Sep 072018
 

Hi friends! I’m so excited to welcome Lory Lilian, one of my favorite authors, back to Austenesque Reviews today! As many readers in the Austenesque genre, I’ve been a long-time admirer of Lory’s stories and love the exquisitely beautiful romances she creates between Darcy and Lizzy! I’m especially glad that Lory has published so many of her stories and that she is continuing to write more!! ::happy dance:: Today Lory is sharing a very special, thrilling, and inspiring post about her writing journey! We hope you enjoy!!

Turning the Dream into a Dream Job

Dear Meredith, it gives me so much joy and such a boost of energy every time I visit your site. How long has it been since you invited me the first time? Maybe eight years? Or more?

I am here today to celebrate with you and with your awesome readers (many of them my cyber friends too) some round numbers:

  • 50 years of life
  • 35 years of being in love with Pride and Prejudice and dreaming about Darcy and Elizabeth
  • 15 years since I first heard of JAFF and realised many other people shared my passion
  • 13 years since I finished my first JAFF story, Rainy Days
  • 5 years since my first attempt at becoming a full-time writer, which has failed until now. Hopefully, that will change soon.

After so many years in fandom, what can I say about myself that people do not already know?

Everything started about three and a half decades ago when I first read Pride and Prejudice.

For a long while, I dreamed about Darcy, but I had no luck finding one. (I had twenty years of a good marriage, though, with a fabulous daughter and a very amiable divorce.) So, instead of seeking Darcy, I decided to use my imagination and create several versions of him.  

I discovered JAFF a few years after I fell in love with the BBC series, and I was spellbound by the richness of fabulous stories and the welcoming warmth of JAFF sites: Hyacinth Gardens, Firthness, DWG, and the Republic of Pemberley.

Now—just imagine a non-native English speaker from Romania, reading thousands of stories during countless nights and gathering the courage to write one herself. What? Really?

I was equally terrified and excited—and then overwhelmed and astonished by the excellent reception of Rainy Days! The idea of putting Elizabeth and Darcy alone in a cottage and forcing them to speak openly from the beginning of their relationship come to me out of nowhere, and people seemed to love it! Their positive feedback back inspired me, and I ended up writing 390 pages in about 3 months! Keep in mind that I had a 9-year-old daughter, and I was working full time!  

Then Remembrance of the Past and His Uncle’s Favourite followed, and several kindreaders called me the “queen of hot mush.” Back then, I did not know exactly what “hot mush” meant, but I loved it nevertheless.

During that time, I never imagined that my stories could ever be published and even less that someday I could make a living from my greatest passion. But the future put things together in a better way than I could have dreamed. So I became a published author. Me? Truly?

After publishing the first stories with Meryton Press—a truly wonderful experience—I decided to delve into the daunting world of self-publishing. Another big, scary step.

But, since I am neither as brave nor as decided as Elizabeth—as I said, this might be because I did not find my Darcy—I never gave up my professional career. For about 15 years, I worked in customer relations, sales, HR, training, and development. I coordinated and built teams, trained people, and supported them to grow and develop. I loved my job, and I put lots of energy and time (and health) into it.

But my heart still belonged to writing and to E&D! So I used any remaining time (very little) for my passion, and I managed to publish five long books and three short ones in about 13 years.

The year that marked a half century for me, 2017, was one of the hardest ever—from every point of view. And it was the year that made me understand that I could not afford to lose any more time and neglect my fabulous luck: the chance to turn my hobby into a living and my dreams of E&D into a dream job.

So, since July 1, I have been writing full time—in a structured, manager-like way—LOL!—with daily, weekly, and monthly targets and with a folder for each story that comes into my mind. I never allow an idea to fly away any more. One day, a plot bunny came to my mind while waiting for a friend in a supermarket. I wrote the storyline on my phone from the start to the end. It took me about five minutes. Now it waits in the queue behind another five stories that are works-in-progress.

The change is major, and I am still frightened. I am among the very, very few people from Romania ( I mean VERY FEW!) who make a living writing and publishing books on Amazon.

But I will go further. I love creating original characters to fill ODC’s story, and I am slowly gathering the courage to put angst into my mushy stories. I wish to offer stories to my kind, supportive readers that they will enjoy and that will give them some pleasant moments.

One of the greatest gifts the JAFF community granted me was the friendship of some remarkable people that I consider dear friends. Some of them I have met in person, others not yet. But it is never too late, right?

The best compliment I ever received was from someone who had a difficult surgery and took Rainy Days with her to the hospital. What more flattering reward could I ask for?

I am excited and satisfied with my new “business of the heart.”  I finished Bitterness of Spirit (now in the editing phase) in about three months, and I look forward to the next one. I struggle to add a trace of originality to every story, and I always try to do something that “has never been done before in JAFF.” Of course, that becomes an increasingly daunting task as there are so many fabulous stories out there. But, as I said, I will go further. And I hope to have some lovely surprises with E&D up my sleeve in the very near future and more reasons to celebrate than I have had in the recent past.

Being here, at Meredith’s wonderful blog, with so many amazing people around is a firstand very important step!

Did I mention the giveaway? No? Ok, I will allow Meredith to do that while I eagerly wait for your comments. Anything you want to ask or tell me will be a great pleasure for me to read and answer. Hugs and thanks for being here!

Wow! Thanks you so much for sharing such an inspiring journey with us, Lory! I am thrilled that you are able to live your dream! It sounds like you are very organized and disciplined, and how great that you are free to chase any and all plot bunnies! I’m so eager to see you write and publish more books! I cannot wait to learn more about Bitterness of Spirit – the title alone has me intrigued!

Connect with Lory

Twitter    ❧    Facebook

~~~

GIVEAWAY TIME!!!

Lory generously brings with her 3 LOVELY ebooks (WINNER’S CHOICE) for me to randomly give away to THREE lucky readers.  Woot Woot!!!

   

 The Rainbow Promise 

  

To enter this giveaway, leave a comment, question, or some love for Lory below!

(And just for fun: tell us which book you’d choose if you were to win!)

  • This giveaway is open worldwide.  Thank you, Lory!
  • This giveaway ends September 14th!
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  103 Responses to “Guest Post + Giveaway with Author Lory Lilian!!!”

  1.  

    Lori is one of my very favorite JAFF authors – she weaves words in such a lovely way, and her story lines are unique and interesting – I just downloaded Yearning for You and can’t wait to snuggle in for a good read! Please don’t enter me in the contest (I have all of Lori’s books already), but I couldn’t miss the opportunity to send much-deserved compliments Lori’s way – good luck, fellow Janeites!

  2.  

    Oh my, Rainy Days is an all time favorite. I have loved all your works and am excited to hear that so much more is on the way! Good luck with your career as a full time author. Elizabeth would be proud of your courage! If I am not lucky on this giveaway, know that I will always happily purchase your works, dear Lori.

  3.  

    I am a huge fan of Lory Lilian’s and have all of her books on my Kindle. I also purchase the paperback versions for my sister in law who is a lover of turning pages in a real book. I am excited about future publications as her books are always so enjoyable! I just reread “Ardently Loved” for the second time. If course “Rainy Days” will always be my favorite! I enjoyed reading about Lory’s life in this excellent posting.

    •  

      Dear Susan, thank you so much for your lovely, supportive words! You really made my Sunday! And please thank your sister in law too. Good luck with the giveaway and if you win, we will surely find a prize for you. Lots of hugs.

  4.  

    Hi Lory

    I love all your books and have them all so please do not enter me in the giveaway. Very good luck in your career as an author. You are a superb writer and story teller. Lots of love and take care x

  5.  

    Thank you for learning more about you. Kudos for striving for your dream of being a full time writer. I have loved all your books. I am glad that it will allow you time to exclusively write. Although I own some of your books, I would select A Man Without Faults. Thank you for the giveaway and I am looking forward to more books of our ODC.

  6.  

    Good to know that there is another book coming, unforunately I have only read seven of them so far so I have some catching up to do

  7.  

    Thanks for sharing your inspiring thoughts with us, Lory, and best wishes in your great adventure. Keep following the dream!

    Please don’t enter me in the giveaway, I have all your lovely books. Just wanted to pop by and leave some love 🙂

  8.  

    Hi Lory! I have been a fan for a number of years and have read some but not all of your books! You are one of my favorite JAFF writers! Though it is hard to decide, I guess I would select “Ardently Loved” as my choice to win if I were so lucky! I’m looking forward to reading many more of your books in the future!

  9.  

    Can’t wait for your new book. No giveaway, I have all your books Just wanted to say: Thank you!

  10.  

    The fact that your last name is Lillian and my first is Lilyane (my grandmother was Lillian) has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that I think your books are pretty darn swell. Thank you for your focus and your hard work – it all works beautifully. Please keep writing.

    (Should I be a winner, I would choose “Ardently Loved”.)

  11.  

    I have read several of your books and loved each one. I would love to get the Perfect match

  12.  

    So very happy you have made the decision to write full time! I have enjoyed all of your books but amazingly do not have Rainy Days. If I am the lucky winner, I would surely choose it. All the very best to you as you pursue your dream!

  13.  

    Your stories are wonderful, Lory. I’m thrilled to hear that you’re writing full-time! More lovely books for your readers, myself included! Thanks for the giveaway!

  14.  

    I’m so pleased you are now writing full time Lory and hope that with your structured days you actually manage to get some sleep.
    I found Rainy Days on Amazon and absolutely loved it so I typed in your name and bought the other three you had written. Just fabulous. I was overjoyed when you wrote The Rainbow Promise and I actually got a mention 🙂
    I have read all your books and they are on my ‘re read list which I go to too often I suppose considering the length of my TBR list but I can’t resist. (When I got a kindle I bought them a as ebooks as well to make it easier)
    I really enjoyed meeting you and Rita when you visited North West England last year. It was great to chat to you.
    I look forward to Bitterness of Spirit as well as all the other plot bunnies still to be finished.
    Please don’t enter me in the giveaway as I do have them all.
    Good luck and big hugs Lory.

  15.  

    I’ve read several of your novels, Lory, and they’re wonderful!! I’m thrilled that you have been able to tackle writing full-time!! Congratulations!! It must be gratifying and frightening at the same time. 🙂

    I look forward to reading even more of your amazing books!! And to think that English isn’t your first language–I never would have guessed if you hadn’t told us, and I can usually spot non-native writers of English a proverbial mile away! (I’m a former English professor and continue to teach writing and literature courses online.)

    I’ve read four of the books in the giveaway, but am eager to choose a new Lory Lilian novel to read and enjoy (and review!). Thanks for sharing your story with us!!

    Warmly,
    Susanne 🙂

    •  

      I don’t think I would have guessed it either, Susanne, although I don’t think I’m that sharp at detecting that sort of thing! 😉

    •  

      Susanne – it is frightening, really ! Of course, I keep my business projects as a backup LOL, but for now, I want to focus on writing. I have so many ideas that I cannot keep locked any longer. Thanks for the kind words about my English. It improved alot when I discovered JAFF community and spent countless hours chatting with other PnP / Colin Firth lovers 🙂 🙂 🙂 Thanks for your support and good luck with the giveaway!

  16.  

    I wish you great success with your leap into full time writing! I love your books and, to be honest, have most of them lol. If I had to choose from the few I don’t have, I suppose I’d choose His Uncle’s Favorite. Again, good luck and I look forward to reading your books in the future.

  17.  

    Thanks for sharing your journey with jaff with us. I have read His Uncle’s Favorite and loved it. I would have never known by reading that English wasn’t your first language. Thank you for the giveaway, I am torn between a few of the titles.

  18.  

    What a wonderful post. I would choose Rainy Days. Congratulations on your books.

  19.  

    I love all your versions of Mr Darcy, thank you for sharing them all with us! Can’t wait to meet all the others you have in mind!! My absolute favourite book of yours is Sketching Mr Darcy ♥️.

  20.  

    I’m always happy to hear about your future writing plans Lori. I love Rainy Days, but my favyis Sketching Mr. Darcy. Their initial conversation and Elizabeth levelheaded attitude and insight into their situation is my all time favorite in FMS. Thanks for the giveaway.

    •  

      Yes, I feel exactly the same way! I love Rainy Days, but I think I love Sketching Mr. Darcy a smidgen more for the reasons you stated.

    •  

      Kate and Meredith – THANK YOU! I put lot of effort into finding a believable and reasonable reason for their forced marriage 🙂 I wanted them to be equal in the relation, starting with the mere decision of entering in it.

      •  

        I’m glad we agree on this point. It was realistic and they both behaved with maturity. I don’t like when Lizzy is petulant and behaves childishly.

  21.  

    I was hooked on Lory’s books after reading Rainy Days and have all her books! It is nice to have a select few authors that you can buy whatever they write and KNOW it will not disappoint. Lory is one of my “go to” authors! I am so looking forward to have more books of hers to read!

  22.  

    Oh-my-goodness… this is excellent. I have read three, own another and the rest are on my wish-list. I am so excited to read more about you Lory. I am so glad you are able to live your dream. I wish you all the best in your new career. Thank you for the generous giveaway… and special thanks to Meredith for hosting. You are the best Meredith and say hello to Mr. Bingley.

  23.  

    I have yet to read one of your books that was a “ all at one sitting” read! All are excellent. It was interesting to discover your beginning and growth as an author!

  24.  

    Good luck following your dream as a full time writer. Rainbow Promise is one of my favorites. If I was to win, I would pick ” His Uncle’s Favorite “. Thanks for the giveaway.

  25.  

    I love all of Lory’s books and love having you feature her here. Oddly, I no longer have my print copy of Rainy Days and I see I never bought the Kindle, so if I’m a winner, that is the one I would like. Best Wishes with your new full time career! We are eagerly anticipating many more wonderful books! Jen Red

  26.  

    What a wonderful post.very interesting thread about your journey, Lori! I have three of your books in my ahstenesque shelf at home and love(d) reading them.
    I applaud you for living your dream and going this route esp as a non English native, I didn’t know that! Wow! I’d be so frightened (a non English native too )

    I’d love read Rainbow Promises!

  27.  

    Congratulations on all of your milestones! May your hands fly across the keys as you write full-time.

    denise

  28.  

    Congratulations on following your dreams. I too recently celebrated the 50 birthday, for me it was as if a veil was lifted and I now have a new perspective on life. Thanks for hosting the giveaway, would love to add to my TBR list…

  29.  

    Thank you for the background information of yourself and kudos for writing full time. I have read your books and have enjoyed all of them . I do own a few of them but would like to own A Man of Many Faults.

  30.  

    Absolutely love your stories. New books added to my Kindle as soon as they are released. Thank you for the wonderful giveaway .

  31.  

    I have never read anything Lory has written, in English or Romanian — tried to purchase and download one of her books last year but it never downloaded. So I don’t know which book I’d choose, sorry. Vă dorim noroc ca un scriitor cu normă întreagă.

    •  

      Oh you will love her stories, Janis! Hope you get the chance to read one soon!

    •  

      Hi, dear Janis. My books are only in English (I write them in english and I tried to transalte RD in romanian but I failed after 3 chapters. It just dont sound right …:-) ).

      I am so sorry that you cound not download the book – I wonder what happened? Let me know which book and we will find a way.

      PS. Thanks so much for the lovely whishes in romanian !

  32.  

    I really enjoy your books and I think I have read most of them. Congrats on your courageous move to writing full time! I hope you find a lot of success. I wonder if there is place for those of us who love JAFF and think about possibly variations/situations but are not writers to share ideas for stories even if they are not fully developed?

    •  

      Betsy, I do not think there is such a place, but the idea is just great! I have several cyber-friends who are not writers, but have some awesome ideas they would like to share. Maybe a FB page called “Jaff readers’ plot bunnies” or something?

  33.  

    Love this!! It is soooo hard to choose! Should I win I would like “Yearning for You”.

    •  

      Sharon, considering “Yearning for you” is the first short story in the Hot Mush Series, if you win and choose this one, I will extend the prize to all 3 books. How that sounds? 🙂

  34.  

    Congratulations on all of those milestones, Lory. I’d love to have been at that get together last year (Lyme is only two hours away) but I think we already had arrangements made for that weekend. Maybe next time! I’d seen your name around various places when I first came across this community more than four and a half years ago but it wasn’t until I won a selection of paperbacks from Meryton Press three years ago that I finally got around to reading your work. Wonderful stuff it is too! I think I now have everything except the two latest, so my choice would be Ardently Loved, I think.

    I have a couple of questions for you, regarding the fact that you’re not a native English speaker. Did you grow up learning English from an early age, or did you learn later on? What sort of challenges does writing in English pose for you that a native speaker perhaps wouldn’t face?

    •  

      Hi Anji . Thank you so much for your kind words. There will definitely be a next time to meet at Lyme Park! Most likely next year! Regarding my English knowledge, I started to learn it in second grade (I was 8 years old) and I liked it from the beginning. I used English many times in school and later in my work, but mostly business related.
      However, my English improved greatly when I discovered JAFF communities and I spend hour and hours in chat room or reading fanfic stories 🙂
      My biggest challenge is that, despite the fact that I write the stories directly in English, my brain still has the tendency to use phrases that do not sound very “English-like”. I also feel that my English vocabulary is not as rich as it should be and I don’t always find the right synonyms when I needed. Thank God for my wonderful editors! 🙂

  35.  

    Oh Lory, I wish you all the best! Your stories are so lovely, and with the help of the wonderful Ellen, they are honed to perfection. I’m happy you have the opportunity to follow your dream, and I hope you are very successful.

  36.  

    I love your books! Yours were some of the first JAFF I read! Thank you for the giveaway.

  37.  

    Hi Lori, I love your stories & your own journey to “becoming” a writer aswell! I would like to have the chance to read your book Remembrance of the Past. Thank you for this oppertunity 🙂

  38.  

    Hi Lory, thank you for one of the best blog posts I’ve ever read! Not only do we share the same name and same age but same goal. I have dreamt of being a professional writer for years. Your fears, your hesitations, the ideas popping into your head at random times – – all of these things resonated with me.

    Congrats to you on your newest release as well as the big step of being a full-time writer!

    Thank you, Meredith, for hosting Lory and the wonderful giveaway. Which book would I choose? Hmmmm, I would say either “Ardently Loved” or “A Man with Faults.”

  39.  

    Drat! I’m so late at replying to the post. I was so looking forward to your guest appearance on Meredith’s blog!…Sept. off to a busy start. :/

    I’m thrilled for all of our sakes that you are meeting this new exiting step in your career, to write full time, with such enthusiasm. But I do acknowledge your fears, and hope all of our long distance admiring support helps keep you going. I wish you such great success.

    I have read, but do not own, all but the two newest shorter works. If I won the giveaway, it would be hard to choose from the two older ones I do not have, because I would dearly love to reread them, or one of the two newest ones. It’s hard to say which of yours is my favorite, but Sketching Mr. Darcy runs neck and neck with Rainy Days. SMD was the first one I purchased, and last year I wanted so badly to reread it, but could not remember the name of the book!!! I asked Meredith on one of her blog posts last year and got my answer!! I’ll never forget that title again. 😀 The thing I remembered most was that Elizabeth had to be reminded that Mr. Darcy had been her hero once before, years ago…..awww…so sigh-worthy.

    As far as writing more angsty works, I think you have THAT down to an art now after A Man With Faults. Oh my goodness, Woman. My heart was in my throat through so much of that book! Whew!.

    Again, thank you for coming to Meredith’s blog and sharing your background with us, it was wonderful to hear how you got started writing JAFF, and still wonderful yet, having so many new ideas.

    Thank you to you too, Meredith. 🙂

    •  

      What a lovely and well-said message, Michelle! I am right there with you on your favorites! Lory’s stories are incredible! I’m so glad you enjoyed Lory’s post, I am very honored to have the opportunity to share it!

  40.  

    Michelle, loved reading your post! Your support is much appreciated. I wish you to win in the giveaway and it will be my pleasure to send you the book you want.
    Confession: I had my heart in my throat while writing A man with faults too. It was sooooo hard to keep the angst for so long! My main temptation was to skip it and move it directly to the mush party – but I resisted until the last chapter 🙂 Not sure when I will have the guts to write another one so angsty…

  41.  

    Love Lory’s variations of which Rainy Days is nearlyties with Rembrance of the Past as faves. Thanks for writing!

  42.  

    Lory, I’ve read most of your books. The ones I haven’t read yet are your most recent ones, and they are on my wishlist. I’m just a little behind. But I’ve loved them all, and appreciate that you write them, and share them with us! I’m glad to know that we will have more stories from you to look forward to.
    If I were to win in your giveaway, I would choose “Ardently Loved” because it’s the next one that I don’t have.

  43.  

    You are a brave person, Lori, to be able to follow your dreams of becoming a full-time writer. Not many authors can afford to do that. Hoping that you have made the right choice. I salute and fully support you. If I do win, I would like to have Rainy Days as I think that is one of your books that I don’t have.

  44.  

    Congratulations on your success! I didn’t know Romanian writers were not common, so that is even more of an achievement 🙂 The book Sketching Mr Darcy looks wonderful, as well as Rainy Days. I have not read any of your work yet, but you are now on my list. Thank you for sharing with all of us and for the giveaway as well. Good luck on your next adventure!

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