Q&A With Lori N Spielman

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Q&A With Lori N Spielman 

Lori N Spielman is the New York Times Bestselling author of Sweet Forgiveness, The Life List & The Star Crossed Sisters of Tuscany. What a fantastic way to start off Thursday afternoon! 

Q: When in your life did you realize that your calling in life was to be an author?

A: You’re right, Bianca…this is a fantastic way to start my Thursday afternoon! Thank you so much for hosting me today!

I grew up in a working-class family, but our house was full of books, and both my parents were avid readers. Even so, I’d never met an author in my life, and never considered that I might one day write for a living. Instead, I chose to become an educator, and had a wonderful career as a speech pathologist, a teacher, and guidance counselor. It was while working with a group of expelled students that my love for writing resurfaced. I wrote a series of short stories for them, and they seemed to enjoy them. I quickly signed up for a writing class at my local community college, and was lucky enough to have a fabulous professor who helped guide me to my second career. 

Q: Where do you get your ideas to write your novels? I love it when an author can get inspiration from their own lives to create a story. 

A: My inspirations typically come from a kernel of real life…and then I embellish until I create what I hope is a compelling story. The Life List was inspired after I’d found the old life list I’d created as a teen. And The Star-Crossed Sisters was partially based on my elderly German friend’s escape from East Germany. 

Q: What is your advice to anyone on how to write a great story? If you deal with writers block, what is your advice to anyone who does deal with writers block?

A: One of the best pieces of advice I received was from my high school English teacher who said, “Just put your pen to the paper, and don’t look up.” I try to follow her advice, and allow myself to write a horrible first draft—one I’d be mortified if anyone actually read! But this absolution from my inner critic frees me to get the first draft on the page. And then the work begins, when I try to mold the story into something coherent and, hopefully, compelling. 

Q: If you’re writing a new novel now, can you spoil a little bit about it?

A: I’ve had a challenging couple of years with aging parents, but I do have the start of a story in my head that I’m hoping to get on the page soon! Thank you for asking.

Q: If you were to collaborate with another author, who would it be with and why?

A: Great question. I admire so many authors, but I think I’d choose Adriana Trigiani. Not only is she a great writer, but she’s kind, generous with her time and talent, and best of all, she’s hilarious. 

Q: I saw on your Amazon page The Life List has been optioned by Fox 2000. Have they started filming and casting for the movie yet? Also does Hollywood also have the rights to The Star Crossed Sisters of Tuscany?

A: It has been incredibly exciting and gratifying to speak with producers who hope to make the film version of my novels. The idea of seeing my story on screen is beyond anything I ever imagined. Having said that, I’ve learned to temper my expectations. Things in film industry move very slowly! I’m still waiting on the casting. So far, they haven’t asked for my advice! ☺

Q: What is your advice to new authors on how to deal with negative criticism whether its reviews, online trolls and family and friends who don’t support their writing goals?

A: Writing is a very competitive business, and it’s filled with highs and lows. Bad reviews, online trolls, and insensitive friends can puncture your spirit. I tend to be a people pleaser, but I’ve learned quickly that a writer can’t please everyone. When I receive a particularly harsh review, I go online to my favorite books and, inevitably, I’ll find bad reviews. Seeing this helps take the sting out of it! And it’s also readers like you, who reach out with kindness, who make the whole journey worthwhile!

Thank you so much for your time and interest, Bianca. It was lovely talking to you!