Talkshow Thursday: Meet Lorri Dudley
on your upcoming release, The Duke’s
What was the inspiration for this story?
Thank you, Linda, for having me. After
being buried under the largest snowfall in Massachusetts history, I wrote The
as an escape to warmer tropical climates, and what better
respite than a romantic Caribbean isle with a mysteriously missing Duke? In the
process I fell in love with the beauty of Nevis, it’s rich culture, and
My heroine Georgia lured me in the moment I realized she
only wore pink. My psychology background had me digging deeper. I needed to
know why. Why the obsession? What was the root behind the hurt? Why pink? How
did she go from being a Tomboy to a dignified, Regency socialite?
What did you
do to research the book, and did you have any special tidbits you knew you had
to include in the story?
Researching a tropical island, I must admit,
was a lot of fun. I’ve visited the Leeward Islands, but for the historical
elements, Vincent K Hubbard has written some great historical books on the
islands of Nevis and St. Kitts filled with sugar barons, pirates, fierce
Caribs, disease, and healing hot springs. Georgia’s father suffers from the
ague (which in modern-day is called Malaria), which sets up the premise for
where Georgia is shipped overseas to care for her ailing father.
Some other tidbits I
had to add were the now extinct “Squeaking Lisards” or land pike, which were
described as resembling fish with legs that made hideous noises at night. You
can imagine the fun I had with my poor main character when she first hears the
nighttime wail of the lizards. Another small tidbit formed when a friend
of mine spoke of their family trip to visit his mother. She happened to own a
parrot, and after a week of the kids yelling each other’s names, the parrot
imitated their shrieking. Even long after they returned to the U.S. the bird
still screeched out their names. I couldn’t resist adding a mimicking parrot for
a comical element and to harass my main characters.
The age old
question for writers-are you a “pantster” or a plotter?
I’m more of a hybrid. I have a skeleton of a
book somewhat fleshed out, but not so much so that when a character decides to
do something unexpected, I can’t roll with it. (By the way, my characters love
to do that to me. In my current work in progress, my strong hero surprised me
by passing out at the sight of blood.)
LM: The Duke’s Refuge
is part of a series.
Did you set out to write a series or did it just happen?
Lorri: The Duke’s Refuge
initially started as part of a Regency
England abroad series, but my publisher, Wild Heart Books, liked the idea of a
Leeward Island series. I was excited to continue writing about the Caribbean.
I’d already started writing a second book, so instead of having the heroine
travel to Boston, I re-routed the ship to St. Kitts.
You live in
Massachusetts, an area rich in colonial (and prior) history. What is your
favorite historic site in the state?
It’s hard to choose, but Paul Revere’s home
has been a favorite of mine, along with the brownstone houses of the Back Bay
area. The gold dome of Beacon Hill was built to represent “A shining city on a
hill” based on Matthew
What are your
passions outside of writing?
Lorri: I dabble a bit in art and set design. I used
to teach art at Metrowest Christian Academy in Ashland but left to pursue
writing. Now, I appease my art urges by creating VBS (Vacation Bible School)
sets for my church. When I find the time, I particularly love painting
portraits and have always admired artist Mary Cassatt. I hope to further live
out my love of art through my next heroine, who strives to become a famous
portrait artist, working in oils during a time when women were expected to only
dabble in watercolor landscapes.
Book two in
the series, The Merchant’s Yield
comes out in April. What are you working on now?
Besides being in various stages of editing of
book two, The Merchant’s Yield
, and book three, The Sugar Baron’s
, I’m now researching and plotting a Boston Brahmin series. The setting
takes place during a prosperous, antebellum period for Boston between the Revolutionary
War and Civil War when Bostonians pioneered maritime, textile, and railroad
commerce. Wealthy family ties conjured elite factions who invested in the
humanities, arts, and sciences, but also created rising social tensions between
the poor and Boston’s aristocracy.
What else do
you want folks to know about you?
I have three teenage boys who are amazing
young men and a wonderfully supportive husband, but all the wrestling,
football, lacrosse, and tough-guy testosterone led me to seek a girlie outlet
in writing romance. I’m a tea fanatic, even though my husband is working hard
to convert me to coffee, and our local grocery store loves me because I buy at
least seven gallons of milk a week for my boys to guzzle down.
Why I write...
I believe readers should be led on a heart journey. Romance should allow for an
escape from everyday life. It should also lead us to a better understanding of
the human condition and how God views us. I believe readers, like the heroines
and heroes of stories, are not static creatures and can discover different
aspects of themselves through empathizing with characters' comical mishaps and
dramatic misunderstandings. I believe romance novels can depict a fallible
human heart that can be made whole again by a merciful creator and remind us of
the hope for the same.
folks find you on the web?