With: L.A. Long
Why did you start writing? Did you always want to be an author?
I started writing as a dare from my daughter. I wanted her to do her homework in high school and she threw back in my face that “everyone tells you to write a book and you don’t write a book you only read other peoples. So being me, I said, “Okay I’ll write a book and you do your homework.” I enjoyed writing so much I’d like to do it full time. But I never really thought about being an author until my daughter’s dare. BTW: she did her homework, went to Washington and Jefferson College, graduated May 2014 and currently works at Met Life where she was just promoted. So we both got something out of the dare!
How is It’s Not Too Late for Therapy and Operation No Coincidence based on your own experiences?
Both have some foundation on my own life experiences, or those close to me. Operation No Coincidence is based on insurance fraud and I’ve seen and experienced it throughout my 30 year career and there is a basis to show that insurance fraud helped fund the 9/11 terrorist groups. I could go on for hours about this topic. It’s Not Too Late for Therapy came to me after myself and two other “successful, bright, attractive woman,” were having dinner and we all ended up discussing how we each battled weight issues our entire lives and how we made life decisions or valued ourselves based on a number on the scale or the size on the dress rack. We’ve all become much wiser now, but the fact is, that is how most woman “value” themselves whether they discuss it or not.
Why do you gravitate towards romance and women’s fiction? What are your favorite types of characters or scenes to write?
Noting in particular. I never even read a romance or erotic book until I started to write. It just kind of happened. I’ve always had stories rolling around in my head. So now I put them from pen to paper. Being a woman in a leadership position you get to see and experience a lot of people’s livesgood stuff and heartbreak. So I have a lot of material.
Why is a strong female lead important in the romance genre?
Because woman don’t take themselves as seriously as they should. We say I’m sorry for thing we have not control over. I am so guilty of that; it’s like a conditioned response. We also don’t take ourselves seriously enough or give what we do enough importance. Yes, someone could be looking to stab you in the back, take your job, undermine who you are. We need to watch our backs as well as our fronts.
How do you come up with / craft your stories?
I put pen to paper. I have a beginning and an end, but all the middle takes care of itself. I’m not an outliner, file carder, sticky note kind of person. I really do just sit down and write.
Given the demands of a fulltime job and a family, how do you find the time to write?
I don’t watch any TV except for the news when I exercise in the morning. So while other people watch TV, I write.
Who are your favorite authors and genres to read?
I used to only read suspense but now I read everything and everybody. I love Nelson DeMille, Gregg Isles, Nora Roberts/JD Robb, Anne Rice, David Baldacci, Kathy Reichs, Daniel Silva, Mayra Banks, Lisa Marie Rice, as I said almost everything. I very rarely read nonfiction. I get enough real life. I also don’t read books with animal cruelty.
What advice would you give other aspiring writers and authors?
Write. I don’t think there is a right or wrong way. Some authors think their way is the only way, and it is for them, but may not be for you.
Are you working on any other books? Any projects in the works right now? I have two rough drafts that feature Victoria and Gabriel from Operation No Coincidence. So hopefully, their story will continue. Also, I have been asked to expand the roll of Gabriel’s partner and friend, Samuel Jacobs, and give him a love interest. Maybe! It’s Not Too Late for Therapy is pretty much a complete story in itself, although three of my beta readers want to know what happens to the young adults in the story who are currently dating. We’ll have to wait and see.
What is the number one thing you hope readers take away from your books? The idea that woman can be strong and compassionate and still be effective at what they do in the work world, in the kitchen and in the bedroom. In general, a woman should always be able to take care of herself; she shouldn’t rely on a man to do it. When I was in my early 20s, I worked for a company and there were four women all in their 40s, starting over from the bottom up. One woman’s husband died and left her with a mountain of debt, three kids and no life insurance. Another woman’s husband just disappeared; he literally went to work one day and never returned, and she had no money and two kids. The third was left for the proverbial younger woman and was in the midst of an ugly divorce, and the fourth was supporting a disabled husband and four children. After that I always swore regardless what life brings, I must be able to financially sustain myself and any offspring regardless of what my husband does, or doesn’t do.
About the Books:
It’s Not Too Late For Therapy is the not-so-classic story of love the second time around. Charlotte Mason is a brilliant, generous woman who is scarred by years of childhood bullying and the betrayal of two men she once loved. For the last decade she's raised her daughter alone after the death of her philandering husband in a one-vehicle crash, which took not only his life, but that of his lover.
Despite the challenges, Charlotte believes she's found balance nurturing her daughter and pursuing a challenging, and sometimes heart-wrenching, career as a victims' advocate— never acknowledging that she, too, is a victim. All that changes when she runs into Gregg Wyte, her first love, on a homecoming/visitation weekend to Albion College, with her daughter.
Gregg is as surprised to see Charlotte as she is to see him, but while she’s dismayed, he’s delighted. Gregg is determined to prove he’s not the selfish, indiscreet bastard he was in college. But Charlotte’s been hurt so many times by cruel words and deeds; she's doing her best to prove she's no one's doormat.
Then just when Gregg seems to be making inroads to her heart, a secret from her husband’s past comes to light. As if that's not enough, Gregg's been hiding his own secret—and when Charlotte finds out it threatens to shatter their world.
Victoria’s not fooled. She knows his retirement is no such thing. While the sex is great, she isn’t going to play runner-up to his new Black Ops venture, Under Cover Angels (UCA). UCA is trying to stop the supply of arms to Pakistan, human trafficking to the Middle East, and if the bad guys can get the funding, dirty bombs could be heading to the US.
Everything changes when their two worlds collide. Her insurance fraud suspect and his Russian arm’s dealer turn out to be one and the same. Victoria says coincidence. Gabriel says there are no coincidences. When the case takes an unexpected turn, Victoria and Gabriel must join forces to stop the terrorists before it’s too late.
About the Author:
L.A. LONG is an insurance industry executive with a long history investigating insurance fraud. She applies her knowledge of the law, investigation, and human behavior to developing her story lines. She lives in Bucks County, Pennsylvania with her family, three cats and a very human dog. She is the author of two novels, It’s Not Too Late for Therapy, and Operation No Coincidence. Learn more at LALongBooks.com.