Please help me welcome Lori Sizemore with an interview and her new release…
Please tell us a little about yourself, where are you from? Where do you live now? Family? Pets?
I’m from a very small town in southern West Virginia and, after moving around the state some for college, that’s where I returned. I actually live in the home my husband helped his father build. We’ve raised our daughters here, more than anywhere else. I’ve been married for over twenty years and we have three daughters (22, 20, and 12) and one little tiny baby granddaughter. We also have two dogs (Paul and Izzy) and a cat (Farrah Pawcett).
Where did you get the idea for Infamous?
I got the idea a while back when it seemed everyone was coming out with a sex tape for the sole purpose of getting famous. I wondered what it would be like to have that happen to a person (through no consent or decision of their own) and how that person’s day-to-day life might look. For instance, it’s not as though a woman could hold down a job, say, in retail when the paparazzi are stalking her simply because her parents are famous and someone decided to cash in on that tangential fame. Justine, my heroine—who I like to consider pretty good at handling this difficult situation, grew from those questions.
Why did you choose this genre (is it something you’ve written before)?
I write contemporary romance because I think life today is just as fascinating, challenging, and funny as life in any time period, if not more so. We have the world at our fingertips, but we’re still all just trying to get by the best we can and find some joy in life.
What is the most difficult thing about writing a book?
When I do complain about the writing process, which I do occasionally (read, plenty of the time), the most difficult part is whatever part I’m in at that moment. Writing is the hardest if I’m doing a first draft. Revision is the hardest if I’m editing. Querying is always a nightmare (all that waiting) and then revisions and galleys once a book is contracted. Whatever phase I’m in makes all the others seem like they’re so much more fun.
How did you come up with the title?
I am awful at titles. I usually have to call in other writer friends to help me because I’m just trash at them. But Infamous just popped into my head one day, not long before I began the submission process, and I knew that was the perfect name. It describes the heroine and her life so far exactly.
Do you collect anything?
I collect coffee mugs. I have far too many. I’m blessed to have a fairly large kitchen and I have my most prized mugs hanging under the cabinets and even then, with about nine of those up, I’m struggling to find another way to display even more. It doesn’t hurt that I adore coffee. Actually, that’s probably the reason for my obsession.
What was your first job?
I was a typist and file clerk for a psychologist. It was fascinating work and being a small part of helping people was a big reward. It was no real surprise I found myself drawn to the field when I went to choose my major. I got my B.S. in Social and Behavioral Science and became a social worker.
What’s the main thing that you could get rid of in your life that would give you more writing time?
Real Housewives. I’m kind of a sucker for a few of those reality shows. Even though they’re “real,” they still follow a narrative that I find really interesting. And all that drama is fodder for writing. Everything can be turned into writing ideas, really.
What do you want readers to come away with after they read Infamous?
People are resilient and for those who are willing to work hard for it, happiness and love are out there for anyone. It’s just a matter of making our way through whatever life hands us.
Would you rather have a bad review or no review?
This is a really hard question! No one wants a bad review, but if that’s the honest opinion someone comes away from the book with then they should share that. So, I suppose I’d rather have a bad review than no review. At least from a bad review, especially if it’s constructive, I can grow as a writer.
What is your favorite quote?
“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” It’s from Dr. Seuss and it has shaped my life the last fifteen years and I think my writing as well. I believe that when someone loves us, they help us become a better us, not change who we are.
Have you written any other books that are not published?
I just got a contract for a matchmaking novella called Exactly Like You to be published by After Glows Publishing in their Kismet line. I’ve also written a series of three novellas set in 1958 Las Vegas about a sister and her two brothers. I’m hoping to find a home for those next year. Finally, I have completed the next Infamous novel titled Illegitimate. It’s in revision right now and I hope to have it off to my editor this month.
What do your friends and family think of your writing?
They have been incredibly supportive. My mom thinks my writing is a little risqué and advised my dad that he would probably do better to not read Infamous. When I told them both I wasn’t embarrassed by anything I’d written, my father shared this with me. “You write from your heart. I’m proud of you for writing what’s in your heart.”
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Family are the people who love you and family is everything.
Nice message! Thank you, Lori…I enjoyed getting to know you! Now, Lori has a question for you…
I’m going to ask the dreaded question of book-lovers everywhere—what’s your favorite book?
Justine Montgomery, daughter of a divorced beauty queen and TV magnate, is a tabloid disaster after her infamous sex tape. She’s so desperate to help save her family’s home she turns to her deal-making dad. Can she prove to him she’s cut out for a career in television or will she lose it all?
Sawyer has his own past and a successful career is his only goal. Seeing Justine fail would mean the promotion of a lifetime, but things get complicated when he develops feelings for her. Suddenly, the lines between work, life, sex, and love are blurry.
They will have to overcome the bitterness of a rejected ex, the controlling actions of her father, and the half-truths they’re telling one another to forge a lasting partnership both on the job and off the clock.
She tangled her fingers through the hair that covered her face and pushed it away. Next thing he knew, she’d wrapped her arms around his waist.
“Justine? Um… what are you doing?”
“I’m hugging you. Taking emotional comfort.”
“Like a leech.”
“Haven’t you ever hugged before?”
“I’ve never hugged anyone I wasn’t going to have sex with.”
“We’re not having sex.” She squeezed him tighter and rested her head on his shoulder. “Hug me back.”
Sawyer lifted his arms and wrapped them around her, his hands cupping her shoulders, pulling her closer. He dropped his head to rest on hers, and parts of him, so deep he couldn’t name them, pulled free and demanded his attention. Her hair smelled like fruit, the kind kids eat in the summer, juice dripping down their chins. “I’m fine with the hugging, but, just saying, I’m not responsible for any physical reaction hugging may induce.”
“Okay.” The word drifted out of her on a sigh.
He wasn’t equipped for this. There hadn’t been a lot of touching growing up, at least not the kind that didn’t end in a busted lip or a cracked rib. As an adult, there’d been lots of touching. But, not like this. The tighter he held her, the closer he wanted to be.
Lori Sizemore grew up in the mountains of West Virginia and never quite managed to escape them. Lori lives at home with her husband of twenty-plus years and two of her three daughters. She also lives with two dogs, a cat, and five hermit crabs. Yes, five of them. This menagerie and her family keep her busy.
She worked in mental health as a social worker for ten years before making the choice to write full-time.
FB Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/lorisizemoreauthor/