[Note from Frolic: We’re so excited to have author Lori Foster guest posting on the site today! She’s talking de-stressing on stressful days. Take it away, Lori!]
I think writers stay stressed. After all, we live on deadlines, usually (hopefully) multiple deadlines, with both books and promo due within specific timelines. As challenging as deadlines might sometimes be, it’s a good problem to have. Deadlines equal work, which equals satisfied publishers and more importantly, happy readers. That said, sometimes it’s difficult.
Like everyone else, authors have times when life intrudes. We get ill or have family emergencies. Though my kids are grown (and they’re amazing men!) there are still times when I want or need to spend the day with one or all of them. Weddings, sadly sometimes funerals, can throw a kink in the schedule big time. I liken my life to juggling. Every day I have to figure out the top priorities and tend to those first. The priority could be the work-in-progress, or it could be something my family needs, sometimes publicity and travel, and sometimes (though not often) I just need to put aside everything else and be a slug.
I read all the time. Every day. To me, reading a good book, or even a book I’m not particularly enjoying, helps to refuel my creativity. Like a student who’s always learning, I see some genius method another author has utilized, or I catch something I know I never want to do. Either way, it helps me hone my own writing.
On those days when I need a special “pick-me-up,” my reading methods change. Instead of checking out the newest books by authors I enjoy, I dig into an oldie from my “keeper” shelf. For me, rereading an old favorite is the same as visiting a longtime friend. I smile again at all my favorite parts, laugh over the same things I find the same things humorous again, and relive the affirmation that romance novels are the very best entertainment available.
Though I write contemporary romance, my comfort reads are always historical romance. On the days when I need a boost, it’s usually Julie Garwood or Johanna Lindsey.
I’ve read Honor’s Splendor so many times, it’s falling apart. Same with Lion’s Lady and The Bride. I love those books by Garwood as much now as I did the first time I read them.
The same is true for Lindsey’s Mallory family, especially Anthony in Tender Rebel and James in Gentle Rogue. In fact, Anthony and Rosalyn are my favorite couple ever.
I have every historical romance written by both authors, but those titles are my “go-to” reads when I need something special. And usually I spend an hour or two reading them in the jetted tub. Long baths are my saving grace for getting rid of stress!
Long baths with a favorite book? Doesn’t get much better than that. Who’s old enough to remember, “Calgon, take me away?” Yup, works for me.
One of my bad habits on stressful days is drinking Mountain Dew. I’m a tee totaler and have never indulged alcohol. My usual drink is citrus green tea, but on bad days I “crack open” a Dew, which is my equivalent of binge drinking. I feel a little wicked when I swill down an entire bottle.
I also have comfort foods, like homemade beef stew and fresh hot bread with lots of butter. Yum. My husband is an excellent cook and handles most of the meals now. It’s like having my own private chef. He’ll ask me what I’d like for dinner and on those few icky days, it’s always something like stew.
One of my other pick-me-ups is scented candles. Not food scents. Those just makes me hungry and I’m already a terrible grazer. I rarely eat huge meals, but I pick at food all day long. (With comfort meals being the exception.) But floral or spice scented candles? So soothing. Full disclosure, I light candles every day. Like Pavlov’s dog, it’s my signal that it’s time to write. It helps me turn off social media and frees up my muse. At that point, my characters stop waiting for me to get ready and just blather in my ears until I get their stories told.
One thing that never fails to give me a smile is hearing from a reader who names one of my books as her go-to for a bad day! I take that as the highest form of flattery.
I’m an optimist at heart, and I believe attitude dictates the direction of your day. For that reason, I start each day with a positive attitude, gratitude, and motivation. My down days are few and far between, but it makes sense that books would play into the cure. ::wink::
About the Author:
Lori Foster is a New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author with books from a variety of publishers, including Berkley/Jove, Kensington, St. Martin’s, Harlequin and Silhouette. Lori has been a recipient of the prestigious RT Book Reviews Career Achievement Award for Series Romantic Fantasy, and for Contemporary Romance. For more about Lori, visit her Web site at www.lorifoster.com.
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All Fired Up by Lori Foster, out November 19th!
He’s tantalizing trouble she can’t resist…
Charlotte Parrish has always wanted a certain kind of man: someone responsible, settled, boring. Bad boys need not apply. But when her car leaves her stranded and a mysterious stranger with brooding eyes and a protective streak comes to her rescue, she can’t deny how drawn she is to him. In town searching for family he’s never met, Mitch is everything she never thought she wanted—and suddenly everything she craves.
Finding his half brothers after all these years is more than Mitch Crews has allowed himself to wish for. Finding love never even crossed his mind…until he meets Charlotte. She’s sweet, warmhearted, sexier than she knows—and too damn good for an ex-con like him. But when his past comes back to haunt him, putting Charlotte—and the family he’s come to care for—in danger, Mitch isn’t playing by the rules. He’s already surrendered his heart, but now he’ll risk his life.