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Friday Spotlight with Lorca Damon

February 17, 2012

Lorca DamonWe have the fabulous Lorca Damon is stepping into the Spotlight this week. For those of you who do not follow Lorca’s blog, you are seriously missing out. Her razor-sharp wit has caused me to snort my morning coffee through my nose and onto my poor laptop, on more than one occasion. Thank goodness I work from home. So, folks, grab a cloth (just in case) and read on!

Welcome to the Friday Spotlight, Lorca. I am so happy you’re here!

Thanks for having me!

Where do you find inspiration?

It’s so weird. I keep this notebook of Awesomest Book Titles in the Universe, and then I build a whole story around the title. My most recent completed project is titled The Bone Road, and I had to figure out how to build the entire plot based on why a road would literally have crushed human skeletal remains scattered all over it. So fun. For my humor writing (LorcaDamon.com), it’s really sad that people think my writing is funny, because it’s all actual true stories from my own life and they’re all laughing at my pain.

Do you travel much for your writing?

I feel like that girl who becomes a stripper to work her way through medical school, only she becomes a really good stripper and never finishes school. I took a staff writer position with GoodEReader.com to get a feel for the publishing industry and get to work in the business, but now my own fiction writing takes a back seat sometimes to the exciting world of writing about books. I travel to New York a few times a year, I attend the ALA Conference, I’m even slated to go to Frankfurt Book Fair this year to cover the news on New Zealand’s emergence as an ebook power player. It’s really a great way to learn so much about how books become what they are while getting to go places and meet amazing people.

What is the favorite thing you have written?

Autism By HandI have several unloved YA novels tucked safely inside a flash drive at the bottom of my purse, so it would be too easy to say that the writing I’m most proud of is the non-fiction book that I wrote basically out of spite. I wrote a book about the things we did to help our autistic daughter and published it as an ebook on Kindle. I was so tired of reading fluff-books about how great autism is (not to put down the work of other writers, of course), so I wrote this one about how hard we’ve worked to bring our daughter to a more solid level of normal. And it’s selling really well, which makes me think that other parents don’t want to hear about how great autism is, they just want to know how to potty train their child and how to survive in public school with them. If it helps one person out there, it will be the best thing I ever write.

Tell us about your current work.

My current work is a novel I actually finished and started querying last year. It’s found a little bit of love here and there from agents and publishers and has won a contest, so I’m hard at work now on edits. It’s involving a complete rewrite because my feelings about one of the undercurrents of the book—literally, something that shapes everything from the main character’s actions all the way down to the title of the book—have changed. And that’s one of the cool things about writing…it reflects who the author is as a person and changes as that author grows.

What books are you reading now?

I read a ton of YA books, sometimes so much that I’m almost ashamed of not being a grown-up. I couldn’t name four people running for President right now, but I know the names of every one of the characters who plays football with the protagonist in Geoff Herbach’s Stupid Fast. Some would call it sad, but I would actually call it market research for my career. See? It’s all how you look at it.

I read and write so much YA because it’s what I was reading when I first figured out that I loved to read. I still have the very first “big book” that I read all by myself. It was called Morris the Moose Goes to School, and I read it in first grade. It wasn’t long before I plowed through the Nancy Drew series, then on to Sweet Valley High before getting serious about reading and switching over to sci-fi and fantasy because it felt so much more “grown up” than silly high school romance stories. Madeline L’Engle, Andre Norton, Robert A. Heinlein, Ray Bradbury…keep it coming!

I’ve just finished Touching Spirit Bear, Hunted, and The Help (even though I’m probably the last person in America to have started reading that last one, a little late there). I am not to be trusted in a book store because I hog all the books and don’t let anyone else have any.

 How do you name your characters?

I think my biggest flaw as a writer is naming my characters. I used to just pick something, then I started to notice how other characters in other stories kind of just made sense somehow. It made me realize that there’s actually thought put into it! I’m getting better at it. For now, I’ve started going to the nearest cemetery and at least looking for names on the tombstones that fit the time period of my story.

Let’s ask you some weird questions. What’s the weirdest foods you have eaten?

That one’s almost too easy, because I have a lock on eating weird stuff. My family lived all over the world when I was growing up, so I’ve eaten just about every delicacy imaginable. If it’s made out of meat, I’ve eaten it. The worst was live octopus. The best weird thing was the kangaroo steaks.

What is your favourite smell and what smell do you hate the most?

The best smell is hyacinths. The worst smell is nail polish. Ugh.

What’s your oddest quirk?

I can’t drive my car over train tracks unless I’m hitting them perpendicular. Sometimes I even have to wait until it’s safe then drive in the other lane, just to make sure I hit the tracks at a ninety-degree angle.

That is a little odd. 🙂 Now, do you have anything to say to your fans?

For fans of my autism book, thanks for trying to make the world a better place for autistic people by learning all that you can. For fans of my bizarre humor blog, I’d just like to say I’m sorry that they don’t have television where you live and therefore you have to keep reading my stuff.

Where can we find you?

GoodEReader.com

LorcaDamon.com

@LorcaDamon

Amazon: Autism By Hand  

 Amazon UK

Bonus Question: Who should I feature on my next Threesome Thursday?

For your next Threesome Thursday, that depends. Are we talking about writers, or are we gonna have an actual threesome? If it’s an actually threesome, I’d like to be sandwiched with that teacher from Glee (if he promises not to sing the whole time) and Dwayne Johnson. If it’s writers, I’d love to hear more from Cheryl Rainfield and Solomon Inkwell. Woot!

Lorca, thanks again for stopping by! Come back anytime.

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. February 17, 2012 12:39 pm

    Strangely, I completely understand the train track thing. If you hit them at a weird angle, your tires could shift, and you’d be heading down the track. I don’t watch TV, so you will have to keep entertaining me on your blog. Sorry, but someone has to do it.

  2. February 17, 2012 1:24 pm

    Glad I finished my coffee before reading this spotlight so that I could spare the ol’ laptop! Great post, Lorca. You had me with the train tracks item, but I’ve heard of stranger quirks. lol You’re a wonderful writer who has accomplished such great things…I look forward to your next big achievement!

  3. February 17, 2012 6:37 pm

    It’s terrific you are able to be so versitile and write in so many genres. I would guess that over the long haul, this will serve you really well as a writer. Thanks for sharing!

  4. February 17, 2012 10:07 pm

    Lorca, you are a fascinating person. I would love to have your job, too. I also hate the smell of nail polish, but strangely enough, I love the smell of burning matches (not to set fires, but as their own distinct odors).

  5. February 18, 2012 2:47 am

    My guy is the same way about nail polish. He will hold his nose when walking past nail salons and remarks EVERY TIME he doesn’t understand how YOU WOMEN aren’t dead from breathing in that stuff. #sigh

    You know I adore you and your blog kills me. I love all your goodereader articles as well. So informative and helpful for all authors. I just wanna go all those cool places, man. I mean, woman. Yea, that.

  6. February 18, 2012 3:34 pm

    I love Lorca’s blog! I’m glad to have a chance to get to know you a little bit better! And thanks for adding “train tracks” to the list of things that freak me out. Pretty soon I’ll have to chuck it and start a list of things that DON’T freak me out instead.

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