Author Q&A: Lenora Worth on Her Work, Her Genre and Getting Started

RT Reviewer Leslie McKee had the chance to speak with inspirational suspense author Lenora Worth about her upcoming releases, including next week’s release, Proof of Innocence. The ladies discussed the publishing industry, Lenora’s latest works and how to succeed in the book biz.

You write for various lines/genres. Which is your favorite?
Oh, that’s a tough question. Well, I love Love Inspired because they’ve given me my career.

What are your thoughts on changes in the publishing industry, such as hybrid publishing?
I think the Christian market is very strong, and I’m glad about that. I know Love Inspired is very strong, and our readers love us. I’ve often heard that it’s one of Harlequin’s top-selling lines, so that’s good. I don’t really like the term hybrid, because it sounds like we’re all a bunch of hothouse flowers! I think it’s a good opportunity for any writer today, especially new writers or young writers who are trying to break in. I will always stay with Love Inspired because they’ve been very good to me. They’ve given me the opportunity to write the books I want to write. But I like to do things on the side, just to try different things that don’t fit in with Love Inspired books or their format. Being a hybrid author gives me the opportunity to explore other types of writing that I haven’t been able to do. Luckily, I have the time and so forth to do it. I don’t sleep much!

Tell us about writing Proof of Innocence.
I was invited to be part of the Capitol K-9 series, and I was given the last book in the series. It’s set in and around Washington, DC. So that was exciting! I also agreed because I love the five other authors who wrote in the series. They are all such wonderful writers. I hope our readers will check out this series. It’s pretty intense!

You love shoes! Have you ever written a heroine with the same shoe obsession?
I haven’t. In one of my books, “Hometown Sweetheart,” the hero was a boot maker. The heroine was obsessed with what she represented— big city, nice shoes— but she came home broke and defeated. So the whole thing of the hero making a pair of boots just for her kind of healed her I think. That was my Cinderella story but with a different twist. When it first started out, he was more of a playboy. He was rich and drove fast cars. And my editor said, “Change all that.” So I did, after I said, “no!” It turned out to be one of my bestselling books. So I think one day I will do another Cinderella story with shoes. I would like to do a book like that.

What are you currently working on?
I’m very excited about my upcoming Men of Millbrook Lake series where I’ll have four books — two Love Inspired stories and two Love Inspired Suspense stories combined. I think this is the first time Love Inspired has combined the two lines in one series. The first book, Lakeside Hero, will be out in September 2015. It has a gorgeous cover. Then, in October, the next book, a suspense titled Her Holiday Protector, will be out. It’s a bit more gritty and intense. I’m working on the third book now. And I’ll write the fourth one later this year. I’m working on a novella for Redbud Publishers, too.

What tips do you have for new authors?
If you’re really serious about writing a book, you have to finish the book! I think that’s the most important lesson for people who are trying to be writers. If you haven’t written the book, you can’t share it with the world.

Whenever I give a talk I always tell people if you don’t write it, no one will ever see it. That would be a shame to waste that. People get easily frustrated. Today is a whole different world from when I first started to try selling. There area lot of opportunities now. So I would say write your book. Don’t get discouraged if someone doesn’t accept it right off the bat. And once you write that book, stop and look at your options. Where do I want this book to be? Do your homework, because you can’t just sit down with an editor and say, “Well, I have this idea, but I really haven’t written anything yet. I just wanted to talk to you and see what you think.” Don’t waste their time. Give them at least a synopsis and three chapters and let them help you develop the book. You might get upset for a little while, but just shake it off and do what you have to do.

Thanks, Lenora! Proof of Innocence will be in stores August 1. And for more inspirational stories, why not visit our Everything Inspirational page?