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Dear Author, I'd love to take a look Beyond The Book with you. If you're interested in an interview, please email me today.

Let's talk about your book!

Lori Borrill

An Oregon native, Lori Borrill moved to the San Francisco Bay Area just out of high school and has been a transplant Californian ever since. Her weekdays are spent at the insurance company where's she's been employed for over 20 years, and she credits her writing career to the unending help and support she receives from her husband and real-life hero. When not sitting in front of a computer, she can usually be found at the little league fields playing proud parent to their son, Tom. She'd love to hear from readers and can be reached through her website at www.LoriBorrill.com.

PRIVATE CONFESSIONS

The stars are on a crash course for seduction!

Pisces
"Career and love will intersect--are you ready to play?"


Experience has taught ad exec Logan Moore that office affairs always end in disaster. Which is why his online romance with Scorpio63 is exactly what he needs right now--the anonymous, steamy encounters help him forget the secret urge for Trisha he gets every day...

Scorpio
"Today you'll clear up the mystery shrouding your love life, but will you like what you find?"


Virtual sex with Pisces47 is so sinfully good it leaves Trisha Bain hungrier for the good, old-fashioned kind with Mr. Moore, her unattainable boss. But a chance remark of his makes her think the unthinkable: could the private sex fantasies she's been indulging in now become her reality?

Beyond The Book - Lori Borrill on PRIVATE CONFESSIONS

Lee : Lori, thanks for taking time out to chat with me. Before we jump into your book, please tell us about yourself – the ‘woman’ behind the author.

Lori : Thanks for having me, Lee. This is quite a treat! I grew up in Oregon but moved to the San Francisco bay area just out of high school and have been a transplant Californian since. I've been married almost 18 years to the same great guy and we have a 10-year-old son who is very active in sports. He's a little league all-star in addition to playing on a traveling tournament team, so sports is a big part of our life. I also work full time for an insurance company where I've been employed as a data analyst, and have just celebrated my 20th anniversary there.

Lee : Your debut novel, PRIVATE CONFESSIONS, hits shelves in February 2007. You must be pretty excited! What can you share with us about your journey to becoming a published author? What do you know now that you wish you’d known before you sold?

Lori : My first brush with the publishing industry was six years ago when my son started Kindergarten. I'd written two hysterically funny short humor articles on parenting that I'd submitted to magazines such as Family Circle and Parents.

Unfortunately, I was the only one who found them hysterically funny, and after a slew of badly photocopied form rejection letters, I gave up. It wasn't until about three years later when my husband quit his full-time job to go into business for himself that I gave writing another try. His new job gave him much more free time to help with the house and our son. Suddenly, I had a lot of time on my hands, began reading lots of fiction, discovered romance, and after pouring over dozens of romance novels, decided I would try to write one of my own.

I was one of those stupid people who thought writing romance would be easy because you don't have to research a lot of facts. Little did I know that research was only a miniscule part of writing fiction, but by the time I realized there was way more to it, I'd become stubborn and determined to learn the craft. I joined RWA, took some writing classes, bought every book on the craft I could find, and hooked up with two awesome writers, Kira Bazzel and Leeanne Kenedy, who showed me the ropes and kept me sane.

I think I was about a year into it when I wrote the first version of PRIVATE CONFESSIONS. It had started out as a short story not targeted to Harlequin at all. At that time in my writing career, I felt I needed to get in touch with my voice and my own style as a writer, and I was finding the Harlequin guidelines too much of a distraction. I was spending so much time worrying about what I "can" and "can't" write for this line or that, that I wasn't focusing on the things that would really get me published, like voice and personal style. So I threw away the rules and just wrote something for the fun of it. When I sent it out to my CPs, both came back telling me it was a Blaze and that I should query it there.

The irony was that it was too short for Blaze and I was at a place where I'd convinced myself I wasn't ready for a big print publisher like Harlequin. Seriously--this is no joke--I queried it to Blaze with the intent of getting rejected so that I could tell my loving CPs "See? I told you so. Now can we forget about Harlequin?"

And of course, what I got was a request instead.

As far as things I wish I'd known? Really, I think the best thing aspiring authors can do is to keep writing and finish those manuscripts. Once published, it becomes a business not a hobby, and the more prepared a writer is, the more successful they'll be. So even though those early manuscripts might be rejected, the experience in writing them will be an asset well worth it.

Lee : Tell us about getting ‘the call’. What were you doing when you got the call/received the news? How did you feel? Who was the first person you told?

Lori : Oh, what an insane weekend that was! Kathryn Lye called me at work, on a Friday, the day my boss was retiring after 34 years with the company. It was already a crazy day because I was organizing her retirement party, the flowers and all that fun stuff. When Kathryn called, there were a number of people loitering in the area wishing my boss farewell, so in my excitement, while Kathryn was talking about contracts and revisions, I scribbled "Sold my book!" on a piece of paper, stood up and flashed it over the wall of my cubicle.

Duh. What do you think people do when you make a move like that? They start yelling and screaming! I couldn't hear a word Kathryn said! And after about 15 minutes of incoherent conversation, (think how the grown-ups talk in the Charlie Brown cartoons--that's all I heard) we agreed she'd call me the following week when things had settled and we could both hear ourselves think.

To make matters worse, my husband was out of town that weekend, so I was playing single mom. I had my boss' retirement party that afternoon, my son had little league practice that night, a game the next day, and everywhere I went, people had heard the news and wanted to hear my story. The outpouring from so many people was wonderful on one hand, exhausting on the other. Between all the running around, repeating myself over and over, calling CPs, friends and family, sending out e-mails, partying on the Harlequin loop, I was absolutely exhausted by Sunday. Believe it or not, by the time my husband came home, I didn't want to celebrate. I wanted a few hours to just forget about it all.

So I think the best part was just relaxing with him quietly on the couch and letting the peace sink in.

Lee : Who or what inspired the idea behind PRIVATE CONFESSIONS?

Lori : Oh, I wish every story idea came so easily! I'd been reading something about people engaging in on-line anonymous sex, and as an off-handed thought, I wondered what would happen if someone found out later the person they were "talking dirty" to was someone they knew. With just that passing thought, the entire story unfolded in my lap, and I'm sorry to say, plotting has never been as easy since!

Lee : What was the most difficult part about writing this story? The easiest?

Lori : Well, like I said, I think the plot was easiest for me, because there were some very logical steps it needed to take. Other plots have so many variables it's difficult to know which path to go down and a lot of thought and foresight needs to be put into it. With this one, it seemed there was only one way to go, and it was one of those stories writers mention that "wrote itself". In that respect, when I compare it to other things I'm working on, I can't find much difficult about it!

Lee : Please elaborate on the main characters in your book, Logan and Trisha. What convinced you they were soul mates?

Lori : This book was unique for me because both Logan and Trisha are very similar characters. They mesh together well and are pretty compatible right from the start. That's not always something you can do in a romance. If you make the characters too right for each other from the start, you often don't have a plot or conflict. But like with any story, I think what makes them soul mates is their ultimate willingness to get over either their fears or obstacles in order to be together.

Lee : Logan and Trisha hook up via LoveSigns.com and they’re matched according to their astrological signs and personality traits. Was it a conscious decision on your part to make them Pisces and Scorpio or did you just pick two compatible signs and go with that?

Lori : It's actually funny you asked that. At one point in the infancy of this idea, I'd decided to write it as a contest entry for an e-publisher. The publisher was recruiting short stories with a zodiac theme. They'd given us a list of available astrological signs. A winning entry would be selected for each sign and later published in a zodiac series they were doing. I think there were only about 5 or 6 signs still open for the contest, and in the hope of doubling my chances, I picked Pisces and Scorpio because there were openings for each! In the end I never submitted the entry. The story idea had such potential, I couldn't see limiting it to 15,000 words, so pretty early on, I abandoned the contest idea. It was just circumstance that I ended up keeping the astrological premise of the website because it worked for the story.

Lee : Would you consider yourself a fan of astrology? What’s your star sign?

Lori : Oh, I'm a big fan, though I'm no expert. I've had my charts done on more than one occasion, and though I don't put much credence into daily horoscopes, I do find the personality traits too fitting to discount. I'm a Taurus with a Leo ascendant, which the experts always told me translated well to writing!

Lee : Your secondary characters, Bill and Adrienne have their own story happening in the background, which was fun to read about. I also loved getting a glimpse of all the colorful characters in Adrienne’s family. What inspired you to give Adie such an interesting family?

Lori : Where I live, definitely. The San Francisco bay area, particularly Marin County to the north, has a rich history of wealthy former flower children. It's an ultra-liberal area and I simply decided to have some fun with it. Some day, I'd love to write a lead character with a similar background.

Lee : Do you think relationships that start on the internet can lead to real-life happily-ever-afters?

Lori : Sure. I think what matters in the end is the couple involved, not how they met. Granted, some environments are going to produce higher success rates, but I can't imagine any situation where a couple can't find HEA, as long as they're willing to get over the obstacles and are ultimately suited for each other.

Lee : What sort of research did you have to do for PRIVATE CONFESSIONS?

Lori : Delightfully, not a lot. I set it in San Francisco, in places I've been. I work with computers all day, so the chat room wasn't a problem. I only did some internet research on advertising agencies to see what kinds of services they offer. It was intentional that I focused on web design services ad agencies offer, because I've done web design and digital photography. So, the nice thing for me was that I stuck to things I knew which allowed me to focus more on the plot than the details. Unfortunately, not every book will come with that luxury.

Lee : What can readers look forward to next from you?

Lori : My next release is titled UNDERNEATH IT ALL and will be on the shelves August, 2007. It's the second book in a Harlequin Blaze continuity series titled "Million Dollar Secrets" that will feature me along with Stephanie Bond, Shannon Hollis, Kate Hoffman, Jill Monroe and Debbi Rawlins. Stephanie's book kicks off the series and will be available July, 2007.

Lee : What are some of your favorite hobbies when you aren’t reading or writing?

Lori : I'm an avid photographer and have just started playing seriously with digital photography. Granted, my enthusiasm exceeds my talent, but I'm having a lot of fun creating video slideshows and photo art--yet another hobby which can suck up hours and hours of my time.

Lee : How may readers contact you?

Lori : Through my website, or through Harlequin Books, 225 Duncan Mill Road, Don Mills, Ontario M3B 3K9, Canada.

Lee : It’s been interesting chatting with you, Lori, and I look forward to reading more of your books in the future!

Lori : Thank you so much! This has been a pleasure and I appreciate this great website and the information you're providing to fans of romance.