I am so happy to have made friends with so many wonderful and talented authors and it’s wonderful to learn more about each one of them and the journey that led them to become writers. Today I want to introduce an amazing person I met at my local writers’ group. Her name is Leanne Wood.
Leanne is a freelance writer and a poet, a research enthusiast who possesses a love for creativity and a keen interest in trivia and historical events. Leanne appreciates good friends, enjoys great food and wine and loves to travel.
After moving from Sydney to Orange Leanne was faced with a life shattering ordeal, forcing her to reassess everything, with sheer determination and a strong mind she overcame the obstacles electing to live life to its fullest and follow her dreams.
The inspiration for her novel “Pages of Your Life – The Secret Life of Shirley Rumming” was sparked by five words a friend once said You are an unaffectionate person. Moreover, it blossomed with a love of listening to tales relating to her father, aunt and uncles’ youth. Coupled together with her keen interest in research, trivia and historical events and touching on snippets of her grandparents’ experiences and the lives of those around her, it is a story close to her heart.
So you’ve written your first book – “Pages of Your Life: The Secret Life of Shirley Rumming” – and just revealed its cover, when will readers be able to buy the ebook and print versions?
I am hopeful my novel will be released in the next 2 to 3 months. (this date is yet to be confirmed)
Can you tell us a little about the story?
Set primarily against the beautiful backdrop of an evolving Sydney and spanning through the Great Depression, World War Two and beyond Pages of Your Life is the world as seen through the eyes of Shirley Rumming. It is a tale about life decisions, consequences and regrets, in which calamities of the past collide with secrets revealed and the clearing of the conscious.
Did something or someone inspire you to write this book?
I have always been interested in writing, starting with poetry. A friend made a comment and my novel began.
Are the experiences of the main characters based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
The main characters are fictional however some of the experiences are adaptations based on those of relatives; experiences from World War II, schooling in the early 1900’s and rationing in Australia etc,.
What were the challenges (research, literary, psychological, and logistical) in bringing it to life?
I did complete many hours of research into Australian history to accurately reflect the period in which the novel spans.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
A person should never judge a book by its cover and life is full of surprises.
Do you find it challenging being an Indie writer?
Writing can always be a challenge at times while at other times the words simply flow and flow and flow.
I assume you have a lot of support from family members. Are there others whom you feel supported you outside of family?
Definitely, I am extremely lucky to have a very special, supportive and caring partner and a true inner circle of friends.
Who is your favourite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
Bryce Courtenay, the way in which he can bring characters to life.
Did you always want to be a writer?
Yes, I have always enjoyed writing and poetry.
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I was lucky enough to have a couple of encouraging English teachers.
What part of the book did you find most difficult to write?
As the book spans over many years, I wanted to set the scene and correctly reflect the times with facts relating to historical events. Ensuring there was a balance of facts in which the story could take place without the reader feeling overcome by these facts was imperative.
Do you have a mentor?
No, I generally look at many individuals and draw from the positive aspects of their life as no one individual is perfect.
Who designed the striking cover for “Pages of Your Life: The Secret Life of Shirley Rumming”?
I did, the photo is from a collection of photos once owned by my grandfather.
Before we close, can you tell us a little about yourself?
I am originally from Sydney and moved to Orange in 2000. A life altering experience resulted in personal struggles with PTSD and depression. Writing assisted greatly through this period.
What are six most favourite things?
Good friends, enjoying life with the people I love, red wine, cooking, travelling and writing of course.
What are your six pet hates?
Liars, dishonesty, bullies, discrimination, false fronted people and ironing
And lastly, have you decided on your next project?
Yes, I am already in the process of writing another novel “Travels Through My Mind” and have ideas for a novel after that.
Find out more about Leanne and her book on Facebook