Hello and welcome to my blog, Author Interviews. My name is Fiona Mcvie.

 

Let’s get you introduced to everyone, shall we? Tell us your name.

 Leigh Lennon

What is your age? 42

 

Fiona: Where are you from?

Originally, I am from Washington State, living half of my life in a small farming community by the name of Sprague near Spokane, Washington. Then we moved an hour north of Seattle to a town called Burlington.

I now live in North Carolina near the Raleigh Area.

 

Fiona: A little about your self (ie, your education, family life, etc.).

I am a mom of four crazy kids that keep me busy. I amalso the wife of a cancer survivor. I met my hubs in the Navy, which I joined after Highschool. I have my degree in Elementary Education and I love to cook and read.

 

Fiona: Tell us your latest news.

My debut book is coming out on September 15th and it follows a large and diverse family. In the first book, we meet Justine as an unfiltered woman who says it as it is. This book is appropriately entitled Unfiltered. My next book called Unacquainted will be out Mid October and it follows the same crazy family. The main character is Rose (who is Justine’s daughter) and she is at a crossroads in life. My third book will be the first book in a duet series called The Last Breath.

Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

I started writing in Middle school and my old principle sent my parents a lot of my old manuscripts.  It was fun to see them again and it made me think.I’ve always wanted to be a writer. When my husband was diagnosed with cancer and I was virtually a single mom of four small kids plus taking care of a sick spouse, I needed an outlet. I started writing a YA fantasy book. It sort of stalled then I started with The Last Breath (the book coming out in November). The other books just started falling into place.

Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I considered myself a writer when I penned the last words to my first book.

 

Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

Unfiltered is not the first book I wrote, it happens to be the fourth book I wrote. I wanted to write about a woman in her late thirties or early forties who found love again after many years. It was supposed to be a very deep book at first and, though there are certainly serious issues in this book, it is full of humor too.

The first book I wrote is The Last Breath. It is a thought-provoking book dealing with cancer and I wrote it when my hubby was undergoing chemo treatments. It will debut in November and will follow a mother and daughter in a duet with the second book releasing in January called Continue Breathing.

 

Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

It was difficult to name this book that is about to release.  Sometimes, I come up with a title right away or I struggle. Unfilteredhad at least ten different names until one day I said to myself, “This woman is unfiltered and I love writing about her.” Thus the name.

Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?

I consider myself a multi-genre writer. I love mysteries with a dark romantic twist. I love chick-lit but I want steamy scenes in the books I read (well most of them). I want to read something that moves me. So I took all those areas I love reading about and that has made me the writer of the subject matters and genres I find myself crafting.

Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

I take some of my own life but then twist it into a unique story.

Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?

I would like to travel moreand I will start doing that, as it is justified. I try to stick with what I know. I have lived in North Carolina, Washington State,and South Carolina so, as of now, most of stories take place in those areas. One book will take place in New York but I have been there. I will be relying on a lot of research for that though. Another book I started takes place in Australia. I had to put it away because I just don’tknow enough about their culture. I told the hubs, “Hey, I have to go to Australia for research, I will take a friend with me and you can watch the kids.” He only laughed at me. He didn’t think I was serious.

Fiona: Who designed the covers?

Kasmit Designs designed the cover for Unfilteredand kudos to him for putting up with the first time writer who wanted her cover just right. The problem I had with it is that I had no vision!

 

Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

In Unfiltered, I want anyone who reads it, regardless of age, to know that as we get older, we aren’t unlovable. We are just as capable of great love at any age. Though I wrote this book with a certain generation in mind, I think anyone at any age can appreciate this book.

Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?  Who is your favorite writer, and what is it about their work that really strikes you?

I love Jewel E. Ann and her literary style. I just discovered her but I will be reading everything she writes!

Judy Blume will forever be my favorite author. Early on, her Fudge books created a love in my life for reading even when reading was very hard for me. As I got older, I realized she writes women’s fiction. From Summer Sisters to Wifey to Smart Women all the way to In the Unlikely Event, she has stolen my heart with her larger than life characters.

Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.

I have one friend in particular that listened to every plot twist I would come up with, even if she had heard it a million times. She truly cared about everything that my mind was creating.

I also had a beta reader that spent twenty-five hours on the phone with me as we went line by line with changes in my book!

Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

That is the plan!

Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

If I could redo anything, I would not have changed the tense of this book. I changed from 3rd POV to 1stPOV, which I don’t regret! I changed from past to present tense which I totally regret!

Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?

Oh, where to start. I have stopped writing for the most part for the past five months as I figure out the best way to get my story to print. Once I decided the route to take, I wrote out a strategic plan but even your best laid out plans are not always what works out. It was a lot of hit and miss and determination. So, in the long run, I learned planning is key but it’s also important to be able to change and adapt.

 

Fiona: If your book was made into a film, whom would you like to play the lead?

Reece Witherspoon would be great for the sassy Justine Hernandez.

Mark Ruffalois perfect for the beta male of Nick Wallace.

Fiona: Any advice for other writers?

Don’t let anyone dictate your dreams. I didn’t tell anyone for the longest time I was writing and I know I still get weird looks about this direction I’ve taken in my life.

Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?

I wrote the story of Justine for women in their late thirties and early forties as we begin to realize we are in the middle of our life. Justine is a couple of years away from being alone with her kids in their final years of school. I wanted a book a woman my age could look at and say “We may not be twenty anymore but hell, we are still sexy.” Justine embodies this. I also wanted a book that twenty year olds can look at and think that it is not too bad getting older each year.

The next book follows Justine’s daughter five years later as a young adult. I wanted to make each bookwork for a certain generation but still could be enjoyed by the people of different generations.

 

Fiona: What book are you reading now?

I am all over the place with my reading. I will read three to five books at one time. I am currently reading The Bars Between Us by A. S. Teague, The Truth about Porn Star Boyfriends by Sunniva Dee, The Travelers by Chris Pavone and For You (‘Burg #1) by Kristen Ashley.

Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

I was not a great reader but I will never forget the first book that caught my interest. It is called The Summer of my German Soldier by Bette Greene. It is about a girl living in Arkansas when POW’s from WWII were sent to the United States.  The Nazi POW’s get bussed into town to buy work clothes at a local store. Patty, the main character, becomes infatuated with one prisoner and she harbors him while he thinks of her as a little sister. Oh, I forgot to mention that Patty is Jewish.

 

Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

My kids make me laugh. Their unique personalities and their own passions in life keep me going to follow my own. There is so much that makes me cry. Thanks to my sister, the Christmas Folgers commercial from the 1980’s with Peter surprising his mother, makes me cry.

 

Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?

I would love to meet Judy Blume because I adore her books and she has been an influence in my own writing.

 

Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?

I love to cook and, of course, read. Spending time with my family is the most important thing I do and I make it a priority.

 

Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?

I fell in love with This is Us. I also am an avid fan of The Last Ship and Eric Dane. Oh, he is just yummy to watch in a uniform. We watch DC comic television shows as a family—The Flash, The Arrow and Supergirl. Then there is Game of Thrones­—need I say more? (Except for saying Jon Snow is hot!)

 

Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?

Oh, I am a country girl at heart. It drives my hubby crazy that I grew up near Seattle during the grunge movement. My favorite color is yellow as was evident by every room in our old house(which is a quote in this book) and my favorite food is chicken fried steak, green beans with a ton of butter, and fried potatoes.

 

Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?

If I couldn’t write, I honestly don’t know what I would do. Nothing is as passionate for me as writing is. (Except being a mom.)

 

Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?

“I can’t go back to yesterday because I was a different person then.” Lewis Carroll: Alice in Wonderland.

 

Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?

My website is http://www.authorleighlennon.com/

You can follow my at writing-with-a-side-of-life.com to follow my blog.

Please follow me on facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1257849247670788/

Here is my blog tour give away: (It is a great give away!) https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/50f17079264/

I am also looking for three more spots to be filled on my arc team. You can email me at authorleighlennon@gmail.com

Unaquainted-10/13/17
Rose
He burns a passion within me that I have never felt. Do I chose safe or risk it all?

Unfiltered-9/15/2017
Justine
I am always left. Abandonment is my fear and I push everyone away by my cold exterior.  But when I am promised forever, can I believe him?

 

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