Indie Support Sunday: Lorissa Padilla
The first thing that drew me to Lorissa’s book was the gorgeous cover. I’m a sucker for books with florals and ‘Til You Came Along boasted a stunning minimalist typography and floral combination. Then I connected with Lorissa and while we’re still new friends, getting to know each other, I could tell from our first interaction that she’s a good soul. While she’s working on her second book right now, Lorissa is also an artist and designs covers and other bookish art for fellow indie authors.
Her debut is heartfelt and an emotional journey to falling in love all over again with someone you already loved once. Told in two timelines and through dual POV, the story will tug at your heartstrings, make you smile and bring out all the emotions. ‘Til You Came Along is out now and available in Kindle Unlimited!
BEING AN AUTHOR
Who or what inspired you to write?
I truly struggled with reading when I was younger, until I found books that interested me. My mother was a huge part of the inspiration with reading. We started a tradition of reading the same books at the same time, and if they ended up becoming a movie we would go see them together. I didn’t realize it at the time, but my mother who was reading Twilight and The Hunger Games wasn’t necessarily reading them because she would have picked them for herself, but reading them for me and to spend that time with me. She is my greatest inspiration in every facet of life.
What’s the best and worst part about being an indie author?
The best part about being an indie author are the connections and the relationships that are created. As a socially awkward introvert, it’s sometimes extremely hard for me to make new connections with people but I feel like I truly found my place within the indie book community.
The worst part about being an indie author is the self-promotion…I’m getting better about posting more and being confident in those posts, but I hate talking about myself and putting myself out there. I still struggle with that at times, but this community has helped so much through their support and encouragement.
Why did you choose to self-publish instead of going the traditional route?
I chose self-publishing because I really wanted to maintain creative control. I had a vision for what I wanted my book to look like, formatting and cover wise, and I knew that you risk letting go of that control if you go the traditional route.
When you’re not writing, what do you do to get the creative juices flowing?
When I’m not writing, I’m drawing or reading! (Considering my children allow me to have some free time in my day, which isn’t too often.) I always get inspiration from the books I read or the designs I’m working on.
If you were to recommend books to me (in any genre), what would they be?
I also love fantasy romance, and for that I recommend Sarah J. Maas or Carissa Broadbent!
What are your top 5 tips or pieces of advice for aspiring authors?
Just start writing! If you have an idea, if you want to write a book—just start writing! Don’t worry if you think it’s not good enough or no one will read it, because honestly—who cares? Just start writing. I kept thinking for years that I would sit down and start writing one of my ideas eventually. But one year turned into two, which turned into a decade and I thought that fulfilling my dream of writing a book was not in my plans. Until one day, I just decided to open a Word document and start writing, not knowing where it was going to go. But those first few words I wrote turned into my debut novel that is now a published book. So just start writing!
ROMANCE AS A GENRE
Why did you choose romance as the genre to write in? What is your favorite thing about the genre?
Romance is my favorite genre, and I personally don’t enjoy books, stories, movies or anything that doesn’t have romance in it. I love the love. I’m a hopeless romantic and a sucker for a good love story. No matter what the setting of the story is, if there’s a good love story—I’m in.
If not romance/subgenres of romance, what genre would you like to write in?
I would LOVE to write in fantasy one day! I love reading fantasy but it’s an intimidating genre to write in because there is just so much that goes into the world-building. I hope one day I’ll think of a good enough idea that could turn into a fantasy story!
What are your most and least favorite tropes?
My favorite tropes are enemies to lovers, marriage of convenience and second chance romance! Honestly, the only trope I really don’t care for is miscommunication.
What are some tropes you want to write in the future?
I have a few WIP’s going on at the moment. One of them is a ‘friends to strangers to lovers’, and I think I’m the most excited about finishing that story!
What are some topics (sensitive and otherwise) that you think should exist more in romance?
I think that there should be more vulnerable MMC characters that are in tune with feelings, emotions, dealing with past trauma, and open for healthy communication. As a mother of two boys, I want them to grow up in a world where toxic masculinity isn’t at the forefront of the media. I want them to see strong representation of men who value equality, kindness, vulnerability and emotional maturity.
I would also like to see more representation of Latino and Hispanic cultures in books. My children are half Puerto Rican and I want them to see themselves in books and entertainment. As a white woman, I never had to worry about representation for myself in the world. I never realized what a privilege that was until I took a step out of my small-minded small town and got a glimpse of a much bigger world. I hope by the time my children are my age, the world will be a much more inclusive and diverse world that celebrates everyone.
If you write closed door romance, why did you choose that and what are your favorite ways to build tension between the characters?
Honestly, I decided to write ‘closed door’ romance at first because I was too nervous to write sex scenes. But as my first novel began developing, I believed that having ‘open door’ wasn’t right for this story. I love reading spicy books, and it has actually helped me heal a lot from toxic purity culture. I’m open to writing ‘open door’ in the future if it feels right for my story, but I don’t ever want to force it!
What inspired your published stories? How and when did you come up with these stories and plots?
My inspiration for my debut novel, ‘Til You Came Along, actually came from so many different stories I read. Through little thoughts in one book, ‘What if these characters did that instead…”, to thoughts from another book “It would have been cool if something like this happened rather than that…”, I was inspired by all of my favorite books and authors.
Can you briefly tell me about your book?
My book is a romantic drama following a dual point of view with past and present timelines. The past POV follows Madeline and her account of the beginning of her relationship with Elliot, the boy she hated in high school until she really gets to know him in college. The present POV follows Elliot and their relationship after 7 years have passed. Madeline has a terrible accident and loses her memories. She doesn’t remember the man she loves but the boy she always hated.
Do you already have a favorite character from the stories you’ve written?
My favorite character is definitely Elliot, my male main character! Writing his story and his journey through healing, growth, and reconciliation was so much better than I had planned. I seriously love him so much.
If you were to cast your book for a movie/television show, who would you cast in the lead roles?
OH GEESH THAT’S A GOOD QUESTION. This is actually really hard because I have such a distinct image of them in my head that no one can ever match up to. But maybe Wolfgang Novogratz for Elliot (he needs to get the broody face down). My husband says he pictures Jacob Elordi as Elliot though, so there’s also that. For Madeline, maybe Madison Iseman or Brec Bassinger? I’m so bad at this…
How much of yourself do you put into these characters?
I think I might put a few quirks of myself in the characters, as well as quirks from people in my life! I also put a lot of attributes into my characters that I wish I had more of - courage, strength, grace.
What is a story/stories that you really want to tell?
I really want to tell stories that will stick with people long after the book is finished. The books I read that replay in my mind constantly after I finish them, those are the kind of stories I want to write some day.
Is there one common element that readers can find in all your stories?
While I’ve only published one book and have another coming soon, readers will always find unconditional love in my stories. It will look and play out differently in each one, but that unconditional love will be a constant. I hope.
What’s next on the bookshelf for you? Anything you can tell us about a future project?
I finished my second book and I’m so excited to release it early next year, (2024)! It’s called ’Til I Reach you and this book will follow Ana, who is a side character in ’Til You Came Along. We learn a lot about what happens to Ana in book 1, but her book will really explore her journey of grief and healing. I’m so excited for everyone to read it!
When you write these stories, what are you hoping your readers will feel?
My biggest hope is that my readers will feel the emotional highs and lows of real life love, but never lose faith in happy endings. I hope that my stories will stay with them long after they finish reading them.
Paperbacks, hardbacks, ebooks or audiobooks
Contemporary, fantasy, historical or romantic suspense
Single or Dual POV
Standalones, series or standalones in a series
Open door, ajar door or closed door romances
Music or silence when writing
Plotter, pantser or plantser
Water, tea, coffee or….wine?
Cold or warm weather
Write better in the morning, afternoon or night?
Illustrated and photo cover? I love them both!