"Honestly, they couldn’t be more different. Porn is strictly mechanical. Even in the videos I worked on, which featured people who were couples in real life, it felt fake. It was a performance, done for the cameras and the director, not the partner(s). In an erotic romance, the characters aren’t just going through the motions and fucking for the benefit of the reader. They should be connecting," she said. "Erotica falls somewhere in between the two, though I would generally put it closer to erotic romance than pornography, mostly because I like any erotica I read or write to have at least some emotional involvement. Not love or romance per se, just some sort of emotional investment for the character, even if it’s simply an exploration of something new, crossing a previously uncrossed line, etc. I want the character to come away with something. Porn doesn’t need – and I’ve rarely seen it have – that kind of investment."
Lori doesn't believe in writer's block. She admits that things happen to make it difficult to write, such as depression, fatigue, or distraction. She's always taken "writer's block" to be its own ailment.
"Everything else if fine, you just…can't write. And I don't buy that," she told me. "Especially since a lot of writers seem to 'get' writer's block, and then sit back like they just have to wait for it to pass before they can write again. When I find myself unable to write, there’s always a reason for it, and 99% of the time, it boils down to one of two things: something’s wrong with the book, or I’m burned out. Usually it’s a problem with the book. If I absolutely cannot get a word on the page, or it’s nothing but excruciating word dentistry, then I’ll put it aside and work on another project for a little while. Most of the time, the words will flow, which tells me there’s a problem with the first project. If I can’t get anything written on the second project, then it’s burnout. I’m getting to the point now I can recognize the signs before I actually hit that burnout, but sometimes I stupidly push through and exhaust myself. Seems to be about every 6 months or every half a million words or so. When I do hit that point, I make myself take some time off. Usually two weeks. By the end of that time, I’m absolutely climbing the walls, itching to start writing again."
Lori has recently moved back to the States from Okinawa. She lived with her folks for a couple of months before she moved to their home in Nebraska, but she's very excited to be in a larger place now. Why?
"I finally have a writing space! I had one in Okinawa, which was basically one half of a room that was part storage, part office. Then I lived with my folks for two months before moving here, so I set up shop on their dining room table for a while. But now that we have a larger place in Nebraska, I have…an office!! And a proper desk. And all the books that were in storage for the last three years. I so love my office. I have an L-shaped glass desk, which rocks because it doesn’t have anything—drawers, legs, etc—in the middle for me to clip my kneecap on. Plus it’s the perfect size for my laptop, some need-to-be-within-reach books, my spiral notebook, and my cat. I have a lovely view of a squirrel-inhabited tree in the backyard, plus some farms on the other side of the highway. There’s a whiteboard above my desk where I make notes about deadlines, upcoming events, etc. Off to my right is a poster of 30 Seconds to Mars, because they’re the awesomest band ever (yes, I’m 31, and I have a rock band poster on my wall. Don’t judge me.). Let’s see, on my desk…my iPhone, Kindle, drink, bunch of pens, a mug with the cover of A Chip In His Shoulder on it, usual office stuff. I also tend to take off my wedding ring when I type because it gets annoying sometimes, and when I do, I keep it in a little abalone shell that I picked up while snorkeling off Okinawa. Did I mention I love my writing space? Because I so do."
Book titles, for Lori, tend to happen on their own. She's had help in the past, like brainstorming with friends, and sometimes will still do that, but usually the title will just sort of happen.
"It bugs me to no end to write something without a title, so I typically have one by the time I start the story, though it occasionally changes," she told me. "The Distance Between Us, Reconstructing Meredith, Trust Me, A.J.’s Angel, and The Next Move all started out with different titles. Others, like A Chip In His Shoulder, Damaged Goods, and most especially Static, had titles that were pretty much set in stone and a part of the story’s 'personality' from the start."
The hardest part of writing for her? The sex scenes. Not because she's squicked out or anything ("Hardly!" she retorted), but they just seem to take three or four times as long to get on paper as any other scene.
I asked her what her work schedule was like when she's writing.
"I usually screw off on the internet in the morning, but start writing no later than noon. Then I’m at my desk (or writing by hand on the couch, in a restaurant, at a park, at the library, etc) until dinner time. Take a break for dinner and cartoons with the hubby, then back to work until midnight or I reach my daily quota (5,000 words). Sometimes I’ll keep going beyond my quota, occasionally even hitting 10K or more, but I usually stop around midnight. Then go to bed, try to sleep, wake up, and do it again. I do this 5-6 days a week."
Her most interesting writing quirk is that she is not a linear writer. Instead, she writes out of sequence, usually switching between five or six of them at a time. Her current WIP has twenty-three chapters, and Lori has already started twenty-two of them. Only eight chapters are finished (and those aren't the first eight!) She even writes paragraphs in fragments.
"It’s kind of bizarre, but it works," she said.
She's written around forty books. Her favorite is Static, followed by Reconstructing Meredith which she wrote under her hetero pseudonym Lauren Gallagher.
"They were both very emotionally taxing to write, which made them more rewarding in the end," she explained. "Plus they delved deeper than some of my other books into some issues that are near and dear to my heart."
About the Author: L.A. Witt is an abnormal M/M romance writer who, after three years in Okinawa, Japan, has recently relocated to Omaha, Nebraska, with her husband, two cats, and a three-headed clairvoyant parakeet named Fred. There is some speculation that this move was not actually because of her husband's military orders, but to help L. A. close in on her arch nemesis, erotica author Lauren Gallagher, who has also recently transferred to Omaha. So, don't anyone tell Lauren. She's not getting away this time...
You can find the author online at:
Jesse Cameron doesn’t like the idea of putting himself out there as a happily married, wholesome candidate, but his retired senator uncle insists it’ll give him an edge over a challenging rival. The only problem is that Jesse’s marriage is over, existing only to maintain his heterosexual façade. Oh, and there’s that minor detail about his undeniable attraction to his smoking hot campaign manager. Or the fact that the attraction is very, very mutual.
Before long, temptation explodes into a sizzling, secret relationship, but under the microscope of the media and the relentless scrutiny of the voting public, Anthony and Jesse can only keep their secret for so long. And this is one scandal a campaign won’t survive…