Kat's Blog

Kat's Blog

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Summer Bash!

Welcome back to the bash as it really heats up. This week my guest is none other than Leona Pence. Welcome Leona.:-)

Thank you very much, Kat, for having me on your blog today.

01: What is the first story you’ve published. Tell us a little bit about it.
My novel, Hemphill Towers, is my one and only. It is slated to be published in Aug/Sept. of this year. It’s basically a romance with three heroines. Their stories are separate yet entwined. A lot of Birdie’s story takes place in Italy. Here’s a short blurb:

 Stella, Riley, and Birdie – best friends, and co-workers at an advertising agency – all experience a life-changing event one fateful night at a new Italian restaurant.

Riley’s life is turned upside down by a deranged stalker. Trent Peterson, a handsome museum curator, along with her friends, vows to keep her safe.

Art, wine forgery, a stalker, and even the Russian Mafia lead them down paths to romance they might never have ventured on their own.

02: What inspired the story?

I chatted often with two online friends and shared a lot of laughter with them. Just for fun,   we projected ourselves back in age as career women, each described a love interest, and I was to turn the ideas into a type of spoof story. But the words just kept flowing, plot twists came in my dreams, and before long, I had written a novel.

03: Do you have a writing process? If so what is it?
No, I just sit in front of my computer and type what pops into my head. I do scrawl notes to myself to keep descriptions of my characters handy.

04: What do you currently have in the works? Give us a small preview.
I am writing a sequel to Hemphill Towers. Here is a short excerpt:

Since slapping the smirk off the duty nurse’s face wasn’t an option, Amy gathered the bath necessities and walked down a short hall to their notorious patient’s room. The door stood ajar showing that (Spoiler name) was not in bed as expected. No ventilator noises met her ears. There he sat in a reclining chair partially facing a window that allowed him a view of the vast parking lot. A grunt emanated from his lips as recognition flickered in his eyes.  Amy stood, mouth agape, at the changes wrought in three short months. Lackluster blond hair curled around the collar of his healthcare-issued brown shirt. Those piercing eyes told her the grimace on his face was intended as a smile.

Unbelievable! A miracle must have happened here. He isn’t even restrained. No feeding tube or vent. Now, he is beginning to look the part of a sociopath.

05: Who are some of your favorite authors?
Stephen King, Dean Koontz, and a gazillion more. I’ve read a lot of new authors lately who are very good writers.
 06:Do you have one author in particular who inspired your writing career? Who and why?

I’d say Emily Loring, from my youth, introduced me to sweet romance stories. And then Barbara Cartland with her wonderful Regency romances. I envy people who can write historical romance.

07: Are your stories based on real events or people?
My story was not based on real people, but I did twist names of family and friends for my characters. They all had a big laugh at recognizing their names. Also, my daughter’s experience found its way into my book. A company doctor testified on her behalf and it helped her win a lawsuit against the company.

08: How much research goes into your work?
Since my book started as a joke, research never entered my mind until I had written quite a bit. When one of my early readers asked a question about the type of grapes used in the wine, I knew I had a lot of research to do. Not only grapes and wine, but art museums, ad agencies, and the Russian Mafia. I have an online friend living in Rome, Italy who works at the American Embassy there. She read installments as I wrote them and made sure what I wrote about Italy was correct.

09: Have you ever killed off a character based on someone real? If so why?
No, not yet.

10: If you could visit any period in history, what time would you go to? Why?
The romantic in me would like to take a peek at the regency balls that took place in early England. I’d like to be invited to such an event just to see the aristocratic catches of the season, and all the debutants in their beautiful gowns trying to snare them.

11: If you could gather any three people in the world, living or dead together, whom would you want to meet and talk with?

I assume you mean outside my family. I think Abe Lincoln, Ronald Reagan, and…hummm…I wouldn’t mind spending a day with Mysti Parker. I can only imagine a chat between the four of us. Both Lincoln and Reagan were intelligent, humorous men. It would be a pleasure to talk with them.

12: What do you do for fun when you aren’t busy writing?
I am a voracious reader. When my eyes don’t bother me, I read a novel in a day’s time using the Kindle app on my computer. I also love to play online pool. I’m good at it. I joined an online pool league and play when I get a chance.

Three times a year, I mentor one of eight classrooms in an online writing course called F2K.(Fiction for 2000) Each session lasts seven weeks. I love what I do there. It keeps my mind active and lets me meet writers from all over the world.

13: What is the one thing people believe about writers that upsets you?
That publishing an ebook doesn’t really count. I hear quite often: Ebook? I’ll wait until your real book comes out.

14: Is there any genre you haven’t written that you’d like to try your hand at?
Yes, I’d like to try Romantic Fantasy.
I did write a short fantasy that I use as a lesson example in F2K.

15: If you were independently wealthy what is the one place on Earth you’d most like to visit? Why?
Ireland, because my mother’s ancestors were from there. The hereditary Neuromuscular disease called CMT, that I have, was traced back to our Irish roots. I’d recognize a distant relative by the symptoms they show.

Five Bonus Questions

These five questions are quick get to know you questions and are optional.

16: What is your favorite color? Blue

17: What is your favorite food? Fried chicken

18: What is your favorite movie? The Song Catcher with Aiden Quinn

19: What is your favorite TV show? White Collar and NCIS (Tie for fave)

20: What is your favorite holiday? Mother’s Day…I hear from all four of my kids and most of my grands.

Bio: Leona Pence is a lifelong resident of Illinois. She didn’t start writing until after the death of her husband of forty-four years. She can usually be found in front of her computer reading, writing, chatting, or playing online pool.

Hemphill Towers will be published by MuseItUp Publishing in Aug./Sept.


J. Thornbrugh said...

Great interview, Leo :) Glad to hear you're working on a sequel to Hemphill Towers.

Barbara said...

Even I learned a thing or two and I thought I was an expert on everything Leona. Great interview and can't wait for your next book.

Leona~Author said...

Thanks Josh. The sequel is coming along slowly. I appreciate you stopping by.

Kim Cresswell said...

Fantastic interview, Leona. A huge 'thumbs up' to you and Kat. I wish you great success with Hemphill Towers when it releases. :)

Leona~Author said...

Thanks, Kim, I can't wait for the release date. Waiting is the hard part. lol

Thanks for stopping by.

Barb...It's really nice when your own daughter learns something new.

Anonymous said...

Great interview, Kat and Leona. Loved the sneak peek extract! Good luck with Hemphill Towers

Leona~Author said...

Thanks Helena, I need all the luck I can get.

I'm glad you stopped by.

Marsha said...

Great interview, Leona. Loved learning more about you. What an intriguing story line for your first book and loved the excerpt from # 2. Good luck with sales.

Leona~Author said...

Thanks Marsha. I'll be happy when Hemphill Towers is available.

I read your book right after it was released. It was very good. I'll do a review for you soon. I have a few to catch up on.

Von Rupert said...

What an awesome interview! Loved the questions and the answers--long meaty interviews are the BEST. I'll never understand the prejudice against ebooks. I LOVE being able to download a book immediately and not having to wait for it to ship. I actually end up buying MORE books now that I have a Kindle because I make a bunch of great impulse buys (but don't tell my husband). :)

Leona~Author said...

Hi Von, I agree about the ebooks. I love reading from the Kindle app on my computers. Since I'm in a wheelchair, I love having my own library pop up at the touch of a mouse.

Thanks for stopping by and commenting, and for your tweet.

Wendy said...

I loved the interview, Kat and Leoni.
Can't wait for Hemphill Towers to be released. Let me know as soon as it's available to pre order (I just checked at MuseItUp, not there yet). I said I'd be the 1st to buy it and I want it! :)

Leona~Author said...

Wendy, that's the kind of enthusiasm I love to see. lol I'll be sure to let you know as soon as it's available.

Thank you!

Mysti said...

Aww, lovely interview, Leo! I'm so flattered that you'd love to spend a day with me. We'd all have a blast--you, me, Abe, and Ronnie :)

Leona~Author said...

I agree, Mysti. It would be such fun. Even without Ronnie and Abe, we'd have a good visit.

Kat Holmes said...

Wow this has been a busy interview.:-) Thanks everyone for stopping by and thank you Leona for a great day.

Debbie Seko said...

Great interview! So excited for you and can't wait to get a copy of that book. I do love a good romance.

Leona~Author said...

Thanks Debbie. I'm glad you liked our interview. I love a good romance book too.

Leona~Author said...

Kat, thanks again for hosting me on your blog. We did have a good turnout.

Anne Stenhouse said...

Hi Leona, Hope it's not too late to comment. I really enjoyed your interview and hope the book goes well. No 2 can be the harder to write, I've heard, but you're well underway. I visited Chicago last year. Wonderful city. Anne

Kat Holmes said...

Never too late to comment Anne. Thanks for stopping by.

Leona~Author said...

Thank you, Anne, like Kat said, it's never too late to comment. I really appreciate you stopping by.

I am having more trouble with book two. I'm probably trying too hard instead of waiting for my muse.

Lin said...

WOW!!! This really HAS been a busy, active interview, and I am delighted to see that. I popped in because I am in between writing reviews and Kat told me we have a lot in common Leona...not the least being spending time in a wheel chair and thanking the geniuses who gave us e-readers.

Leona your interview was fantastic. Like everyone else has commented, the longer interviews are so much more fun because they help us, your future readers, get to know who you are and how you weave your stories into the finished books.

And Kat, as always, you intrigue me with the array of questions you manage to put together for your Bash. I guess I'd better get my brain sharpened up and start thinking about what I'm going to say on my day...right?

Leona~Author said...

Hi Lin,
Sorry I missed your post. My son is visiting from NY and I brought up this page to show him the interview, and was happy to see your comments.

Yes, I guess we do have some things in common.I've been usingg a wchair for almost twenty-six years. I'm fortunate that I don't have a lot of pain. My worst one comes from TB.(Tired Butt)So, I spend most evenings sitting on my bed with a laptop.

I envy your ease at writing good reviews. I read a lot, but tend to fall behind on the reviews.

I agree, Kat did a great job on the interview questions.