Welcome to Author Spotlight! Each week will feature a different author. We’ll get the scoop behind their writing life and dish a little. The authors will also be giving away a copy of their latest book. FUN.

This week Lori Nader Gray is in the Spotlight! To win a copy of Lori’s book, From Cover Girl to Cookie Queen, leave a comment on this post!

Share a little bit about yourself. Married with kids? Empty nester? Do you work full-time and write when you can squeeze it in? 

I remarried at 49 after meeting my husband on Match.com.  I have 2 amazing daughters 23 and 25. We love hanging out together.  My “girls” are my greatest accomplishment!  I spend my time promoting my book From Cover Girl to Cookie Queen through speaking engagements and I am in the process of launching new cookie products with my company Lori’s Legendary Cookies.

And share something about your writing. What’s your genre(s), your areas of interest…

I am a personal and spiritual growth junkie. I share my life story and encouraging life lessons through humor and stories about my life that all women can relate to. From my crazy career in modeling, to starting my own cookie business, then marriage, divorce, single parenting and internet dating. Through it all, I finally learned to trust my God given instincts and my heavenly father.

How did you get started writing? 

At 16, I won a Cover Girl Contest by sending in an essay I wrote and photos of myself and I was flown to New York which launched my modeling career.

Did you have a dream of being a published author?  

Not when I was younger, but after I began writing my book I started getting excited about becoming a published author.

After you started writing seriously–how long was it before you were published? 

About year and a half.

Aside from a cup of good, strong coffee, what helps you get all of your “brain cylinders” firing so you can write well? Do you have any favorite places and routines when you write? How many hours a day do you spend writing? 

I write in the morning after my devotional time and my exercise (if I’m good) in my beautiful office at home. My office is filled with family photos, inspirational quotes on the walls and my Westies, Harry and Sally usually keep me company.  I write for 3 or 4 hours when I am working on a project and even all day when I am really inspired, which means I never get out of my p j’s  or sweats sometimes.

What has been the biggest help to you in the journey to publication? Writers’ conferences? Writing groups? Your mom as your first draft reader? 

My sister and brother’s help in reading my first, second , third and fourth drafts, sometimes more.

Is the “writer’s life” what you thought it would be? 

A writer has to be disciplined. A writer is only successful if they can promote their book and the best way to promote your book is through interviews and speaking engagements. Getting the book published is just the first step.

What are your biggest distractions? 

Everyday stuff keeps me from writing. Work, bills, famil fun and obligations plus launching my new cookie business.

What was one of the best moments in your career? 

Being asked to be a guest speaker at the East Bay Women’s Conference with world renowned key note authors and speakers. It was my first opportunity to share my book and message and I had an audience of 500.

What do you least like about being a writer? Most like? 

Least: Constant promotion.  Most: creating  funny stories when I write and working from home in my uggs and jeans.

What is the role and importance of an agent? 

I am currently looking for an agent to help promote my book and message. God is my PR agent at this time and He continues to amaze me with speaking opportunities and upcoming interviews.

What advice would you give to new writers? 

Be sure your message and book are unique.  Write from your own experience and passion.  Be original.

Pretend I’m a customer at a bookstore looking for a good book. Give me a one or two sentence promo to convince me to buy your book. 

With warmth, raw honesty and eternal hope, Lori Nader Gray shares her sometimes heartbreaking, sometime hilarious tales as a model, business entrepreneur, widow and struggling single mom. Treat yourself to From Cover Girl to Cookie Queen and learn the 10 life ingredients you need to have a sweet, fulfilling life!

What’s on the book horizon for you?  

My secret desire (although not secret anymore) is to have my book made into an I love Lucy romantic comedy filled with faith and spirit.

Last question, how can readers find you and your books? 

Rakestraw, READ in Blackhawk and Amazon and other book websites.  It is also available as an E-book. If you order from my website www.lorislegendary.com, I am able to personally autograph the copy.

Thank you for sharing your writing life with my bleaders! (blog + readers = bleaders)

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