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An accomplished playwright and marketing/public relations executive, Lori Beard-Daily is a graduate of Spelman College with a bachelor of arts degree in English. Lori has written stage plays: Trunk of Fate, Daddy’s Girl, and Civil Unrest, two of which were directed and produced by the late theater thespian, Carol Mitchell-Leon. A native of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Lori and her husband Bryon Daily live in Atlanta, Georgia, with their three children: Erin, Erica, and Eric.
Welcome, Lori. Please tell us about your current release.
It’s a story about what happens when life interrupts our destination. My three characters were best friends in college. Each of them made a pact to each other that only one of them was able to fulfill after they graduated. This breach of promise causes each woman to self-sabotage in ways that neither of them could have ever imagined. The first friend leads a secret life of multiple personas, and the second friend allows her domineering ambition to drive her into a collision course with herself, that leads her to a life altering event. And finally, the third friend seeks refuge from a regretful past that finally catches up with her present.
What inspired you to write this book?
I started out writing plays. The book was originally a play entitled “As Plane As Plain Can Be.” My best friend, Shree, thought that I should take a stab at writing a book. I had never written a book before and she reminded me that there was also a time when I had never written a play! And the rest is history!
Excerpt from Destination D:
Dee sat straight up in the oversized stuffed leather chair with her eyes fixed to the beige coffer ceiling, counting all the quadrangles. With heightened anxiety, her pupils swiftly scanned the room and gravitated toward the floor-to-ceiling windows. Staring back at her was a picturesque view of snow-capped mountains rising just a little higher than the clouds. There lay her comfort zone.
I can do this, she whispered. Her heart thumped so fast she was sure that its reverberation could be seen through her red cashmere sweater that was now sticking to her back from beads of perspiration. C’mon, Dee you can do this. And before she knew it, the words tumbled out of her mouth like a toddler taking its first steps.
“I am . . . a . . . li . . . liar, and I can’t be trusted. And I wouldn’t know what the truth looked liked if God himself showed it to me.” She held her breath, then gently released it and felt a surge of relief envelop her tall slender body. There, I said it. She breathed in again and slowly exhaled. Her large mink brown eyes were now brimming with tears that struggled not to fall.
Dee continued staring out of the window and with a slight turn of her bottom lip, she stammered, “My friends call me Dee. I have a BA in political science from Spelman College and a JD from Columbia University. As a matter of fact, Simon and Garfunkel named a song after me,” she said, with an evasive tone that the doctor couldn’t tell if she was serious or trying to be funny.
The doctor paused from his note taking. He raised his left eyebrow and curiously leaned forward in anticipation of what she was going to say next. Dee turned both of her lips slightly upward, trying hard to simulate a smile.
“You know the song, ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water?’”
He answered with only a nod so he would not interrupt her flow.
“Well, I’m that bridge.” Her voice cracked slightly as she struggled to speak. Dee anxiously folded her arms across her chest and nervously tapped her fingers as she waited for his response.
The doctor’s sapphire blue eyes caught a brief glimpse of her, and she quickly shifted her attention toward the window. Even with all of the tension that was mounting inside of her, somehow his smile felt like a warm blanket that comforted the chill that slowly crept up her spine.
“Why are you smiling at me like that?” Her eyes darted to and from his again.
“Ms. Bridge, I find it quite interesting that the first word you use to describe yourself is ‘liar.’ You also have a quick wit and sense of humor that I think is quite positive.” His voice was as smooth as a gracefully aged Italian Merlot wine. He looked up at her again hoping to gain her eye contact, but she continued to resist.
“That’s because it’s the truth—and please call me, Deirdre,” she said, still in deep thought about the incredulity of her confession.
“Well, Deirdre, that may be, but you have quite a few accomplishments. You’re a college graduate, and you have a law degree from one of the most prestigious law schools in the country. There is obviously more to you than just being a liar.”
“Yes. One would think.”
“How do you feel about taking into consideration an accomplishment you’ve made each day? You’ll probably find there’s a lot more positive about your life than you realize. Every day we should learn something we didn’t know the previous day.”
Dee listened while she got up from the chair to walk over to an opposite window that was so transparent she felt she could reach out and touch the Salt Lake City skyline. Her flawless skin glistened as the morning sun beamed through the window on her cinnamon brown face, placing her a little at ease. The thought that this would be the first of many visits here made it even more difficult to come to grips with just how serious things really had become.
Her fingers trembled as they gently massaged her temples. Too many thoughts had caused her head to throb. I can’t believe that I’ve gotten the nerve to come . . . and to a psychiatrist’s office, for God’s sake! Flying over 2,000 miles to see this doctor because she didn’t want to take a chance of running into someone she knew back home in Atlanta. It was a bit over the top, even for Dee.
Usually, Dee’s outward appearance radiated elegance and charm, and her inner beauty was just as appealing. But today was different. As she gazed out the window, she saw the reflection of a woman who was a mess both inside and out. Each passing day was a reminder that her life was like a kite without a hand to guide its sail. And if she didn’t stop the lying, she would never be able to get back on course and—just like a kite—she would be lost forever.
What exciting story are you working on next?
I am working on the sequel to the book. I’ve given out the excerpts to a few people and I’m told it’s better than the first which is exciting!
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I’ve been writing since I was a little girl. I used to write a lot of poetry and short stories and as I got older, I really became more interested.
Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
No, I wish I could write full-time. But, I have a full-time job that keeps me pretty busy. But, I’m a mood writer. I try to put myself in an environment to be creative and at peace. With a husband and three kids, this is not always easy. But, I find that my best time to write is during the time when everyone else is asleep. Like right now, it’s 1:00 a.m. when I’m doing this interview.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I’m Old School! I write on a legal pad first and then transfer it to the computer.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be an actress and a news anchor.