Would you please introduce yourself and tell us what made you decide to write romance?
My name is Shannon Leigh, I currently write paranormal romance. However, I plan on dabbling in some other genres as well. I've been an avid reader of romance, fantasy, and science fiction since elementary school. Romance is probably my favorite genre, but I tend to sway towards the paranormal ones. I don't remember how many novels it took me, reading, to stop and think, 'Hey, I can do this.' After that, I started jotting down short stories, ideas, character descriptions, etc. But I didn't really put it all together until about 7 years ago when I decided to write a full-length novel and get it published. After my first book, Immortal Desires, it's become like an addiction. I only wish I had more time to devote to writing. There's so many stories I have to tell.
Can you tell us about your current release, 'More Than Prophecy'? How did you come up with the idea for this book?
I tend to get my ideas on an 'out of the blue' basis. It's usually a scene with the two main characters. For More Than Prophecy, I had a vision of Cheyenne in the tub at the tavern when Darian storms in and demands to see the tattoo on her backside. I developed the rest from there. At that point, I had no idea who Cheyenne or Darian were, where they lived, what they did for a living, that all came later.
To date, which book has been the most difficult to write?
Probably the one I'm working on, Greenwood Manor. I think it's mainly because it has a deadline. It's harder to be creative when you're forcing yourself to be. I also had to come up with a story to fit the publisher's desired storyline; this makes it more difficult for me as my ideas tend to come naturally. It's starting to come along nicely now, and I expect to have it completed in time.
Of the books you've written do you have a favorite?
At first thought, I'd say More Than Prophecy. But I think Immortal Desires holds and equally important spot in my heart, since it was my first.
Do you usually outline your stories before you write them, or do you "go with the flow"?
It depends, some I need to outline to keep me on track, others just take off on their own.
How long does it take you to write a book?
It depends; More Than Prophecy took 7 years from start to finish. I stopped in the middle to write Immortal Desires, which took about a year or so to write, then additional time with publishing. I finished a short story in about 3 months, where another took 6. The one I'm working on now I started about 5 weeks ago, it's due April 1st. I have another due May 1st that I haven't even started. I'm definitely feeling the crunch. If I make myself sit down and write, I can accomplish quite a bit in a short amount of time. My problem is I tend to get sidetracked.
What is the best thing about being a romance writer?
Being able to create characters my own way, and having control over their ending. I hate being let down after reading an entire book. As an author, I don't have to worry about that. Unless my characters start doing crazy things and take off with my story, which they have been known to do.
Do you have any fears about writing?
Writer's block. I hate sitting down to write, knowing what I need to write, but just getting stumped one sentence after another. Sometimes there's just too much going on to concentrate. Usually though, even if I have to struggle through something, I end up satisfied with the end result. It usually turns out better than I thought it would.
What are you working on next?
Right now, Greenwood Manor, a ghost romance which will be released in one of the upcoming Amber Paxes due out from Amber Quill Press.
What books do you enjoy reading? Do you have a favorite?
Fantasy and paranormal romance. I also enjoy some historicals. There's something about a man in a kilt that really turns me on. And that Scottish accent!
Any tips about writing?
Sometimes it's a tough road, and there's always going to be someone who tries to bring you down, whether because they don't like what you write, or they're simply jealous. Don't let anyone persuade you to stop. There'll be people who love your work, and others who hate it. You have to learn to let the negative ones roll off your back and keep on going.
Thanks so much for allowing me to Interview with We Really Dig
We Really Dig Romance Novels wishes to thank Shannon Leigh for taking the time to answer our questions.
Check out the Shannon Leigh books we have.
Author website: http://shannonleigh.org/