General market bestselling author Lorraine Beatty’s career took a sharp detour a few years back. Now, after a five-year writing hiatus, Lorraine is making her debut in the Christian market with Beautiful Dreamer (Heartsong Presents/Harlequin).
Born and raised in Columbus, Ohio, Lorraine married her husband, Joe, forty-four years ago. After residing in a number of places—Erlangen, Germany; Bridgeport, CT; and Baton Rouge, LA—they eventually settled in Jackson, MS.
Lorraine is a mother to two and a grandmother to five.
What sparked your initial writing journey?
I was an avid reader growing up and in the seventh grade I had a teacher who encouraged us to write. We had an essay due every Monday. Sometimes he’d give us the topic, other times he’d say—write a fairy tale, or write a scary scene. I loved it. So I started writing stories for friends and never stopped.
Has God ever provided an unexpected “detour” in your life that turned out to be positive?
I sold my first book in 1989 and sold the first book I ever submitted. I thought I was on my way. But, after a few books, things fell apart on all fronts and I stopped writing for about five years. I realized during that time that I needed to learn the basics of writing. I knew how to write but I didn’t understand the commercial fiction process or the writing business. This time around I am much better prepared.
How does your faith play into your writing?
It’s why I’m writing Christian fiction today. I wrote secular fiction the first time around and I was sitting in my office writing one of those steaming scenes and I asked myself—if Jesus walked into my office this day and asked me what I was doing would I be proud to tell Him? I had to admit that I wouldn’t be. This time, I’m also learning to do my part and leave the rest up to Him. I don’t worry so much about whether a book will sell or whatever. I do my proposals and place the outcome in His hands. It’s still hard to do that but I’m getting better.
Lena Butler has only one goal, to get the Vice Principal job at her school so she can have financial security for the first time in her life. Her mother was an alcoholic, her dad absent a great deal, and it fell to Lena to raise her younger sisters. She has no plans to marry or have a family of her own. Secretly, however, she longs to travel.
Enter Dixon Edwards. He owns a Christian Film company and he’s in St. Augustine scouting locations for the next movie. Lena agrees to be his tour guide but he irritates her because he’s charming and fun and irresponsible. Plus he awakens her old dream of travel and adventure.
Dixon has no intention of falling in love; he’s been hurt in the past and he has dedicated his life to his film company. Until he meets Lena and suddenly, he wants something different too.
Besides entertainment, what do you hope readers will take away from it?
I want them to take a look at their personal strongholds and see that we all have little areas where we think we’re okay but we may need to address because we can be blocking the Lord’s blessing. Most of my characters are good Christians, but during the story they come to realize that they might still harbor resentments. They might still be trying to control their lives. They might be afraid to trust God completely. I hope the story sparks a closer inspection of our own hearts.
God often uses our stories to teach us when we’re writing them. What did you learn (about life, faith, and/or even yourself) in the process of writing this book?
LOL. Wow. Well, writing-wise, I learned that I need to have a very clear and strong goal for my heroine. When I have that in place the story comes together quickly. Personally, I realized that often times I have the wrong goal in front of me. Like Lena, I think something will give me peace, security, comfort, but all I really need is to keep my eyes on Him. It’s so easy to forget that.
A few fun questions…
When the words aren’t flowing—or when you want to celebrate if they are—what is your favorite comfort food and why?
Potato chips and chocolate candy. Don’t really know why except I was a TV baby and I loved to watch my favorite show and snack away.
This website features musicians as well as writers. Do you have musical, as well as literary, talent?
A little bit. I used to play the piano and violin when I was a kid. I sing in our church choir and have been in some kind of choir my whole life. I love music. I took a vocation test in high school that said I would either be a writer or a musician. Tada. LOL
If you were a song, what kind of song would you be?
A 1930’s romantic ballad. Sentimental Journey. The Way You Look Tonight. Any of those Gershwin, Kern, Berlin songs.
In the story that is your life, are you the strong, female lead; the girl next door; the mysterious woman behind dark glasses; the super heroine; or the little girl trying to walk in high heels?
Probably a combination of the girl next door and the little girl trying to walk in heels. : )
I’m a dog lover. Please tell us about your pets, if any, or your favorite pet as a child.
As a kid I had a black mutt named Flopsy and I loved her, but she wasn’t with us long. As an adult we’ve had a couple of Shih Tzu’s. Our last one, Gracie, died a few years ago at age twelve. I still miss her. I had a rabbit as a kid too. Gray Lady. That was cool.
Thanks, Lori! It’s great to have you as a guest at DivineDetour.
This has been fun. Thank you for inviting me.
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For more information about Lori, visit her website at www.LorraineBeatty.blogspot.com.
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