This is a fabulous interview with author Ester Lopez! She's had a close encounter (with a UFO!) and she lives on a 'non-farm' with mini-horses, chickens and cows. :-) Thank you so much for sharing this with us, Ester!!!
LovRRs: Hi! To start off, please tell us your name, where you’re from, and what you write.
EL: Hi, I’m Ester López. Originally, I’m from Miami, Florida, but now live in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee with my husband, two dogs, two mini horses, and two cows. (My husband thinks we live on a farm, but we don’t). I write sci-fi and paranormal adventure romances.
LovRRs: How did you become an author? Please share a bit of your journey with us.
EL: After reading children’s books to my kids, I thought, “I could write better than that.” Well, I studied writing for children and teenagers and realized it was much harder than I thought. The first story that came to me was a story about teenagers, which I may revise someday, but all the other stories are about people in their 20’s. After joining RWA and taking all the classes I could on writing, characters, plots, etc., I finally finished my first novel. My inspiration for “The Abduction,” my first published book, came from my own ‘close encounter.’ “The Abduction” is book 1 in the Vaedra Chronicles Series.
LovRRs: Whoa. Wait. Your own close encounter? Tell us more!
EL: Yes, I did have a close encounter back in 1989, while driving home from a Campfire outing (I was a Campfire Leader), I had my three children in the van, another two children who were sister and brother, and another two sister and brother with their father, driving through Gulf Islands National Seashore. On one side was the Gulf of Mexico and the other was sand and then the Pensacola Sound. I saw something dark rise up from the white sand on the Gulf side and made a comment about the Navy doing maneuvers with their helicopters. It was September and a school night and getting dark. (The Pensacola Naval Air Station was on the other side of the Sound). The father said to me, "I design helicopters for the Navy and that's no helicopter I've ever seen."
Within seconds, on the left side of my van and about 25 feet up in the air, was a UFO, round, with chasing lights in red, green, and yellow. It made no sound, and while I drove seven miles on a deserted road, that UFO stayed with us until we got into a brightly lit area on Pensacola Beach. Then it was gone!
LovRRs: That's an AMAZING experience! No wonder why you were inspired to write The Abduction. What are you working on now? Do you have a recent or upcoming release?
EL: Now, I’m working on a new paranormal series I call The Angel Chronicles. I’m working on book 1, “The Quest.” I expect to release it sometime in August and book 2, “Between Heaven and Earth,” I plan to release in the fall.
What kind of research do you do when you set out to write a new book?
EL: Depending on what jobs the characters have, I research a lot of it online, but go with personal experience for the emotional parts. For instance, in The Vaedra Chronicles Series, book 1 introduces the I.S.P. (Interplanetary Space Patrol) which is similar to our Highway Patrol but in space. Book 2, the whole story takes place in a training facility for I.S.P. agents who will be on special missions. Book 3 involves a Lieutenant in the I.S.P., an Admiral in the Vaedran Space Military, our own Space Force, our military and a Secret Service Agent. In “Between Heaven and Earth” an angel discovers he was once human and a police officer. I read books on police procedurals, books on how police officers think, and on military officers.
Do you have any work experience involving the elements of romantic suspense (such as working in law enforcement or in the military)?
EL: My work experience is when I worked for the National Park Service as a dispatcher and a fee collection officer. My husband was in law enforcement with the Park Service for 27 years. In all those years, I’ve met many police officers as well as other law enforcement officers and their wives.
LovRRs: So cool that you worked for the NPS (I thought about being a ranger when I was in college). Which parks did you and your husband work at? Is that what brought you to Tennessee?
EL: The next year [after the close encounter], my husband accepted a transfer to the Great Smoky Mountains in Tennessee. We had both worked at Gulf Islands National Seashore, where we met.
LovRRs: What/who do you like to read and do you have a favorite genre/author?
EL: My favorite author is Sherrilyn Kenyon and her Dark Hunter Series.
Please share one piece of advice to aspiring authors - what do you wish someone would have told you? Or, what did someone tell you that you’d like to pass on to others?
EL: A piece of advice to aspiring authors-NEVER GIVE UP! Study all you can about writing, and just WRITE something every day.
Here’s the fun speed round! City, suburb, or small-town? Small town
Dark chocolate, light chocolate, or white chocolate? Dark Chocolate
Alpha, beta, or both? Alpha
Wine, whiskey or punch? Wine
Hot dogs, hamburgers, or tacos? Hamburgers
Biceps, abs, or buns? Buns
LovRRs: Thank you so much, Ester. Is there anything you'd like to add before we say goodbye?
EL: Thanks for giving me this opportunity! Readers can sign up for my
Readers Group on my website at www.esterlopez.com
On a lawless moon of Plexus, a resourceful loner struggles to escape his alien, slave-trading father with the help of a beautiful bounty hunter who he realizes is worth more than his ticket back to Earth.
Dram, a business man and slave-trader from Chroma, is thinking of making a career change. Too many close calls has necessitated this change, but he just got a brilliant idea...
Genesis, a princess from Atria working as a Bounty Hunter for the Interplanetary Space Patrol, has hunted the slave-trader, Dram, for ten long years. When she finally catches the man who abducted all the women of her village, she realizes she's got the wrong person.
Adam Davis, born and raised in East Tennessee, has a strange premonition that turns into a nightmare. What could be worse than being abducted by aliens and mistaken for a criminal? Discovering the criminal is his alien father and falling in love with the Bounty Hunter who wants him dead.