An Interview with Leigh Talbert Moore

Leigh Talbert Moore is the author of the popular young adult romantic comedy The Truth About Faking, its companion The Truth About Letting Go, and the mature YA/new adult romantic suspense novel Rouge, a Quarter Finalist in the 2013 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award. Her latest novel, Dragonfly, released earlier this month.  Dragonfly

Leigh is an award-winning journalist and editor, who has also worked in marketing and public relations for many years. Her writing has appeared in newspapers and magazines across the southeast and Midwest U.S., and she runs the popular writing-craft blog That’s Write. A southern ex-pat and beach bum, Leigh currently lives with her husband, two young children, and one grumpy cat in the Midwest.

1. Hi Leigh. Thanks for being here! Could you tell us about Dragonfly?

Dragonfly is actually the very first book I ever wrote, and it’s the start of a series all set at the beach. The first book (Dragonfly) is more “mature YA,” and as the series progresses, it moves more into new adult territory. Anyway, it’s a contemporary romance-family saga about this super-rich developer who has a big secret, and the impact that secret has on the main character Anna. (Anna becomes friends with his daughter and starts dating his son. Sort of.) Basically, it’s soapy and steamy and sexy and it’s got a little mystery, and it’s all set at the beach. Yay!

2. When can your readers expect the sequels? How many will there be?

At this point, I’m envisioning four books. The first three will be out by October 2013. Book #2, Undertow, releases on July 18, so they’re coming fast. But! The first three were already written in 2009-10, so I’ve just been revising and rewriting mostly. It’s possible there might be five books in the series, but it all depends on how things go in #4. I kind of have a lot of ground to cover before the story ends, so it might spill over.

3. What got you started writing young adult fiction? How does the journalist in you aid or hinder the novelist?

Journalism was my first love because I loved writing, but I honestly never believed I’d have the patience to sit down and write a whole novel. Then one day, I tried it, and I really liked it! So here I am. I think being a journalist really helped me with dialogue and having an ear for how people speak—and for meeting deadlines! But it hurts me sometimes because I want to “rush” through to the end. Start with the lead, you know. But I’m getting better at slowing down.

4. Where do you get your ideas?

Well, the idea for Dragonfly was actually inspired by my work as a journalist in south Alabama. I used to interview business people, and once this realtor told me how visitors to the coast always thought their company was named after a real man. It wasn’t. But I got to thinking, “What if it was?” and it all flowed from there.

5. What can your readers expect next?

Right now, I’m finishing up revisions for Undertow, and then I’ll dive into Watercolor, which is Book #3. After that I’ll finish out the Dragonfly series, and then I’m back to working on Rouge #2. I’ve had several readers asking for that one, and I need to finish writing it.

You can connect with Leigh online at:

Facebook | Amazon Author page | Twitter | Tumblr | Goodreads

Read excerpts of her books on Wattpad and Figment!

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An Interview with Rebecca Phillips

Rebecca Phillips is the author of young adult novels, Just You and Someone Else. She is also the the author of a YA 2012 ABNA finalist, Out of Nowhere.

Just YouSomeone Else

Someone Else is a sequel to Just You. Will there be another book about Taylor Brogan someday?

This is the question I get asked most often from readers. Enough people want a number #3 that I’m seriously considering writing one in the near future. In my mind, #3 will be a New Adult, taking place in college, and it may be from another character’s POV instead of Taylor’s. I think a book from Taylor’s friend Robin’s POV would be interesting.

Your bio says Judy Blume was a strong influence on you. Whom else would you list?

Judy Blume is definitely my first and strongest influence. Shortly after I discovered her at around age 10 or 11, I began writing my own YA novels (which were, of course, horrible). No other author struck me as deeply as Judy did until about 2003, when I discovered Sarah Dessen for the first time. Her books prompted me to start taking writing seriously. She made me think “Maybe I can make a career out of this too.” She was, and still is, a huge inspiration to me. I also admire John Green, Sara Zarr, Courtney Summers, Ruta Sepetys, Lauren Oliver, Gayle Forman, Laura Wiess, and Colleen Clayton. Just to name a few.

What are you reading right now?

I’m almost done with The Shift Omnibus by Hugh Howey, the prequel to his Wool series. Wool was one of the top three best books I read last year. If you haven’t checked it out yet, I highly recommend it. I’m not a sci-fi fan at all, but I devoured these books. The writing is excellent and the story is unique and compelling. And I have to admire an author who loves his fans as much as Mr. Howey loves his.

If you could only read one book over and over for the rest of your life, what would it be?

This is like asking me to pick my favorite child. It’s impossible. If I have to choose, I’m going to cheat a little and pick a series. The Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. I’ve read it all the way through twice so far, and it’s so freaking long, it’ll keep me busy for several months.

Where do you get your ideas?

My imagination, past experiences, and the people around me. When I was a finalist in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest last year, I was asked several times where I got the inspiration/idea for Out of Nowhere. I always had a hard time answering this, because there was no inspiration, really. I was lying in bed one morning and the idea hit me. In the book, the main character witnessed her father dying, she’s a hypochondriac, and she wants to be a doctor. My father is alive and well, I am most definitely not a hypochondriac, and I wouldn’t be a doctor if you paid me. Everything in that book was a product of my overactive imagination (and sometimes Google). But of course, there’s always a little part of me in each of my characters.

You can find Rebecca online on her website, www.rebeccawritesya.com, her blog, http://rebeccawritesya.blogspot.ca/, or her facebook, goodreads, amazon, kobo, or Barnes and Noble page.