Jill Weatherholt

Writing Stories of Love, Faith and Happy Endings While Enjoying the Journey

Welcome Author Lori Virelli

125 Comments

loriToday I’m thrilled to welcome writer, blogger and friend, Lori Virelli. If you loved the movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding, you’ll want to read her post below, and order a copy of her debut novel, Whit’s End. On Amazon, the e-reader version is on sale for .99 cents beginning today and running through Sunday, the 22nd.

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Greetings and Happy New Year! Is it too late to still say that, or is it okay until January is over?

I’d like to thank Jill for offering me this opportunity to talk about my debut novel, Whit’s End. She said to share a bit about me and my writing process. I have a blog and even a short memoir published, but I still get uncomfortable talking about myself. The stories I write aren’t meant to be about me, but to bring out in the open our common experiences in life, hopefully with a bit of inspiration to bring us together.

So, I’ll share where I came up with the idea for my novel. Early in my marriage, as a newlywed, I had difficulty integrating into my husband’s family. I came from loud, expressive Italian-Americans with a flair for flavorful food. My husband’s family was similar to the groom’s in the movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding. Good, quiet all-American people who enjoyed bland meats and potatoes. When I introduced pasta to their Thanksgiving meal and brought focaccia bread in place of rolls, they thought their son had married a woman from outside of this galaxy.

Here we are, happily married thirty-one years later. When you love someone, you learn, you adjust, you grow.

In Whit’s End, you’ll find some minor influences from my life in the character, Ava, like her Italian background. The two main characters, Meg and Ava, marry into the dysfunctional Whitaker family. Do they learn, adjust and grow? Both have difficulty adjusting and struggle for years. As their marriages suffer, other men come into the picture. Each woman has to make a choice . . . work on their marriage or fall into the arms of another. Each makes a different decision, which deeply affects their lives and the lives of their families.

I’ve also written a memoir anthology, Home Avenue, with four short, humorous tales about growing up an Italian-American girl in the 1970’s in suburban Chicago.

homeavecover3

As far as my writing process goes, it’s a bit boring. I write the beginning, and then each chapter comes together as I go along. I take notes for the next chapter as I write the one before.

I’m honored that Jill has given me this space to tell you about my books. I hope you enjoy them.

Jill here. Thank you so much for visiting today, Lori. To those of you reading, I’m curious, do you have any family members who could star in your own version of My Big Fat Greek Wedding?

 

nye2016d-ldrv-337x640Bio: I enjoy figuring out (and sometimes over-analyzing) the human psyche, people’s motives, and finding ways to come together. This is why I like writing about relationship dramas. My husband and I recently moved back to our hometown in the burbs of Chicago with our Australian Shepherd, Max. It’s great to be near family again. I’ve written short stories for the magazine Angels on Earth and the anthology, Dogs and the Women Who Love Them. You can find me on line at my blog.

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Author: Jill Weatherholt

My name is Jill Weatherholt and I’m a writer. I have a full-time job, but at night and on the weekend, I pursue my passion, writing. I write modern stories about love, friendship and forgiveness. I started this blog as a way to share my journey toward publication and to create a community for other new writers. Raised in the Washington, DC area, I’ve lived in Charlotte, North Carolina since 2004. I hold a degree in Psychology from George Mason University and a Certification in Paralegal Studies from Duke University. My first book, SECOND CHANCE ROMANCE, will release in March, 2017. It's now able for pre-order on Amazon. I was the first place winner in the Dream Quest One Short Story Contest in the Winter 2014-2015 competition. In 2014, I placed second in Southern Writers Magazine Short Story Contest. I was also a top ten finalist in Southern Writers Magazine Short Story Contest in 2012 and 2013. I’m a 2010 and 2012 winner of the NaNoWriMo Contest. I love to connect readers, visit me at jillweatherholt.com

125 thoughts on “Welcome Author Lori Virelli

  1. Lovely to meet you, Lori; great to learn about you, your life and writing. Congratulations on the release of Whit’s End and as a fan of My Big Fat Greek Wedding and book and films about the humorous clash of cultures this is right up my alley. With a big family in Sweden it was funny the first time my husband met them all – towering over him (they’re tall!), talking non-stop in Swedish, being taken out fishing early in the morning…luckily he loved the new experiences! Especially the food! Your writing process is not boring at all – very logical and that’s just about how I wrote my first draft, although I’d jot down ideas further down the line too. Best of luck with your new book…anyone who can understand the process of self-publishing has my greatest admiration.

    Jill, just to say hi and thank you so much for hosting Lori here – an excellent post and introduction to this lovely lady and her book. ❤️😀

    Liked by 4 people

    • What a gracious and kind comment. Thank you, Annika. Sounds like another story in the making … your husband’s integration into your family. Ha. Glad he learned to adjust, as did my husband. He LOVES Italian food now. He didn’t know flavor until he joined us.

      I actually don’t understand the process of self-publishing … I’m just flying by the seat of my pants. LOL

      Thanks again. Have a wonderful weekend.

      Liked by 3 people

    • Hi Annika! Thanks for sharing your first hand experience with cultures clashing. I’m happy your husband seemed to fit right in. What a great story. Thanks for stopping by! I hope you have a wonderful weekend. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Great to meet you, Lori, and enjoyed reading about your family. My experience was the opposite; I married into a big, loud Italian family. We’ve been married for almost 30 years, and I can totally relate to your comment about loving someone enough to choose to grow and adjust. Congratulations on your debut, Whit’s End!

    Thanks for introducing us to Lori, Jill, and wishing you an amazing weekend. Maybe you’ll get a ton of writing in, since it’s supposed to rain ALL weekend. xo

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Nice to meet you, Lori. I loved My Big Fat Greek Wedding, so I was glad to hear about your family, and to know that your novel shows how two cultures blend. I come from a big, loud family too. 🙂 We never serve bland meat. 😀

    Thanks for hosting, Jill. As for your question, I have many uncles and aunts who could star in their own movie. They might not use Windex on everything. But they certainly have opinions, which they express loudly at times. 😀

    Have a great weekend.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. Pingback: Inspired Sale | Lori's Lane

  5. I am astounded . . .
    Who brings Pasta and Focaccia to a tried and true Thanksgiving feast???!!!

    Don’t tell me . . . you also brought “A Big Fat Pumpkin Tiramisu” for dessert instead of a classic American pie!

    Go you!
    Bueno Appetito!

    And best of luck with the book.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thanks for the good wishes NR. Growing up, we always had the traditional Thanksgiving, but being Italian, we had to have a LOT more than just turkey, stuffing and yams. Always a side of some kind of pasta, either cavatelli, lasagna or just plain old spaghetti. No, tiramisu, but biscotti and anginetti. 😉

      Thanks again, and have a great weekend.

      Like

    • “A Big Fat Pumpkin Tiramisu.” LOL! That sounds pretty good to me, Nancy. I must be part Italian…I could live on pasta. Happy Weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Sure wish I could influence my husband’s palate as well as you did. We often have 2 versions of something — one tasty and one bland.

    Liked by 4 people

  7. Can you believe I never got around to watching My Big Fat Greek Wedding? I know. Now I’m going to have to watch it. Nevertheless, I enjoyed your story, and how you came up with the premise for whits end. It sounds great!! Jill, thanks for a great interview with Lori Virelli.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. I read Lori’s book and really enjoyed it. Nice of you to showcase it here!

    Liked by 3 people

  9. Loved your books, Lori. They’re a real reminder of some of the situations people struggle with. Good luck with these books. I’ll be watching to see what you come up with next.

    Liked by 3 people

  10. So nice to meet you, Lori. Jill is a good friend. I see you have a glass of wine. That makes you a friend as well. Best wishes on Whit’s End.

    Liked by 3 people

  11. Hi Lori! Whit’s Ends sounds like a great one. I like the idea of the two characters choosing opposite paths through the family dramas. Culture clashes are always interesting too. I haven’t watched My Big Fat Greek Wedding in a while, but now you’re making me want to watch it again. Congratulations and cheers to you and Whit’s End (I’ll pretend there’s wine in my mug to go with the wine I’ll be having later tonight)!

    Thanks Jill for letting us know about this one. I hope everything’s going well with your book and that you’re not going too crazy with it! I’m looking forward to reading both books now.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Hi Sheila. Thanks for the nice comment. Yes, there is a lot of drama as these two women set their paths with the decisions they make. I hope you enjoy it if you decide to check it out. I’ll be toasting you tonight with that glass of wine. Have a great weekend. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • My pleasure, Sheila! It’s great to see you! Have you been writing? I’ve been plugging along. There doesn’t seem to be enough time to do everything, does there? Have a great weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I know what you mean – there’s never enough time. I haven’t been writing much lately, but I’ll keep hoping for huge blizzards that will force me to stay in and do nothing but read and write (I know, I’m dreaming)! I hope everything’s going well with you and that you’re able to find the time for it all somehow!

        Liked by 2 people

      • I could go for a good snow that shuts everything down, too. 🙂 Enjoy your week, Sheila!

        Like

  12. Nice to meet you! 🙂

    Great to read about your background story. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  13. Nice to meet you, Lynette. Thanks for reading about Whit’s End. Have a great weekend.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Congratulations on your new book Lori! It sounds like a book I’d love to read; I’ll have to look to see if I can pre-order it on Amazon UK.
    Thank-you for featuring Lori on your blog Jill. I love A Big Fat Greek Wedding! It is one of my absolute favourites and I often refer to it when I talk to my daughters about dealing with men/fathers (Richard in particular 😀 ) and general family matters!
    I pre-ordered your book a while ago and can’t wait for it to arrive ❤

    Liked by 3 people

  15. Enjoyed reading about your writing journey Lori the novel sounds great, I loved My Big Fat Greek Wedding. Although I am not Greek I come from a large (nine children) catholic family. I know some of the siblings partners struggled to adjust to our loud family gatherings. Thanks for sharing Lori’s work with us Jill, you know so many inspiring, talented people.
    Kath.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Hi Kath. Jill really does know a lot of people. She is in the know. 😉 I can see you have something similar to me with family. I don’t know what it’s like to have a large family. I bet I’d enjoy sitting in with you all. Thanks for reading about my book. Have a great weekend.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Kath! Wow…nine children, kudos to your mother. I come from a small family, so watching My Big Fat Greek Wedding for the first time was a whole new world for me. I’ve seen it at least ten times and each time, I laugh just as hard. You’re right about all of the talented and inspiring people I’ve met over the years. It’s been wonderful, and you’re one of them Kath. Your artwork is amazing! Enjoy your weekend! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Hi Clare. Thanks for reading about my book. It is available on Amazon UK now and on sale for this weekend. It has more family drama than My Big Fat Greek Wedding, but does show the adjustments of two very different families. I hope you enjoy it as much. Have a great weekend.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Hi Lori.
    Congratz on your ebook.
    Wish you the very best
    And many many
    More books to come.
    Best wishes and regards.
    God Bless

    Liked by 3 people

  18. Thanks Jill for the introduction to Lori. I’m off to visit her blog now!

    Liked by 3 people

  19. I love reading culture-filled lives. This sounds wonderful, Lori.

    Liked by 3 people

  20. Nice to meet you, Lori. 🙂 My English grandmother would have looked down her nose at what she called ‘foreign muck’. How times change! Nothing I like better than a lasagna or carbonara. My Polish grandmother, who I never met, would probably have been pleased to have the opportunity. Times were hard in Poland back then.
    Good luck with the book 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Very nice way to introduce both writer and book! 🙂 I love when bloggers help bloggers. This community is so supportive. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  22. Nice to meet you, Lori! I think your book sounds like one to read!
    Hello, Jill!

    Liked by 3 people

  23. Lori, your two books although different genres are of interest to me! Thanks to Jill! I appreciate her sharing your writing and featuring your memoir and fictional romance novel. Best wishes on your books being published and ongoing sales.
    I like the premise of your “studying” two different women’s perspectives on the cultural differences and effects on their marriages.
    I am from a family of two grandparents who married from two different European countries. My Mom’s side had such unique ways of responding (a stoic German Grandmother and a gentle artistic and musical Grandfather from Sweden.) My Dad’s family roots came from the Brits and Scots centuries ago so there were cultural clashes and adjustments, that’s for sure!
    Happy New beginnings to you both, Jill and Lori in writing, love and life! Smiles, Robin

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Hi rechocran. Yes, my memoir has four short stories about family. My novel is fiction, but also revolves around a family saga. I checked out your blog and see you are a woman after my own heart … wine, chocolate and popcorn. All three of my favorites. Thank you for sharing about your family’s cultural differences. If you decide to read any of my books, I hope you enjoy them.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Just a reminder to anyone who’d like to buy my novel, Whit’s End. The sale for the Ebook ends tomorrow.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. I enjoyed reading about some of the background to Whit’s End, which of course I very much enjoyed reading.

    Liked by 3 people

  27. Hello Lori, I really enjoyed reading about you … and your novel.

    You say that the stories you write aren’t meant to be about you… but in a way, all our stories are about us, about how we see the world or how we want to or don’t want to see the world 🙂

    You make writing seem easy and enjoyable, and I wish you all the very best for the future.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Hi Timi. Thanks for reading about my books. I just checked your blog and love that you like to put a lively twist on life. True, we all do see from different perspectives. As you put on your blog, our lives are more alike than different. I even noticed that you returned home after living away. I did that, too. Except, I didn’t move out of my country. I moved from my home where it was frigid, to a place that was hot all the time. I did not adjust to well, even after being there for more than 2 decades. If I understood your blog correctly, you did the exact opposite, moving from home where it’s hot to a place that is cold. I finally moved back (recently) to my frigid home town. With my writing, I hope to show how our human stories are similar, with an added bit of inspiration. Keep up the good work and thanks for sharing your perspective.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks for stopping by to support, Lori. I believe every story I’ve written has a tidbit or two of my real life sprinkled among the pages. Have a great week, Timi.

      Liked by 1 person

  28. Thank you for the introduction to Lori! I come from a mixed cultural background myself. My mother was from New England, my father’s people from the Kentucky mountains.

    Liked by 2 people

  29. An interesting read. Thank you, Jill, for sharing with us. and my congratulations to Lori.

    Liked by 2 people

  30. Great to meet Lori and hear about her book and short stories and writing process. I’m off to check out the book on Kindle -looks fun!

    Liked by 2 people

  31. Hi Jill…so sorry to be this late in visiting…thank you for introducing Lori to us ❤
    Hi Lori! I so much enjoyed reading about your books and life experiences. Big Fat Greek Wedding is one of my favourite movies. As an English girl who married an American with Spanish/Greek roots, I can relate! I am particulary interested to read your memoir. Thank you both, wonderful post, lovely to meet you Lori 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  32. well you sound quite humble – and congrats on 31 years of marriage.
    also – I love cultural and social angles in stories – and your book sounds great.

    Liked by 2 people

  33. Thanks for introducing us to Lori, Jill. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  34. Nice to meet you, Lori (and Jill – I’ll be back to read more of your posts soon)! I have a good friend called Ava as well. She is from Bulgaria. I like the way you integrate the cultural aspect in your fiction. I”m from Belgium and my husband in from the US – here it is my food that is bland (when I grew up), but my culture, not so much. 🙂 Now, he adores Belgian beer and I love spicy food…

    Liked by 1 person

  35. It is great to meet you, Lori! Your book sounds interesting! I love the movie that was mentioned and I have never been able to imagine having a family that big myself! I can’t wait to read your book! Thanks for sharing Lori with us, Jill! 🙂

    Like

  36. This looks like a great book, Lori and Jill. I am the opposite, the boring northern European American marrying the Italian family. Only my guy’s quiet as is his shy little family. So we are well matched and have been for 22 years. 🙂

    Like

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