The second blog post in my series offering tribute to the authors who have mentored me and blessed me with their writing.
If there is another author who gives so consistently, tirelessly and with so little reservation to other authors and her causes, I don’t know them. And I know A LOT of generous authors, but Lori Foster has “fostered” (couldn’t help myself) more careers than any author I know. She’s been instrumental in the first time publication of many, many authors who now feel a debt of gratitude toward her and most likely always will. I am one of those authors.
You see Lori Foster was the finalist judge on a contest I entered with The Greek Tycoon’s Ultimatum. She didn’t criticize my alpha hero, or tell me to tone down my story. She gave a couple pieces of advice about amping up the reader’s connection to my characters and streamlining the first chapter, which I took. I pitched that book to Kim Young at Nationals a couple of months later and sold it within weeks. But Lori didn’t stop there. She read the book when it was published and then sent it onto her then editor Kate Duffy at Kensington Books. Kate sent me an email telling me how much she loved the book and if I ever wrote a single title, to send it to her.
I’m getting chills right now, because I asked, “What about one already written?” And that is how I sold The Real Deal, got my first good agent and started my single title career. But Lori wasn’t done with me, she gave me a cover quote to use, and urged me to enter her contest, which I did. That gave me more exposure and then she invited me into her Yahoo group and talked me up to her readers. Some of the women I met there are my staunchest reader supporters now and I call many of them true friend. (You know who you are!)
Lori also encouraged me to attend her RAGT (Reader Author Get Together) and the year it *didn’t* happen on a graduation weekend for my kids or nieces, or nephews…I did. It was amazing and magical and oh, so affirming. Of all the author/reader events I could attend, that’s the one I’d most like to return to now that I’m able to travel and interact in crowds again. (I didn’t get my mojo back in time to register for this year, but I’m going to be watching closely for the opening of author registration for next year, I can tell you!)
If Lori had done this for only me, that would endear her to me and make me respect and admire her and want to be like her, but she didn’t. She’s been a mentor, supporter and cheerleader for many other authors. Probably some of your favorites got their start because she offered a hand up. She continues to help other authors connect to readers with RAGT. And I follow her on social media (of course I do). Not only is her absolute love for her family on display, but she’s still out there telling her readers about authors she loves to read. It’s something I hope I will always emulate.
I’ve tried to give back like she does, mentoring where I can, offering cover quotes if I can (I have to actually like the writing, so that can be tricky), giving personal recommendations to my agent and editors (I’ve never had Lori’s knack for seeing that spark they will love as much as me, but I keep trying), and when she invited me several years ago to participate in her benefit anthology, The Power of Love, I jumped at the chance. This year, her benefit book is Tucker (the latest in her Buckhorn Brothers series) and I urge you to join me, and order your copy to support the Animal Adoption Foundation.
Not just because it’s a great cause, but Lori also happens to be one of my ultimate favorite authors. I love her writing, her story ideas, her characters…all of it! You see the most amazing, incredible, out of this world part of my experience with this woman, is how much I loved her writing before any of this happened. To have someone who wrote the kinds of stories I loved to read believing in me? It has always been one of my most treasured gifts. Her friendship and care mean the world and I will always be one of her biggest fans as well as one her most voracious readers!
Look for Lori’s upcoming release Fast Burn (part of her Body Armor series), coming in March. I absolutely agree with Jill Shalvis’s cover quote on it: No one writes alpha heroes and sexy, swoon worthy romance like Lori Foster!
I’m sure it won’t surprise you to hear, I already have Fast Burn on pre-order!
Until next time!
Happy Valentine’s Day!
Hugs and happy reading!