Welcome Lori, you are having an extremely busy time with interviews at the moment, so I appreciate you finding a moment to respond to my questions.
Glad to be here, and thanks for the interview.
What was it like growing up in Southwestern Pennsylvania?
Some people who aren’t from this area tend to think we aren’t very cosmopolitan in our part of the world, but in the last thirty years, things have changed. It’s no longer a vast of steel mills and factories like it was during my childhood. There’s so much art, culture, new sports arenas, the CONSOL Energy Center, historical sites, and of course, UPMC is listed among the best rated hospitals in US News and World Report. The cost of living isn’t bad either, and compared to most crime rates around the US, ours is relatively low.
My father served in the Navy during World War II and then spent forty years in the mills as a welder. Because of his skills, he earned an excellent salary at the time. My mother also worked from time to time, which, blending both of their incomes allowed me to have some comforts. We lived in mostly nice neighborhoods, with one exception, but we only stood in that particular place less than a year while Dad was laid off from the mill.
Not many kids I attended school with grew up in stable, two-parent homes, so I considered myself lucky in that aspect. I spent the first few years of primary education in a private school, then in fourth grade, my father wanted me to attend public schools to be around people from different cultures and backgrounds. I’m grateful to him for that, because we can learn so much from others‘ differences, as well as it playing a part in promoting tolerance among the human race.
He also pushed me and my five older siblings to graduate from high school, since he dropped out to enlist in the Navy (after lying about his age, which was a lot easier to do to enlist back then) because he loved this country so much and wanted to serve. I think the night I received my diploma was one of the rare times I saw him cry. I didn’t have the perfect childhood, but it wasn’t horrible, either.
You were shy as a teenager, did writing help you through that?
Very much so! A few friends and I would write some silly plays when we were kids, and when I got older, I’d write book reports for some classmates as well as worked on the school paper. I think the most nerve-racking moment was interviewing our vice principal, but as you can see, I survived. Turned out, he wasn’t as bad as everyone thought. The funny part of all is that my shyness didn’t actually break until I was in my early thirties, after I took some classes in modeling and professional development at the Barbizon School.
What was the very first piece you ever wrote that was published?
Aside from my school paper articles, our local paper picked up one of my music reviews when I was 18. I wasn’t paid for it, but I was the very first member of the school paper staff to appear in a publication
When did you know that writing was something you wanted to do full time?
There was a long span when I was struggling with health issues, as well as battling major depressive disorder and self-esteem issues. I dabbled in other areas, but they either didn’t work out or I wasn’t happy. I decided on a lark to write a few articles for a community newsletter that was published once a month where I lived in the early 1990’s. I didn’t get paid, but the people who funded the project at the time liked my work so much, they made me one of the editors. Of course, their funding was cut, and publishing the newsletter was ceased, but by then, I’d moved somewhere else.
Where was your first job as a journalist?
I freelanced for various places, but the first steady position was with Indy Music Stop, where I reviewed CD’s of independent music artists. I wrote reviews there for three years. Currently, my proudest moment is being published on the official website of the ABC affiliate KSAT in San Antonio, TX, printed an article from my freelance work, "What Causes Hearing Loss?" here:
You once had a review column for music, is music a big part of your life?
I basically grew up with music. One of my great uncles had a second job playing saxophone in a jazz band besides his full-time job. They weren’t famous or anything, but were quite good. My parents listened to a lot of country music, which drove me up the wall at the time, but now I appreciate some of it. One guy I dated in my 20’s was a bassist in a local garage band. I’m not a big television watcher, so it’s much easier to either turn on music on my computer or even pop in one of my favorite CD’s.
What types of music do you enjoy?
To relax and if I want to create a serious scene, I play a lot of classical music or opera. For something more upbeat and getting into a good mood, I love classic rock and indie music. Once in awhile, if I’m feeling a bit cheesy or need something to inspire me to write a funny scene, I throw in a bit of disco for good measure.
Do you listen to music as you write? Or is it a distraction?
Definitely. Music tends to set the mood for specific scenes I try to develop.
The writing muse hits all of us in different ways, are you a structured writer with set hours for getting things down? Or are you more the notepad and jot thoughts down as they flow kind of writer?
I’m not one of those people who can write on demand. I’m not a person who likes the whole nine-to-five structure or whatever it’s called nowadays. I’m more of a person who dashes out chapters when the inspiration hits me. I’ve kept paper and pencil around the house in case an idea popped into my head. It wasn’t uncommon for me to wake up a three in the morning to jot something on a tablet by my bed, so I’d remember it the next time I’d worked on my manuscript.
Do you edit your own work? Do you like or loathe editing?
You mean there’s people out there who LIKE editing? I called it “editing hell.” Writing the story is easy. Editing it, not so much. It involves a lot more work, and even though editing can be a headache at times, in the end, it pays off.
Did you find Authonomy a helpful experience?
Absolutely. Between some of the feedback I received during the time my book, “The Cruiserweight,” was posted, as well as the wonderful friends I made there, I did enjoy it for the most part. Aside from the occasional drama which annoyed me from time to time, I’d like to think Authonomy played a considerable role in where I am today.
You have worked hard building a platform for yourself as a writer, how important is it to network on sites such as Twitter and Facebook?
Social networks are becoming THE promotional tool for not only authors, but also other areas of business. They’re exceptional strategies in reaching out to the public. Just think, even as early as fifteen years ago, we didn’t have the networks that are available to us today, and authors had to work a lot harder to promote their work. Even some of the very top writers have social networks such as Facebook and Twitter. Anne Rice is one name that comes to mind.
You not only promote your own book, you spend a great deal of time promoting other authors, myself included. It must be very satisfying to see people you have helped promote do well. Tell my readers why you spend the time doing that.
I’ve seen a lot of untapped talent who were passed over for their moment in the spotlight, and I found it appalling. When Lorraine Holloway-White developed the idea of Authors on Show and offered me a spot on the team, I grabbed the opportunity. I just feel personal gratification knowing talented writers are doing well, and when they become published, it thrills me even more.
The writing community is a large family, we all tend to be supportive of each other. Why is that in your opinion?
It’s common knowledge that writing is a solitary career for the most part, and there’s many writers out there who don’t have a strong support system among their own family and friends. Other writers know our frustrations, who to turn to when we get the dreaded writer’s block, pat on the back when they land their first publishing deal
"The Cruiserweight" is your first novel, you clearly know the sport well. How did you become interested in wrestling?
My former sister-in-law was into wrestling back in the 1980’s, and she knew a lot of key people who were well-respected in the business. She’d take me to shows when I was in my late teens and we would get in free because of her contacts. She introduced me to a few people and they scared the you-know-what out of me at the time (though one was pretty nice and he and I went out a couple of times when he came to town). What amazed me was how two guys almost killed each other in the ring, and then two hours later, were drinking together at a local club. Contrary to popular belief, it’s not completely fake. Scripted, yes, outcomes predetermined, yes, but it’s very difficult to fake a broken neck or even death.
I got away from wrestling for awhile until about 2000, when I became fascinated with the Cruiserweight Division. I love the high flyers! These guys can pull off a great deal of moves that the larger athletes would have more difficulty doing, if they could manage those moves at all. One would have to see the cruiserweights actually perform to know how amazing they are. These days, one doesn’t have to be a 500-pound monster to wrestle.
Are the characters of Brett Kerrigan, and Karen Montgomery based on people you have met?
People I’ve met, people I know personally, and even I share a few traits with Karen. Brett’s based on an actual cruiserweight wrestler whose talent and drive I’ve admired and respected the last few years.
Both characters are flawed and very human, the romance and the wrestling are combined with skill, have you found people are surprised to find a female author has penned the work?
Quite a few, yes. “Wait a minute, a WOMAN wrote this book?” There aren’t many women out there who pen wrestling books to begin with, and I think an actual wrestling-based novel piqued general interest overall.
What type of reaction have you had from sportswriters and wrestling publications?
WresleView.com is very big on it. They did a news piece on their main news site October 7 about “The Cruiserweight,” and even tweeted about it on their Twitter account. Then the following weekend, the hosts of “The Teacher’s Lounge” on WrestleView Radio plugged the book during their show.
KLQ Wrestling wrote up a little piece on “The Cruiserweight” too. I have a feeling it won’t be long until others pick up on this little project of mine.
The cut throat management of a pro wrestler is featured in the book, do you believe that this type of thing occurs in every sport?
Professional sports as a whole are competitive, whether it’s wrestling, football, hockey, basketball, or anything else. There’s going to be backstabbing among athletes, coaches, management, and perhaps even owners and investors.
You have such an exciting time coming up, including a radio broadcast this coming Wednesday the 20th October…tell us about that?
Page Readers is a show on Blog Talk Radio hosted by Nanci Arvizu, who has interviewed many authors who either have books on the market or have new works coming out. The show also features book reviews. Nanci’s interviewed many fascinating literary personalities, so it’s going to be an honor to be on her show.
Are you nervous?
A little. It’s my first radio interview for “The Cruiserweight.”
The book is due to be published in paperback soon, tell us more about the details?
Right now, the online reading and e-book versions can be found on Smashwords at https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/5954.
Night Publishing will be releasing “The Cruiserweight” in paperback between late 2010 and early 2011. I’ve heard some people assume Night Publishing is a “vanity” publisher, which of course, I’d like to clarify is not the case.
Are you working on anything new at the moment?
Right now, I’m taking a break from writing to promote “The Cruiserweight” as well as concentrate on my work with Authors On Show and dabbling with designing a jewelry line. I do have a couple of ideas for upcoming books, but right now they’re just that–ideas.
Where do you see yourself professionally and personally in 2011?
Professionally, to keep doing my work with Authors on Show as well as make a few appearances and work on a new book. Personally, just keep on being as content, happy, and blessed as I’ve been during 2010.
The publishing world is undergoing many changes at the moment, with Ebooks and the huge presence of Internet publishing, do you believe traditional publishers will all need to evolve to or at least utilize Kindle and Ebook formats?
Let’s just say it wouldn’t hurt. There’s a lot of us who love the feeling of an actual book in our hands, but in the world of modern technology, people are also turning to the convenience of Kindles, iPhones, laptops, and other electronic means to download entertainment items such as books. Therefore, traditional publishers may find potential profits in those formats.
Do you think that the times of curling up with a paperback book is drawing to a close?
I hope not! There’s something about the feel and smell of reading a paperback in bed that a Kindle just wouldn’t fill.
REVIEWS ON THE CRUISERWEIGHT
Anthony J. Valvo - "Mr. V.", The Teachers Lounge, WrestleView Radio
"I hope for all the best with your book. If I know anything, it is that writers from Pittsburgh are highly credible, right? I do plan on purchasing the book online soon, but will be getting it on paperback when it comes out. I do this not because I heard great things about you, but that you are in fact from the greatest city in the U.S. I wish you well and best of luck with the book."
Suzannah Burke, "Soooz Says...Stuff (8/14/10 Feature):
"If you enjoy a damned good, quirky, and fast-paced reading experience, “The Cruiserweight” will not disappoint you."
Simon & Schuster author Karen Hillard Good, Reindeer Christmas and The Very Best Pumpkin
“I really like your character Brett and I'm hoping things work out for him with Karen. Good luck with this!”
Simon &; Schuster author Lisa Adams, Lords of War, Teen Queens and Has-Beens and The Princess of Pop
“Ok, so if ever there was the antithesis of "The Wrestler," this is it. I learned more about the sport of pro wrestling than I ever have the umpteen years of the sport's existence. I like the extensive use of dialogue instead of the blocks of narrative with a little dialogue thrown in. You have picked an obtuse subject matter, but you have handled it well. And Karen's character drew me in because female sports journalists are on the rise.”
Tim Roux, Managing Editor, Night Publishing:
“It's a quirky story that very much fits what we are trying to achieve.”
Gary Ponzo, A Touch of Deceit:
“Obviously a talented writer. Would love to see more.”
Katherine Dend, The Colour Eaters
"Gripping and convincing."
Melanie Ray, The Great Destruction
"Brett is certainly not a flat character, is he?"
Stacey Danson, Empty Chairs and Dudes Down Under
"The pacing in this doesn't let up, enjoyed the read again as I refreshed my memory of Brett and Karen...and the heat generated. A look into the world of wrestling, unfamiliar and made intriguing with the help of your creative gift, this deserves to be right on top, exactly as it should be."
Alexie Aaron, Decomposing
"One of the wonderful things about this and other sites is that I get the opportunity to read about things I know nothing about. ( I know the list is pretty long) What I do know is that this is a well written book with detailed descriptions that put me in the ring with the wrestlers. Your charismatic characters with their witty dialog paired with a strong narrative voice ;make this a very enjoyable read."
Gurmeet Mattu, Director, Author, Writer, Scriptschool Creative Writing Sources Founder
"This is the work of a talented writer, with a firm grasp of narrative, prose and dialogue. The action scenes, and remember this is about wrestling, so there are lots, are absolutely brilliantly executed, pulling you right into the action. Wrestling and romance, who'd have thought it? Backed, with a backflip and a bodyslam."
Karen Blakeney, Nathan: A Heart, A Storm, A Prayer
"Gritty and compelling. What Rocky Balboa did for boxing, Brett Kerrigan stands ready to do for wrestling."
Catherine Batty, Judas Kiss
"Quite possibly the most unusual romance I've read on here so far with Brett the panic attack suffering wrestler- and that is certainly not a bad thing! As others have said, this is a fun easy to read novel. Your characters of Brett and Karen are believable and jump off the page."
Carole Sommerville, From His Mistress
"Strong opening scene that touches all senses: the noise, atmosphere, sounds and smells. Realistic and an unusual setting for a romantic read. This offers unique perspective for a romantic novel and originality."
"Reminds me of the early chapters of Michael Crichton's Timeline - that's pretty good by anyone's standards!"
Dustin Dekarske, CEO, Future Shock Pro Wrestling
Phillip Crippen, Emerluvly
"I get a very strong visceral sense of Hemingway--and I mean this as an absolute compliment. The fact is, you are handling a subject that contains violence, romance, machismo, and rebirth in a very minimalist way (and with perfectly ironic tag-team dialogue). It adds so much to the sweat and grit and warrior lifestyle that permeates your story."
Laurie A. Will, Into the Master’s Lair
"What an original idea and an entertaining read. I really liked Karen and Brett and the anxiety and panic attacks Brett gets. It really add a new dimension to the macho wrestler character and makes him real."
Now we come to plug your sites please list below your web sites and any other areas where readers can access your work.
My website is http://www.lannecarrington.com/, which contains additional information about me and my book. There’s also pages on current news and upcoming appearances, which are updated on a regular basis.
I have a blog, The Book Shelf, where I blog on book, author, and other literary-related topics, as well as give a brief review on a chosen Book of the Week each Monday. The address is
For reference, I only have two Twitter accounts. The first is my main account,
and the other is for my book, twitter.com/TheCWNovel.
All my other real social network accounts are listed on the homepage of my website, and if there’s anything else (unless I mention it) in my name, they’re fakes and posers.
I also have a profile on
The Polka Dot Banner at http://www.polkadotbanner.com/index.php?option=com_comprofiler&task=userProfile&user=431