Lori Whitwam is an author who’s talented enough to have books published in multiple genres, and like me, she’s anal—with her writing, that is. She is a qualified proofreader, and her books reflect the high standards she demands of herself.
Both Make or Break and Monsters Unmasked are receiving fantastic reviews. It’s my great pleasure to introduce Lori Whitwam.
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Lori spent her early years reading books in a tree in northern West Virginia. The 1980s and ‘90s found her and her husband moving around the Midwest, mainly because it was easier to move than clean the apartment. She currently lives in a northwestern suburb of the Twin Cities for reasons that escape her, but were probably good ones at the time.
Since arriving in Minnesota in 1996, she has worked in public libraries, written advertising copy for wastewater treatment equipment, and managed a holistic veterinary clinic. Her dogs are a big part of her life, and she has served or held offices in Golden Retriever and Great Pyrenees rescues, a humane society, a county kennel club, and her own chapter of Therapy Dogs International.
Parents of a grown son, Lori and her husband were high school sweethearts, and he manages to love her in spite of herself. Some of his duties include making sure she always has fresh coffee and safe tires, trying to teach her to use coupons, and convincing the state police to spring her from house arrest in her hotel room in time for a very important concert. That last one only happened once—so far—but she still really, really appreciates it.
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A writer, a musician, an unexpected love… and a killer who wants to destroy it all.
Abby never dreamed she’d meet her rock-n-roll fantasy, Seth Caldwell, by crushing his guitar under the wheels of her Jeep. Twice. Seth wants to strangle her, but soon the snarks turn to sparks, and he revokes his longstanding rule against getting involved with women on the road.
But when an attempt is made on Seth’s life, everyone’s a suspect. Abby’s determined to hang on to the tenuous ties they’ve developed, but Seth’s determined to keep her safe… even if he has to push her away in order to do it…
In the early days of the global zombie pandemic, Ellen Hale learns a brutal lesson. Sometimes the shambling animated corpses aren’t the worst thing that can happen to you. Sometimes the monsters are human, hiding their thirst for violence behind deceptively benign masks.
While trying to survive the hoards of zombies, Ellen is abducted by a band of marauders and subjected to abuse almost beyond her ability to endure. When she is rescued, she is broken both mentally and physically, and fears she could become a monster herself…
Buy links available via Lori’s website.
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Inside Lori Whitwam’s Mind
What is your idea of perfect happiness? A little house on twenty wooded acres, my husband and dogs by my side, my laptop and a good internet connection, a bottle of wine, and both ideas and royalty checks flowing freely. Also, a giant metal chicken. How can you not be perfectly happy if you have a giant metal chicken? Bonus points if he has a machete. Mine does.
What turns you on creatively? The encouragement and inspiration of my other writer friends.
Which words or phrases do you most overuse? I had no idea until Make or Break went to editing. “That,” “got,” “get,” “crazy,” and a lot of really bad action and dialogue tags. Apparently. My husband also pointed out early on my tendency to over-use “drew,” the verb. I have a character in the book named Drew, so I tried to find other ways to express that particular action.
What quality do you most admire in a man? Only one? The ability to forgive. Because nobody is perfect, least of all me.
What quality do you most admire in a woman? Sincerity. I’ve known too many women who were false friends. We don’t have to always agree, but we should always be honest and supportive of one another, instead of tearing each other down.
What is your greatest regret? Some things are too personal, but the one I can share is never going to college. Life went knickers-up during the months following high school graduation, and my circumstances changed. With the demands of day-to-day life, I never made it back.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? It would be nice if I had even a modicum of willpower, self-control, or ability to moderate. Anything. I’m one of those people who thrives on immediate gratification, and anything I do, I’m probably going to over-do.
What is your greatest fear? The obvious answer is losing my husband, dogs, son, or home. I can’t even think about that without almost breaking into hives. The less obvious (but nearly as terrifying) answer is ever having to venture into the world for a “day job” again. (**Noooooooo!**)
(Side note to the above: After that answer, I dreamed that while on a trip, my husband and I were separated at a rest stop, and he was robbed/abducted by some scary people. I spent the whole dream frantically searching for him, screaming and crying at what I feared he was going through, and that I might never see him again. So, let’s elevate that right to the top of the “greatest fear” list.)
Which living person do you most admire? My husband. He has more strength and integrity than anyone I’ve ever met, yet he still manages to make life as much fun as when we started dating in 1982. (I’m sensing a theme in my answers!)
What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? I’d say “courtesan,” but the ship sailed on that one a few decades ago. How about a wildlife researcher, one of the people who studies and monitors wildlife populations in state or national parks? I wouldn’t have to take any math classes to qualify, would I? Because if so, I’m going to have to go back to “courtesan.” I’m pretty sure you don’t need math for that.
If you could choose what to come back as, what would it be? Absolutely no doubt, a golden retriever. With an easily-manipulated, adoring owner. Essentially, I want my dogs’ life!
What do you consider your greatest achievement? Somehow sustaining a marriage for 28 years and counting. Though, to be fair, that’s much more his achievement than mine. I can remember my junior high locker combination. Is that an achievement? I don’t remember the locker number, though, so I guess I’d still be screwed.
What is the trait you most deplore in others? Intolerance.
What is your greatest extravagance? Taking off on random road trips with Tom. And when we’re not road-tripping, massive abuse of the “buy now with one click” button on Amazon. My Kindle gets a lot of use!
What is one thing you want to do before you die? Until recently, that answer would have been “write a book.” Now, other than write another one, I’m not sure. I should probably figure that out. I keep coming back to my answer to the first question, the peaceful house in the woods. I’d really love to live there.
What is your present state of mind? Coming off a severe bout of the blues due to loss of something very significant in our lives, but I’m now moving on to snarky and pissy. You know, getting back to normal.
What are some of your favorite curse words? Wow. I write with a pretty salty vocabulary, but other than “fuck,” and “asshole,” (or when time is short, “fucking asshole”) I don’t use many in my daily life. I do, however, use those frequently. I’m more likely to use made-up, not-quite-curse-words, like my editor’s “motherheifer,” or my own personal favorites “bugfuck crazy,” “fucktard,” or “dickwad.” And I totally put too much thought into that question.
What is your motto? “Shut up and write.” Yeah, I should listen to myself more.
Lori, I love your motto, and your curse words are priceless! I encourage all readers to leave Lori a comment or ask her a question. She’s a wonderful lady to know.