Bolder and Older: Lorelei Confer
This month in Older and Bolder, the delightful Lorelei Confer gets put in the hot seat. Getting to know her brought out a lot of things we have in common, such as similar early careers, some of the same favorite authors and love of family. But, you aren’t reading this to for my musings, so let’s move forward and let the lady herself answer the questions.
What did you spend your prior life (before writing) doing? Did you find it satisfying, or look at it more of ‘just a job’?
I worked thirty years in the financial arena as a Controller/CFO. My last job in the early 2000’s was as a CFO for an IT recruitment firm in Tampa, FL. I loved the job; worked long hours, great pay, and abundant gratification.
How did you get into writing at an older age? What age were you when your first book published?
I had an interest in writing in the fourth grade when I my teacher chose my writing assignment to be produced as a class play. I started journaling a little everyday. Years later when my high school sweetheart (now husband of 46 years) left for his first tour of duty in Viet Nam I started writing newsy love letters to him. I continued to journal throughout my lifetime until about 2009 when I wrote my first book. I was around 57 years old.
Do you find publishing as the ‘mature you’ brings more to your work?
Definitely! I have so many more life experiences to actually draw on in my work. I write from the heart and many of my stories are based on real happenings and embellished for more conflict and suspense.
In your Deadly series you tackle some pretty dark issues. How did you go about the research on such a dark subject as human trafficking? Did you meet with any victims?
I researched human trafficking on the Internet for many hours and days. I joined the national Task Force and had the opportunity to meet with the leader of my local Human Trafficking Task Force. I attended their quarterly meetings and learned how the task force is put together with one member/detective from state and each local municipality. When I interviewed Jim, the lead detective at the time, he assured and confirmed the actions in my book were or could be real. I learned so much from him and at the meetings that I could actually use in not only one, but five books. I’ve only had three published, but the other two are ready to go though not as part of the Deadly series.
I did not have the opportunity to meet with any victims, but after reading so many of their stories and then developing my characters, I feel like I did. The one that sticks with me the most is a woman who fell hard for a nice looking man. They dated, he took her to fancy restaurants, bought her expensive gifts and told her he loved her. For her fortieth birthday he bought her a plane ticket to his hometown to meet his parents. She was so excited and packed her belongings with care. When she arrived at the airport she was escorted to a limousine where her boyfriend was waiting for her. He took her purse with her ID and all her belongings away from her and delivered her to a huge house where she was locked in a room without food or water for 2-3 days. After that she was raped continuously for days, weeks, months and even years. She eventually was able to steal a cell phone from one of her ‘clients’ and call the police. Who knows how much longer she may have been there.
So being kidnapped and sold into slavery just doesn’t happen to young boys, girls or even young adults. It has no age, and can and does, happen to all ages and sexes and in all of our neighborhoods.
If nothing else, I’ve learned to be more, mush more aware of who your friends are and who is around you at all times.
What is your favorite genre to write and why?
I love reading suspense. Harlan Coben and Andrew Gross are a couple of my favorite authors. But I also love a great love story. So my favorite genre to write is romantic suspense. I tried just writing contemporary romance and had to add a plot line for suspense. I didn’t even like the story until afterwards. LOL
Do you have a street team?
No, not at this time.
How about beta readers?
I have 2-3 beta readers and value their input tremendously.
What authors did you admire and read on a regular basis before you started writing? Do you still read them?
Kathleen Woodiwiss was a favorite of mine; I think I’ve read every book she ever wrote and some of them twice. They’re still in my library. Johanna Lindsey, Rosemary Rogers, Catherine Coulter, Jill Gregory, (I’ve always loved a good cowboy story) are a few more. I’m still an acid reader but now read more of the newer authors like Catherine Bybee, Holly Jacobs, Diana Palmer, Jill Shalvis, etc.
When can we expect a new book release? Can you give us a peek into what it’s about?
I had a new release October 12, 2016, Secrets and Deceptions. It’s the third book in the Saddle Creek series.
The series began on the premise of four young boys coming of age, graduating from high school and going off on their own but remaining loyal friends. One buys a horse ranch from the retiring owners, another goes to college, another stumbles around and finally joins the military, and the fourth one is my current wip. It’s Mitch’s story, the sheriff who has been in all the earlier books.
The setting is in the shadows of the Great Teton Mountains in the small town of Saddle Creek, in and around Jackson Hole, Wyoming and Rosie’s Diner is in the center of town. Best Mom n Pop place around.
Where can readers find your works and connect with you?
Columnist Lizzie T. Leaf: Award winning author, Lizzie T. Leaf started life in Kansas, sprung to adulthood in North Carolina, and currently shivers through the winters in Colorado.
Since discovering the fun of writing paranormal, she plays with creating vampires, faeries and other immortals. When she needs a touch of reality, her Contemporary Erotic Romances come into play. Her most recent release is Nordic Heat, available at http://amzn.to/1owng5k
If she’s not creating mischief for paranormal beings, or getting under the covers with her erotic heroes, she can be found exploring the other genres she wants to write. She is a member of RWA and has served as President for the Heart of Denver Romance Writers and VP of Programs.
Lizzie loves to read, spend time with her family and travel with her best friend husband.