This edition of 20 Questions features author Lorraine Reguly. She sits down to tell us about her work and the services that she provides to others hoping to become published authors. Please enjoy.
Q1) When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
When I was a young child, my mom taught me to read and write. I have always loved writing, and can remember getting in trouble in grade school for writing cursive within one line when everyone else was learning to print within two. (Remember those notebooks with the dotted lines in between two solid lines?)
Ever since I was about six years old, I knew I wanted to write. And write. And write.
Q2) How long does it typically take you to write a book?
I can write a few thousand words in a couple of hours. However, what I write are mostly blog posts, not books! In fact, I only have one book published at the moment. I’m planning on changing that next winter.
Q3) What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?
When I am working or writing, I spend the majority of the morning focussing on what I am doing. I am a freelancer, too, so I also write for some of my clients. But it’s not uncommon for me to get up and write at 2 or 3 in the morning for a few hours!
Q4) What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I write and edit simultaneously. I look at the screen as I am writing, to ensure I don’t make typos. It actually drives me crazy to see little squiggly lines on my screen!
I edit afterwards, too, but I edit as I write, which is one of the things most people tell you NOT to do!
Q5) How are your books published?
My books are all going to be self-published, as far as I know.
Currently, my book of short stories, Risky Issues, is available from Amazon as an e-book and from CreateSpace as a print book.
Q6) Where do you get your ideas for your books?
From my life, and my life experiences, mostly. But the stories I wrote in Risky Issues were actually written as writing assignments for an English class I took!
Q7) If you don’t mind sharing, when did you write your first book and how old were you?
I was in my 20s when I wrote the stories in Risky Issues. I only published them recently, though, after I learned about self-publishing!
Q8) What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
I love reading murder mysteries, playing cards with my parents, watching TV sitcoms and dramas, and shooting pool. Ever since I found out I have Diabetes, I have been trying to become more active, and so now I do a lot of walking while listening to music. I also enjoy swimming.
Q9) What is your favorite book?
I don’t have a favorite book. I have a few favorite authors, though. Lisa Jackson, Lisa Gardner, and James Patterson are my top three.
Q10) What do your family and friends think of your writing?
Both of my grandmothers were always very supportive of me and my writing abilities. Although they are both dead now, I’m sure they are looking down on me with pride in their hearts. They both wanted me to pursue a career that involved writing!
My parents are proud of me, too. So are my friends. They are impressed with how far I have come in my life, as I used to be a prostitute and drug addict! Now, I am a published author, a blogger, and a freelancer. (I offer four different services on Wording Well: writing, editing, coaching/mentoring, and author assistant services.)
Q11) What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
I learned how easy it is to self-publish books!
Q12) What do you hate most about the writing process?
I hate nothing about writing!
Q13) How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
I have only published one so far, but am working on a few others, including Letters to Julian. (Julian is my son.) I’m also working on a series of books about my life.
Q14) Do you have any suggestions to help us become better writers? If so, what are they?
Yes! Write every week! (I would say “every day” but that’s just not feasible for many people.)
Also, follow my new website, The Blind Writer. This site helps writers find direction.
Q15) Do you get feedback from your readers much? How and what kinds of things do they say?
Yes. Most love my writing and my voice.
Q16) What is your preferred reading audience?
Adults, young adults, and teenagers.
Q17) What do you think makes a good story?
Wow. That’s a loaded question, and one that is very individualized, as my tastes in stories are probably much different than yours. However, I think anything that is rarely discussed makes for the most interesting story!
Q18) As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
I wanted to help others, and to do so, I became a teacher.
Although I quit teaching high school, I still help others through my blogs, my websites, and social media.
Q19) Where can we find your books?
Many personal stories of mine can be read on Wording Well in the form of True Tales Tuesdays posts. The story I wrote about my best friend is a true story that I contributed to a memoir anthology. In fact, this anthology contains two stories of mine.
How I Nearly Died also became a part of What’s Your Story?: 2013 Memoir Anthology. You can read all about this publishing experience in True Tale “How I Nearly Died” is Part of a Memoir Anthology.
I also won a short story writing contest! My winning story is revealed in My Short Story “Firs and Angels” Won the Contest I Entered! The Aspiring Writers 2013 Anthology is available now from Amazon and CreateSpace.
Q20) Will you give us an excerpt from one of your favorite works?
No, but I will give you this:
The stories in Risky Issues bring to light many issues faced by children, teenagers, and even adults.
The first story, The Secrets of the Study, is about a girl who enters her father’s study to get some blank printer paper but instead finds papers that reveal she is adopted. To compound things, her father catches her…
The second story, Pamela in the Park, is about a teenage girl who is out past curfew and is supposed to meet a temperamental drug dealer in the park to give him back some drugs she was holding for him. He doesn’t show up, but a policeman does…
The third story, The Day Adam Saw Red, is about sexual abuse. Adam, a victim, gives a speech to his class about this topic, and then goes outside to sit under an oak tree to ponder his dire situation, as his speech was a masked cry for help. He is befriended by the school custodian, who is thought to be “creepy” but who takes the time to speak to him to help solve his problem…
In the final story, My Best Friend, a young girl finds out that her Grandma’s dog died. She thinks of Snoopy as her own, and is devastated…
About Lorraine Reguly:
Lorraine Reguly, BA/BEd, and author at Laying It Out There, founded The Blind Writer to help writers find direction and move their writing forward. LORRAINE IS AN ENGLISH TEACHER-TURNED FREELANCER FOR HIRE. She offers four different services on Wording Well: writing (including blogging and ghostwriting); editing; and mentoring. She also helps others become published authors! Check out her services and see what she can do for you to help you!