Author Interview – Leanne Wood

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 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.

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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.

Pages-Mugs

Find out more about Leanne and her book on Facebook

 

 

Embers of the Soul

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Embers of the Soul – Southern Skyes – Book Four

The deep secrets woven amidst the branches of the McCabe and Skye family trees have been hidden for years until now. More quickly than shifting sands on the shores of Tasmania, these family secrets are tumbling forth with unleashed fury. All of this immensely displeases the egocentric elder brother Griff McCabe, who has spent a lifetime carefully plotting to protect the family name from the disgraces of the past—and in his eyes, the worst of all—the drops of aboriginal blood that course through the roots of the ancestral tree. Now, as tragedy befalls younger brother, Hawkin McCabe, and the next generation matures, those branches are breaking. The wounds have voices, revealing the true ties that bind the McCabes and the Skyes . . . and the one soldier who started it all many generations ago.

Available now on most outlets !

Amazon - Kobo - Barnes & Noble - Via the publisher (print copies)

Embers of the Soul

imageWin a free book! 

In celebrating the upcoming release of book four in the Southern Skyes series, we’re offering a free autographed copy of “Embers of the Soul” to our lucky winner (worldwide airmail).   The runner-up will receive a free ebook.

Go to: http://on.fb.me/1l9jCep

A New Name for Book Four in the Southern Skyes series

Well folks, it’s back to the drawing-board with regard to the title for the fourth book in the Southern Skyes series because the name I originally selected, “Burnt Wattle”, has proven to be somewhat inappropriate. Since choosing the name I’ve learnt that “wattle” doesn’t always mean what we here in Australia generally consider it to mean.

Golden Wattle is the floral emblem of Australia, hence most of us Down Under think of wattle as a medium-sized acacia tree with very fragrant, intensely yellow flowers in globular heads.

Golden Wattle

Golden Wattle

Another definition of “wattle” with which we are mostly familiar relates to a construction of poles intertwined with twigs, reeds or branches, used for walls, fences, and roofs. Hence wattle-and-daub; a method our pioneer forbears often used.

But these definitions are far from universal . . . and therein lies my problem.

In North America a “wattle” is recognised as a fleshy pendulous process, usually about the head or neck (as of a bird, e.g. a turkey) or around the chin and stomach of some unfortunate humans as they age, the latter sometimes also being called a “lappet”.

So, now, when we think of “Burnt Wattle” in that light, it does tend to bring forth a smile and a chuckle.

Watch this space for the new title of book four in Southern Skyes.

Photo: Australian National Botanic Gardens

Write It NOW ~ helping you toward your writing goals

FeatherPen

It’s been said we all have a book in us, but actually starting and getting those words written down can be quite overwhelming because there’s so much to consider: characterization, plot, structure, point of view, grammar, etc,. In “Write It NOW” - a newspaper I’ve recently created - writers and would-be writers will find articles covering all these areas and more. The aim is, to present current information about writing, publishing, book cover design and other interesting topics to point you toward achieving your writing goals as easily and as painlessly as possible, but that’s not to say that writing is necessarily ever easy or painless . . . remember, it’s also been said nothing worthwhile ever is. This paper simply hopes to bring together information scattered across the internet for easier access and, hopefully, faster digestion.

So why not read “Write It NOW” and see what you think of it?

As always, your comments are very welcome.

Time to take a little breather

So now that the manuscript for “Burnt Wattle” – the fourth book in the Southern Skyes series –  has been sent off to my editor it’s time to take a little break before jumping into book five. Meanwhile I’ll be venturing into the realm of the short story after joining the Australian Short Stories site on Facebook. Hopefully I’ll come up with a good story for the proposed anthology, but I have to admit at this point I’m feeling a tiny bit daunted having never been one to write short stories before. So, I expect there’ll be a bit of a steep learning curve to start with, but I’m always up for a challenge and, hey, it’s Australian with a historical theme, so I’m sure gonna run with it!

Australia - early settlement

Australia – early settlement