It’s not often that I can say of a Friend Friday that I’ve known them since they were in grade school — but I can absolutely say that about Erin Lorence! Her mother, Diane Yancey, and I had met at a writing conference eons ago and, despite living many miles from one another, committed to a monthly critique meeting for years. Diane was the amazing author of many wonderful nonfiction books and it’s lovely that her daughter traveled her own writing path, with all its many ups and downs, as you will read about below. Join us in celebrating her Dove Strong trilogy, from Pelican Book Group, which includes the titles, Dove Strong, Fanatic Surviving and Sent Rising. Erin has also offered to do a give away! Click on this link and follow the directions to be entered.

Erin Lorence

I swear by healthy living. Personally, I try to be cautious with what I allow into my mind. And with what I say—will my words benefit myself and others? And, of course healthy food choices are vital. 

No one’s perfect. 

Today, as I eyed my third slab of pumpkin cheesecake after a typical day of being ‘mom,’ ‘wife,’ ‘holiday- coordinator,’ ‘housecleaner,’ and ‘dog-walker,’ I pointedly turned my back on the sloppy sink of dishes yet to be washed. I yearned for that precious hour later in the evening. That was the time when everyone else in my family would be asleep, and I’d get TO READ.  Oh bliss, to read uninterrupted and without the guilt that I should be doing laundry or some other heroic task. Come 10 o’clock, it’d me, my book, and my comfy dent on the couch.

With great resolve, I surrendered the remaining cheesecake to the fridge, and the thought struck: Books—both reading and writing them—are my day’s true dessert. I’m guessing, that reading is also the ‘happy treat’ that other people in this world look forward to in the midst of their hectic days, just like me. So, shouldn’t the literature a person chooses to spend his or her few moments of valuable free time on be worthy of his or her time?  

In my opinion, investing precious hours on a book that doesn’t live up to personal anticipation—for me, if the characters are flat and predictable…or maybe the story contains unbearably disturbing events that aren’t healthy for me to dwell on— that’s like choosing the fudgy-looking chocolate cake and discovering it’s dry and tasteless. What a waste!

Literature should be worthy of people’s precious time. This is my motto as a reader and as an author. Over five years ago, I began my journey writing the Dove Strong (Pelican Book Group) trilogy. I’d been blessed with the thrilling idea for a story for young adults, and I vowed that these stories would be worthy of readers’ time. 

Over the years, I lovingly crafted three books—Dove Strong, Fanatic Surviving, and Sent Rising. My own prized reading time took a backseat. I used my late-night hours to create a motley group of characters who made me laugh; settings that took me from my own suburban home into the pine-scented, mountainous unknown; and plot twists that surprised even me—the writer who follows a forty-page, detailed outline.  Most importantly, I crafted my stories to be healthy for readers’ minds and souls. Because like I said, good living is crucial. Read healthy, think healthy, act healthy, eat healthy. 

Just please don’t mess with dessert. 

Erin Lorence grew up in Washington State, where she met and married her best friend, Brian. They recently moved to Apex, North Carolina with their two daughters and beagle, Charlie. Her lifelong love of reading, her gratitude to God, and her enjoyment of hiking in Central Oregon all inspired her to write the Dove Strong Trilogy. Her website is www.erinlorence.com.