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20 January 2013
Guest Blog: L. Leander
This week, we're welcoming author L. Leander, whose latest title is INZARED, Queen of the Elephant Riders. L. Leander will offer a free copy of the book to a lucky blog visitor. Here's the blurb:
Ms. Leander currently resides between Wisconsin and Mexico. INZARED, Queen of the Elephant Riders is the first book in a series about a Gypsy wagon circus in pre-Civil War America.
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Sometimes life isn't what we wish for. A Gypsy circus comes to a small Appalachian community in 1843. A naïve, misunderstood farm girl is entranced by the sights, sounds and costumes and is persuaded to join the troupe. Late one night she leaves the only home she has ever known and follows the Gypsy wagon circus. She learns to ride the main act - an elephant named Cecil and she and the elephant form an instant bond. She is given the stage name of INZARED, Queen of the Elephant Riders and is delighted.
But all is not as it seems. There are undertones of danger and sadness lurking in the shadows, as foretold by the old fortune-teller Vadoma. Inzared finds true love and works hard to gain acceptance into the Gypsy world. Someone is sabotaging the circus - but whom? Inzared and Paytre (the boss handler) search for clues. What of the family Inzared left behind? Will they ever forgive her? Does she miss them?
This book is for anyone who has ever had a dream so big, so overwhelming that it consumed his or her every waking minute. Sometimes you just might get more than you bargained for and maybe it’s not what you really wanted after all.
**Q&A with L. Leander**
What was your inspiration to write and when did you begin?
I don’t ever remember not writing. I loved books from an early age. My mother wrote poetry and short stories and my father wrote songs and poems. I won a writing competition when I was ten or twelve and that spurred me on. I loved losing myself in another world where I was part of a creative flow. The stories came easily to me. When I was in my teens I learned to play guitar and I wrote mostly songs for the next twenty years, along with poetry. It wasn’t until I moved to Mexico that I began my first novel. So, my inspirations were my mom and dad and Mexico and I began before I can remember.
Tell us a little about the creation of INZARED, Queen of the Elephant Riders
I sat down at the computer one night with a blank screen. Before I knew it this girl named Bertha Maude Anderson from the Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina was dictating her story to me faster than I could write it. The year was 1843 and she had run away to join a Gypsy wagon circus and become the elephant rider. She nagged at me every night until I wrote the next segment. It was like living with a headache that won’t go away until you take an aspirin. I mean that in a good way. Inzared kept me focused and writing and the entire first two books were actually written in about four months or so. The story was so colorful, full of circus animals and clowns, Gypsy fortune-tellers and hillbillies. I loved writing it and doing the research.
What’s your writing style? Where do you write?
I’m definitely a pantser. I jump right in and start writing. However, I just finished two short non-fiction books for writers and I did outline them. It was easier to write them because of it. Perhaps I’ll try the outline thing again, at least in part. I enjoy being able to just go where the muse takes me. And since the third book in the Inzared series is my next project, I’m really looking forward to spending more time with her. She’s a hoot!
I write anywhere I can. I do most of my writing in my office, which is in a sunny room in Mexico in the winter and my small-town library in the summer. I have to have complete quiet to think, so the library is tough some days, but I love being around all the books. I’ve written songs and poetry on road trips, airplanes, camping, at restaurants and just about anywhere else you can think of!
Where do you get your material for your books?
I answered this partly above – by accident from a young woman who wouldn’t stop talking until I sat down and wrote her story. But I am very aware of my surroundings. I had a rich childhood in a rural small town and I had experiences that lots of people don’t have, like churning butter, milking cows, canning, cooking on a woodstove, and lots more. I always knew someday I’d use those experiences to write about. They were perfect knowledge for the Inzared series. I listen to the news and write down headlines that catch my eye. I keep a small journal for writing down thoughts and ideas. As a songwriter I am always picking up on things people say or watching billboard signs for ideas. Often they are just staring you in the face. I love doing the research. Once I have an idea I get busy finding facts. It’s my favorite part of the writing process.
Do you have a not-so-favorite part of the writing process?
Marketing. Like most of my fellow authors, I dislike touting my works all over the place. But it’s something that must be done. I do thoroughly enjoy meeting so many people via my books. It always thrills me when they like what they’ve read. I take those comments and the negative ones and try to make my writing even better. But if I had my druthers I’d just write! (and hire someone else to do the marketing)
What other books are in the works?
The second book in the Inzared series, INZARED, The Fortune Teller is scheduled for publication in the spring of 2013. I have a murder mystery in the works with a projected release of August 2013. I hope to have the third book in the Inzared series out in November of 2013. That should keep me busy, I think!
Why did you decide to go Indie?
I really wanted to share my book with the world and after a lot of research and self-talk I decided to go it on my own. I like having my own control over my writing. I’m not against traditional author platforms, though. I’m sure I would entertain thoughts of signing a contract, but I’ve learned a lot along the way so hopefully, I’d be in a better position because of it.
L.Leander is an e-book author, freelancer and songwriter. She writes for Yahoo! Content and does guest posts on author blogs and groups. As a child L.Leander dreamed of running away to join the circus. Instead, she grew up to write about it, bringing the magic alive for all who read her work.
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FB Author Page: http://facebook.com/lleanderbooks
L.Leander Blog: http://lleander11.wordpress.com/
L.Leander’s Reviews and Interviews: http://lleandersreviewsandinterviews.wordpress.com/