Leah Marie Brown started writing novels when she was in school. Her writing career includes reporting, editing, radio and TV broadcasting as well as freelance writing. She is currently promoting her new romance novel Faking It, which will be released on May 12, 2015.
I had the pleasure of finding out more about her past writing experiences and her new novel.
Melanie Rockett: Can you tell me a bit about your background? I can see from your Amazon Bio that you have quite a varied writing career!
Leah Marie Brown: I worked as an editorial assistant and part-time reporter for the Arizona Republic, before joining the USAF as a Radio and Television Broadcaster. With early-90s beach blonde hair and a slightly irreverent attitude, I was an odd cog in the military machine. After my stint in the Air Force, I did stringer work for CBS and freelance articles for numerous magazines. I started writing as a kid, editing school newspapers and attempting to write an action-adventure novel about an Indian Jones type character named Joey Brazil. It was wretched literature, but it sparked the desire in me to write for a (meager) living.
Melanie Rockett: You’ve previously participated in a historical Anthology — Scottish Romance — and wrote a historical romance — Silence in the Mist — your upcoming book, Faking It is a contemporary romance, can you tell me a bit about it?
Leah Marie Brown: My contemporary romance, Faking It, is unlike anything I have ever written before. It started out as a Band-Aid piece. I had just finished writing my sixth historical romance and was receiving tepid responses from editors. The rejections left me feeling quite bruised. One of my best friends, a fellow writer, suggested I try something new. She said, “Girl, you are funny. Write funny.”
It took me several weeks (and a couple Irish hard ciders), before I plucked up the courage to sit down and try my hand at “writing funny.”
Vivia, my heroine in Faking It, is like so many 20-somethings: anxious to succeed professionally and romantically, a bit obsessed with pop culture (and her frizzy ginger hair), and struggling to define herself. When the story opens, she has just been caught in a lie and dumped by her fiancé. This mini life crisis prompts her to embark on a journey of self-discovery – fortunately, this journey takes place in Provence and Tuscany and includes an unfortunate tattoo and a celebrity siting in Cannes.
Melanie Rockett: From military reporting to romance! What and who inspired you to take this path?
Leah Marie Brown: I originally wanted to write historical fiction. Then, I read Rosalind Laker’s novels To Dance with Kings. Her epic romantic tale combined minute historical details and a heart-breaking romance. It made me want to write romance. With Rosalind’s encouragement (I wrote her enthusiastic letters and she kindly replied), I sat down and wrote The Queen’s Folly, an overly-sentimental romance about Marie Antoinette’s illegitimate daughter.
Melanie Rockett: Can you tell me about “how” you write? Do you have a daily schedule or do you lock yourself in a room until the book is done?
Leah Marie Brown: I start by developing my character, then my plot. Once that is done, I assign daily page count goals. Each day, I have a different page count goal. If I don’t reach them, I have to make them up on the following day. My weekend is scrubbed if I haven’t reached my weekly page count goals.
Melanie Rockett: Right now you are promoting and pre-selling your book. How can visitors and fans participate in your upcoming promotion events?
Leah Marie Brown: I will be running loads of contests between now and my release date. I will be giving away an Amazon Kindle and an Android Blu Tablet for pre-orders and reviews. Readers can learn more about my contests by following me on Facebook, Twitter or subscribing to my website.
Melanie Rockett: What’s next … do you have another project in the works?
Leah Marie Brown: I just finished final edits on Finding It, book two of the It Girls series, and have begun working on book three, Working It. My agent is also in discussion with an editor to publish my historical novels.
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Be sure to get an advance copy of Faking It!