Erin M. Leaf Interview

I am delighted to be speaking with author Erin M. Leaf today. Thanks for chatting with us today Erin and welcome to FAR!

To start, will you please tell us a little bit about your current release Appassionato available now from Siren-BookStrand?
Here's the blurb: When Emma dreams about super-famous rockstar Duncan and his friend Jake, it never occurs to her they might be dreaming, too. About her. Everyone knows dreams arenít real, but what will happen when the trioís shared visions develop into a passion that canít be denied?

When reports of a new "bonding" phenomenon surface, Duncan and Jake finally realize why they feel so connected to the sweet high-school librarian theyíve never met. The headaches and dreams suddenly make sense, but it isnít until they meet Emma face-to-face that instinct takes over, and passion binds their minds and bodies into a link that canít be broken.

Then, just as the happy ending Emma always hoped for seems possible, a hostage crisis and a series of kidnappings threatens everything. Can the trio unravel the conspiracy in time to protect the future of their bond?

What was your inspiration for Appassionato?
Appassionato was conceived from one of my many daydreams. I tend to make up characters and situations in my head while bicycling or doing the laundry and one day I thought: "Wouldn't it be fun to date a rock star?" Appassionato came out of that daydream. Because I love sci-fi and fantasy so much, I wanted to include a paranormal element in the book as well. I've always loved the idea of "bonding," where you have a soul mate who is your perfect match. The bonding in the Appassionato world can happen to couples as well as trios. I loved playing with my characters and giving them special abilities. My heroine got to date a rock star and his best friend. It was great fun to write.

What is a typical day like for you?
My day begins with me telling myself that I'm going to write in the morning. I almost never succeed with this ideal. Instead, I usually eat breakfast, answer my email, exercise, do errands, and any number of other small tasks until it's after lunch. Then I sit down and write, or revise, depending on where I am in my current novel.

Do you have any special rituals to help you get in the mood to write?
Honestly? Not really. Mostly I just make myself sit in front of my computer and write. This sounds a lot easier than it actually is. The blinking cursor is my arch-nemesis. He likes to wander around a blank page, taunting me as I try and come up with good sentences.

Do you have any bad writing habits?
Procrastination? I think that's it. I am a terrible procrastinator. Once I get started the words usually come pretty easily, but getting started is a terrible struggle for me. As for the writing itself: I'm always striving to learn and write better. I like to pick a particular element and work on it until I've mastered the technique or pattern.

Do you have a character that is especially close to your heart?
All of them! I become attached to my characters when I'm writing them. I don't like my bad guys, but I love my heroes and heroines.

What were your feelings when your first novel was accepted and when you first saw the cover of the finished product?
I was thrilled when my first novel was accepted! I jumped up and down. This feeling lasted for three days. Then the next book I wanted to write began rattling around in my head and the process started all over again.

The first time I held the printed book in my hand was surreal. I recall opening the pages and for a moment it felt like someone else had written it.

What is the biggest misconception about being an author?
That anyone can do it. So many people I talk to about writing have half a novel stashed in their closet. Or they say they're going to write a novel. The truth is it takes a lot of work and practice to sit down and write for days on end. Also, there are a zillion books out there that aren't bestsellers. Rejection happens often. Writing isn't glamorous.

What do you see as the biggest influences on your writing?
I'm always trying to work on my prose, make it as tight as it can be because my favorite authors write that way. I also love poetry. I'd like to be able to infuse my prose with that sense of passion and grace.

What's one thing you would like your readers to know about you?
I have a great imagination and I'm happily married. I don't write romance because I'm missing something in my life. I write because I love the idea of falling in love over and over again and it's a great deal of fun to make that happen to my characters.

Everyone has a different perspective on "getting away from it all" and a good book often helps to satisfy an escapist urge. As a reader or an author, what are the essential elements for you in good escapist reading?
Adventure! Sexual tension! A great plot and characters that don't make me angry. I don't like when the point of view switches around among ten different characters. I want a main character I can love and root for and who gets to live happily ever after at the end of the novel or series.

Congratulations! You just won a year off from work to travel anywhere in the world and write the story of your dreams. Where do you go, what type of book do you write, and what's the title?
I used to say I wanted to go to Venice and then I did a little research. All that water? The place smells a bit rank. So, my next choice would be a cabin in the middle of a forest. With room and maid service. Or a castle with room and maid service. Honestly, it just needs to be quiet and I'd love to not do laundry or cook for a year. I'd probably write more than one book. Most likely one would be a romance, one would be sci-fi, and it's very likely I'd write a book of poetry as well.

Can you share a little of what you're currently working on with us?
Right now I'm revising a sci-fi novel I'll soon be sending out to some agents. It has a hint of romance in it but the main story is about the aliens about to go all crazy on the planet. I also have one page written of my next erotic romance. It's set in the same world as Appassionato, but the main characters are different. I know one of them will be a dancer and I can't wait to write about him!

Do you have a website or blog where readers can learn more about you and your works?
I do! My website and my blog. I'm also on Twitter: @erinmleaf and Facebook.

There are free reads and some excerpts from my first novel, The First Time is the Sweetest, as well as my latest romance, Appassionato, for your reading pleasure.

Is there anything else you would like to add today?
Thank you so much for having me!

Thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule to answer some questions for us today Erin!

Interviewed by: Tammy