Monday, December 2, 2013

Lorilyn Roberts Counts It All As Joy

~ Remember to read right to the end for your chance to win a $200 Amazon gift card ~ 

I'd love for you to welcome Lorilyn back to my blog. She was here a few months back and she much have had a good time because she's returned and let me interview her!

QUESTION: You write so widely, picture books, YA Fantasy, memoir, recipe book, devotionals. Do you have a favourite genre and why?

LORIYN: No, I don’t have a favourite genre. My passion is to write whatever is on my heart. Those who know a lot more than I do advise against writing in multiple genres, recommending that authors stick to one, but I have waited a long time to write and have accumulated many stories in my lifetime that don’t fit neatly into one reader group.

In addition to the genres you mentioned, I hope to write a series for 8 to 10-year-olds involving the same characters from “The Donkey and the King.” I also want to write a book of animal stories for adults. I have rescued many animals from the shelter, abandoned animals, and one from a puppy mill. I suppose you could say I write in the genre of animals—if there is such a thing.

The second book in the Seventh Dimension Series will be heavy on the historical record, much more so than the first one. I love doing research and look forward to engaging in the process as soon as I have time. “The King” will stretch me because it presents challenges I haven’t dealt with before. It’s the story, though, that God wants me to tell. I know the message and the theme—but I am still asking God to show me exactly how He wants me to tell it.

The third book in the Seventh Dimension Series will be futuristic. I grew up on science fiction and Star Trek. I want to wrap a Christian visionary story around the emergence of Islam on the world scene. I will leave the reader to ponder what that means for the protagonist, Shale Snyder, and her friend, Daniel.

QUESTION:  What are you writing at the moment?

LORILYN: I just finished the devotional book “Am I Okay, God? Devotionals from the Seventh Dimension” and will spend another month or so marketing it. In the back of mind, though, I am plotting the second book in the Seventh Dimension Series, “The King.”

While I know the turning points, I need more of a skeleton before I begin. Fiction is much more challenging, I think, to do well, and I spend more time thinking about fiction than nonfiction. I even write fiction differently.

I type nonfiction on my stenograph machine and then import the file into Office Word. Fiction I write at the computer, a totally different process.  I can’t write fiction on my stenograph machine, which would be much quicker. Then I use an Excel spreadsheet to organize the scenes. By the time I do a lot of the writing, the story seems like nonfiction because it’s so real to me. Hopefully I will have “The King” finished by next June. That is my goal.

QUESTION: Where or when was your desire to write first ignited?  

LORILYN:  I have stories underneath my bed in a box that I wrote when I was young. The first complete short story I wrote I still have—written when I was eight. I loved writing all the way through school—term papers, research papers, poetry, books (I wrote two books in middle school and high school, though I never finished them)—and for many years I lamented that I could not fulfill my dream to be a writer. I was steered away from that, my parents telling me I needed to choose a career that would “pay the bills.”  So I spent twenty-five years working as a court reporter and fifteen years writing closed captioning for television. I was writing stories, just not my own.

Many years passed before I could once again pursue my desire to write. Writing is the only thing I ever wanted to do and the only thing that came easily to me. Now my writing is fueled by my passion for God. I suppose anything I might have written when I was young God would have counted as “rubbish.” My Savior had many “stories” to teach me. I didn’t truly understand in my heart what being a Christian meant until I was 30. Then God took me through a deep valley of suffering that lasted several years. God needed to wound me to make me realize I needed to rely on Him. I was one of those who had to suffer many things before I understood how much I was loved. Only then could God use me. Now I count it as all joy, knowing that I am in His will, and that’s the best place to be, even if it came late in life.

QUESTION: What's something fun about you that not many people know? 

LORILYN:  I have scuba dived all over the world, including the Great Barrier Reef, the Caribbean, and the Red Sea. I’ve made over one hundred dives and during that time, had some close encounters with the Creator. The world underneath the ocean is an amazing place. I hope to incorporate some of my diving adventures into a future book—once God shows me the story He wants me to tell.

I am thankful that God has given me no shortage of material from which to draw—a lifetime of memories. I even went back to school and earned my Master of Arts in Creative Writing so I would have the knowledge and skills to write more effectively. And when you are as old as I am, at 58, learning a new craft is truly an adventure.



About the book ... “The Donkey and the King” is a story of love with Christian symbolism and allegory. A donkey longs for an easier life beyond the stable. He dreams of no heavy burdens to bear and no one to tell him what to do.

After leaving the safety of the stable, however, he becomes lost in the wilderness. A sheep finds him, after being sent by the king. With his new friend, the donkey sets out on a very unusual journey.

The reader will find "good" hidden in the artwork, and children will delight in searching for the word on each page. This is a story even adults will like -- the true test of a classic -- enjoying a book as much the one hundredth time as the first.

If you enjoyed looking for the mouse in “Goodnight Moon” you will want to share this book with your child. The moral is:
There is “good” in the world if you look for it.

From December 1 through December 16, the John 3:16 Marketing Network is hosting a Christmas Book Launch and The Donkey and the King is a featured book. As part of the event, the Network is offering a $200 Amazon gift certificate to one lucky winner. For a chance to win, go to http://bit.ly/Christian_Books and enter the Rafflecopter (toward the bottom of the page). And be sure and pick up your Kindle version of The Donkey and the King for 99 cents at http://bit.ly/Donkey_Kindle

About Lorilyn... Lorilyn graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Alabama in 1991. Her studies included spending two weeks in Israel at the start of the Gulf War and touring England, Australia, New Zealand, and several countries in Europe. She later attended the Institute of Children's Literature and earned her Master of Arts in Creative Writing from Perelandra College.
When Lorilyn was in fifth grade, a teacher accused her of plagiarism in front of her classmates. Little did Lorilyn know the humiliation of that would later lead to a career in writing. When not writing, Lorilyn provides closed captioning for television.
Lorilyn says, “When I start to doubt that anyone is reading my books, I remind myself of the millions of people who have read my captions, even all of my mistakes. The best thing about creative writing is you can make your words perfect. With captioning, it's live and you only get one chance to get it right.”
Lorilyn has two daughters whom she adopted from Nepal and Vietnam as a single mother. She homeschooled both of them, the older one through high school, and believes that the hope of the United States may rest on the conservative values homeschooling families instill in their offspring.
“If we fail to teach our children how to live out their Christian faith practically, we will have lost an opportunity to impact the world for good. It only takes one generation to forget the past. As JRR Tolkien said, ‘There is some good in this world and it's worth fighting for.’”

Lorilyn's books...















5 comments:

  1. My brother and some of my friends have scuba dived...intriguing. And I'm very much looking forward to future stories from the Seventh Dimension.

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  2. Enjoyed the interview. Fascinating books!

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  3. I'm so glad to have your opinion about writing in different genres. I feel the way you do. How can I not write a book on my heart just because it doesn't fit into the genre I wrote in before? I'll take my chances!

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  4. Thanks for hosting me, Michelle. And for everyone's comments. Be sure to enter for a chance to win the $200 prize.

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  5. Really enjoyed learning more about you, Lorilyn. You lead a very interesting life!

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