My name is J. L. Lora and I’m a writer. When I moved to the U.S., didn’t know English and had to brave a world, without one side of my family, that was very much my backbone, I wrote then. When high school/college/work/life got tough. Writing’s how I cope with the feelings I can’t contain.
When characters show up at my door, I just shrug, say okay, and assign them a number in the batting order. I’m Dominican, baseball analogies come with the territory. Sometimes I can put the characters down in the line-up, but sometimes they must be written now and I have to yank the character/book on deck and go with a designated hitter. To be clear … they designate themselves. Carissa and Alec did just that. I had been talking for years about writing another book, that was going to be my first published piece but these two people in a crazy situation, who are probably the worst people for each other, showed up at my door and were like: we have a story to tell.
That’s how Boss came to be and that’s how the Trinity Series was born. It hasn’t always been that way or that easy.
For a very long period of my life I went through a massive writing drought. I couldn’t pinpoint why, I just couldn’t write and that made me unhappy. And then one day watching a TV show, I got inspired and I started writing fanfiction. Since then, life did a 180 for me. Especially once I realized that talent is not enough. I needed to learn, get better.
From that came Boss.
The moment I decided to pursue a writing career and get serious about becoming a writer, it’s like someone flipped a light switch. I’m smiling more, even while going through the hard parts of writing, and it gets tough, I can find the silver lining and the good in everything.
Today, I’m beaming. My first book is debuting like a sunny spring opening day. Boss is braving a world of reviews and mingling with other genres on Amazon, iBooks, BN. I don’t know how the world will receive it ¾ my fondest wish is that you’ll love it ¾ but to me, it’s already a walk-off home run in game seven of the Word Series. I’m rounding third while my family and friends wait with opened arms.
Determined to avoid the violence that claimed her family and friends, Carissa Elliott flees her hometown with a dangerous plan. She has proof that Calum DeMateo killed her father—now she just has to catch him. To do so, she’ll have to transform herself from small-town ingénue to New York crime boss.
When her path crosses with Alec McLean, the sexy stranger with whom she once shared a steamy nightclub kiss, things take an unexpected turn. Alec heads his family’s criminal organization, the kind of made man Carissa should want nothing to do with. But he also has a plan to take down Calum, and the flames that flicker between them are irresistible.
Will their vengeful quests jeopardize their chance at lasting love?
Where are you from? Does the area you live in influence you writing?
I was born in the Dominican Republic and grew up between there and New York. Both places are very much the nature and nature thing for me. Both definitely have an influence. My writing and speaking voice are a mixture of both. My characters possess that combination of hardcore and passion that you get from both cultures.
Tell us your latest news!
The biggest news ever, well for me! The debut of Boss, first book of the Trinity Series.
When and why did you begin writing? What inspired you to write your first book?
I’ve been writing since I was young in one form or another like short stories, poetry, and fanfiction. I had this idea for this book about a group of friends who great up to become this force in New York, that is respected, feared, and meticulously organized. The book eventually segued to me writing two others in the series.
What book(s) / author(s) have influenced your life and writing?
There are many, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, The Metamorphosis by Kafka, The Stranger by Camus, The lover by Marguerite Duras, Sandra Brown, Nora Roberts, Julie Garwood.
Tell us about your characters and how they came to be? Have they been in your head for a long time?
Yes, I’ve been thinking about them and writing them for a while. The main characters in my book are Carissa Elliott and Alec McLean. Carissa is a young woman backed against a world, forced to embrace the life that destroyed her family. A life she swore she would never mix in but life has a way of forcing us to face our worst fears and what we hate. Instead of cowering or running, Carissa knows she needs to embrace. Alec is the type of guy she doesn’t want or need in her life but someone is drawn to. He is this powerful crime boss to whom she will not cower but is helpless to their attraction.
Alec is used to being in control of everything and Carissa poses a dilemma, an enigma, and most of all a challenge for him. He wants to have her and everything she represents
What motivates you to write?
If I don’t write them, they won’t stop talking. This is going to sound clinical, but my character talk all the time. Scenes play in my head and the only way to stop it is to write them.
What is the hardest part of writing?
Getting stuck. The feeling is there. Sometimes you can see the scene clear as day but can’t write it. And it’s painful.
Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
Yes, I learned a little bit about some guns, police procedures, medical stuff and mostly, lots of writing ye yes and no nos.
Where do you get your ideas?
I think I pick up things and my brain stores them. Then, one day while cleaning, walking or showering, I hear a line in my head or a conversation and boom, a story is born.
What does your family think of your writing?
They think it’s awesome. I happen to have a supportive family, which I am grateful for. It wasn’t a surprise to them when I said I was writing a book. I’ve been announcing my writing career my whole life. LOL. They couldn’t wait for the book to come out and ask me for updates daily.
What is the best advice you would give to inspiring authors?
Go for it. Don’t wait but remember that writing goes along with education. Take writing classes. They’re not there to take away your writing voice but to enhance. Work at it.
What book are you reading now?
I’m currently reading Sonali Dev’s The Bollywood Bride
J.L. Lora was born in Dominican Republic and came to the United States just at the age of 13. Her goal in life was always to be a writer. As a child, she told stories to her family and friends and wrote fiction about historic figures. Today, her stories explore the dark side of good characters, people who are backed into corners and how they react to it. She loves strong heroines and their equally powerful love interests. She currently lives in Maryland while pursuing her dream of writing compelling, sexy, can’t-put-down stories about empowered, badass heroines and take-your-breath-away heroes.
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