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Lori Goldson Interview

Lori Goldson

Tell us a little about yourself and your work.

I’m a former Spanish teacher from NJ who now lives in PA with my husband. I work for a non-profit called SquashSmarts during the day, and I try to do a good amount of writing at night.

My work is mostly fiction and Young Adult, but I have been working on a few non-fiction satirical pieces. I have completed Book 2 of the Life & Times series and hope to move forward with that within the next year.

Where do you like to write?

I’m easy–I like to write at home. I have tried writing in different locales like the beach and bookstores, but I feel the most comfortable at home. A big part of that is I like to look around at pictures of family and friends on my walls and those pictures bring memories that I like to use in the writing. Sometimes there’s a direct correspondence, sometimes they memories are just inspiration, but they do help a lot more than sitting somewhere with minimal personal impact.

Is there anything you must have in order to write? For example, silence, whiskey, and a close shave.

No need for a close shave or whiskey, but I do prefer the nighttime. I cannot write as much during the day. Usually, if I write in the daytime, I am finishing a transitional scene. At night is when the meatier parts come to life–sex scenes and such. I think because it is so quiet and still, my mind has more freedom to go to different places that it can’t go during the day. My day job revolves around children, so my mindset is completely different at work than it is at night when I’m home.

What books have influenced you most, both as a person and as an author?

Some of the most influential pieces for me as a person are books that show personal growth over time, such as “Nanny Diaries” and “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants” series. I love first person narratives, which is probably why I write that way. As an author, I love the satirical pieces. Jennifer Lancaster has a lot of autobiographical satirical pieces that I can appreciate, where she kind of pokes fun at herself while providing laughs about just everyday life. Those types of books help me remember to keep humor in my stories, because life can be very funny at times.

What is the one thing that has helped you develop most as an author?

I’d say all of those high school and college essays. I was an English and Foreign Language major in college, so I did a lot of writing. Because my classes varied from African American Literature to Spanish Cinema, my papers always had to have different feels, which gave me plenty of practice in playing around with diction and rhetoric.

What do you want to achieve most from your writing?

I want people to just enjoy it. There are so many bookworms in the world that I just hope that some will enjoy what I have to offer. Would I love to be on the NY Times Best Seller list? Sure. But I know that takes time, persistence, and a fanbase. If I don’t get there, it won’t be for lack of trying, but as long as there are people who are enjoying what I’m putting out, I’m content.

Is there something specific you do to improve your writing?

Usually, I send rough drafts to a friend or two and ask them to read. They are always very honest, so it helps me review what could use improvement and may be re-written. I always appreciate their feedback.

What is the ideal relationship between editor and author?

Well, this is my first time having an editor, so I am not entirely sure what ideal is, but I am confident in my current relationship with my editors. I have always been giving good constructive criticism that I can understand and see how and why certain changes should be implemented, but also applauded for writing in a way that’s cohesive and relatable. It’s nice to know that I can get both without feeling like I have to give up myself or my writing style to make it happen.

If you had a direct line to someone who loves writing, what would you say?

I would just constantly encourage them to write about everything. Every idea can turn into something amazing. I have at least 5 ideas going right now. Some of them might turn into novels, some of them might turn into shorts, some of them might get deleted. You never know, but it’s not going to hurt me if they are at least on paper somewhere. It’s only hurtful to never get the ideas out there, because you never know what can become of them.

If you had a direct line to someone who hates writing, what would you say?

I’d remind them that every aspect of life requires writing. Everyone is a writer in some fashion, but there are various levels of writing. For instance, I have friends who I’d consider non-fiction essay writers. School papers were always to the point and concise. Then you have writers who are more into flourishing their writing. There’s nothing wrong with either, and technically, both are writers.

If you could give one piece of advice to an aspiring author, what would it be?

Leave no stone unturned. This journey of becoming a published author is one that doesn’t happen over night, and all you can do is continue to work at it. No matter if you’re looking for an agent or to be self-published, you have to do the work. If you can’t stop thinking about it, never stop working for it. I think about my craft constantly, and even when I’m at work at my day job, I am researching different blogs, opportunities, and even getting story ideas down if I have one. If it’s truly your goal, you never stop perfecting the craft.

What does your writing future hold for you?

More books. Whether I make the NY Times Best Sellers list or not, I’m writing until my well runs dry. I hope to eventually get to a point where I can do more things in-person; right now with my day job schedule, it’s hard to do live appearances anywhere. I’m looking forward to full-time authorship when the time is write. I look forward to book signings and maybe even speaking at my alma mater, the University of Delaware, where this first novel takes place. I would love to give back to that school after all it’s given me.

How have you set about the task of creating enticing cover art?

Cover art is something I would love to learn how to do on my own. I feel like the cover has to fit the story, and the best way to do that is to think about the big picture that the story is about. I knew my protagonist was a quirky, silly, kind of girl, so I wanted my cover art to show that. My next installment has a very different feel, so the cover art will differ greatly. It’s all about the book vibe.

How often do you read? What genre?

I try to read at least three books a year. Sometimes I succeed, sometimes I don’t based on the books I choose and how enticed I am. Genres usually vary, but my go-to genres are Mystery/Suspense, YA Fiction, and Humor/Satire.

Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions. Best of luck in the future.

For more on Lori Goldson, please visit: Barnes & Noble Tate Publishing

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