Today we are posting an interview with author, C.C. Lorenz, whose short story "Notice to Appear" is included in our male/male romance anthology Second Chances.
For more information about the book, check out the book page on our website here.
Kathy: Ms. Lorenz, welcome to Book Reviews & More by Kathy and thank you so much for taking time out of your schedule to answer a few nosy probing questions for us!
I always have to begin by asking what motivated you to become a writer? How long have you been writing, and was it a long process to become a published author?
Ms. Lorenz: First off, I'd like to say thanks for asking me to be a part of your blog!
Up until three years ago, I hadn't written anything creatively since college, but was inspired after becoming involved in the world of fanfiction. I remember thinking of a story that I'd wanted to read and combed through the existing works for something similar. Finding nothing, I thought, "Hey, why not just write it yourself?" It took a few months, but finally (and very nervously), I posted the story and was surprised by the positive response it received. Looking back, I think it's pretty obvious that it was my first work - formatting was a mess, and I clearly had no restraint - I threw everything but the kitchen sink in there! I've since edited and reposted, but it was an amazing learning experience.
Since then, my writing has grown by leaps and bounds, and a lot of that growth has come from the editing process. I've been writing short stories pretty steadily for the last three years and when I heard about the open submissions to the Second Chances anthology, I jumped at the opportunity to submit something, and was ecstatic when it was accepted!
Kathy: What type of books do you like to read? Favorite authors? Comfort reads?
Ms. Lorenz: I'm a pretty avid reader, and would say that my tastes vary widely. I love Margaret Atwood, and one of my favorite novels is The Blind Assassin. In it, she uses gorgeous language to weave together a science fiction story within a story about relationships – her work is phenomenal. I also really enjoy authors that explore cultural diversity with strong female characters, like Amy Tan, which is a little ironic since I personally prefer writing from a male point of view.
For comfort reads, I love fanfiction. There's some truly incredible work out there if you find reliable rec lists. Also, I love revisiting my favorite guilty pleasures, like Twilight or True Blood.
Kathy: How much impact do your choices as a reader have on your writing career?
Ms. Lorenz: I'd say they've had a huge impact, especially since I've fallen headfirst into the M/M romance genre. I have a pretty clear idea of what I enjoy as a reader, and am definitely influenced by my personal tastes. For example, I like to read detailed sex scenes (yes, I'm a proud perv!) so that's what I write.
Kathy: What is a typical day for author C.C. Lorenz? Are you a plotter or a pantster? On average, how long does it take you to write a book?
Ms. Lorenz: Could I call myself a plantster? I give the characters a lot of leeway when I write, but always start with an outline, even if it's only in my head at first. I also like to have both short and long term goals when I sit down to write. Often, I find myself mentally chanting things like, "just make it to the sex scene!" I don't write linearly, either. If I find myself stuck on something, I'll start working on a different scene where the words are flowing a little better - usually the aforementioned sex scene - and then fill in the missing spaces later on.
Notice to Appear took around two months to write and edit. I tend to get lost in editing, but the looming deadline I was up against worked to push me along. Usually, I can count on finishing about 5,000-10,000 words a month.
Kathy: Where do you get your inspiration for your characters and plots? Real life? Imagination? Or combination of the two?
Ms. Lorenz: It's a definite combination of the two, but real life is a heavy influence. I'm lucky to have friends that do ridiculous things and like to tell me about all about them. For example, I have a good friend who loves to call me with story ideas, usually after he's spent a debaucherous weekend with his partner in Palm Springs. Basically, one of his great "ideas" ended with one guy inserting himself into the proper spot during an orgy to have sex with the guy he'd had his eye on all weekend. I asked him when exactly the characters would fall in love and he responded, "Love? The happy ending is that he got to fuck the guy!"
Not all of his ideas are usable, LOL!
Kathy: Is there a genre you do not think you will ever write? Why? Is there a genre you haven’t written but would like to give a try?
Ms. Lorenz: Science fiction would be pretty difficult for me to write, much as I enjoy reading it. I pull so much of my stories from real life and it would be a huge challenge for me to completely suspend reality. I just don't know if I'm creative enough to pull something like that off.
I'd like to try writing some hetero fic at some point, but I'm having too much fun in M/M romance right now to start just yet!
Kathy: Could you tell us a little about Notice to Appear?
Ms. Lorenz: Sure! It starts off in a courthouse where the main character Josh has to deal with a notice to appear he received for driving with an expired drivers license. While waiting for his turn to face the judge, he spots an old high school crush in the courtroom, looking gorgeous as ever. The story explores the concept, what if you ran into your old high school crush and they finally noticed you? Would the years that have passed make you a little more confident, or would you still be completely intimidated by them?
Kathy: What projects are you currently working on? What can readers look forward to from you in the upcoming year?
Ms. Lorenz: I've been tossing around some ideas for a new short story, and hopefully it'll flow as quickly as Notice to Appear did! Also, I would love to write something novel length, but that's still a little intimidating, so we'll see about that.
Kathy: I have thoroughly enjoyed chatting with you today. Is there anything else you would like to share with us before you go?
Ms. Lorenz: I'd just like to say thank you so much for inviting me to chat with you today - it's been a pleasure!
C. C. Lorenz grew up in Southern California and currently resides in Los Angeles where she works in the finance industry. Searching for a distraction from the daily stresses of her job, she stumbled upon the world of male/male romance and fell in love with the genre. Intrigued to explore the unique challenges of gay relationships, C. C. put pen to paper (figuratively) for the first time since her college days and began to write.
When not immersed in the world of M/M romance, she enjoys spending time with her friends and family, drinking wine, and driving her husband crazy by acting like a teenager.