PicturePolish Pottery mini-tea set

Lanora Mangano has served as a mentor since I started writing in April 2013. She’s gently led the way and always takes the time to offer advice. She is a true friend and a wonderful writer. She’s also got me hooked on fish tacos!

Welcome Lanora!

Hi Jillian,
I'm super excited to be on your blog today. Thank you for interviewing me.

Let’s talk cover art for your recent release Love over Troubles Waters and the next book, When Lightning Strikes. I’ve noticed a central theme, tell me, how important you feel a cover is for the success of your book?

You're right, Jillian, there is a central theme to these two books.  They are actually part of a 6 book series revolving around Midwestern town that got surprised by a record breaking flood almost destroying the small fictitious town of South Westfield.  The heroes in all of the books are firemen or pararescue man operating out of the same fire station. 

My cover Artist, Christy Caughie, created a similar look so far because we are trying to make a branding statement and so far, it's been working.

Who chooses your covers and how much say do you have in their design? 

Oh, fun question!  I'm very fortunate to be able to chose my own covers by completing a very extensive work sheet of how I envision the cover to look.  I describe the H/H height, hair, color, profession and I try to really verbalize the scene that I'd like to be on the cover that fits in with the story.  For example, "When Lightning Strikes, one of the pivotal scenes is when Fire Chief Noah Baird and TV report Shayna Allen, proceeds to have one of their epic argument at a emergency site, when a lightning bolt strikes a nearby treat.  The strike placed Shayna in harm's way and Noah saves her.  Therefore, on the cover, I envisioned a large tree in the back ground, with lightning, sometime nearing evening time, and a picture of the H/H on the fore front of the book, and that's what I got.

Your next title will release when? How many books will be in this series?

I'm  tongue tied with the speed of these releases.  The second book in the series comes out this month, very soon, and it's called "The Unknown Son".

Third book in the series gets released in July, and it's called "When Lightning Strikes."

Forth book, "Claiming his heart" will have a 2015 date

Fifth book.  "Second Chance Diner"  will have a 2015 release date

Six book and final book in the series, so far is "In the Heat of the Matter."  release in 2015

Once we move away from the series, I'll have a paranormal, full length book coming out in August 2014 called "Love Encounters"

Then in November, a Christmas theme novella, "A Dad for Christmas"

Would you rather read a series that has the same H/H over a three-book arc or for each book to have its own H/H and HEA?

For me, I would prefer reading a three-book arc that had its own H/H and HEA.

This is what I did for the Emergency Calls Series.  The Arc or theme was all of the stories took place in the same time during the same storm/or for the same reason. 

Since, I’ve known you, I feel you’ve been a teacher of sorts, did you have any wish to be a teacher as a child? What is one lesson you’ve learned as a writer recently that really stuck?

Thanks Jillian.  Part of me always loved to share with people who are interested in what I like to do, what I know.  Especially, good people who merely just want to learn what it has taken me a couple years, but I share a condensed version of it.

I'm not sure it's a matter of teaching for me, but the genuine love of knowing that I can impart my knowledge to anyone who simply what to know right from wrong.  Then I hope they take it and go forth to learn more.

One of the many writing lessons that I've learned, is don't dawdle at the beginning of a story.  Don't spend a lot of time setting  up the menial things, but if you can, jump in at the action scene and go from there.  In other words...Don't talk about how Susie woke up in her bed one morning, and picked out the typical black skirt and cream sweater.  Then she stopped at Starbucks for a venti Americano and while walking back to her parked car on the street up the block, she noticed a black sedan turn the corner.  The car sped as it approached Susie, who momentarily froze, sure the car was going to veer away.  When the whites of the driver's eyes became visible, the venti Americano slipped from her grip, just as she was tackled away from the speeding car.

The point I'm trying to make is if you start the story from the part of action, your reader is more likely to get gripped into the story quicker.  Well, at least, I hope I made that point.

Thank you Jillian for having me on your website today.

For more information about on Lanora Mangano’s upcoming books, please visit: www.findinglanora.weebly.com

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pages/Lanora-Mangano/527909407268248

With great sympathy I would like to note, Lanora has lost her husband to pancreatic cancer. Please pray for her and her family during this difficult time.

Memorial contributions may be made to Go Fund Me to assist in Pancreatic Cancer Research and medical bills at: http://www.gofundme.com/92wt8c

Liz Flaherty, a lovely fellow-IRWA member, asked me to be a part of this "Friends" Blog tour.

I had the privilege of spending some time with Liz during Chicago’s April Spring Fling. She’s a true lady, kind and considerate and graciously willing to help a scared "green" girl prepare for an Editor pitch. Each night of the Chicago event, we chatted about writing with our friends: Robyne Harris, Nan Reinhardt, Jim Cangany, Brenda Maxfield and Cathy Shouse.

I discovered Liz enjoys sweet wines, and luckily, I had a bottle of Crapple on hand. I bought the bottle while in southern Illinois with my Mom. We were at a winery in Grafton, which sits right on the shore of the mighty Mississippi. This was all after a fantastic lunch at Josephine’s Tearoom, in Godfrey.

Check out Liz Flaherty’s blog post today, About the beauty of being ordinary.




BACK TO MC GUFFEY'S / Hqn Heartwarming / 10-14 / Pre-order now!


A SOFT PLACE TO FALL / Harbourlight Books

And now answers to Liz’s questions:

What am I working on?

I am editing, editing and editing. My current contemporary is titled, Ember’s Center.

The center for a pro-football team’s offensive line meets a shy girl with an abusive past.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

My villains. I think you’ll love to hate them. Another difference is that I like to include a little American History. Plus, I touch on some environmental issues without being overly preachy.

Why do I write what I do?

Because I’m nuts!

I had a story in my head for two years before I ever put it on paper. Then I joined RWA and IRWA and went even more nuts. My first story was solely a learning experience.

Seriously though, I love to read. I want to write books, I would enjoy reading. And if I can make a little money, well that ‘s a nice side benefit.

How does my writing process work?

I outline a story in my head, then on paper, then on computer, then I research. Then I type, type, type non-stop. The story may drift from the outline or it may stay on course. Once it’s all on the computer in a huge lump of poo. I transform it by sharing with my critique partners. Then edit, tweak, and edit some more. Then I send to a beta reader, who cleans up my commas and points out if my guy is riding a moose instead of a horse.

Thanks Liz, for asking me to be a part of this Friends Blog Tour.




I started writing in April 2013. Since then I’ve discovered many wonderful authors.

Check out this list:

Just One More Breath – Leigha Lewis

Heartless- Vanessa Marie

Fighting for Flight- JB Salsbury

The Valentine’s Arrangement- Kelsie Leverich

Rouge- Leigh T.Moore

Angel After Dark- Kahlen Aymes

Love TKO – Selene Chardou

The Infamous Ellen James- N.A. Alcorn

Acts of Desperation- Emerson Shaw

Last Chance to Run- Dianna Love

Cheryl Brooks- Unrivaled

Aleatha Romig- Consequences

Sandy James- Turning Thirty Twelve

Judie Aitken- Distant Echoes

James Cangany- Fallen Star

Mellanie Szereto – Love Served Hot

Liz Flaherty- One More Summer

Nan Reinhardt - Once More from the Top

Donya Lynne- Entire AKM series – Rise of the Fallen

Brenda Maxfield- Someday You’ll Laugh

Linda Morris- The Mason Dixon Line

Delena Silverfox- Devil’s Bitch

LaNora Mangano- Love over Troubled Waters

Traci Douglass- Seal of Destiny

Jeana E. Mann -Intoxicated

J.J. Devine- The Cheyenne Bride

A Hunka Hunka Nursing Love- Kathryn Maeglin

Three More:

Kate Roth -Sway

Joan Duszynski- In the Stars

Britni Hill-Hushed

If I missed you on this list, I’m sorry. Feel free to leave a comment, and I’ll add you to my TBR list.

By November 2014, I hope to join these wonderful writers on your reading list. My very first release is from my Elementals series titled, Water’s Threshold, which is an eco-paranormal/contemporary/romantic suspense all rolled into one. Followed by the next in the series, Flint’s Field.

Between those two, I hope to self-publish the first in my "The Other Guys" contemporary series based on a pro-football team’s Offensive Line and their lady loves. The first is Ember’s Center.