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. What is your age?
Leigh Podgorski, 65
Fiona: Where are you from?
Fiona: A little about your self (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
I have a Master’s in Humanities/Literature Discipline. I live with my actor husband Dave Florek and two adorable dogs, Piwo (Polish for beer!) a Beagle, and Eli a black Fell Terrior. My daughter Hannah is a singer song-writer and lives in Los Angeles as well.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
My some-time screen-writing partner Lenny Castellaneta and I are working with a director/producer on our screenplay LETTER TO SANTA to bring it to television this Holiday Season. Fingers crossed!
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I have written all my life, since I could hold a #2 yellow pencil against a blue-lined yellow paper. Always a story-teller, I consider it a great and wonderful gift.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Kindergarten. Seriously. And it has filled my life with joy.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
My family. I grew up hearing family stories and swore I would one day tell them. I began in 2005 researching my Polish ancestry, including a trip to Krakow, Poland and to Debowiec, the town my grandmother grew up in and left at the tender age of 16 for America. Through the parish priest and a dear friend here who is Polis and translated for me, I found a genealogist who traced my family back to the 1750’s. Using a history of Debowiec, several Polish histories, and fiction woven around the history, I created THE WOMEN DEBROWSKA that follows a Polish family through 250 years of Polish history intertwining their history with the history of a country.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
I wanted to concentrate the story on the women. I was not writing a memoir nor a non-fiction, so I did not want to use my last name. So I took a name from the history, and titled the book THE WOMEN DEBROWSKA.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
I write in several genres that can be quite challenging when trying to establish a brand when it comes to marketing.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
THE WOMEN DEBROWSKA weaves Polish history with the fiction of the family. Some of the fiction is based on the stories of my family, but changed. So many 40/60.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
For THE WOMEN DEBROWSKA, I travelled to Poland. I have another book GALLOWS ASCENDING that is based on a real incident, the last woman hanged in New Hampshire. OURAY’S PEAK, the story of a young girl who travels cross-country and across the Rocky Mountains to find her mother came from the time I lived in beautiful Aspen, Colorado. Places are very meaningful to me.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
I actually designed the cover for THE WOMEN DEBROWSKA. My Western Romance, WESTERN SONG was designed by my publisher, Solstice Publishing who also designed my novellas THE SEASON OF THE NEURI KNIGHT, MY SOUL TO TAKE, and the short story SILENT NIGHT. For the rest of my work, I used professional designers.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
I think a central theme I write about is renewal, forgiveness, and reunion.
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 have many writers that I admire. John Steinbeck and Mark Twain were huge influences. Barbara Kingsolver and Toni Morrison, too. I look for truth. If I don’t find truth, I won’t read you again. Truth and the creation of a world I can believe.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
My colleagues. I was working as a professor at a Community College, and I had a lot of support from my fellow instructors and staff. That was really quite wonderful.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
More as a calling. As something I must do.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
There are ALWAYS things you would change. But you must know when to stop painting. Or you will NEVER publish or write another book. Not being able to let go is what blocks many writers from moving forward.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
Always, always, always.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
I just finished DAISY CHAIN by Mark Montgomery. I highly recommend it.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Besides Dick and Jane books and Nancy Drew Mysteries, I remember EAST OF EDEN and THE GRAPES OF WRATH by John Steinbeck. I was pretty young, my teacher was horrified, I’m sure I missed bunches, and I was forever hooked.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Truth and beauty
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
Mary Magdalene. Because she knows.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
Hiking, swimming, reading.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I love drama and intrigue, cleverness, witty humour, good acting, talented directing.
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
Great flavors, bright and interesting, all kinds of music from classical to classical rock to swing to jazz.
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
I’ve been trying to figure that out.
Fiona: You only have 24 hours to live how would you spend that time?
On a beach in Maui.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
She loved and lived life to the fullest.
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
AMAZON PAGE: https://www.amazon.com/Leigh-Podgorski/e/B005P57NEQ
Western Song http://amzn.to/2sTk6CM
STONE QUEST SERIES BOOK SET http://amzn.to/2s2oq3i
Desert Chimera http://amzn.to/1fnIpZP
Gallows Ascending http://amzn.to/1jTTHrR
The Season of the Neuri Knight http://amzn.to/2A7MQrR
Silent Night http://amzn.to/2BQxEnq
My Soul to Take http://amzn.to/2E8jMDa
The Women Debrowska http://amzn.to/2sjgshM
Ouray’s Peak http://amzn.to/1phcImX