top of page
  • Writer's pictureValerie

BookWorthy Chat with Lori Z. Scott

BookWorthy Season2 Episode5 Cover
Offsides Cover


Valerie- Today we are talking with Lori Z. Scott, the author of the young adult suspense books, Inside the 10-foot Line and her new book Offsides. Welcome, Lori.


Lori-Thank you, I’m so happy to see you again.


Valerie- I know, I’ve missed you from our time in Florida. So, we’ll have to make a way to find each other since we’re both in the Texas area.


Lori- Yeah, and Valere has been very creative with everything she does. Love it.


Valerie- Well, thank you. You’re so sweet. We are both two creative minds. So that’s been fun to share all the little cloud pictures and you recently sent something about puddles. It’s been lots of fun. Creativity is about playing, right? Well to start things off, Lori, we must answer the pending question of the week. Will Punxsutawney Phil say six more weeks of winter or early spring?


Lori- It doesn’t matter to me because that day is my sister’s birthday. Happy Birthday, Joy. So rain or shine, it will always be a sunny day for me.


Valerie- Ah, Now do you prefer winter or are you more of a spring person?


Lori- I’m a spring person. I do not like being cold and I’m a horrible driver. So anything that involves snow or ice is a hazard for the entire nation when I’m behind the wheel.


Valerie- Well, you grew up in the North, right?


Lori- Oh that doesn’t mean I’m better at driving in snow. No, I just lay it on the horn and just keep going.


Valerie- Too funny. My husband grew up in Colorado and Iowa, so he got to experience snow before learning to drive. So, he says he never learned to drive in the snow though he loved it. But down here in Texas it’s ice we have to worry about.

Lori- Yes, and interstates themselves.


Valerie- It’s a jungle out there on the road whatever state you’re in. Too fun. Back in October, you released a book called Offsides, which is a young adult Christian suspense book, which has a focus on soccer. Are you a soccer player?


Offsides Cover

Lori- My children were soccer players. When I was growing up, we did not have soccer as a sport. So, I consider myself a volleyball player, basketball player, track, and swimmer, but not a soccer player. Didn’t matter though because I experienced quite a bit of soccer as a soccer mom.


Valerie- You see a lot of different sides of soccer as a soccer mom for sure.

Lori- Definitely. My roommate in college was a soccer player also.


Valerie- Now with Inside the 10-foot line, volleyball was the focus of that book and Soccer is the focus of Offsides. So, I’d say sports are something you’re very comfortable with and something you enjoy. What has been your best sports experience or most memorable?


Lori- Oh, goodness. I like all sports very much. I just like the competition, the adrenaline, and the suspense that runs through. I even enjoy the practices, the grueling practices, because there’s just something about perfecting a skill and getting it going, but probably my most memorable, and don’t laugh, are the casual games that I had with my dad. He’s a professor at Purdue University. And at noon sometimes when both of us were available, I would go play with him. And it was kind of funny because we’d set each other up and pepper and all those kinds of things. And we played in some tournaments together. You know my whole family’s athletic. My oldest sister was a national-level swimmer champ. We had cheerleading in the family. We had gymnastics. And so, but just being with family, especially my dad, gosh, it makes me want to cry. Those are the most precious memories of all.



Valerie- Those do sound wonderful. It’s neat how those simple moments are the most meaningful. It’s not so much about the complex, everything’s planned out to the 10th degree. It’s just whatever comes naturally that kids remember the most. And I love that for you. That seems like a very sweet memory. Now in Offsides, your main character, Danny, encounters a sex trafficking ring. Why did you feel this is an important topic for teens to read about?


Lori- Well, I'm going to tell you a little bit of background behind where that came from. Um, actually Endgame Press, after I wrote Inside the 10-foot line, they asked me to write the second book in the series. Um, and I would say that both, even though they are soccer-based, they reach a broader audience you don’t have to be a volleyball player or a soccer player to enjoy them. It’s sort of like, well, at least in Offsides, it’s sort of like the good girl’s guide to murder, on a soccer field. I had submitted a plot for book two and they came back, and they said they had another story with a very similar plot. So they needed me to go in a different direction. I took the problem to my critique group, just a wonderful group of girls. And I’m like, okay, I have a couple of ideas. So, I threw a couple of things out and one of the girls there, her name is Gayle, works at her church at a program that helps victims of human trafficking recover. And she looked at me and said, Lori, I think you need to write about a tough topic. I think you need to write about human trafficking. And I thought about it and I looked at her and I said, no.

No, this is a horrible thing. This is a young adult. I would have to do research. It’s going to be horrible research. I can’t stomach that topic. I just know. And then, you know, recently in Texas we had a girl that went to a sporting game in Dallas, and she was taken from the restrooms and she was trafficked. Her parents helped hunt her down and they found her online, like 10 days later. And it wasn’t the first time I had come into something like that. When I lived in Indiana, one of our professor's daughters did the same thing, she was trapped and I'm like, you know what/ I need to take another look at this. You know, it’s one of those things where God tells me to do something, and I say no. Not going to do it. And he keeps bringing it and bringing it. So, he kept bringing it back to me. And finally, I said, despite all the no’s that I have in my life, I can say yes. Like, yes. I don’t know enough about it, but I can learn. And yes, the research is horrifying, but there’s also hope because there are organizations out there that are working with people who are recovering from trafficking. No, it’s not a topic that’s easy for young adults or anyone to look at. But yes, we need to know because that’s the age group that’s being targeted. And yes, it can be done in an age-appropriate way. And so, I just dove in after that, did the research, got in contact with a couple of local missions. One, I hope to donate some of the proceeds to is Unbound Now, and they have a track, a chapter in Dallas, Teas. So, the story just took off and ended up being incredible. Like when my dad read it, who’s a huge volleyball fan, was like, I like this even better than your volleyball one. And my editors read it and they were like, wow, you know I didn’t see that coming. This is a great message. And so, it was very affirming to me. Now go forward about a year and we start having things coming out, like all around this release. The Sound of Freedom was released

Sounds of Freedom

right before the book came out. And we’ve been seeing more awareness in the news, maybe just because I was more aware of what was going on, but it seems that God’s timing on this was something I could never have anticipated or planned. So I’m not sure if I answered your question. I feel like I kind of went around about way, but that’s how I got on the topic. It wasn’t one of choice. It was one where, God said do this, and I was like, yes, I will.


Lori Z. Scott Quote

Valerie- It’s one of those things, God does a good job of pushing us out of our comfort zones because he sees a bigger picture than we do and it’s not always easy to make that jump. But when we do, God is faithful to use it for great things. My oldest is a teenager and girls are coming into the picture, and so it’s kind of one of those things we got to talk about a little bit. My kids like their independence, they like to go and do things. It’s like, I love that you’re independent, but you need to be aware of the dangers that are out there. Not to increase anxiety or to make you stay inside, but just to be away from what’s going on in our world, not just for the missions that are happening around our country, but to know that they need to protect themselves and their friends. To be aware of their surroundings, be aware of who they’re with, always have a buddy system. I think that’s important for young adults who desire independence and want to do things on their own to be able to see that, yes, I still need to take care of myself and protect myself while independent.


Lori- I will add one more thing. There are some tips at the back of the book as well, things to look out for, and a number that you can call to find out more if you need it. So, there’s a little bit of resource added.


Valerie- That’s awesome. In dealing with such a topic for the Christian market, how is faith woven into this storyline?


Lori- Good question. I find that no matter what I write, whether it’s for a general market or a Christian market, just because of who I am and what I believe, there’s always going to be that element of hope and faith. In this one, and I was involved in this in high school, we had a fellowship of Christian athletes. And so, I couldn’t use that name, but I do have a similar organization or club at the school that Danny goes to, and she’s a member of that. And it’s after this crisis that they experience that news report that comes out that they, the leader of that organization talks just a little bit about it. She also makes friends with a boy who always has a verse for her that he sends to encourage her before each game. And it seems like, well, you’re just putting that in for the Christian element. It ends up being crucial to how the plot turns out later in the story. So, there is a Christian element there. There’s that idea though, still, I feel like a general market person could read this and not be overwhelmed, like I’m preaching to them. I was a Christian growing up in a public school, and I know, you live your faith through your actions. And then sometimes you use your words to talk to other people, but it’s usually through your actions that they will see and notice and ask questions. So that’s the way the main character is in the book.

Valerie- Speaking of public school, you’re also a teacher, right? You teach in the public-school space. What grade are you teaching currently?


Lori- Well, this year I’m currently teaching second-grade math. But I have taught all the grades, kindergarten through fifth, and all the subjects, reading, writing, science, and social studies. Pretty much I do whatever it is that nobody else wants to do because it’s just kind of fun, and I like a challenge.



Valerie- Yeah, math would be a challenge for me, even second-grade math, because I think second-grade math is closer to what fourth-grade math was when I was in school. Like, wow, we’re asking multiplication of second graders now.

Lori- As an artist, it’s a matter of pattern and being able to think outside the box a lot of times. I think you’d do better than you give yourself credit.


Valerie- You might be right. Every once in a while, I’ll solve a problem and surprise myself. But it is about patterns and understanding things. I‘ve got a kiddo that’s jumping into algebra now and it’s like, hey bud, this is just a different way of thinking about math. And he’s kind of like, once he got that understanding, he was like, oh, okay, I can think differently about math. What are your favorite things about being a teacher, Lori?


Lori- The kids, definitely the kids. I think they’ll learn despite me as long as they know that they’re loved and cherished. That’s my most important role, is to let them know that they are seen, they’re heard, and that they are loved.


Valerie- I mean, that’s a perfect message for the heart behind most teachers, that I know in my kids' life. They’ve done an amazing job of loving my kids and seeing them for who they are. And those are the teachers that always get remembered many years down the line. And they’re like ‘ I remember when Ms. Scott told me this and, it inspired me to become something else. I think there’s a quote out there that says, “You can be an astronaut, a politician, a doctor, but a teacher makes them all. Just the influence that teachers have on our lives. What do you hope to communicate to the kids who read your book, Offsides?


Lori- Well, first of all, I want them to enjoy it. Just like I have a hard time keeping my faith out of anything I write, I also have a hard time keeping humor out of anything that I write. It’s just like, okay, so they asked me to do a romance, I don’t write romance. And Inside the 10-foot line, there’s a lot of humor In this one, even though the topic is very very heavy, there’s a lot of humor. And It’s mostly at the front side of the book because those heavier things don’t come until later. But, it’s there. And I think that’s important. But the real message again I think that I’m going back to is just to raise awareness. This is a problem, that even if you are not affected by it, the people around you might be. And there’s a symbol for I’m trapped and I need help. You can be aware of that. And you can look for people signaling for that. And even, I mean, we always think like sex trafficking, but human trafficking is a real thing too, when you have children that are doing labor It’s just a huge problem. We are often blissfully unaware because it’s a hard, uncomfortable topic. So we don’t want to think about it as if we don’t think about it then it doesn’t exist. And we need to be aware. We need to know that it does exist in that we can be a part of the solution.


Human Trafficking hand symbol

Valerie- I love that, you know, when I’ve seen the hand symbol in a few videos here and there, it’s like, I have never heard of that. That’s such a simple sign that can save a life. We need to be more aware of our surroundings and pick up on cues. We’re so focused on our phones a lot of the time that we don’t look around to see what’s going on. Being aware is important for us as parents, adults, and also for teens to be aware of also. Because there are amazing things we can do when we step out of that comfort zone and step into something that is meant to help someone else. So, I love the message of this book and that you are bringing light to this hard topic for teenagers. Because, again, as you said, they are the target, they’re in that target market race for human and sex traffickers. It’s heartbreaking but important for them to know about it too. Now did you always want to be an author, Lori?


Lori- Well, I always wanted to be a cartoonist, but I had too many problems with that. One, I wasn’t funny enough, and number two, I wasn’t a good enough artist. But I did enjoy writing.


Valerie- Lies! Those are lies my friend.


Lori- No, I had like a brief stint with an online cartoon called Knight and Daze. No this wasn’t funny, wasn’t good. But I always say that I accidentally wrote a ten-book bestselling series And then on purpose, wrote over 200 other publications and things like that. That is a longer story.


Valerie-We may not have enough time for that story, but I do love that you have written for so many different age ranges. Your Megan Rose series, I think, was for ages 8-12. Is that right?


Lori- It was for the K1 and 2 crowd. It was sort of like the Christian version of Junie B. Jones.


Valerie- That’s right. And your humor does come out in there a lot. You’re funnier than you think you are. What has been the most inspirational book in your life other than the Bible?


Lori- Well, darn, you pulled my big one. Inspirational, so like most impactful. And I think you have to be careful of that because I have a lot of favorite books, but when you talk about the most impactful, then that’s different because it’s not something that you enjoy. Because my

The Hobbit Cover

favorite for enjoyment would be The Hobbit. That was just like, oh, my world changed with the Hobbit, but that wasn’t impactful. I just really really enjoyed it.  I would probably say, well, The Chronicles of Narnia. And here’s the way, now don’t laugh. There are, C.S. Lewis, can plant so many nuggets of truth in the story that there just there. And so, when you think about the impact that it has, like I can read that book in a public school setting. That’s what I did my first couple of years as a teacher and the kids enjoyed it a lot. But I remember things like Lucy with her sibling trying to go someplace and she’s like, I think we should go this way. I think Aslan wants us to do this way and they are like, no, it’s going to be too difficult. We’re going to go this way, and so she relents even though she knows she should go this one way because that’s where

Chronicles of Narnia Cover

Aslan’s leading her. She relents and goes with her siblings and it ends up being a complete disaster. And later in the book, she meets up with Aslan and she’s like, what would have happened if I had gone in the direction that you were leading me? And his response was something like, we will never know. You just have to go find where you’re right now and go from here. And that’s a great lesson for us as adults too. Like we think, if only I had gone this way, if only I hadn’t done this thing, or if I had chosen to do this or talk to this person because God was nudging me to do it and I ignored that nudge. That’s me all the time. I ignored nudges when I shouldn’t. And I wonder what would have happened if, well, we meet up with Aslan again, but it would be a different path and it might not have the same blessings had we followed in the first place. And those are the kind of wisdom nuggets that I get from the Chronicles of Narnia that make me really appreciate it.


Valerie- I think that’s what C.S. Lewis did such a magnificent job of weaving these truths that our hearts need into the story without being overbearingly preachy. He had a series of books that were preachy, and very theology-driven, but I don’t know, he did a masterful job of just weaving in faith. And those truths that we need to hear. It doesn’t matter which path we choose, God’s going to use whichever direction we go. And all those wonderful truths like. Is a lion safe? No, the lion’s not safe, but he’s good. And so, it just has sweet little nuggets of those deep truths. God is power to the ends of the earth and beyond, but he’s so good and that trumps everything else. You’ve hit on my favorite, most inspirational book too, and I’ve read it so many times. Well, what can we expect next from you, Lori?


Lori- Well, hopefully, I’ll have another book in the sports series, but 2024, This Book is Not About Monsters. Hopefully, there will be no delays with that. My first picture book for the general markets.


Valerie- But it’s not about monsters, right. Too Fun. That sounds delightful. And I can’t wait. I’ve seen a lot of your cartoony drawings that I’ve done of monsters and all kinds of things. So, I know you’re not the illustrator for your picture book, but I think you could have been. Where can people find out more about you and your books?


Lori- You can visit my website, which is always under construction, at I would say right now if you wanted to contact me, DM me through social media at Instagram. You can find me at storiesbylori.  And I’m also on TikTok, lorizscott. But I just post, I don’t interact there. So, if you want to interact, it’s got to be on Instagram.  You can find my books on Amazon or go to Endgame Press. They have books there and, Barnes and Noble. You can also ask in the libraries. They may not have it, but maybe they’ll get it if you ask.


Valerie- Very true, can’t forget about those libraries. Well Lori, thank you so much for joining us today and telling us more about your book, Offsides, and you.


Lori- Well, thank you for inviting me. It was great to be here.


Valerie- My pleasure. And thank you for Lori and me on the BookWorthy Podcast. Be sure to like and subscribe, so we can discover more great books together.


 Happy Reading!

BookWorthy Podcast Logo

Five Fun Facts about Lori Z. Scott.


Lori Z. Scott
  •  I can write and draw forwards, backward, and upside down with both hands at the same time.

  • I enjoy both Star Trek AND Star Wars. Don’t judge me.

  • When I was ten, I swam 50 yards underwater without coming up for air. Granted, I was a swimmer at the time, but only a few of my teammates could do it, all older than me. (Of course, now, I can’t hold my breath for more than, like, 10 seconds.)

  • I see pictures in the clouds all the time. Maybe that’s why my head is always stuck up there.

  • I love playing board games and telling jokes with my family.


bottom of page