Friday, October 23, 2009

Wild Heart by Lori Brighton

10/26 Update: Lori Brighton picked 3 winners to receive her debut title:
Linda Henderson

Please contact Lori through her website or you can drop me a note at with your mailing info and I'll make sure Lori received it! Thanks to everyone who visited and left a comment!

from Emily Bryan . . .

I'd like to introduce you to debut author, Lori Brighton. She has a great story to share about her path to publication, so please make her feel welcome. Ok, Lori, it's all yours!

There’s a question that comes up many times when an author does an interview: How did your book come about? The short story is that my son, three at the time, had been watching the Disney Tarzan movie a lot. That combined with the fact that I’d seen a show on feral children and an idea popped to mind that, hey, what if I wrote a romance with a sort of Tarzan/Jungle Book hero? I’d always loved alpha males, and they couldn’t get more alpha than a boy raised in a jungle. Yes, that’s the short story to how Wild Heart, my debut book came about. But really, as with any story, there’s so much more.

There’s a part of me that attributes Wild Heart to instinct. Yep, that’s right. Every day we’re bombarded with this idea of instinct. How many times has someone told you to trust your instincts? But do you really believe in the value of instincts? I’d come up with the basic premise of Wild Heart, but something in the story was missing. What if, I thought, the hero is slightly animalistic, and the heroine has a magical ability to control animals? Instinct told me that in order to make my story more unique I needed to add just a touch of paranormal. Yet, I had many people tell me I didn’t need the paranormal and that I should ditch it. Every time I tried to take it out, the book no longer felt right. In the end, I trusted my instincts and left that paranormal element in the book.

But that wasn’t the only time instinct came into play. I’d been writing for six long years when I’d sold Wild Heart. I’d sent it to every agent I could; all had rejected the book. Yet, I was so sure, positive this was the book that was going to finally sell. That darn instinct was rearing its persistent head. And so, not giving up, I sent Wild Heart to writing contests, hoping the final judge (usually an editor) would want to see more. In the first two contests, Wild Heart finaled but didn’t win. Heartbroken and desperate, I sent Wild Heart to one more contest. But I couldn’t help but wonder if my instincts had been wrong all along. Was Wild Heart destined to be another book set aside? Then I got the email saying my entry had finaled in the Golden Acorn contest and Hilary Sares, an editor from Kensington, gave it first place. Even better, she wanted to see the full.

I could have given up on my dream. Believe me, there were many times I wanted to. But I trusted my instincts, and I can only say, thank heavens I did. So what about you? Tell me about an instance in which your instincts were spot on. Leave a comment or question. Three people will win a copy of my debut book, Wild Heart!

Lori Brighton has a degree in Anthropology and worked as a museum curator. Deciding the people in her imagination were slightly more exciting than the dead things in a museum basement, she set out to become an author. Her first book, a historical romance, will be available November 3, 2009.

Excerpt from Wild Heart

A sudden breeze sent ripples across the pond’s surface. Ella crossed her arms over her chest, shivering. Above, gray clouds rolled through the sky and thunder rumbled in the distance. A few women on the other side of the pond shrieked.
“Will it storm?” Ella asked, looking up.

Lightning flashed, spreading like tree branches across the sky.

“I guess that answers your question.” He gave one final push of the roars, and they hit the bank of the island.

She turned to look behind them. “Where are we going? Should we not head back with the others?”

“It would be easier to wait it out here. Unless you have a great desire to be in their company?”

“No,” she said, inching her way toward the bow.

Leo jumped from the boat and held out his hands. Always so trustful, she leaned forward, and he wrapped his fingers around her waist, lifting her to the ground. She was only inches from him. Slowly, she lifted her gaze, and their eyes met. Did she think of that field of wildflowers? Did she think of their kisses? Did her body burn for him as his did for her?

A cold drop landed with a splat on his cheek. He looked up to find the sky threatening more. Ella bolted around him, her laughter trailing behind her. Leo glanced across the pond. The others had disappeared, most likely to return home.
They were alone…utterly alone.

Thanks for visiting with us here today, Lori! And thanks for offering 3 chances to win a copy of Wild Heart!

Be sure to leave a comment or question for Lori. And if you'd like to learn more, please visit

PS. If you haven't entered my Merry CHRISTMAS BALL Contest, there's still time! Someone's going to win a $100 B&N Gift card on December 1st. Will it be you?


Heather D October 23, 2009 at 5:43 AM  

Good morning!

What an interesting concept for a book. I loved the Disney Tarzan movie. Thankfully I had a 4 year old at the time it came out and I had an excuse to watch it, unlike when The Lion King came out and I was the only teenager in the movie theater without a little one beside me.

To answer your question on instincts, I can't remember a particular time where I used my instincts where they steered me true, or wrong for that matter. The only thing I can think of is when it comes to people. I usually get a feeling around certain feeling people that tells me that there just something not right there, but I have never been right or wrong about it.

Aaron October 23, 2009 at 5:59 AM  

Congrats on your release! Can't wait to read your debut!

Cecile October 23, 2009 at 6:26 AM  

Oh Lori!!! Thanks to Blodeuedd, I have been waiting to get my hands on this book for about two months if not more!!!! So, yes I am dying to get my hands on this book!!!
Please drop my name in this hat!!!
Good luck to everyone!!!
Have a great weekend!!!

Gerri Russell October 23, 2009 at 6:44 AM  

Lori, Thanks for coming to chat with the Chatelaines! Congratulations on your new book. It sounds wonderful. I'm looking forward to reading it!

As for your question about instincts, I always listen to that little voice in my head when I'm driving. It's amazing how many times the feeling to switch lanes or go one way or another has been my "driving" salvation.

Edie Ramer October 23, 2009 at 6:54 AM  

Lori, I'm so eager to read this! More power to you for not giving up.

I had an instinct that changed my direction in the last two weeks. Of course, nothing happened yet, but I have great feelings. And it feels right.

Linda Henderson October 23, 2009 at 8:14 AM  

What a unique way to come up with an idea. I have always been interested in anthropology and I think working in a museum would be really interesting. I will look forward to reading your book.

Lori Brighton October 23, 2009 at 8:29 AM  

Thanks so much for stopping by everyone! I've loved reading your stories and comments. I'd never even thought about how instinct had come into play until starting this blog.

Linda, working in a museum was wonderful. Really fun. Sadly, the pay is horrible. So I went into writing, where the pay is worse. lol.

CrystalGB October 23, 2009 at 9:19 AM  

Wild Heart sounds wonderful. I love the cover.

Harris Channing October 23, 2009 at 9:41 AM  

What an interesting interview and a fresh spin on not only one but two old stories! Can't wait to get my hands on a copy of your book!

cheryl c October 23, 2009 at 10:12 AM  

Congrats on your debut release, Lori! What an exciting time for you. It is wonderful that your instinct and persistence finally paid off. I am very intrigued by this storyline, and I wish you great success with the book. :-)

Virginia October 23, 2009 at 10:51 AM  

Hi Lori, nice to meet you. Your book sound fabulous and I would love to read it. I love reading debut novels because of all the new authors. Do you enjoy the research?

I follow my instincts on most thing and most of the time that is the way things should be. I not saying that sometimes I am not wrong but most of the time they work out.

Jane October 23, 2009 at 2:23 PM  

Hi Lori,
Congrats on your upcoming debut release. Sometimes I get a feeling that something isn't right and I know to keep my guard up.

EmilyBryan October 23, 2009 at 2:42 PM  

Lori! It's been lovely to have you at The Chatelaines today.

I don't know if it's instinct, but once I decide on something, it's hard to turn me from it. That sounds more like stubbornness, doesn't it?

Thanks to everyone who leaves a comment today. We love to know you're here!

Renee October 23, 2009 at 3:19 PM  

Love the concept. I'm definitely looking forward to this book. How many more days until it's released?

Here's an instinct story for you. In 2006 my mother-in-law had a stroke. They life-flighted her 8 hrs from home and dh had to go pick her up upon release. I was supposed to go but at the last minute, literally as we were packing up the car, I decided to stay home with the kids. An hour later I got a phone call from hubs saying that he and my fil were okay. They slid on ice and ended up under a semi. When I saw my vehicle, the entire driver's side, especially the place where I know I would have been sitting with my head against the window was ripped to pieces. My father who is a retired Highway Patrol said dh and fil should have died that day. There is no doubt that if I would have been in the van at the time, I would have died.

Kudos to you for trusting your instincts. I hope that my instincts with my current wip ring true too.

Congratulations on your upcoming release.

Lori Brighton October 23, 2009 at 3:30 PM  

Isn't it funny how much we use our instincts and many times I dont think we even realize when we do. Renee, your story is amazing!

I remember twice being in a situation that frightened me. Once I was about 10, walking down the sidewalk to my cousins when this man pulled up in his car asking for directions. I knew to get away as fast as I could. Another time in college I was sitting at a park, alone, and this man came jogging by. Other people had been by, but for some reason, my mind/instincts, whatever, screamed at me to run to my car. I grabbed my stuff and got out fast. It was pure fear running through me and it came out of nowhere. I'm not one to be frightened easily.

Patricia Barraclough October 23, 2009 at 7:53 PM  

Lori, Congratulations on your book!
Amazing what constant repetition can do. Either you end up hating the movie or it gives you great ideas.
Luckily for us, you got the great ideas. A different premise for a story, but it certainly sounds like it works. I look forward to reading it.
Best of luck with the release.

stacey October 24, 2009 at 12:13 AM  

Your book sounds great adding it to my to be read instints have always be spot on about people.put cant renember eny particular moment right now.

Lori Brighton October 24, 2009 at 5:59 AM  

Thanks everyone for stopping by!
If you dont win my book here, I'll be many other places and giving away many more books. Just check my website and blog!

Now for the winners of my debut book...

Linda Henderson

Please email (on my website you'll find an email) with your addresses so I can send those books as soon as I can.

Thanks again everyone and special thanks to the Chatelaines for letting me stop by!
I really had a great time.

Joy Nash October 24, 2009 at 11:20 AM  

I'm always fascinated by those stories of children raised by animals in the jungle...both the real ones and the fiction.

Good luck on your release, Lori - this sounds like a real winner!


Linda Henderson October 24, 2009 at 8:29 PM  

Thank you so much. I will send you my information.

Pam P October 25, 2009 at 3:45 PM  

Congrats on the release, Lori, I like the concept.

etirv October 25, 2009 at 4:09 PM  

What an inspiring story. Congrats, Lori! I love discovering new authors!

Cindy Holby

Gerri Russell

Joy Nash

Bonnie Vanak

Emily Bryan

C.L. Wilson

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