Tuesday, July 31, 2012

L.Leander, Author...and INZARED, Queen of the Elephant Riders

 Today I am pleased to offer up a fun little interview with Ms. L. Leander...singer/songwriter, and author. I hope you will take a few minutes here with your morning cup of coffee. Tomorrow I will kick off the August edition of Camp NaNoWriMo. Also...I have some of the most horrifying photos ever shared on a blog...you won't want to miss it. And now, let me introduce you to the talented and charming Ms. Leander.

What has led you to writing?

I’ve been writing since I was a child.  I loved making up stories and reading them aloud. I began as a songwriter in my mid-teens and wrote a lot of poetry as well.  It’s only been in the last few years that I branched out and began writing a novel.

What inspired you to undertake the journey of writing?

My parents both loved to write, although they never pursued it.  I had a teacher who encouraged me to put my thoughts on paper and the librarian in our small town supplied me with mature reading material that exercised my mind.  Being around other writers is also inspiring.

What is the difference between being an author and a writer?

I think a lot of people are effective writers and probably even have the flair for authoring.  However, in my mind an author is one who acts upon his or her writing skills and grooms their work to be read and enjoyed by others.

Poor editing seems to be a big issue in the Indie scene. What is your take on the subject?

I believe editing is as important to a book as the writing.  No one wants to read a poorly edited or formatted book.  While we all realize that slip-ups can occur, even with editing, an author should take every precaution to make sure their novel is as professional as it can be before they publish.  One of my pet peeves is a misspelled word.  The public expects more of an author and Indie Authors have to be even more careful, I think.

The writing community can be its own worst enemy at times. What are some of the issues you see cropping up in the Indie world? Solutions?

I have had nothing but encouragement and help from the Indie world and groups I belong to.  However, I do see a trend in backbiting and I dislike it very much.  Opinions should be taken off line, not exposed to everyone.  Backlash, anger over reviews and remarks and sniping should never be public, in my estimation.  We are professionals and should act like it.

The social media is…

Necessary and frustrating.  While I understand the need to use the tools available to us today, interacting in this way strips an author of valuable writing time.  However, it gives the public a chance to interact with authors and get to know them better.  A catch-22 if there ever was one! 

Share some information about your work with us:

Perhaps my favorite part of the writing process is research.  I spend a lot of time researching facts and I love learning new things.  Although I have always been fascinated with the circus I realized there was much I didn’t know.  And, I was totally clueless about Gypsies and their way of life and the care and feeding of elephants.  Lucky for me, there are people who know all those things and were willing to share their knowledge.  I have learned a lot writing INZARED, Queen of the Elephant Riders, and I’m sure I’ll gain a lot more information as I continue to write the series.

What is one question you are sick of being asked—not in interviews, but by individuals who know you write?

Is it hard to write a book?  Of course it’s hard.  Authors work long hours to get their thoughts on paper while trying to lead normal lives at the same time.  Many a night I have gone to bed well after my husband has retired for the night, only to wake up at 5:00 am and begin all over again.  But, it’s extremely rewarding.  Why else would we bother?

How will you deal with negative reviews?

As a songwriter I have had my share of negative reviews.  I hope I have developed a thick enough skin to not let them bother me too much.  While I believe an author should take every review into consideration to help make his or her writing better, the trick is not to personalize it.  Move on.

How much reading do you get in, and can a writer excel at his or her craft if they do not read?

I have always been a voracious reader and writing hasn’t changed that—in fact it has enhanced it.  I read between 1-7 books a week depending on my writing schedule.  I don’t believe any author can be successful without reading. How else will you know what is current?  What readers want?  How to identify poor content or editing?  Plus, it’s a welcome relief from writing to lose yourself in someone else’s work!

Define “Indie Writer” and defend or attack their position in the book market.

An Indie Writer is one who chooses to travel the non-traditional path of publishing his or her works.  This author retains all rights and is willing to do the work necessary to advertise, print, and publish.  The Internet has spawned this type of author and has given writers a chance to circumvent the “old school” thought of publishing.  It allows authors to get their books out to more people in a shorter period of time, rather than wait for agents and publishers to accept and promote their novel.  The invention of e-readers has necessitated this type of author, I think, as the new generation of readers has demanded more books, free books, and faster service than has been previously available.  That having been said, most authors still “dream” of a traditional writing contract and seeing their book in print.

What projects are you currently working on?

I am currently editing the second book in the series INZARED, Queen of the Elephant Riders.  It is scheduled to be released in the fall of 2012.  I am also authoring a series of self-help books that I plan to have published in early 2013.  When time allows I am writing new songs for my upcoming music CD, also being released in 2013.

What is one thing about you that would surprise the readers who do not know you personally?

Inside this mild mannered, middle-aged woman lies the heart of a true daredevil!  I love roller coasters, dune buggies, riding motorcycles, horses—I’ll try anything once!

Is there a genre that you don’t currently write that you would secretly love to dip your toes into?

I would probably have to say Fantasy.  I have read the Harry Potter books over and over and as a child loved to read Hans Christian Anderson.  Who knows?  Maybe some day I’ll try writing that type of story!

Is there anyone you’d like to give a mention?

Can I say this here?  Thank you God, for planting me where I could bloom the most.  And thank you Ralph, my wonderful husband, for the long hours you put in helping me with household chores and keeping me sane on this “insane” publishing journey!

What is in your “to be read” pile right now?

I am currently reviewing other Indie Authors.  On my Kindle right now I’m reading
Leaving Lukens by Laura S. Wharton, Mohawk Moon (Mohawk Series) by N. Kuhn, and Transformative Travel by Kate Benzin.  They are all different genres and I enjoy that.  I snuck in a book on photography I picked up at the local library last week (a guilty pleasure) and I am revisiting some favorites by Jennifer Weiner and Stephanie Plum.   


Video Trailer:  http://youtu.be/lQHtsFQGAP0
Website:  www.lleander.com
L.Leander Blog: http://lleander11.wordpress.com/

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