Leah Fleming is a born storyteller. Since 2009, she has brought the world Historical Romance stories after another and her latest, The Postcard is a best seller on Amazon. I sat down with Leah to discuss her writing life…
Q. Your new book, The Postcard, has been a hit. It’s been called compelling, fascinating, captivating and people have even put you in the same box as Rachel Hore. How does it feel when you receive yet another five star review?
A. Receiving 5* reviews is always a relief but to be honest I don’t read many of my online reviews. We, authors are a nervy bunch and getting hooked on review ratings can just sink confidence especially when some reviewers can be so negative. ( Why are those the ones we always remember)
Q. While we’re talking about your new book, what is it about for those (like myself) who have yet to read it?
A. There are two important postcards in The Postcard: one goes missing in the war and changes the lives of three generations of a family. The other is found in a shoe box in Australia and sends a girl to the UK on a quest to find her ancestry. How are these two cards are linked ? Read and find out…
Q. In order to write Historical Romance, experts say that you must read a lot of books within the field that you’re writing about. Which Historical Romance authors do you love?
A. Whatever genre you write, it is good to be a voracious reader of any good writing and storytelling. For Historical authenticity you go to biographies and diaries etc. Romantic fiction is a broad church and deals with the most universal emotional themes and passions. For my own pleasure I read Tracy Chevalier, Helen Dunmore, Judith Lennox, Rachel Hore, Daphne Du Maurier etc. but NEVER when busy writing in that genre myself. Then I turn to crime…
Q. Out of all of your books, if one could be adapted into a film, which would it be and why?
A. I am told all my novels have a filmic quality but if I could have the budget and Spielberg, I would choose The Girl Under The Olive Tree. It is set in war time Crete, based on a true story. There would be a fabulous location, heroes, villains galore, big action scenes and lots of poignant drama.
Q. Book bloggers play a big part in promoting a book. How have they changed your writing career?
A. The art of Book Blogging is new to me but greatly appreciated for it brings books to a wider online audience who may take a chance on one of my novels. I have loved being involved in these blog tours. What author doesn’t want to talk about themselves? Thank you for asking this question.
Q. You volunteer to drive mobile libraries, what allowed you to get involved with that?
A. I got involved with our local Home Library deliveries because I live in a rural area and all the mobile libraries were cut due to budget cuts. This meant elderly and infirm villagers were dependent on others bringing books. This way they can choose what they want to read and it’s brought to the door. (In one case left in a bucket in a covered box by the foot of the remote farm track).
Q. On your website, you give 10 top tips for writing a better chapter. What’s the best writing tip that you’ve ever been given?
A. The best writing tip I ever read was one by Stephen King: Write your first draft with the door closed and the second with the door open ie. That first “ dirty “ draft is for your eyes only. Giving bits to be read by others too early can stifle the freedom to experiment and freeze creativity.
Q. If you could send a postcard to any author in the world, who would it be and what would you write on it?
A. My postcard to a living author would be to Barbara Kingsolver in America: Dear Barbara. Thanks for your recent book: Flight Behaviour. It opened the world of butterfly research to me. I wish I could see the Monarchs for myself. But the compassion and humanity you showed to the Southern community in which you set this story made me laugh and cry. You are an inspiration. Leah