Linda Leander, Welcome to our Spotlight live show, how are you today, and please tell us about your everyday life a little, before we ask you about your writing?
Linda Leander I spend most of my day writing and marketing. I'm also a singer/songwriter
Shah Fazli Great, thank you, what should we know about your writing, is songwriting what you write, or you write fiction or nonfiction as well?
Linda Leander I've been a songwriter since my teens. I write fiction and non fiction currently
Shah Fazli Do you want to tell a little about your songwriting first before we ask you about your fiction and nonfiction, do you write songs for yourself or for others as well?
Linda Leander Sure, thank you. I write folk/country tunes. I perform them mostly myself in small venues but I do have published work on small-label performers
Shah Fazli Wonderful, can you post a song here for us, or a music video for us now or later please, maybe now the written song and later the video?
Linda Leander Here's a part of one of my songs called Painted Angel. Sorry, I haven't made any videos yet - but when I do I'll be glad to post.Ridin’ on the rails of sunshine
Nothin’ could hold her down
Packed her bags goodbye mom and dad
Kicked the dust out of that town
Ran out of money in Tucson
Things weren’t goin’ too well
Instead of the heaven she was dreamin’ about
She’s been out there goin’ through hell
She’s just one more painted angel
Underneath a desert sky
If she don’t get home she’ll be
A painted angel ‘til she dies
Shah Fazli Beautiful, what is more important for you, songwriting or fiction and nonfiction writing, do you have a hidden preference towards any, and if yes why do you think that is?
Linda Leander Good question. I love writing songs and music - they come together for me at the same time. My songs ARE fiction, just shorter versions I guess. Non fiction is easier though. I guess the answer is fiction because I love making up stories.
Shah Fazli Ok, great, now tell us about the first story you created, do you remember what was it about, and if it is published?
Linda Leander ha ha. Not published - I wrote it when I was ten. Won an award for a story about 3 mice who went to the moon in a spaceship. The moon was made of green cheese. I thought I was on top of the world!
Shah Fazli Of course, now tell us about the story that you are writing right now, and if it is published yet?
Linda Leander I'm currently writing the second book in the Inzared series, about an Appalachian girl in 1843 who joins a Gypsy Circus. The name is Inzared, The Fortune Teller and it's due out this spring
Shah Fazli That will be your first book published, so tell us where the story begins, how, when, and with who, briefly please?
Linda Leander Actually it will be my fourth. The first is Inzared, Queen of the Elephant Riders and I've written two non-fiction books for writers. The Inzared story begins in 1843 in North Carolina in the Appalachian mountains. A farm girl is bored with her life and runs away with a Gypsy circus. She becomes a famous elephant rider.
Shah Fazli Thanks, do you want to read an excerpt from this book please?
Linda Leander Paytre turned to Shandor. “She’ll need a stage name.”
The ringmaster thought for a moment, still tapping the whip into his hand. “She thinks she’s such a queen, she can be called Inzared.”
Gasped in delight at the foreign-soundin’ name he’d given me. “What does it mean?” I asked.
“Queen. Queen of the Elephant Riders,” he replied. “I shall announce you as Inzared, Queen of the Elephant Riders.”
“Here, take Cecil while I get her a costume.” Paytre handed Shandor the rope and the ringmaster and Cecil headed to the performer’s entrance while Paytre grabbed my hand and pulled me to the changin’ wagon. “Lileth, the trapeze artist, is about your size,” he said. The costume wagon was filled with racks of colorful, neatly-arranged finery. Gauzy fabrics in every hue beckoned me, all covered in glitter and sparkles. They begged for me to try them on. At the base of each display were shoes that matched, some with pointed toes, some slipper-like, all with sequins or gems attached. Paytre reached for a bright red leotard and a headdress of red and white feathers set in a silver crown. “Put these on.” He shoved the garments into my arms then reached for a pair of slippers off the shoe rack and some white tights. “Hurry, get dressed. I’ll stand out front so no one comes in.” He shut the door and I just stood there lookin’ at all the pretties.
Stared at the armload of clothes I held. Inzared, Queen of the Elephant Riders. Even if only for tonight, I would ride Cecil to the call of the ringmaster and the sound of the trumpet in the circus ring.
Shah Fazli Thanks, what made you write this story, do you remember what exactly motivated you, where were you, and what were you doing?
Linda Leander I was going through a difficult time in my life. When I sat at my computer this sixteen year old girl got in my head and started telling me her story. It was so fascinating I had to write it down. We spent a couple of months getting the facts together and I spent three years editing
Shah Fazli We know exactly what you mean, what do people say about your writing, do you get a lot of good feedback?
Linda Leander I have over 71 Amazon reviews so far and they're good. I appreciate honest feedback. It helps my writing move forward.
Shah Fazli Of course, do you want to tell us a little about your other books as well, you said you have four, their names and a little about each one of them, what they are about?
Linda Leander 13 Extreme Tips to Self Publishing and 13 Extreme Tip to Marketing an eBook are my Tips for Writers series. There will be more to come. Inzared, Queen of the Elephant Riders and Inzared, The Fortune Teller are the two current books in the Inzared series. The non fiction books are short, concise guides for the beginning writer. The Inzared series follows a young woman on her journey to become an elephant rider/fortune teller in a Gypsy circus
Shah Fazli Do you have romance in your series, what happens to the girl when she faces the boy of her dream, or not?
Linda Leander There is definitely romance, yes, mystery and action. I call my writing Fearless Fiction because my protagonist is unafraid to be who she is and she'll try anything to follow her dreams
Shah Fazli We thought so, do you want to tell us about one romantic scene please, what happens there?
Linda Leander My favorite scene is when the two are just falling in love. The boy, Paytre, offers to reach up into the sky and grab a star for Inzared. She is delighted and at that moment she realizes she is falling in love. It's a very innocent love - she is just 17 and he is 19
Shah Fazli Thank you, and one scene from the action, what would that be, does Paytre have to fight for her love, does he have to fight an old enemy, does he have to fight the kingdom, what?
Linda Leander He has to fight his people - they don't relish having a Gaji (non-Gypsy) in their midst. The Gypsies are clannish and expect Paytre to marry someone of their blood. He is adamant that Inzared is the woman he wants to marry, even though another circus performer, Lileth, is desperately in love with him and wants him to be her husband
Shah Fazli Interesting, a lot of bloodshed, what are the means of fighting, guns, swords, or anything else, or is it a lot different kind of action?
Linda Leander There isn't a lot of bloodshed in this series. It's more action. The Gypsies run into local villagers who hate them and try to start fights. The Gypsy circus caravan travels at night because of those kinds of problems. The circus performers have enough problems of their own and there're plenty of angry animals that go berserk, strange happenings and overbearing entrepreneurs to keep the action alive
Shah Fazli Right for this story, of course, give us a few writing tips from your book series for writers please?
Linda Leander I've included things I found helpful on my self-publishing journey - such as joining groups like this one, being visible and getting your name out there. We authors help each other - that's what it's about, but some newbies don't understand that. They're afraid they aren't good enough or polished enough. The key is always to stick with the plan. There's lots of help out there just for asking
Shah Fazli Give us one or two links where we can buy your books please?
Linda Leander Yes, thanks for asking. http://lleander.com or
...Dreams are the Edge of Opportunity...
Shah Fazli It was a pleasure Linda, thanks for being with us today, hopefully see you again.
Kyle McGuigan Beautiful website Linda!
Linda Leander Thank you very much for the opportunity. It was a pleasure being here!
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