Friday, June 12, 2015

Friend Fridays - Lori Toland

Hello Lovely people. We are back for another Friend Friday and here with us is Lori Toland. She did a short interview to give me and you all an idea about things that inspire her and how long she's been writing, etc. I met Lori BRIEFLY at Rainbow Con in 2014. Long enough to say hello and get autographed swag, but not long enough to get a picture or get to know anything about her.

In 2014 I was JUST getting used to talking to people. I had been to my FIRST CON EVER in October of 2013 with GRL, and Rainbow Con came just a few months later in April of 2014. I was still shy, although less than at GRL because I knew more people. But when you know very few, and think very few know you, it is hard to break out and be confident and talk to people, etc. At least it started out like that. So even though I had heard of Lori and was familiar with some of her titles, I still was not up to the full on "fan girl" mode to take a picture and talk about her books. Nope. I just said HI and kept on going.

Actually, Rainbow Con was for me a transition from quiet nobody, to someone who was not afraid to talk to people. I met a lot of great people there. One particular person, DAVID BERGER, became a lovely friend online whom I'd met at Rainbow Con yet barely spoke to THERE. I will remedy that situation this July!! Lori Toland is listed as an author for Rainbow Con this year so maybe I'll get a picture this time … hahaha. I am looking forward to going as I recognize SO MANY names on the attending author list. And hey, if any of you are going please let me know so I can look for you!!

Now, on with that interview!

WK -  What inspires your writing?

LT - Life inspires my writing. A lot of my underlying plot issues (like Blaze worrying what his grandmother will say about him being gay) come from my friends and family who have confessed their greatest fears. I hope conveying these issues in a format that is fun to read makes the reader think about their own lives, that maybe there is a family member that might be scared to tell them the truth about their sexuality.  (Life inspires my writing too. I get it.)

WK -  When did you start writing m/m romance?

LT - Oh boy, back in 1999, not long after I started writing. I really loved it and there was nothing like it back then in the market. I wanted to read it, so I wrote it. (You've been doing this a long time!)

WK -  Who is your favorite character in Encore and why?

LT - I really love Pete. He’s such a multi-faceted character and very much demanding his own book. I’ve written a lot of scenes for his book, just to get him out of my head. *sigh* he still sticks around.

WK - How much of yourself did you manifest into your favorite character?

LT - Pete? Not that much, but I suspect we’ll see a little bit of me in him in his book. All the characters have a little piece of me, whether it’s Blaze being a dreamer and Jason being a business geek. Jennifer is probably the closest to me than any of my characters.

WK -  Can you share four things you’ve learned about the business?

1.   Keep writing.
2.   Writing is not as easy as it looks.
3.   Being a published author is as awesome as it looks.
4.   Cake…wait, what was that question again?

LOL Cake hahaha. But good answers!

WK - How do you keep your creative "spark" alive?

LT - I love listening to music while walking. I let my mind wander and I try not to walk out into traffic while daydreaming about my characters. I never stop dreaming but I get my best plotting done while walking — and I get a workout!

WK -  If you could sit down to dinner with one person, past or present, who would it be and what’s the one question you’d love to ask?

LT - My great-grandmother. She had so many amazing stories passed down from her ancestors. She was Cherokee and a direct descendant of John Ross, who led the Cherokees along the trail of tears. I would ask her to tell me the stories that were passed down to her.

WK - What is your suggestion or piece of advice to new and upcoming writers?

LT - Never stop writing. When you hit send on your first book, start your next one while waiting to hear back on that one.

AMEN! Been there, done that! I think it is the expectation of rejection that kept me on the edge of my seat until I heard back and paralyzed with fear so I couldn't write until I knew something. Good advice, Lori!

WK - Where we can find you on the Internet?

WK - Could you please share your favorite excerpt from Encore with us?

Gladly! I hope you enjoy it! :)

“Hey bro.”

Blaze turned around and grinned at Tommy, the lead singer of their band. “Hey man,” he said and gave him a one arm hug.

“I’ve gotta talk to you real quick.”


Suddenly there were a dozen people on stage with them as they moved the set around. Zack’s drums were already set up on the stage and Blaze’s guitar rested in the stand from the tour. Blaze turned back to Tommy. “We’ll talk later, yeah?”

Tommy shook his head. “It’s important. You’re gonna freak the fuck out.”

Blaze frowned as he dug in his pocket for his guitar pick. “What’s wrong?”

An announcement that rang out drowned his answer and Tommy threw up his hands in exasperation. After the introduction ended, he yelled, “Really? We’re trying to have a conv—” Tommy froze midsentence and looked over Blaze’s shoulder.

When he turned, he saw the one person he hoped never to see again in his life. In a town as small as Hollywood, he knew that wasn’t realistic but he had hoped they would be able to continue keeping their distance from each other.

As he looked up into Jason Stockton’s narrowed dark brown eyes, his heart pounded. The sliver of trepidation was drowned in the instantaneous desire that surged within him. Even though Jason had nearly destroyed him, Blaze still wanted him.

Jason Stockton had been his first real relationship and they had been head-over-heels in love until one stupid moment when they threw it all away. Though their fight had seemed important at the time, it had been stupid. Blaze knew that now.

Their disagreement over Cassie had been fueled by lack of sleep; their argument had spiraled out of control until they called it quits. Their very public break-up left Blaze’s heart shattered. Somehow over the past year, he had managed to avoid Jason and Blaze would have given anything to continue that winning streak.

He glared at Jason. “What the hell are you doing here?”

Blaze Shinozuka is a bonafide rockstar with his band, Razor's Edge. After his romance with music manager Jason Stockton crashed and burned, Blaze is free to live and love. It's been a wild and heady year that's been blissfully drama free until the one man he's been avoiding comes careening back in to wreak havoc on his heart once again.

Jason Stockton has become the superstar he never wanted to be. When his music reality show becomes an overnight success, he's thrust into the limelight against his will. He's coping with intrusions into his private life but then a chance encounter sends him right into the arms of the man he loved...and lost.

Their time apart has changed them, except the passion between them burns brighter than ever. With the media hounding them in the midst of multiple scandals, they find they can only depend on one person — each other. Will they learn to trust that their love is enough to see them through it all? Or will this be their final dance before calling it quits, this time for good?

This gay romance was formerly known as Into The Light and contains less loving than previous books in the series but more anger and snark. It also contains some female lovin', beloved character death and a possibly repentant pop star.  (Thank you for these "warnings.")

Book Links-
Barnes & Noble:

About the author:
CEO by day, erotic romance writer by night, Lori Toland lives in Orlando where the summers are hot but the romance between her characters is even hotter. Writing since the tender age of 13, Lori somehow finds time to play video games and watch movies while taking care of her beloved cats and a husband who will forever be her hero.


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