I have Loni Flowers on my blog today for an interview and two awesome giveaways. You can also read Ava's review of "Taking Chances" by scrolling down to the next post.
I know you get asked this question over and over but can you tell us a little about yourself? Maybe something juicy. ;)
Well, I don’t know about the juicy part but I can tell that it really is possible to fall in love and find your soul mate in a short amount of time. My husband and I started dating in August the year we graduated high school (both in a different state). Once I moved to NC and ran into him, we were inseparable. Turns out he bought my engagement ring that October and proposed Christmas Eve, four months after our first date. We’ve been happily married for 11 years and have two daughters, age 3 and 6.
See… Happily ever afters do exist!
When did you first start writing? Are you a full time author or do you do it on the side?
I only began writing about two years ago. I had always been amazed at the way an author could carefully craft a story out of their imagination. I wondered what it would be like to hold the powers to create a whole new life for people you don’t even know. I never thought I could do it, didn’t think I had much imagination. An idea struck at the weirdest of times and I wrote it down. With a lot of encouragement, I issued the challenge to myself to at least try to write a novel. What harm could come of it? Nothing! Since I have a regular 40 hour a week job, I write whenever I get the opportunity.
Do you have an author that has really inspired you?
Not specially. All authors—in some way or another—inspire me, either with their descriptive storytelling, twisted plot settings or beautiful prose.
How long does it normally take you to write an average book or your last book?
From the conception to the printed book… one year.
What do you think makes a story great?
I think it takes several things. You’ve got to have strong characters with a really interesting plot. Tying the two together to invoke emotion and allows the reader to get pulled into the story.
Can you describe your book "Taking Chances" in one sentence?
Oh boy! Only one sentence? Okay here goes! Hard circumstances send Clair to the streets in hopes that anything could be better than staying at home with her depressed mother, that is until she wonders into Springhill, VA and meets Alex who's already walked a couple hundred miles in her shoes, wants to help and changes her life forever.... for the better... or not?
Can you tell us a little more about “Taking Chances”?
Sure. I can share with you all where my inspiration for Taking Chances came from. I was driving home from work one day and saw three homeless people (two guys and a girl). My thought process gets crazy when I start letting my mind wonder. I started thinking... “How do they make it on their own”... “is the girl dating one of them”... “Oh my God! What if she gets pregnant!” See, I go way off the deep end once my mind starts going. So I ended up with a homeless woman trying to make it on her own, finding help from strangers.
Have you done lots of research for your books or do the stories just come to you?
I’ve had to do very little research for Taking Chances and my current novel. For Taking Chances, I mainly had to use Google Maps a lot to get a few particular landmarks correct. For my newest novel, I’ve had to research things such as painting, the piano and art!
What are you currently working on?
Currently, I’m working on another Contemporary Romance titled Painted Memories. It’s about a young woman, Lilly, who has had a hard few years dealing with her brother’s death and the turmoil its caused her family.
Can you tell us about some of your prior achievements?
Small achievement… but I was proud of it nonetheless. Before I started writing my novel, I had a very successful book review blog. I would read books and write my own review of them. I loved doing it but as I my time got taken up from writing, I had to shut it down. I’ll still post a review here and there on my new author blog, should a book capture my attention.
Is there anything that I didn't cover that you would like to talk about or say to your potential readers?
I would like to thank you again for having me! The questions were intriguing and fun to answer! To my readers: thanks so much for giving Taking Chance a chance. It means so much that you would consider adding my book to your reading shelves. Thank you!
Just for fun:
Hardback or Paperback?
I’m fine with either but I like to stay consistent within a series. If I get the first one in hardback, I have to follow suit with the rest of them. Same goes for paperback.
Dog ears or Bookmarks?
Dog ears... I would never harm a book in such a way! Bookmarks are the way to go!!
YA novels or Adult novels?
Both! YA is what got me into reading not too many years ago. But with I want something more, with a little more detail and sexy... I need an adult book for that!
Library or Bookstore?
The library’s where I leave are pretty small and don’t seem to carry the newer releases. If I want to read a book, I just prefer to go buy it.
Reading glasses or No glasses?
Well... I have glasses but I never wear them. Until it’s a must, then I’ll go without.
Snack while reading or No snacks?
Nothing! I can’t do anything but read when I’m reading. Not even chew gum. It’s too distracting.
Beach or Mountain?
I’m a beach girl. I’d much rather go there over the mountains. But have to say, going to the mountains in the fall when the leaves are changing is a spectacular sight to see.
Vampire or Werewolf?
Ooo yumm!! I’ll take both. Thanks for asking!!
Hot or Flirty?
Well if he’s not hot, being flirty won’t make a difference. Can I have both?
Movie 1st or Book 1st?
I like to read the book first because chances are, if I watch the movie first then I’ll never read the book. Really, I should just do one or the other. When I don’t, I spend my time comparing them to their counterpart. What’s the fun in that?
Contemporary or Historical?
I’ll go with Contemporary, but truthfully, I’ve never tried a Historical so I can’t judge.
Page-Turner or Tear Jerker?
Both! I love a good cry. And who doesn’t want to fly trough a book so fast because it’s just that good? What’s even better... a page-turner and a tear jerker!!
By Loni Flowers
By Loni Flowers
Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance
Date of Publication: March 1st, 2012
Number of pages: 382
Word Count: 86,000+
At age twenty-three, Alex has had a hard life. His parents died when he was quite young, leaving his grandparents to raise him. Right before his high school graduation, his grandparents passed on too, leaving him all alone.
After losing everyone he's ever loved, Alex turns to the streets in a self-destructive pattern until he finally ends up in Springhill, where he tries to make a new life for himself.
Clair’s childhood was normal until age thirteen, when her father left the family and she never heard from him again. Consequently, her mother went into a deep depression, forcing Clair to grow up quickly.
After finishing high school, Clair’s heartache over her father’s absence as well as her unbearable mother drive her to strike out on her own. But having nowhere to go and no family to speak of, Clair wanders aimlessly from town to town, homeless, and without purpose. Looking for work wherever she goes and living hand to mouth on the streets is tough, Clair discovers, but living with her mother is worse.
Now twenty-one years old, Clair has found her way to the last place she and her family took their final vacation as a family--Springhill. While in town, she crosses paths with Alex and their ensuing relationship grows faster than expected. Soon Clair wonders if coming back to Springhill and meeting Alex was the best decision or the worst decision she ever made.
Loni Flowers lives in Eastern North Carolina with her husband; two wild toddlers, who never slow down for a second; and three couch-potato dogs, who only raise an eye when foods around. She spends her days working full-time for a well-known bank. When she's not playing on the internet or chatting on Twitter or Facebook, she spends her free time with friends and family waiting for the next big idea strike.
She enjoys reading most anything, but is a sucker for a good romance story. Contemporary romance is her writing genre of choice but isn't opposed to writing something different should an excellent idea hit.
Some of her favorite authors include: L.J. Kentowski, Stefne Miller, Cassandra Clare, J.K. Rowling, and Karen Marie Moning, Nicholas Sparks, Jodi Picoult... just to name a few.
I am going to be giving away a ebook copy of "Taking Chances" here on my blog all you have to do is leave a meaningful comment and your email address.
Loni is also hosting a tour wide giveaway of a print book, bookmark and swag. Just fill out the rafflecopter for this one.