Lorilyn Roberts is an award-winning Christian author who writes for the young and the young at heart. When not writing books, Lorilyn provides closed captioning for television.
Lorilyn is a single mother by choice. She adopted her two daughters from Nepal and Vietnam. Read her Amazon best-selling memoir, Children of Dreams, endorsed by New York Times best-selling author Jerry Jenkins, and be inspired.
Children of Dreams, An Adoption Memoirby Lorilyn RobertsBiographies & Memoirs Christian Nonfiction Religion & Spirituality Parenting
Seventh Dimension - The Howling: A Young Adult Christian Fantasy (Seventh Dimension Series Book 6)by Lorilyn RobertsPublish: Jun 01, 2019Series: Seventh DimensionThrillers Mysteries Supernatural Suspense Action & Adventure Christian Fiction Fantasy Teen & Young Adult more»
Seventh Dimension Series Bundle: A Young Adult Fantasyby Lorilyn RobertsPublish: Jun 14, 2019Series: Seventh DimensionSupernatural Suspense Action & Adventure Time Travel Romance Historical Fiction Christian Fiction Fantasy Teen & Young Adult more»
Am I Okay, God? Devotionals from the Seventh Dimension (Seventh Dimension Series)by Lorilyn RobertsPublish: Dec 24, 2013Series: Seventh DimensionTeen & Young Adult Religion & Spirituality
(1) FreekindleeBook, Paperback, Audio,
The Door (Seventh Dimension, #1)by Lorilyn RobertsPublish: Oct 20, 2012Series: Seventh DimensionHistorical Mysteries Supernatural Suspense Time Travel Romance Christian Fiction Fantasy Teen & Young Adult more»
Seventh Dimension - The City: A Young Adult Fantasyby Lorilyn RobertsSeries: Seventh DimensionSuspense Romance Fantasy Teen & Young Adult
Seventh Dimension - The Prescience: A Young Adult Fantasy (Seventh Dimension Series Volume 5)by Lorilyn RobertsPublish: Nov 24, 2017Series: Seventh DimensionRomance Time Travel Romance Historical Fiction Women's Fiction Christian Fiction Fantasy Teen & Young Adult more»
Seventh Dimension Series Mini Box Set: Books 1-3by Lorilyn RobertsPublish: Sep 08, 2019Series: Seventh DimensionHistorical Mysteries Thrillers Suspense Supernatural Suspense Action & Adventure Time Travel Romance Historical Fiction Christian Fiction Science Fiction Fantasy Teen & Young Adult more»
Seventh Dimension: The Castle, Book 3, A Young Adult Fantasyby Lorilyn RobertsPublish: Jul 10, 2015Series: Seventh DimensionHistorical Mysteries Suspense Historical Fiction Christian Fiction Fantasy Teen & Young Adult more»
The King (Seventh Dimension, #2)by Lorilyn RobertsPublish: Aug 08, 2014Series: Seventh DimensionSuspense Supernatural Suspense Historical Romance Fantasy Teen & Young Adult
Volume 2 Taste and See John 3 16 Authors' Anthologyby Lorilyn RobertsPublish: Dec 13, 2013
Food for Thought: Quick and Easy Recipes for Homeschooling Familiesby Lorilyn RobertsPublish: Aug 08, 2013Cooking Parenting
First, I want to thank AllAuthors for allowing me to share my writing journey. I was born in Tampa, Florida, and my mother and I moved to Atlanta when I was four. I don’t remember the streets where we lived because we lived in so many different places. My mom, a single mother and newly divorced, was homeless for a while, and so I have vague memories of staying with friends, acquaintances, and living in boarding houses. I didn’t know my birthfather until I was thirty.
I lived with my grandparents in New York when my mother relocated to Atlanta. That was a happy time. When I returned to Atlanta, my mother shared an apartment with another single mother and her daughter. The young girl was jealous of me, and the maid chased me around the house with a switch. When I turned six, my mother was able to afford her own apartment, and we moved again. I entered first grade. I remember drawing on the walls in the school and being sent to the principal’s office. My mother gave me hell. She remarried when I was seven and we moved again. One of the first things I did was “test” my stepfather. That was a mistake.
But enough of the bad stuff; one night, my stepfather went to the store to buy milk. When he returned home, a stray dog followed him inside. I didn’t know about it until the next morning when I was awakened by a white dog pouncing on my bed. My mother said we were going to keep her and we named her Gypsy. Wrapped up in my furry friend was love. In the first book in the Seventh Dimension Series, The Door, the dog, Much-Afraid, is based on my childhood pet, Gypsy.
A few weeks after adopting Gypsy, the apartment manager gave my parents an ultimatum. We either got rid of the dog or we moved out of the apartments. My stepfather drove Gypsy somewhere out in the country and dumped her.
I cried for three days. The third night, a thunderstorm roared outside the bedroom window. I couldn’t sleep. The next morning, we were leaving for a Thanksgiving trip to North Carolina. As I lingered before getting into the car, I looked up the street one last time. I saw something white streaking toward me. I dropped my pillow and ran. My beloved dog had returned. I wrapped my arms around Gypsy and promised her nobody would ever take her away again.
That day was a defining moment. I’ll never know how Gypsy found her way back, but no one will ever convince me God didn’t do it. From time to time I dream about her waiting for me. Do I believe we will see our pets again in heaven? I don’t doubt it for an instant.When did you first get bit by the writing bug? Did you ever take part in any writing competitions when you were younger?
Once I discovered I could read, reading fueled my passion for writing. I wrote my first short story when I was eight and poetry when I was ten. As a teen I wrote parts of two books. In school, as I learned about literary devices like foreshadowing, symbolism, and allegory, I would pick apart the stories I read and analyze them for fun, which reminds me of another story I’d like to share.
I was constantly in the principal’s office in elementary school for bad behavior. I was tested twice by a school psychologist. The second test was to validate the first test. I filled in the blanks without reading the questions the second time around. I had already taken the test once, and I was not going to take the test again. My mother told me later the duplicate tests revealed one thing: I had a gift. They didn’t know what the gift was, just that I had a gift. When I fell in love with writing, my mother told me she believed that gift was writing.
In fifth grade a teacher accused me of plagiarism. My stepfather went to the school. I had been writing for two years, and my parents knew I didn’t need to plagiarize anything. That was a big moment in my relationship with my stepfather.
Unfortunately, no one in my family thought a person could make a living as a writer so I was not encouraged to develop that gift. Many years passed because I was able to fulfill my dream. However, it’s never too late to begin.What was the biggest challenge while writing Seventh Dimension – The King based on your experience from being in Israel during the 1991 Gulf War?
Some portions of all of the books in the Seventh Dimension Series take place in Israel. I just finished Seventh Dimension – The Howling, and it completes the six-book series. You asked the question specifically in reference to The King. Probably the greatest challenge in The King was writing the chariot races. I did extensive research and discovered some interesting things. For example, there were women charioteers. So, of course, I had to work a woman charioteer into my book.
I was in Israel at the start of the Gulf War taking classes at the Institute of Holy Land Studies. When the school administration showed us how to use gas masks and administer shots to counter the effects of nerve gas exposure, I freaked out. I took the last commercial flight out of Israel and went to Switzerland. That first-hand experience enabled me to have the background to write the Seventh Dimension Series. The Howling was the most difficult in the series to write because it takes place in the future. After much study, I realized it was impossible to know with certainty how things would play out prophetically, but I had fun developing the plot, the characters, and unraveling prophecy in a way that was compelling, entertaining, and thought-provoking.Why did you decide to graduate with a B.A. in Interdisciplinary Humanities/Social Sciences and how has that helped to shape you into a writer? What was your reaction on winning an award for “Outstanding Senior Project” upon graduation for your coursework?
This might initially sound like “another” sad story, but it’s not. God redeems everything. I met my future husband at the University of Georgia my freshman year of college. My parents wanted me to be a nurse. I didn’t want to be a nurse. I just wanted to get married. The quickest way to make that happen was to go to court reporting school. After my husband finished college, we agreed I would go back and earn my degree in something besides nursing.
Fast forward a few years. After my husband finished medical school, I went back to college and earned my two-year A.A. degree. Then I enrolled at the University of Florida, and the unthinkable happened. He left me—unannounced. Shortly afterwards, I learned he was having an affair with a technician in the radiation oncology department where he was a resident. She became pregnant. I was forced to quit college and went back to work as a court reporter. It seemed impossible I would ever earn that elusive college degree. A year later we divorced.
However, the National Court Reporters Association had a special arrangement with the University of Alabama. I learned I could attain twenty-one college credits from my court reporting training that was equivalent to seven college classes. I jumped at the opportunity. Five years later, while working as a court reporter, I earned my B.A. in Humanities/Social Sciences graduating Magna Cum Laude.
The Senior Project gave me many unique opportunities. I studied not only in Israel, but in several countries. I loved this experiential approach to learning. My eyes were opened to the importance of analytical thinking, a key component in the External Degree Program. The University of Alabama patterned their philosophy after the External Degree Program at the University of Oxford in England where C.S. Lewis was a professor—and an author whom I greatly admire.
To quote Timothy 6:6: “Godliness with contentment is great gain.” Without Godliness, our worldview is easily contaminated with negativity and unhappiness. While the college degree didn’t translate into dollars and cents like a nursing degree, it was an important component in teaching me how to recover from divorce, how to set new goals, and how to achieve them. That gestalt within all of us can help us to make a positive impact on society and be a better role model for others.
Our worldview is formulated when we ask questions, and as we process that information, we become who we are—more informed, more independent, and more aware of infinite possibilities. That’s what my undergraduate degree enabled me to do. I was too programmed by my past and too insecure to step out of my comfort zone and live life to the fullest. Once I knew what my worldview was, I was free to embrace the world around me. I was thankful I won the award for Outstanding Senior Project because it validated all my hard work, but the five years I spent earning my degree experientially had a bigger impact on my life than the award itself.How do you think receiving your Master of Arts in Creative Writing from Perelandra College and being a graduate of the Institute of Children’s Literature has helped to shape you into a writer?
I graduated from the Institute of Children’s Literature and then took a hiatus from writing for about ten years. During that time I adopted my two international daughters as a single mother, and all my attention was focused on them. When Joy, my youngest, was seven, I wrote my first book, The Donkey and the King. The “bones” of it came from my coursework at the Institute of Children’s Literature. It was much more time-consuming than I anticipated, and I realized I needed to wait until my daughters were older before I tackled any more writing projects.
When I wrote Children of Dreams four years later, my oldest daughter was eighteen and my youngest was eleven. I wanted to write a memoir about their adoptions because they were both very difficult. I was afraid if I waited any longer, I would forget too many of the details.
After writing that award-winning memoir, I realized I had many stories I wanted to write, but I had no idea how to write fiction. I remembered those two novels I wrote as a teen that I didn’t know how to finish. Shortly afterwards, I was at a writer’s conference. I was standing in line for lunch one day and overheard someone talking about an online accredited Masters in Creative Writing program. I knew I wasn’t gifted like Charles Dickens, and a couple of months later, I enrolled. The first book in the Seventh Dimension Series, The Door, was my Masters’ thesis.What does it take to become an award-winning Christian author? What are some of your future goals?
Anyone can write, but writing well is not easy. It boils down to passion. To be the best writer I can be requires me to be humble. Sometimes it requires throwing out thousands of words and starting over I told myself when I started writing books I would never show anyone my first draft. My first draft smells like bad breath. It stinks. Oftentimes, I have to claw my way through chapters. The struggle can be finding the time. I might be distracted with other things. Some chapters are harder to write than others. Once I’m in my writing mode, I’m very critical of myself. I’ll ask—is the plot compelling? Can the reader identify with the characters? Is there a moral message that underlies the theme? Is there a takeaway for the reader? Is there enough tension with each scene to propel the story forward? Is the writing fresh? Will the reader be satisfied with the ending?
After I tackle the big issues, I edit, edit, edit. After I’ve edited all I can, I give my book to my editor and forget about it for a couple of weeks—well, I try. And then I’m always amazed at the things my editor finds that I missed.
I ask myself when I’m nearing completion, is this book good enough to win an award? If I don’t feel like it’s pristine, then I keep editing. That’s what it takes to write award-winning books. It’s also helpful to have other writers, like a critique group, give you feedback.
After I’ve gone through all the suggestions my editor has made, I’ll read the book through a few more times to catch typos I’ve created while re-editing the corrections or changes my editor suggested. No matter how hard I try, in the first print run, there will still be typos. The most elusive thing in the world is a perfect book—but that doesn’t mean it can’t be award-winning.
As far as my future goals, I would like to write more adult books, I hope to write flash fiction, and I am thinking about ghostwriting.What is book six in the Seventh Dimension Series about? When can we expect the book to be released?
Seventh Dimension – The Howling is now available as a print book and in all e-book formats. The Howling is the last book in the Seventh Dimension Series. While the other books in the series have been contemporary and historical, The Howling takes place a few years into the future.
Young adults are creative thinkers and enjoy dystopian novels. They like to imagine a universe different from their own. The tyranny of the urgent hasn’t squelched their creativity, and they are still idealistic and truth seekers. They love to visit imaginary worlds, like Harry Potter, and I relish capturing their imagination. I long to whisk them to a place they’ve never been. Truly, they have never been to the seventh dimension.
In recent years, I don’t think young people have been exposed to as many creative books as in the past. The Seventh Dimension Series challenges young adults to think of time as an illusion—and unusual concept.
Sometimes all it takes is a single sentence to set off one’s imagination. A.W. Tozer wrote in The Pursuit of God, “A spiritual kingdom lies all about us, enclosing us, embracing us, altogether within reach of our inner selves, waiting for us to begin to recognize it. This eternal world will come alive to us the moment we reckon upon its reality.”
From this quote, the Seventh Dimension Series was conceived. While The Howling has elements of popular classics like 1984, Pilgrim’s Progress, and the Narnia Series, it’s different in its contemporary, historical, and futuristic settings. One of the themes of the Seventh Dimension Series is “time is an illusion until God’s appointed times.” I weave in allegory and symbolism from the Bible, and the reader will be inspired by the heroism of the protagonists.
Love and forgiveness are virtues that both protagonists, Shale and Daniel, must learn. Stories from the life of Jesus Christ are woven into the plot. The reader is exposed to many religions and worldviews including Judaism, Hinduism, Islam, and Buddhism; and he goes on a memorable trip to heaven and hell. Relevant topics to teens are explored; e.g., bullying, evolution versus creationism, globalism versus nationalism, socialism versus capitalism, adoption versus abortion, and Christianity versus occultism Spiritual warfare is a recurring theme, and there are talking animals, special gifts, and much more that I will let the reader discover.
My goal is to make the reader think, ask questions, and consider the most important question of all—where will he spend eternity?What are your top five writing and marketing tips that you would like to share with the younger writers out there?
My five writing tips would be: Don’t give up. Persevere, no matter how discourage you become. Join a writer’s critique group. Read books on writing and/or attend writing classes at your local college or online. Read as much as you can even in genres outside your bailiwick. Edit, edit, edit. It’s painful to hit that delete button, but sometimes that’s what we as writers need to do.
Let me encourage the wannabe author with this thought: Writing is never wasted even if it’s deleted or not used. Sometimes I’ll store deleted passages on my computer and hope no one ever finds them.
During the writing process there is something magical that takes place Sometimes I need to write a lot of words before I figure out what it is I really want to say. I’m just glad we have computers and the internet and so many other things at our fingertips that make the writing process easier. If I had to write longhand, I’d be in trouble. I can’t even read my own handwriting sometimes.
My five marketing tips would be: Be realistic. People won’t care about your book as much as you. Accept it. As much as you’d like to think everyone will buy your book, they won’t.
Everyone wants your money and will make unrealistic promises to help you market your book. Be careful. There are “roaches” or bottom feeders out there that will take advantage of your naivete. Be wise. Learn as much as you can about book marketing and do as much as you can yourself. Almost everything you need to learn is available for free on the web. There’re plenty of blogs geared towards writers—just do a search, like “marketing tips for authors”—and there’re plenty of YouTube videos that will show you the most important points. Again, don’t waste your hard-earned money on book marketing classes, and don’t give so-called book marketing experts your credit card number. Use your disposable money to hire the best book cover designer you can find and the best editor you can afford.
Build a platform. That means you probably need a blog. I have two and post at least twice a month; more if I have time. I recommend a new author be active on at least two social networking sites. I like Twitter and Facebook because they don’t take up a lot of time.
Set long-term goals. Marketing is not a sprint, it’s a marathon. Don’t set yourself up for disappointment by thinking you’ll hit the moon on your first book. Chances are you’ll land among the stars, but that’s not bad either.On a scale of 1-10, what would you rate AllAuthor? Has this site been all that you hoped it would be, or are there some things you would like to change?
It’s interesting you ask that question because I would rate AllAuthor as one of the best marketing resources on the web. I’ve been impressed with the many creative ways they help authors, and I highly recommend authors use their premium services. I want to encourage AllAuthor to keep up the good work, and keep doing what they’re doing. I particularly like the Twitter mockups since I’m active on Twitter, and they help to keep my Twitter feed fresh.
Has AllAuthor considered offering any kind of book review services? Maybe it could be done in such a way it would comport with Amazon requirements. Having books reviewed is always a challenge. Thank you for allowing me to share with your readers a little about my writing journey. While writing can be a lonely endeavor, when you see your name on that book cover, it’s worth the sacrifice. So, writers, don’t give up—keep on keeping on, and you will eventually achieve your dream.
** Make sure that you have read the book at least once.**
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