I'm loving today's guest! LOVING! It's been quite the journey for them with heaps of up and downs and to and fros, but finally they get to celebrate!
Check it out...
Leslie Rush grew up near Philadelphia, spending much time at the Jersey Shore. She moved to El Paso and fell in love with the desert Southwest. Disguised as a history teacher, she spent years eavesdropping on her future readers. When she’s not in her classroom, Leslie can be found on the road with her husband, exploring the desert and the world of dreams.
Vivi doesn't just control her dreams-she can walk into the dreams of others. When the CIA believes her little brother has her powers, dreamwalker Vivi must infiltrate the mind of a rogue agent to save her brother, mother and new love from a dark mind-control plot torn from the pages of history.
Who are you and what do you write?
I’m a History teacher, wife and mom, road-trip warrior, and for the last six years a YA Speculative fiction novelist.
Where and when and how did the writing life begin for you?
I wrote a great deal as a teenager but as adult life took over, I wrote less often. My friend Pamela Thompson, who writes an influential YA lit blog, invited me to review several books, and to beta-read her current manuscript. It was like unlocking the door of a room I’d forgotten about and finding treasure!
How has the journey to this point been? Can you give us a basic rundown?
It’s been slooow. With a full-time teaching job and a family, it took me two years to draft Dreamwalkers, another year to edit what I thought was enough. Spoiler: it wasn’t. Having a great story wasn’t enough. But the Twitter #Writing Community has an infinity of resources and some utterly amazing writers and editors helped me dig into the writing craft. Being chosen as a mentee for the first Writementor Summer Program was the turning point for Dreamwalkers. Not long after, I had a contract with Champagne Books.
What's been the hardest part of your writing/publishing experience so far? And the most enjoyable?
The hardest part is the WAITING, mostly for rejection. I’d heard about the glacial pace of publishing, but I had no idea. Waiting for three months only to be rejected is MUCH worse than three weeks, or three days. Some of those rejections were soul-crushing and made me question if it was worth doing. The most enjoyable part, besides seeing my cover and the copyright page---there it is, my name with COPYRIGHT 2020---there’s the satisfaction of beating down the oft-repeated wisdom that you’ll never sell your first book. To be honest, after all the editing, the book that I finally sold was probably three books’ worth of difference from what I originally queried. The second-most enjoyable part has been the online writing community, which I had no idea even existed until I’d already drafted the book!
Would you go back and change anything?
Oh, God. I would probably not query the ten biggest agents in New York right out of the gate---insert cringey GIF here---but I had the fearlessness of the uninitiated.
Where would you like to be in 5 years time? And 10?
I’d like to publish the rest of the Dreamwalkers series. I’m writing the prequel, Shadow Visions, which takes place in 1990 Sedona, Arizona. Notes and research have begun for the final book. After that, maybe I’ll put 30 years of teaching to use, and branch out to YA Historical Fiction?
What's one piece of advice you'd give to new writers just starting out?
Don’t let your fears keep you from writing your story. It doesn’t matter how old you are. It doesn’t matter if it’s your first book. It doesn’t matter if someone rejected you---or 100 someones. What matters is you have a story to tell, so TELL IT. Do the work. Do the research. Learn! But write it.
And most importantly...
Ketchup or Mayo? --Both!
Night or Day? --Night in the summer, day in the winter. Hot desert climate guides my choices.
Inside or Outside? --Inside during the day, outside at night. I love the night sky!
Dogs or Cats? --Cats.
Twitter or Facebook? --Twitter is faster, but more addictive.
e-book or Paperback? --Paperback
Sun or Rain? --Rain is pretty rare around here. I’ll take it whenever I can get it.
Keyboard or Pencil & Notebook? ---Notebook for planning, keyboard for writing the words.
Comedy or Drama? --Dramedy! Dramas with intensely funny moments.
Chips or Chocolate? --UNFAIR. That’s a question for Solomon.
Want to guest blog or be interviewed? Got a cover reveal or book coming out?
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