Author’s Bio: As a kid, I loved the bad guy cartoon characters Natasha Fatale and Boris Badenov on the Rocky and Bullwinkle Show. So, when I grew up, I decided to learn Russian and land a job with the U.S. Federal Government. All kidding aside, at various times in my career I’ve earned a living as a translator, language teacher, reporter, editor, and intelligence analyst. 

Nowadays, I spend most of my time on my small horse farm, which I share with my husband, a failed barn cat, and a Jack Russell Terrorist…err, Terrier. Besides the novels, my work has appeared in Baltimore magazine and the Chicken Soup for the Soul series.  


Deliah Lawrence: What inspired you to write your book?

L. R. Trovillion: I wanted to explore this issue: The theme of how to get past the big, traumatic obstacles in one’s past that keep you from living a fulfilling, happy life in the present. How to just move on and get past it? The main character has endured trauma the same as the rescue horse she is trying to rehabilitate. Their lives travel on a parallel trajectory until they both must finally face the big obstacle they’ve been avoiding.


DL: What were some of the challenges when writing this book?

LRT: I envisioned the main character as a young woman struggling with her sexual identity. I did not create her this way to make a statement, but rather to explore another facet of the coming-of-age struggles. She has a hard time in her relationship with her father who holds more fundamentalist beliefs. 

As a result, my usual editor refused to work on the book because of her own personal beliefs and therefore I was left to find a new editor to work with. I am happy to say it not only worked out fine but I got another sensitivity reader in the bargain. 

DL: Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?

LRT: It may sound trite, but I credit Carolyn Keene’s Nancy Drew series with giving me the gift of reading. I struggled to learn to read as a child due to undiagnosed reading disorders and most children’s books at that time were dull as dishwater. When I discovered the “girl detective,” I was hooked on mystery and devoured the series. That reading practice opened up the wonderful world of books for me. 

DL: If you could choose a superpower, what would it be and why?

LRT: The power to flip a switch in my brain that would shut off negative thoughts. I would love to be able to train myself to face adversity with optimism and hope and to get out of the rut of negative self-talk and criticism. It would make me (and everyone around me) a lot happier.

DL: If you were hosting a dinner party which three authors would be your dream guests and why?

LRT: I love this question! I would invite Alexander Pushkin, the 19th century Russian writer. Before you roll your eyes, get this—Pushkin was such a wild-child he liked to wear see-through pants to the opera just to scandalize society. I’d also love to talk with Neil Gaiman. In addition to his genius and creativity across many genres, he is also hilarious. He offered advice to writers never to give up because eventually someone will either be drunk or slip-up and offer to publish your book. Last but not least, maybe Margaret Atwood because I would love to pick her brain on the future of society and have her initiate a lively discussion…as frightening as that may be!

DL: What tips would you give to aspiring writers?

LRT: If you don’t love writing, quit. Seriously, because it takes a lot of patience, disappointment, pulling yourself back up out of the depths of self-doubt, and sheer stubbornness to keep going. If you don’t love it, find something else you do love.

DL: What do you like to do when you are not writing?

LRT: An enormous percentage of my time, energy, and money is spent on my horse, Lucida. I devote a great deal of effort into learning the art of dressage and striving to become the rider this sweet mare deserves. I love being around horses and they have taught me so many valuable lessons.

DL: Would you like to share an excerpt from JUST GODS?

LRT: Sure, this is a scene when Willow defies rules to ride out alone and questions whether her friend, Rachael, might be still alive…


I should get home. The clouds glide across the sky and blot out the moon. Instead, I ride in the opposite direction. Away from home. Like Tucker can carry me away. Like he can save me.

           We stop at the top of a ridge. Lightning flashes, illuminating how far we are from home. The saddle is hard and flat against my hip bones when I lean as far back as I dare, resting my elbows on Tucker’s hindquarters. The sky has turned into a black bowl, lit up around the edges with cracks of light. I’m crazy to be out here in the open. But I don’t care.

I sit up. “God,” I ask the brightest shining star that hasn’t yet winked out. “If Rachael is OK, can you at least give me a sign?” I feel stupid right away. A sign, really? Like the universe gives a crap about me. Like it would care.

Tucker is no longer content to munch at the grass. His head telescopes up on the end of his long neck. I catch the glint of white reflected from his eye. My fingers crawl up the reins like spiders, shortening them in case he bolts. His nostrils quiver, sucking in the scents I can’t detect.

A rustle along the tree line catches his attention. I follow his gaze. As the clouds glide away from the moon, the light hits an animal sitting at the edge of the woods. It looks like a fox, but it’s glowing in the light. The animal sits with a full, bushy tail wrapped around its haunches. His eyes black and staring. But he’s white. Pure, almost blindingly white. We stop—me, Tucker, the fox—with our breath captured in our chests, staring. The clouds cover the moon and when my eyes adjust, he is gone.

DL: What new projects are you currently working on?

LRT: I’m very excited about a new murder mystery series about unsolved Jazz Age cold cases. The stories are told in two timelines—1928 and today. From the dawn of forensic science to the cutting edge of modern technology, two investigators a hundred years apart battle personal demons as they take on the complicated, mis-handled investigations.   

DL: Where can readers learn more about you and purchase your book(s)?

LRT: Readers can learn more here:

DL: Thanks so much for being here with us today. I know my readers will enjoy getting to know you and your work.

LRT: Thank you! 


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Deliah Lawrence Attorney, Author, Blogger, Workshop Facilitator

Deliah Lawrence is a Maryland-based attorney and award-winning author of two romantic suspense novels (Gotta Let It Go and Gotta Get It Back) set in Baltimore. She’s also a blogger and workshop facilitator who writes poetry and short stories.

When Deliah isn’t writing, you can find her reading a book, indulging in her addiction to investigation discovery shows; or painting her yet-to-be exhibited oil artworks of landscapes, portraits or whatever else comes to her creative mind. Constantly on the go, she is also a member of the Black Writers’ Guild of Maryland and Sisters in Crime.