Lori Lansens keeps Chatham close

(Image courtesy Laura Starks) Author Lori Lansens
(Image courtesy Laura Starks)
Author Lori Lansens

Raquel Sa

Chatham native Lori Lansens is never far from home … least in her mind.

The international bestselling author, who now lives in California, said Chatham-Kent has always been an inspiration for her work.

This includes her most recent novel, The Mountain Story, released in June last year.

After moving from Canada to California with her family, Lansens began to miss the snow.

She was told that Mount San Jacinto was the place to go to experience winter once again.

With some vertigo, severe motion sickness, a sporadic fear of heights, and a chronic fear of getting lost, Lansens took on Mount San Jacinto with her husband in 2010. She had to see it.

“When the tram doors slid open I stepped out into that cool mountain air and was instantly revived; 10,000 feet at the summit, the thick scent of pine made me think of Canada,” said Lansens.

She and her husband, followed what looked like a path, scrambled over some rocks, and just like that they were lost. Eventually, they heard hikers in the distance and found their way back to the trail. Nonetheless, the two were not comfortable under pressure.

On the silent drive back home from her first visit to the mountain, Lansens was already writing The Mountain Story in her head. She had found the setting for the characters she had come up with.

“Five Days. Four Lost Hikers. Three Survivors,” is what reads on the cover of the novel.

The Mountain Story is told by Wolf Truly, who plans to take his own life when he gets to the mountain. He encounters three other hikers, and questions how much he will do for these strangers.

The four broken souls begin to form an inextricable bond. The three who make it home alive will be forever changed by their days on the mountain.

The Mountain Story has been People’s Magazine book of the week, “A moving portrait of the human spirit – as fierce, lovely and indomitable as nature itself,” they said.

Although The Mountain Story was set on Mount San Jacinto, Lansens is still inspired by her childhood in Chatham.

Chatham-Kent’s history has always fascinated the author. The first three novels Lansens wrote were set in her hometown.
“I spent my youth searching the creeks for arrowheads, and wandering the fields thinking about the eccentric characters I knew, and the stories I’d write one day,” she said.
Now living in the wilderness, with mountain lions, bobcats, coyotes and rattlesnakes, Lansens has learned to love and fear nature in equal measure.
Rush Home Road, The Girls, The Wife’s Tale, and The Mountain Story are all very different books from each other, but have all been written with the same passion Lansens has an author. They are filled with a mix of complicated relationships, heartbreaks, tragedies, comedy, courage, adventure, and the unexpected.

The novels have been sold in Europe, Asia, North America, South America and the Middle East. All books can be ordered online; to find out where, visit www.lorilansens.com.


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