Growing Up Beautiful

Peninsula People Magazine,
'The Captivating World of Modeling'
by Ashley Jakubczyk

Not many 21-year olds buy a one-way plane ticket to Milan, Italy, but Lori Jones found herself doing just that...

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Ten Questions from Tara: Interview with Lori Jones

November 2014

Welcome. You’re here to promote The Beauty of a Second Chance, a Chick Lit. Tell me, please, what was the inspiration behind this story (or series)? How did it come to you?

The inspiration behind The Beauty of a Second chance came from witnessing a child’s heartache, a teenager’s angst, and a community divided over conflicting values. Writing about situations that happen everywhere on a daily basis gave me the opportunity to place Star, Joanne and Casey right in the middle of the action and give them a second chance to overcome difficult obstacles and find happiness in life.

We focus a lot on heroines here on Book Babe. Tell me what makes your heroine(s) strong.

Star, Joanne and Casey are already strong women. Their difficulties stem from making decisions based on painful memories and fearful thoughts instead of from their heart. It is only when all three are faced with the loss of love that the swords are drawn and they take on risks that could end up in an all-or-nothing scenario.

Do you see any of yourself in her?

Yes. A little bit of my personality resides in all three. I have experienced the fierce love of a mother, the emotional pull of a dependent daughter seeking independence, and harsh judgment from others.

Was there any particular part of this story that was the hardest for you to write? Tell me why.

Writing is pure joy for me except for the love scenes. When I write at my local library, I find myself peeking over my shoulder to make sure no one is behind me, reading what I’m typing.

LOL. I've done that myself. 

What kind of research did you do when you penned this novel? Did anything surprising come up in your search? 

One of the story lines deals with a wealthy individual that tried to build a private office on public parkland. My research came from throwing myself 100% into a similar real-life situation. Being an integral part of the action gave me more information than I could incorporate into the story. I added just enough information to let readers decide on which side of the debate they would stand on.

What would you like readers to gain from reading your book? Is there a strong moral? Do you hope they will laugh, learn something about a particular subject/person, ponder a point?

The points to ponder in The Beauty of a Second Chance deal with youth sports, land conservancy, and the ‘dreaded’ mother-in-law. My man goal when I write is to entertain, however, if readers walk in the shoes of my characters and finish the story contemplating a different perspective; that is a bonus.

Your book takes place in Malibu. If I were a tourist, what would you recommend I see in this town/country?

Stand anywhere on the beach and gaze out over the vast ocean and blue sky, listen to the crashing waves and call of seagulls. It is one of Mother Nature’s best shows.

Moving on to personal things...if you could time travel to absolute any time and place in history, where and when would you go and what is it that draws you to this time period? What would you do whilst there?

I would love to go back to Paris in the 1920’s and have a conversation with Degas, Dali, and Picasso and many of the other great artists before they were famous. As a writer I think it would be fascinating to know their personalities instead of just their artwork. I’d ask them how old they were when they first picked up a brush, and what career they would they fall back on if they didn’t make it painting.

What’s the one thing you hope to accomplish before you die? Your main goal?
I can’t think of anything except to keep on doing what I’ve been doing; loving my family, fighting for causes I believe in, volunteering in my community, traveling, and writing.

I’m a dog mom, so I always ask this. Do you have pets? If so, tell me about them and do provide pictures.

I currently have three cats. They make me laugh almost everyday, and keep me company when I write. What’s not to love about them!

September 2014
Interview with Lori Jones
by Amy Metz

About the book:

Sixteen years after their European adventure, ex-models Star, Joanne and Casey reunite over lunch and realize they have a lot to talk about.

On Star’s wedding day, her soon-to-be mother-in-law drops a bomb that threatens her marriage and future security. Joanne becomes a reluctant volunteer out to protect a park against development while hesitant to lower her guard for love. Casey struggles to find a job while trying to be her daughter’s friend instead of enemy, and wonders how she can get her son’s Little League coach to play fair.

Now, older and wiser, will these three women use this second chance at friendship to help one another find success and happiness.

Interview with Lori Jones

What’s the story behind the title The Beauty of a Second Chance?
The Beauty of a Second Chance is the sequel to Growing up Beautiful. I wanted to use a word that would tie the two novels together. "Beauty" captured the physical essence of the first book and the spiritual aspect of the second one.

Tell us about your series. Is this book a standalone, or do readers need to read the series in order?
I wrote the sequel as a standalone book. With that said, there is a big surprise in The Beauty of a Second Chance that may alter the reading experience of Growing up Beautiful. As far as the series goes, I had no intention of writing another book about Star, Joanne and Casey. I changed my mind after repeatedly hearing one particular question from readers at book signings and book groups: “What happened to the girls after they returned to America?”

How did you create the plot for this book?
The plots are based on real life situations that I saw, heard about, and experienced myself. Once I had the basic information in place, I put my characters in scenes that would create the most conflict possible for their particular personalities.

What’s your favorite line from the book?
“All three of us trying to get our act together. It’s like frickin’ déjà vu, but with more wrinkles and less time.”

Is your book based on real events?
Yes. One storyline deals with a community divided after an influential and powerful individual wanted to build a private office - that included an amazing ocean view - on public parkland.
Tell us about your favorite scene in the book.

Honestly, there are so many scenes I really like, starting with Casey at the doctor’s office. It was based on one of my postnatal visits where I refused to believe I had gained ten pounds instead of losing ten. And yes, a nurse did get up on the scale to prove me wrong!

Who are your favorite authors?
Amy Tan, Lisa See, Sophie Kinsella. And of course the classics, Steinbeck, Jane Austen, Hemingway, and Margaret Mitchell.

What’s one pet peeve you have when you read?
When I lay down to read, my cat likes to lie on top of the book and stare at me, making it impossible to do so.

What’s one of your favorite quotes?
"Before you speak, ask yourself, is it kind, is it necessary, is it true, does it improve on the silence?" ~ Sai Baba

Love that. What’s your favorite candy bar?
It’s not a bar but a bag of See’s Dark Bordeauxs.

What are you working on now?
I am the process of outlining my next book. It takes place in the 1970s and deals with teenagers who fall in love and try to deal with the ensuing problems created by their families' different belief systems. As always, I will search for the humor in this dilemma.


Palos Verdes Local Book Faire

September 29, 2013. 2:00 - 5:00. Library rooftop.

Meet, greet, listen and converse with local-based authors and illustrators during panel discussions throughout the event. Authors of varying genres will be featured. Books will be available for purchase on-site.


September, 28th 2013. New Author Showcase today on Behind the Words! Host Lori Hays introduces an upcoming author you need to know about!




August 2013
Interview with Lori Jones
by Amy Metz

Welcome, Lori. You were a model for sixteen years. How long have you been writing, and how did you start?

I’ve been writing since the age of eleven when I wrote and illustrated my first book about a mouse – in #2 pencil.

How did you come up with the title Growing Up Beautiful?

That’s a great question because the title is meant to be read with the first two words emphasized. After spending 18 years in the fashion industry, one thing I learned for sure, young women had to grow up fast or become a potential casualty.

How would you describe your book in six words?

A virtual tour of 1980’s Milan.

Cool. Tell us a book you’re an evangelist for.

The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafron. Besides exquisite writing, it is a mysterious adventure into another person’s world in Barcelona, Spain.

Which character did you most enjoy writing?

I loved writing about all three of the models in the story, but Star is definitely the most fun. Her feisty personality gets her in and out of all kinds of trouble.

How did you create the plot for this book?

I paid attention to my surroundings when I stayed in Europe. I lived amongst ‘the plot’ for five years before writing the book.

What would your main character say about you?

She’s a good listener.

I like writing characters who do and say things I never would, as well as characters who do and say things I wish I could. Do you have characters who fit into one of those categories? Who, and in what category do they fall?

Absolutely! Star! She has the petal to the metal when it comes to going after what she wants in life.

If you could be one of your characters, which one would you choose?

Joanne because it’s great being in love.

Tell us about your favorite scene in the book.

Honestly, there are so many for different reasons. Overall, I’d say it’s the scene where Star is literally out on the ledge.

You get to decide who would read your audiobook. Who would you choose?

Cameron Diaz, (an ex-model) would read Casey. Ginnifer Goodwin would read Joanne. Kate Hudson would read Star.

Do you have a routine for writing?

Yes. Every morning I can’t wait to pour a cup of coffee and sit in front of my Mac. When I’ve had enough of my cat walking on the keyboard, I drive to the library.

Where’s home for you?

Palos Verdes, California.

If you could only keep one book, what would it be?

Gone with the Wind. Not only is it a classic, but the abridged edition is 1036 pages so I wouldn’t have to reread it as often.

Would you rather work in a library or a bookstore?

A bookstore because I love to talk.

You won the lottery. What’s the first thing you would buy?

A vacation house in Greece and invite all my family and friends.

You’re given the day off, and you can do anything but write. What would you do?

Snorkel. I recently did so in Hawaii and swam next to a sea turtle.

You can be any fictional character for one day. Who would you be?

I would be Alice in Wonderland because I like to travel and meet interesting people.

What would your dream office look like?

A little cluttered with a cup of coffee and an ocean view.

What’s one of your favorite quotes?

“To be, or not to be.” It gets you thinking.

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?

Where I am right now. Palos Verdes. I lived and visited many countries, but this coastal community is where I call home.

What are you working on now?

I’m doing a final read-through on the sequel to Growing up Beautiful. It picks up the story of Joanne, Star and Casey fifteen years later when they reunite by chance and push each other past their comfort zones to finally get their lives right.




Book signing/ Palos Verdes Street Fair June 9th 2013

Book signing/GLAWS booth - 2:00 to 4:00 - Los Angeles Times Festival of books, Saturday April 20th 2013.



Book signing/booth - Willow Tree Women's Circle: Sheraton Hotel, Thursday, March 14th, 2013.


Book signing/ Pages: a Book Store, Manhattan Beach, Sunday December 9th 1-4 2012.

Please join me along with fellow authors Lisa Becker, 'Click: An online Love Story', and Christopher J. Lynch, 'One-Eyed Jack' at Pages: a Book Store.



Trumps International Golf Course, Wednesday November 14th 2012

Palos Verdes Woman's club hosts the 55th Annual Books & Authors Charity Luncheon.

Authors Ivan G. Goldman, Lori Jones, E.G. Ryan & Marcia Clark


Palos Verdes Authors Faire, Saturday October 6th

The event will be held Saturday from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. on the Library roof top. Free admission.

Copyright © Lori Jones. All Rights Reserved.