAGE:
SMASHWORDS AUTHOR PROFILE:
GOODREADS AUTHOR PROFILE:
FACEBOOK AUTHOR PAGE:
LORI R. LOPEZ AND FRIEND FAN PAGE: