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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Blog Tour: Kasonndra Leigh

Where do you hail from and what do you love most about your hometown?
I’m from Charlotte, NC although I don’t really remember a whole ton about it. My family moved to Durham, NC when I was three-years-old so I don’t really remember much about my time there. Charlotte is the race car capital of the world. That being said, I’m pretty sure that’s why I have such a love of exotic race cars. Now I live with my two sons in Durham, North Carolina, the home of the Blue Devils and Tar Heels. Yay!
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? How has that childhood dream affected your career?
This might sound a little cheeky, but I always knew I wanted to be a writer. I fell in love with books at a very early age and that obsession never released its hold on me. I mean, I’ve dibbled and dabbled in a lot of other things. I even sang, travelled with a popular jazz/rock band, recorded a couple of CDs. But it always came back to the writing. I majored in journalism when I was at UNC and then Radio, t.v., and motion picture editing. In the end, I discovered it was still about the writing for me.
Tell us about your latest book.  Do you have anything new in the works and can you tell us a bit about it?

The story follows Chela, a young girl who lives in a rebuilt society. She has recently learned that both she and her sick brother have certain powers. In Chela’s society, a place created from an apocalyptic war between good and bad nephilim, any type of supernatural power is illegal. Anyone thought to be related to a celestial creature will either be killed or exiled. So imagine Chela’s shock after she learned her father, a leader in the governing body, has been hiding his children’s secret. But in defense of Chela’s dad, I’ll say he had a reason for keeping them both in the dark. It’ll be up to Chela to save her brother without being discovered. Enter handsome, dashing demon slayer along with a best guy friend who’d walk the wire for her and Chela is all set!

Have you ever used contemporary events or stories “ripped from the headlines” in your work?
Of course! I think every author done that at some point. In my paranormal suspense novel due out this May, I used a couple of recent contemporary events to flesh out the storyline. Mystery and suspense novels are probably the best contenders for using this technique.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging about writing?

I find EVERYTHING about writing to be a challenge. From the first line to the words “The End”, you must have a plan. Readers these days have more choices than ever. As a writer, you have to deliver a well written, top-notch product to them. Or…they simply won’t buy your book. You have to find that fine line between maintaining excitement for the story you love and presenting something exciting for the reader. That’s why I say it’s all a challenge. But it’s all worth it when you start to see reviews from people you don’t know saying how much they love your book.

What advice would you give to writers just starting out?
Write. Read. Read. Write. Read. Read. Read, etc. I think you get the point. LoL One makes the other a ton easier and they’re both connected.
Do you ever suffer from writer's block? If so, what do you do about it?
I’m the world’s worst writer’s block sufferer ever. And these days when readers expect lightning fast production of sequels, I have to get rid of it super quick. How? Writing class? Exercise? Kicking something? LoL. Actually, the answer is gardening (don’t be laughing at me, now). It clears my head, and gives me something to NOT think about.
Who is your favorite author and why? What books have most influenced your life?
I have so many that I can’t really nail it down to one. But I can tell you that Octavia Butler, Stephan King, Dean Koontz, and Elizabeth Kostova have all influenced my writing journey in some way.
How did you deal with rejection letters?

I used them as a learning tool, a morale booster so to speak. I saved them in a folder and go back to visit them every now and then.  Big grin. The key is to keep writing and improving your skills until someone says yes. And eventually they will. Just be prepared for what to do when many of them say it at the same time.

Where do you as an author draw the line on gory descriptions and/or erotic content?

That’s easy for me to answer. I write YA which means, you can be edgy but not super gory or erotic. There can be a hint at it, or some kind of clever, fancy way of letting your reader know that it’s happened.

What's the weirdest thing you've ever done in the name of research?

This is definitely an interesting question. I would have to say my trip to Wilmington, NC was the weirdest. The Copper Suns series is based on a newly formed region in North Carolina. Wilmington is one of those regions. To get a feel for the eeriness you always hear about in that region, I took one of the haunted house tours. Was I terrified? A big old YES! But the experience helped me write my paranormal novel Hacienda Moon which takes place in a haunted plantation house.

Don't forget to give us links to your website etc.
FEATURED BOOK BUY LINKS: ebook and paperback versions are available
Barnes & Noble - http://tinyurl.com/7h4seku

Author Site:                http://www.kasonndraleigh.com
Blog:                           http://kasonndraleigh.blog.com
Facebook:                   http://facebook.com/kasonndraleighbooks
Twitter                                    http://twitter.com/kasonndraleigh
Goodreads:    http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/12387007-when-copper-suns-fall

1 comment:

KaSonndra Leigh said...

Thanks so much for hosting me today Brynna. I enjoyed my visit at your beautiful blog.