Allison's Book Bag

Interview with Lori Zoss

Posted on: May 13, 2014

LoriZossWhen Lori Zoss and her husband would walk their rescue Basset Hound named Fred, children would approach him. As he encountered children more often, Zoss started thinking about him as the main character of a children’s book. And so came about A Bed for Fred which I’ll review tomorrow. Save the date: May 14!

Zoss lives in Ohio with her husband David, Labrador Retriever Ginger, and Basset Hound Fred. When not writing, Zoss is the corporate support director for a public television and radio organization in Ohio. She also lends her talents during radio and television fundraising, serving as on-air hosts during pledge drives.

Zoss has been a featured speaker to various public media and educational conferences. She also spends time as an Adjunct Professor of Communications and Public Relations at Baldwin Wallace University. A Bed for Fred is her first book.

ALLISON: Describe your most memorable bedtime moment.

LORI: Christmas Eve night as a child was absolutely the best bedtime moment. Anticipating the arrival of Santa Claus and wondering what he would bring! I would leave cookies and milk, as well as a note making sure Santa gave some cookies to the reindeer! That anticipation while trying to fall asleep…. it was wonderful!

ALLISON: What do you like best about growing up in Ohio?

LORI: As a child I loved the seasons…. I loved playing in the snow and sled riding. I loved jumping in piles of leaves in the fall and swimming in my backyard swimming pool in the summer. In the spring, I enjoyed school recess and taking in the air as a break in the day. Also, I lived just under an hour from Cedar Point Amusement Park which is a summer tradition I still visit this day! As I got older, I appreciated the people of Ohio. Community minded, easy-going, and very down to earth.

ALLISON: If you were to look back and give advice to your childhood self, what would you say?

LORI: Enjoy this time. It goes by fast. Adults would tell me that and I just didn’t believe them until I started to experience it. Also, I remember spending a lot of time as a kid imagining what kind of adult I would be or what I would be doing professionally, even at a young age. I would tell myself to just enjoy being a kid.

ALLISON: What kind of student were you?

LORI: Until I attended college, I was an average student, however excelled in Reading, Phonics, Writing, and English. However, once I entered higher education I maintained an A average and graduated cum laude. In terms of behavior, I did best on projects and exams that allowed me to write or express a thought as opposed to standardized testing. I also was one of the few students who enjoyed presentations and public speaking.

ALLISON: Describe a typical day as a director for public television and radio.

LORI: I oversee a team of 7 people who reach out to various organizations and corporations to secure underwriting dollars for our 3 stations. I provide guidance, training, mentorship, and account management direction with my staff. When not working with my team, I’m on the air during pledge drives asking the community to individually support public broadcasting. I also facilitate training webinars with fellow corporate support directors nationwide. Twice a year I am asked to speak at industry conferences in other cities. There really is not a typical structure to my day as it adapts to client and station needs.

ALLISON: How do you balance being a director, a speaker, and a writer?

LORI: Most of my book and speaking engagements occur in the evening or weekends so do not conflict with my work at Ideastream. It is a lot of work but very much worth it. When your are passionate about something you just make it happen.

ALLISON: Why did you decide to write a children’s book?

LORI: A little over 2 years ago. My husband and I would walk our Basset Hound Fred and children would approach him. I think kids like Fred because he’s low to the ground and at their eye level, thus not intimidating as other dogs may be. As he encountered children more often I started thinking about him as the main character of a children’s book. About a week later the title came into my head A Bed for Fred and I wrote the story from there.

ALLISON: How do your dogs Ginger and Fred feel about your having written a dog book? Has there been any rivalry between them over it?

LORI: I do think Fred knows there is something special about him. I take him to many of my events and he gets very excited! He has a special prance about him when he walks in…. very confident and engaging. He loves the attention! Ginger, my Labrador, is a senior dog and very laid back. She’s a sweetheart but prefers a more mellow time at home or with family. Ginger has no problem with Fred being in the lime light. 🙂

ALLISON: What’s next?

LORI: I have several events coming up in 2014 for A Bed for Fred and will continue promoting the book into 2015. There will be another Fred book but not until late 2015 early 2016.

2 Responses to "Interview with Lori Zoss"

It is always interesting to hear what adults say when they are asked to advise their childhood self … good answer.

It’s the first time I’ve asked this interview question, but I agree that Lori Zoss gave a good answer. Like her though, adults used to tell me this in my youthful days and I didn’t listen either. 😦

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