What’s something personal about you people might be surprised to know?
A lot of people have this idea about authors in general, that we hole up and stare at our typewriters or computers all day, willing the words to come. I think romance writers are often seen as daydreamers, too. I often get asked what my favorite chick flicks are and people assume I’ve watched something or other on the Lifetime Channel. In reality, I like to play games—both board games and on my laptop (or on our games console). If I do each a movie or TV show, it is usually science fiction, fantasy, or something like NCIS, Hawaii Five-O, or vintage TV such as Andy Griffith, Bewitched, Ironsides, or Columbo. I also love to cook, especially baking, and can also be found sewing some project or other on one of the vintage Singer sewing machines I’ve collected.
Where do you get your ideas?The opening scenes literally pop into my head, full-fledged. Afterwards, I can sometimes see what might have influenced the genesis, but not always. It all just suddenly comes, not as a vague idea, but the very words themselves, dialogue and all. Once I have it down, the rest just flows.
Is there any quote or saying about writing that resonates with you?Writing is like driving at night in the fog. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.
-E. L. Doctorow
Is your writing process a daily word count goal or more of a burst of inspiration writing flurry?I set a basic word count goal and sit myself down especially for that. if I exceed it, great. If not, I met my goal or was very close to it. If I have the urge to write because the Muse is already whispering the next part of the story, I do get in a frenzy to put that down as well, but I do not count that towards that day’s writing goal. It’s like a bonus extra. Either way, I sit until the words stop revealing themselves.
What’s the first thing you do when you start to write a story?I make sure that I have someone listening for the door and phone, get my snacks ready, my coffee in a covered insulated mug (I have a ceramic Hello Kitty one that I prefer to use), and sit down with my headphones on. I start my playlist, open my Open office document, and read the last couple of paragraphs that I wrote. Then I just let my fingers type the words that come. I write from beginning to end, in a linear fashion, just like that.
If you could give advice to yourself when you first started writing, what would it be? Believe in your Muse.
What do you think makes your story stand out compared to other “similar” stories?I tend to ignore tropes, and I have found readers really respond to that. They may love to read stories in particular sub-genres, but they want new stories, not the same one with new names and locations plugged in. It is, ironically, the very differences that make me extremely nervous come release time. Luckily so far, readers by and large seem to like me doing my own thing.
How important are the names (characters/locations/new terms) to you in a story?They’re very important. Names can tell us a lot about a person. It can tell us what region they are from and even when they might have been born as names change in popularity by year, even by decade, and by geographical location. I try to look up names that haven’t been used in recent releases and that fit when they were born and where they are from.
About the Book
Matthias Reynolds loves his life. He's starting to make it as a graphic artist at last and has a job he really likes at a local café that pays the bills. When a night out clubbing leads to an awkward morning after, he's embarrassed and more than ready to forget all about it. When Talani Enforcers show up at the café, he doesn't know what to make of it all as he's led away in restraints.
Standing accused of crimes he struggles to understand, he finds he has an unexpected champion: the Talani warrior and war hero J'nah Quislin. J'nah knows that Matty is his. All J'nah has to do is keep Matty safe from those who engineered Matty's charges and sentencing. That, and get Matty to accept that universe always intended them to be together as one. All it requires is for Matty to return J'nah's devotion and offer his willing submission. Can Matty do it, with all that it will mean for his future?
Leona is a longtime staunch supporter of human rights and environmental causes. Her favourite genre to read is M/M fiction and she particularly enjoys science fiction, fantasy, and action/suspense subgenres—especially if they have a nice seasoning of romance. She has far too many books on her Kindle, has overloaded her phone with even more and, when not reading, writing, being driven to distraction by her children, or being overlorded by her three cats, can be found trying to locate the portal that the sock monster uses to steal socks from her dryer.
Recently head-reeling news for her included her novel Jared:Urban Wolves #1 being nominated for an Indie Award from Metamorph and placing as a finalist in the 2016 Rainbow Awards, earning an Honorable Mention. She's still suspicious that it's all been a dream, but as long as her readers are happy and she can find at least one of the missing socks, she's happy.
You’ll find her books on Amazon (universal link is http://author.to/LeonaWindwalker), including on Kindle Unlimited. You’ll also find her on Facebook at Leona Windwalker, where you can keep up on news regarding current, new, and upcoming releases.