A hearty welcome today to Leanne Tyler. Tell us a little about yourself, Leanne.
I’m a single mother of a teenage son. I work full-time and write whenever I can find the time. I was first published in 2007 by The Wild Rose Press when my novella, Victory’s Gate won the American Rose category in the Through the Garden Gate contest. In 2009 Through the Garden Gate anthology was released and then in 2011 a novella It’s Always Been You and a novel Season of Love was released. My biggest year of publishing so far has been 2012. I saw four different stories published, a short story (A Country Kitchen Christmas), two novels (The Good Luck Charm and The Good Luck Spell), and a novella (Ava). Because of Rebecca and The Good Luck Potion along with the audio version of Ava have been released so far in 2013.
Sounds like you’re a prolific writer for someone who writes when they can find the time! If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be, and why?
In 1997 I took a trip to Canada to visit a friend I made online and we stayed with her mom in St. Catherines before we traveled into Toronto. I really enjoyed the Niagara Valley in St. Catherines. It was so beautiful and I have always thought if I were to move outside of the U.S. I’d like to live there. Of course, I wouldn’t have far to go to cross back into the U.S. because St. Catherines is right on the border.
That is a lovely area. I have two daughters who live not too far from St. Catherines. Have you had other careers before becoming a writer?
In college I studied communications and received my B.S. in Journalism: News Editorial. I worked at the college newspaper working my way from reporter, to beat editor, to Editor in Chief before I graduated. Thinking I wanted to go to graduate school and needing a way to pay for it, I took a job at my university as an administrative assistant because I could take up to two courses a semester and tuition would be waived. However, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to study. Did I want to get my advanced degree in Public Relations or did I want to consider another field of study. So I worked, eventually got married and had my son. I decided graduate school really wasn’t where I wanted to go, but I’ve continued to work at the university enjoying the environment and the department I work for.
Are you a full time writer or do you have a “day job”?
I still have my “day job”, but I am asked often by the professors I work with when I’m leaving them. I don’t see that happening just yet. I have a teenage son that will be in college in a few years. So I will stick around at least until he is finished with his education.
The security of a good job is a great thing. Do you have other talents?
I sing in my church choir as well as solo. I’ve been doing this since I was a teenager.
I envy people who can sing. How did you get started writing?
I was thirteen and I tried to write my first young adult love story. I had just started reading YA romances and modeled my story after those. I completed that story when I was in seventh grade and began another one when I started high school. I had friends who read my writing and even a few of the males in my class who knew I was writing would ask to read the stories as well. I finished four YAs by the time I graduated high school, but none have been published. It wasn’t until I was in college that I took my first creative writing course. By then I had started several adult manuscripts but had never finished one of those because I kept writing and rewriting as I learned on my own from reading adult romances.
What genre do you write in and why?
I write both historical and contemporary romances. My historical romances have American settings and have been so far pre-civil war. My contemporary romances range from romantic comedies, to a high school reunion setting, to a Christmas Inspirational. My first love in reading is historical romances. If you look at my bookshelf at home that is what you will find, but I also like contemporary stories.
I know I write medieval romance because that’s what I enjoy reading the most. How many books have you written? Do you have a favorite?
I have 9 different published works from short story, novella, and full-length. Five are full length which are available in print as well as ebook. Two short stories which are available in ebook. Both have been published in an anthology but only one anthology is still available, the other is out of print. I also have two novellas with one being available as an audio book.
A favorite? Do you honestly think a mother would pick a favorite of her children? Each are very special to me and each are a creation from the heart. Some take longer to write while others flow like a rushing wind onto the page. Though if I had to pick a set of characters that I fell in love with it would be Alex and Sue from The Good Luck Potion.
Tell us about your current WIP.
I’m actually working on two sequels right now. Both for my Christmas Time-Travel Season of Love. I was heavily into writing one when the other story popped up and so I spent a few days getting the opening down on paper (prologue and first chapter) before going back to my current story.
I tend to be the same. I actually like writing more than one book at a time. What inspired your latest book?
Well I was working on the final galley’s for Season of Love when I thought too bad Tabitha and Nicholas can’t have a story. And in the next instance I thought, why can’t they? I admit it has taken me two years to get around to writing it, having started it and put it aside while I wrote Ava and then finished Because of Rebecca and then I wrote The Good Luck Series but sometimes I think a good historical needs to simmer a while before its really ready to be put down on paper.
As for the second sequel, I was crawling in bed one night when the idea popped into my head. I’m not even sure what I was thinking about when it came together, other than I was surprised and a little miffed that I’d get an idea that late at night. Thankfully I was able to get it down on paper the next day and I polished and tweaked it until I have a good opening to go back to when I’m ready to proceed with it.
It can be infuriating to get inspiration late at night and then it’s gone from your mind in the morning! Where do you get the ideas for your stories?
Ideas come from anywhere. A picture. A song I hear. A name that comes to mind. A situation I may see or read about. Sometimes I’ll get a title for a story first. Or I’ll come up with a set of names.
How does your family feel about your writing career?
My son urges me to go back and write, though I think that is his way of keeping me out of his hair. My mom has become a reader now that she has retired and she is my biggest fan I think. I had to have special business cards printed up so she could pass them out to people she meets because she is always plugging my books now.
That’s funny. I know my husband passes out more of my business cards than I do! How has your experience with self-publishing been?
I have had a good experience with self-publishing my romantic comedy series. I think I released the first book in the series at the right time because it flourished and I had readers anxious for the second book and wanting to know when the third book would be released. I do plan to do another series, but I’m not sure when that will be since I am working on a historical again.
What advice do you have for other authors wanting to self-publish?
I feel it is good to have experience working with an editor at a publishing house, whether NY or a small press before becoming an Indie Author. This gives you a better understanding of the publishing industry. You gain experience in editing your own work by working with an editor. Being able to edit your work is very important.
What was the deciding factor in self-publishing your books? Did you decide on ebook or print only or both?
I went Indie with The Good Luck Series because the first book had been rejected by three houses. I had literally decided that book was never going to see the light of day. And there was no point in finishing the second book in the series. However, the success I had with it and am still having with it proves the editors who turned it down missed a great opportunity.
The Good Luck Series is available in print and ebook through Amazon and Createspace.
Social Media Links:
Goodreads and LinkedIn
The Good Luck Series:
The Good Luck Charm
The Good Luck Spell
The Good Luck Potion
Because of Rebecca
Ava: Love Letters