Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Writers Wednesday - Lori Borril

This week The Pink Heart Society brings you one of the very latest authors for the Blaze Line. Please give a warm PHS welcome to Lori Borril!


An Oregon native, I moved to the San Francisco Bay Area just out of high school and have been a transplant Californian ever since. By day, I'm a data analyst for an insurance company where I've been employed for over 20 years, and when I'm not there, I'm spending most of my time at little league fields cheering on my 10-year-old son with my husband of 18 years.


My first brush with the publishing industry was six years ago when my son started Kindergarten. I'd written two hysterically funny short humor articles on parenting that I'd submitted to magazines such as Family Circle and Parents.

Unfortunately, I was the only one who found them hysterically funny, and after a slew of badly photocopied form rejection letters, I gave up. It wasn't until about three years later when my husband quit his full-time job to go into business for himself that I gave writing another try. His new job gave him much more free time to help with the house and our son. Suddenly, I had a lot of time on my hands, began reading lots of fiction, discovered romance, and after pouring over dozens of romance novels, decided I would try to write one of my own.

I was one of those stupid people who thought it would be easy, but even though reality hit me hard and fast, by the time I realized it wasn't going to be a walk in the park, I'd become stubborn and determined to learn the craft. So I joined RWA, took some writing classes, bought every book on the craft I could find, and hooked up with two awesome writers,
Kira Bazzel and Leeanne Kenedy, who showed me the ropes and kept me sane.

I think I was about a year into it when I wrote the first version of Private Confessions. It had started out as a novella targeted to no market in general. At that time in my writing career, I felt I needed to get in touch with my voice and my own style as a writer, and I was finding the Harlequin guidelines too much of a distraction. I was spending so much time worrying about what I "can" and "can't" write for this line or that, that I wasn't focusing on the things that would really get me published, like voice and personal style. So I threw away the rules and just wrote something for myself. When I sent it out to my CPs, both came back telling me it was a Blaze and that I should query it there.

The irony was that it was 20,000 words too short and I was at a place where I'd convinced myself I wasn't ready for Harlequin. Seriously--this is no joke--I queried it to Blaze with the intent of getting rejected so that I could tell my loving CPs "See? I told you so. Now can we forget about Harlequin?"
And of course, what I got was a request instead.

It wasn't until over a year later that I got the call from Kathryn Lye that they wanted to buy the manuscript, and even though I've got a copy of the book in my hand, it still doesn't feel real. Unfortunately, they haven't given me the luxury of letting it all sink in.

Despite the fact that they've got a second requested full on their desk, my next release will be Book #2 in their "Million Dollar Secrets" continuity series coming out in August, 2007. Like so often in my life, I'm finding myself thrown into the deep end right from the start, which will either make me stronger or kill me. I'd been asked to do it back in August and told I'd receive the bible (the document that tells me what my book is about) soon after. Well, it was only just before Christmas that I got the green light on the story line and was free to start writing--and the book is due February!!

So the moral of the story is if you're an aspiring writer, get good at writing books! Even if those early manuscripts only make it as far as your closet, that experience will come in handy.

Lori's Blaze debut, Private Confessions, is on shelves in February 2007! And avaiable online now.

You can find details on her website, or watch her get ready for her August release on her "Underneath It All", part of the Harlequin Blaze "Million Dollar Secrets" continuity series starting July, 2007!


  1. Lori,

    Welcome to the Pink Heart site and congratulations on your debut novel! Isn't it a thrill? My first is out now too.

    Good luck with that 'sink or swim' feeling. I'm not sure that it goes away.

    I'll look forward to seeing your first book on our Aussie shelves.


  2. Thanks Annie and Jenna. It's an honor to have the spotlight here today. You've created a great site here, full of interesting information and great discussions. I'm looking forward to coming out of "writing deadline hell" so I can spend more time with you in the future. There's definitely a lot of talented authors here I can learn from.

    In the meantime, I look forward to taking a break and chatting with you today.

    And Annie, I loved your website and congrats on the success of your book! You're on fire!

    Lori Borrill

  3. Congrats Lori!

    I'm glad you found your voice and where it fits.

    Good luck with future work too!

  4. Congratulations Lori! You just made me feel loads better about my journey, which has some things in common with yours.

    Wish you much success on your releases.

  5. Lee and Patricia, thanks so much.

    And Patricia, if I can make another writer feel better, that's the joy in my day. This is such a hard business to get into then stay in, I still sometimes ask myself why I wanted this again. LOL! Lots of success back at you!


  6. Congrats on this book....and making the top 10 new authors at eHQ! I have to wait until Friday to snag your book...I am addicted to free book Friday at eHQ!

  7. Welcome and congrats!

    I was just reading about this book on Harlequin's site and can't wait to read it! It sounds great!

  8. Thanks, I hope you enjoy it. Those of you with books out will understand those pre-release jitters. The copy for my parents is in the mail to them as we speak(yikes!).


  9. Congrats on having your first book on the shelves any day now. How exciting!!!

    Good luck with the continuity book. I didn';t do my first of those until ~ book seven so you sure are in the deep end. But it
    s really fun there. I promise!

    Thanks for sharing!


  10. What a great *and cautionary* tale Lori! ;) And at least if you're thrown in at the deep end now it can't get any worse, right??? LOL.

    And that cover! *fans face* YUM!!!

    Best of luck with it! I'm a February book too so our books might be shelf buddies... I hope we see you back at The PHS as soon as you're clear of the cave...