Ellen Dominick: You have a unique story, tell us a bit about it.
Leanna Harrow: I have four children and when the youngest turned 18 last year and decided he was going off to college, I decided I was going to do something I'd always wanted to do but never had the time....write! I never thought it would be in the erotic genre as I am quite vanilla on the surface, but an incident online with a "catfish" gave me the inspiration for my first book. I had it written in a month. I wrote my second the next month and self published them. I started promoting the ones that were done and went to work on the third which was the sequel to the first. To say the least, I was a busy girl!
While doing all of this, one day, I got an email from the acquisitions editor at Eternal Press, via LinkedIn of all places, asking to read my manuscript to "Killing the Desire" (the second book). I promptly sent it off with a laugh (I was just waiting for my first rejection letter!) and two days later, I got a letter of acceptance with a request for any other books I had!
By that time, I had finished the sequel to my first book "A Beautiful Liar" I sent the editor A Beautiful Liar and then "Maggie's Men" as soon as it was finished in October and they accepted them as well. I had written and self published all three of them between April and October of 2012 and and all three of them were picked up by Eternal Press in early November! It was quite the whirlwind. I just got the acceptance letter for "Maggie's Misery" The Final Chapter in the Maggie West Series and my fourth book in eleven months, yesterday!
As grateful as I am to Eternal Press, I was a self published author first so, I swore to myself that I would do all I could to help and promote my fellow self published and Indie authors!
ED: Describe the moment when you realized Eternal Press was going to publish your books.
LH:It was surreal. I know people always say that, but it really was. I didn't know if I should laugh or cry. I think I did both! It was definitely a day I will always remember. I was, for the first time in my life, totally speechless! lol
ED: You're a mom, how do you balance work and childcare?
LH: Well, all of my kids are grown now...they are 27, 25, 23 & 18. I have grand kids now and they are much easier to handle beacuse I can send them home! I was a single mother for most of my life and it's not easy to work and care for children! Anyone who cares for children knows that you don't have to work outside of the home to have a full time job! Anyone doing both deserves a medal AND a raise!
ED: What's the best book you've read this year?
LH:It's almost embarrassing to say... but I have not had time to read anything this year other than Autumn Leaves by Barbara Winkes and it was wonderful! I need to learn to make time for myself, I've never been any good at that!
ED: Who has supported you in your writing?
LH:I have the most awesome kids who have all supported me completely. They have brought me coffee, asked if I've eaten, asked if I need anything from the store, put up with my moodiness...they are just... awesome! I also have a small group of author friends at Eternal Press that I have grown quite fond of that encourage me and even egg me on once in a while, which I don't need, I can get into trouble on my own lol...They are a great source of inspiration and strength ;)
ED: What is your writing process? How do you get ideas? How long does it normally take you to write a story?Do you research? Any quirks?
LH:I don't really have a process but I do have many quirks lol An idea just comes to me, I sit down and start up the Dragon Naturally Speaking...which was a gift from one of my awesome kids-in-law! I have horrible Rheumatoid Arthritis.... at 46... and he got it for me for Christmas to make the process easier on me...my doll baby...you know who you are ;)
I choose a couple of songs that fit the tone of the book and put them in the loop and they play over and over in my headphones until the book is done...It takes me about a month if I don't get into a mood and decide I don't want to write or get one of my hair brained ideas that takes me away from writing...like doing book trailers for other authors for super cheap...or recording my short stories for sale...you know how the creative brain works..it has a hard time letting you sleep, ya know? hahaha
ED: What has been your biggest success? Your greatest disappointment?
LH:My biggest success? That's easy...my children and grand children. My biggest disappointment? Don't have any. I live life like this...no expectations, no disappointments. I have spent the last two years learning to forgive and love the inner peace it brings...I have never been happier. I think I'm the only person on the planet that can say I don't regret one thing in my life..."If I had not walked every step of my path..I would not be where I am today and though I may not be exactly where I'd like to be, I'm happy where I am"...and yes, you may quote me lol
ED: Tell us about the first piece of erotica you ever wrote.
LH:The first piece of erotica I ever wrote was my first book "A Beautiful Liar". I am going to tell you a secret now...I don't read erotica lol I have read 2 erotic novels in my entire life. One when I was 15 and the other for a review for a friend! I know, I know...my daddy always told me...I'm a wing nut lol
ED: What book would you recommend to your first time readers? Why?
LH: I would suggest "Killing the Desire" because it is an erotic thriller full of twists and turns...it stems from my fascination with murder, mayhem and serial killers...lol I told you, I'm not right. If you are a romance nut, then The Maggie West Series is for you..it will start being released in May ;) The character of Maggie West is based on...well, me. She is as close to me as you can get...until the sex on camera starts...I have way too many body issues for that lol
ED: What are you working on next?
LH:I am currently working on "Why Not to Anger Erotic Novelists" lol It's a story about three women who write for a publisher that can't stand one of the male authors who is a narcissistic, egotistical jackass. When they finally have the chance to meet up at a publisher sponsored event, they seize the opportunity seduce, drug and take their revenge out on him...camera rolling of course ;) The names have been changed to protect the er...innocent lol
ED: Do you have any advice for new writers?
LH:My advice to new authors is to NEVER give up on your dream. If it can happen to me, it can happen to ANYONE! I am living proof that dreams really do come true!
ED: Thank you for sharing with us!
LH: I'd like to thank you Ellen for your time, consideration and patients in putting up with me for this interview! I am truly honored!!
Blurb for Killing the Desire:
Rose never believed in love—her mother’s words in her head saw to that. Becks Harlow wanted Rose to protect her heart from the pain of love. When her mother is brutally murdered, Rose turns to the one man she thought could help, Detective Dave Mason. He was in charge of her mother’s case. Little did Rose know, Detective Mason would soon be in charge of her body, heart, and soul. She also suspects he killed her mother!
Leanna Harrow grew up on the Central Coast of California where the beaches were pristine and the sunsets were spectacular. She attended the school of hard knocks as traditional schools had too many rules and regulations. She raised four children who turned out happy, healthy, productive members of society. Each of her children grew up to possess her independent spirit and headstrong ways but are all awesome people.
For all of her love, time, and devotion, Leanna’s children have repaid her with the ultimate gift of grandchildren. They are her favorite past time and at present, she has four of them. Leanna’s sure that the future holds more of them.
Her hobbies include cooking huge meals for her extended family, a good game of billiards every now and then, reading a good book—as well as writing one, writing poems that pop into her head at the most inopportune times, listening to music as many hours a day as possible and people watching, especially men!
Leanna lives in North Carolina and is very single