Hi Leona, thanks for taking the time to chat with us. Why don't you tell us a little about yourself?
I am a new writer, having only been published in an anthology, called Insights, earlier this month. I've had 5 poems and one short story published online in various sites
Q. What would you like our readers to know about you?
I am a mom to 2 wonderful girls, 15 and 10, work part-time, as well as a full time homemaker. I live in British Columbia, Canada
Q. How long have you been writing? What made you put that first story/poem down on paper?
I've been writing for fun almost as soon as I could write but just started writing seriously this past October. I've always wanted to be a published writer, but never thought I had what it takes to do so.
Q. Have you been published? What was the first story/poem? Where was it published? How long did it take? What was the process? How easy was it finding a publisher?
I've never written that great novel yet. So I'm still looking and not sure how to go about looking for a publisher. I'll look into it when the time comes.
Q. Do you write in a particular genre?
I like to write romances, without all the sex and graphics but just real life romance, boy meets girl, they fall in love, etc. I also like to write children stories. My favorite theme is the pioneer days, so I do a lot of writing in that era.
Q. Who’s your favorite author and why?
I don't really have a favourite authour as I devour almost any kind of romance or pioneer story. I do aspire to Janette Okley for her pioneer Christian stories.
Q. What, in your opinion, are the most important elements of good writing?
Elements in good writing. Hmmm . . . good question. I like to be able to follow the story without losing interest in it, so a good plot is essential. The characters, to me, should be real people, with thoughts and feelings, and real emotions to a specific event.
Q. How do you develop your plots and characters? Do you use any set formula?
I don't usually use an outline, so whatever I write comes directly out of my head. If I'm writing a particularly long story, I'll write out their character sketches, which is liable to change at any given time. The same goes for a plot, it generally happens as I write it, and then I go back in and fill any blanks I may have missed when I wrote it the first time. A story may take several writings before I'm ready to submit it to someone to read.
Q. Do you have a favorite writing link you’d like to share?
I have many writing links but not one I use specifically, I'm still in the phase of searching for that favorite place to go back to time and again.
Q. What do you do to unwind and relax?
When I'm particularly stressed, I turn to my family for guidance. But most times, I'll work on my latest writing project. I also do crafts, read and watch tv.
Q. What does your family feel about your writing? Are they supportive?
My family are really supportive to me. They weren't sure of why I was writing in the first place and now that things are starting to happen, they encourage me.
Q. What inspires you? Who inspires you?
Almost anything inspires me to write. My childhood itself is unique, my parents, my husband and children. Real life.
Q. Are you working on any projects right now?
I'm writing a small novel based on Canadian history. I also write short stories and poetry.
Q. What is most frustrating about writing? Most rewarding?
The most frustrating thing I found is the work that goes into it. I'm a person who likes things done the first time around. I am not the most patient person around, so it's frustrating when I have to rewrite and rewrite and rewrite.
The most rewarding thing I think is the end result of all that impatience. (small giggle). I've learned a lot as well, most of which is that patience thing. Actually I have learned that the saying, "Practice makes perfect" takes on a whole new meaning when it comes to writing.
Q. Do you have any kind of writing schedule?
I don't really have a writing schedule, although, I do try to write for an hour or two every day. Early morning before anyone else is up is a great time for me to write.
Q. What is the best piece of advice you’ve been given as a writer? What’s the worst?
Let me see. One piece of advice I've followed is to write what I know. I think that's a great piece of advice. Also to be aware of my surroundings, take notice to what's happening around me. The worst piece of advice...hmmm....I don't think I've really gotten any bad advice but I'm sure it's coming. (small giggle)
Q. If I were sitting down to write my very first story/poem, what would your advice be?
If you were to be starting out with your first piece of writing, I would tell you to start small. When I first started writing, I was intimidated by the sheer volume of pages people were writing for fun. I am a person who says a lot in as few words as possible. Write small, stories or poems. Write what you know.