“Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart.” ~William Wordsworth
Books are some of my very best friends. Growing up, deep in the heart of Texas, I inherited my mother’s love of reading that grew into a passion for storytelling. My sister encouraged me to write because I was always scribbling away in my journal. Since then I have written over twenty books, many of them award-winning novels, ranging from contemporary romance to women’s inspirational fiction to inspiration thriller.
“There is a thin line that separates laughter and pain, comedy and tragedy, humor and hurt.” –Erma Bombeck
This is the line I explore in my novels as I peer deep into the human heart. Difficult and painful seasons come and go throughout our lives, and I have experienced many in my life as I’m sure you have in yours, but Proverbs 17:22 says “A joyful heart is good medicine…” No matter the subject of my books, I try to incorporate humor in some way.
Pop culture often inspires ideas for my stories, everything from the music of Elvis, Pink Floyd, and Andrew Lloyd Webber to great literature like The Wizard of Oz and Phantom of the Opera. When I’m not chasing vampires through darkened recesses of my mind or playing matchmaker to characters resisting love, I keep busy by driving my two children to all of their activities, figuring out what to make for dinner (or where to order takeout), chasing my crazy labradoodle around the house (and keeping her from eating my library), and searching for the next idea.
“Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog it’s too dark to read.” – Groucho Marx
Here’s a picture of Hilo (named after one of our favorite vacation spots on the island of Hawai’i). During the dark days of grief after my father’s death, she helped me laugh and write again, serving as the model for Cousin It, the loveable canine character in my book, FACELIFT. I often discuss Hilo (otherwise known as the Hilo Monster) and her crazy antics on my Facebook author page.
Quick Facts about Leanna:
Favorite color: Red!
Favorite animal: Lions, polar bears…and of course my adorable dogs and snooty cats.
Favorite food: Blueberries, strawberries, dark chocolate (never mixed with fruit of any kind), cheese enchiladas and guacamole.
Favorite beverage: Diet Coke, although I’m trying not to drink as many, and some times Sangria. I’m learning to love water. But please don’t get between me and coffee in the morning.
Favorite vacation locations: I love the mountains. Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Ouray, Colorado. But I also love the ocean and going to Hawaii. I won the Golden Heart award while in Hawaii. Then another time, I signed with my agent while vacationing there. Swimming with large sea turtles is one of the coolest experiences ever. England and Scotland is where my husband and I honeymooned and we cannot wait to get back over there. We took our children there a few years ago. Last summer, we vacationed in Paris, and I fell in love with the sights, smells, and food.
Favorite TV show: I don’t get to watch much TV, but we often get DVDs of shows we enjoy. LOST is probably my all time favorite. I really love Castle, too. I Love Lucy and Andy Griffith are also classic favorites.
Favorite Movies: I love movies! There are too many favorites to name, but here are some I watch over and over: Bridget Jones’ Diary, When Harry Met Sally, A Few Good Men, Apollo 13, Dances with Wolves, Steel Magnolias, and Hunger Games.
Favorite Actors: Mel Gibson (yeah, I know. Even though he got in trouble, I still love Mel.), Russell Crowe (another Aussie and bad boy), Anthony Hopkins, Jimmy Stewart, Cary Grant and, last but never ever least, Gene Kelly.
Favorite Actresses: Rene Zellweger, Cate Blanchet, Meryl Streep, Dame Judi Dench, Katharine Hepburn.
Favorite Music: So many musicals, so little time: Les Miserables, Miss Saigon, Phantom of the Opera, Martin Guerre, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and the list goes on and on. I’m very eclectic in my listening. I also love Michael Ball ( who played Marius in Les Mis), Michael Bublé, Frank Sinatra, U2, Casting Crowns, Newsboys, Selah, Josh Groban, Carrie Underwood, Miranda Lambert, George Strait, Garth Brooks, the Piano Guys….
Favorite books: How the Grinch Stole Christmas. I’m not kidding. I love that book. Okay, on a more serious note, I adore To Kill A Mockingbird. Another of my favorites is Alas, Babylon.
Favorite Authors: Elizabeth Berg, Sue Monk Kidd, Anita Shreve, Jodi Picoult, Harper Lee and Fannie Flagg…way too many others to name.