- What is your name, where were you born and where do you live now?
I'm Lorena Bathey, I was born in California and lived here most of my life. I still live in California about 45 minutes from San Francisco.
- What is the name of your latest book, and if you had to summarise it in less than 20 words what would you say?
The book is called, Beatrice Munson. The story is about friendship, women, love, looking at things in a different way, drag queens, cupcakes, White Cosmo's, and amazing party planning.
- Do you have plans for a new book? Is this book part of a series?
Yes, I actually have nine novels in my writing queue. My next book is called House on Plunkett Street and should be out in the next six months or so. No, I don't have a series. All the novels are their own stories. Although I have had people asking to write another book about the characters from Beatrice Munson, everyone wants to know more about the character Beatrice so I'm thinking about that.
- How long have you been writing?, and who or what inspired you to write?
Like many I have journaled/wrote in diaries since I was a kid. And I've always been a huge reader. But the writing came about in 2001 when I lost my mom to cancer, my dad remarried really quick, and my husband left me all within three years. I wrote Happy Beginnings: How I Became My Own Fairy Godmother to chronicle starting over again and finding myself and my inner Fairy Godmother. I also began Beatrice Munson then, but put it aside until last year. Once I met my busband (more than a boyfriend, more like a husband) we both decided to pursue our passions and that's when writing came center stage.
- How do you come up with the Title and Cover Designs for your book/books?Who designed the Cover of your books?
My first book I hired a graphic designer to create the vision I had in my head. But for Beatrice Munson, I was lucky enough that my busband is also an artist and he drew what I wanted. It makes it all the more special because of that.
- Have you ever based characters on people you know or based events on things that have happened to you?
Well, I think all books are inspired by people we know and experiences we have. At least that's the basis. In Beatrice Munson, I was a divorced mom of two living in a suburban neighborhood and while everything that happens in the book didn't happen to me the premise I was living. And I think all the people I've met either are part of the characters I create or spark them in my imagination. Of course, it's always fun to be able to write a perfect man character or the perfect love scene, as I would see it.
- Is there a certain Author that influenced you in writing?
I would have to say Stephen King. I tried to read his books when I was younger and I was often too scared. This is, of course, a huge testament to his talent to be able to take some of the simplest things in life and make your imagination run wild with it (i.e. rabid dogs or clowns). But recently I have read more of his books including, The Stand and Under the Dome. What strikes me is how amazing he is at character and plot creation. He really just knows how to tell a story and draw you until you often forget where you are. That is talent beyond measure. The other way he inspires me is by how he is as an author. He's humble and real and those are wonderful characteristics, especially with how high level he is. I am reading his memoir on writing and I really just want to hang out and have dinner with the guy. So, I guess I am trying to follow in his footsteps writing really good characters in stories you never want to leave.
- Which format of book do you prefer, ebook,hardback, or paperback?
Well, I guess I'm old school. I love books, always have. The smell, feel, and experience of holding a book is one in a million. But, I completely understand the draw of eBooks and plan to get an eReader in the next couple of months. The eBook gives you the chance to carry all your books with you which physically wouldn't be possible. And as a writer the eBook has revolutionized the industry making Indie authors like me viable in the marketplace.
- What is your favourite book and Why? Have you read it more than once?
I have a few but the one that I remember really illuminating the power of a book was when I was thirteen. My aunt gave me the book, Katherine by Anya Seton. We were traveling to England and she gave it to me to read before we left. That book changed my trip. While I would have been interested anyway with the sights we saw, having just read about John of Gaunt and Katherine Swynford (real historical characters) and the places they had been gave the trip a whole new dimension. I saw the locations not just through my eyes but through the eyes of the characters from the book. It was a powerful experience.
- Do you think books transfer to movies well? Which is you favourite/worst book to movie transfer?
I love movies about as much as I love books so I am usually excited when a favorite book is being made to a movie. But, yes of course sometimes there is a problem relating the book to the genre of movies. I think movies are as personal as books, so sometimes a book that is a favorite you may be too invested the characters in the way you see them to be able to watch a movie with an actor that doesn't fit your idea of them. I really liked Cider House Rules and thought they did a masterful job with the movie. I remember reading Remains of the Day and thinking...dang the movie was better than the book (that's rare though). And I am greatly anticipating seeing The Help because I really like the casting and I adored the book.
I really see my books as movies too. Because my books play like movies in my head I really write what I see and hear so they are, in my opinion, perfect for the silver screen. I already have a fantasy cast for Beatrice Munson.
- What are you currently reading? Are you enjoying it? What format is it?(ebook, hardback or paperback)
Currently I am reading a couple of books, I do that. I am almost done with Angelology and half way through a book by a new author, Lisa Lim called Confessions of a Call Center Gal. Both are perfect paperback books.
- Is there a book you know you will never read? Or one you tried to read but just couldn't finish?
Yes, sadly there is. And it's by the author I previously mentioned, Stephen King. I tried to read his book IT when I was in my teens and I got a third of the way and was so scared that I put it down. I will never pick it up again because the psychological aspects of that book haunt me to the point I probably wouldn't sleep. In fact, my son is reading it now and I swear I made him take it into his room because just seeing it freaks me out.
- Are there any New Authors you are interested in for us to watch out for? and Why should we watch out for them?
I don't have one by name but I will say give us Indie Authors a chance. There is a lot of talent out there and a lot of brave souls in the Indie Publishing game. Many of them have quality work and if you have eReaders a lot of these authors give great prices on their work. Take a chance with a book, even if you've never heard of them. You never know, it could be the best book you've ever read.
- Is there anything in your book/books you would change now if you could and what would it be?
Hm...that's a good question. I love getting reviews by wonderful individuals such as you because it makes me a better writer. I listen to what you say and have found that some feel my descriptions can be a bit too detailed. I like to describe a place I see, feel, and smell in my mind but I understand that can bug some people, so I put that in perspective when I write the next book. So, I'm always learning, always fine tuning, and always creating a better story by the input I receive from my audience.
- What do you think about book trailers?
I get the premise. I haven't done one yet. But I think it's kinda of a cool way to promote your story and draw people in, especially in this era of constant media.
- What piece of advice would you give to a new writer?
It's a simple piece of advice but the best one: Write. Just sit down and write what you think. It doesn't have to make sense and you don't have to work it all out. Just write down what you feel and let the character speak, oftentimes this allows the story to build around you. And realize that what you write down the first time you will change countless times so don't be afraid of the page. Just write down your inspiration and let it form around you.
- Do you or would you ever use a pen name?
I don't think so. I'm proud of what I create and it is all part of me somehow so why would I need another name on the product? But I get why some do. Depending on subject matter there are a lot of reasons that a pen name would be advantageous.
Where can readers follow you?
My website is www.LorenaBBooks.com and I have a newsletter that will be coming out for the first time in September. You'll get insight into the characters I've written so far and find out about the next book, plus see what people are saying about the books. Then I can be found at many social media sites.
Thank you for taking the time to do this interview, and allowing us a glimpse of your writing world.