To celebrate hitting 1600 likes on Facebook, I decided to do a different type of giveaway. The readers ask questions, and I give away answers. I’d planned to screen the questions and pick and choose, but I barely got 16!
Anyway, ALL OF THESE QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS CONTAIN SPOILERS. Do not scroll down or click below to read more if you don’t want to read spoilers.
- From Nikki: Can it be a question about how you write or does it have to be about the books? Lori: Anything you want.
- From Marie Liz: Ok, the million dollar question is….why did my Nate Nate had to die???!!…And yes I know the answer he had to because Emi was meant to be with Jack, and I love him too…but I dont know, I just had to ask cuz it really hit when he died, I miss him. Lori: I’ll try to answer this differently. Nate had to die because his life was about as good as it was going to get at that moment. That was as high as he’d ever been… and the coming weeks and months and years would have been trying on both of them. His career was taking off, and would have taken him away from Emi and his child. He *has* to paint. It’s who he is, and who he’s been from the very start. Nate and Emi had so much passion, but passion can be expressed in love or anger. There would have been a lot of anger. It only complicated things when Jack and Emi danced. We never get to hear what Emi was thinking that night, because so much of those details were lost in the trauma of the accident. We know Emi was mentally committing to Nate, and accepting him as her fate. We know they would have shared so much love, but it’s that tumultuous kind that doesn’t always have a happy ending. I know Jack would have left her alone had there been no accident and had he found out she was pregnant. I know Emi would have ignored her curiosity about Jack and she would have given Nate 110% of her love. I don’t think Nate could have done that for her, though. As for Jack, I think if there hadn’t have been a baby, he would have taken a chance, even if Chris had tried to discourage it. He knew what he wanted, and until Emi was officially off the market, he would have found a way into her heart. He was already plotting it. Nights discussing plans for Chris and Anna’s wedding would have been magical. I know this because I know Jack. He would do anything for her, and he gave her that feeling… it was something she wouldn’t have been able to deny. When you feel it, you know. When I think of how it could have played out – would have played out – I’m happy that Nate never had to see the pain he would have caused Emi over time. It would have been inadvertent, but it was inevitable.
- From Laura: Why did Chris deny Jacks access to Emi throughout the years? Aside from the fact that Chris and Nate were very close friends. Emi went through a lot of heart break and Nate was always “preoccupied,” seems like any good brother would want to hook his sister up with Jack. Lori: Because Chris saw the spark between Nate and Emi from day one, and I think he liked the idea of him being a real brother to him. In those first six months of moving out of their father’s house, I think Nate had a lot of insight to offer Emi and Chris that helped them accept the decisions their father had made. Although we don’t really see much of Nate and Chris as friends, they were close in a brotherly way… where you can go spans of time and not talk, but pick right back up where you left off. As for Jack, in the early years, Chris didn’t think Emi was mature enough for him (and she wasn’t)… and when Jack made it a point to not come around Emi (oh, Laura, have you read Number 7 yet?), Chris accepted it wasn’t a long-term feeling. He thought it was just a fleeting interest. Jack valued his friendship with Chris over this girl he spent an hour or two with one night… and with the distance Jack built between he and Emi he was able to try to move on.
- From Audrey: When will we find out about Livvy’s bio dad? Who knows who it is first?! Lori: You will know in the third book of her series… Donna knows first. Livvy knows second.
- From Tamara: This question has been bugging me since I read Contessa! What made Emi hit Jack after the huge meltdown?! Lori: This question has come up before, and I don’t know why… I guess I didn’t make it clear enough in the book. Even in re-reading it, it seems clear to me, but many people have asked this. It was just what he said… he brought up her and Nate’s child, the one she lost, and she was pissed that he’d bring that into the conversation. So she hit him.
“Sometimes I think you forget that she’s our child, and not the one you conceived with him.” I stop breathing. Silence settles over the whole house for what seems like eternity, but in truth, is only seconds.
“Screw you, Jack,” my mother says on her way out of the dining room. Her eyes meet mine briefly as tears fall down her cheeks.
- From Nikki: Oh poop! I wasted a question. You’re like an evil question genie! Okay, I want to know about your process. Do you sketch out a plan, like a story outline, before you start writing? Or do you just write and see where it takes you? Or do you have a vague idea of how the story should go, and write towards that? I am stating for the record that I view all of the above as one question regardless of the number of question marks. Lori: With Emi Lots & Found, I sketched it out, but it still took turns I didn’t anticipate. I knew the beginning and end and stuck with that. How we got there changed a lot. As for the Choisie series, well… I knew I wanted Livvy to struggle with her father in book one, but that was the only thing on my agenda. A boyfriend hadn’t even crossed my mind when I started writing, but Jon showed up. It was going to be one book, and that’s it, but Livvy had a much bigger story to tell. I just let her take over… which may be why I’ve been struggling with the second book. Livvy struggles, and so do I. But with this series, I had no idea where it would take me. As for Not Today, But Someday, that was something even more free-forming. I published two chapters a week online… had no idea what would happen, but Nate and Emi made that experience pretty special for me. Steven’s series was plotted out, much like Emi’s… I knew the beginning and end, but a lot of things have changed in those books from what I initially set out to do.
- From Tiffany: Whose book will be the next release? Livvy’s or Steven’s? Lori: Livvy’s. I imagine her entire series will be completed before Steven’s comes out… I think it will be a little weird, because Steven’s story takes place immediately after Never Look Back… this is why I’ve sort of withheld information about him in Livvy’s series. But, you will find out things about him in Livvy’s upcoming books that happen in his series. There won’t be details, but I’m hoping there will be interest in how things turned out like they did.
- From MJ: Who do you derive inspiration from? Lori: I don’t really know. There’s not a person who inspires me. Seeing the story through to its finish inspires me… having the completed work. Sometimes music helps me write. Sometimes seeing pictures of the characters helps me set the scenes. But it all comes from the voices in my head. I tend to get the most ideas in the bath, while I’m driving, or right when I’m on the verge of sleep (which is pretty typical for creative types). I think a part of the reason I write is to live another life through other people… I wanted to live in NYC, but that was an utter failure. The city inspired me, for sure. What propels me to write about Livvy is my desire to be a parent – but recognizing I am far too selfish with my time to be a good one. I want to take care of her, and make sure she succeeds in life… and I do find good fathers to be incredibly attractive. So when Livvy’s series is done, I move to Steven, who becomes a father to Lexi in his series. They have a very different experience than Livvy and Jack, to say the least.
- From Jo Ann: We can only ask 1 question? Lori (looking ahead at Jo Ann’s other questions): You can ask another question. I don’t like your other ones.
- From Jeny: Are any of the characters in any way reminiscent of anyone in your personal life? Lori: Teresa, Emi’s roommate from Lost and Found, was very much like one of my dear friends, Teresa. She hasn’t read the books, though, so she may never know. Ruby, the wire fox terrier, was also modeled after my sweet Ruby. And some of Nate’s profundity in his youth (Not Today, But Someday) was modeled after my first love. I know some people have knocked Nate for his insight, but I really knew someone who thought like he did. He hadn’t experienced what Nate had, but he was on a different level emotionally than any other ‘boy’ I’d ever known.
- From Tamara: Why did Matty and Lucas break up and is there a chance they could get back together? They were one of my favorites! Lori: Distance drove Matty and Lucas apart. Lucas didn’t like the fact that Matty was traveling so much, and Lucas was lonely… and unfaithful. There’s no coming back from that. Now, had you asked if Matty would find love again ever in a series, I would tell you yes.
- From Jo Ann: Has Donna known Livvy’s biological father all along? Lori: “All along” isn’t descriptive, so I’ll take that question. All along in her life? No.
- From Jo Ann: How is Livvy’s biological father revealed in the series? Lori: Livvy’s father’s identity is revealed in a letter.
- From Jo Ann: And if you need another question are Livvy and Jon good friends or soul mates?? Lori: Yes, they are good friends or soul mates. (I love you, Jo Ann… you know this.)
- From Tiffany: I have another one! How many years does the Choisie series span? In other words – how old will Livvy be by the end of Olivia? Lori: Gooood question about Livvy’s age. She will be 26 in the final chapter of Livvy. Girl’s got some living to do.
- From Kelly: What was the hardest scene that you had to write in the Lost and Found series? Lori: This is a nice one to end our Q&A time. The hardest scene that I wrote was the conversation between Chris and Emi in the hospital. It’s also the one that kicks off the sobbing for me. When Chris says what he heard Nate say over the phone… and her response? Sh!t. I just broke my own damn heart again!! It took a long time for me to make Chris say the words. I didn’t want to hear it, either.