How was Lorna supposed to know? Win her book and find out!

book-coverLorna Lee

Does lightning ever strike twice in the same place? It does if your name is Lorna Lee. To find out more, you’ll have to read her newly published memoir, ‘How Was I Supposed to Know?‘. This book will make you laugh, cry, and laugh some more. True tales of near misses and direct hits, and did I mention lots of laughs? Lorna has a talent for finding the comedy and the positive side even where there really isn’t any. Readers of her blog, Lorna’s Voice, will know what I’m talking about.

I’m going to put a pot of coffee on now, so please join me and Lorna for a chat, and if you leave a comment at the end of this post, you will be entered into a draw to win a copy of her book.

Beautiful inside and out, charming, intelligent, funny. But enough about me, let’s talk about Lorna (the old jokes are still the best, right? Right?!). But of course I was talking about Lorna. Ladies and gentlemen, please put your hands together and make some noise for the wonderful Lorna Lee!!!! Woohoo!!!

Hello Lorna, glad you could join us.
Hello Vanessa, thank you. Wow, what a welcome!

Do you mind if I ask you a few questions?
Please do.

Firstly, the obvious question – what prompted you to write this memoir?
Since I knew from an early age I ‘had a book in me’, it was either this or ‘Little Men, Big Problems.’ I already had piles of short stories about my youth that I wrote as therapy when I became ill with dizziness-blondeness (Chronic Fatigue). So I chose to go that way. Plus I needed to put the past behind me for good. Writing this memoir did that for me.

Well, you certainly pull off dizziness-blondeness very well. I wonder, what song would you pick as the theme tune if your book was made into a film, and why?
I ruminated over this question for a long time for two reasons: I’m not a music aficionado, so my selection of tunes is limited to songs I like to sing or dance to and none of those songs were perfectly appropriate for the theme of the book. ‘The Long and Winding Road’ by the Beatles is my all-time favorite song by that group and it connotes the twisty path my life has taken, but it’s kind of soulful and my book is upbeat. ‘Open Arms’ by Tina Turner is what I’m going with. It has a snappy beat. The lyrics are positive and upbeat, while acknowledging that life isn’t always that way. I’d say that captures the spirit of my memoir. Plus, Reggie (my cockatoo) and I used to dance to this tune all the time.

Yes I’ve heard all about your wild dancing nights with Reggie. Now, apart from the dizziness-blondeness thing, what road blocks did you have in writing this memoir?
I had too much material and didn’t see a way to organize it. Memoirs need a theme like fiction needs a plot. Once I settled on a theme, the book took shape. Then there were the days when I doubted myself. My illness is one that affects my ability to think coherently. I would be writing and stumble because I knew there was a perfect word for what I wanted to say, but couldn’t ‘find’ it in my brain. What kind of writer loses words? Finally, telling this story involved more than just me. I was concerned about my ex-husband and how he would react to my honest tale. Making the decision that this was my story told from my recollections and feelings, I forged on. If he wants to tell his side, it’s a free country, he can write and publish a book. Who am I kidding? He probably won’t even read the thing!

Speaking of the effect you have on others, if you were stranded on a desert island with a group of people, which skill/s do you have that would help ensure the group’s survival?
I sure hope that desert island has lots of shade, doesn’t get too hot, and has lots of fruits (the edible kind, not the looney kind). The only skill I could lend to ensure our mutual survival is my natural aversion to conflict. I am a peace-keeper. As a highly sensitive middle-child, I have learned how to anticipate when tension is brewing and use my humor and/or negotiation skills to avert conflict. We may be stranded, but I’d make sure we were all cooperating and being nice to each other.

Those are important skills Lorna. No shelters or rafts are going to get built if everyone is fighting, right? Now, looking back at your life, what advice would you give to your teenage self?
Use your unique voice, Lorna; don’t squelch it just to please others. You don’t have to put on an act. The real you is a show worth seeing. And get some help with that drinking problem.

And finally, and this isn’t a hint (although I am free on Saturday), if I came round for dinner, what would you cook for me, and what sort of entertainment would you provide?
I make a delicious vegan eggplant parmesan with quinoa pasta (gluten-free). I would serve it with a fresh tossed salad with a homemade dressing of aged balsamic vinegar and Tuscan herb olive oil. And my specialty: challah, which I couldn’t have, but you could. For dessert, a bowl of fresh fruit drizzled with mango sauce (no sugar added). Healthy and delicious. Oh, and Melbeck wine from Argentina (that’s Phil’s favorite wine). I’d have seltzer water. As for entertainment…Scrappy has an amazing number of adorable tricks. Maybe not a whole evening’s worth, but I’m sure we’d find lots to chit-chat about too. [Editor’s note: Phil is Lorna’s man, and Scrappy is her dog, in case you thought it was the other way around]

Sounds great! 7pm ok for Saturday?

Thank you so much for your time Lorna.
My pleasure.

Right, the giveaway works like this…
1) You leave a comment on this post by 11pm (GMT) on 31 January 2013.
2) I put the names into a hat and get one of my kids to draw one out.
3) I let the winner know that they have won a copy of Lorna’s book, ‘How Was I Supposed to Know?’ and they can pick either the paperback version or an e-book in their preferred format.
4) They get their book.
5) They read it and love it.

If you would like to buy the book for yourself, then this page on Lorna’s blog has the buying details –

Well, what are you waiting for? Let the comments begin!


77 responses to “How was Lorna supposed to know? Win her book and find out!

  1. Great interview! I especially liked Lorna’s responses to the road blocks she ran into and found many similarities in how we view things throughout the interview…intriguing.

    I think the winner should write a review for her when they have finished the book.

    Lorna, great choice with Tina Turner! I am not an officianado either and this was the first time I had heard that particular song but that lady really rocks! She’s in her 70’s and although reports tell that she forgets lines a bit, she still has an amazing voice and WOW she looks hot. I hope I have that much life and energy when I get into my 70s.


    • Ah well you should and check out Lorna’s blog if you feel some similarities with her, you may find more connections!

      Yes, it would be nice if the winner writes a review when they’ve read it, with the explosion of e-books and everything being online, reviews are becoming increasingly important in helping book sales aren’t they.

      Regarding the Tina Turner song, my other half is a music aficionado, he plays guitar in a band and is always much more musically knowledgable than I am. He hadn’t heard that Tina Turner song either, but commented on how much he really liked it when he heard it here too, so Lorna is broadening all our music tastes! Tina really is fabulous isn’t she.


  2. Vanessa, thanks so much for doing this interview! I had more fun reading it than I did originally answering your clever questions. And, Saturday at 7 sounds perfect! 🙂 It will be worth the flight and the temps should be out of the negative numbers by then!


  3. “I had too much material and didn’t see a way to organize it. Memoirs need a theme like fiction needs a plot. Once I settled on a theme, the book took shape.”—I never thought of this before, but I can see where it could be really challenging to sum up one’s life if there were no theme. Hmm, now I’m wondering what my theme would be…

    Nice interview! I wish Lorna well with the book.


    • Yes, that’s the bit I found the most interesting too, I had never considered that a memoir needs a theme, some thread to bring it all together, that makes sense. I’m thinking the same thing, what would my theme be…


  4. I enjoyed the interview, and the book sounds intriguing — but I don’t think I’d enjoy that dinner.

    How in hell does one make a vegan eggplant parmesan without any dairy?


  5. Great interview, Vanessa! I love learning about new (to me) writers, and these personal interviews give such charming insight.

    If Lorna is reading this, I’d like to say my mouth watered at your description of that dinner 🙂 … but this answer truly resonated with me: “Use your unique voice, Lorna; don’t squelch it just to please others.” That is valuable advice we can all take away, whether we are writers or not. Brava on the triumph of your memoirs, Lorna! Your outlook of laughter and love is a blessed one to have. I’m looking forward to reading your book, now!


    • Thanks Mayumi, after what Mike up there ^^^ said about the dinner, it’s nice to see someone compliment it! I’ll pick you up Saturday, we can both go, I’m sure Lorna won’t mind…

      I’m sure Lorna will indeed come back and read the comments.


  6. Love your interview style and thanks for introducing me to Lorna – I am now following her! Lorna – the normal kind of writer is the kind that has trouble finding the right word, I think. Please can you ask your daughter to pick my name out because I’ve always wanted to win something 😉


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  8. I don’t want to be entered in the contest because I have already purchased the book. But as one of Lorna’s avid blog followers I couldn’t resist commenting anyway. To reiterate what you have said, the book is a stitch (that’s the funny stitch not the needle and thread kind….you see how she has affected me?) and a great read for many other reasons. I only wish I could think as “incoherently” as she claims to. Maybe I should go out in a lightning storm, eh?


  9. As a sporadic but longtime (and the sporadic wasn’t by choice … I had to cut myself off from blogging and bouncing around the blogiverse for a few months to make myself finish my own writing project) reader of Lorna’s, I think this interview captures the personality I see in her blog (and know I’ll see in her book) to a tee. And I want some of that eggplant : )!


  10. Great interview! If anyone can write a memoir it is probably Lorna. She’s got such an entertaining way of telling a story. And thanks to my following her blog I’ve found you! How I love the blogosphere!


  11. Excellent questions … I thought I was reading a Barbera Walters special in print. It was a delight to read. Lorna is a great gal. Her blog is one that I follow and enjoy very much. She is always surprising us we her sense of humor and delightful pix’s in her posts. I wish her much success which, I think, she is going to have. Very nice, Vanessa. It’s a pleasure to meet you through Lorna’s blog.
    I am reblogging this on my blog.


    • Hi Isadora, I recognise your picture there, so I must have seen you commenting on Lorna’s blog (or maybe elsewhere, we often bump into the same faces on different blogs don’t we!). Glad you enjoyed the interview, it’s a pleasure to meet you too! Thank you so much for reblogging too.


  12. Reblogged this on Inside the Mind of Isadora and commented:
    Fabulous interview with Lorna on her newly released book “How was I Supposed to Know?” … Enjoy


  13. I’ve also followed Lorna’s blog, almost from the moment I became a blogger – her humor is very refreshing and she keeps me giggling or snoring drinks out of my nose. You can’t ask for more than that!

    I am hoping to win – if not I’ll definitely be buying…


  14. Wonderful interview.


  15. So enjoyed this interview with one of my favorite bloggers. Lorna is funny with a capital F! But she’s also surmounted many challenges to finish this memoir and I admire her so much for that and for many other reasons too.


    • Glad you enjoyed the interview, yes indeed, she is one to be admired, and not least because she actually wrote and finished her memoir – how many of us talk of writing our memoir but never actually get around to it!


  16. Nice, Vanessa. I write Q&As every week, and this one was fun! I’ll have to find out more about Lorna’s book.


    • Thanks Anne. Q&As are fun, but now I’m curious about where you write them every week!


      • Oh–I do two for our local paper… one about educators and the other about people in our community who: raise awareness about cancer, win awards, win $69,300 on Wheel of Fortune (that was yesterday’s), volunteer to help end hunger or lower the high school dropout rate or whatever. I’ve met some amazing people who seem to have more hours in the day than the rest of us. ; )


  17. Hey, a wonderful interview, Vanessa. Lorna, your book has me intrigued. I’ll wait till I win it and if not, I’ll go shopping…and congratulations on your publication.


  18. The first thing I have to comment about, having followed Lorna for a few months now, I honestly though she was just a nose and above freak that somehow managed to write with her nose… If that is Lorna on the right at the top, I feel just so much better. One hates to laugh at those with problems and I sure thought Lorna had a major problem. My heart can now laugh out loud at her blog posts…. she is a whole person…
    I love Lorna’s blog, it is always a pick-me-up, a real tonic, something that will cheer up the darkest day… this interview I had to come and see for myself… and how pleased I am that I did.. as it almost appears as though your sense of humour is also top class… so now I intend to follow you and get a double dose of humour….
    I loved this interview and would have not expected less from Lorna… she just cracks me up… love this post…


    • Thank you so much for coming over, and for following, and I’m so pleased to have been the one to reveal to you that Lorna has more than just the top half of a head to her. Yes I do think Lorna and I have a similar sense of humour, we can both find something to laugh about even if there doesn’t appear to be anything funny.

      Glad you enjoyed the post!


    • I’m so glad I put your dismemberment worries to rest, Bulldog. I am indeed a whole, entire person. Yes. That’s me on the swing behind those sunglasses when I was about four and when I was about 55. Do you think I’ve changed all that much? Well my choice in clothes has. I only wear mid-drift tops in the privacy of my home now… 😉 Glad you are following Vanessa. She’s a gem!


  19. just kidding – would love to read this book – great interview Vanessa–can I join you guys for dinner?


  20. First off, great interview choice! Lorna give great interview!
    Secondly, your skills are nothing to sneeze at either. I love your easy-going style.
    Great job, you two!


  21. Great interview, Vanessa. Lorna, sounds like a wonderful book. I think memoirs are tricky anyway, but especially so when there are people around who might take offense. I’m sure your story is compelling, and I can’t wait to read it.

    See you for dinner.


    • Thank you. Yes, even those people who you might only have good things to say about, still might not want to be spoken about in print so memoirs can be tricky. I can imagine it’s a hugely therapeutic process to write them though.


    • Oh, and there are people around who, no matter what I said, will take offense. But even when I was married to him, he took offense at what I said, so why should I think anything would change? 😉 I’ll set one more place for dinner! 🙂


  22. There are an awful lot getting together for dinner… am I invited.??


  23. Lorna is not only awesome, but she’s also a healthy eater!? Maybe that’s the secret to her clean humor 🙂 Oooh and I loved the interview, it gives me a fun perspective to the blogger I’ve been following for quite some time!

    Crossing my fingers for that book to learn more :p



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