Exclusive Interview: 50 Hours by Loree Lough

INTERVIEW
With Bestselling and Award Winning Author
Loree Lough
  1. Why did you decide to do the novelization of 50 Hours, when offered the chance?


Kevin O’Neill, who wrote the screenplay, explained his bare-bones story in such a way that I was hooked, right from the first minutes of our introductory phone call. The more he talked, the more hooked I became. I started visualizing the hospice center. Saw ways I could ‘flesh out’ the characters. Instinctively knew that, in order for the main characters to expose their backgrounds, their hopes and fears, and their flaws, the story needed multiple secondary characters that they could interact with. In his screenplay, Kevin had included a bluejay, and I developed a personality for the bird. It was crazy-fun, writing him into scenes during which it teased and tormented Franco, the male lead in the story! Since then, after reading the glowing endorsements from reviewers who read the advanced reader copy, I’ve realized that a story like this offers immense hope to cancer patients, their families, their friends. That had been a goal, from the minute I started work on 50 Hours. But that goal became a necessity as I made my way toward The End.

2.  What scene in the story touched you the most? 

This takes place in what I call “The RV scene”: Aubrey has convinced Franco to take her to north Georgia, so she can fulfill the dream of a lifetime, and paint the autumn leaves. He risked his own freedom to make that dream come true…

Aubrey was on her feet, staggering, wide-eyed, and crying. “Let him go! You don’t understand!”

“He’s wanted for kidnapping,” the first cop said, “for starters.”

“But . . . but this was all my idea. He’s only here as a favor to me.”

A sheen of perspiration coated her flushed face.

“You know she’s dying, right?” Franco growled. “Did her control freak mother tell you that? She has a fever, and she’s lightheaded. You jerks need to call an ambulance, get her to the nearest hospital. I won’t give you any trouble. But do the right thing, okay guys? Take care of her before you haul me away.”

As if on cue, a rescue van lurched to a stop and three EMTs rushed forward. Two caught her before she went down, and the driver rolled a gurney closer. In one blink, they strapped her in. In the next, they moved her to the waiting ambulance.

She grabbed the nearest paramedic’s sleeve. “Please, please, at least let me talk to him!”

“She doesn’t look too good,” said his partner. “What could it hurt?”

The cops brought Franco to his feet and walked him over.

“I’m sorry,” Aubrey told him. “So, so very sorry.” She glanced around, at the EMTs, at the cops, at the crowd of curious campers that had gathered. “I did this to you. And now? Now they’re going to take you away and I’ll never have a chance to make it up to you.”

She was sobbing as he said, “You listen to me, Aubrey Brewer, and you listen good! You have nothing to be sorry for. Nothing, you hear? Everything’s gonna be okay.” He forced a smile. “I’ll be fine, and so will you. Soon as I get this mess straightened out, I’ll come see you. So you hold on, okay?”

She bit her lower lip, looked toward the easel and the painting that, except for her signature, was finished.

Franco nodded toward her things. “You guys mind grabbing her stuff? That painting is a gift. It’s the reason she wanted to come here, to paint it for the kid who has the room next to hers at the hospice center.”

“What can it hurt,” the cop repeated, and started packing things up.

“Get her out of here,” Franco said. “She has glioblastoma multiforme. Brain tumor. The worst kind. She needs her meds. Tell the hospital staff to call Savannah Falls. Talk to Mrs. Kane. She’ll tell them everything they need to know.”

The second cop scribbled everything Franco had said into his notebook.

“You came into my life at the perfect moment. If there’s a heaven,” she said, “I’ll be up there, watching over you.” She grabbed his sleeve. “When I get up there, I’ll look for Jill. I’ll tell her all about what you did for me. And then? And then I’ll send you a sign, so you’ll know we’re both all right . . . the love of your life, and your best friend. I’ll watch out for you . . . ”

“Cut it out, Aubrey. You’re not going anywhere just yet, except to the hospital,” he said, his voice cracking. “You hang on until I can get things straightened out, you hear?” He felt selfish and self-centered, asking such a thing of her, because at this point, death would be a welcome reprieve from all she’d suffered. “You try to hang on until I get there. I mean it, okay?”

Her voice was small and weak when she quoted Yoda: “‘Do or do not; there is no try.’”

And as the ambulance doors closed, he heard her say, “I love you, Franco Allessi. Always remember: you’re a good and decent man.”

He was crying hard when they put him into the back of a squad car.
Because he’d never see her again, and he knew it.

3. What is the difference between the novel and the film of 50 Hours?

Kevin’s script is far more bare-bones than the novel, which is natural for screenplays. He has reworked his original idea several times since that first one (which is the one I read). He’s a talented guy, so I’m confident the movie will touch on all the high points that appear in my novel.

4. What’s up next for you?

I’m midway through the construction of The Reformation of Lillie Rourke, my 3rd novel in Harlequin Heartwarming’s “By Way of the Lighthouse” series. Like the first two books in the series, the story focuses on a major life event that separates two people…and all the challenges they face as they find their way back to one another.

 

50 Hours
50 HOURS
Loree Lough
Genre: General Fiction
Publisher: Progressive Rising Phoenix Press
Publication Date: June 30, 2017
A broken man, a dying woman, and a friendship that changes them both.
Franco Allessi is a broken, lonely man who wants nothing more than to outrun the ghosts of his past. For years, he tries to numb the pain of his wife’s death with cheap beer and whiskey. When he’s convicted of drunk driving, the judge revokes his license for six months and orders him to serve fifty hours of community service. Franco chooses Savannah Falls Hospice for no reason other than it’s walking distance from his dilapidated house trailer.
On his first day on the job, he meets Aubrey Brewer, a woman whose time on earth is quickly ticking to a stop. Their unusual connection teaches powerful, life-changing lessons about friendship, acceptance, and the importance of appreciating that precious treasure called Life.
Loree Lough is an exceptional author, and that’s why I approached her about writing the novel for my Feature film, 50 Hours. But I had no idea how wonderful her novelization would be until I read it. Loree was able to dig so deep into my characters. She unearthed and richly developed the film’s skeletal characters and give them three dimensional lives. I am so happy with the book!
– Kevin O’Neill, writer/director/actor/producer

Praise for 50 Hours by Loree Lough

50 Hours is a moving story about love, loss, friendship, and last chances. It’s a reminder that our lives are precious stories, no matter how long or short. This is a must-read for all of us who have been touched by cancer – victims, caregivers, family, and friends. This poignant and touching tale will inspire hope in the midst of even the darkest hours.
– Cerella Sechrist, author of the popular Findlay Roads series from Harlequin
50 Hours 3D
You’ll laugh, you’ll cry… 50 Hours is an unforgettable tale of healing, redemption, and the cost of true love. With a delicate pen, author Loree Lough writes an honest and poignant view of what cancer patients face with commendable bravery. A must-read for readers of every kind!
– Rachel Muller, author of bestselling World War II series, Love & War, and the newly released, Phillip’s War
Loree Lough took a difficult subject and turned it into a compelling read with light humor to soften the inevitable sadness that comes with a depressing disease.
– Emma Gingerich – author of Runaway Amish Girl; the Great Escape
50 Hours is a book you won’t be able to put down, and its messages of love and compassion will linger with you long after you’ve turned the last page.
– Kate James, award-winning author of Sanctuary Cove, Silver Linings, and The Truth About Hope
The novel is a reminder that life is indeed short, but always worth living. And almost always… one life will touch many others. Great job Loree!
– Robin Bayne, author of Reunion At Crane Lake. http://www.robinbayne.com
Emerson said, “To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived, this is to have succeeded.” Aubrey and Franco succeeded. Believe me when I say, THIS IS THE KIND OF BOOK THAT WINS PULITZER PRIZES.
– Catherine Lanigan, author of Romancing the Stone, The Jewel of the Nile, and over forty-five novels and non-fiction
To read the complete praises and accolades, visit the 50 Hours Book Page at Book Unleashed.

Purchase Links

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50 Hours (eBook Copy)
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About Loree Lough

Loree Lough

Bestselling author LOREE LOUGH once sang for her supper, performing across the U.S. and Canada. Now and then, she blows the dust from her 6-string to croon a tune or two, but mostly, she writes novels that have earned hundreds of industry and “Readers’ Choice” awards, 4- and 5-star reviews, and 7 book-to-movie options. Her 115th book, 50 Hours, is her most personal to date. Recently released, The Man She Knew, book #1 in her “By Way of the Lighthouse” series from Harlequin Heartwarming.
Official website: http://www.loreelough.com/
Connect with Loree Lough on social media:

Schedule

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Discover more features, excerpts, reviews, interviews, fun facts and other extras from June 30 to July 8, 2017!
To check the latest schedule, visit the 50 Hours Book Page at Book Unleashed.

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