Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Guest Author Interview and Book Spotlight - Leigh Hann

Today, I have a special writer who is a friend, fellow homeschooler, and fellow SA writer. She's talking about her debut novel, The Beauty of Freedom, which has just come out with Soul Mate Publishing.


Lea Finley’s daily routine begins with meditation. Today, though, she cannot focus. There’s something blocking her efforts.

She and Connor have been married for five years. Though she might not have the perfect marriage, her life seems peaceful. To prioritize her head, she decides to go on a short trip. Lea is a strong believer in living your passions. She paints for a living and believes strongly in her spirituality.

But when she meets Bill Hammington, confusion hits her between the eyes. Lea is on an emotional rollercoaster. She is drawn to Bill, but at the same time she battles with guilt over Connor. After all, Lea is not ‘that kind of a woman.’ She does not believe in cheating. Through all darkness and turmoil, there is beauty, love, forgiveness, and laughter.

Author Interview:

Before I begin answering some questions I want to thank Kathy Bosman for this opportunity. You are a beautiful and talented writer.

Thank you to all the readers who bought my book, supporting me and I hope you have enjoyed getting to know Lea, Connor and Bill. There are for sure many more stories still on their way.

Have a wonderful day and remember, Fight for Love as Love Will Fight for You!

What is the best thing for you about being a writer?
Friends and family will tell you that I’m the quiet one of them all. During conversation I’m usually the observer taking mental notes and pictures. Of course the opportunity has presented itself where I wish I could simply open my mouth and words will start to flow, but unfortunately-nothing-zero.

When it comes to pen and paper, I simply flourish. Words turn into sentences. Sentences develop into paragraphs and sometimes it’s difficult believing that I was actually capable of writing all that.
Having the ability to express myself is the best thing about being a writer.

What is the hardest thing for you about being a writer?
I’ve always had this urge since childhood, wanting to help people. A need to make a difference in someone’s life, even if only for a minute.

I had a bit of experience working/studying as a nurse student at a hospital. It wasn’t satisfying though. I want to reach people across the world.

Imagine being able to put a smile on thousands of faces or leaving a thought that makes someone think…what if? It’s about giving and being the cause of happiness for a second.

The hardest thing about being a writer in my opinion is wanting to reach millions of readers out there. You as a writer have this message you want to spread like wild fire, but it’s not possible to please every single person. Tastes differ.

What genres do you write and what genre is your latest release?
A couple of readers said my genre falls into the Woman’s Fiction section; others say its contemporary romance. I’m not going to sub-categorize. I’ll stick with Romance for now.

I have been leaning towards the sci-fi/fantasy category with a bit of writing lately. Who knows what characters will pop into my head and where the story will end up? It’s a fun journey though.

What essential things have you learned about writing in the last year?
When an idea or story pops into my head-write it down immediately. I dream a lot and many scenes incorporated into my novels were things I dreamed.

Write your ideas down!

I can create any world, become any being, and live out my wildest fantasies-because in books it’s allowed to be crazy. Perfecting the art of writing is taking your time nurturing the skill, cultivating resources, plotting scene categorization and honing your talent to put words out there. Captivating millions of hearts.

It’s the gentle approaches which make your work blossom in the end.

Who is your favorite heroine from your books and why?
In ‘The Beauty of Freedom’ it’s difficult to choose who my favorite is.

Lea is a troubled soul. Someone once pointed out that she is a drifter. She shouldn’t be with anyone until she found herself. At the time I didn’t realize it when I wrote her story. It just happened. Connor-I feel awful for him. His love for Lea consumed him, yet his routine comfortability clouded his visions. Bill had a rude awakening when he met Lea. He knew something very different was up with her-something he didn’t fathom.
Each of these characters has a story to tell and it’s interesting reading all the different opinions readers experience with Lea, Connor and Bill.

What type of hero do you like? Super alpha, wounded or somewhere in between? Or even something totally different? You could give an example from a movie or well-known book.
Christian Grey in Fifty Shades of Grey. A very interesting character. A guy who is mentally totally screwed and uses sex as his coping mechanism.

Carter in Falling from Love. He is an ordinary guy who was involved in a horrific accident and feels completely responsible for one of his crew member’s death. He is filled with guilt not knowing how to approach Holly and mend her breaking heart.

I prefer the wounded characters that in the end make a choice and they walk out stronger from where they’ve been.

Tell us about your journey in writing this book?
Wow- a journey it sure was! June 2012 I had a dream of a man and woman sitting back-to-back. They didn’t touch or look at each other, but the intense emotions these two shared was incredible. It was almost like a 10 second dream. The next morning I woke knowing that this was the backbone of my journey.
Many scenes in the novel were things I dreamed and I think it helped me tremendously being able to describe a certain emotion due to the fact that I felt it either through real life experiences or in my dreams.

Tell us three quirky or interesting things about yourself?
I love watching Anime movies-Japanese animation. Especially the Studio Ghibli collection. My favorite are Spirited Away, Howl’s moving castle and Ponyo.

I play the multi-player online game-World of Warcraft. Been a member since 2004. My characters name is Yakone-monk panda and Krevenja-mage dranei.

I love swimming. I swim five days a week for an hour at our local gym swimming pool. I follow a training program through myswimming.org. You track your strokes, laps, times etc. My goal is to participate in the swimming annual Freedom Day challenge which you swim from Big Bay, Cape Town to Robben Island. It’s a 7.4km race in the ocean with an average temperature of 12°C. Crazy huh?

What rituals do you use to help you focus or get the words down on the page, e.g. music or a snack?
Every novel I write has its own music genre.

The Beauty of Freedom was written with Pan Pipe music.

Whiskey on Rocks was written with Pink, Kings of Leon, Adele, John Legend and The Civil Wars.

My Awaken Series-Book 1-The Clock of Innocence is being written with 2Cellos and Enya.

Been written with, I mean these artists music buzz in my ears through my iPod while I write.

Mention something unique about your books and your writing style?
Readers might pick up as they read my stories that the ocean is always present some way or the other. I have explained in little detail on my website the connection we share.

I prefer writing in first person point of view. It draws the reader in immediately. As if they are the actual main character.

Within each book there are experiences I have experienced which makes it easier to explain or delve into that given moment and pour out your heart. Exactly mimicking a certain emotion and trying to do justice by it.

What book would you like to work on next?
Whiskey on Rocks is finished and has been submitted. The story involves a woman battling with emotions and life. She constantly feels as if been transported from another dimension to this place we call earth. What is life about? What is religion? So many what ifs. The character, Gramps is based upon my own experiences with my late grandfather. I have many regrets and unanswered questions. I think many many people out there can relate. What if you had one more moment left to say something to someone knowing they will not be there the next moment? There is definitely romance in this novel, but with a devastating twist.

The Clock of Innocence is my current WIP. It’s written out of a 10-year-old boy’s perspective. His name is Jimmy. Jimmy helps a young man who was in a horrific car accident and takes him home only to discover that his new friend is actually a ghost. No-this is not the movie Six Sense replica. This series involves reptilians feeding upon fear and Jimmy boy is the only anti-dote masking his own fears. This masking ability somehow spreads to others he has contact with. Any romance involved…of course! What did you think?


“When you see the one you love with somebody else.
When the one you love does not recognize you or acknowledges you.
When the one you love walks by hand in hand with the other and he sees you standing there, but he chooses to ignore you because it make the hurt much less . . . For who?
Sadness and heaviness consumes your heart.
A piece of lead stuck in your chest and a lump in your throat.
Anxiety rushing through your veins and stinging you.
Confusion and anger, but all give in to the mercy of hurt.
The ultimate betrayal.
Why does he not choose you?
Why can he not see you?
Why can we not be together?
Since you are the perfect match.
Oh God!
Nails grow on your fingertips. You put your hand to your chest and dig in to rip out your heart, because the pain is unbearable.
Pools of tears well up your sockets and break through the wall pouring down like an angry waterfall, only to give no relief.
Your chest closes up; muscle spasms choke you from the inside and force the life out of your body. You scream for some relief, only to plump down to the floor with no voice.
Staring out in front of you and whispering softly to the wind- Please! Dissolve my body and make me disappear. Please- I beg for mercy from this monstrous hurt.”

Buy Links:

The Beauty of Freedom is available on Amazon as an eBook. Print copies will only be available within about 9 months’ time: Amazon

You can find Leigh Hann at www.leighhann.com and www.facebook.com/authorleigh.hann

Thanks so much for being on my blog and answering my questions. You're some mean swimmer!

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