Leeann, give us the pitch for your latest release, Always a Wedding Planner.
Discover how keeping secrets from each other threatens four women’s friendships, wedding business, and own ability to find love in Loveland, Colorado.
What inspired you to write this book?
A friend and I were brainstorming novella-collection proposals, and one of us said something like, “How about something about always a bridesmaid?” We both instantly said, “Nah, been done too much.” So we started thinking about a related premise. I said, “What about wedding planners who long for their own Happily Ever After?”
What a great approach! What do you hope readers will take away from this book?
This is absolutely a story I love to tell and tell often: a story of second chances. Every novella in this collection takes the reader through a tale of how God works in us and through us—no matter what our past or what mistakes we make.
With such a strong premise, what was your greatest challenge in writing this book?
The greatest challenge was coordinating the other three authors and incorporating their characters into each story. These are ladies connected through their church, their faith, their business, their singleness, and their friendship, so we knew the stories couldn’t be told in a vacuum without including each other’s characters in every story.
How do you share Christ in your writing?
I choose to write every story through my Christian worldview. While I have a strong sense of justice, of right and wrong, I also look for ways to incorporate grace and truth in a palatable dish.
You typically write contemporary romance with a touch of mystery. What led you to this genre?
I love cozy mysteries, and who doesn’t like romance? Combining the two has always been my goal, and still not take myself so seriously that my characters and I don’t have fun along the way.
Is there anything about writing that you wish non-writers knew?
It might sound easy and look glamorous, but it’s anything but. Coming up with characters and plots, facing criticism and rejection, and hoping at least one reader will leave a positive review—I compare it to walking a tightrope every day without wearing any clothes. Writers put themselves out there day after day to share a story that won’t stay quiet.
That’s quite a mental picture, but so close to reality! Do you have an unfulfilled dream?
I want to travel more. Europe, Africa, Australia.
Are you involved in any particular ministries, and if so, how did you choose them?
I am active in The Gideons International because God called us in The Great Commission to reach the lost. The Gideons International has one of the best systems for doing that, by using local people in over two hundred countries as short-term missionaries in their own country as we seek to win the lost for Christ.
Please share with us other talents you have aside from storytelling.
Besides jumping to conclusions and passing the buck, you mean? (LOL) I am an oil painter, I can cook when I set my mind to it, and I am a great organizer. I might have missed my calling there, to be honest. I should have become a personal organizer.
That answer leads me to believe you are busy organizing your next project.
My next project will be Book 4 in my “Mysterious Ink Bookstore” series, as yet untitled and unplotted. This, my second cozy-mystery series, features the now-adult granddaughter of the heroine of my first cozy-mystery series.