It's my pleasure to welcome Leanna back to this blog. You will just love this new book. Leanna writes about deep subjects with a wonderful sense of the comedic.
Now, Leanna, why do you write the kind of books you do?
First, I write because I’m called to write. Second, I write because I have to write. It’s what I do. Who I am. I write the kind of weird, quirky books because that’s just how my brain works. I don’t have any other excuses. :-)
Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life?
There are so many to choose from! Probably three days would compete for the happiest day – my wedding day, and the birth days of my two children. But also the day my children asked Jesus in their hearts! Now, seeing them pursuing the gifts the Lord has given them brings tremendous joy. Okay, this turned out to be a difficult question. I guess I have a lot of happy days.
How has being published changed your life?
Now I live on my own island and can afford anything I want. Just kidding. My life hasn’t changed much, yet it has. Since starting writing, I met and married my husband. I’m not sure writing had anything to do with that, but then again maybe it did. Writing has given me confidence and taught me many lessons in life. I have come to understand myself better. I’ve enjoyed traveling and meeting so many people. I love doing what I do. And that is a tremendous blessing.
What are you reading right now?
Nothing. I hate that. But I’m knee deep in a book and can’t focus on fiction right now. I am reading C.S. Lewis’ Mere Christianity.
That's a good book to be knee deep in. What is your current work in progress?
I just finished my page proofs for Ruby’s Slippers which comes out April 2009. Yea! I’m actually debating the title of the book I’m currently writing. Wanna have a contest and see which one you like better? Man in the Moon … or … Once in a Blue Moon. I’m almost finished with the very, very rough draft.
I think I like Once in a Blue Moon, for what it's worth. What would be your dream vacation?
Anything with my family. One of our favorite vacations is beaching it in Hawaii. My husband and I love Scotland and can’t wait to take our children. Colorado and Wyoming are two of my favorite places. I love the mountains and haven’t been for several years, so I really am feeling the need. Disney World was a recent vacation … and although it’s promoted as dreams coming true, I have to say exhaustion came true for me. Recently we’ve been to Luckenbach and also Marfa, Texas for research. Even though they’re not exotic locales, we had fun because we were together.
How do you choose your settings for each book?
Sometimes they choose me. For Elvis Takes a Back Seat, of course, Graceland had to be part of the setting. I had written Lookin’ Back, Texas … the whole book … before I realized it needed to be set in Luckenbach. Ruby’s Slippers took a while to figure out what would be an interesting journey and which area of the country fit the story best. To me, setting has to be integral to the plot and characters.
If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who would it be and why?
My hubby! If we could have an evening alone … a date! Wow! Any volunteers for a babysitter?
What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?
Well, I don’t have much time for hobbies, not with the kids’ activities. Or maybe their activities are becoming my hobbies. However, I’m fully engaged in the kids’ school and also in writing. Doesn’t leave time for much else. But I love to travel. Just need more time and money to do that! I love to go for walks with my lab. I’m enjoying learning French through Rosetta Stone, although I’m behind on my lessons. I love going to museums. I actually enjoyed painting several rooms in my house this past summer.
What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?
Everything in writing can be an obstacle. Coming up with the idea … massaging it until it works. For example, I had the idea for Lookin’ Back, Texas and had actually started writing on it and ran into difficulties. I brainstormed it with a group of writers and we couldn’t make it work. I set it aside. Then several months later I came back to it. This time it worked. Sometimes I expect writing to be easier than it is. It never is. But time, patience and persistence, no matter what area of writing is giving me difficulties, are they keys.
What advice would you give to a beginning author?
Write. Just put your bottom in the chair and write. And keep writing. Someone famous said, “Writing is rewriting.” And whoever said that was right. It’s hard work. So write and keep at it.
Tell us about the featured book.
Lookin’ Back, Texas is the story of a devoted wife and mother who returns to her hometown of Luckenbach, Texas, to help her mother plan her father’s funeral. Trouble is – he isn’t dead. And neither are the secrets that she buried years ago.
This book was a lot of fun to write but it also dealt with some serious issues. So balancing the humor and issues wasn’t easy. I really loved these characters and enjoyed probing the depths of the story.
How can readers find you on the Internet?
Thanks, Lena, for having me!
And thank you, Leanna, for coming back to spend this time with us.
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