Author Interview: Lonna Enox

Lonna Enox is a former high school and college English instructor. She grew up on a ranch in New Mexico, where she learned to love critters, reading, and “wide open” spaces. She is a wife, mom, and grandmother, as well as the proud owner of 4 rescue pets–3 cats and a dog. Aside from an early stint as a newspaper reporter, she also spent 10 years as a freelance magazine writer. She is happiest exploring a wildlife refuge, cuddling little ones and critters, or snuggled up reading a good mystery.

We are glad to be interviewing her on our blog. We hope that you’d enjoy reading this interview. 

Describe yourself in five words:

Sensitive   Sentimental   Reserved   Kind   Hardworking

How do you work through self-doubts and fear:

I jump into the project, telling myself that I can only fail.  And failure will never define me.  Because when I fail at something, I keep working a different way until I get there—or I try something else.

What scares you the most?:

Some of the same things that scare my characters—dark corners, things that go bump in the night, losing those I love,  storms…

What makes you happiest?:

An evening at home with a good book, a kitty snuggled beside me, the dog at my feet, the sounds of little ones giggling, and…chocolate.

Why do you write?:

I write because write.  When not writing novels, I’m writing to a variety of pen pals, I’m writing lists of ideas for writing, I’m writing love notes, I’m writing in my journals…..

Have you always enjoyed writing?:

I not only cannot remember when I began writing, but it would be like not breathing to stop.

What motivates you to write?:

The greatest motivation for writing is that my mind is always busy and people tire of listening.  I see something in passing, and it inspires me.  I would be an insatiable chatterbox…and chatterboxes interrupt the lives of those around them.  So my “chatter” is written.

What writing are you most proud of? :

I am proud of anything I write that is enjoyed by the readers I am targeting.  Before writing my novels, I wrote and published a variety of magazine articles.  They had first held a place in my journals, and I labelled them “Reflections”.  When someone commented, “I have felt like that!  But I didn’t know someone else had!” I was proud to have shared that moment with them. 

What are you most proud of in your personal life?:

Besides my children and grandchildren?  I am proud of the students I taught who tell me I made a small difference in their education.  I am proud to be an American.  I am proud of the parents who not only taught my brothers and myself to value our lives but also to love.  And as I’m now writing novels, I am proud to have a husband who is a computer person.  When he hears me cry, “Oh no!”, he appears, touches something, and the chapter that had just disappeared magically returns.

What books did you love growing up?:

I love the Louisa Mae Alcott books (Little Women, Little Men), the Nancy Drew mystery books, books set during historical periods like the Civil War or the American Revolution, and books where animals were main characters.

What do you hope your obituary will say about you?:

Besides that I’d died writing my latest book at 102 while writing my next book?  Seriously, I hope it will say that I believed in education, love, and read as many books as possible.

Location and life experiences can really influence writing, tell us where you grew up and where you now live?:

I grew up on a cattle ranch that my great grandmother had homesteaded (widowed and mother of 6 kids) in west Texas…only 6 miles from the New Mexico border.  Except for the years I attended college in southeast Missouri, I have lived in New Mexico or Texas.  At this moment, it is in Roswell, NM.

How did you develop your writing? 

By doing it until it felt “right”.

What is hardest – getting published, writing or marketing?:

Marketing is—by far—hardest.  Writing takes tremendous energy and time, but marketing takes creativity, opportunity, courage, and luck.

What marketing works for you?:

My facebook page helps tremendously, scheduling book signings or fair booths or book club talks—anywhere I can speak to people about writing, and having a large family to buy them.

Do you find it hard to share your work? :

My articles are difficult because they are so personal.  My books are difficult because they’re like children—you adore them and know they’re the best…but you realize there may be some ‘uninformed’ people out there who may not have yet realized that.

Is your family supportive? Do your friends support you?:

Oh, wow, yes!!  My father’s sister’s whole church ladies’ group reads them, my brothers read them, my children promote them among their friends and come up with innovative places for me to appear, my granddaughter’s teachers read them, my pastor not only advises me on police procedure but also reads them…

What else do you do, other than write? :

I read voraciously, I love to decorate anything…everything…anywhere…everywhere…J  A blank wall is a challenge waiting to be taken.  I love to travel to the beach, to wildlife refuges, to anywhere that I don’t have to be “on water”.  I love to bake at Christmas.  I’m a past leader for Girl Scouts, I lead various children’s activities in church, and survived countless slumber parties at my house.  Now, I decorate for adult activities at church, rope my husband into decorating projects, knit, bake, spoil the numerous critters I add to the pet menagerie, go to concerts, and walk.

What other jobs have you had in your life?:

To get through college, I cooked in a Dairy Queen, worked as a secretary in the college offices, babysat, cleaned houses, and even worked one summer for a weekly newspaper writing obituaries and church news.

After I graduated, I worked as a reporter on a newspaper.  After that, I taught high school English and Sp-anish.

If you could study any subject at university what would you pick?:

I picked it.  I studied English and American literature and Spanish.

 If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be? :

I’d live right where I was “planted”—in the American Southwest.  I love to visit other places, then come home to the forever skies, sandy plains, and people who say “yawl” and help when you need it.  But I’d go back to Hawaii at least once a year to the beach!

Tell us about your family?:

Mama was a nurse and Dad was a cowboy.   Both taught us to love what we did, to love each other, to dream, and to work to make them come true.  My mother’s dream was 3 college graduates.  People laughed at her…until she had 3.  My brother Russ is a natural born artist whose sketches and paintings are real enough to talk.  He also is a rancher and does ranch work all over the Southwest with his helicopter.  My young brother Ben spent his younger life teaching kids to play band instruments.  Now he volunteers in his community in musical activities and is a happy “grandpa”.

How do you write – lap top, pen, paper, in bed, at a desk?:

I write with a laptop anywhere…even outdoors.

How much sleep do you need to be your best?:

I’m not sure, as I find I sleep less with the years.  Maybe I am afraid I won’t get everything written if I sleep too much.

Is there anyone you’d like to acknowledge and thank for their support?:

My family—the parents who gave tirelessly to ensure I would be educated, the grandparents who told stories to make me realize there is more than the written word, my children who are never embarrassed by my writing, my grandchildren who have read my first book even as they are still quite young.  My husband tirelessly tramps through the wilderness, takes photos, help with the computer, and discusses all sorts of technical problems with me.  But most of all, I’d thank Mrs. Sloman, my first grade teacher, who said, “Write?  That’s easy.  I can show you.  Then you can write for always.”

Every writer has their own idea of what a successful career in writing is, what does success in writing look like to you?:

Success is when a complete stranger spends their money on your book, or takes the time to send you a note to say they enjoyed it, or shows to a book signing.  Success is the joy deep inside when you hold each new one in your hands.  Success is the warm spot inside when you know you’ve touched a dream and snuggled it into your heart.

It is vital to get exposure and target the right readers for your writing, tell us about your marketing campaign?:

I blog on my facebook page, I book numerous appearances including fairs, book signings, talks to book clubs, talks to civic groups, talks to schools, etc.  In all of it, I focus on why this book, these characters, this story will appeal to them.

Tell us about your new book? Why did you write it?:

My new book is a sequel to the first two.  Currently, I am writing book four, which may or may not be the end of this series.  I’m writing it because they are still “talking” to me…and they still have a part of their story that hasn’t been told.

When you are not writing, how do you like to relax?:

I read, watch a movie or television, walk the dog (Maggie), tramp through wilderness, browse through a book store, go to a concert or play.

What do you hope people will take away from your writing? How will your words make them feel?:

I hope they will enjoy the characters—smile at their humor, cheer for their success—and appreciate my Southwest culture and beauty.

Do you have links that you’d like to share for others to read? 

Lonnaenox.org – Website

www.facebook.com/lonnaenoxauthor – fan page

Check out her books at http://amzn.to/2wqfKR4 

Thank you for reading and do connect with her on Facebook.

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