Lori Copeland is the author of more than 90 titles, both historical and contemporary fiction. With more than 3 million copies of her books in print, she has developed a loyal following among her rapidly growing fans in the inspirational market. She has been honored with the Romantic Times Reviewer's Choice Award, The Holt Medallion, and Walden Books' Best Seller award. In 2000, Lori was inducted into the Missouri Writers Hall of Fame. She lives in the beautiful Ozarks with her husband, Lance, and their three children and five grandchildren.
In this interview, Lori Copeland --- author of over 95 works of fiction, including NOW AND ALWAYS, MONDAY MORNING FAITH and SIMPLE GIFTS --- describes the inspiration behind her latest book, THE CHRISTMAS LAMP, and shares some of the poignant feedback she has received from readers. She also discusses the challenges and rewards of her career and explains how she came to understand her true purpose as an author.
Question: When and where were you born?
Lori Copeland: I was born June 12, 1941 in Springfield, MO.
Q: Were books a big part of your life growing up? If so, what books influenced you the most as a child?
LC: I've always loved to read. As a child, my favorite books were The Boxcar Children and Laura Ingalls Wilder’s books. I love to read and did so voraciously.
Q: Who are your favorite authors and why?
LC: I read about anything, but my favorite books are true crime, biographies, romance and medical thrillers.
Q: What are some of your favorite hobbies and activities, besides reading and writing?
LC: I love to knit. I’m not an accomplished knitter, but I have tons of dishcloths in my knitting closet. And I love to travel; cruises are my personal favorite. For any reader who has read the Heavenly Daze series, we’re having a four-day cruise to Cozumel, Mexico in January 2010! Both co-author Angela Hunt and I will be aboard. There’s still time to sign up. See my web page, loricopeland.com, for information.
Q: How has being published changed your life?
LC: How do I count the ways! Many people think that an author’s job is the easiest and most fun thing in the world. It’s very hard --- long hours, tedious and isolated work. I tell everyone (and I didn’t coin the phrase) I love having written, but the process is difficult for me. Writing has limited my time for close personal relationships, long teas with friends, church work and “me” time.
Q: Where did you get your inspiration for THE CHRISTMAS LAMP?
LC: I got the idea through the classic movie, A Christmas Story. I watch the movie six to seven times each season, and the lamp has always been a part of my holiday experience. When I had the chance to purchase one last year, I was thrilled. It’s September as I write this, but already my grandchildren are anticipating the Thanksgiving Eve lighting. Does the lamp in any way take away from the true reason for Christmas? No, our family is deeply committed to God and the reason we celebrate the holiday. The lamp reminds us of all the joyful things God brings into our lives: family, laughter and love.
Q: Have you ever felt the Lord speak through your writing?
LC: My reader mail is humbling. So many write to tell me about a passage in one of my stories that spoke to them so clearly; provided the needed strength and encouragement they desperately needed. I am always tearful when I read these comments, and know that the power of God far surpasses my understanding. Often I may not recall the certain line or reference they refer to, but I’m assured that my story has reached the person God intended. It is an awesome and frightening experience to know the work that He will empower his children with, if they are willing to serve him.
Q: What are your dreams for writing? What dreams have you already reached in writing?
LC: I always wanted to be a top bestselling writer, not for personal glory, but to know that I was serving God in an even more powerful manner. I understand now that selling books isn’t the goal; it’s serving where He puts me.
Q: What’s your favorite, and least favorite, part of being a writer?
LC: The work. Seriously, writing is a solitary job and it gets lonely sometimes, sitting at your computer, desperately wishing that you could offer something fresh and incredibly inspiring to your reader, but there are only so many “plots” or storylines in fiction. I seek to give my reader the story they expect from me, with different twists. I suppose if I were given a choice of what I would write for fun, it would be true crime. Crime isn’t fun, but a criminal’s mind fascinates me.
Q: What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?
LC: Self discipline: the desire to get up each morning and head for my swing on the patio to drink my coffee instead of the computer, to throw caution to the wind and go to lunch with friends instead of keeping a deadline.
Q: How can readers learn more about you and your upcoming releases?
LC: Visit my website, loricopeland.com, and sign up for my quarterly newsletter.
© Copyright 2017, Lori Copeland. All rights reserved
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