I’m extremely happy to introduce today’s guest. Leanna Sain is one of my authors at The Wild Rose Press, and I LOVE her writing!
Please tell us a little about yourself, Leanna
I’m a NC girl through and through. I live in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of western NC on a small organic farm where we grow an abundance of fresh fruit, veggies, and cage-free eggs. I’ve been married to my best friend for almost 32 years, and have two grown sons and one grandson. My husband and I own and operate a high-end custom Amish furniture store, and when I’m not writing, I do free-lance portrait paintings.
How did you come up with the idea for Half-Moon Lake?
The story seed for Half-Moon Lake came while my husband and I were travelling through the Nantahalla Valley on a furniture delivery. It was while winding along that mountain road that I saw a school bus that was almost completely covered in kudzu. Ding! My mind immediately set to work. My genre is romantic suspense, so I needed a couple. Ta-Dah! Kate and Levi. Kate is an identical twin, but doesn’t know it. Her sister drowned in the waters of Half-Moon Lake when she was nine and the trauma caused her mind to block all memories prior to that time. It’s not until she’s summoned back to Half-Moon Lake for the reading of her father’s will that she discovers everything about her life has been a lie. Digging for truth only seems to uncover more mystery and danger. Levi is the childhood sweetheart she can’t remember, but there’s no problem with making lots of new memories.
What is the most difficult thing about writing a book?
To me, the most difficult thing about writing a book is the re-writing, and re-writing, and re-writing. Bleh! I have a blast with the initial writing. It’s the monotony of re-writing that gets me bogged down.
Do you have any tips or tricks to share about your writing?
A trick I try to use with my books is tying the stories together if I can. So far, I’ve been able to tie both books in my GRITS series with my “Gate” trilogy. I think it’s a special treat to those who have read those books already and I hope it piques the interest of those who haven’t yet.
Is there a book you wish you’d written?
A book that I’ve read (multiple times) that I wish I’d written is Outlander, by Diana Galbaldon. She’s the ultimate story-teller as far as I’m concerned.
What is your favorite quote?
My favorite quote is from one of the Harry Potter books. Albus Dumbledore speaking: “Words are, in my not-so-humble opinion, our most inexhaustible source of magic. Capable of both inflicting injury, and remedying it.”
What is your most prized material possession?
My laptop. All my notes, and stories, and photos, and music are captured in it.
Have you written other books that have not been published?
Yes, I’ve written other books which haven’t been published…yet. Two are complete, one is about half done and two more have been started. Also notes and outlines for another trilogy. Ideas for a hundred more. I’ll have to live forever to get them all written.
Are your characters taken from people you know or completely made up?
My characters share characteristics from people I know (sometimes a bit of ME,) but mostly they’re from my imagination.
How do you come up with your titles?
The titles come up with themselves. None of them have been changed by my publishers yet.
Thank you for joining me! It was fun getting to know you better. Now, please tell us about your book:
When Kathryn Dorne is summoned to Half-Moon Lake for the reading of her father’s will, she discovers a shocking truth: everything in her life—including her name—is a lie.
Learning that her name is Katelyn Eubanks is only the first surprise. Second, she had an identical twin sister who drowned at the age of nine. Since Katelyn can’t remember anything prior to that age, it seems more than mere coincidence. The biggest surprise is that her father, a man she never knew existed, left his entire estate to her, enraging other would-be heirs.
With her unremembered, but closest childhood friend, Levi, as well as help from the estate’s deaf-mute gardener, and the outspoken cook, Katelyn searches for answers to questions that have plagued her all her life, but doing so, opens the proverbial Pandora’s box. As her memories return, so does the terrible danger she escaped fifteen years earlier.
I awakened to the sound of my own scream. Breathless, heart pounding, pajamas drenched in sweat, I was desperate, clawing at the tangle of sheets wrapped around me.
“Nooo,” I whimpered. “No, please…no!”
I stared, with wide eyes, at the ceiling, concentrating on the shimmery patterns cast by the outside lights around the pool, and gulped deep breaths in an effort to calm down, all while my heart and mind raced.
The nightmare was back. It had plagued me almost every night since I was nine, but about two years ago it stopped, and I thought I’d finally outgrown it. Looked like I was wrong, and begging wouldn’t change anything. Disappointment left a bitter taste in my mouth Why now? What made it return? What could’ve triggered it?
The letter. That had to be it. Everything had been going fine…well, as fine as I could expect things to go in my dysfunctional life, and then I’d gotten yesterday’s mail. There had to be a connection. Maybe—
No! If I allowed my mind to start thinking about it, picking apart every sentence, mulling over what every little thing could mean, I’d never get back to sleep. Tomorrow would be—I glanced at the clock—correction…today was going to be a big day. I needed all the rest I could get if I expected to be able to face it. “Go back to sleep, Kate.”
I flipped my pillow over to the “good dream” side, and twisting my long hair up away from her neck, I sank back into the pillow’s cool softness. It might be silly to still practice such a childish ritual, but it reminded me of my mom and right now, I needed that. The familiarity brought a measure of comfort, which in turn, calmed me. If clinging to the fairytale helped me go back to sleep, then so be it.
I’d face the rest later.
North Carolina native, Leanna Sain, earned her BA from the University of South Carolina, then moved back to her beloved mountains of western NC with her husband. Her “Gate” books have stacked up numerous awards, from Foreword Magazine’s Book-of-the-Year to the Clark Cox Historical Fiction Award from the North Carolina Society of Historians. Sain’s fourth novel, WISH, is a stand-alone, YA crossover.
Her Southern romantic suspense or “GRIT-lit,” showcases her plot-driven method of writing that successfully rolls the styles of best-selling authors Mary Kay Andrews, Nicholas Sparks, and Jan Karon into a delightfully hybrid style that is all her own. Regional fiction lovers and readers who enjoy suspense with a magical twist will want her books.
She loves leading discussion groups and book clubs. For more information or to contact her, visit: www.LeannaSain.com
Twitter: Leanna Sain@Leannasbooks
Website and blog: http://leannasain.com