Meet the Author: Lorena Bathey

Growing up in Northern California, Lorena Bathey attended St. Mary’s College in Moraga graduating with a degree in English.

Lorena started writing her first book, Happy Beginnings: How I Became My Own Fairy Godmother when her world fell apart and she needed to process the massive changes in her life. Lorena found characters were visiting her mind and wouldn’t leave. She was introduced to Marissa, Andrea, Lily, Deidre and Beatrice and her first novel, Beatrice Munson, came to life.

After finishing that book she was inspired to write more novels and she knew that pursuing her passion was the best way to live her life. So a writer she became. Today Lorena has nine novels in her writing queue.

Lorena started in 2005 when “self-published” was really a dirty word. “But I had a book that I KNEW needed to reach a market so I just weathered through. I learned a lot with that first experience. In 2010 I started a new business writing fiction. What I have had the best success with is book bloggers. They have really been a godsend in getting the word out there about my books. I know now a lot of them are swamped, but I have tried to develop a relationship with most of mine so that they want to continue to read my work. Then I actively promote their sites with all my social media. This relationship is invaluable since through book bloggers I’ve reached almost 50 reviews with my first novel.”

Lorena says her favorite part of the writing process is how the characters introduce themselves. “It can be extremely subtle or they may just pester me until I pay attention and start writing what they want to say. I guess the rush is when a new idea begins nagging at me and then finally my fingers can barely keep up as the story unfolds from my mind. It’s a fantastic feeling that I never get bored of.”

A reader who “gets” Lorena as a writer would say  they learned something about themselves after reading her books. “That the book inspired them to do something bold, daring, or exciting that they’ve either always wanted to do and had been putting off. I want my readers to learn about themselves through the characters and story. My protagonists are usually women going through some sort of trauma or transformation and so I want my readers to identify with their situation or struggle and perhaps find an answer for a similar problem in their own life.”

The most challenging kind of writing for Lorena is that which undertakes to examine an iconic figure. “I’m currently writing a book about Marilyn Monroe and I’ve found that writing her has been more difficult than I expected. The status of who she is and the fact that so many people adore her puts a level of pressure on me that I’ve never had with the characters I’ve developed in my own mind. I feel I must be respectful and at first this kept the flow from coming. But as I continued to write I just thought, ‘what would she want to say?’ and that got me going.”

We all have our pet peeves about the writing or writing styles of other authors. For Lorena, the plot must not be too transparent. “I really have a problem when I can figure out the plot too quickly. A book that keeps me guessing what’s going to happen and isn’t predictable is far more entertaining and will keep me engaged and reading. I don’t always have to like what’s going on but I want to be surprised by the outcome.”

I like to ask authors to look into the crystal ball and tell me what they see for the future of  the traditional publishing institutions. Lorena thinks the independent bookstores will make a comeback. “But they’ll have to open their minds more to let us Indie authors in the door. I think the day of the mega stores is over. In regards to the traditional publishing, we’re already seeing them having to change. I don’t think they like that, but it’s essential and they can’t ignore that Indie authors are affecting the marketplace. I think you’ll see less power in that arena of traditional publishing and more previously traditionally published authors changing to self-publishing. Why wouldn’t they? The hardest thing about self-publishing isn’t writing the book, its being seen in the book arena. I think you’ll see people who have had good experience getting market share begin to help those of us trying to be seen in the throng.”

You can learn more about Lorena Bathey at her website and her author page. You can also find her on Facebook.

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