Interview with Lorhainne Eckhart

Published 2019-02-13.
Is there a stigma attached to writing and reading romance?
I’m a romance writer, and I’m proud to be a romance writer, considering romance is the number one bestselling genre of all time. Romance readers are the most voracious readers, the most loyal fans. I read romance, but at the same time, I see the stigma attached to being a romance writer and reader. Society has deemed romance somehow unsuitable. Nora Roberts, who is without question the queen of romance and who’s never written a book I haven’t loved, talked in a recent article about how romance is scorned by literary types everywhere. They say that this genre, largely written by women for women, causes the women who read it to have unrealistic expectations. Yes, this was in an actual article written by someone referred to as an industry expert.

I hate to tell the person who wrote this article, women are pretty frickin’ smart. We kind of know the difference between reality and fiction. How many of you who watch The Walking Dead believe that zombies exist and soon will populate the earth? Or how many read a murder mystery and then go out and plan the perfect crime? Sorry, that was kind of tongue in cheek, but I couldn’t resist. The article I mentioned was a pure example of destructive criticism. Remember, you can’t change critics. They’re everywhere, flooding social media, and some of these people have an agenda to make you feel bad. These highly critical destructive people don’t see equality. They see a see-saw, with them on one side and you on the other. When they see you’re a little bit above them, they’re going to slap you down.

They may be thinking, you’ve got a nicer job, you’re richer, you’re selling more books and have more fans, you’re thinner, or you’re slightly elevated in some way, and what happens is one of two things: They’ll either elevate themselves by bragging about how important they are, or they’ll strike out directly to diminish you. They want you to feel bad about yourself so they can feel elevated. Here’s the issue: You can feel bad only if you let their comments in. Seriously, if someone were to say your skin was purple, you’d laugh at them because the idea’s so ridiculous—but when they strike to the core of what you are…man, it hurts. It’s hard not to let it in, because those kinds of demeaning comments are something we as a society are still trying to break free from. You know those who try to make you feel less than and ashamed for who you are, for what you do? They do so because it makes them feel important.

It may surprise you, or it may not, but I’ve lost count of the number of men and women who have referred to what I write as bodice rippers. Yes, to my face! They say that because I’m just a romance writer, my career is nothing to take serious. The first time, this was said with laughter as if I was supposed to be ashamed of what I write, but nothing could be further from the truth. I’m so proud of what I do, of what I write. I don’t even know what a bodice ripper is or why anything I write would be treated with such disdain. I’m very proud of everything I’ve written, all my books and series. These are the kind of books I love to read, the kind of books I’m proud to share with my kids. We’re not talking erotica, because there’s a big difference between romance and erotica: In romance, the central plot and the emphasis is on love, finding it, recognizing it, and keeping it, and there’s a “happily ever after”—or, as I write it, a “happily for now.” My stories are about families that love through thick and thin, families that stick together.

With Erotica sex plays a major role in the story. Women’s fiction is about the female journey, and the heroine is the central focus of the story, yet romance there’s a stigma attached to this, and I have no idea who created it. Worse, this stigma is something that seems to be taught to our kids in school. Teachers say there’s something wrong with romance because it’s not appropriate reading material. Whoever came up with this? Romance is never on the prescribed reading list. Really? I recently met with two of my teenage kids’ English teachers and listened to both their views, their opinions. Both are stuck on their perspectives of literature, on their lists of must-reads for students, which range from Romeo and Juliet to To Kill a Mockingbird.

Now some of you may say, what’s wrong with that? Nothing, if a kid wants to read those works, but consider teens are already struggling to fit in. Their tidal waves of hormones may have them crying one minute, filled with drama the next, and everything in between as they struggle with their identities, with the idea that they already know everything, with peer pressure, with curiosity… Then add in the stresses of home and school, all the different demands of teachers who spend more hours in a day with a student than their pare
You create strong characters who are also flawed - why do you find this important to do?
Strong flawed imperfect characters are what life is about, and is what I know. The imperfections, life’s struggles good and bad, how we all deal with life and everything it tosses your way. What my struggle may be is far different from yours, which is what makes people in my mind, interesting. And I often write about situations, that are uncomfortable, characters I can relate to. Showing characters as real flawed people, the good, the bad, all their imperfections, along with uncomfortable life decisions and struggles that many don’t want to talk about. Because even a hero often finds himself in a situation where the real life choices he makes will be considered by some as despicable, unforgiveable and will anger many. Except a hero that is truer to life and can overcome their deepest darkest obstacles is far more relatable.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
My first book was published in 2007 with a romance publisher. My second book had interest but in the end, publishers indicated it either had to much suspense for a romance book or to much romance to fall into the mystery/thriller genre. And what it finally came down to was I was going to have to dump one or the other, as I was not allowed to have both. This was the first time I disagreed, so in 2011 after joining a group of succcessful Indie Authors and learning how Amazon had levelled the playing field in the publishing industry, I made the decision to forgo the traditional publishing route, and self publish. I found it intriguing Amazon turned to the readers to let them decide what they wanted, but the results didn't lie.

After publishing my third book, which took off selling more than 500,000 copies worldwide I have never looked back. With over forty titles now under my belt my big family romance series have become a fan favorite. I am now a New York Times & USA Today bestselling author, frequently a Top 100 bestselling author in multiple genres, such as romance, western, military, and mystery/suspense. I have written multiple series, including The Outsider, Walk the Right Road, The Wilde Brothers, Saved, The Friessens, and mt two newest additions, Married in Montana and my high-stakes suspense and sizzling, red-hot romance series Kate and Walker: Deadly, Dangerous, and Desired.

After receiving the 2013 Readers’ Favorite Award for Romantic Suspense for my title Lost and Found & 2015 Readers' Favorite Award for Romance for my title The Price to Love, I guess the fans have in fact decided. And for that I am truly grateful.
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Latest books by This Author

The Hometown Hero
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 41,920. Language: English. Published: June 30, 2020. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Suspense, Fiction » Themes & motifs » Family sagas
In this shocking O’Connell family novel, a brother’s secret is exposed, opening up old wounds and creating a scandal that could rock the community.
The Missing Father
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 34,900. Language: English. Published: June 1, 2020. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Suspense, Fiction » Mystery & detective » Hard-Boiled
The O’Connell family collides with danger in this shocking new story from NY Times and USA Today bestselling author Lorhainne Eckhart.
The Commitment
Series: The O'Connells. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 15,520. Language: English. Published: May 29, 2020. Categories: Fiction » Themes & motifs » Family sagas, Fiction » Romance » Short stories
As far as Marcus O’Connell is concerned, his situation is perfect. He’s now living with the love of his life, Charlotte, and they’re serving as guardians for Eva, but Charlotte isn't on board with Marcus's way of thinking. However, when circumstances change for the little girl they are guardians of, Marcus is forced to make some hard decisions to keep both Eva and Charlotte.
The Friessens: Books 28 - 31
Price: $5.99 $4.49 USD. (25% off until July 31!) Words: 137,640. Language: English. Published: May 16, 2020. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary, Fiction » Themes & motifs » Family sagas
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A Place to Call Our Own
Series: The Friessens (The Friessen Legacy). Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 32,030. Language: English. Published: May 16, 2020. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary, Fiction » Themes & motifs » Family sagas
From New York Times & USA Today bestselling author Lorhainne Eckhart comes a story of family, romance, and finding a place to call home. Brad Friessen knows he has to sell the ranch, but not everyone is on board with his decision or open to a new beginning. He has a plan: Find a nice place with some land where he can retire—but for his children, life has suddenly become much more complicated.
The O'Connells Books 1 - 3
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This boxed set collection in The O’Connells series includes The Neighbor, The Third Call & The Secret Husband
The Quiet Day
Series: The O'Connells. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 37,400. Language: English. Published: April 30, 2020. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Suspense, Fiction » Themes & motifs » Family sagas
As a female firefighter in a small town, Suzanne O’Connell knows that every day will go one of two ways: Either nothing happens, or she suddenly finds herself in over her head. Firefighters never, ever say the words “It’s a quiet day!”—because that’s when all hell breaks loose, and their peaceful, easy day suddenly turns into their worst nightmare. This is exactly what happens to Suzanne when she
The Secret Husband
Series: The O'Connells. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 45,450. Language: English. Published: March 31, 2020. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Suspense, Fiction » Mystery & detective » Hard-Boiled
Small-town lawyer Karen O’Connell receives a call from Jack Curtis, her vengeful ex-husband, whom she’s never told anyone in her family about. He’s found himself in jail charged with murder. He says he's innocent, and Karen soon learns the mysterious circumstances surrounding the murder could be the reason their hasty marriage ended so badly.
The Third Call
Series: The O'Connells. Price: $3.99 $2.99 USD. (25% off until July 31!) Words: 46,620. Language: English. Published: February 29, 2020. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Suspense, Fiction » Mystery & detective » Hard-Boiled
When dispatcher Charlotte Roy passes along a call to bad-boy deputy Marcus O’Connell, they learn a six-year-old child is in danger. Can they save the girl from a desperate situation?
The Neighbor
Series: The O'Connells. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 49,820. Language: English. Published: January 31, 2020. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Suspense, Fiction » Mystery & detective » Police Procedural
After the devastating loss of her husband, Jenny Sweetgrass packs up her teenage daughter, Alison, and moves to Livingston, Montana, hoping for a fresh start—that is, until Ryan O’Connell knocks on her door.
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