Friday, March 9, 2012

Author Interview: Alicia K. Leppert

Let's welcome debut author, Alicia K. Leppert for an interview today. This is one of the stops in her book tour. Enjoy the insight on her life and book, and the beautiful romance in her life. Thanks you, Alicia, for being here with us!

One city of 600,000 people.
One broken girl.
One mysterious boy.
One fateful night,
Two worlds collide.  
Seattle, Washington. The sprawling, industrious city set in a blanket of pine. I have never known a day that wasn’t spent inside this concrete jungle. It’s my home, and for that I love it. But it’s also the setting for the tragedy called my life, and so I loathe it.
I live alone in a cold, empty studio apartment. The tiny square room closely resembles a cell. That’s my life: solitary confinement.
Here, in this desolate place that perfectly reflects my soul, my story begins.
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1. Tell us about your novel first in five words then a whole sentence/few sentences.

Young adult urban fantasy romance. It's about a girl who lives in Seattle who is alone and broken and ready to give up on life. After an exceptionally rough night, she meets Jude, a mysterious but kind guy who shows an unnatural interest in her well-being. Let's just say after that her life is flipped upside down.

2. I see that Washington has made an impact on your novel. How is that so?

I have lived in Washington state my entire life, and I have a deep love for it. I was born in Seattle, and have been back countless times throughout my life, and all the surrounding areas. My dad loves the outdoors, and when I was growing up he took us all over the state, camping, hiking, four-wheeling. So I feel I got to know it very well. And although it feels like two very different places--the green forested west side and the brown desert that's the east side, where I live--I love them both. When I started writing Emerald City, I knew right away I would set in somewhere in Washington, because it's all I've ever known.

3. Your love story with your husband was incredible. Can you share it with us? And can we find some bits and pieces of your love in Emerald City?

Our story is amazing, one of those things that's so incredible you just couldn't make it up. It would make for one heck of a novel, and I've always thought maybe I'll write it one day. We "met" online in a chat room almost exactly 12 years ago. We saw we were both from Washington, so we started instant messaging privately within the chat room. At first it was pretty casual, but quickly went beyond that, and it wasn't long before it was very apparent we both felt something. We exchanged email addresses and chatted online all night long, every day for four or five days, by which time we had told each other how we felt. By day three I knew this was the guy I was going to spend the rest of my life with. This was back when technology didn't allow for sharing pictures online as easily as it does now, so we had no pictures of each other. On day six we spoke on the phone for the first time and he told me he loved me. On day seven we spoke on the phone again, and this time he proposed. I said yes without hesitation. We were unable to meet in person for almost another week due to our work schedules, but when we did, we started a whirlwind romance and began planning our wedding, which happened just over three months later. 12 years later we are happily married with 2 amazing kids and he is my best friend in the world.

There are definite bits and pieces of us sprinkled throughout Emerald City, like our first date on the pier and Jude's dimples. I couldn't write a love story without adding some of my own in!
4. What are the crazy stuffs you do everyday?

I don't know if anything I do every day would qualify as crazy! Boring, maybe. Typical stay at home mom stuff: carpooling, grocery shopping, cleaning, laundry, volunteering at my kids' school. Exciting stuff like that. I do take a nap, usually the highlight of my day. And right now I'm almost constantly working on some kind of marketing for my book. Soon it will be back to writing all day long!

5. Can we get an idea of what you were writing before Emerald City?
Bits and pieces of such insignificant stuff I can't even remember. Nothing that could even be considered a story. 

6. Any advice to aspiring authors?

Write what you love, and make that your focus--not getting published, not while you're still writing. When you've written your masterpiece and have it exactly where you want it, there will be plenty of time to worry about getting published. If you're spending all your energy on getting published while you're trying to write, it will come across in your work. If you put everything you have into your work, every drop of blood, sweat and tears, you'll have something amazing that you're proud of that people should want to publish. And you'll believe in it so much that you'll do whatever it takes to make that happen.

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