Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Lorna Collins Shares Her Fairy Tale Life

Lorna Collins was raised in Alhambra, California. She attended California State College at Los Angeles as an English Major and was on the Dean's List. She and her hustand and writing partner, Larry, have been married for over forty-six years and have one daughter, Kimberly.

Lorna is here to tell us about a topic dear to her heart, and to share a book in which she is a contributor.
I Love Fairy Tales
I’ve adored fairy tales since I was a little girl, and they may be one of the reasons I write sweet romances.
I had several collections of them, and my mother read the stories to me at bedtime. The only one I didn’t like was Hans Christian Anderson’s “The Little Mermaid” because it had such a sad ending. The first time I heard it, I cried and cried, and forbade Mom to ever read it again. Years later, I reread it, and still found the ending tragic. When Disney released the cartoon version, I was delighted with the revised happy ending.
Of all the stories, I loved “Cinderella” the most. It was probably because I related so strongly to her.
My father died when I was seven, leaving only enough money to bury him. Mom was left to raise my younger brother and me by herself as a single mother in an era when there were few of those. It was several years following my dad’s death before I actually knew anyone else with only one parent.
Mom had to go to work in order to provide for our basic needs, so I became responsible not only for myself, but also for my brother and many of the household chores.
By the age of twelve, in addition to the other tasks around the house, I had sole responsibility for meal planning, grocery shopping, and cooking. That had to be accomplished on an extremely limited budget.
Until I was married, I wore nothing but hand-me-down clothes, and few of them. There was rarely enough money for extras. A special meal eaten out was a hamburger from McDonalds perhaps once a month. The first real sit-down restaurant I can remember going to was when my aunt and uncle took us to dinner to celebrate my sixteenth birthday. I’d never felt so awkward. I had no idea what to do or how to behave.
I first spotted my own prince across an empty schoolyard when I was about ten. I recently shared that memory with Larry, and he immediately incorporated it into the story of Tiffany in his latest book, Lakeview Park.
He was my first date at age fourteen, but we went out with other people until I was seventeen when we began dating again. We married the week after my nineteenth birthday, and I’ve never regretted that decision. In fact, the license plate holder on my convertible reads: “DON’T BOTHER ME, I’M LIVING HAPPILY EVER AFTER.” And it’s true.
He wasn’t rich, but he certainly was—and still is—very handsome. And I never took him for granted. I was all too aware of just how tenuous life can be.
We have shared an amazing life for over forty-six years, traveling the world, making friends, and laughing a lot.
Even during the past year, filled with the loss of so many family members and close friends, I am still able to focus on the blessing of having known them.
My brother, the world’s greatest pessimist, always grumbles that I see the glass half-full. He’s wrong. I usually see the glass filling to overflowing.
How did I learn to expect happy endings? From Cinderella, of course.
Lorna Collins

Lorna is a contributor to the SWEET, DISCREET* anthology called Directions of Love, a 2012 EPIC ebook award winner, where she wrote the Prologue, Epilogue and "Finding Love in Paradise." Here's what her contributing story is about:

Finding Love in Paradise by Lorna Collins
When Kimi McGuire goes to Honolulu to discover her Hawaiian roots, she also finds Jason Nakagiri, a good-looking Hawaiian surfer who steals her heart. But is he truly the love of her life or just her dream of a soul mate?

Buy Links:

Website: http://www.lornalarry.com/
Please leave a comment to welcome Lorna to Sweet Not Spicy.

*Readers and Authors, Note the Guidelines for Sweet, Discreet designation in the Sunday, Jan. 22, 2012 post here.


  1. Welcome to Sweet Not Spicy, Lorna.
    Thanks for sharing your Cinderella life.

    Morgan Mandel

  2. I missed this when it was first announced, so glad I took the time to find it. Lorna, you brought tears to my eyes with your Cinderella story. You and your hubby are precious and my husband and I are blessed to have you as friends. See you in San Antonio!


    1. Just checked this page and found the comments. We feel the same way about you and Hap. Dear, dear and precious friends. Truly blessings in our lives!

  3. Lorna, I enjoyed reading your Cinderella story. I grew up loving Fairy Tales, too. Andersen's "The Snow Queen" was one of my favorites. Still is. I get it out from time to time and read it again.

    Linda Hope Lee

    1. Linda, in doing some work on genealogy, I discovered that I'm actually related to Hans Christian Anderson. I loved "The Steadfast Tin Soldier," "The Ugly Duckling" and several others. Just not "The Little Mermaid"! I was so happy that Disney changed the encing.

  4. Lorna! What a lovely blog post! I love fairy tales and I love happy endings. That's so cool about and Larry! I married at 19, too and still married. You both rock!

    1. We were both very lucky! And we really enjoy your work! Glad we met at EPICon 2006 and have stayed in touch ever since.

  5. Lorna,

    I'm impressed with your life story. You certainly learned how to overcome the odds and have a good and happy life. Love, Christie