Interview with author Lori Nelson Spielman

With Yael Waknin
Interview with author Lori Nelson Spielman

Questions for author Lori Nelson Spielman

1 – Have you always wanted to be a writer?

First, let me say thank you, Yael, for hosting me on your blog. It’s an honor!

Okay, on to the questions…I’ve always loved to write and tell stories, yet being an author was not on my life list. Growing up in my working-class neighborhood, in my small town, I’d never met a single author. To me, authors lived in New York City, or in glass-walled houses overlooking the Pacific, with fancy writing credentials and huge vocabularies. I never imagined I’d be a novelist. I still stumble with a response when someone asks me what I do for a living! It feels like a dream!

2 – Did you write a book and decide not to publish it?

Yes, unfortunately this happens too frequently! Not every idea results in a beautiful novel. Several times I’ve finished a first draft, reread it, and thought, ‘No. Not this one.’ I put it aside and start over with a different idea, striving for something more special.

3 – Is there a topic you will never write about? If so, what is it?

In Quote Me, the main characters, Erika and Annie, are grieving the tragic loss of their daughter and sister. Their deep sadness, which was completely natural and appropriate, made it hard to lighten the book’s mood. The story was heavier than I wanted it to be. Going forward, my characters will often face hardship, but I don’t think they’ll be mourning a sudden and tragic death of a young person.

4 – By what do you choose a cover for a book?

My editor typically presents a cover image, and the sales team, my agent, and I all chime in with our thoughts. Sometimes it’s an easy, unanimous choice. Other times we go through many, many covers before we agree on one. And it’s different with the foreign editions. I rarely know in advance what cover (or title) the editor will choose. Sometimes I discover it on social media for the first time! It’s a wonderful surprise!

5 – Where did you get the inspiration for the stories?

Inspiration comes from different places, and I’m always jotting notes in my notebook when something strikes me. The Life List was inspired by my own life list, one I’d written as a young girl. In The Star-Crossed Sisters of Tuscany, Poppy and Rico’s story was inspired by my German friend Dieter, who was a child during World War II and saw the horrors being committed. Later, he escaped communist East Germany and became a world-famous entertainer.

6 – Who is your favorite couple you wrote about?

I loved Brett and Brad from The Life List—even though they were just friends. But I have to admit, my new favorite couple is Poppy and Rico, with their undying love.

7 – How long does it take you to write one book?

About one year, from start to finish. I try to write a quick first draft—which is my least favorite part of the writing process. Once I have words on paper, I love tinkering and changing the story.

8 – What is your favorite genre to read?

I love mysteries, psychological thrillers, and of course, women’s fiction.

9 – Who are your favorite writers?

Some of my all-time favorites are Maeve Binchy, Kristin Hannah, John Steinbeck, and Elizabeth Berg. I recently discovered Kristin Harmel and Matt Haig, and I’m in awe!

10- If you could turn one of your books into a movie – which book would you choose?

That’s a great question. As a matter of fact, The Life List was just sold to Netflix, and I’m absolutely thrilled at the prospect of seeing it come to life on screen. However, I try keep my excitement contained. I’ve come to learn that the film industry can be a precarious business.

Thank you so much for these thoughtful questions, Yael! It was a pleasure chatting with you!

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Yael Waknin
Yael Waknin
As a professional book editor, I know what it takes to make a romance novel great. Contact me today for my services that are both professional and affordable and your book will be on the path to success.
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Interview with author Lori Nelson Spielman

About the author

Lori Nelson Spielman enjoyed a twenty-five-year teaching career before becoming a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author. Her novels (The Life List, Sweet Forgiveness, Quote Me, The Star-Crossed Sisters of Tuscany) have been translated into over thirty languages, and Netflix has purchased the film rights to her first novel, The Life List. She lives in Michigan with her husband and their very spoiled puppy. When she’s not sailing, she’s busy working on her next novel.

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