I'm very excited to participate in Lindsey Leavitt's blog tour today. I've read and enjoyed all of her books, and I'm really looking forward to her next. If you haven't read my review for Lindsey Leavitt's final book in her Princess for Hire series, it's two blog posts before this one.
How long have you been writing? (Can we have a super-readers-digest version of your journey to publication?)
I’ve written for fun my whole life. Not whole novels, but silly poems or short stories. After my first daughter was born, I decided I needed to finally see if this is something I can really do. That was eight years ago. I wrote and submitted for three years before selling Princess for Hire, which was released in 2010. A Farewell to Charms is my fourth published book, and I have 2 more on the horizon. Actually, I have a lot more on the horizon. Writing has become such an essential part of who I am, I hope to do it for a very long time.
Is there anything in particular that gave you the idea for your Princess for Hire series?
Princess for Hire came to me while I was watching the old Audrey Hepburn movie, ROMAN HOLIDAY, where a princess takes a vacation for the day. I was substitute teaching at the time, and thought, What if she could get a sub? Boom.
Did you find the blogging community beneficial in your becoming-a-writer process?
YES YES and YES. I started my blog within months of starting novels—my archives go back to July 2005 if you have time on your hands. It was through blogging that I began to develop my voice, and it was in the livejournal community that I met my best writing friend, Lisa Schroeder. I shared my ups and downs along the way, and I had a group of people cheering me along who understood. Now, as a published writer, bloggers are champions for my books, people I love discussing literature with. I heart blogging and bloggers.
When you were unpublished, did you tell many of your family/friends about your writing dream?
Not really. I kind of told everyone when I first started, and the reaction was like, oh, that’s nice. Or I would get unsolicited advice, or some people even tried to talk me out of it. So I kind of just shut up about it and found writing friends online apart from the people in my everyday life.
I really like this division even now. Of course, I can talk to my friends about writing, and I do, but only snippets. My writing friends and I talk about life, but usually we talk more about writing. All of these people together make me feel more complete and balanced.
How do you balance family life with author life? When do you get most of your writing/editing done?
I get this question a lot, and two years later I don’t know how to answer it. I’m not always balanced. During deadlines, my work swallows me alive. But after I turn something in, I take a few weeks off. Right now, I’m in brainstorming stage, so I carry a journal around with me and jot down notes, but really I’m not working too much. I’m spending time with my kids, organizing my house. So I guess balance for me is that pendulum swinging back and forth between being a full time mom and writer, the two things I love most in life.
I used to do all my writing at night, but my kids are at an age now where I am exhausted come nine o’clock. So I have a babysitter 1-2 days a week, and then work about 1-2 nights a week. I think my best writing still happens at night, but only if I’ve consumed a lot of diet Pepsi. A lot.
Any advice for aspiring writers?
Turn the internet off for awhile each day so it’s just you and your word processor. There is so much information on the internet, it’s wonderful for research on both writing and the industry, but you can’t get caught up in that. You have to silence the noise and plug into your story.
Thank you, Lindsey! I highly recommend going to the bookstore or library today and beginning her Princess for Hire series if you haven't already.