1. Please tell our readers about yourself
Hi, everyone! I’m Lora, and I write YA sci-fi and fantasy. I’m a fan of the Divergent trilogy, the Hunger Games, Harry Potter (especially), and the Across the Universe trilogy. Oh, and my favorite TV show these days is Once Upon a Time. I’m partial to The Walking Dead, The 100, Supergirl, and Dark Matter, too. I have a major sweet tooth, and in my spare time, I sing in a praise band, Chalice Sounds. My wonderful husband and I just celebrated our 8th anniversary on July 4th.
2. For our readers who have never been there, how would you describe the soul of your hometown? In other words, what makes it a unique place in the world?
I live in a vibrant, historic county in an up-and-coming area that’s close to everything—shopping, restaurants, large parks with hiking trails, township pools that offer both memberships and day passes to the public, farms that have amazing produce and fun events throughout the year, quaint villages with bed-and-breakfast inns and boutique shops and so much more!
3. What effect has living there had on your writing?
Well, it is an inspiring place to write! Since I mostly write science fiction and fantasy, I can’t say that I’ve drawn from elements of my community in developing any of my settings as yet, though.
4. What and/or who would you say are your biggest influences?
I would go with Meredith Pierce for her Darkangel Trilogy, Beth Revis for her Across the Universe series, Veronica Roth for her Divergent series, Suzanne Collins for the Hunger Games series—umm, yeah…there’s a definite trilogy pattern.
5. What are your earliest memories of writing? Put another way, when did you know you were a writer?
Reading was definitely one of my favorite pastimes as a child, and I was writing little stories—even in crayon—from the time I learned to read, so I’m told :). I had all sorts of little short stories that I kept in a satchel, and I think deep down, I knew all along that I wanted to be a writer. Of course, I also wanted a career that involved helping others, so I also work with young adults at a local residential facility.
During college and beyond, I kind of got away from writing until maybe about 10 years ago or so. I loved writing role play because it was fun creating stories with a partner, and then I finally decided to get back to writing original stuff of my own. It really wasn’t until I’d written MIRRORMASTERS and several short stories that I finally was able to call myself a writer. By then I knew how much I loved the challenge of getting the words down of an initial draft, of finding just the right word, of editing to make a manuscript the best it can be.
6. Please tell us about MIRRORMASTERS.
Leah Ellis never knew why she was found abandoned on the beach at two years old. Content with her adoptive family and small town life, she hadn’t thought much about it over the years. That is, until her life takes a bizarre turn when she begins seeing images in mirrors she can’t explain–cloaked figures using powers that manifest like lightning bolts, or flash-frozen beaches on another world beneath a purple sky.
She practices mirror-gazing, driven to understand these images and their possible connection to her forgotten past, and discovers that it’s kind of addictive with its wild, boundless power coursing through her veins. Soon, she learns to control what the mirror shows her.
When new neighbors move in, Leah is shocked that they’re dead ringers for the people in her visions. According to Brian, with the gorgeous ice-blue eyes, and his father, she is a MirrorMaster–an alien with a gift that lets her travel through mirrors, even to worlds light years away. Her birth parents sent them to take her from Earth back to her homeworld of Jantyr, a planet she doesn’t remember. They’ve searched for her ever since she disappeared.
But Leah’s long-lost birth sister, a sorceress, activated an ancient device to trigger a cataclysm on Jantyr as a bid to consolidate her own power. Leah must return to Jantyr, master her newfound ability in order to locate and wield crystals that will disable the device, and thwart her sister’s plans. Otherwise, the destruction will consume the entire galaxy, including Earth and everyone she loves.
7. You’re published by Clean Reads, right? What makes them different in today’s marketplace?
I am! Clean Reads offers books that are free of profanity, graphic violence, and explicit intimacy. Any genre you like, you can find some awesome titles from Clean Reads in that genre. They work with some amazing cover artists and are known for having absolutely amazing book covers. Our books are available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, ITunes, Smashwords, and Kobo—and once a book earns a certain amount in sales within a year of publication, it will also be made available in print. We work together like a family to help each other out in many ways and share support, marketing ideas, and in general promote each other and our books.
8. Before we finish, please tell our readers about what the future holds.
I’m working on editing a YA sci-fi called BENEATH THE RED SKY. Once it’s ready, I’ll start querying it. So, here’s a little about the story. It’s about a girl named Kassi, who is an ambitious ballerina. She ends up having to move with her family to Mars when her dad is selected to be among the first settlers of the new Mars colony. With her dreams of becoming a prima ballerina shattered, she joins the excavation team, not only for the opportunity to explore what’s outside the habitat, but to make new discoveries and even find possible evidence of a past civilization there. However, someone is trying to sabotage the Mars mission. She begins to suspect that the accidents that started with the shuttle that crash-landed them on the red planet and are continuing in the habitat might not really be accidents. And as she and her friends investigate who is responsible and what huge secret that person is trying to hide, they could become the killer’s next target.