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Interview with Lori Avocato


After working thirteen years as a registered nurse, four of which she felt like "Hot Lips Houlihan" while serving in the United States Air Force, Lori Avocato picked up a book and said, "Hm. I can write one of these." Yeah right!

Oh, she wrote several all right--seventeen to be exact--but getting them published proved to be another matter. Throughout the years, she realized it was not an easy task to write a book, much less a short, concise one.

However, now as an award-winning author, Lori is multi-published with fifteen books currently sold in which her humor lends itself to her comedic voice. She writes contemporary novels and often uses her military, medical, or a combination of both backgrounds in her plots.


1.  Our readers would love to know if you began writing your novels while still working as a nurse?  If so, how did you balance writing and your career?

No,  I actually stayed home to raise my children so that is when I stopped nursing--after 13 years though!   I waited until they were in school full-time to start writing and only wrote then. Once they were home for the day, I never wrote.
2.  How close to real-life are the situations Nurse Pauline gets herself into? 

Well, it's fiction.  Fiction is not true as we all know. Writers want readers to suspend their disbeliefs at they read and actually buy into the story.  So, fiction, which should be larger than life, is what my stories are made of.  I write to entertain, to get readers to smile or laugh.  Thus, my stories are not based on real-life as most real-life is not that entertaining or funny.
3.  Since you were a nurse, I'm assuming you based Nurse Pauline on yourself or other nurses you knew.  Could you tell us a little about how that character came to life? 

Pauline is a bit like me in her sense  of humor.  Although I never worked as a nurse investigator, I do have a good friend who has and she also has helped me with a great deal of research.  I did write Pauline the way I think I might act/react in a lot of situations.  She does bumble in some cases, but that's a touch of fiction that takes away the reality of life.  If I wrote Pauline as a real pi right off the bat, that wouldn't be realistic nor would it be an entertaining, humorous read.  I'd be either hard-boiled crime fiction or non-fiction!
4.  How many more books can we anticipate seeing in the Nurse Pauline series? 

So far the next one, DEAD ON ARRIVAL, comes out in July 2007 when Pauline and Jagger investigate ambulance fraud.
5.  How has becoming a successful author changed your life?  

Hm, well, in all honesty my children don't treat me any differently!  Actually, it give me the flexibility to have spend much more time with them as they grew up, the joy of traveling more for my career, and the absolute best part of creating a world, creating characters and a situation that my put a smile on someone's face. 

Two of my best fan letters were: One from a woman who said she'd NEVER read an entire book in her life.  She bought my ONE DEAD UNDER THE CUCKOO'S NEST, read the entire book and went back to buy and subsequently read all the other.  The second was a woman who wrote to say she read my book, A DOSE OF MURDER, to her 37 year old brother while he sat through hours of chemo--and he laughed.  Those are life-changing opportunities that I cherish as an author.  Successful?  I guess that is in the eye of the readers.  I consider myself fortunate to have this job.
6.  Lori, what advice would you give to new writers? 

Persistence.  It took me five years of writing before I was published, but I never gave up.  Not only didn't I give up, I always had a positive attitude that I would succeed.  In my opinion, this is a must.  LEARN the craft of writing.  Attend workshops and courses about anything to do with writing and write, write, write.  This may seem obvious and even trite, but no one is born published.  It's a lot of hard work but as with anything, if you truly want it, you will get it--or something similar.  So, if you are starting to write: study, learn, practice and submit if publication is part of your goal and understand that rejection is part of the process. 

We ALL go through it at one time or another.  My opinion has always been that to be a writer, one needs to study the craft, have a certain amount of talent to tell a story, and a lot of luck.  Yes, luck.  Unfortunately in this very competitive business, one needs to be in the right place at the right time or in publishing terms, have an editor who loves your work "discover" you.  Bottom line--don't give up (persistence) and, of course, good luck!
7.  What led you to include the Goldie character in your novels?

Hm.  He kinda evolved. I think that gay men can be very supportive and sensitive especially to female friends.  Thus, Goldie and Miles came about.  Actually, Miles came first then (like the chicken and/or the egg) Goldie followed, surging from my sub-conscious dressed in his Armani and with characteristics of the best friend in the world. 

I just love Goldie and would like to see him come to life on TV or in a movie--and, of course, he should be played by Johnny Depp.  NOT cause I like him so much, but because he's the only actor who could do justice to the role and we'd get to see Goldie in person!  Gotta love Gold!


Ex-nurse-turned-insurance fraud investigator Pauline Sokol's willing to risk anything to put a bad doc out of business—even her best friend Goldie's near-perfect proboscis! Her cross-dressing compadre has agreed to get his shnozz bobbed so Pauline can pose as his private nurse and gain entry into Highcliff Manor—a posh plastic surgery "spa" making an illegal killing with their repeat clientele.

But when a super-rich "frequent flier" is unexpectedly widowed—and a receptionist who knows too much is given the boot . . . off a nearby cliff!—Pauline realizes she's stuck her own nose into something really nasty. Despite the pleasant distraction of the hunky Dr. Neal—and the unexpected appearance of her sexy cohort, Jagger—Pauline can't shake the feeling she's being closely watched. And if she's not careful, she'll be the next one who goes under the knife! 

Nip, Tuck, Dead by Lori Avocato (This is book #5 in the Nurse Pauline Sokol Mystery Series)
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