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Interview with author Joan Leacott

Moonday Mania

Today I am interviewing one of my amazing Gaim Goal Setting mates, Joan Leacott. We’ve been setting writing and publishing goals and becoming internet freinds for over two years now and I’m thrilled to bring Joan here for all of you to get to know her better. Not only does she have a terrific book that you’ll find out about, she also has a Giveaway for you, so please welcome Joan and her contemporary romance, Above Scandal

Thank you for inviting me, Jessica. There aren’t any wolves in my neck of the woods. In my series’ town of Clarence Bay, we hear the bark of red foxes from the surrounding forest and the eerie call of loons over the wide water. 

AUTHOR’S PERSONAL SPECIFICS: 

What made you decide to write and furthermore what pushed you to be a published author?

I’ve been an avid reader all my life. At one point, when I had time on my hands, I read a crazy amount of books. One of those books, Like a Hurricane by Roxanne St Claire http://www.roxannestclaire.com/, was so charming and so smoothly written that I thought “I’m going to try that.”

What are your hobbies or other interests that get you away from the stress of writing?

My biggest stress releaser is hot yoga. I never knew I could sweat that much. But I feel wonderful and my skin is so smooth after class. For a positive counter-stressor, I play my piano. I practice for an hour or so every day, and I’ve just passed the Royal Conservatory’s Grade One program. Recitals are whole ‘nuther kind of stress!

WRITING BACKGROUND & THOUGHTS:

Pantser/Plotter/or both? Tell us how you work.

The first book I wrote was done completely panster; 80K words in 5 weeks on a borrowed laptop. That story was completed rewritten twice more, and I swear I wrote 150K words to end up with a mere 83K. That was the end of my pantser career. The evidence is safely hidden under my bed.

For ABOVE SCANDAL, I started with a heavy duty backstory document—all the stuff you’re not supposed to put in the book. Then I created a scanty outline of two sentences per scene: one stating what happened, the other stating the outcome. I played with that outline until cause and effect flowed smoothly through the scenes. When I’d finished with critiques and beta reads, I’d only tossed 3K words. I’m now a confirmed plotter.

What is your favorite part about writing?

The writing that happens after the outline is set. I love having my characters surprise me with how they decide the story will be revealed; their emotional responses, their dialog, how their motivations grow, how their pasts affect their futures. That’s when I really fall in love with my characters.

GENERAL WRITING INFORMATION: 

Have you had many rejections? How did you deal with them? How did they push you?

I haven’t had rejections; some writers would call it a piffling amount. Each one resulted in self-doubt and dashed hopes. After taking a few days to whine to my writer pals, I’d shrug it off, and submit again. It’s the bolstering I got from my real and online friends that kept me going. Thanks for being one of them Jessica.

What made you choose to go the indie route and what are some of the things you love about it? Challenges?

Most of the rejections were form rejections, stating no reason. A few rejections said the agent or editor couldn’t connect with the characters. I was just frustrated enough that I contacted a freelance editor to see if I could get a reason for the disconnect.

Kristin Anders http://www.theromanticeditor.com/ nailed the reason with just her sample edit. The very talented Kristin guided me through strategic edits that buffed my story to a lovely shine. At the same time, I was exploring the ways and means of self-publishing, and decided to take the plunge.

The biggest joy of self-publishing is connecting directly with my readers. It’s just me, telling my story to someone who wants to listen. The biggest challenge is finding those cherished readers. 

BOOK SPECIFICS: 

Title: ABOVE SCANDAL

Genre: Small-town contemporary romance

ISBN: ebook: 978-0-9920028-0-1 print book: 978-0-9920028-0-0

Length: 355 pages

Publisher: Woven Red Productions

Buy links: http://www.amazon.com/Above-Scandal-Clarence-Chronicles-Volume/dp/099200280X/

Release date: June 25, 2013 

Did you have a favorite scene?

The scene where eleven-year-old Hayley proposes to Ryan. At this point, neither of them knows they’re father and daughter. She’s a kid searching for a daddy and he’s a man tempted to let a young girl set him up with her mother.

Is this a series? Will there be any sequels to this book?

ABOVE SCANDAL is the first novel in the Clarence Bay Chronicles set on the eastern shore of Georgian Bay, Canada. The second novel, SIGHT FOR SORE EYES will be released on November 23, 2013.

joan leacott above scandalGIVEAWAY 

 ABOVE SCANDAL is now available in print! To celebrate the release, I’m giving away one FREE print copy shipped to the winner’s real live mailbox. Click on my Rafflecopter giveaway and sign up for my newsletter for your chance to WIN a print copy of ABOVE SCANDAL. Click on the other options for additional points to increase your chances.

BOOK BLURB

Three generations of Rossetti women are hoarding secrets.

Cathy Rossetti’s secret is Hayley, her outspoken ten-year-old daughter who’s about to meet her family for the first time. Sadly, it’s taken a terminal illness to bring Cathy back to her hometown.

The elder generation of Rossetti women guards a thirty-year old secret with the power to rock Cathy’s world. Will her mother take their secret to her grave, or will her aunt break her punishing vow of silence?

Hayley hates secrets, so she’s sleuthing around Clarence Bay looking for her daddy. Is it her new BFF’s father or mayoral candidate Ryan Chisholm or Ryan’s handsome campaign manager?

Ryan has a secret, too. He’s still in love with Cathy, his high-school sweetheart. For a man running his election campaign on a platform of honesty, this could cause problems. Will dumping his popular fiancée cost him the election? And if Cathy still loves him after eleven years absence, she’s not telling. 

EXCERPT

Chapter 1. Homecoming

Home. Memories of screaming matches, slamming doors, and bitter tears rose on a sour wave of bile.

Stopped in the driveway of the big red brick house, Cathy unglued her fingers one at a time from the steering wheel and put the idling Lexus in reverse.

“Mom, is this Nonna’s house?” ten-year-old Hayley asked.

Cathy nodded.

“Mo-om, are you okay?”

Maybe. If they let us in.

“Just nervous, Hayley sweetie. It’s been a while.” Eleven years since life had driven Cathy away. Now death drew her back.

Through the rear-view mirror, she glimpsed Ryan’s house across the street. Did he still live there?

Low pewter clouds bustled overhead. If only her memory could be cleansed as easily as the rain washed the dusty roads and sidewalks of Clarence Bay.

Sighing hard and deep, Cathy put her car in park and turned off the engine. She climbed out, smoothed her sleeveless pink blouse over her black jeans, and pushed her eyeglasses up her nose. A chilly raindrop splat on her shoulder and ran down her pristine front. She shivered and groaned at the mess.

Hayley giggled. “Better’n bird poop.”

Cathy’s tension eased just enough to permit a wry huff before snapping back like a hard rubber band. Holding hands, they walked up the front path to the deep porch.

“Well, here goes nothing.” Cathy pressed the doorbell with a trembling finger.

“Don’t worry, Mom. It’ll work itself out.”

Cathy’s jumpy gaze skittered over the old house and its property—the neatly mown lawn, the freshly dug garden without a weed in sight, the sparkling windows. Somebody had a great way with yard tools.

The screen door rattled as the inside door opened. Zia Yola, grown softer and rounder in Cathy’s absence, stood gaping at them.

“Ciao, Zia Yola,” Cathy said in Italian and held her breath for her aunt’s reaction.

Zia Yola’s hands fluttered to her pale cheeks, her dark eyes huge above her stubby nails. Her gaze bounced between Cathy and Hayley as if she didn’t quite believe her own sight.

“Are you my grandmother?” Hayley asked.

joan leacott authorBIO

Joan Leacott lives in Toronto, Canada with her husband and son. She attends piano classes, melts in the hot yoga studio, and writes authentic multi-generational stories of people living and loving in today’s world.

CONTACT INFO:

Author Web or Blog Site: http://joanleacott.ca

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JoanLeacottAuthorPage

Twitter: @JoanLeacott

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Joan-Leacott/e/B00DM8HK6O/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

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Filed under guest post, Moonday mania

Ten Terrific Facts for The Next Big Thing

The lovely Joan Leacott was kind enough to tag li’ll ole me for The Next Big Thing! You may have seen The Next Big Thing hopping around the blogs, it’s another way to find out interesting facts about what’s going on with your favorite authors and their writing. Hop over to Joan’s blog HERE and find out all about her latest book.

And now onto the Questions!

What is your working title of your book?

I’m currently working on Goldi and the Bear, the third book in the Twisted Tales: Come Into the Woods series.

Where did the idea come from for the book?

Before I wrote Snow and the Seventh Wolf, which comes out in February, I had the idea to write another twisted tale with a werewolf. I wanted to work with another color name, like Red, so Goldilocks (Goldi) was the one I chose. From there the ideas just flowed and Goldi the werewolf was born.

What genre does your book fall under?

Here goes: Spicy Twisted Paranormal Fairy Tales

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

Oh, I’m terrible about this. But I think Christian Bale could play a dark moody werebear. He played a dark moody Bruce Wayne, didn’t he? As for Goldi, she’s tougher. I need a tough blonde; one who can run a ranch, be a wolf,  stand up to Christian Bale, but still be very sexy. Any ideas?

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

When she-wolf’s home is in danger the only one she can turn to for help is the one person she shouldn’t-  her high school sweetheart who holds a grudge.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

This one is due to Passion in Print. It takes place in the same universe as Little Red Riding Wolf and Snow and the Seventh Wolf, but it’s set in the next town over from Radon, Colorado.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

I started this one during Nanowrimo this year, but as I was working it wasn’t finished until the first week of December. I’m still working on the edits because I hit a bump that I didn’t take care of during Nano. It was a big lesson in writing fast and furious!

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

Hmm, another toughie. I sure wish I read more. One of the categories I’ve not read very much lately are twisted fairy tales, for several reasons. One, I didn’t want to read what I was writing. Two, I like to read outside of my genre. And Three, I just didn’t have any lying around in the TBR pile. That means I have to actually go out and hunt something down, which doesn’t happen very often. Has anyone read something that is like Little Red Riding Wolf? It’s tongue in cheek, but with a dark side. And it’s hot, hot, hot! Goldi and the Bear and Snow and the Seventh Wolf lean more toward the dark side. Any thoughts?

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

Now I left this question in, but it will be a repeat of my above answer for where I got the idea. So if you really want to read that answer again, go ahead!

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

This book is darker and deals with old anger between former lovers. Can you get past that deep hurt that’s been simmering for years? Can you start over? And do you still love someone when they’ve hurt you badly enough that you still want to hurt them back? While this book title is all about Goldi, I think the real interest here is how the hero, Zeke, overcomes his pain and anger to rediscover love.

That’s all folks, well, all the questions that Joan passed on to me. I am happy to answer more questions like…How do you write about werewolves when you aren’t a werewolf?  Or…what’s it like living in Colorful Colorado? Or….what do you wear when you write?

Or, if you really want to know more about what I’m doing this year, check out my Goals post from Monday HERE.

M L Guida and Jessica Aspen CRW tea October 2012

Mary and I at the CRW tea in October 2012.

And when you are through don’t forget to hit the Next Big Thing ML Guida. Her post will be out on January 16th and you can find out all the deep dark delicious details of what she’s currently writing! I love her tagline: Even in a world of darkness, true love survives.

(FYI, I’m leaving this post up, so no Thursdays Bite tomorrow, see you on Monday Mania!)

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Filed under About the Author, Bloghops, Jessica Aspen's Books, Writer's Journey