Sorry for the excess punctuation, but I have been waiting for May for what feels like FOREVER because this month is ALICE’s birthday (HOORAY!) !!! Needless to say, I’m pretty excited.BUT I will give you more on that in another blog post.
TODAY’S blog post is about featuring OTHER authors you should know about and this month’s author is definitely one to watch.
This month’s author feature is my friend and Pen Name Publishing teammate, Ms. Leslie Hauser. On top of writing she is also a teacher and full-time mommy to her fur-baby, the adorable Mr. Darcy (you’ll meet him later)! I got a chance to read Leslie’s debut novel, Chasing Eveline, and it is one of the most feel-good YA contemporaries I’ve ever read. Needless to say, Leslie rocks, her book rocks, and you should follow her. But instead of me doing all the talking, I think I’ll let Leslie introduce herself. Here she is, woman of the blog, my friend, Leslie Hauser.
When did you start writing?
I’ve been writing since the third grade when I penned my award-winning story “Wild Strawberries” about a talking strawberry that takes a young girl on a wild adventure. It was published on the front page of the school gazette. Haha. But in all honesty, I think that was the moment when I realized I had stories to tell and that I loved telling them. (It was also the moment I learned I would never be an artist. My strawberry graphic was not so fabulous.)
Do you have a writing ritual?
It’s sort of a ritual, I guess. I only work on a first draft of a novel during the summers. Since I’m a teacher, I don’t work during the summer. So I make writing a full-time job. It’s difficult for me to write a first draft in bits and pieces here and there because I completely immerse myself in the story’s world. I can work on other aspects of it during the rest of the year, but drafting is only done during the summers.
How do you pick character names?
Main characters are usually names that I love and/or names that have meaning. For example, in CHASING EVELINE, the main character is named Ivy. Ivy means ‘faithfulness’, which is a character trait of hers. In another YA manuscript I’ve written, the main character’s name is Mallory because I love that name. Other characters may be named after people I know. In CHASING EVELINE, Charlotte is named after one of my good friends. The character has nothing to do with my friend, but I used her name as a shout-out.
How do you like to spend your time when you’re not writing?
I do an awful lot of running—of all sorts of distances. I’ve run two marathons, a bunch of half-marathons, and even more 5k and 10k races. I also do CrossFit. I love the variety it gives, and it’s really helped my running. After I started CrossFit, I shaved 25 minutes off my marathon time! When I’m not exercising, I’m either reading or watching the zillion shows I DVR. Right now one of my favorites is Chicago PD. I think I secretly wish I could be a detective. And of course, there’s Mr. Darcy. Making sure he has the best life ever takes up a lot of time.
What’s your favorite writing snack?
Normally, I would say Cheez-Its or cookies. But since I’m not eating added sugar or processed foods right now, it’s either coffee or water. Can you hear the sadness in these words? haha. I also have a beer every once in a while when I edit or write. I think my characters appreciate it because it turns me from the over-protective mother into the fun-loving aunt.
Tell us a secret about your writing.
I place a cupcake in every manuscript I write. It’s not a major plot point or anything. Yet. But I think every book should have a cupcake in it.
What is your biggest writing challenge?
Getting started. It’s such a daunting thought that it can paralyze me. Once I get going, I’m fine. But those first words, in fact that whole first draft, is just so overwhelming. I love editing. But drafting is like a horror movie to me.
Your debut novel CHASING EVELINE is coming out this year, tell us what’s going on in your world.
I’m launching a Pre-Order Giveaway on May 11—for two months until my release. Anyone who pre-orders CHASING EVELINE will automatically get some book swag: two bookmarks and two stickers (while supplies last). Then, on July 11 (release day!) I’m going to draw 3 runners-up to receive a signed paperback copy in addition to the swag. But that’s not all! There is going to be a grand prize winner on July 11 who will receive the book swag, the signed paperback copy, and a prize pack of Chasing Eveline related goodies. I’m super excited for this giveaway.
What is your favorite part of CHASING EVELINE?
My favorite parts to write were all the lyrics to the Chasing Eveline songs. I felt like I got to be a songwriter in addition to a novelist. Describing how the characters felt while listening to the song lyrics was magical. It was the easiest part of writing the book because I could hear those songs in my mind, and I was simply recording how they made me feel.
Can you give us a sneak peak at what to expect in CHASING EVELINE?
I’ll throw out some words for you…
Music. Boys. Air Guitar. Memories. Meerkats. Leprechaun. Tears. Garage Sale. Love. Blushing. Awkward. Lots of awkward! (#SoMuchAwkward)
Want to know more about Leslie? Connect with her on Social Media!
Can’t wait to get your hands on Chasing Eveline?