What are you currently working on and when do you plan to release your next book?
Currently I’m compiling a couple of decades worth of poetry destined to become “Before They Knew.” This is a book that I always knew I’d write but whose name and specific goal “came to me” while having my very first Reiki session, almost a year before the main character came into my life. That whole story I wrote about in Swallowed: A True Story, so this book of poetry is a bit of a prequel/sequel to Swallowed. And you can read the excerpt by clicking here.
Do you have a favorite genre for your writing or do you write whatever moves you?
Both, really. I write what moves me, which is typically in the form of poetry. My first book is a spiritual memoir covering the topics of child abuse, children of lesbian mothers, bullying, cutting, teen suicide, all culminating in a love story that transforms a heart and soul to believing in life after death and the true nature of our beings. My most enjoyable reads are usually historical fiction or non-fiction, but I often stray outside generalizations…
What is the best piece of advice you were given about writing?
I joined my first writer’s group one summer, and in September I found a website, NaNoWriMo. This is an (inter)national “competition” where you are challenged to write 50,000 words in 30 days, held each November. My momentum just kicked into overdrive. I just knew this was my time. I reached the goal in 19 days, completing the first draft of Swallowed: A True Story, after a 16 year gestation period. I found this group of people most encouraging and just knowing they were “out there,” struggling or not to finish the month’s quota, I felt supported. Their presence at that time in my life, via emails and regular website motivational excerpts, was the best “advice” I could have received.
Do you have a special spot where you like to write or are you a “have lap top will travel” writer?
I love my home, my home office and my computer. (She may be listening and I’ve found sweet talk is better than my Sicilian tendencies)
What is your favorite book and favorite author?
My favorites change as I change, but as long as there is good dialogue, good scene setting and a skill on the part of the author to be genuine and make me feel the characters, I’m thrilled and will likely buy everything they write!
When did you discover your passion for writing?
Not sure exactly what age my passion made itself known, but I remember writing a deeply profound poem on the qualities of love resembling a young kitten when I was in third grade. That was about when I started journaling, too, which I am convinced kept me sane during my darkest times…
Do you have a favorite beverage or snack you must have while writing?
Teeccino or Kombucha, depending on the temperature outside!! I never eat while writing though, because She despises crumbs and sticky things, preferring to be clean…She being the computer, once again.
What inspires you?
Life! That pull that I feel when I am in the flow, instead of stressing out over some minutia of my day. Reading a great poem, a great story, and…love!
Do you have a favorite vacation destination and do you write while vacationing?
I had my first outline of a novel drop in my head while sailing for the first time. A real momunmentus event, as if a switch was thrown and I was so utterly relaxed, it all formed seemingly right in front of me! Took notes and haven’t touched it again since, but it’s there, waiting…
Do you have any advice for other writers on any subject you choose?
Wow, this is a tough one. First, being in a position of giving advice on this topic seems premature and surreal. Second, I think our best advice comes from within, ultimately. I guess I would say, just keep writing, and never toss anything until you’ve distilled every last morsel from it. (which may take a lifetime!)
Any last thoughts you would like to add?
This is the life, “every juicy and jaundiced morsel,” and I’m thrilled to say I’m a published author now, and I just know that everyone out there loves my first book, can’t wait for the next, it’s just that they don’t know it yet! (quote from Swallowed: A True Story)
Leanna wrote Swallowed: A True Story after grieving the loss of a spirit partner, when she experienced multiple paranormal events, after death communications and dream like visits from those who had passed to the afterlife. Further, Swallowed emerged as a message of inspiration and ultimately, as a way to stimulate thought on the true nature of our beings.