Welcome to We Do Write.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
It’s only recently that I began writing a book. I’ve spent many years as a singer/songwriter and I play several musical instruments. I’m very creative and grew up in a rural area of Michigan where we still churned butter, milked our own cows, canned fruits and vegetables and butchered cows and pigs for our food. I sewed most of the clothing my family wore and baked my own bread every week. I cooked on an old gas and wood cookstove. I love camping and cooking over a campfire. My favorite food is pizza. I am very interested in history, especially the Civil War years. I love riding roller coasters.
How long have you been writing?
I’ve been writing since I was about eight – poems first, then songs and short stories and finally on to a novel.
Tell us about INZARED: QUEEN OF THE ELEPHANT RIDERS.
What’s the story about?
The story is about a young woman’s journey from a hardscrabble life in the Appalachian Mountains to the bright lights and excitement of the circus. She works hard and becomes a famous elephant rider named INZARED, falls in love with the boss handler and begins traveling with the circus. The setting is pre-Civil War 1843. Inzared learns to live with the Gypsies, but incurs prejudice not only from some of the circus performers but from her own people, as well. As she matures into a woman she makes decisions that will alter her life forever and learns that you can’t run away from your problems.
How did the idea of the story come to you?
Honestly, I don’t know. As a child I always loved the circus and wanted to run away to join one. When I began writing this novel I sat down and INZARED dictated the story. She led the life and she knew how she wanted to be portrayed. I’m just the vehicle through which she speaks.
Do you have a critique group/partner or beta readers, or do you self-edit?
All of the above. I have a wonderful Writer’s Group in Mexico, where I spend the winter months. The members are honest and give excellent feedback. I use beta-readers and I self-edit. I want my writing to be the best it can be before it’s published.
Are you a planner or a pantser?
I am definitely a pantser. I hope to do a little more planning on the second book in the INZARED series, which I am writing now.
What’s the hardest part of writing for you?
The internet. I have to use it for research, but before I know it I am off on a tangent somewhere and I have to force myself to get back to writing.
What do you absolutely have to have nearby when writing?
A thesaurus – I use an online dictionary and refer to it often.
If you could have any super power, what would it be?
I think it would be the ability to heal people – make terminally ill people instantly well.
What's the weirdest thing you've googled?
What an elephant rider wore in 1843 to protect her legs from the abrasive hide of an elephant while riding. Sounds like an easy question but it wasn’t. I finally found the answer from a circus museum curator in Germany.
Quick writing test! Use the following words in a sentence: flip chart,
insinuate, and cheesecake.
I don’t mean to insinuate that you are not paying attention, but since you aren’t looking at the flip chart while you nonchalantly eat that piece of cheesecake gives me reason to believe that you are uninterested in my presentation.
Finish this sentence: If I'm not writing, I'm probably ...
sleeping, but then I’m dreaming about writing! lol.
Here’s the part where you thank the people who are supporting you.
Let's hear your shout outs.
I have amazing friends and family. Here are the people who made INZARED a reality.
Ralph Baumann – my incredible husband. Thanks for doing the housework so I can write!
Edith Wiscombe – my biggest inspiration for Inzared’s character.
Ethel Stockton – my most supportive author friend who always told me the truth.
Charles and Arlene Flory – I know you’re proud of me, mom and dad!
Angel Artrip – my daughter – thanks for the long pep talks.
My sisters and brother, Sandy, Sheri & Chip – thanks for buying my book (I would have gifted you a copy!)
Peggy Ritchison – my good friend and fantastic beta reader.
Helen Livingston and Alan Switzer – my English and band teachers in high school- they pushed to get the best out of me.
Mazatlan Writer’s Group – everyone should have a writing group like this one – we are brutally honest and all help each other achieve.
There are so many others I need to thank, but you know who you are. Along the way I have met many incredible Indie Authors who have helped me in some way or another.
And finally, where can people find you and your book online?
Amazon Link: http://tinyurl.com/7dfave4
Amazon Author Page: www.amazon.com/author/lleander
Video Trailer: http://youtu.be/lQHtsFQGAP0
FB Author Page: http://facebook.com/lleanderbooks
L.Leander Blog: http://lleander11.wordpress.com/