Today on the blog, I’ve invite my friend and fellow author (and audiobook narrator!) Lorana Hoopes to join us!
Hey guys! My name is Lorana Hoopes and I’m excited to be sharing with you today. Though my first book wasn’t published until 2017, I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. In fact, I have at least three “books” I wrote when I was about 8 years old. I even drew all the “pitchers” myself, lol. What a long way I’ve come. When I was in 6th grade, I tried writing my first novel. It makes me cringe now, but for that age, it wasn’t bad. It never saw publishing light though and probably never will. In high school, I used to start stories with my friends. We would each write a few pages or a scene and then trade the notebook to the next person who continued the story. No idea where those ended up, but that’s probably a good thing.
Fast forward about twenty years, and I was still writing, but never finishing a story. No one had taught me how to plot. Then one day, as I was getting my daughter out of the car to do a 5k, I was hit with inspiration. I didn’t want to write the book at first because I knew the story was going to be very pro-life, and I didn’t think people would want to read it, but every night I would get words in my head. For nearly a week, I tried to ignore the words, but finally I relented, feeling like God really wanted me to write the story. I would write each night until the words went away and then go to sleep. A month later, the book was done. It wasn’t really a romance, but I didn’t know how else to market it, so I put it out as one. Then I thought I was done, but my mother told me she needed the next character’s story and suddenly there were stories in my head.
My first two books – The Power of Prayer and Where It All Began both were rewritten when I met Evangeline Kelly and she taught me about tropes. I realized my books weren’t really romances but women’s fiction and so I rewrote them to have more romance. I owe most of my success today to Evangeline. If she hadn’t stepped in and taught me about tropes and writing to market, I don’t think I would have continued. Along the way, I got to “meet” other amazing authors like April Murdock and Mandi Blake. I did the Lawkeeper series with Jenna Brandt, though I’ve since rebranded those books. I did a series with Taylor Hart and Emma St. Clair, though that book is now Defending my Heart, the first book in my football series – Texas Tornados. I now have nearly 50 books out and a total of 9 series (including my kids books, my romantic suspense, and my straight Christian Fiction).
People often ask me why I write Christian romance, especially since the audience is so much smaller. I do it for two reasons. First, I’d enjoyed reading Christian romance when I was younger, but I felt that they were too perfect, so my goal was to write characters who weren’t perfect, but who changed when they found God. Second, I wanted to write stories I could be proud of. As a Christian, I didn’t want to be tempted to write things that would “sell,” but go against God’s wishes. The Bible tells us not to do anything that would cause others to sin, and I never wanted my books to do that, but I did want them to give people hope, to show them that God forgives when you ask Him and that redemption is available. And I will continue to do just that.
About 2019, I began narrating audiobooks. At first, it was just my own, but when I got a good enough mic and liked the sound of them, I began narrating for others. I really enjoy doing that because it gives me an excuse to read other author’s books and boy have I read some good ones. So, that’s how I fill my time nowadays. I’m a mom of three. I’m a full time teacher. I love to workout, and I look forward to summer so I can read and write. I hope you guys enjoyed getting a little behind the scenes info on my journey and if you’d like to know more about me, you can visit my website authorloranahoopes.com.
Tara here again! Have you read any of Lorana’s books? Ask a question and Lorana will be hanging out in the comments all day. I’ll give one commenter a free ebook from Lorana’s catalog!