Bestselling Author Lori Foster Still
Believes Traditional Publishing Is Best An exclusive Authorlink interview
with Lori Foster

By Guest Columnist Paige Crutcher
June 2011

When You Dare cover
When You Dare
by Lori Foster

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Lori Foster Portrait
Lori Foster

Seductive, sexy and evocative, bestselling author Lori Foster’s novels never fail to lure readers into a world of intrigue and romance. For over fifteen years, she’s brought to life characters that sizzle, plots that entice and love stories so potent they smolder off the page. Her latest series, Men Who Walk The Edge Of Honor, is no exception. Rich in suspense and shrouded in mystery, Foster tackles human trafficking, espionage and the grayer side of life. But at the heart of these superbly crafted stories is the tale of passion discovered – and the depths that true love will travel to protect, serve and save. Foster shares how the muse affects her writing, the occupational hazards to being a novelist and shares her advice for aspiring writers.

“A wife, a mother… I had an image in my head of the perfect family.”

AUTHORLINK: As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? 

FOSTER: A wife, a mother… I had an image in my head of the perfect family, with me in an apron packing lunches for my husband, keeping an immaculate house – all very domestic. I got close. Hubby always worked 3rd shift so he could spend the day with our 3 sons whenever they were involved in sports, so I never packed his lunch. The house has always been pretty clean, but with 3 kids… yeah, not really immaculate. And I have never, ever worn an apron.

Our family isn’t perfect, because we’re, well… human. And humans are flawed. But it’s still a pretty darned good set-up!

I actually never thought about writing until after I’d been married awhile and already had all 3 sons.

AUTHORLINK: When You Dare and Trace of Fever are equal parts sexy and suspenseful. Is it easier to write the romance or the mystery – or did they fall hand in hand into the story?

FOSTER: I never really think about it. Characters present themselves to me, and corny as it sounds, they tell me their story. I just get it on paper. Some are sexier than others because that’s what the characters dictated. Some are more suspenseful than others for the same reason. I just go with the flow.

AUTHORLINK: How difficult was researching about human trafficking and the world of horror that goes along with it? Were you able to leave some of the heaviness behind as you wrote the story, or has the discovery stayed with and affected you?

FOSTER: I HOPE I left some of the heaviness behind, because it’s pretty awful. The more I researched, the more appalled I became. My own state, Ohio, is listed as a “hotbed” for human trafficking. I had no idea. I learned that the crime goes beyond all social boundaries, all financial standings, all races. Everyone is a potential victim.

“I really despise editing. Bleh. I write it, and I’m done. ”



AUTHORLINK: Is there an element of writing that you least like – grammar, editing, researching, etc… or have you found joy in every aspect?

FOSTER: I really despise editing. Bleh. I write it, and I’m done. But I get the copy back several times, not so much for big edits (I’ve been very fortunate that I haven’t had to do big revisions for a long, long time) but just reading over the copy edit, and the page proofs… Not fun. Once I finish a book, I am SO done with it. LOL

AUTHORLINK: What inspires you? How do you summon your muse — or do you look at writing as a job that you simply sit down and do?

FOSTER: I don’t summon it so much as it just punches me in the brain. I’ll be trying to sleep, or eat, or visit with friends and family – and something will spark in the old gray matter and an idea is born. About the only time I’m not plotting is when I’m at the movies, stuffing my face with popcorn and drinking a cola. Sometimes plots intrude even then, but often I can put it off while I get lost in a movie. I go to the movies about twice a week – more often if there are movies I want to see!

“I aim to entertain – that’s all. I’m not out to educate anyone. ”



AUTHORLINK: Dipping inside the pages of one of your books is a thrilling, and sweet, escape. What do you hope your readers take away from your work?

FOSTER: A smile. A little relaxation.A break from worries.

I aim to entertain – that’s all. I’m not out to educate anyone, or change their political perspectives, or push my opinions on anything. I hope they read a story that they enjoy, that they close the book satisfied and that, just maybe, they’re interested in picking up another of my stories.

AUTHORLINK: What do you believe makes a good story? What elements are essential to building a world that transcends from the page into the readers heart?

FOSTER: For me (and this varies for other authors and readers of course) I like fast pacing, great dialogue, and believable situations. I like to be pulled into a story and feel like I know the characters – or could know them.

Readers need to be able to be able to relate. They need to buy into what you’re selling.

AUTHORLINK: Are there any occupational hazards to being a novelist?

FOSTER: There are always occupational hazards. I’ve gained weight because instead of running around doing a million and one things (I’m a spaz) I’m sitting on my tush writing. A lot.

I’m a driven person and I pretty much throw myself into whatever I’m doing. Unfortunately, with books, that means overloading on computer time and writing.

I have some carpal tunnel issues. Too much mousing.

And my insomnia is worse. Too much plotting.

But hey, this is a dream job. I love, love, love what I do. Readers are the most generous, caring, understanding people anywhere. I am blessed beyond measure.

“I think – for now – you’re still better off publishing traditionally.”



AUTHORLINK: Writers all over are struggling with the future of publishing – to publish the traditional route or to go it alone. Readers will always read, but do you believe one route is more beneficial than the other?

FOSTER: Boy has the market every changed! I think – for now – you’re still better off publishing traditionally. Publishers who’ve been around have great contacts, expansive distribution, and solid footing. They know how to get your name out there and how to build sales. But if you can’t get published traditionally, it’s now a lot easier to go other routes.

AUTHORLINK: Being a writer, you interact with people all over the world. You touch lives, even shaping destinies simply by offering words and new dreams into someone else’s life. Has anyone ever inadvertently shaped your destiny? A writer, story or book?

FOSTER: Well, I’m a real take-charge person, so I’m not sure I’d realize it if anyone had influenced me enough to change my destiny. Hubby and I found each other at an early age. We were married by nineteen, had bought our first house 6 months later, and had our first son 3 years after that. He certainly influenced my life and changed my destiny – as did my 3 boys.

And while I don’t remember the title or author of the first romance I read, it definitely changed things. I’d never even been much of a reader until I “discovered” that first romance novel. And after that, I read voraciously for a few years, and then started writing.

AUTHORLINK:Are as passionate about reading as you are writing?

FOSTER: I love to read, but I always feel like I should be writing. So I don’t read nearly as often as I used to.

“Your voice is the only unique thing you have. Avoid books by committee . . .”



AUTHORLINK: Would you share any advice for aspiring writers?

FOSTER: Your voice is the only unique thing you have. Avoid books by committee – and by that I mean don’t share your work before you’re done with it. Don’t swap chapters and ask a group of writers to give you advice along the way. Not on YOUR story. You need it to be yours, all yours, for it to stand out against all the work flooding into publishers’ offices.

And don’t forget to have fun. If you make it working in the coal mines, then that’s what it’ll be. Attitude is *everything.* Seriously. Decide you’re having fun, and you will. And then readers will have fun while reading your work.

About Lori Foster

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About Regular Contributor
Paige Crutcher

Paige Crutcher is a wordie, writer, book addict, blogger, National Authors Examiner and columnist for Visit her articles at:, her blog: or follow her on Twitter: @PCrutcher.