Saturday’s Pick is the Incredibly Talented Loree Lough
On this week’s Saturday Pick, I’m so excited to introduce you to Best-selling author Loree Lough. This remarkable author wrote 108 award-winning books (more than 6,000,000 copies in circulation), 68 short stories, and 2,500+ articles in print.
For those of you who are authors or ‘wanna-be’s’, make a note that Loree Lough is a frequent guest of writers’ organizations, colleges and universities, corporate and government agencies in the U.S. and abroad. Loree loves sharing her war stories, successes, and near-miss lessons about the craft and the industry. And, she does it with humor, making her a favorite speaker wherever she goes.
Who Is Loree Lough?
Once upon a time, Loree Lough (literally) sang for her supper, performing alone before packed audiences and “opening” for the likes of Tom Jones, Dottie West, The Gatlin Brothers, and more. (Id guess that got your attention!) Once in awhile, she blows the dust off her six-string to croon a tune or two for her “grandorables.” But mostly, she just writes (and writes these days).
Loree and her husband split their time between a home in the Baltimore suburbs and a cabin in the Allegheny Mountains, where she continues to hone her “identify the critter tracks” skills. Her favorite passtime? Spending long, leisurely hours with her grandchildren…all seven of them!
Over the years, her stories earned nearly 100 industry and “Readers’ Choice” awards, 5 movie options, and more 4- and 5-star reviews than I can even count in one afternoon.
She loves hearing from her readers, and answers every letter, personally. You can write her @ http://www.loreelough.com.
Welcome, to my website, Loree Lough! Baltimore, your hometown, is considered the jewel in the Chesapeake Bay. I’ve followed the area closely for nearly twenty years because I’ve always believed the playground of our political leaders (the Chesapeake Bay) is an indicator of our passion or lack thereof to protect our water resources.
Tell us what it’s like to live near the Chesapeake Bay.
First, thanks so much for this invitation, Peggy! I’m honored to have our names connected this way!
I love this part of the country because, as I like to tell ‘left coasters,’ “Maryland is small, but we’ve got it all!” And we can enjoy it all without hopping a plane: hours from the Atlantic, the Allegheny Mountains, big city attractions like museums, symphonies, art, and ballet. And thanks to the Chesapeake, I get to enjoy rockfish the size of my leg! (Okay, sometimes that’s a ‘fish story,’ but mostly, it’s true!)
I had my first soft-shelled crab on my first trip to the Chesapeake Bay. What is your favorite local delicacy?
Steamed crabs, hands (and claws!) down!
In your “Those Marshall Boys” series, the boys couldn’t be any more different in their chosen professions (a marine, a rancher, and a firefighter). Anyone who loves Harlequin Romance, will love these guys! Which of the three was the most difficult for you to profile, and why?
Sam the firefighter musician was a challenge, because he lived so far from family and the Double M Ranch. Having been a professional musician for about 5 years in my youth (a very LONG time ago!), it allowed me to share some of the difficulties faced by those with “want to be a singing sensation” dreams. Come to think of it…it’s a whole lot like those with “want to see my book on a store shelf,” too!
Both my sons were first responders and some of the stories simply break your heart. Do you have anyone close to you who inspired this series? And, what do you believe is the quality that ties people who do this together?
One of my nephews was a first responder in some of Baltimore’s most gritty neighborhoods. The stories he told had the power to raise the hair on your arms, and cause nightmares, I tell ya! It always amazed me how he’d go into those situations with no thought for his own safety. And then 9/11 happened, and I saw thousands of people just like Tom who put others’ safety ahead of their own. The “First Responders” series is dedicated to all those brave people—cops, firefighters, EMTs, ER docs and nurses, Port Authority officers—who quite literally walked into the flames. It reminds me of John 15:13-14… “Greater love has no one has than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” In the case of first responders, they’re willing to lay down their lives for
The “First Responders” series is dedicated to all those brave people—cops, firefighters, EMTs, ER docs and nurses, Port Authority officers—who quite literally walked into the flames. It reminds me of John 15:13-14… “Greater love has no one has than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” In the case of first responders, they’re willing to lay down their lives for total strangers. That, in my opinion, is the true definition of heroism!
There are three books in the Whitaker House “Secrets on Sterling Street Series.” Shaina Sterling, Nell Holstrom, and Ruby McCoy all exhibit tremendous heartfelt courage in their approach to life. How do you create a believable protagonist when the odds seem nearly insurmountable? Do you tap your own courage?
I don’t get along well with weak, weepy-whiny, hand-wringing females. Every woman close to me is strong, capable, independent…who live by a “Let’s do this!” mindset rather than a “Take care of me!” attitude. I guess that explains why all of my heroines are hard-working go-getters who aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty when a situation calls for action…
You wrote three different series with the “Love Inspired’s” theme: Accidental Blessings, Turning Points, and Suddenly. Will your fans see more new books in this category?
Anything is possible, but unless a whole LOT of readers write Harlequin and ask for more, I’d have to say ‘probably not.’ 😉
Does your husband ever feel threatened by the “hunks” who show up in your books and knock the women off their feet?
Not a bit! First of all—if you’ve seen photos of him—you know he’s a hunk, too. And it doesn’t hurt that I tell him every hero exhibits the character traits that made me fall in love with him!
How long ago did you begin your journey as a writer?
Back in the early 80s, I started out writing articles for local, regional, and national newspapers and magazines, and accumulated more than 2,500 published features. I ‘tried my hand’ at novel writing in the early 90s; Pocketful of Love, my first published book, was released in ’94 and won “Readers Choice Contemporary of the Year, which kick-started my ‘fiction addiction.’ The next few novels were rejected, but after a while, more Loree titles joined that first story on the shelves. I’m blessed to have connected with editors, publishers, and an agent—and readers who have, over the years, become dear friends—who believe in me and my word, because when my next book releases in November, 2017 (Healing of the Heart, #3 in Whitaker’s “Secrets on Sterling Street” historical series), the total number of books-on-the-shelves will be 108.
Who inspired you the most to become an author?
Hmm… Don’t know that I can point to one person or event. I love writing. Love hearing from readers who share how a story, a character, and event touched them in a personal way.
Although you’re prolific as a writer, your life holds so much more. What were some of your favorite moments as a grandmother?
Oh wow, there are thousands! My favorite times are when the kids are here without their parents, and we can interact without Mom saying “Don’t touch that!” or “That isn’t how we sit at the table!” (Kudos to my daughters for teaching them how to behave like civilized human beings…so I don’t have to! LOL) Each of them, from the oldest to the youngest, has drawn pictures and created cards, mostly “just because.” As a result, my kitchen walls are decorated with their loving and beautiful artwork.
As one of America’s leading romance writers, I have to ask this one: Did your kids ask for or did you give them any advice before they married?
When they brought young men home to meet my husband and me, I said this—in the presence of the guys—“Look deep and hard for THE most annoying trait about each other; if you can live with that for the rest of your life, you might just make a ‘go’ of this relationship!”
Loree Lough believes in “giving back,” by dedicating a portion of her income to Soldiers’ Angels, Special Operations Warrior Foundation, and other worthwhile organizations. Who in your family would you say you’ve inherited your giving heart from?
My mom made a practice of passing our outgrown clothes on to friends and family members. A talented artist and craftsperson, she made THOUSANDS of things over the years (sweaters, hats, dresses, ceramic items, paintings/sketches, etc.), and could have earned a lot of money, selling them. Instead, Mom turned every one of her beautiful crafts into gifts. Every time I look at one of these on my walls, tabletops, closet shelves, etc., I remember the look on her face when a recipient opened a package containing her one-of-a-kind works of art. A lot of my donations are ‘in secret,’ but they still have the power to awaken ‘feel good’ emotions in me.
You have a cabin in the Allegheny Mountains where you and your husband escape for more than a few romantic interludes. I love the Allegheny’s! Please describe your view from the family room window.
We have two big windows in the family room, one that faces Polish Mountain, another that provides views of Ragged Mountain. Both allow us to commune with nature, watching deer, black bear families, coyotes, turkeys, possums, porcupines, raccoons, ground hogs… I could go on (and on!) but you get the idea. Sometimes, I have to close the blinds so those things can’t distract me from working on my latest book project!
I understand you’re a collector. What do you collect and have you reached maximum tolerance levels with your husband yet?
Wow. Let’s see: The sun porch is home to several collections: Wind chimes, working duck decoys, lighthouses, and sea shells. In the family room, things that are wolf related (pictures, collectors’ plates, figurines, etc.) The dining room is home to butterfly stuff, and the living room is where I display ‘bird things.’ There’s a walking stick-cane collection in the foyer, but mostly, that’s my husband’s. 😉
When you pick up a book to read, what genres do you enjoy?
LOVE the old classics, and reread them every chance I get: Anything by Hemingway, London, Michener, and even Shakespeare. I enjoy reading novels written by my author pals, and it’s always an honor when they ask me to endorse a book. (Some of those authors write romance [historical and contemporary], while others prefer stories that are action-adventure, suspense, thriller, and even time travel.
If Loree Lough could travel anywhere in the world with no responsibilities and no worries, where would you go?
Alaska. In a heartbeat!
Who are the people you want to thank for your success?
First, God, for gifting me with this so-called talent for stringing words together until they become stories readers will enjoy. Second, my family, for tolerating my wacky hours and tendency to talk about fictional characters as though they’re real. Last, but certainly not least, readers. The constant inflow of letters (all of which I answer, personally, by the way) that point out scenes, settings, characters, etc., along with their enthusiastic “Don’t ever stop writing!” and “When is your next book coming out!” compliments are blessings, in and of themselves. And, since most of the letter-writers have followed my 20+ year career, a whole bunch of them—some of whom I’ve had the pleasure of meeting in person—have become true and treasured friends.
Thank you for joining me today on Peggy’s Hope 4U, Loree. I’m in awe of your talent and humbled to be working in your shadow. From all my readers and me, we wish you health and happiness today and far into the future!
This has been fun, Peggy, and I thank you again for inviting me to Peggy’s Hope 4U! Wishing you and all who are blessed to follow you a beautiful and happy autumn!
Win A Free Kindle Copy – Choose the Book
Here’s your chance to win one free Kindle copy of the book of your choice from the “Secrets on Sterling Street” or “Those Marshall Boys” series.
How? It’s simple!
In the comments below, Tell us which of the book covers above makes you want to read the book asap. OR If you’re already a fan of Loree Lough, share the name of your favorite book. All the names will go into the drawing on November 12th and the winner will be notified.
Loree would love to answer any of your questions. Simply use the comments below to ask. Enjoy getting to know more about this talented author while you discover the romance novel you’ve waited so long to read.
You can learn more about Loree Lough by connecting with her at: