Friday, April 1, 2011

Blogoversary Day 5: Welcome Back Leanna Ellis!

Welcome to the fifth day of my blogoversary extravaganza! Today we're reminiscing the first author interview I posted on this blog, which was with Leanna Ellis. I had recently read Once in a Blue Moon, so Leanna was a great choice for my first interview--and her fiction is so different and fun! (Also, I highly recommend her other book I've read--Ruby's Slippers--which I loved!)

For those of you who are visiting or are new to the blog (or if you just want a blast from the past!), here is the link to my first author interview:
And now, Leanna Ellis is back!

Amber: It’s such a pleasure to host you here at “Seasons of Humility” again! Can you believe it’s been almost a whole year since you were first interviewed here? How time flies! Could you share with us what you’ve been up to in your writing career since April 2010?

Leanna: Thanks for having me back here, Amber! It was definitely a busy year for me personally and professionally. My two kids have been keeping me very busy with all of their activities. In between going to fencing tournaments for my son and even doing a few ‘en guardes’ myself as well as rehearsals and shows for my singing, dancing, and acting daughter, I had two books out in 2010: Once in a Blue Moon and Facelift.

Amber: What’s on the agenda for this next year? I do believe I’ve seen something about an “Amish/Vampire” series… ;)

Leanna: Well, yes, you are right! Last year I sold an Amish/vampire series idea called Plain Fear to an ABA publisher (secular), and I was busy writing it last year. It is probably my most spiritual book to date, and I am very excited about it. It’s a story of good versus evil. So often we just think of evil as being dark and scary…well, it is that but it’s also alluring and appealing and attractive. If you just saw the dark, ugly, scary side of evil, who would go there? My Amish heroine is lured to the dark side by the man she once loved and she must make a choice that will decide her eternal fate. I just finished revisions and should be starting line edits on it soon. Forsaken is scheduled to come out in August 2011.

Amber: I'm very excited to read Forsaken! It sounds very powerful and intriguing.

Your first interview here was centered on your book
Once in a Blue Moon. Since then, it sounds like you’ve been keeping busy with writing other books! Do you ever go back and re-read the books you’ve already had published? Do you have a favorite?

Leanna: I don’t usually reread my own work once it is published, because then I might see something I want to change. I tend to be a perfectionist. =) Books are like children and they go through many different stages. In their infancy (at the idea stage), I’m in love with them. Then as I begin writing the book, they hit those terrible twos where they don’t behave very well. But as I get into the middle of the story, that elementary age, it’s fun and exciting. Then the teen years hit—it’s when I reach the end of that first draft and I see all the pimples and flaws and gawkiness, but I’m usually the one having a few hormonal breakdowns, doubts and insecurities. But then after revising a lot and a bit more growth, it’s off to the publisher. Eventually, my baby graduates from college (hits the bookstores). Of course, parenting never quite ends, does it? And neither does my relationship with my books. But by this stage, I’m usually knee deep in another book, which is needing my full attention. So do I have a favorite? Well, it’s not the one in the terrible twos at the moment. My favorite is usually the one I’ve just finished, which would be Forsaken. But next year, I hope it’ll be Forbidden.

Amber: That's a great analogy of the publishing process! I guess my manuscript is at the teenager stage. ;)

If we could celebrate this blogoversary in “real life” (as a tangible party and not just a cyber party) and you were asked to help come up with ideas for party games, what would you suggest?


Leanna: One game I love when we have one of our big family reunions is…drum roll…water balloons! Or if you have the facilities, then laser tag is tons of fun! I always say, “There’s nothing like ‘shooting’ a family member to bring peace and harmony.” Those are my favorite party games. I love the chaos and all the laughter that accompanies the wet.

Amber: Hahaha, very cool! Do you have a funny memory you can share with us from a party/celebration that you attended or hosted this past year?

Leanna: Honestly I’m better at making up funny stories, and the last few parties I’ve been to have been very sedate. Maybe I need to do something about that! Still, I’ll tell you about last Thanksgiving. We were at my mom’s house. She lives on a farm, and there’s a lake behind her house. I was busy in the kitchen helping to get the big meal ready when my son bursts into the house, breathless and laughing. His cheeks were red from the cold. Our crazy labradoodle named Hilo had jumped off the pier and started swimming across the lake. At least she could swim because the one time our white lab jumped in the water we had to get the row boat out to save her as she started sinking because she didn’t know how to swim. Now, you also have to know that there is always an alligator living in that lake. We don’t encourage anyone to swim there. So of course, the kids went crazy, worried Hilo would get eaten any moment. But Hilo didn’t pay any attention to their cries for her to come back. She often ignores us that way. She even ignored my husband who is the only one who can make her behave. She just kept swimming. But about half way out in the lake, (and remember it’s COLD because it’s November) she started getting tired. Finally, she turned around and headed back to the pier, but she was slowing down and beginning to struggle to keep her head above water. So, my husband had to get the row boat out and rescued her.

But that wasn’t the end of her adventures that day. First, because she was soaking wet and stinky from the smell of lake water, she was banished to the garage until she dried out. Ordinarily, I would have had to bathe her but it was COLD and I was busy helping with Thanksgiving dinner. Anyway, fast forward a couple of hours and Hilo is dry, dinner is over, and we’re busy cleaning up the kitchen. My mother had already deboned the turkey, but she made the mistake of leaving the dish on the counter. Yep, you guessed it. Hilo helped herself. Now, my mother is the biggest animal lover of all time, but I thought that might be the end of Hilo. The vet was even surprised that she had no ill effects from the turkey as it can be toxic to dogs. But still, Hilo was not satisfied with all the trouble she’d caused. She saw some birds outside my mother’s kitchen window and attacked. She ran right into the glass and broke it. Of course, Hilo was all right. She seems to be indestructible. But I’m not sure she will be invited back for Thanksgiving.

Thanks, Amber, for inviting me back! I appreciate it!

Amber: Oh my goodness--Hilo is a survivor, for sure! ;) And I'm thrilled you could come visit with us again!

The Giveaway

Leanna has generously agreed to give away one of her already-published books to one lucky commenter! (These books include: Elvis Takes a Back Seat; Lookin' Back, Texas; Ruby's Slippers; Once in a Blue Moon; and Facelift. You can check them out on her website!)

Just leave a comment for Leanna along with your e-mail address for a chance to win!

(Be sure to come on back tomorrow to see a list of the winners and help me conclude this blogoversarsy extravaganza!)

15 comments:

Jo said...

What a great interview and a great giveaway. Please enter me.

Blessings,
Jo
ladijo40(at)aol(dot)com

Molly said...

Would love to win a signed copy of Facelift! Thanks!

Molly AT reviewsbymolly DOT com

Julie Lessman said...

LEANNA!!! Hey, girl, FORSAKEN looks to die for and I'm dying to dive in!! And I LOVE your titles, especially FORBIDDEN -- VERY COOL!!

Can't wait to see you at ACFW, my friend -- lots to catch up on. :)

Hugs,
Julie

Linda said...

Love your interview. Great books to look forward to. Would love Once in a Blue Moon! Thanks for the giveaway!

desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

Amanda said...

I really enjoyed this interview! Leanna, your books sound most interesting and like Amber, I thought your analogy of the writing process was great! I don’t write but I know someone who does and she’s right, her manuscript is currently in its teenage years ;) Oh, and that story about your dog is so funny! Poor thing, my dog doesn’t listen to me either but he’s 13 with cataracts and half deaf, LOL! Pets are such a blessing and a great source of comedy, so thanks for the chuckle this morning :)

I would love to read Ruby’s Slippers, especially if my dear friend here loved it ;) Thank you so much for the chance!

Blessings to you both!!
Amanda
mrose608{at}gmail{dot}com

Casey said...

I haven't read a book by Leanna yet, but I hope to very soon! Facelift is supposed to be on it's way to me, but I think might have gotten lost somewhere along the lines...hopefully soon! :)

But Ruby Slippers has always intriguied me and more so now with Amber's recommindation.

Thanks for the interview, ladies!!

caseymh18(@)Gmail.com

Courtney said...

Sounds like a bunch of great books!! I have never read a book by Leanna either but they sound very interesting! Thanks for the interview and the opportunity to win!

kcmelone[at]yahoo[dot]com

Faith Hope Cherrytea said...

luving your diversity Leanna!
blessings on your creativity...
infuse at live dot ca
and you'll have found me ")

Ann Lee Miller said...

I love Leanna's writing and am thrilled at the chance to win one of her books!
Ann_Lee_Miller@msn.com

Joy Tamsin David said...

I am sooooo excited about Forsaken, August can't get here soon enough! I can't wait to see how you handled your most spiritual story to date for the ABA market.

Great interview!

Amber S. said...

Thank you, ya'll, for stopping by! :)

AMANDA: Hahaha, yep, the story is in all of it's teenage glory, right? ;)

And I loved Ruby's Slippers--it actually was part of the reason I was so excited to see Dorothy's red shoes when I went to Washington D.C. ;) It's a quirky, interesting, sweet story!

CASEY: Ruby's Slippers is definitely intriguing and a good story! :)

~Amber

Renee Ann said...

I'm not sure if it's too late to get in on this giveaway, but what a fascinating interview! From Vampire/Amish stories, to how to raise a book right, to Hilo's adventures . . . Fun!

reneeasmith61 [at] yahoo [dot] com

Leanna Ellis said...

Hi, y'all! Thanks Amber for having me over here again! You're the best! And thanks for all the wonderful comments from all of you! I am especially encouraged that you're all so intrigued by my Amish/vampire story, Forsaken! Thanks for not shunning me! :) If you'd like to get more information on my books and get notification when Forsaken comes out, then please check out my website: www.leannaellis.com and join my e-newsletter! Blessings to all of you!

Leanna

Leanna Ellis said...

Hi, Julie! Great seeing you here!
Amanda, give your friend an extra hug. A book in the teen years? Oh boy! She needs those hugs!
Joy, thanks so much! I hope you will be pleased with the spiritual aspect of the story. I'm very excited about the way the book turned out!
Amber, thanks again! And I was equally excited about seeing those ruby slippers in DC a couple of years ago! I think I bypassed most everything in the museum in my excitement to find those slippers! A very cool moment!

Blessings,

Leanna

Amber S. said...

Leanna,

Awww, thank YOU for coming back to my blog! :) It was a pleasure to interview you again!

And yes, my dad and I had only a short time to sight-see when we went to Washington D.C. last summer, so we both picked one thing we really wanted to see at the Smithsonian. My dad wanted to see The Spirit of St. Louis plane, and I wanted to see Dorothy's red slippers. ;) It was very exciting, for sure! :) Loved your book!

~Amber