Sunday, September 22, 2013
THE EMI LOST AND FOUND SERIES by Lori Otto
The Emi Lost and Found Series - by Lori Otto
NOT TODAY, BUT SOMEDAY (Prequel) - Release date: September 1, 2012
LOST AND FOUND - Book #1 - Release date: March 24, 2011
TIME STANDS STILL - Book #2 - Release date: May 7, 2011
NEVER LOOK BACK - Book #3 - Release date: May 7, 2011
Not Today, But Someday is the prequel to the three book series Emi Lost and Found. It is the story of Emi and Nate. Emi, a high school junior is dealing with more than she can handle. Transferring to a new school mid year, her father’s infidelity, her parent’s impending divorce and moving away from her friends leave her feeling angry and isolated.
Nate, a sophomore, is struggling with the recent break-up with his girlfriend. To add insult to injury, his girlfriend dumped him for a mutual friend. He uses art as an outlet for pent up frustrations.
When Emi and Nate meet in art class, they find a kindred spirit in one another. The story builds the foundation of Nate and Emi’s relationship. They support each other’s artistic endeavors and work together in preparing for a class project based upon the Canterbury Tales.
Their friendship grows deeper and deeper and even though Nate has feelings for Emi, he accepts her desire to remain friends out of fear of losing what they have now, in hopes it may change to something else someday. They use the terms of endearment, Like ya Em and Like Ya Nate when they say goodbyes to one another on a regular basis.
Other characters in this series include:
Chris - Emi’s older brother
Jen - Emi’s older sister
Anna - Chris’ girlfriend
Teresa - Emi’s best friend and roommate
Jack - Chris’ frat brother
Donna - Nate’s mother
Lost and Found takes us to Nate and Emi’s relationship about 10 years after meeting one another. They are both adults working in their chosen career fields. Nate is a fine artist, and Emi a graphic artist/designer.
Nate, the quintessential player, dates many women through his 20s. Emi, does date a bit, but not near to the scale that Nate does. When Nate’s girlfriends begin to show tendencies of jealousy toward Emi, Nate makes some difficult and potentially damaging choices where his friendship with Emi is concerned.
When Chris and Anna get engaged, we are introduced to Jack Holland. Chris’s frat brother from college, Jack will be the best man at the wedding. With Emi as the maid of honor, they will be working together on certain aspects of the wedding preparations. Lost and Found takes us up to Chris and Anna’s engagement party on New Year’s Eve.
When you get to this point in the series, make sure you have tissues at the ready. Not a purse pack mind you, a brand spanking new large size box.
Not wanting to give away any more of the plot in this wonderful series, Time Stands Still and Never Look Back take us deeper into the lives of these complex characters. Just as a warning, this includes some gut wrenching, ugly crying chapters that will leave you feeling the excruciating pain that these lovely people endure with what happens early in book #2.
After the worst of the emotional situation settles, there will still be times where tear dabbing with tissues will be necessary, but I never felt it got to the point where I could not continue reading.
Reading this series was made even more enjoyable for me as I did it as a participant in a group read led by Lori herself. She invited bloggers to go on a virtual scavenger hunt, asking questions about certain events throughout the book and if answered correctly, the reader collected a badge. RMWTPC successfully completed all the badge activites!
I cannot say enough good things about this series. It was wonderfully crafted from start to finish and I am looking forward to reading the companion piece “Contessa” when my schedule allows.
Lori agreed to be interviewed in regards to this series and here are her answers
to the questions posed by RMWTPC.
RMWTPC - When you began writing Lost and Found, how soon did you decide this would be a multi-book series?
Lori Otto - I'm kind of laughing at this. Halfway through Nate's section, I knew the story would be epic. I had been aiming for a 150,000 word book… but when I was 75,000 words into Nate's section and it wasn't anywhere near finished, I began to have concerns… but I allowed myself to tell the story as it came to me, not limiting myself, and the word count grew and grew. Reality sunk in when I started querying to agents. Writing "Emi Lost & Found is completed with 356,000 words" was laughed at more than once by potential agents. I realized I needed to chop the book up, but because of the way it was written in different perspectives, this was easy to do.
RMWTPC - We loved that you included references to classic literature throughout these books. Between the Canterbury Tales and Shakespeare, your characters came off as intelligent and well rounded. How did you choose to include these elements into your stories?
Lori Otto - Those came from my personal taste in literature. I will readily admit I have not read quite a few classics, but the ones I've read tend to stick with me. I have always loved Shakespeare, so that one was a given. As for the Canterbury Tales, that was actually a really nice discovery. As I was writing Not Today, But Someday last summer, I was thinking back to what we read in my class. In high school, we did have to read parts of the Canterbury Tales, just like Nate and Emi did. I remember reading my section (which I think was Wife of Bath, but I'm not sure), and I remember really liking how Chaucer wrote. That being said, I didn't remember anything else about the book. I downloaded an edition of it (by Peter Ackroyd) that was FABULOUS and started at the beginning. I was struck with the story of Palamon and Arcite (which was actually a retelling of another story) in the Knight's Tale, and how well it really tied in.
RMWTPC - Was it as difficult to write the second book as it has been for your fans to read it? How did you get through that emotionally turbulent section?
Lori Otto - I have to believe it was more difficult for me to write. I experienced actual depression and grief for about a month when I went through that. What I did have that most readers didn't have was the rest of the story. I knew what was going to happen, so I think that helped, but actually writing it was rough. I wanted the conversations to be authentic, so I actually did a lot of audio and video recordings to listen to and watch the delivery of different lines. Twice in my life I was told by teachers to write how I talk; to write what I feel. I have taken this to heart and I think I really accomplished this, especially in Time Stands Still.
RMWTPC - Did you ever get frustrated at Emi or Nate for not seeing the inevitable sooner than they did? How about with Emi and Jack?
Lori Otto - It's funny, because so many people get so frustrated with Emi and Nate, but no. To me, there was a natural flow to that year of their lives. There was bad timing, and many bad choices… but I think even at the beginning of the year, they both knew deep down that they were going to have to make that choice soon. I mean, put yourself in Emi's shoes. You're waiting for that magical feeling, you have the opportunity to experience it again… and it's not there. That's confusing. That will lead to soul searching. Of course Emi and Nate always loved each other in their own way… but she had to look beyond some things – that feeling, his past – to make that commitment. As for the situation with Jack, I think Emi's reluctance was realistic. There was a lot of fear: fear of losing him, fear of letting him down, etc.
RMWTPC - Your characters were so artistically gifted and talented. Emi as a graphic artist, Nate as a painter and musician and Anna as an interior designer. Do you have an artistic streak outside of your writing?
Lori Otto - Not really, but I've always wanted that. I love art, music, photography and design. I was a graphic designer for ten years, and I do enjoy doing some little things every now and then (like the badges), but my style's my own, and not really in demand. I do love men who are creative, but I have never been successful in relationships with them. I always end up second fiddle to the art. I think that's probably why Jack is very different from that.
RMWTPC - What is next for Lori Otto?
Lori Otto - I'm actually in the middle of five books right now: the final two in the Choisie series, and all three in Steven's spin-off series. Unfortunately, my full-time job has become more demanding and is keeping me from doing what I love. At this point, I'm just taking things one day at a time and doing what I can do to survive. My ultimate goal is to be able to write full-time, but I need to sell a lot more books to make that happen. I have to believe it will happen someday.
You can follow Lori on her webpage at: http://www.loriotto.com
On facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/LoriLOtto
and Purchase her books on:
Amazon at: http://www.amazon.com/Lori-L.-Otto/e/B004VYOIYK/
iBooks at: https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/lori-l.-otto/id438512389
Smashwords at: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/lorilotto
Nook at: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/c/lori-l.-otto