Leanne Tyler knows how to draw her readers into a wholesome world that’s filled with imagination and characters that deserve your admiration and respect. She pens fantastic time travel romances that take you someplace you can never visit, except between the pages of a book. And she does it well.
Ms. Tyler was born and raised in the South, where, as a child, she made mud pies using a sifter to get the gravel out, big leaves for bowls, and the sidewalk and sun for an oven (and I thought I was the only child who loved to make mud pies!).
She loves to sing in the choir at her church, and she enjoys warm, fuzzy dreams that make her want to fall back asleep and continue dreaming. Writing pens are among her favorite things to collect; she can’t pass an office supply store without buying a pen to try it out.
Though she doesn’t often listen to music while writing, when she does, she’ll choose Michael Bublé, Norah Jones, or a playlist she put together online. If she’s being nostalgic, she’ll listen to standards like Dinah Washington, Doris Day, Rosemary Clooney, Frank Sinatra, and Dean Martin.
Some of her favorite things include (in her own words): “My most favorite things… raindrops on roses, whiskers on kittens… No, that’s a song, which makes me think of Julie Andrews and The Sound of Music. I like old movies, classics. I like listening to music. I like good food and to cook. I’ve recently started baking again, something I had stopped doing after I got divorced. I like spending time with my friends, laughing, and having a good time. I love reading a good book.”
On Writing, In Leanne Tyler’s Own Words
What or who inspires you to write?
Many different things can inspire me to write. Sometimes it will be a name that sounds good, and I think I’d like to have my hero or heroine named that. Or it might be a place, setting, location that interests me. I love Charleston, South Carolina, and I have two stories that take place there already, but I might revisit the location again and again…you never know.
Why did you begin writing?
I’m not really sure. When I was in sixth grade, I recall a friend telling me in secret that her father was writing a book. I believe that was the first inkling I had of being a writer. I remember writing a very short paragraph in a notebook after that. I didn’t write another word of fiction until the following year, after my mother bought me a few young adult books. I immediately started my first YA story after that, and I’ve been writing ever since.
Which author inspires you?
I don’t believe one particular author inspires me as a writer. I cut my teeth as a romance writer reading Johanna Lindsey books. I have almost every backlist book she’s written. From there, I read Julie Garwood, Judith McNaught, and Jude Deveraux. Today I read Karen Hawkins, Elizabeth Boyle, Donna MacMeans, Carolynn Carey, and Karen Hall.
What do you find most rewarding about writing?
I find the adventure each character takes me on rewarding. Sometimes when I start writing, I know exactly how the story should end, but other times I don’t. It’s during the plotting, prewriting, or even first draft that I find myself surprised at where my characters take me. But I think the most rewarding is to hear readers’ reaction to what I write. Especially when they see something I didn’t within the pages of the story.
Have you experienced writer’s block? And, if so, how did you cure it?
I have found that a good cure for writer’s block is to try to start another project or pick up a project you put aside for a while. Nothing gets your characters’ engines revved up like a little friendly competition. You’ll be surprised at what you can do when you are juggling two projects at once. Of course, you may get over writer’s block, but you may also find yourself mentally drained by the time you complete those competing stories.
When is your next book due out, and what’s it about?
I’ve completed two stories. I’ve submitted one, and I’m getting ready to submit the other, so I don’t have a release date for either yet. The short story could be released in early 2012, my editor tells me. Not sure about the full novel, since it will be print as well as e-book.
Both of these are straight historical romances. No time travel. The short story is a tale of matchmaking mischief. The full is a pre-civil war romance (1858), set in Jackson, Mississippi.
Where can readers find you online?
LeanneTyler.com, Facebook, Twitter, Good Reads, and LinkedIn.
Please read my review of Season of Love, then visit Leanne Tyler by clicking on the link above to learn about past, present, and future novels.