Welcome to a late opening of THE WRITER’S LOUNGE! Our guest today is a very special person who has endured plenty of hardship in her life, and used it to become one of the most caring and loved individuals! But first. . .
Kem ~ “It’s You”
THE WRITER’S LOUNGE PRESENTS:
F. Kenneth/W.L: Tell our visitors a little about yourself. Married, kids, grandkids, past occupation(s), etc…
Lorene: I have one son from my first marriage, 42 and another son from my second marriage, 31. . .1 grandchild who is 8, whom I have legal custody and am raising as my own.
I am glad you asked about my occupations. I started in Banking, perhaps 10 years. I went to Automobile Insurance, at least 25+ years and the last place I worked was The One Stop Career Center in Florida. . .I gave out hugs, I held hands, I sat in the floor with those who collapsed – I loved each and every one, going above and beyond to find or give help. My name spread far and wide as the best person to go and see. . .I am disabled now and on Disability but to this day whenever someone sees me in the area. . .I will hear a shout, “Miss Lorene!” and turn to see smiling and waving people from my past.
F. Kenneth/W.L: It has to make you feel good knowing you were able to help so many people, and years later, they haven’t forgotten you.
You were born in St. Louis, grew up in Detroit, and currently live in Florida; if you don’t mind me asking, what inspired the move from Detroit to Florida? Do you still have a lot of family in St. Louis?
Lorene: I was born in St. Louis. My mother threw me out of the house as a preteen and I went to live with my father who moved his family to Detroit, Michigan. I do have a very large amount of family living in St. Louis on both my Father and Mother’s side. My life has been horrendous, but. . .I find happier times in Detroit. After an experience with a morally reprehensible person I escaped to Florida where my Father and Family had moved.
F. Kenneth/W.L: It’s unfortunate, you’ve had such a rough life, but your difficult times have made you a better and stronger person today.
Your bio relays that you have a sincere heart for people experiencing any form of duress; how have you come to be such a caring person within today’s hostile society?
Lorene: First, Faith! I had to believe from a young age that our God has a purpose for everything. Secondly, I’ve had a lifetime of duress. Emotionally, I know I am scarred. I hear people discuss the name of the streets they grew up on, their second grade teacher’s name, or the name of their best friend in middle school. I can’t remember any of that. . . I wasn’t raised lovingly. . . I fell into two horrible marriages, later, struggling with no support as a single mother and even had those children to grow up hostile towards me. My life hasn’t been pretty. The bottom line to today’s hostility is the self centeredness of mankind. If I can help in any way, sometime just with kindness, I dedicate my life to it.
F. Kenneth/W.L: You can’t go wrong with Faith! You studied Creative Writing at the University of Central Florida, how has that helped you develop as a writer?
Lorene: For me, Creative Writing was more of an emotional experience. First of all, my professor was able to reach me on a deeply emotional level, and secondly there was one student who touched me deeply. That student was a young man who’d served time in prison. We would stand before class and read our stories and his were tales based on prison life. Even though I’d never gone to jail, I felt like I knew exactly what being in prison was like. I could feel every angst, cry, every tear and sit in awe of his being able to expose himself like that. I decided that the story circulating in my brain, as personal as I felt it was, would reach paper someday. If he could do it, I could do it.
F. Kenneth/W.L: You’ll be surprised where inspiration will arrive from. Has there always been a ‘writer’ within you, or is writing something that came a little later in life?
Lorene: The writer has always been within me. I hated confrontation and wasn’t taught to be confident in myself. As a child I wrote notes to people, particularly when I was upset. During summer breaks I’d write a novel and lacking confidence would throw it in the trash when the new school year began. Even as a married woman, when enraged I would write letters to my husband, but the husbands I had grew angry whenever I spent time trying to write a novel and I always caved in and gave it up. The courage to write came a lot later in life. I am 64 years old.
F. Kenneth/W.L: Well, the important thing is, you never truly lost sight of your gift and calling.
In your bio, you mentioned, Prof. Wyatt – do you consider him as a mentor? What sets him apart or above the rest?
Lorene: He was most definitely a mentor. His guidance gave me the courage to write. What sets him apart? First of all his name – Wyatt! I loved it. He was the first person I’d ever met who had a quirky character, was unique, and sometimes bizarre as were his works. I was terrified the first time I stepped into his junky on-campus office. There was a couch, a naked mannequin and the most unique artifacts all over the place. Can you imagine walking into that room, taking a seat and the first thing the professor yells at you is, “Coward!” He was the kindest and most generous professor I’d ever met. He was determined to mold every student into excellent writers. He passed away in 2002 at the age of 65. Wyatt wrote two novels, “Catching Fire” and “Deep in the Heart”.
F. Kenneth/W.L: Our mentors are often and seemingly the hardest on us until they finally manage to get us on the path they knew was right for us before we knew it was right for us.
Your book has an interesting title – “To Dance With Ugly People” – Tell us how it came to be.
Lorene: In my youth I met an older woman who was a Financial Planner giving me advice. Her way of cautioning me to avoid morally reprehensible people was to say, “Don’t Dance With Ugly People.” I never forgot it and as I lived my life, every time I had a bad experience with a person lacking pleasing qualities I’d think, “I just danced with ugly people!” When I wrote my book I based my storyline on what would or could happen when you dance with ugly people.
F. Kenneth/W.L: I always like to hear the stories behind the stories, and see how the writers and authors came up with some of the ideas for their works – you’ll be surprised!
I know “To Dance With Ugly People” is a fiction work, but is it loosely based off of some of your own experiences in life?
Lorene: Definitely. Half is real life experience, and half is a stretch of my imagination. Perhaps I’ve had an experience that ended a certain way, well imagination comes in when I take that experience and end it in another way. I believe the best writing comes from what the writer knows and feels. I am aware you don’t have to kill someone to write about committing murder, but, for me I can’t bring forth the emotions that I want the reader to experience unless I have felt them myself.
F. Kenneth/W.L: I always write what I ‘feel’. What 3 words would you use to describe “To Dance With Ugly People”?
Lorene: Provoking, Extreme, and Truthfulness
F. Kenneth/W.L: I like those words! What do you want readers to get out of “To Dance with Ugly People”? What kind of affect would you like the book to have on them?
Lorene: Everyone: Your life is worth something, chose who you deal with – Carefully. Mankind: Be kind to each other.
A book isn’t well written unless it provokes emotion. Due to my own experiences in life, the book was hard to write at times. I expect my readers to find it hard to read at times. It is written for both men and women to make some people aware of a side of life they knew very little about and/or to pull every emotion from the spectrum of life out of them. The book is a rollercoaster of emotion. I want the story to remain on the minds of the readers years after they put the book down.
F. Kenneth/W.L: Do you have any new books in the works?
Lorene: Yes! My second book is titled, “Ugly People Can’t Dance”. It’s a sequel to “To Dance with Ugly People”. . .In my 64 years I have so much more experiences to share.
Kenneth/W.L: Where can we find “To Dance With Ugly People?”
F. Kenneth/W.L: I want to thank Lorene Stunson-Hill for stopping by THE WRITER’S LOUNGE today, we’ve enjoyed having you, and hope you’ll stop by again!
Connect With Lorene Stunson-Hill
COMING TO THE WRITER’S LOUNGE
Susan Parker Rosen