Help me welcome award-winning and accomplished author Leanna Sain to my blog today. Leanna was kind enough to answer a few of my questions. Feel free to add your comments below.
Leanna, which authors have influenced your writing and how?
I love the quirky humor of Mary Kay Andrews, the magical realism of Sarah Addison Allen, Nicholas Sparks’ sappy love stories (although I really think he needs to work on some happily-ever-after endings), and the queen of mysteries, Sue Grafton. I try to incorporate all the things I love in my writing.
What do you want readers to experience while reading your books?
I want to evoke every emotion from my readers, from laughing until their stomachs ache, to boiling with fury, to crying-their-eyes out.
Tell us a little bit about your latest book, the title in two to three sentences. Is it part of a series?
My latest book’s title is Hush.
Someone is killing young women and using the lullaby “Hush, Little Baby” as a blueprint. Lacey Campbell dreams the murders in bits and pieces before they happen, but there aren’t enough clues to stop the killer. When she realizes all the victims look remarkably like her, she’s afraid to go to sleep … afraid the next face she sees in her dreams will be her own.
Are any of your characters based on people you know?
In all of my books, I often include bits of characteristics of people I know, but with Hush, the main character’s mother—who has Alzheimer’s—is patterned directly after my own mother. I wrote this book while watching Mama struggle through the final phases of that terrible disease. It was actually a sort of therapy for me; a way to release the sadness, anger, and frustration that came with it.
Which part of the writing process do you find most enjoyable? Most challenging? Most rewarding?
I love it when the characters take over and I’m just hanging on for the ride, when it’s all I can do to keep my fingers typing fast enough to keep up with the story my brain is telling. When I get to the end of the scene, I lean back in my chair and say, “Whew! Didn’t see that coming!”
The most challenging is when I paint myself into a corner. The answer generally comes when I’m in the shower. Something about that hot water beating on my head seems to jar things loose.
The most rewarding is when I surprise my husband with the ending. He knows me so well, how my mind works, I feel like I’ve “arrived” if I can keep him hanging in suspense until the very end.
Do you have a critique partner or belong to a critique group? If so, how has that helped you?
It is SO important to get other eyes on your work. As a writer, I tend to get too close to the story and can’t see the mistakes when they’re staring me in the face. I’m in two writing groups, and I get input on everything I write. And my husband is my number one book critic. He always brings out things I never even thought about. He has a good eye, and I rely on that.
What writing projects are you currently working on?
I’m hard at work on the second book of the Amelia Island series. It’s title will be, Hoax. And I’m enjoying it even more than I did Hush. The third book is shaping up in my mind already. I really love this series.
Award-winning author, Leanna Sain, earned her BA from the University of South Carolina, before heading back to the mountains of western NC. Her Southern suspense or “GRIT-lit,” showcases her plot-driven writing that successfully rolls the styles of Mary Kay Andrews, Nicholas Sparks, and Jan Karon into her own delightfully hybrid technique. She loves leading discussion groups and book clubs. For more information or to contact her, visit: www.LeannaSain.com.
Connect with Leanna and her books:
- Buy link: https://shoplpc.com/hush/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/leanna.sain
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/LeannasBooks
- Website and blog: http://leannasain.com
- Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1323792.Leanna_Sain
- Book of the Year Award from Foreword Magazine
- Clark Cox Historical Fiction Award from the NC Society of Historians
- Nominated for the Thomas Wolfe Memorial Literary Award
- Nominated for the Global Ebook Award