The Road Not Taken: A Personal Journey to Success
Health & Well Being
Passion adn Purpose
Lorna is a fiction writer, lifestyle columnist, managing editor and art promoter. A native of the quirky Asheville, North Carolina area, Lorna now enjoys lowcountry life in Charleston, South Carolina. She began her professional writing journey as a tourism and travel blogger, writing stories for both local and national websites before her first novel was picked up in 2017. She now has two novels on the shelf and manages editorial content for Charleston Women magazine and Mount Pleasant magazine. Lorna also hosts a morning television segment on ABC where she promotes artists of all kinds.
When Lorna isn’t writing fiction, she enjoys exploring the endless lowcountry and traveling with her husband Kimsey, and daughter, Allyn. She also enjoys discovering new kinds of music and cinema and donating time to many local charities… and laughing. Lot of laughing.
Gift: To the first 10 people who subscribe, rate adn share Lorna's episode and email moira to confirm( email@example.com), Lorna is gifting a hard copy of her book "The Ocean at Night ".
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00:03] Intro: Welcome to the Heart Soul Wisdom Podcast, a journey of self discovery and transformation. Moira Sutton and her amazing guests share real life stories, tools, and strategies to inspire and empower you to create and live your best life. Come along on the journey and finally blast through any fears, obstacles and challenges that have held you back in the past so you can live your life with the joy, passion, and happiness that you desire. Now, here's your host. Create the life you love. Empowerment life coach Moira Sutton.
[01:00] Moira: Four episode 79 the Road Not Taken a Personal Journey to Success with author, magazine editor, columnist, local television personality and public speaker Lorna Hollifield. Lorna is a fiction writer, lifestyle columnist, managing editor and art promoter. A Native of the quirky Asheville, North Carolina Area, Lorna Now Enjoys low country life in Charleston, South Carolina. She began her professional writing journey as a tourism and travel blogger, writing stories for both local and national websites before her first novel was picked up in 2017. She now has two novels on the shelf and manages editorial content for Charleston Woman Magazine and Mount Pleasant Magazine. Lorna also hosts a morning television segment on ABC where she promotes artists of all kinds. When Lorna isn't writing fiction, she enjoys exploring the endless low country and traveling with her husband Kimsey and daughter Allyn. She also enjoys discovering new kinds of music and cinema and donating her time to many local charities. And laughing. Lots of laughing, which I love. So, without further ado, there she is. So, without further ado, I would like to introduce you to Lorna Hollifield. Welcome, Lorna.
[02:17] Lorna: Hi. Thank you so much for having me.
[02:20] Moira: Yeah, I know we started off with time zone stuff, but one of my books that I'm going to be writing came up to me one day when I was stressed about something, and it was really stressing me. Anyway, long story short, I came back with that line, water off of a duck's back. And I don't know where it popped in my head, one of those unconscious, subconscious things. And the more I said it, it calmed me down. Like, it just literally calmed me down. Water up a lot, ducks back, water. And now it's going to be a title of one of my books, coping with Stress. And I have little ducks all over the place and that so that's where that came about. So, there you go. Read deep and everything's always perfect. Going with the flow. Lord. Let's start with what was your earliest experience in your head, in your life when you really learned that language is magical, but it also has power to influence and inspire people and really tell stories? When did you really learn that? When did that come to your awareness?
[03:20] Lorna: It was so early for me. It's something that's innate for me. I think I was born with that awareness, literally. Language is everything to me. I even think in words. I don't picture things in pictures. I picture it in words. And it makes me think what I thought about before I knew how to spell, because I picture things, like, written out. But the biggest thing, anything I conceptualize, or grasp has verbal meaning. Communication is everything for me and always has been. My parents told me I was even like an early talker, like really early. And I was always telling stories, wild, imaginative stories and writing plays. I learned to read when I was young. My grandmother taught me. I've been reading pretty much anything I want to read since I was four. And so, I realized language was my power. I mean, early, early. I don't remember a time I did not know that that's how I communicate. I'm a talker. I'm an explainer. My family jokes, they call me the explainer because whenever I feel like there's something going on, I step in and clarify it for everyone.
[04:41] Moira: Well, that's handy.
[04:43] Lorna: Yeah. I mean, language, that's how we signal each other. It's how we are able to live in the same place. I think language is everything.
[04:53] Moira: Do you think in all cultures in that that even if you don't speak another language, you can still communicate? Or do you think that's more through symbolism and more of our kinesthetic, our movements and smiling and laughing as you laugh?
[05:10] Lorna: You can, of course, communicate with gestures and things. But eventually, I think even if you were trapped on a desert island with someone who spoke a language completely differently than you did, you would start to speak each other's languages. You would start picking up. You might even develop some hybrid of the two of your languages. There was a study done, I can't remember by what university, but basically, they came to the conclusion that language is innate, like it's innocent birth. And even if we didn't have anyone to teach us, we would form our own because it's such a natural thing. And even, I mean, yes, there are certain situations where people aren't able to speak or something from a disability. So, there's other ways to communicate. But as a general rule, I think language is just woven into being a human. Humans speak. Humans use words.
[06:09] Moira: I know when I was in university, I took sign language because I wanted to speak to children and teach them dance and movement through feeling vibration in that. So, sign language was a real way to communicate with those individuals at the time. But that's what I was thinking when you were talking. So, it sounds like your child was your childhood, your family, your grandmother, they all helped to shape who you are now.
[06:36] Lorna: Yeah, I would say very largely they did, especially her. And it's kind of tough now because she's in stages of Alzheimer's. She has no idea who I am. She has no idea who anyone is. It's really hard because she was kind of, she was key. She was the person in my raising. I mean, my parents were there, but they got married young. They had me young, and they were both always, like, working three jobs at a time or going to school. My mom went back to school a couple of times in my childhood, and I never went to preschool or anything like that. I just stayed with my grandmother, and she taught me to read, and then we watched soap operas, and if that doesn't make a storyteller and then also, my dad's side of the family is very artsy. They're all musicians, songwriters, creatives, that sort of thing. And so I think all of that kind of went into the blender, and you just put nature and nurture in that blender, and mine spit out a writer. That's what happened.
[07:59] Moira: That was your creativity outlet? Yeah, very good.
[08:05] Lorna: I don't even think of that creative. I've just been saying what I see, but I guess that is creative.
[08:11] Moira: Oh, extremely creative. And also, talent on that page of talent. Did you through the years before you wrote your first book, first of all, did you have any mentors in your life from writing to somebody you looked out up to that you wanted to be like? In my kind of business world, I met Oprah many years ago, and she's the real deal in Chicago. I was only 16, and then I did have a television show, and she was somebody doing something on the world, so she was one of my mentors. Did you have mentors and people that you I did.
[08:47] Lorna: It's kind of weird because I do have people that I respect and that encouraged me. But also, I am such an intuitive that I just get kind of everything. I feel like answers are always just within my own body, to a fault, almost. I don't ask for advice. It doesn't occur to me to ask for advice. It doesn't occur to me. It's kind of nice in one way, though, because when I say I don't care what other people think, more than any person I've ever met, I literally do not care. It does not matter to me at all, like, what their opinion is, what they thought I should do with my life, or people saying, oh, please do this have fallbacks right on the side. And I'm kind of glad I was able to shut all those opinions out and swim in my lane. So, it was more I appreciated when I would do something and someone would kind of pat me on the back and say, good job. I had a teacher that was like, oh, I think Lorna is an author in first grade. And I remember, oh, my gosh, she called me an author. How cool. I am an author. Like, it kind of like, turned that light bulb on a little bit.
[09:57] Moira: Wow. What's early.
[09:59] Lorna: But I was always writing. I was always being who I just being. I've said, this a million times. So many people are like, oh, my God, I didn't even know what I was doing in my early 20s or I didn't know what I wanted to be when I grew up, when I was a kid. I don't relate to that. I have been the same person since. I have memory. I have been exactly who I am. And I always wanted to be a writer, always wanted to be an author. I'm a very fast decision maker, very resolute, but I stumbled a lot along the way and had to do trial and error and had a ton of rejection. But I think that's also helpful in getting the rejection because I'm a writer. I just am. And if you don't see it, I'm sorry, next, you know, pitch it to another agent. Do I just? I don't know. So as far as the mentors, I don't think I have someone that I emulate or someone I want to be like. I just think that I have people that I respect if that makes sense. And as other authors, I mean, I read a lot of Fitzgerald growing up. I would say there's some influence on my writing there just because I liked the way he wrote about things that were ugly but in kind of the underbelly of who people are, which I like to write about. And so maybe some of that rubbed off. But yeah, I would just say I love people, I respect people. But as far as mentors, I don't know.
[11:37] Moira: You brought in that as you were discussing that about rejection. Now I can hear, and you and I've just met, and I can hear very much that you're a very strong personality and everything you just said, like, you've known your way, you knew exactly grade one, being called an author, the whole thing. But what's your advice for people who maybe do not have the same belief in themselves or belief that they can write and maybe they've already written a book and they have been rejected? You were like, kind of next, lane next, whatever. What would you say to people, though, that they don't have that in them? To say that they're struggling so hard.
[12:15] Lorna: Because I think belief in yourself, just the fact that you believe it, and we use that term so much, oh, believe in yourself. But people don't really realize what that means. It doesn't mean hope for yourself. It doesn't mean try for yourself. It means actually, this is your belief system. Like you would believe in God or like you would believe that the sky is blue, or you believe something that's an absolutism to you. You have to believe you're that person. And until you get to that place, there's not a lot to say. And so, I think if you don't believe it and you kind of have to check yourself, do I believe I'm this person? And if not, I would start with figuring out why not? Is it a confidence thing because you really don't want to do a thing? Is it an impostor thing? Is it something someone else has said? And once you figure out why you don't believe it, if you still want it, you can combat it. Because if it's something someone else has said and you drop that belief system of what they say matters at all, then you can start kind of getting to that place of belief and then just taking the steps to move forward. And if it's a confidence thing, sometimes you got to do it scared. Like, you have to do it anyway, and you're never going to feel better about it. The thing is, there's been things that have made me nervous, and people, oh, don't be nervous. That doesn't work. You're going to be nervous. But if you do it anyway, eventually I think the nerves leave because you get used to it, and so you just do it anyway. That's the biggest advice I've given any writer. If you want it badly enough that is an easy question to answer. Do you want it badly enough if you waver? I don't know. Then you don't. But if the answer is a hard yes and you don't think twice, do it scare. Do it without confidence. Do it shaky. And then you will find yourself along the way, and you will find your legs. And you also will realize that there are worse things than rejection and that's nothing happening. That's the worst thing.
[14:32] Moira: And that's outside of you anyway. Like you said, if other people are judging or saying something, that's their stuff, and that's for them to look after you. Look after your own internal. Did you have to update your own belief system along the way to create this success and happiness in your own life?
[14:47] Lorna: A little bit. Because with me, I thought, well, what the agents say matters because they're the gatekeepers. I realized there's a million agents, and it's subjective, and some people just don't like your genre, or their boss said, we can't publish any more women's fiction this month. Sometimes it has nothing to do with what you've written. It's just the way the cookie crumbles. And so, I had to kind of learn that sometimes it's not about me, but also to take good criticism to learn if this is good judgment, this is good criticism. Like, yes, don't be so, oh, I'm so great. What you say doesn't matter at all. There's a time to kind of be like, okay, if this is what I'm hearing, more than once, I should look at this. And so, it's that place of finding a happy balance and how to use wisdom. And I think some of that comes with age because I started trying to get my first book deal when I was maybe 23, and I was just hungry and green and just doing it. And I'm so glad because I had so many of those failures early, and I wouldn't call yeah, there's some failure. I mean, people don't like to use the word failure because it's not positive, but sometimes you fail. You fall flat on your end. But if you kind of learn from those times, the next time you're not going to do it that way. And so, at that time in my life, I think just being naive played into it some and just having to kind of overcome that.
[16:30] Moira: Yeah, that's great advice. I always talk about that. There's a gift in every moment, a challenge, an obstacle, anything that's in our life, let it be what we consider positive or negative. But if we reframe that and look at it in a positive light or an open light to learn from it, then like you're saying, being naive at the beginning and learning these things, failure falls. You get up again and you realize, just dust yourself off. And what did you take away from that? Because I don't believe that we're presented with anything difficult in our life unless we have the resources let it be internal or resources to move through that challenge and learn and grow from it and then help another person with that if you choose to.
[17:15] Lorna: I agree. Yeah. I think almost anything can be changed into a positive, or you can't always control things that happen to you, but you can control how you respond to them and how you react to them. And sometimes that's what you have to learn to react to certain things that are going to come your way. And some things you can't learn. You have that moment to decide how to act, and either you do the right thing, or you don't, and then you learn from it. So, there's always some good to take from anything.
[17:57] Moira: I think, by the way, that's one of my books, too, what is the Gift? I have all these titles now just to write it now. Tony Robbins was not one of the only people that said that. But I know I say it to people, too. Life is not happening to you, it's happening for you. I'm very spiritual, and I believe that the universe or whatever you want to call God, the universe, higher power, higher self is there to support us every step of the way. And that's what I don't choose that every day. I'm not in that frame every day, but I more or less remind myself of that every day, especially when you have had trauma or something big in your life, and to just realize life is a gift. Every day is a gift. And then what you focus on now, you talk about agents. My question regarding people who self publish versus traditional publishing, what do you think the pros and cons of that are? Again, there's listeners here, as we said, that they want to write a book or they're in the process of writing a book and they would love to hear your feedback from them.
[18:58] Lorna: It depends on your end goal. Self publishing. It's going to be much harder to here's just the real of it. It's harder to get respect as a self-published author. And a lot of people say there is no wrong way to publish, which there's not a wrong way to publish. But you have to think your end goal. And if you want to be a bestseller, you want to get reviewed by the reviewers that carry a lot of clout. If you want to get to this certain commercial level of success, you're going to need an agent in traditional publishing because that's just the path that's been carved for us. And it was there. That's just how it is. That is the path. Now, there are self published authors that have become giants, but that's of course not the norm. A lot of events are not available to self published authors. Also, bookstores before they carry you. Oh, are you self published? Because it's so easy to do now and it's so prevalent now. I think that people are a little bit leery of it because that third party endorsement of a publisher just gives you a little more credibility. But if you have a book that you just want to get out to, say it's nonfiction and you want it for your clients, or you want to publish some family memoir just to have it there, or you just have the dream of seeing your book on the shelf and it doesn't matter to what level you want to take it, then sure. Self publish. Also, a lot of people, if you self publish, you need to have some industry knowledge. Understand you have an imprint for the book, understand sizes that people buy paper weight, like things that make it look legit. And sometimes self-published authors will just get so excited and just kind of produce it and just kind of throw it out there. You want to make sure that you're using something that looks right. The best place to go through would be Ingram Spark if you're going to self publish. But my advice there would be to form a label, incorporate it, at least have that imprint on your label and not just throw it out there. Do it right, have a marketing plan. Look at it like a business if you're going to self publish. But if your dream is to be the biggest, best writer in the world, fight for an agent, New York based agent.
[22:01] Moira: I want to get into that about branding and marketing, but I want to come back to a couple of other things because I have a lot of neat things, I want to hear from you. This is called The Road Not Taken. A Personal Journey to Success. Why do you consider yours the road not taken? What does that mean to you?
[22:21] Lorna: There's your laughter. We live in a society that in school and stuff. They kind of form you into this Brick in the Wall, you know the Pink Floyd song?
[22:36] Moira: Yes.
[22:39] Lorna: We need bricks because society has to function. And I get it. I was just not a very good brick. I didn't want to be even the top brick. I just wanted to be what I wanted to be. And I definitely took the road not taken. I graduated high school with over a 4.0 I think I had a 4.1 GPA, top of my class. Easily got into college, was making straight A's in college, walked out of an environmental science class one day. I'd written this whole short story and missed that. He had literally given us, like, an oral quiz, and I just didn't take it because I was so engrossed in my writing, and I was going to make this bad grade on that and just like, why do I have to take this test? Why do I even have to take environmental science? I'm not who decided who sat somewhere and decided to be a writer? I have to take this to get my degree. And I just left. I literally left campus and never went back. And I think my parents wanted to die. I mean, they were so upset. And I'm like, no, I'm a writer. I don't want to sit there and do this and take calculus and take like, I don't want this. And they're like, well, just get your degree, and you'll have something to fall back on. And the second they said fall back on, it was, like, sealed. I was like, oh, no. Now I'm terrified. I will. What if I get hard up for cash and take a good job? And they were like, you're not making any sense to us. And I'm like, what if I become an English teacher? Oh, my God. That would be the worst thing ever.
[24:31] Moira: Yes. Sorry. That takes a lot of courage, too, though, Lorna because I was told the same thing about university. A couple of my dating, I was engaged, young. It didn't work out. My father was like, I was the first one to go to university with my two other brothers. I went, and then one of my other brothers did it online or that. But the fact is, he was coming from his heart. Like, if I had that, it didn't matter. If I got married, I would always be set with a degree. That was the thought, right? And then psychology. I use psychology as a social worker and a lot of work that I did. But, like, you are looking back, I don't know. I have a huge healing background. I'm also an intuitive and empath and all that. And I didn't take a path to be, like, a kindergarten teacher because I thought, oh, no, you put all the money and training over here. You can't go over there. That's a leap. And it's not a regret. It's just looking at choices we have. We do have a choice. So, you made a choice that day in environmental science, what am I doing this for again? And then you follow through. That's a great message for people. If you're somewhere and you really don't like it or you think you want to go another path or experience another path, do it. Maybe keep a part time job if you have to pay rent and that but go do it.
[25:58] Lorna: Exactly. And it's one of those weird things that people will tell you to follow your dreams until your dream doesn't make sense to them. They only want you to follow your dreams logical to them, and then they will be like, Wait, this is not the dream we meant for you to follow.
[26:20] Moira: I got it.
[26:22] Lorna: And they're very proud of me now. They're like, you were right. It worked out. But there were hard years. There were years of taking on jobs and being broke and things like that. It took me ten years to get a book deal, but I'm glad that I didn't waste any of that time. It took every bit of that to get it done. And also talking about the road not taken, I did get married young, which is totally not my personality. I was like, oh, I have to get married. My parents have been divorced a bunch of times, but I met the right guy young, and I knew I was married. My husband and I 20 years old. We've been married 18 years now. And that was another thing. They're like, oh, my God, and you got married, so you're just going to quit school and get married? I'm like, no, it's not like that. Not like in the 50s. I'm like, we're going to build our dreams together. And we did. I mean, my husband comes from a very humble background. I didn't grow up rich by any means, but he comes from just very meager beginnings, and now he's a financial advisor. He has three firms, and he was literally telling people millions and millions of dollars what to do before he had any. But that was his dream. He wanted to manage money. He understood money. They never had money growing up. He's like, but I get it. I get building wealth, and I'm going to do this. And I supported him, and then he supported me. He's like, okay, you want to be a writer? You've written the book. Okay, logically, what do you have to do now? Lorna, you can't just keep screaming, I'm a writer. What do you do? And that's when I'm like, okay, I've researched it. Find an agent. Write the query letter. Write the synopsis, write the synopsis. Take these steps. And we kind of just kept pushing each other. And either of us, we just kind of, like, held hands and did it together, and we were not going to veer from what we wanted. And in the meantime, I wrote a lot of lifestyle pieces, journal style pieces for blogs and magazines. I don't like reporting, but I love to write anything I can write about people. And so, I kind of build up this resume of that. So, I'm the managing editor for the only women's magazine in the state of South Carolina called Charleston Women. So, I'm literally a college dropout with two novels on the shelf, and I'm the managing editor of the only women's magazine in my state. And I did all of that my way, which I'm very proud of because it very much was the road not taken. But my relationship with my husband was a big part of that. And the reason I say that's the road not taken is because nowadays there's always this overcorrection. It's like, women used to have to get married, and if you didn't get married, you were just some old Spencer. And that was terrible. But now they're almost like, oh, my God, if you got married young, you can be nothing. And I'm like, no, we're still going to do all of our dreams. We just were in love and realized it then. And so, I had to defend that to people. I'm still a strong woman, even though I have a supportive man in my life, that's okay, too. And so, it just became this weird everything about me didn't make sense to people. But then once there were some successes, not during the process, but once there was some success, people were like, oh, she did it her way. Look at her. But during the process, people were like, you're crazy. I mean, there was just a lot of things in my life that went very differently than how you're supposed to do it.
[30:10] Moira: I get that.
[30:12] Lorna: And then at first, they're like, don't have a baby. Oh, my God, you're too young to have a baby. And I didn't want a baby. But then once I got in my 30s, they're like, why haven't you had a baby?
[30:22] Moira: I got that one, too.
[30:24] Lorna: We were married 15 years before we decided to have a child, and I'm so glad I did, and I love her so much. But now they're like, you're only having one. I'm like, I'm like, pregnancy was hard, and I got a great baby, and I don't want to do it again.
[30:40] Moira: That is so funny because I had the same story. I didn't meet Cliff till I was 30, and I wasn't looking anymore. I figured I like really good music. I like reading. I like the country. I was even looking to move up north, north, north, like out to Bush country and be a pilot. And they were saying, you're 30, and don't tell people about that spiritual stuff that you do. They'll think you're nuts. And I said, that's too bad if they think I'm nuts. That's who I am. But same as you. When we got married, it's like the first baby, and then. As soon as the baby's out, it's like, when are you having the next one?
[31:15] Lorna: It's like, what is that?
[31:17] Moira: So, I know what to keep. What you're saying with that? Lorna, where did you get the inspiration to write your books? And thank you for The Ocean at Night that you sent me, because we share books here in our little cove. We have a magical cove here in Nova Scotia, and we all share books, and I told them all about you, and I said, oh, I want to come.
[31:39] Lorna: There somewhere I want to be.
[31:42] Moira: Yes, it is. It's a beautiful cove, and our neighbors are amazing, and it's very magical here. We all share books, and I told them after I talked to Lorna today, I'm going to start sharing her book with you because it's an amazing book. How do you come up with the inspiration and the ideas to write your book? I know you've written well, this one, and you've written two books now. Is there another book coming? Oh, sorry, I don't want to do that. Like the baby one. Is there another one?
[32:09] Lorna: Yeah, no, there is. There always is. I've written five, so oh, wow. The first one, my first two that I wrote, I decided were terrible and they will never see the light of day. The third one was my first novel, Tobacco Sun. And then I wrote my fourth book was actually called The Weeping Jug, and it still has not been picked up. I got very close to a deal, a really good book deal with that. That was like one of the heartbreakers, and then it just kind of fell apart. And then I wrote The Ocean at Night was actually the fourth one I wrote, and then that came out in 2020, and now I'm working on the fifth one right now.
[32:53] Moira: Wow.
[32:56] Lorna: Yeah. The Ocean at Night was maybe my favorite to write, though. It was just a cozy, thrilling, but.
[33:04] Moira: Heart went off there for a minute. Lauren, can you hear me?
[33:08] Lorna: Sure.
[33:08] Moira: Your book, The Ocean at Night, where did you get the inspiration for that and the ideas and develop the characters, all those things. But let's start with the inspiration ideas. Where did this book come from? From within you.
[33:21] Lorna: Okay. So, with all of my books, the characters just kind of show up. I'll see something, and then there they come. I don't know why. And I just have always loved the beach. And I was out there in the evening one time, and it was just kind of eerie and spooky, and I just started getting the fills, and then the characters just started talking. It's really that simple. I wish that I had something more interesting to tell you, like I had some big process, but I don't. They show up out of the blue for me, and it almost feels like it doesn't even come for me, like I know it does, but I just start imagining it. It just pops out of nowhere. And so, then I start writing what they say, and then from there, it just unfolds, and I start from wherever the inspiration starts. Like, I see a character, I picture their house, I just start writing what's happening in that moment, and that's the beginning of the book. And then later, as it unfolds, I think, well, no, that's not the beginning. Then I'll rearrange it, but I just write from where I start, and that's how it's happened every time.
[34:39] Moira: Once that happens, do you start researching, like, a topic or something that pops up for you? Do you start researching that topic?
[34:48] Lorna: As I need to. For instance, like, in the ocean at night, I was talking about the Bohickit Indians. Obviously, I had to research that because she's telling the story, and that came later. The first thing I wrote, notion at night, I started writing, like, till's scene, like that opening scene there in the house. And then I had kind of that prologue before. I'm sorry, the prologue that comes before I added after the fact, because I thought we needed to see Will and Chloe kind of interacting. And I also thought the history of the island, I'm like, there's got to be something happened on this island that was, like, spooky. And then I realized, well, a lot of things have disappeared on this island. And so, I kind of research as a secondary thing, like, I think, what do I want to research? I don't go out and just soak up all the information and try to sort through it. I have a path I want to take and then research the things that fit into my narrative.
[36:02] Moira: Thank you. How long did it take you how many hours a day do you put into writing, or is it just per day, what you're feeling with inspiration, and how long did it take you to write this book?
[36:11] Lorna: Exactly. So, with my day to day writing for the magazine, I set hours because I have certain deadlines I have to meet with my novels. When I get inspired and I have a novel in me that needs to come out, I will write to the point of just complete ridiculousness. My husband will be like, Babe, you hadn't showered. You've got to take a shower. Have you ever seen Secret Window with Johnny Depp? He is all nasty in this cabin, and his hair is all greasy, and he's like, in a bathrobe.
[36:50] Moira: I haven't but I haven't seen it. But I love Johnny Depp.
[36:55] Lorna: My husband, he says, oh, you've gone secret window.
[36:58] Moira: That's what that's what ponytails are for. If you have long hair, pull that hair back.
[37:05] Lorna: Exactly. Dry, shampoo ponytails. And they're like, oh, where do you write? I'm like, I don't know. I curl up on the couch in my pajamas. Like, I don't write in some I have this library area in my house that's like pretty and nice, and I never write in it. I just like curl up somewhere comfy, and the dog's always in my lap, and that's where it happens. But now that I have a two-and-a-half-year-old, I can't always go, secret window. I have to wait till she's asleep or something and do it then. So, motherhood has changed that a little bit because it's not all about me anymore. And I can't just literally shut the world out and write for a week straight. But there were times, I mean, I wrote like 14 hours one day. My hands were cramping, and I had to stop. And then there's other days I write nothing. Like, I just don't feel like it. I just don't. But when I know it's in there, I won't procrastinate. I won't let it just stay in my head. I can't. It feels like I don't know. It's the worst example, but if you need to throw up, you're going to throw up.
[38:14] Moira: I knew you were going to say that. It's so funny. I knew you were going to say that.
[38:18] Lorna: It can't, like, stay in there. Like, you must get it out.
[38:22] Moira: Yes. Maybe back to the baby would be better. The baby has to come out sometime.
[38:28] Lorna: Yeah. Birth is actually probably a much prettier than throwing up. You feel that baby coming. You got to push. You have to. And so that's kind of like giving birth to a novel, too.
[38:46] Moira: Got it. I was researching course for your interview, and I like having this heartbroken conversation. And we have laughter going on, which is always great. I have a question. We just watched a movie, A Beautiful Life, on Netflix. Our neighbor suggested it, and what a beautiful movie. But as I'm watching it and as we came together today, because I've learned a lot, I was saying to my husband that, oh, in writing, it's important to bring main characters to a low point in their lives. So that happy feeling at the end satisfies the reader. What do you think of that? Because I felt that in The Beautiful Life, like, he had to go low. And then at the end there's a high point and some movies and some books aren't, I guess not.
[39:27] Lorna: Like that one where the guy is, like, making it. He's in the concentration camp.
[39:34] Moira: No, that's why it's beautiful. Now this one's about he works down at the docks with fish and everything, and he's got this beautiful voice and he can write. And it's his life being transformed through now, singing and writing.
[39:48] Lorna: Oh, gosh.
[39:49] Moira: And his story and watch it, everybody. It's a good movie. So, I was thinking when I watched it, I went, oh, that's kind of the storyline. He was there, then he went low, then he came up, and then he sort of, like, broke through, like, you.
[40:03] Lorna: Know, he had if you want to talk archetype, that's the hero's journey. You know, like, yes. And there's a reason that's an archetype because I think that's life. Of course, not everything ends happy, and not even my books always end happy, but they're usually bittersweet because I think everything and I wrote this in the book, it must be for something. It must. And Till says that to Will everything. It must be for something. He's like, why am I even alive? My daughter's gone. And she's like, It means something. It must. So, I like to show why it means something. I love to write about redemption. I love to write just anything where something that's so bad becomes good again. Because I think that I can't reconcile it if I don't write it that way, I don't do well with things that just have no meaning. Everything has meaning to me. So, I don't think it's always a happy ending, but I think I don't know the low points. People need that inspiration. They need to see the low points, to appreciate the high points and to root for someone to feel rooted for themselves. I think that's why I write that way. I wouldn't speak for every author, but that's why I like to write that way.
[41:41] Moira: I think that's fantastic. Now you decided to give Chloe a voice and just how important that is. And really, when we think today, I see it all the time now in business and as an entrepreneur, that people want to hear the real deal. They don't want to hear the **** or hiding things. They want to see your pain. They want to hear it. They want to relate to it because they have somewhere in their lives, like you said, that everyone has. We don't have this perfect life. We have this. Otherwise, it would be pretty boring, too. I'm not saying we need to have all this tragedy, but the ebbs and flows of our life to grow and share. So why did tell me about Chloe having a voice? Because your ending in the book was a surprise for me. So, there's a surprise element. I just didn't go there. And I love that you gave her a voice. I just thought that was fantastic.
[42:34] Lorna: It was a surprise for me, too. I never did. I wasn't sure exactly how I was going to end it. I wasn't sure at first if she would never be found or if there'd be any closure, because sometimes there's not in those situations, but with the human trafficking element, that's such a huge thing now, and it's always in the background. It was even kind of in the background of my story. It's kind of this weird love story with Till and Will, but then there's this huge thing is happening. I was like, this is my chance to give a victim a voice, and we're going to let Chloe speak. And I wanted people to get the gravity of, whoa, how could she be alive after like, 20 years or it wasn't quite that. I think it was 13 years, and a lot of them are that happens. Women are trafficked for years and years and years in different ways, very different ways. And a lot of times it's sex trafficking, which is terrible, but there's other to get organs. It's illegal adoption. There are a thousand reasons people are trafficked. And I just wanted to bring light to that. And I think letting her speak did that. And also, I thought it would be a huge surprise for the reader, like a little nice gift for the reader, but I kind of wanted to see what Chloe had to say.
[44:18] Moira: I love how you brought everything together. It was just so beautiful. You're such a talented writer. It was like, wow, this is just an amazing book that I'm telling everybody about.
[44:32] Lorna: Oh yes, tell everyone.
[44:33] Moira: Yeah, for sure. You give to charities, local charities, and all. And is this a cause that you support also, and you have it in the store? Yes.
[44:46] Lorna: There's a local charity here that I'm in an organization that donates money to them called Doors to Freedom, and I actually would like to work with them. I'm probably not going to be able to until my daughter starts school because of the time commitment, but I started the process because they need people to tutor in different subjects. Obviously, I could help out in English, they rescue girls ages twelve to 17 who have been trafficked and provide them with schooling, shelter, clothing, everything. And some of them have even they basically just want to give them a shot at a life. And some of them have even gone on to secondary schools, colleges, things like that. They're doing amazing, amazing things. They're in undisclosed locations, of course, literally to even try to volunteer for this organization. I mean, they were doing fingerprinting, background checks, everything in your background. And I was like, man, I knew it would be strict, but man, this is like taking a long time. And they said, well, the problem is people come back for them. And almost nine times out of ten, this started with a family member. They were sold by their own family.
[46:10] Moira: Wow.
[46:11] Lorna: And that's what blew me away. They weren't kidnapped, it started with drug abuse or something in their born to unsafe families. And so, I do have a heart for it. I've not known anyone that has gone through it. I've not experienced it myself, but it's so unthinkable to me, that one. It just grabs me, totally grabs me, and I just want to help.
[46:38] Moira: Let us know, Lorna, if that link can be added to your episode or if anything like that that you have that you want me to share.
[46:45] Lorna: I can share the donation link.
[46:47] Moira: Yeah, I'll get that from you. And I'll put that in all links to you, your book, the gift, all that kind of stuff. What message do you want readers to take away from reading any of your books. What's the core thing? Is it hope? Giving them hope and educating them. What's a couple of key words that you would use that you want people to walk away with for their own life?
[47:13] Lorna: Connection to other humans.
[47:14] Moira: Okay.
[47:15] Lorna: There's a reason we're not here by ourselves. We are here with a lot of other people. We were meant to connect. I believe that's my core. I think God created us out of loneliness and wants connection. I think it is just in our souls to want to connect. And I think literature can teach you. Yeah, it's about people. Everything I write is character driven and so it's just to maybe I just hope the readers think about something they didn't think about before because of my characters or just think about human nature in a different way. I just wanted to think and of course I want to bring people joy by entertaining them with a story because there's a certain part of me that is an entertainer as a creative, but I just connection. I think that's the root of it for me because I was an only child for a really long time until my half brother was born, and I think I wanted to connect. I think that's why I started writing and telling stories to begin with, just to reach. So, I think that's what it's about.
[48:24] Moira: Thank you for sharing that. That's very special. Lorna, I'm so enjoying this. Could you share at this point in our conversation the gift you'd like to give to our listeners today, which is very special and again all the links to Lorna, to all links to help indoors, to feeling. Is it doors to doors to freedom? To freedom, I'm sorry. Yes, doors to freedom, yeah. All those kinds of links are going to be below in the show notes. So, if you can share that gift, and it's a very generous one, that.
[48:59] Lorna: Would be wonderful, I will happily gift a hard copy of The Ocean at Night to the first ten people who listen and then I say share the podcast. That would be just say, hey, I listen to this and post it anywhere on social media, Facebook, Instagram, anything like that and just share. And then I will get with you about how to organize, getting on the book and all of that good stuff. That sounds great.
[49:33] Moira: No, that's great.
[49:35] Lorna: You guys will enjoy that.
[49:38] Moira: It's a very generous gift. And not only that, but yeah, when we're asking people here, I ask my guests to give a gift because I want to thank the listeners for taking the time to listen to the podcast. But it's not just that. It's really about this whole show is about raising consciousness and vibration to heal Mother Earth humanity out to the universe more and into the galaxies. But it's also about living your best life and us coming together as a tribe of unity consciousness for the highest. That's kind of in a nutshell. So, I'm going to also invite listeners today to join our community, which firstname.lastname@example.org I would love them to be part of this movement. It supports the show and we all come together, and it just builds that message for people to create and live like their best life on their terms. Let it be writing or being a mother and all those things, not just one thing, all the things that we do in our lives. Lorna, thank you so much for sharing from your heart and soul your wisdom on the road not taken. A personal journey to success. Nemesis.
[50:43] Lorna: Lorna, thank you. Same to you.
[50:46] Moira: Thank you.
[50:51] Outro: Thank you for listening to the Heart Soul Wisdom podcast with Moira Sutton. I hope you enjoyed today's episode. Please join our community at moirasutton.com and continue the discussion on our Facebook page. Create the life you love. You will be part of a global movement connecting with other heart centered people who are consciously creating the life they love on their own terms. Together, we can raise our conscious this for the greater good of humanity and for our planet.