My first contact with Loren came in the form of an email. She was writing a series for IndieReader about indie erotica and wanted to interview me. It’s hard to believe that was over a year ago. Since then, we’ve become fast friends, and I just missed the opportunity to meet her in NYC when I was there recently.
Loren is an accomplished writer, poet, editor, and founder of LK Editorial, which offers multiple author services.
She is also someone who’s been through a traumatic experience and found her way back. For that, I truly admire her and consider her a shining example to women—young and old.
I’m thrilled to finally have Loren on my site to tell us more about herself. Please give her a very warm welcome.
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Who is Loren?
Loren Kleinman has ten years of writing and editorial experience. She holds a B.A. in English Literature from Drew University and an M.A. in Creative and Critical Writing from the University of Sussex (UK). Her poetry has appeared in literary journals such as Nimrod, Journal of New Jersey Poets, Resurgence (UK), HerCircleEzine and Aesthetica Annual. She is the recipient of the Spire Press Poetry Prize and is a 2000 and 2003 Pushcart Prize Nominee. Kleinman was also a Nimrod/Hardman Pablo Neruda Poetry Prize Finalist for 2004. Her book Flameco Sketches was published by Spire Press in 2003.
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Inside Loren’s Mind
[eden] Loren, your answer to this question really resonated with me, so I’m starting with it first.
What is your greatest regret? Not being able to see my grandmother before she died. It happened in the middle of Hurricane Sandy. All the roads were closed. The week before she died I went to see her, and she told me she was ready to go. Even though I saw her before she died, being with a loved one as they cross over is special. I wish I could’ve been there. I have plenty of regrets, though. Some I wish I could change, others not so much. Life, right?
Tell me about your idea of perfect happiness. I wasn’t always happy: intense break up, an assault, and an alcoholic family member. It took me years to finally be at the cusp of happiness. I work for it every day: therapy, writing (lots of it), swearing here and there out of pure freedom to do so, learning to love myself, and letting love in. Happiness is hard, but I’m finding I want it so I’m going to keep trying a smile on (some people even say it looks good on me). Though perfect happiness does sound tempting, I’m sort of partial to accepting the horrors of my life and writing them down: that makes me happy.
[eden] Thanks for being so honest, Loren.
What turns you on creatively? Reading. Building on craft. Writing. If you’re a writer you have to read. (Creativity is not enough.) My second poetry collection has taken me seven years to write and revise. As far as other turn-ons, Charlie Smith (author Three Delays) has been turning me on quite a bit. When I’m reading I get ideas, or I find answers to the questions I’ve been asking myself about a poem in another writer’s poem/book. Writing is hard work.
If you’re a poet, read Louise Glück, Mary Oliver, Franz Wright, Anis Shivani, Anne Sexton, Tony Morris, Cynthia Harrington, Mark Doty (I could go on and on). Other writers: Herta Muller, Charlie Smith, Vladimir Nabokov, Camille Paglia, Russell Banks, Alice Sebold, D. H. Lawrence, etc. My point is writers that are practioners of their craft always turn me on. As Nabokov said you must be a creative reader to be a creative writer (or something like that.)
Which words or phrases do you most overuse? Usually swear words. Bad habit. Seriously, in writing sometimes I’m finding the use of the word muddy appear a lot. It’s a metaphor I like: muddy as a representation of being stuck or not being able to get across to another side. (Out there somewhere is another word to overuse.)
[eden] Muddy is good.
What quality do you most admire in a man? Authenticity. This is not the typical just be yourself cliché. I mean it in a true sense. I dislike pretentiousness, especially people that say they are going to do something and don’t follow through.
And in a woman? Authenticity. A sense of humor.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? I worry way too much. If I could fall asleep one night without worrying about someone or something, I would be much calmer. It’s something I’m working on, really.
What is your greatest fear? OK. Fear of dying alone; fear of no one reading or connecting to my writing.
[eden] I think most writers have a fear of not connecting with readers, but your words have touched many, including me.
Which living person do you most admire? That’s hard to put on one person. I admire a variety of people for many different qualities. So here it goes:
My sister Jenny: She’s funny, has let me in during hard times, and always makes me feel at home. She’s an amazing teacher that is passionate about her job, and sensible in matters of the home and heart.
Indie writers: Indies do it their way. I admire that.
There are many more people that I admire. I could fill up a few pages.
What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? Cooking. I love to cook, especially for my family and friends. I can make a mean butternut squash macaroni and cheese.
[eden] That sounds delicious!
If you could choose what to come back as, what would it be? A big black bear catching salmon from a river.
What do you consider your greatest achievement? I’m going to be a bit outside the box here.
Publishing a collection of poetry (Flamenco Sketches) at an early age, maybe 20 or so. I sent out the collection on a whim thinking no one would take it seriously, and someone did. After eight drafts, someone gave it a chance. I hope my second poetry collection, We Still Have Time, will follow in the footsteps of my first.
[eden] I’m happy I found the cover to include here – it’s a beautiful, bright accomplishment.
I’m also working on a book, in collaboration with IndieReader that includes a collection of interviews with indie writers. I’m hoping this book will give the general public a more insight into the indie writer community, including their craft, publishing process, and culture. (I can’t find any books that give recognition to the indie community.) If this book gets recognition (or starts some positive controversy) I would consider it an achievement in the sense that I hope to start a tradition of books that give a (much needed) behind-the-scenes look at indie writers and their burgeoning community.
And, starting my boutique editorial firm LK Editorial. We’ve had the chance to work with some great writers. This is the first business I’ve started, and with owning a business comes ups and downs, and successes and failures (and especially challenges). I’ve learned that it’s OK not to know everything.
What is the trait you most deplore in others? Again a lack of authenticity, phoniness. Whether art or life put out what you believe in; what’s true to yourself.
What is your greatest extravagance? Food. I love organic food: fresh fruit, vegetables, raw cheeses, and crispy breads.
What is one thing you want to do before you die? Win a Pulitzer for poetry.
[eden] Nice, straight to the top!
Who is your favorite writer/musician/film director? Franz Wright. I haven’t read another poet that’s been better, or able to capture being human quite like him. If you’re a poet and you haven’t read Wright, now is a good time to start. Walking to Martha’s Vineyard will either inspire you take your craft more seriously, or make you rethink what you’ve been considering good poetry is/was all along.
What are some of your favorite curse words? I’m a fan of traditionalism: f*ck.
What is your motto? Stop whining. There’s a lot of reading and writing to be done. Whining about who’s going to read you, like you, or who will publish you is a complete waste of energy and time. Don’t read into rejection too much. Practice the craft. It’s called a process for a reason.
[eden] That’s why we’re friends Loren. I’m not much for whining either. Thanks for being an inspiration to women and writers everywhere.
Readers, I invite you to say “hi” to Loren and take a look at all she offers. You won’t be sorry you did.
Loren is a contributing writer for IndieReader.com and owner of LK Editorial. She is also one of the founders of Book Promos (BP), an affordable platform for indie and traditional published authors to advertise their books.
BP sites include: