Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Writer interview #24

-- Writer Interview # 24 --

Since early May 2010 we've been featuring poets and authors on our blog, offering their insider's knowledge about writing, literacy, how authors can help change the world - or the industry, and more. Today we are featuring the 24th writer interview that has been published on our blog since early May. Check out the archived posts to find the other authors and poets that  have been featured in the past. 

Today we have author and short-story writer Lorrie Unites-Struiff, who currenlty resides in West Mifflin, PA (USA). Her debut novella, Gypsy Crystal, was recently released and she is here today to talk about her experiences in the world of writing. Check out her website @:

* I'd like to send a shout-out to Brandi Drury of BK Walker Books for sending today's guest our way:

Q. What are common mistakes authors make?

A. I’ve attended a few writer conferences and this is only my personal opinion, but I found most writers attending are trying to write the great American novel as their first work. I believe when starting out, one should write short stories first. Cut your teeth on them before attempting a novel.

Q. What are your greatest obstacles and motivators when it comes to writing?

A. The biggest obstacle is me. I lack concentration, or perhaps it’s discipline. Caregiving for a family member is a constant up and down job. My biggest motivator comes when I am halfway through a story and am so into it, I don’t want to quit writing—if that makes sense.

Q. What is your favorite memory in your career as a writer?

A. Being brave enough to walk into our big-name bookstore seven years ago—I’m meek—and proving that I could run a workshop. I recently handed over the baton due to circumstances at home.

Q. How long have you been writing?

A. I’ve been learning, and writing stories for about nine or ten years. I started off really green, knowing next to nothing about the field. I have only a high school education, to my dismay, and that was more years ago than I care to think about. But, I love to learn new things and writing has always been a dream of mine.

Q. What advice would you give to someone who is interested in your topic?

A. I’d say do your research and let your imagination roam free. It’s your story. The wonderful thing about the paranormal/thriller/romance genre is that you can twist it any way you want to.

Q.Why did you decide to write?

A. I love to tell stories. My first thoughts were to leave a personality profile for my children on all their great aunts and uncles instead of the plain family tree. It would help them know the ancestors and where they may have inherited their traits. Then, somehow, someway, I was caught up in the writing field and enjoying every minute.

Q. Did you take any writing classes?

A. I took two very short creative writing classes at our local community college. But, I have learned more from critique partners than anywhere else.

Q. How much time do you devote to marketing your book? And what kind of marketing do you recommend?

A. Writers must spend too much time marketing, in my opinion. This takes valuable time away from their writing. So far, I have been spending many hours a day to guest blog, answering interview questions and writing little articles. If you have a day job, a family, all this leaves you no time to write. This is not a complaint, so please don’t think that. It’s just a necessary part of the self-promoting aspect that we authors agree to do when we are published.

Q. As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

A. The first thing I wanted to be was a motorcycle cop. Need I tell you I was a tomboy? Then, later in my early teens, I wanted to be a model - you know, live the glamorous life. (she laughs) What childish dreams! In high school, I wanted to be a writer.

Find Dave and Lillian Brummet, excerpts from their books, information about their radio shows and free resources and more at:


  1. Thanks for having me here today. I hope the readers will learn a little bit more about me with this small interview.

  2. Great interview! How cool, a motorcycle cop! I wanted to be Illya Kuryakin of The Man From UNCLE, lol. (My older sister always got to be Napolean Solo) :)
    How fortunate for us you found your way as a writer instead. Wishing you much success with Gypsy Crystal!

  3. Hi Lorrie,

    I, too, was a tomboy and also wanted to be a cop...or a big rig the world one state at a time. (Thanks to B.J. and the Bear) lol
    I was always a reader because I didn't think I was good enough to write (only HS diploma here too.) Then I read something my niece wrote and she inspired me to put pen to paper. I'm working on my first novel now.

    I've gone to one 'class' on writing (showing vs. telling) that was taught by a friend. Most of what I've learned also is from critique groups.

    I very much agree with Cate. We are fortunate you found your way as a writer. For me, on a more personal level, you have been a great help and inspiration to me.

    Thank You and may you have much success with Gypsy Crystal and your future publications.

  4. Hi Lorrie-
    Fun interview - I'm sure you would've made a great motorcycle cop ;-) but now you can "be" whoever you want to be with each new book...
    Best of luck with Gypsy Crystal!


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