When I was planning out blog posts for September, I thought to myself, “Hmm. What would readers like myself like to read?” One of the things I thought right away was that I’d love to get to know some of the authors of my favourite books more.
For those of you that have been following me on Instagram and Twitter, you’ll know that I raved about The Star-Crossed Sisters of Tuscany. A solid and refreshing 5-star read that combines travel, contemporary, and romance together in a satisfying and heart-wrenching package. I even wrote a review on it. Click here for my review of The Star-Crossed Sisters of Tuscany. Soon later, I was thrilled to be able to connect with the author of the book, Lori Nelson Spielman! She is such a friendly and wonderful woman and it’s such an honour to have her on the blog.
Lori Nelson Spielman is a former speech pathologist, guidance counselor, and teacher of homebound students. She enjoys fitness running, traveling, and reading, though writing is her true passion. Her first novel, The Life List, has been published in thirty countries and optioned by Fox 2000. Her second novel, Sweet Forgiveness, was also an international bestseller. Her third book, The Star-Crossed Sisters of Tuscany, released November 17, 2020. She lives in Michigan with her husband and their very spoiled puppy.
If you’re a writer, you’ll want to check out the “For Writers” section of her website where she provides writing advice as well as advice for finding your own agent. Link to the rest of her socials are at the bottom of this post.
So many questions!
Naturally, as a reader and an aspiring author, I wanted to ask her so many questions! I took to my Twitter and Instagram and let you all send in your questions for Lori Nelson Spielman and condensed them to six questions for her.
Lori answers your questions:
- How did you decide to become an author and decide which genre to write in?
First, thanks so much for interviewing me, Andrea. My lifelong love for writing was rekindled when I was in my late thirties. While teaching expelled high schoolers, I began writing short stories for my students, each vignette containing a moral dilemma. It was so much fun, and really gratifying to witness my students enjoying the stories. Soon, I began devouring books and articles about the craft of writing. I enrolled in writing classes at my local community college, attended workshops and conferences. Three novels, one screenplay, and nearly one hundred rejection letters later, my first novel sold!
- What kind of on-location research did you do while writing? I’d like to think you spent some beautiful days writing on the coast of Italy!
Haha! It was a hardship, but I felt I owed it to my readers to visit Italy, strictly for research purposes, of course! ☺ And I absolutely fell in love with it. My husband and I visited before I started writing The Star-Crossed Sisters. I took lots of pictures and notes, knowing I would write a story set in this magical, romantic country.
- How long did it take you to write The Star-Crossed Sisters of Tuscany? What about your other books?
My books generally take about a year to complete. I try to write a quick first draft (for me, the most intimidating and least enjoyable part of the process), and then I slow down and scrutinize the following drafts. That’s the fun part for me. It’s the blank page that scares the heck out of me!
- How did you become good at writing?
I think I’m a better story-teller than writer. I’m always daydreaming, imagining scenarios and piecing together ideas. Like any craft or skill, becoming adept at writing takes years of practice and patience. I look back at the first book I tried to sell, a cringeworthy YA novel, and give thanks to all my writing instructors, my agent and editors, the writing books and websites, for helping me improve over the years.
- Will you publish any more books? I really enjoy your books!
Thank you, Andrea. Here’s hoping! I’m working on another now, so fingers crossed!
- What is your book-writing process? What do you use to draft (Microsoft Word, Scrivener, etc.) and how do you edit?
I use Word. I’ve tried Scrivener, and though others swear by it, I think I was too impatient to properly learn and appreciate its value. I edit by reading aloud, and also spend at least one round doing it the old fashioned way—with a printed copy and red pen.
Thank you so much for taking the time to answer our questions, Lori! We’re looking forward to your next book and hope it comes out soon.
Other books written by Lori Nelson Spielman
The Forgiveness Stones craze is sweeping the nation—instantly recognizable pouches of stones that come with a chain letter and two simple requests: to forgive, and then to seek forgiveness. But New Orleans’ favorite talk show host, Hannah Farr, isn’t biting. Intensely private and dating the city’s mayor, Hannah has kept her very own pouch of Forgiveness Stones hidden for two years—and her dark past concealed for nearly two decades. But when Fiona Knowles, creator of the Forgiveness Stones, appears on Hannah’s show, Hannah unwittingly reveals, on air, the details of a decades-old falling out with her mother.
Spurned by her fans, doubted by her friends, and accused by her boyfriend of marring his political career, Hannah reluctantly embarks on a public journey of forgiveness. As events from her past become clearer, the truth she’s clung to since her teenage years has never felt murkier. Hannah must find the courage to right old wrongs, or risk losing her mother, and any glimmer of an authentic life, forever.
The Life List
In this utterly charming debut — perfect for fans of Cecelia Ahern’s P.S., I Love You and Allison Winn Scotch’s Time of My Life — one woman sets out to complete her old list of childhood goals, and finds that her lifelong dreams lead her down a path she never expects.
Brett Bohlinger seems to have it all: a plum job, a spacious loft, an irresistibly handsome boyfriend. All in all, a charmed life. That is, until her beloved mother passes away, leaving behind a will with one big stipulation: In order to receive her inheritance, Brett must first complete the life list of goals she’d written when she was a naïve girl of fourteen.
Grief-stricken, Brett can barely make sense of her mother’s decision—her childhood dreams don’t resemble her ambitions at age thirty-four in the slightest. Some seem impossible. How can she possibly have a relationship with a father who died seven years ago? Other goals (Be an awesome teacher!) would require her to reinvent her entire future. As Brett reluctantly embarks on a perplexing journey in search of her adolescent dreams, one thing becomes clear. Sometimes life’s sweetest gifts can be found in the most unexpected places.
Check out her links!
Again, a big thanks to Lori Nelson Spielman for answering our questions and coming on my blog too! It’s such an honour. If you check out or have read any of her books before, let us know in the comments below!