Please give a warm welcome to
Tell us a bit about yourself
Hmmm… A bit about me. I live in Dallas, Texas, USA with my husband and two small children, who are beautiful and wonderful and absolute monsters sometimes. We have 2 big dogs and 2 demonic cats, and my husband had to draw the line somewhere or I’d have a bunch more. I’m an animal lover through and through with a DEEP love of horses, dogs, cats (big and small), and wolves and coyotes. I’ve been obsessed with wolves and coyotes as long as I can remember, and with the paranormal as well. Native American legends and American and Irish ghost stories were a big part of my childhood. I’m also an art lover: drawing, painting, sculpture, writing, even decorative cooking, sewing, and design. I just love creating things and making them beautiful.
Have you always wanted to become an author?
I have absolutely always wanted to become an author. I have a ‘book’ my mom saved from when I was around 6 or 7 that I wrote and illustrated and put together myself, not as a project for school or anything but on my own time at home. I have been obsessed with story-telling and books my whole life, and I’ve always had a very active imagination. Usually it began as a story or game I was acting out with my toys when I was little (and I definitely played with toy animals longer than is probably socially acceptable) but was often translated into the written word when I was finished. I can’t begin to express what it means to me to have this opportunity now, after all this time.
What was your inspiration for your current book/series?
It actually stemmed from a dream (here comes the crazy). The books don’t end up a full play by play or identical, but most of my stories have grown from the seed of a dream I’ve had. Some days I just wake inspired and clinging to details of some random dream with everything I’ve got, you know? This one in particular began with the castle and the wedding. Can’t say too much more. Spoilers.
What are you working on now?
I’m just about to release the very first book I wrote start to finish, Veiled Guardian. I held onto it a long time out of fear, but I’m dedicating this year to overcoming fear, so here we are. My next project will be finishing up my first series, Rise of the Red Queen (previously The Demons of Areth Saga), under the name Leigha Stoirm, and simultaneously, book 1 of its sequel series, Hearts of Wonderland. I’m particularly excited about these 3 releases as they are introducing two full universes in which a lot of my future stories will take place, independent but connected. So this is a very exciting time for me and, hopefully, for my fans.
Do you have any quirks while working?
Wow… So many, probably. I’m a horrible nail biter when I’m tense, and since all my books are fairly tense, it gets bad. The others are coffee (all day long) and scotch and soda when I write at night. It may sound odd, but it honestly slows my mind down enough so that I can translate what’s happening in there. All the voices. Lol.
What are your hopes for the future?
Honestly, just that I can keep writing. I hope I’m lucky enough to continue to do this for the rest of my life. I hope our little band of demons and warriors continues to grow, but even if it didn’t and I lost all my fans, I’d continue to write for me.
Also, I’m hoping to travel more in the future. I’m heading to The Court of Sin in New Orleans this June and The Great Gathering in Tulsa in 2021, and I hope I get to continue to make live appearances and connect with fans. And to eventually get to the UK and Australia to some of the bigger events there and meet some very dear friends and authors face to face.
Do you have any advice for new authors about the publishing world?
I’d say there is no teacher like experience, so the best thing you can do for yourself is go for it.
Take negative feedback at face value, and use what you can to make yourself better and what you can’t use, it’s just an opinion. Everyone has them. They’re all different.
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Kindness begets kindness, and people are an irreplaceable resource.
Find your true tribe, and when you find them, hang on tight. Absolutely nothing has given me more in the past year than my people. They’re there to pick you up when you feel like you can’t carry on, kick your butt into gear when you’re feeling lazy and whiny, and keep you grounded when you get swept away in the storm. You can’t force that, and you might find them in ways and places you never expected, so be open-minded. Find your people.
Do you have anything to say to your followers?
Only that I plan to do my very best to make you proud, time and time again. I write books that I’d want to read, but it makes me so incredibly happy when they speak to other people as well, and I love getting to share those tiny bits of my heart and soul with all of you. You’ve taken good care of them so far. Thank you all for your support along this road, and I can’t wait to see where we can go together.