Loree Lough

With nearly three million books sold, best-selling author Loree Lough’s titles have earned 4- and 5-star reviews and dozens of awards. Reviewers and readers alike call her “a gifted writer whose stories touch hearts and change lives.” Her 9/11 novel From Ashes to Honor (#1 in First Responders series, Abingdon) hits bookshelves to coordinate with the 10th anniversary of the tragedy. Loree lives near Baltimore and loves spending time at her teeny tiny cabin in the Allegheny Mountains, where she loves to show off her talent for correctly identifying critter tracks. Visit Loree at http://wwwloreelough.com.

When You Talk to Yourself (and Somebody Else Answers)

There I was, tossing a load of wet socks from the washer into the dryer, trying to figure out whether to set my next series in Texas or Colorado, when the unanswerable laundry question stalled my decision-making capabilities: “Where do those missing ‘mates’ go?”

Yep. Out loud. Though I was alone in the house. I’m the first to admit that it’s a weird habit, born of the solitary nature of my job. Because even when there are other people in the house, I work in solitude. (In my case, in the longish part of the L that connects my office to the laundry room. But I digress.)

When a plot question pops up, it isn’t like I can toddle into a coworker’s cubicle and say, “Hey, I’m having a brain freeze moment, and, uh . . . that thing with the incentives program? How’d you deal with it when you wrote up your report?” If something pertaining to character motivation niggles at me, I can’t just call a writer pal in the middle of his work day (because I hate it when he does it to me, and I’m trying to teach a subtle “lead by example” lesson).

So I talk to myself:

Left Brain Me: “What kind of weapon is most believable in a Western?”
Right Brain Me: “Revolver?”
Left Brain Me: “Yeah, but it’s 1888. What kind was most popular back then?”
Right Brain Me: “That’s what Google is for.”
Left Brain Me: (After ten minutes of surfing the Net): “Cool. Colt Peacemaker. Perfect.”
Left Brain Me: “Holstered, or stuffed into a belt?”
Right Brain Me: “Oh, holstered. What self-respecting Texas Ranger would ‘do’ the pants thing!”

Eager to get that image on the page, I bang out the scene... until annoying Right Brain Me interrupts. “How would a cowboy-type get the Peacemaker unholstered, cocked, and aimed without falling out of the saddle, all while keeping a ‘notice every move’ eye on Black Jack Ketchum?”


Then Right Brain Me straddles the exercise ball. (I haven’t already bored you with the “I spend my workdays balanced on this purple iridescent thing” story? Well, I really do.)

Left Brain Me scoffs.

“What,” says Right Brain Me, “it’s more or less the width of a horse’s back.”

“A baby horse, maybe.”

“Whatever.” Right Brain Me assumes the position.

“And how do you describe the noise the gun makes, sliding out of its leather sling?”

Enter (unbeknownst to Right Brain Me or Left Brain Me) one retired husband, who moves like a cat and, because he’s an avid hunter, considers himself quite the authority on things that go BOOM. “It would go whoosh,” he says.

Right Brain Me and Left Brain Me let out a harmonious little squeal, then revert to silent mode:

Can fear really make you swallow your tongue?
Is it possible for a heart to leap clean outta your mouth?
Has anyone ever literally leaped out of their shoes?

After stepping back into my slide-on slippers, I vowed never again to allow Right Brain Me and Left Brain Me to partake in any sort of audible discussion while other people are in the house. (Because, holy exercise ball, what if it is possible to swallow my tongue!) These days, if you sneak down the hall that leads to my basement office, don’t be surprised if you hear crazed whispering coming from the area surrounding my desk.

If you live with a writer, be nice, will ya, and do your level best never ever sneak up on ’em?


Maverick Heart