A Little Bit about Lori L. Lake
An Interview with Lori L. Lake, August 2001

In August, 2001, readers will be happy to learn that Lori L. Lake's novel, GUN SHY, will be reissued. Her second novel, RICOCHET IN TIME, follows during the same month. Both are published by Renaissance Alliance Publishing (RAP). Their website is: http://www.rapbooks.com.

I asked Lori what it felt like now that she is a writer with two published books under her belt. The first thing she said was, "Gosh, I still find it hard to believe that I *am* an author. I always dreamed of publishing a book--but I never dreamed I would be so lucky as to publish more than one."

With RICOCHET IN TIME, Lori has written another good-sized page-turner (374 pages!). It begins on a bleak note. The main character, Dani Corbett, is seriously injured during a vicious hate crime in which her partner, Meg O'Donnell, is killed. Estranged from her father and with no other family in St. Paul, Dani is on her own. She has always been a loner, and getting together with Meg was a big step for her. Now that Meg is dead, all she wants to do is get away. To her great dismay, Dani is unable to deal with her grief in her usual manner, which is to get on her motorcycle and flee. Instead, with such a badly injured ankle, she has to stay put. She is befriended by Grace Beaumont, a physical therapist at the hospital where she is treated. Grace and her aunts, Estelline and Ruth, help Dani deal with the aftermath of the attack as well as the legal process she must go through. And over the course of her recovery period, a lot more healing occurs than Dani ever expected. By the end of the novel, she has found love, a home, justice -- and family.

When I asked Lori why she wrote a novel with a hate crime as a central part of the plot, she said that she had been working on the book for a long time. "I started writing this in 1994, prior to the death of Brandon Teena (the hero of 'Boys Don't Cry') and long before the murder of Matthew Shepard. In the middle 1990's, I was reading about unusual assaults and attacks in the daily newspapers, but nobody seemed to be doing anything about the rising level of hate crimes. There was more information in the GLBT press where I read more details about incidents of violence against people who were 'different'--whether that meant gay/lesbian, of color, or just different from the societal 'norms.' Then I read a news article about two female motorcyclists being run over by a truck and that the driver was charged with a crime for doing it on purpose. I started thinking about what would happen under those circumstances, and suddenly, this character, this tough and angry young woman, popped into my head and started talking to me. That was the start of it.

I asked Lori if she thought her book would have an impact concerning hate crimes. "Hmm....I don't know. Maybe. In the Acknowledgments I urged people to report attacks, to tell people in authority about indignities and crimes committed against them. Like domestic battering and sexual assaults, hate crimes are vastly underreported. It doesn't help to see the callousness and indifference displayed by law enforcement officials in a movie like 'Boys Don't Cry,' but I can attest to the fact that not all police agencies are like that. So perhaps one of the main messages of RICOCHET IN TIME is that each person who stands in there and fights will make a difference for those who come after. In Dani's case, going through the legal process was maddening, but ultimately she did get a semblance of justice."

Asked what's next, now that these two books are published, Lori reports that she is a chapter away from being done with UNDER THE GUN, which is a sequel to GUN SHY. She is in the process of editing and finishing up the novel, and she plans to submit it to RAP as soon as it is completed, with the hope that they will accept it and publish it in 2002. She has four other novels in various stages of creation and says she plans to write steadily for as long as she lives. She grins. "I just wish I could afford to quit my day job."

Filed: August 2001
By: A.E. Reese