Welcome to our spotlight of Lori Herter and her work.
Below is an interview I had with Lori Herter via e-mail in 2001. Unfortunately with the expansion of our site some spotlights were delayed for quite some time.
You will be able to read about Lori and get to know a little about her through this interview. At the bottom of the page is a book cover of one of her books and a list of her books published and soon to be published.
CarolCastellanos: What genres do you write?
Lori Herter: Contemporary romance and vampire books.
Carol Castellanos: What genres would you like to write?
Lori Herter: Paranormal (other than vampire).
Carol Castellanos: Where do you get your ideas?
Lori Herter: That's not an easy question. If I knew the answer, maybe I'd come up with ideas more easily! They come from incidents in real life, or occasionally from plot twists in TV shows or movies that appeal to me. Sometimes they bubble up from my unconscious. In all cases, the idea, whatever its source, usually gets modified and built up until it's quite different than the initial inspiration.
Carol Castellanos: Do you pattern your characters after any real people?
Lori Herter: On rare occasions, I have. Sometimes I've started by patterning a character after a real person, but then the character evolves into his/her own identity. Characters really do take on a life of their own.
Carol Castellanos: What authors do you admire?
Lori Herter: The author I admire most is Jane Austen.
Carol Castellanos: What authors do you read?
Lori Herter: I don't read as much as I should. There aren't any authors I read regularly.
Carol Castellanos: What genres do you read?
Lori Herter: Mostly contemporary romance and nonfiction books.
Carol Castellanos: What other genres do you see yourself writing?
Lori Herter: Paranormal. Though my pipe dream is to write authorized celebrity biographies (don't I wish!!).
Carol Castellanos: What do you see yourself doing in 10 years?
Lori Herter: I imagine I'll still be writing.
Carol Castellanos: Do you see yourself ever not writing?
Lori Herter: No. Writing is my gift, and I want to continue to use it.
Carol Castellanos: What books do you have planned in the near future?
Lori Herter: I may have my plans, but Providence decides what will happen. I prefer not to jinx myself by talking about them.
Carol Castellanos: How did you get started writing?
Lori Herter: I was an only child who entertained myself by daydreaming. If I didn't like the ending to a TV show or a movie, I'd redo the ending in my head. As I grew older, I used to invent romantic stories from beginning to end, carrying them in my mind for weeks at a time. When I came to the end, I'd start all over again from the beginning. One day when I was in my late twenties, my mother-in-law gave me a Harlequin romance novel. I read it when I was sick with the flu, and realized the book was similar to the stories I imagined. That gave me the idea that maybe I could write one. I did, and sold the first book I wrote, to Dell. That was how I got started. If I hadn't sold my first book, I may have given up, because writing is so time consuming.
Carol Castellanos: What age were you when you started to write?
Lori Herter: 30
Carol Castellanos: When is your next book due?
Lori Herter: Don't have a deadline at the moment. Though I'm working on something and hope to, soon. As I said, I don't like to jinx myself.
Carol Castellanos: Was there any author or authors that helped you get your in start writing, or helped you break into the field?
Lori Herter: No. I'm rather proud of the fact that I did it all on my own. I wrote and sold my first two books myself. I didn't even have an agent until my third book.
Carol Castellanos: What do you feel makes your books unique or stand out from others in your genre?
Lori Herter: Editors and readers have told me that I can make imaginative plotlines and characters---such as vampires---seem real and believable. I ground everything with realistic details and sensiblities. Fans have written me letters saying that I make vampires seem like they could really exist.
Carol Castellanos: What made you choose the genres you write?
Lori Herter: I've always been highly romantic---just born that way. So romance novels are a natural choice. I developed an interest in vampires from watching the old Dark Shadows soap opera years ago. I loved the angst, the dignity and sense of tragedy, that Jonathan Frid brought to the role of Barnabas.
Carol Castellanos: Do you have a special subgenre?
Lori Herter: My vampire books fit more into the romance category than horror, so vampire romances would be my subgenre.
Carol Castellanos: Do you have a favorite place you like to write?
Lori Herter: I write at a computer in a room on the second floor of my home, which my husband and I term "the computer room." Dictionaries, synonym finders and other reference books sit on a shelf behind me. Often one of my cats jumps on my lap while I work.
Carol Castellanos: In what order do you write? For example starting beginning to end, combining parts, in random order or in development cycle?
Lori Herter: I always write a book from beginning to end and never jump ahead. Because I can't be sure exactly how a given scene will evolve until I write it, I can't comfortably skip ahead and write subsequent action without knowing precisely what happened in the previous scenes. I usually don't combine parts unless a rewrite requires it. And I also work from a synopsis which I write before I start the book. Lately, however, I've tried diagraming a storyline I'm developing rather than writing a synopsis right away. It seemed to work well, and I may use that method again.
Carol Castellanos: Do you feel that the e-books afford authors a bit more freedom of expression in their books?
Lori Herter: I don't know much about e-books, so I can't respond to the question.
Carol Castellanos: What do you feel is, or isn't being done to promote authors?
Lori Herter: Most of my books haven't gotten much promotion from the publisher. This is a question each author would answer differently based on his/her particular experience.
Carol Castellanos: Do you feel that the marketing departments have their finger on the pulse of readers?
Lori Herter: Some do, some don't.
Carol Castellanos: How do you feel about review rating systems?
Lori Herter: When I get a great review, I love the rating systems. If I get a so-so review, I don't think they're so hot. Overall, I suppose rating systems help readers screen books before they buy them. But readers should keep in mind that a review is the opinion of only one person.
Carol Castellanos: Through what venues do you feel most of your books are being sold?
Lori Herter: Romance novels are sold in bookstores and by subscription. My vampire series, Obsession, Possession, Confession, and Eternity, are out of print and are sold in used bookstores and on internet auction sites like eBay.
Carol Castellanos: What do you feel is the best part of the publishing industry?
Lori Herter: The authors---I've made a lot of good friends among other romance writers, who are amazingly supportive of one another. It's a bit like a sisterhood. Some of my editors have been wonderful to work with, as well as the agent I had for over 20 years.
Carol Castellanos: What do you feel needs to be changed about the industry?
Lori Herter: Where do I begin to answer that question?!
Carol Castellanos: Do you think small press and e-books will be the wave of the future?
Lori Herter: They appeared to be at first. Now I'm not so sure. Perhaps they will be when some of the problems are worked out.
Carol Castellanos: Do you have anything further you would like to add?
Lori Herter: Just a big thank-you to Carol for asking me for this interview. Also to Lisa Kelley for putting Carol in touch with me. Lisa runs a fan group for me at Yahoogroups.com.
NO TIME FOR LOVE, Dell Candlelight Romance, June 1980
TOO CLOSE FOR COMFORT, Dell Candlelight Romance, August 1981
TO HAVE AND TO HOLD, Dell Ecstasy, February 1983
ALL OUR TOMORROWS, Dell Ecstasy, February 1984
PRIVATE SCREENINGS, Dell Ecstasy Supreme, May 1984
LOVING DECEPTION, Silhouette Romance, February 1985
THE TEMPTRESS TOUCH, Dell Ecstasy, September 1985
SEVENTH HEAVEN, Pageant, Now and Forever, April 1989
OBSESSION, Berkley, July 1991 (Vampire/Romance)
POSSESSION, Berkley, February 1992 (Vampire/Romance)
CONFESSION, Berkley, September 1992 (Vampire/Romance)
THE PHANTOM OF CHICAGO, in SILHOUETTE SHADOWS '93, October 1993
ETERNITY, Berkley, December 1993 (Vampire/Romance)
THE WILLOW FILE, Silhouette Shadows, March 1994
LISTEN UP, LOVER, Silhouette Yours Truly (launch book), August, 1995
HOW MUCH IS THAT COUPLE IN THE WINDOW?, Silhouette Yours Truly, February 1996
BLIND DATE BRIDE, Silhouette Yours Truly, August 1996
ME? MARRY YOU? , Silhouette Yours Truly, January 1997
RIGHT HUSBAND! WRONG BRIDE?, Silhouette Yours Truly, January 1998
ALSO: Romantic short story for Woman's World Magazine, October 24, 2000
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