I've known Leann Harris for several years, and I'm happy to feature her debut Love Inspired Suspense novel. I reviewed the book in the August newsletter on my website - www.lenanelsondooley.com .
Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
I write characters that I admire and probably wish I could do some of the things
I have my characters do. I draw from people around me--their strengths and passions.
What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
When I started writing Scottish historicals, I saw an article about a young woman who taught Highland dancing in my town. I went and watched her. My daughter became interested and she started doing Highland dancing.
When did you first discover that you were a writer?
When I was a kid, I was a storyteller. I’d see a movie or TV show then I’d put my spin on it. I loved making up stories with me as the heroine. Since I am dyslexic, I didn’t think I could write, but when my youngest child went to school, I started writing—and wrote what I knew. It was about a deaf woman in Colorado in 1886. And I am sure to have all my stuff proofed.
Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
Mystery and romance hold my attention, and I read everything in that range from category to mainstream. I’ve also discovered cozies. They are great fun.
What other books have you written, whether published or not?
I’ve written 10 romantic suspense books and one futuristic book. Before I was published, I wrote 5 historical romances set in England (1066) and Scotland (1682). I know so many little facts about Scottish life that would amaze you.
How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
The Lord. He is my strength and sanity. My first nine books were written while I was a full time mother. I sold this current book while working full time teaching high school deaf. I worried on how I would do it. I wrote everyday from 9-10 at night.
When I sit down to write, I consider worship. God gave me the talent and desire to write, and it would be wrong not to use it. I am also grateful for a husband who cooks and understands about take out.
How do you choose your characters’ names?
I love Biblical names, and I look through the little baby book I got with the birth of my first child. I look at the meaning of the name. I had a book where the hero’s name was Matthew Hawkins. I kept typing his name and it just didn’t ring right, then when I started referring to him as “Hawk” I knew the man went by his nickname. The name was right.
What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
Having two children who love the Lord.
If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
Okay, I’ve put myself in my characters’ place, looked at the world through their eyes. I’ve written stories in another galaxy on another world. I’ve been in a killer’s head, but I’ve never thought about being an animal. Is that not strange? But most writers are a little weird. Weird and wonderful.
What is your favorite food?
I love refried beans made with lard. Lard. There are just some things that shouldn’t be messed with and refried beans falls into that category. I will eat low fat in other areas but not refried beans. And I will tell you the smell of refried beans made with lard is to die for and one of my favorite childhood memories.
What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
Sometimes when I am writing and get to a place were I am stumped, I go outside and pull weeds in my garden. Or go to the gym and exercise. It helps get the old mind working. Now those are daily writing roadblocks. I guess my biggest problem was the first book I wrote for Silhouette. This heroine appeared in a book that Silhouette didn’t buy, but the minute I wrote her, I knew all about her and her family. It took me a month to find the hero to match that gutsy heroine. The hero came very slowly and finally revealed himself to me. But I thought about her everyday and tried to match her with many different heroes. It was a relief when he appeared.
What advice would you give to an author just starting out?
Join a writing group. ACFW, RWA, Mystery Writers. It doesn’t matter. Get with other writers. They will educate you and encourage you. Your family loves you, but they do not understand how writers think. Be around other writers. You’ll enjoy that unique perspective on life.
What would you like to tell us about the featured book?
As I was writing this book, God’s truth appeared on the page. It was wonderful to have those words of comfort and compassion appear. They surprised me. I felt that God was saying something to and through me, giving comfort to those who found themselves in the situation and Elena and Daniel found themselves.
How can readers find you on the Internet?
Please visit my website www.leannharris.com or visit www.loveinspiredauthors.com
In the next few weeks, some of those characters from Hidden Deception will be blogging their views of the book and their opinions. Watch for it on my webpage.
That sounds like fun. Thanks for being with us, Leann.
Readers, leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. Then go over and check out her website.