Welcome to Scents and Sences Author Loren Secretts! Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to answer some questions about your life and book!
Loren Secretts was raised in a book-filled home, in a sleepy east coast suburb of the US. These factors are undoubtedly responsible for her early design of a number of exciting imaginary worlds that she could escape to from time to time during her childhood.
In her teen years, between schoolwork and lending an ear to her friends, Loren had less opportunity to go AWOL. Instead, her experience as a confidant to others inspired her to major in psychology in college and earn her M.A. in the field on the west coast.
As an adult, Loren has found fulfillment in her work with children and families for more than a decade. Her passion for writing was revived when she discovered that she enjoyed delving into the human psyche to write psychological reports.
But clients’ reports are safe with Loren, who guards secrets fastidiously. Indeed, one of her aspirations is to work as a psychotherapist for the CIA, but since she now lives with her family in Canada, that dream will have to await its turn…
Scents and Sences Interview with Loren Secretts:
Welcome to Cuzinlogic! Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and how long you’ve been writing?
I was raised in a book-filled home, in a sleepy east coast suburb of the US. These factors are undoubtedly responsible for my early design of a number of exciting imaginary worlds that I could escape to from time to time during my childhood.
In my teen years, between schoolwork and lending an ear to my friends, I had less opportunity to go AWOL. Instead, my experience as a confidant to others inspired me to major in psychology in college and earn my M.A. in the field on the west coast.
As an adult, I found fulfillment in my work with children and families for more than a decade. Five years ago I realized that my satisfaction with delving into the human psyche to write psychological reports could be channeled into my early passion of creating fictional stories. I put fingertips to keyboard and gave voice to fantasies, but it was a tough balancing act to juggle work, raising a family, and writing.
My family relocated to Canada three years ago, and since I didn’t yet have my green card, I couldn’t work in my profession. I saw this as an opportunity to pursue my writing goals full time, and in retrospect, I’m delighted with our move for giving birth to the author within me.
Please tell us in 20 words or less, why we should read your book.
Scents and Senses will educate you on the thrills and dangers of befriending supernatural creatures.
What did you enjoy most about writing this book?
Joy is a supernatural creature whose POV makes guest appearances. I loved playing her character and writing from her perspective. Becoming her personality was liberating, and experiencing the world from her reality was loads of fun.
What kind of research (if any) did you have to do for this book?
I started writing Scents and Senses as I was finishing my M.A. in psychology. It was second nature for me to research anything of any importance. I utilized my subscription to psychological journals to research probable effects of specific elements on the characters’ personalities.
On a less professional note, I also did quasi research on the supernatural creatures featured in Scents and Senses.(There’s no journal articles on them in the database!) I took vast liberties with what I did find, but what I read and heard was quite fascinating. One gentleman we know personally told us that his grandmother, who’s from a underdeveloped country, said that she recalls nights where they were told not to walk around the village because these creatures were getting married!
What’s your favorite quote about writing or reading?
On writing I have a special affinity for this one from Stephen King: “Good books don’t give up all their SECRETS at once.”
I’d like to mention one on reading too, as I really agree with Edmund Wilson: “No two people ever read the same book.”
Do you have a book that you enjoyed reading that would lend itself well to a discussion during a book club meeting? If so, share your recommendation with us.
A Separate Peace by John Knowles. I read it in eighth grade, but it haunts me still.
More recently, a book I just read that I wish I could discuss in a book club is This Star Won’t Go Out: The Life and Words of Esther Grace Earl. John Green dedicated The Fault in Our Stars to Esther Earl, and he writes a touching introduction in this poignant memoir.
How did you come up with the title for this book?
I’ll admit that one of Jane Austen’s titles undoubtedly had an influence on this one, but truly, scents and senses are both prominent and key elements in the story.
If you could pick any one author, which one would you like to co-author a book with?
Well, Jane Austen, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and L.M. Montgomery are all old favorites of mine, but I have no wish to travel back in time and deal with unsanitary living conditions.
A contemporary author of young adult fiction whose style I very much enjoy is C.J. Hill (aka Janette Rallison).
What makes this book different from other books in the same genre?
Most works in this genre feature protagonists who themselves change or discover that they are supernatural creatures. This is the story of a normal teen — not a fantastical creature or a person who has superpowers, but a girl with whom many readers could easily identify.
And yet this is a fantasy story. Starra’s tale is one that illustrates what can happen when the realistic, mundane world is intertwined with an other-worldly one, and it demonstrates how people are affected by phenomena beyond their control.
eBooks, hardcovers or paperbacks and why?
Hands down, ebooks. I can read in bed without a flashlight, and borrow books from the library hassle free.
What makes a book appeal to you?
A book that evokes pain, laughter, and, contentment. If it will keep my breath shallow due to intense action – all the better.
What can your readers expect from you next?
The next book in the series is in the process of being edited prior to submission.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with us?
Thank you for hosting me! Also, I’d love to hear from readers.
Thanks Loren, for joining us today and good luck with the next book in the series.
Scents and Senses
Playing the role of a knight in shining armor is more complicated than it seems in the storybooks, as sixteen-year-old Joy discovers when she repeatedly comes to the rescue of a fifteen-year-old human. But when she meddles in the girl’s social life, Starra sends her packing.
Starra is determined to completely dissociate herself from the subterranean creature that has manipulated her life and cast her into the limelight. However, her resolve is soon tested when she becomes involved in a critical situation where supernatural assistance can enable her to carry out a daring plot.
Eventually, Starra’s involvement with her new other-wordly friends extracts a heavy price when she is beset by challenges that range from the down- to-earth struggles of a typical teenage student, to the realm of the fantastic. Nothing prepares her, however, for the ultimate challenge.
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