INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR LORENE STUNSON HILL

Haunted Hotel, England

What inspires you? 

Boredom inspires me. It began in High School, I use to get bored during Summer Recess from School. To pass time, I hand wrote a novel each summer. But, lacking confidence, I threw each one away as soon as School started again. 

Secondly, searching for a sense of accomplishment is my biggest inspiration. Unfortunately, I tend to write better when I’m down and I write to bring myself up. For example, in 2007, emerging from homelessness, I lived in an old historic relic of a hotel that was known to be haunted. Many of its residents were “put” there by Social Services or on drugs. Residents paid by the week so, for many it was a revolving door. I stayed locked up in my apartment raising my one year old Grandson, whose Mom abandoned him. Writing my recently released novel, ‘To Dance with Ugly People,’ was my escape and it made my life rich and rewarding. I felt in touch with a higher power while writing this book, which was my third inspiration. 

I’d pray for where to go next, having reached writer’s block, and I promise you the answer would pop into my head during the night. This novel brought me to a new divine awareness. I realized I had experienced a lot in life that had left me strewn and unsettled; the book brought about the resurgence of a strong feeling of cohesion, for me. I could feel my heart glow with excitement and enthusiasm as I wrote this book. 

Who inspires me? 


I have loved the written word my whole life. I have attended lectures and readings by Maya Angelou, Nikki Giovanni, and Sonia Sanchez. I’d shed tears of admiration sitting in the Audience. Ntozake Shange, Alice Walker, Terry McMillan and Alice Walker are among others I have admired.

What are you passionate about doing? 

I am passionate about writing. I keep a notebook and pen in my purse, in every room and on the table beside my bed. I’ve started my second book. It is a sequel to, “To Dance with Ugly People,” titled “Ugly People Can’t Dance.” I am also passionate about dollhouses. I build them from kits. I shop on Ebay for miniature furniture, I paint the rooms with paint sample from Walmart. I make tiny curtains, shingle the roofs, place shutters, lay carpet, you name it. Once finished I give them away to a needy little girl.

How do you express your interests? 


In the middle of the night when the house is quiet and everyone asleep, I write. Sometimes I go to bed with a question on my mind, and the answer pops into my head. I jump up and write it down. I am retired, so I am able to take cat naps during the day. When I am working on my dollhouses, I think about the story I am writing.

How do you stay inspired? 

Listening for little sayings people use. For instance, I met an older lady who would say, “Don’t Dance with Ugly People!” every time we parted. That memory was my inspiration for my book title, “To Dance with Ugly People.” 


I am a people watcher. I am very quiet in a room full of people because I am listening so hard. Even a trip to the grocery store, has me nosily listening to every conversation I can. Phrases, Hints, Character names, Ideas (if it hits my ear right) gives me something I may be able to use. Day to day I am writing down my favorite things I have heard and I put in an hour a day, at least, writing. My son calls my writing a crossword puzzle. He is right. I might be writing something that is used in Chapter 10 today and haven’t completed 1 through 9. I eventualy move everything around, put in some fill in and have a completed novel. I can’t explain it any other way. 



The interview series comes from talking with creative types who want to share what what they do, what their interests are, and what inspires them, in the hopes of inspiring creative energy in others. If you have something to say that is if interest to others, feel free to submit.

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