Author Spotlight with Lorrie Struiff

K.S.  Hello and welcome to the blog. I am very excited to have you here. Why don’t we start off with a small introduction? Tell us a little about yourself.

L.S. Hi Katie, thanks for inviting me.

I live in the borough of West Mifflin, Pennsylvania, very near Pittsburgh. I’m a non-working mom and have two daughters who have left the nest. So, now is the time to fully engage in my passion for writing.

In my younger years, I taught at, and managed, a ballroom dance studio. It sounds glamorous, I know, what with Dancing with the Stars on TV, but very much unlike what you see. No choreography at all was involved. It was all freestyle and down to earth teaching. I did manage to reach gold medal status before I retired to take over the caregiving duties of an ill family member.

While caregiving, I began writing and I started a writer’s workshop at our local bookstore and managed it for seven years before I handed over the baton. Now I’m just a computer addicted writer and I love it.
 

K.S.  Any interesting writing quirks or stories you would like to share with my readers?

L.S.  Panic is my middle name. Basically I am a short story writer and Gypsy Crystal is my first foray into a longer piece, but it will not be my last. When I hit that “writer’s block blank wall” or my muse decides to take a long vacation, I panic. Sheer, unadulterated panic sets in to the point where I try everything but stand on my head to grab a good storyline. Hmm. Maybe I should try standing on my head. I may go weeks in panic mode until something clicks in the gray matter to excite me. A good set of characters, a good plot, something that will get the juices flowing again. I can’t seem to work a story without the excitement of the “I can’t wait to tell this one” is there.

Many authors can work through the writer’s block. I think my panic state plugs up all my thinking.

K.S.  When did you realize you wanted to be a writer? What sparked the desire to pen your first novel?

L.S.  In high school English class, we had to write a story for an assignment. Our teacher gave us a subject. Mine was “a magazine.” What sort of a short story could I write about a magazine?

I think I better confess right now to you and the readers that my brain works a little on the weird side. Even my writing group said I read and critique from a different planet.

Anyway, I wrote a story from the magazine’s point of view. How the people treated me in dentist offices, workplaces, in the home. I thought a sure failing mark was headed my way.

My teacher thought it very original, lauded the work to the class and gave me an A. He said I should become a writer with my wild imagination.

Here I am Teach, though many years later. 

K.S.  What genre do you write?

L.S.  Lol. You are going to love this. I write, historical fiction, horror, paranormal, humor, romance, thrillers and to be honest, anything that catches my mood at the moment. I like stretching my wings. Why confine oneself to a certain genre? Gypsy Crystal is a combination of paranormal/thriller/romance. I had a lot of fun researching and writing the story.

K.S.  What would you say has inspired you most in your writing career? Or, who is your favorite author and why?

L.S.  Oh my, I have so many favorite authors. As in my writing in many genres, I also read many genres. If I have to choose only one out of DeMille, Baldacci, Jayne Anne Krentz, etc, I guess I’ll go with Nora Roberts. I admire her discipline. I have read she works at writing like a job and puts in many hours a day. If she does all her own research, my hat is off to her. After reading one of her books, I feel I would know the characters if they walked into my house. I could plant a garden after reading one of her trilogies, or say a spell and dance under the moon, or cook a feast for a crowd of people. She is so detailed. Her love scenes fit the characters. Northern Lights had it all, the setting, the distinct characters, the mystery, and the romance. She is a great author.

K.S.  What does your family think of your writing?

L.S.  My family thinks mom has a little hobby. “If it keeps her occupied, hey, we’re safe.” Lol.
I’m kidding, of course. They are happy that mom has a passion, an interest that makes me happy. And, I love them for that.

K.S.  What was one of the most surprising things you learned while creating your book?

L.S.  During my research on the Roma people, I was surprised at how much lore was involved. Also, did you know that the word “gypsy” is a slur? To call the Roma “gypsies” is denigrating. They are a proud people with rich customs and beliefs. The research was a great learning experience that held me rapt for days.

K.S.  What inspired you to write your novel?

L.S.  A friend invited me to lunch at a quaint restaurant. They had a fortune teller and of course we indulged. Well, the woman stuck in my mind and eventually, I based my character Anna, Rita’s mother, on her. Then I played the “what if” game in my head. Hmm, how about I give her a detective daughter with a few inherited gifts? Oh, we need a love interest for the daughter. A yummy FBI agent would fit right in. And, oh yes, a special serial killer the whole family can get involved with. And off I went into the wild blue yonder of my imagination.

K.S.  Can you tell us a little about your novel?

L.S.

Detective Rita Moldova peeked around the corner to make sure the hallway was empty. Making a quick right turn, she slipped into the autopsy lab to have a few minutes alone with the body. She tucked her white shirt tighter into her jeans and zipped her windbreaker to stay warm in the chilly room. The harsh odor of formaldehyde hit her nostrils and stung her throat.

Her heart twisted at the sight of the young, auburn-haired woman lying on the stainless steel table. A white sheet covered her to the navel; bruises blemished the once pretty face. Contusions marred the pallid skin from elbow to shoulder. The gash on the front of her neck gaped, exposing open veins and torn tissue.
 

Rita flipped her thick, dark braid back over her shoulder, snapped on one latex glove, leaned over the corpse, and peeled back an eyelid. In her bare hand, she clasped a star-shaped crystal hanging from the gold chain around her neck, an endowment from her maternal Roma bloodline. The crystal heated in her palm, warm energy pulsing up her arm to her shoulder. The face captured in the victim’s eye coalesced and stared back. Rita drew in a sharp breath. Bobby Driscoll! She had known him since high school, and now he worked as a uniform in her precinct. What the hell was going on?

K.S.  Where can we find your novel?

L.S.  Gypsy Crystal is for sale on Amazon, both in print and e-book formats.

http://www.amazon.com/Gypsy-Crystal-Lorrie-Unites-Struiff/dp/1770650415/ref=tmm_pap_title_0


K.S.  Do you have a website, fan site, or Blog that we can visit?

L.S.  Visit my website and read the reviews, plus follow my Gypsy Crystal page of Facebook.
http://struiff.wordpress.com/

K.S.  Do you have any closing advice to aspiring writers?

L.S.  I think one of best pieces of advice ever given to me, I’ll pass on.
“Have fun with your writing. When it becomes a chore and you have to push yourself with every word, stop. Only stay with a story line that ignites your passion. It will show in your novel.”


This Author is a part of an ongoing Blog tour, please check this link for the Authors schedule and future stops.


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For everyone that leaves a comment with each author on an ASA tour,  they will be entered into a drawing to win a $25 Visa Gift Card (I have 2), book light (I have several to give away),  A free of charge virtual book tour,  and one writing package which includes a journal,  pen,  book light,  and book marker. Plus when they leave a comment they are entered to win a copy of the author's book.

Prizes are generally awarded at the end of each authors tour. Please check the link above and stay tuned for any award announcements connected with ASA tours. 

Comments

Tabitha Shay said…
Great interview, Lorrie,
I don't know how you keep up with where ur going or where you've been...lol...u r one busy lady....best of luck with ur book....Tabs
maria altobelli said…
This was a great interview, Katie and Lorrie. I enjoyed reading it. I've followed Lorrie on this blog tour and managed to find out new stuff about her here with the in-depth questions.

Very dramatic looking blog.

All the best on the book, Lorrie. It's a great read. My husband also enjoyed it. He thinks it would make a fantastic TV series. Go Lorrie.
Marva said…
I agree with Maria since I'm also a follower (groupie?) on Lorrie's blog tour. I loved Gypsy Crystal and Lorrie gives us a bit more at each of her blogstops.
Author Mary C said…
Great interview, Lorrie! Talk about creativity...to write a story from a magazine's perspective. Destined to be a great author, for sure.

Best of luck with Gypsy Crystal!
Cate Masters said…
Loved the interview, Lorrie and Katie. It's great learning more about you each time, Lorrie. Best of luck with Gypsy Crystal.
Joanie said…
Good excerpt. Will check it out!
Deanna Jewel said…
Lorrie and Katie - Great interview. I'm hooked, the book sounds great and with an interesting twist! Lorrie, I wish you much success with your writing and may your sales skyrocket!

I look forward to learning more about you and what upcoming books you have to release for us.
Lorrie said…
So nice of you ladies to drop by. Yes, I'm all over the net these days. Thanks for the lovely comments and your time. I hope more will join us. Katie does have a beautiful site and I'm so grateful to be here today.
Amber Stults said…
Great interview, Lorrie. I hadn't heard of Gypsy Crystal before now and it sounds interesting.
lo said…
Lorrie-
Loved the article and the book! I have read it and i can tell you it is a great book! So full of suspense and the plot and characters are so interesting. Kudos to you, Lorrie for writing such an exceptional book. Thanks for the interview.
Darla said…
Hey Lorrie,

Seems you have many groupies! lol
Ugh! Writer's block. When I get the dreaded WB, I take a break. Read a book, watch a movie, go for a walk. Spend time with friends.
And I talk to other writers...not my husband.lol I have a great writers group and they give fantastic ideas and suggestions.
For my other half, I think his eyes glaze over when I start talking about plot and characters.

Best of luck with Gypsy Crystal, Lorrie.
Darla

Love the site, Katie and congrats to you,too.
Katie S said…
WOW Lorie!! Lots of great comment! Thank you for being on my blog today!
Margaret West said…
wow a gold medalist as well as a fab writer. Fab blog, Lorrie