A recipient of the 2013, 2015 and 2016 Readers’ Favorite Award for Suspense and Romance, Lorhainne lives on the sunny west-coast Gulf Island of Salt Spring Island, is the mother of three, her oldest has autism and she is an advocate for never giving up on your dreams. She is frequently a Top 100 bestselling author in multiple genres, and we expect that her The Outsider Series: The Complete Omnibus will also follow suit. As our Author of the Day, Eckhart talks about the Friessen men from her books, reveals which book in the omnibus was her personal favorite and talks about how important it is to schedule time to write.
Please give us a short introduction to what The Outsider Series: The Complete Omnibus is about.
The Outsider Series is a collection of the first 10 books and short stories of The Friessen family. It began with The Forgotten Child, an emotionally charged romance series filled with passion, tension, family and so much love. The first book of the Outsider series alone sold over 500,000 copies worldwide and is now translated into German and French. After the last book of the series, The Wedding was published I received a ton of emails from fans asking for the series not to end. So after The Outsider Series, The Friessens: A New Beginning was born, and still continues as the family grows, the children grown, This is my most requested series.
Tell us more about the Friessen men. What makes them so special?
These guys kind of came out of nowhere! As a few of my fans have pointed out they are the kind of men we all want. They’re far from perfect, and come with a lot of flaws. But they understand their role as a man, the alpha quality is in them and they don’t pretend otherwise. They’re rough around the edges, they love their wives, their kids, their families and when push comes to shove they are there when it matters. And even though there is a lot of passion and fire and life isn’t easy they always have their wives backs.
Which of the books in the omnibus is your personal favorite?
I would have said The Forgotten Child, it was one of the first books and this book touched readers in a way I never expected. But Runaway, there was something about this book, that I still today can say it's just the one.
Please give us three good-to-know facts about you.
I walk my own path and my own talk. – My kids pointed this one out.
Am a total coffee snob!
I never talk about others and never give a second thought to whether someone is going to like me.
I never follow.
And believe it or not, I never watch the news!
For your own reading, do you prefer ebooks or traditional paper/hardback books?
I was one of those people who swore they would never give up reading a paper/hardback book. That I needed that tactile feel of the paper and turning the page, that is until I got my first kindle. But... after using a lightweight device that has light, you can adjust the font and it weighs practically nothing -- along with the fact that I can pull it out anywhere, take it anywhere and it stores hundreds of ebooks where I can choose whatever genre or author that I’m in the mood for that day... I think I probably answered it, but going back to a paper/hardback book is now downright impossible.
How do you balance all of the demands of a successful writing career (writing, appearances, etc.) and the myriad personal life demands?
The balance of life is something all successful people have in common. And as of late it is something I’ve really taken a hard look at. It’s not just as an author it applies to everyone, whatever career you have it’s a matter of figuring out that we spend most of our time busy being busy. And that’s the problem. What exactly does that mean? It means getting focused on a few things and skipping the many. This is that I’ve nailed down habits and routines and I stick with them. Because being successful isn’t about who you are, where you're from or who your parents are, or how much money you do or don’t have. And once I figured this out and got to the point that there was no fricking way I wasn’t going to be a successful author -- things started to change.
I actually wrote a blog on this topic not long ago, because it comes down to setting goals and actually implementing them and it starts with the one mistake everyone makes by using your best hours of the day for your lowest leverage activities. That time first thing in the morning is the time to get down to work and get busy. It’s the time when your physical, mental focus and your willpower are at the highest and the time when you can bring your A-game to the table. I do not ever use this time to answer emails, texts, check voicemails or catch up on chit chat with anyone. I use that peak performance time to hone my craft, do my work, and it is always right after the kids are out the door. By doing this I have cut out so much wasted time during day and accomplished so much more, and that includes scheduling time every day to include dinner and family time.
Where do your ideas come from?
You know you are a writer when the stories seem to play in your head like a movie and you run around the house looking for anything to write on when the image and idea appears, just to scribble it down: the characters, the plot. Seriously, it happens a lot. And likely the reason I have pads of paper everywhere, including in my vehicle, my purse, the kitchen drawers. It has happened while I was shopping in the grocery store having to reach in my purse to find a piece of paper scribble the story idea down, or whether it’s the next scene I’m working on and then keep shopping. If I don’t that’s when I’m plagued with the idea of the story and become distracted. I’ve been asked often how I come up with ideas? But an author doesn’t have to come up with the ideas, they’re just there. It’s as simple as that, and it becomes writing the story fast enough so the characters can speak.
Have changes in your own life affected any of your characters?
Of course, as I evolve and change and grow in life so do my characters, they become more life experienced, seeing and doing things they didn’t expect. My characters, especially in the Friessen series have evolved and grown into the kind of men and women I think we all want in our family, or inspire to be.
What are you working on right now?
I just published In the Charm from the Friessen family series, Book number 12, what’s coming is more of the Friessen family series. Next will be stories of all the kids you first met in The Outsider Series, now grown meeting the love of their life, their obstacles and their challenges.
Where can our readers discover more of your work or interact with you?
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