We Talk To Ourselves...a Lot! (Part 2) by Loree Lough and Cerella Sechrist

Happy Friday, dear readers!

Cerella and I are so happy that you’ve decided to spend a few minutes of your busy day with us! We promise to make them as enjoyable as possible.

As you’ll recall, last month Cerella’s hero, Cole (The Paris Connection) interviewed her heroine, Emma. This month, Zach Marshall, my hero from Once a Marine (#1 in Heartwarming’s “Those Marshall Boys” series) interviews heroine Summer Lane:

Zach: You’re about to meet a woman I have come to admire. Summer lot. After a brutal attack left her scarred, physically and emotionally—and turned her into a hermit—Summer was a successful voice-over actress. <waves Summer closer to the mic> So Summer, how ‘bout telling these nice folks what you thought, the very first time you saw me?

Summer: Leave it to Loree to create two characters who blush easily! But to answer your question, I was totally conflicted. Men terrified me, yet I found myself strangely drawn to everything about you, from your ‘once a Marine, always a Marine’ demeanor to your big green eyes and charming smile. <winks> Even if you were kinda bossy… 

Zach: I’m not one to take credit where it isn’t due, but if I hadn’t give you a few gentle pushes, you never would have signed up for self-defense classes at Marshall Law, and you’d probably still be a prisoner in your own home! 

Summer<sigh> When you’re right, you’re right. You’re a great teacher, and I’ll never forget the lessons you taught me. <fidgets> 

ZachUh-oh, I can see this line of questioning is making you uncomfortable. Why don’t we talk about Loree for a minute? Can you tell us something about her that no one else knows? 

Summer: You’re kidding, right…and take the risk that she might kill me off in a sequel? <laughs> Seriously, Loree is a lot of fun to work with. One thing few people know about her is that she can get by on four hours of sleep a night—even less when she’s on a tight deadline. Which is most of the time. Meaning her characters have to keep the same grueling schedule. 

<looking left and right> She also acts out scenes. Yep. Stands up beside her desk, and gestures, makes faces, speaks lines of dialog, right out loud. <snickering> I feel kinda sorry for her husband. You wouldn’t believe how often Larry says “What did you say, hon?” only to find out Loree is talking to herself…or one of us! 

Zach: <nodding> Yeah, I remember feeling kinda sorry for the guy, for the same reason. <laughs> But all that aside, do you like the person Loree molded you into? 

Summer: For the most part, yes. But I wish she had gotten me out of the house sooner. Made me stronger, sooner. 

Zach: Oh? Why’s that? 

Summer: Because if she had <flirtatious smile> we could have spent more time together. 

Zach: Oh. Right. <blushing> But anyway, about your characterIf you could change one thing about yourself—without Loree’s input or approval—what would it be? 

Summer: I wish she’d given me a talent. Music. Art. Poetry-writing. 

ZachWhat! She made you a voice-over actress. Isn’t ‘acting’ a talent! 

Summer: Hmm…now that you mention it, I suppose it is. But it’s not as therapeutic as sketching, singing, or writing. 

ZachI see your point. <nodding> Do you wish Loree had done the same for me? Given me an artistic talent, that is? 

Summer: You’re kidding, right! She gave you a talent…for making weak people feel strong, for making people with low self-esteem feel better about themselves. It’s the biggest plus to having KISAS, if you ask me! 

ZachI hate that acronym. You know that, right? 

Summer: Sorry. Knight in Shining Armor Syndrome. 

Zach: Much better. <grins> So, what do you make of the fact that Loree loves animals, but doesn’t have any pets of her own? 

SummerActually, she’s had quite a few. Summer cat named Mouser that lived nearly twenty yearsSummer goldfish—won at the county fair—that was going on twelve when it died. And of course there’s Cash, the faithful German Shorthaired Pointer she and Larry rescued from an abusive breeder. He was part of the Lough family for ten years before Cushing’s Disease took him. <sighs> Guess she just hasn’t worked up the courage to rescue another animalYet. Don’t tell her I said this, but I’ve been putting ideas in her head—I  knowthat’s a switch, right!—about rescuing another petAnd she’s weakening. I can feel it! 

Zach: I bet it comes as a surprise to readers that once in a while, characters influence writers! 

SummerIt makes perfect sense, when you think about it. Every author puts so much of herself into every character she writes. Even those with secondary roles. So it’s only natural that a few of the traits and habits she writes ‘into them’ leap off the pages and into her soul! 

Zach: Man, you’re cute when you get all defensive like that. I hope Loree has included you in her next book…. 

Summer: That’s for me to know, and you (and the readers) to find out, Zach MarshallLoree’s next book, number two in the “Those Marshall Boys” series, will feature your good-lookin’ cousin Nate, the die-hard ‘I’ll-never-marry bachelor who runs the Double M, your family’s ranch. 

Zach: Poor Nate. <shakes head> He’s a lot like me, so I’m pretty sure when he meets Eden Quinn, he won’t know what hit him. 

SummerYou’re probably right. Again! <grins> In book number three, Loree will introduce readers to your other cousin, Sam. Once Sam meets Finn Leary, his whole world is going to change! 

Zach: So what’s this I hear about a giveaway? 

Summer: I nearly forgot! Since Once a Marine doesn’t release until January, Loree will choose one name at random from those who post on this blog, and that lucky person can choose any title from Heartwarming’s “A Child to Love” series. 

ZachWell, I think it’s time we got out of here and so Loree and Cerella can get busy on their next books. What’s their plan for the next “We Talk to Ourselves (a lot!)” blog? 

SummerMuch as I hate to repeat myself, that’s for them to know and everyone else to find out! 

<Zach and Summer face the readers> 

Zach: Be sure to come back on November 14th. 

Summer: <linking arms with him> I have it on good authority that Loree and Cerella have something very special in mind! 

Cerella and Loree <smiling and winking>Yes, yes we do! 

<together> Until then, happy reading! 

About Loree:

With nearly 5,000,000 books in circulation, best-selling author Loree Lough's titles have earned numerous 4- and 5-star reviews and industry awards. She splits her time between her home in Baltimore and a cabin in the Alleghenies (where she loves to show off her “Identify the Critter Tracks” skills). The release of Once a Marine (#1 in the “Those Marshall Boys” series for Harlequin's new Heartwarming line) brings Loree’s number of books in print to 104! Loree loves to hear from her readers and answers every letter, personally. Visit her at Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and www.loreelough.com!

About Cerella:

Cerella Sechrist lives in York, Pennsylvania with two precocious pugs, Darcy and Charlotte, named after Jane Austen literary characters. She has won various competitions and a scholarship for her writing, which include devotionals, full-length plays, and novels. She divides her time between working in the office of her family’s construction business and as a barista to support her reading habit and coffee addiction. Her novels exhibit her love for both the written word and food in fiction. You can find her online at her website www.cerellasechrist.com where she pens “Literary Fare: Fiction & Food”, a blog for readers.


  1. This is a terrific idea for a post, and an innovative and fun way for readers to get to know and love your characters.

    Loree, I would like to join Zach and Summer in giving you a little nudge to bring another rescue animal into your life. I know from personal experience how hard it is to take that step after having said goodbye to a beloved pet. We brought Harley and Logan into our lives just over a year ago. Although amazingly sweet and intelligent, with their history we've had some challenges (note to Logan: if you are reading this, my laptop is NOT a chew toy), but never a day of regret.

    Thank you for the post. January seems too far away to spend time with Zach and Summer again!

    1. Just between you and me, there's a shelter cat I have my eye on... ;-)

      I'm kinda lookin' forward to January, too!

      Hope your weekend is 100% fantastic! :-)

    2. I'm rooting for the cat!! Harley and Logan are, too. (They keep telling me our house and property are large enough for more rescue pals!)

    3. I agree, this is a neat idea

  2. I totally love this interview and I'm already in love with the characters. Can't wait to read this!

    And Mouser looks a lot like my Storm (full name that my teen insists on is Stormageddon).

  3. You two are so cute! This is a great way to introduce your characters to new readers. Love it! :)

    1. Thanks, Amy! Wishing you a wonderful weekend!

  4. First of all, my sincere apologies for the types that sneaked into the blog! (Grrr, autocorrect!)

    Second, I've placed my trusty winners hat, right here on my desk, so I won't have far to go when adding commenters' names to it. I'll be back soon to announce the random name I'll choose...and find out which story in the "A Child to Love" series to send the winner!

    Finally, I hope everyone has a beautiful weekend. (And GO O's!) :-)

  5. What a clever post. Will love to get to know these characters better when I read the book. Are you two ladies enjoying lovely fall foliage in your areas now? It's when I really envy those of you who live way east of me.

  6. Why did this link not show on my FB until 9:45 when I was up and online since 4:53? I truly enjoyed reading about you from two of your characters. They showed such insight into themselves and the effects of writing. Reading can cause some of us to be temporarily different people. I occasionally acquire an accent and more frequently change my vocabulary and grammerical composition after reading a well written book. A rescue pet might give your husband some company while you are writing and talking to your characters. Thank you for giving us a long line of characters that are positive influences in a negative world. I would love to win any of your books. I don't have the bookshelves or money to collect ALL of them, but that's why God gave us libraries, right? I like to keep a few so I can introduce other people to your work. Now, I don't know about this Comment as: button so it will probably say unknown but this is Enid Albat saying God bless you!

  7. Love this interview! Will possibly steal it for one of my blogs...lol And your book sounds awesome!! Can't wait to read it.

  8. Loree - Love that introduction to Zach and Summer, and what an appealing idea for a novel. I talk to myself a lot, too, but when dealing with the hero, I'll often throw my husband a line of dialog and see how he responds. Often he takes me down a path I wouldn't have thought of because the man's mind still remains a mystery to me. But that's love, right? You don't always understand, but you extend a hand anyway. Looking forward to reading about your Marshall boys. I'm standing in line behind Zach, Summer, and Kate. Go get the kitty! And if you find a dog, too, that's all to the good. Happy Weekend, Everybody! Hi, Cerella!

  9. LOVED Cerella's "interview" last month and LOVE this one as well....and I've not even read the book! YET!! Thanks to BOTH you and Cerella for this creative and innovative approach that definitely garners interest in continuing on and READING the books to learn even more about the people we've met in the interviews!

  10. Thanks for all the lovely comments, everyone! I was down and out for a few days with an under-the-weather-bug, but it was so nice to log online and see such wonderful comments about our characters. I love that Loree came up with this idea - it's been so much fun! :)


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