Today I welcome Lori Crane to my series of author interviews. Lori is the author of The Legend of Stuckey’s Bridge and the series Okatibbee Creek: Okatibbee Creek (book 1), An Orphan’s Heart (book 2), and the soon-to-be-released Elly Hays (book 3).
Elizabeth: Welcome, Lori. Can you tell us about your Okatibbee Creek series?
Lori: The Okatibbee Creek series is a collection of stories about the strong women in my family’s history (1750-1900 US). The books are based on real people in real circumstances, overcoming real obstacles.
Elizabeth: What first made you interested in these characters?
Lori: As I did genealogy research, I found my third great grandmother, Mary Ann, had lost an unbelievable SEVENTEEN family members to typhoid and the Civil War in an eighteen-month period. The more I looked into the details, the more I became impressed with the sheer amount of strength she possessed. She became the heroine of the book Okatibbee Creek. When I found her young niece was orphaned at the same time and was moved from state to state with relatives, I was hooked on her story which became An Orphan’s Heart. I looked back in time to find the source of strength for these women and fell upon Mary Ann’s grandmother who lost almost everything to a hostile band of Indians during the War of 1812. That is the coming book Elly Hays.
Elizabeth: How much historical fact is woven into your stories?
Lori: The Okatibbee Creek books are all real names, dates, and places. The only fictional parts are their personalities and daily lives, which we can never know. The Legend of Stuckey’s Bridge is based on a Mississippi legend. If the legend is true, then the dates and places are true, including Old Man Stuckey’s brief stint as a member of the notorious Dalton Gang. Most of the people are fictional since there was no cast of characters in the original legend.
Elizabeth: What is your writing process and how do you go about doing historical research?
Lori: When I’m engrossed by an historical character, I put together a timeline of events and then go back and weave a storyline through them. Sort of like putting puzzle pieces in an almost-finished jigsaw puzzle.
Elizabeth: What are you working on now?
Lori: I’m working on a sequel to Stuckey’s Bridge called Stuckey’s Legacy. The main character is total fiction, but I’m placing him in real 1920s people, events, and places to get the true flavor of the roaring twenties.
Elizabeth: Enough of your books—tell us about yourself.
Lori: Besides being an indie author, I am a full-time musician and play a dueling piano show on Norwegian Cruise Lines. Being at sea four to eight weeks at a time gives me plenty of time to write. When I’m home, I live a quiet life in the country in western Michigan with my trophy husband and a host of animals, including our newest addition Eva. She’s a four-foot ball python.
We’ve now reached the time in our interview for the let’s-get-to-know-the-author-better, nearly-pointless, sort-of-silly, rapid-fire questions:
Elizabeth: Coffee or tea?
Lori: Tea. I’ve never tried coffee.
Elizabeth: Ocean or mountain?
Lori: Since I spend twenty weeks + a year on the ocean, I have to say mountains.
Elizabeth: Hiking or shopping?
Elizabeth: Violin or piano?
Lori: Piano since I was five.
Elizabeth: Mystery or fantasy?
Lori: Either, as long as it’s captivating.
Elizabeth: Darcy or Heathcliff?
Lori: Heathcliff all the way. Of course, probably not in real life.
Elizabeth: Love scene or death scene?
Lori: Death scene. Nothing says love like dying in someone’s arms.
To learn more about Lori and her books, visit her websites:
Lori’s books are available at: http://www.amazon.com/Lori-Crane/e/B00ATIQW8M