About Leigh Teale:
My name’s Leigh and I love books! I love reading them, I love writing them, I love reviewing them, and I love selling them. My husband, our two cats, and I have recently relocated to the big city of Richmond, Virginia, from a teeny-tiny town in the backwoods of Alabama, and we’re loving it. It’s a huge change of pace but it’s exactly what we want. I work full-time at a local bookstore and spend every last spare minute either exploring my new home or working on my books. I have degrees in journalism and history that, while I don’t use them as my teachers intended, really have helped shape who I am as a writer.
What inspires you to write?
I’ve always wanted to be an author. Before I knew how to write I would draw pamphlets of pictures and “read” them to my parents. I can draw inspiration from just about anywhere. Sometimes it’s because I’m dissatisfied with how an anime ended. Sometimes it’s the way a flower bush looks in a certain light. Mostly, though, I’m inspired by music. A well-placed turn of phrase or a clip of melody can keep me going for days and the next thing I know I have a fully fleshed out plan for a new story.
Tell us about your writing process.
I used to be a pantser, but I found that I can’t actually complete anything that way. I would get half-way through this really rocking idea and just run out of ideas. Now I do something called the snowball method, which is a lot more work up front but it helps me reach the finish line. I start out with a really simple description of my idea–a blurb if you will. Then I expand that into a 3-5 paragraph synopsis. Then I run through the synopsis and ask myself questions, both big and little, until there is nothing left unclear. By that point I’ve usually reached about 5,000 words, though I have hit upwards of 7,000 before. I use a writing program called Scrivener that I got on discount when I won NaNoWriMo in 2012. I break apart the expanded synopsis into “notecards” in Scrivener and put them on one side of my screen and my current chapter on the other. Then, I write.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I know a lot of writers talk about their characters being stubborn or having arguments with them. I’ve never had that problem, though. I try to get inside my characters’ heads as I’m writing the synopsis, so there isn’t a struggle when I write the actual story.
What advice would you give other writers?
The best thing you can do is to meet other writers. There are so many wonderful communities online that you can join to not only receive encouragement but also constructive criticism. Also, be protective of your writing time. If you don’t make time for yourself, no one else will.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I tried to get an agent and go for the Big 5, but I quickly became dissatisfied by the process. I decided to focus on small publishers, and the more I learned about them the more I wanted to go in that direction. Now with the help of some other people we’re attempting to establish our own small publisher. It’s exciting and terrifying and deeply satisfying.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I think the future of publishing lies with the tech-savvy. Whether it’s the Big 5 or self publishers, he with the best computer and internet skills will win the day.
What do you use?: Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?: Fantasy, Adult and Young Adult
What formats are your books in?: eBook, Print, Both eBook and Print
All information in this post is presented “as is” supplied by the author. We don’t edit to allow you the reader to hear the author in their own voice.