Congratulations on the release of RILEY'S HEART MACHINE. Please tell us more about it.
This story is a little girl's journey of overcoming her fear of being different. She shares with her friends in a unique way that she has a heart defect and a pacemaker. Although Riley teaches her classmates what it is like to have a pacemaker, she indirectly shows everyone how to embrace what makes them special.
What was the inspiration for this book?
Lori: My youngest daughter, Riley, was born with a congenital heart defect and at the age of one had a pacemaker implanted. She had replacement surgery this past summer. I wrote this story in the form of a poem when she was 18 months old. Little did I know at the time, that later she would go through a phase where she would be shy about talking about her pacemaker. The eight names used in the book are Riley's sister and seven cousins.
What is your favorite moment from the book?
Lori: I love when the students start asking Riley questions and she relaxes, but my favorite part is when she tells them she can talk to aliens with her heart machine!
Is this your first published book?
Lori: Yes it is, so this is very exciting!
Congratulations. Lots of first book love for you! We’d love to hear more about you.
I received my bachelor's degree from the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown in communication and journalism and worked as a paralegal in Washington DC for several years before becoming a stay at home mom to my two daughters. That's when I began to write. I am finishing up my second novel and hope to get those published soon. My story, "The Magic Spell" appears in the book Beyond the Diaper Bag and several of my flash fiction pieces have won awards. I have also written articles for the Tri State Area Outreach magazine. I now live in Pittsburgh with my husband and two daughters – and with my Pittsburgh Steelers obsession. I am a member of the Board of Directors for the Children's Heart Foundation, Pennsylvania Chapter. A portion of my proceeds will benefit this amazing charity that funds research to help children born with congenital heart disease.
Do you have any book signing events or book tours scheduled for RILEY'S HEART MACHINE?
Lori: I am in the process of planning a launch party in my town of Wexford and several book signings in the Pittsburgh area for the month of October. I will be attending three events for the Children's Heart Foundation in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia in the month of September, so my book will be available there as well.
How can our readers learn more about you and any upcoming RILEY'S HEART MACHINE events?
Lori: Please "like" the Riley's Heart Machine Fan Page on Facebook, where I will keep everyone informed. Also, I'll have information on my author fan page, Lori M. Jones, Author. You can also visit my website at www.lorimjones.com.