Thursday, February 13, 2020

On Writing: In Conversation with Natalie Reddy

Today we are in conversation with Natalie J Reddy, a Canadian Author who spends her days trying to escape reality by making up stories about the characters in her head.
There is nothing she loves more than to be pulled into a fictional world whether it is in her own writing or the writing of others. Her debut novel is the first in a New Adult Urban Fantasy series with characters who have supernatural abilities and dark and
sometimes unknown pasts to overcome.
When she is not writing, Natalie can be found having all sorts of real-life adventures with
her husband and daughter or curled up with a good book and a cup of tea.

Was becoming an author always your dream or was it a particular event or
incident that gave birth to the author in you?

Books and writing were both things I loved at an early age. I loved writing stories and
reading them to my brothers and I always did really well in Creative Writing classes at
school. But being an author wasn’t something I started pursuing until I got married in
2014. After our wedding, I left my job working in childcare and moved to the city my
husband lived in and for the first time since I was sixteen I didn’t have a full-time job. It
was at that time that I found the book “No Plot? No Problem!” By Chris Baty and learned
about National Novel Writing Month which takes place worldwide every November. It
was only July at the time but I didn’t want to wait until November to try writing a novel so
I gave it a shot. I ended up writing a 50,000-word novel that month, and that’s when I
really started to consider becoming an author.

How important are the names of the characters in your books to you? Do you
spend agonizing hours deciding on their names?

Oh, great question! It depends on the character to be honest. I do give thought to every
name I give a character but some come easier than others. With Darshan’s name for
example, I spend hours on a baby name website trying to find the perfect name for his
character. But there was another name that I found on a children’s television show and
one other was the name of a waitress I met at a restaurant. I kind of find names
everywhere. When I hear one that I find interesting I’ll write it down for possible future

What is your writing process like? Do you write every day? Is there a favourite
place to write?

My writing process keeps evolving and I’m still working out what works best for me.
Right now I am a stay at home mom to my four-year-old daughter and that means my
writing has to work around her. I do have an office and it is definitely my favourite place to
write but I’m often interrupted which means that I don’t always get to write there. 

I do a lot of my writing on my phone which helps me get more done on days when I’m not able
to sit down at my computer. I’m not a writer who writes for hours at a time. I’m a sprinter
who will try to get as much writing as I can do in fifteen or twenty-minute (or
sometimes five-minute) increments. I try to write at least a few hundred words every day
to keep up a daily habit but there are some days where I don’t write at all.

While writing Forgotten Scars I was able to learn more about my needs as an author. At
least half of Forgotten Scars was written without much planning. The second half I had
to plan before I could finish because I got really stuck. I am currently working on the
sequel and this time around I have done more plotting and outlining which has been
really helpful. I think I’m definitely a hybrid between a plotter and pantser. I love being in
the moment with my characters and seeing where they lead but I need a general guide
so that I stay on track and true to the story.
One thing that has always remained the same regardless of where or when I’m writing is
tea. There is always a mug of tea close by whether I’m writing in my office or on the
couch with my daughter. Tea keeps me going :).

 What is different about Forgotten Scars’?

Hmmm, another good question. One thing that is different from some other books is that
my main character Wren is far from perfect. Right off, we see that she is a bit broken. On
top of her emotional wounds, she has her own physical imperfections that set her apart
from others.
The Psi are also something that is different. Many books have different supernatural
creatures in their world (witches, vampires, werewolves) but in my world, the Psi don’t
make up a fraction of the supernatural world, they are the supernatural world. They may
have different powers or appear to be different supernatural creatures but at the end of
the day they are all the same thing. Psi.
Another cool thing about my book is that the setting is in Canada! I’m a Canadian author
and I really wanted to represent my country and use it for the setting for this first book. I
can count on one hand the amount of books I’ve read that are set in my country and I
wanted to change that.

Who is your favourite character in the book and why?

Oh, this is a hard one! If I had to pick one, I would probably say Misha. Misha has
evolved in a lot of ways. He was meant to be a side character and have a much smaller

part in book one but I loved writing him so much that he ended up with a bigger role. He
is also the strong, silent, brooding type and who doesn’t love one of those?

Which do you prefer as a reader? EBook or Paperback?

I love a physical book, I love the feel of it, the smell of it and how it looks on my
bookshelf. But if I had to pick I would have to say Ebook. I read and buy more ebooks
than physical books. It’s easier for me to pull out my phone to read a book than it is to
carry around a paperback everywhere. But I possibly love Audiobooks even more. As a
mom I am constantly multitasking and audiobooks mean I can do my dishes or fold my
laundry and listen to a book at the same time. Perfect!

How long did it take to finish writing Forgotten Scars’?
It took me about a year and a half from writing the first sentence to publication.

How important do you think is marketing in today’s world for any book?

I would say that marketing is pretty important for an author. With the popularity of self-publishing, there are more authors than ever putting their work out there. It’s easy to get
lost in a sea of books if you have no marketing strategy. That being said I think that
writing the best book you are capable of is even more important first and foremost. The
best marketing strategy in the world isn’t going to help you if your book isn’t well written
and properly edited.

Please share a passage or quote from Forgotten Scars’ for our readers.

His back was turned to me for a long moment, and my eyes darted to the stupid candelabra I’d
left on the desk. What was the likeliness I could get to it and smash his brain in before he could stop me?
“Not good,” he said.
“Your chances of being quick enough to smash my brain in aren’t good.”
“What?” I shook my head. Had he just replied to my thoughts? I was sure I hadn’t voiced my
murderous thoughts out loud. Or had I? Nothing else made sense. I was losing it. I was totally losing it!
Darshan turned his gaze on me. You’re not losing it—yet. He raised a brow with the word ‘yet.’
I stood there, frozen, and he took advantage and moved toward me. His mouth lifted in a smirk,
and he cocked his head in a casual yet predatory way.
I swallowed the lump that had formed in my throat.

“I—” I shook my head, trying to find the right words. His lips hadn’t moved, but I had heard him.
His lips hadn’t moved. Was there a word for that?
Telepathy. Darshan shrugged, his voice filling my mind. That would be the word for it.
I clenched my hands, trying to calm the shaking that had started.
The word I would have used would have been, impossible.
I sucked in a breath. “I—I’m confused.” I cursed the quiver in my voice. My heart had started
pounding, and my palms were sweating.
Darshan closed the gap between us, a dark expression on his face as he gripped my arms. I tried
to pull away, but his grip was iron.
“What are you?” I asked. “I don’t understand.”
Of course, you don’t. But you need to.” His golden eyes narrowed, and I lowered my gaze. He
dipped his head, forcing our eyes to meet. I need answers, Wren, and I’ll use every means at my disposal
to get them.”
“I can’t give you what you need,” I said, and his grip tightened. I winced as his fingers bit into
my arms.
He shook me as his voice roared in my head. You can! You’re just choosing not to.
A whimper escaped my throat, shame joining the fear coiling in my gut. At that moment, I was
glad I didn’t know how to find Wendy, because I would have given them almost anything to be allowed
to leave.
“I can’t. I swear! I don’t know anything—not anything useful anyway. I can’t help you.”
You know more than you think you do, he insisted.
But I didn’t. Why wouldn’t he believe me? Why wouldn’t he just let me leave?
Darshan cocked his head as he looked at me. Are you afraid? His grip loosened just a bit.
“Yes,” I whispered. There was no point in lying; it was obvious.

Good. You should be. He dropped my arms, and I resisted the urge to rub where I was sure there
were now hand-shaped bruises. “But not of me. You should be afraid of the woman you’re protecting.”

What are the three tips you have for readers of this interview who are aspiring

1) Write, write, write! You can’t publish what isn’t written. And even if you think what
you’re writing is terrible, keep going! That’s what editing is for ;).
2) Write what excites you. If you’re bored while you’re writing it, your readers are going
to be bored while they read it.
3) Don’t compare yourself to others. No one is on the same journey. Don’t cheapen your
experience by expecting it to look like someone else.

Thank you, Natalie. It was great speaking to you. Wishing you the very best in all your future endeavours.

About the Book:

Memories can be painful, but not remembering at all can be almost maddening!

Wren Peterson-Cruz isn’t without scars. In her nineteen years, she’s been through more trauma than most, but the memories of her greatest trauma are buried deep within her mind.

Wren had long given up hope of finding out the truth about her childhood until she’s pulled into a world she never knew existed. In this world, she meets people who are far from human. They call themselves Psi. They have powers and abilities that shouldn’t be real and seem to be looking to Wren for answers that she doesn’t have. Or does she?

The Psi, who have more secrets than answers, offers her a unique opportunity. An opportunity that could lead to the answers Wren’s wanted her whole life. But can Wren trust them to protect her and help her discover her true self? Or is she being pulled into a world that is more dangerous and deceptive than she realizes?


Monday, February 10, 2020

Book Spotlight: The Chosen Seven by Gill anderson



FARZAD ABED is an unhinged Iranian immigrant living in Australia. His sociopathic tendencies coupled with his political views make him a very dangerous man indeed. Farzad wants the world to sit up and take notice of him and randomly selects six bystanders to hold hostage at a city restaurant.
JACOB BROWN is a fitness fanatic who finds himself at the centre of a bizarre situation when he arrives at his favourite restaurant to pick up a takeaway for dinner.
JAGRITI GOSHAL is a young unassuming Indian waitress working at Alessandro’s Cucina.
REGINA TERRY is a fearless Afro-American woman in Australia on a business visa who unexpectedly finds herself embroiled in a crazy siege with a madman.
LEVI HAINES and BILL WALKER are colleagues having a business dinner at the restaurant. Bill is Levi’s sleazy boss with unethical intentions and Levi is dining with him against her will.
PAUL TOWNSEND is a local electrician who happens to drop off a quote at Alessandro’s Cucina at the same time Farzad descends on the restaurant to begin taking hostages. 

Follow the roller-coaster ride of emotions as these strangers find themselves embroiled in a terrifying siege orchestrated by a madman. The authorities scramble to put together a definitive plan of action to contain the situation quickly. But not everyone will come out alive ...



 Saturday 6 April 2019,  7.00pm Eat Street, Seminyak,Bali

Farzad Abed was agitated. He had some idea about what had to be done; however, the exact circumstances and the people that would be involved were yet to be determined.  He felt hot and bothered as sweat poured relentlessly down his 6-foot 3 heavy set frame. Despite the sunset just over an hour before, it was impossible for him to cool down due to the intense humidity in Bali. Farzad was constantly scanning his surroundings as he walked by the overwhelming array of enticing menus outside each eatery on the popular Eat Street near Seminyak square. The heat was getting to him and the anger that constantly simmered at the surface of his mind was becoming dangerously close to making him explode.

     Farzad would make his mark on the world, he was confident about that. Being indecisive and flighty was his downfall though, and he needed to be mindful of this so that his lack of patience and impulsive nature did not make him rush things and foil his plan.  He would know when the right place and time were presented to him.  He had an important message to convey to the world and the right people would need to be chosen to help him ensure it was spread across the globe. There would be a sign from the universe and he would feel it in his bones, in his very fibres in fact.

   He suddenly darted into a large restaurant with an expansive outdoor eating area. Several holidaymakers sat sipping cocktails, enjoying a casual al fresco dinner whilst spending their hard-earned wages on their annual holiday indulgences. Despite the relaxed vibe of the eatery with its colourful umbrella’s and benches scattered with large inviting cushions, the relentless stream of taxis and motorbikes thundering past was in direct contrast to the vibe the establishment attempted to emulate. A young Australian couple became aware of the tall heavyset man sitting at the table next to them. His thick black curls were damp with sweat and his sunglasses were slipping down his nose.  He sat at the table to their left, his legs spread wide as his gut hung down between them.  The couple paused their conversation momentarily as they noted the man’s strange vibe and penetrating stare. 

     In unison, the couple attempted to exchange polite but uneasy smiles with their new dining neighbour who did not smile back. Instead, he stared menacingly at them. They tried to resume their conversation under the steady glare of this strange man who seemed to be sitting extremely close to them. Had he moved his table closer in an attempt to join them?  The female pitied him and thought perhaps he was just lonely.  In stark contrast, the male’s antenna for weirdos had been activated and alarm bells were starting to go off in his head.

      A petite Balinese waitress appeared and presented a menu to Farzad, a warm welcoming smile lighting up her dainty features.  Abruptly, Farzad stood up and flipped the menu out of the waitress’s hands upwards into the air. He stared at her, his teeth bared and his eyes darting wildly around the venue. On a whim, he thundered towards the exit whilst muttering incoherently to himself.  The waitress staggered backwards in shock, an alarmed expression on her face. Picking up the menu from the ground, her eyes followed the retreating man who was taking off down the street.  Sometimes tourists were so strange, she thought. Once she was sure he had left the vicinity, she let out a sigh of relief and resumed her duties. However, she could not shake off the gut feeling that she had just got off lightly somehow. Instinctively she knew the strange man intended to cause harm and was thankful she hadn’t been his next victim.

     Farzad was fizzing mad as he returned to the mayhem of Eat Street. Those fuckers had got off lightly tonight. He had not executed his plan, as not only were the patrons in that eatery not worthy of hearing his message to the world, but in addition, none of them had shown any leadership potential.  They were all pathetic weaklings, not noble enough to be a part of his cause.  Little did the people in that eatery know that his change of heart had just spared them their lives that night. They would live another day thanks to the pitiful couple he had made eye contact with.  They were too desperately boring to be a part of the fun and games he had planned.

    The other pedestrians tried to avoid Farzad as he marched along the narrow pavements without stopping to let anyone pass him.  His girth and manic glare made the other tourists uneasy and no one challenged him as he shoved past them, knocking bags from shoulders and elbowing people in the chest causing them to yelp in pain.  Even the groups of Balinese girls outside the many massage parlours  who automatically called out massas’ (massage) to anyone who looked remotely like a tourist knew instinctively not to offer their services to this odd-looking man.

      Farzad reached his hotel and stormed past the bemused concierge straight into the vacant lift – he needed  to get to his room quickly.  Upon exiting the lift on the third floor, he turned left and marched along the corridor as fast as his huge frame would allow.  Upon reaching his room, he became flustered when his first two attempts to insert the key card failed. Finally, he managed to time it correctly and the green light indicated he could enter the room. His face was beetroot with rage as he stood silently in the dark allowing the cranked-up air conditioning to blast some welcome cold air on to his sweaty frame.  After a few minutes, he felt calmer and like a zombie, he stared blindly into space for a while.  He had no idea how much time had passed when he eventually sat ramrod straight on the end of the king-size bed.  

        Farzad could not have articulated his thoughts even if he tried. He tried to remember why he was in Bali and then it came to him. His intention was to harm westerners much like the Bali bombings that occurred in 2002 had. He wanted to do something on a much smaller scale but equally as horrifying. Somehow it hadn’t felt right and he would fly back to Adelaide tomorrow without completing his mission. Eventually, his mind tired and he allowed himself to fall backwards on to the bed.  As he succumbed to sleep, he surmised that perhaps he would have better luck in executing his plan in the near future. Tonight had not been the right time after all.

About the author:

Gill D Anderson is the author of best-selling novels Hidden From View and The Chosen Seven. Gill was born in Edinburgh, Scotland and immigrated to Adelaide, South Australia in 2004 with her husband and two daughters. Gill has a Social Work background and currently works in a corporate role in the field of Child Protection. Gill feels very strongly about violence and sexual assault, which are prominent themes in her debut novel Hidden From View.

Facebook Gill D Anderson -author - Instagram gillyanderson71 - Twitter @GillianAnders16

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

On Writing: In Converstaion with Dr Leanna Floyd

Today, I am in conversation with Dr Leanna Floyd, who stepped into the publishing world with her debut novel 'Over the Borderline'.
Leanna has a doctorate in clinical psychology and has worked firsthand with murderers, psychopaths, narcissists, and borderlines while working in a prison. She explored the minds of notorious killers and obtained an insider’s view of their secrets as they recounted their darkest hours. It is these experiences in the prison setting that influenced her first novel, Over the Borderline.

Welcome to 'On Writing', Leanna!

Connect with Dr Leanna Floyd: FACEBOOK INSTAGRAM TWITTER

Was becoming an author always your dream or was it a particular event or incident that gave birth to the author in you?

I started writing when I was in elementary school. I won third place in a writing competition titled, “My Favorite Older Person,” which fueled my love and passion for writing.  Throughout high school, I wrote a lot of poems to help work through adolescent struggles. Writing has always been a part of my life, and I always felt like it helped me express the secret inner world of my thoughts and feelings that I didn’t want the world to see.

 However, even though I have always loved to write, it was not my “dream” to be an author. My dream was to be a child psychologist to help heal the broken and wounded individuals in the world. From a very young age, I knew that I wanted to help people. I was born with a deep desire and compassion for helping people find their ways on their journeys. Today, this is still my number one passion. Specifically, it is my hope that I can share with the world that they were created for a purpose and that they were meant for greatness.

In regard to if there was a particular event or incident that gave birth to the author in me, YES! Writing is where I found my voice, and in some ways, it helped put me back together. Over the Borderline was loosely inspired by significant and tragic events in my life that had a huge impact on me. The first event was the flagitious murder of my cousin. I will never forget sitting through the trial. All of the vile images and detestable statements made throughout the trial were branded into my mind. 

I can remember it all so vividly. I remember the huge lump in my throat, and it felt like an actual physical mass lodged in my throat. I can still see in my mind my father and my aunt sitting to my left choking back their own tears as they stared straight-faced looking at the murderer.  At the trial, I tried to remain strong for my family, forcing my own tears and quivering lips to be still. I had a job to do at the trial, to support my family.

The second life-changing event was when I worked at a local Florida prison. It was in this prison setting that I would encounter my first stalker (I never felt safe.), be trapped in a room encircled by a large group of male inmates (I was absolutely terrified. I remember my eyes hastily scanning the room for someone, anyone to help me. It seemed like they were savage wolves about to devour me. I’m forever grateful for the “angel,” my former client, who rescued me that day.), and have an inmate, who was pending an early release, threaten to kill me. 

Driving to the prison each day knowing that I had a death sentence over my head was torture. It was in this environment that the idea of understanding the mind of a killer really started to become a central focus of my study.  Writing gave me a voice that had once been silenced. Writing allowed me to have control and, in some way, make sense of the pain and terrifying events that I had to endure.

How important are the names of the characters in your books to you? Do you spend agonizing hours deciding on their names?

The names of the characters in my books are very important to me. I want the characters’ names to be relatable, but strong. There’s a lot of meaning behind one’s name. When I’m deciding on a name for a character, the name has to resonate with me, and it has to fit my mental picture of the person. I will research the meaning of one’s name and the history behind it to see if it agrees with the overall feel of my character. I do not spend agonizing hours deciding a character’s name, but I will try a few different choices and allow some time to pass before I finalize one’s name.

What is your writing process like? Do you write every day? Is there a favorite place to write?

My writing process for Over the Borderline was somewhat labor intensive. I used my personal handwritten notes from my cousin’s murder trial as a guide to develop my story. During the trial, I did my best to write verbatim everything that was said. So, I had copious amounts of information to reference. I also am very research-oriented, and I like to incorporate up-to-date research information in regard to different psychological components that influence my characters’ profiles and backgrounds. 

When I wrote Over the Borderline, I wrote the entire manuscript by hand. During this time of writing, the story came pouring out of me. I had so many instances where the story was unfolding so fast in my mind that I started to carry paper and pen with me so I could make sure I captured my thoughts on paper. I wrote the story right after my cousin’s trial, it was so cathartic, and I just couldn’t stop or control the flood of images and thoughts dancing around in my mind. I wrote almost every day for a year straight with Over the Borderline

For the sequel, my writing process has evolved over the years, and I no longer write by hand because it’s so laborious. Generally, I write when I feel inspired or when there’s a burst of ideas that are screaming to find a voice. I find a lot of inspiration when I’m lying in bed at night. When my mind and body are quieted, then I feel like my creativity is best. I imagine this works best for me because I am a visual learner, so my creativity is fueled by scenes that I first see in my mind. I prefer to write when I’m alone, which is usually in the confines of my home.

What is different about Over the Borderline’?

Over the Borderline is inspired by true events that happened in my life. During the trial for my cousin’s murder, I learned a lot about the justice system, forensic testing, and the overall processes involved in a trial. I was able to experience the sights, the sounds, and feelings that accompany the trial of a killer, and I was able to incorporate these experiences in my story to give an authentic feel to the reader.

Over the Borderline deals with compelling and complex characters, and I like to give the reader vivid illustrations of how human psychology, personality, and pathology shape one’s motivation and behavior. My writing is suspenseful and grabs readers psychologically and emotionally. My writing gives the reader a comprehensive feel and understanding of what goes on in one’s mind in both the conscious and subconscious realms that influence behavior and the expression of more maladaptive patterns of relating.

I have a doctorate in clinical psychology, and my clinical training allowed me to give a more credible feel to my characters because of my knowledge and interaction with special populations in a prison setting. Specifically, my firsthand experience with working in a prison allowed me to have an insider’s perspective of how to relate with and write about pathological characters. Additionally, my story shifts from different points of view, from first to third person. One example of this style of writing can be seen in one of my characters, the Surfside Killer. This character is written in first person to give the reader an insider’s view into the mind of a sadistic and pathological character. 

The reader gets to see the thought processes and motivations of a killer as the crimes are being committed. These entries are denoted by italicized font as an indicator to the reader of who is speaking. After these entries, the story shifts back to third person letting the reader know they’re entering into another scene of the story.

Who is your favorite character in the book and why?

My favorite character in the book is Brooke. Brooke is a character that is made up of different pieces of me. She is a strong and independent character who didn’t allow the negative events of her life to keep her from becoming all that she was created to be. She uses the pain of her past to motivate her to pursue a degree in psychology, and she chooses to devote her life to uncover the etiology of pathological behavior. There are many levels and layers to her that were ultimately based on various events and people that I experienced and dealt with in my own life. 

At an early age, like Brooke, I had a longing to help others put the fragments of their lives back together. Many of the hardships that I had to endure, Brooke has also endured, and the longing to understand human motivations and behaviors is at the core of both me and this character. Brooke has allowed me to process traumatic life events in such a way that I can control the narrative, the emotions, and the outcome, and in a way, rewrite my story. Brooke gave me a voice.

How important do you think is marketing in today’s world for any book?

The marketing of a book is so important in today’s world. Over the years, the book world has changed in that social media plays a huge role in getting one’s book out to the masses. Today, most authors are expected to create ads and market their own books through social media channels. With self-publishing on the rise, there are so many new and exciting opportunities for authors in regards to how they can market their books. 

Even traditionally published authors are expected to market their books since funds are often limited or not allotted for new authors. Authors need to create a brand for themselves, which will help set them apart and help potential readers get a better understanding of who they are as authors. Ideally, this will help readers identify with them and help create an audience for them. 

On average, according to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, there are about 2.2 million books published worldwide each year, so to ensure that an author’s book doesn’t get lost amongst the masses, an author must put in a concentrated effort to market a book. Not only is it important for authors to market their books, but it’s also important for their books and marketing materials to standout. So, as an author, marketing a book is extremely important.

Please share a passage or quote from ‘Over the Borderline’ for our readers. 

The first one was by accident—it really was, I swear.

Yes, my fingers were around that girl’s neck, but the throbbing of her pulse electrified me like a shock. I couldn’t let go, not even if I’d wanted to, which I didn’t. She thrashed and instinctively arched her back to break my grip, but she couldn’t.

After picking her up in some seedy little bar off Highway 295, we’d both had a few drinks, and she made it clear she liked to play rough. So, we left and drove down to the beach and sat in my car, rolled the windows down even though it was late September. She wanted to hear some music, so I started the car again and let her push ‘SEEK’ on the digital console until she settled on Amy Winehouse singing about how tears dry on their own. I pulled out a pint of Jack from the back floorboard, and we drank straight from the bottle. Before the song was over, my belt was undone and her hand dipped below my waistband. She chewed my ear and guided my hands to help unzip her.

I’ll never forget the feel of that dress, as blue as the sky and flimsy as a cloud, and how easily it ripped in my hands. Bless her heart, she laughed about it, actually giggled like we were school kids on the playground and she’d accidentally torn her skirt. That’s when I put my hands around her neck, at first to stop her laughing, but then that surge of lifeblood thrummed through my fingers like the tide coming in.

I don’t know how long we sat there like that, locked together. After a few moments, she could tell something had changed— and I was as surprised as she was. The warm, moist feel of her neck in my hands reminded me of holding a puppy or a kitten, strong yet vulnerable at the same time. Then I couldn’t stop, and the more she resisted, the more excited I became to see her squirm. I held the power of life and death in my hands, literally.

My fingers clamped like steel vices until something gurgled in her throat and her eyes rolled back. Only then did I realize she wasn’t pretending. One minute she was a live wire sizzling in my hands, and the next, nothing, gone. That throbbing pulse that had captivated me with its surging rhythm just stopped. Her neck and spine flexed in one last spasm before relaxing, a balloon being deflated, as I cradled her in my hands.
I couldn’t believe I’d done it, nor could I deny how good it felt. It was like discovering a taste for single-malt scotch or basking in that first mellow wave of pleasure the first time you smoked really great weed. And once you find something you like, you know what they say, “Once is never enough.”
What are the three tips you have for readers of this interview who are aspiring writers?

1.  Dare to dream big! Believe that your dreams can come true. Don’t let fear or self-doubt rob you of your destiny. Tell your story to the world because your voice and your story matters. There are many ups and downs on the journey to becoming an author. But, through the hard moments, keep fighting the fight and never give up.
2.  Research in advance how to market your book, and figure out what type of audience will be reading your book. There’s a lot of information to learn in terms of effective marketing strategies, and there’s a lot of books/videos that can give authors the tools they need to successfully market their books. Additionally, listing your book under the appropriate categories will also help draw in the right readers for your book and help with the overall ranking of your book. Again, there’s so much to learn, so I’d encourage aspiring authors to look into these things before publishing their work.
3.  Establish a social media presence sooner than later as an author. This will be very helpful for marketing your book to readers, bloggers, reviewers, and helpful to establish meaningful relationships with other authors.

 Thank you, Leanna, for sharing your writing journey with us. Wishing you the very best for your future works.

About the book:

Brooke Douger has a knack for helping others with their broken lives, which explains her interest in criminal psychology and profiling. She convinces her childhood friend, Jacob, to move to Tampa after his latest fiasco, where he finds a job at a legal firm, which is defending Zach Barton, a rich, young entrepreneur who is accused of murdering his ex-girlfriend. When Brooke has to provide expert testimony in Barton’s trial, Jacob and Brooke end up on opposite sides of the courtroom. 

As Brooke prepares to testify, she discovers a pattern of violent, impulsive behavior in Barton’s past, eerily similar to those of the Surfside Killer, the case she has been asked to help profile for the FBI. Brooke is swirling in dangerous waters with the killer lurking on the fringe of her life. Who will be his next victim? Will Brooke’s knack for profiling be enough to keep her safe?

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