How long have you been writing?
I’ve been writing off and on for nearly ten years. I landed an agent in 2011 and we’ve sold eight books together (and more in the future, I hope!).
What did you do before you became an author?
I have a master’s degree in organizational psychology and was working in human resources until the arrival of my first child. Now, I’m a full-time mom of two and I write when my schedule allows.
What is your favorite thing about being a writer?
There are so many things! I love seeing the illustrations for a picture book, from the initial sketches to the final color art. Holding a finished book in your hands is a thrill. I also enjoy visiting schools and talking to students about idea generation, revision, and how books are made.
What type of book are you writing? What draws you to this category?
A SPORTING CHANCE: HOW LUDWIG GUTTMANN CREATED THE PARALYMPIC GAMES is a chapter book biography for readers 7-10 years old. The book includes full-color illustrations and archival photographs to supplement the text. While I began as a picture book author, the chapter book format allowed me to dig a little deeper into this incredible story.
What inspired you to write this book?
Ludwig Guttmann was a Jewish doctor who escaped Nazi Germany to continue his work in England. He changed the standard of care for people with spinal injuries, incorporating sports into their rehabilitation and establishing the Paralympic Games. My daughter was born with pseudoarthrosis in her left leg, a condition that leaves the bone at risk to breaks that won’t heal properly. Amputation is often the best course of action. We watch the Paralympics as a family to show our daughter that legs are not needed to become a champion, success comes to those who work for it.
What would you like potential readers to know about your book?
I’d like readers to see how one person’s passion and action can make a big difference in the lives of so many. After WWI, 80% of soldiers with spinal injuries died within a year of their injury, usually from sepsis due to bedsores and bladder infections. Ludwig was able to reverse this trend. Slowly, he got patients out of hospital beds and into wheelchairs. He trained them with job skills and got them involved in sports. Ludwig’s patients began to feel like active members of society once again. The Paralympic Games have grown into one of the most widely watched sporting events in the world.
What are your social media handles?
You can find me on Twitter @LoriJAlexander on Instagram @lorialexanderbooks or at my website www.lorialexanderbooks.com
Tell us one fun fact about yourself.
When I’m not writing, I split my time between UFC Gym and Dairy Queen.