That’s exactly what Leanne got!
Hi! My name is Leanne Farella. I’ve been seriously writing for ten years. The reason I started? I’m a reader and when reading it never ceases to amaze me when an author writes a story I can’t put down. I think the proper word for it is “Reader Addiction.” I love it. And ten years ago I decided that’s what I wanted to do. I wanted to write a book that someone would stay up all night to finish. Nothing is as easy as you think it will be!
I have 2 busy kids (a first grader and a preschooler), an extreme do-it-yourselfer husband and a full-time career as an Intellectual Property attorney that I have no desire to leave. Needless to say, it’s taking me some time to work on this goal. And I’m not there yet. Closer, but not there.
What made you enter the Stiletto Contest last year?
I wrote a New Adult Contemporary Romance and while I do have a critique group, I wanted more outside feedback. It was my first stab at finishing a contemporary (I’d mostly been writing historical). Another reason was the Stiletto actually has a separate category for New Adult. Not many contests do.
Competition for any unpublished contest can be really tough. What did you do to prepare your manuscript for the Stiletto?
There are usually two things I’ve done before entering a manuscript. First, my critique group has critiqued it (At any given time, this is about 4 people). Second, I’ve rewritten the crap out of it, especially for reader addiction. Hopefully.
How did you celebrate when you found out you were a finalist?
Unfortunately, I’m a realist, so celebrating is hard to let myself do. Mostly I cried. Because it’s a shock to the system, all of the years of toil and it finally feels like it might be worth it. Then I wrote an email to my critique group and they cheered for me. Good thing someone does!
What was the first thing that went through your mind when you found out your entry, More Than Chemical, won the NA category?
I watched the live stream of the announcements on Facebook. I think my heart stopped, or skipped a beat, or something and then I kept rewinding the feed to make sure I heard that right. I so wished I’d been there. I posted the win to my Facebook page, but only after the contest chair sent me their graphic because I still wasn’t quite sure.
How has your life changed since your Stiletto win?
Some things have changed, but not much. I’m still striving to write for reader addiction. I feel like I learn something knew about it everyday and then I make sure to apply it to my current WIP. I am actually going to be doing a presentation on “How to plot for reader addiction” at my local RWA chapter meeting in April. We’ll see what they think about it, and then I may post some of it on my website or blog to help contribute to this great writing community.
I do have an agent now. Not because of the Stiletto entry, but because of an earlier work. My agent agreed to also represent the Stiletto entry and is starting to submit it. I’ll say that writing and the business of writing is the most difficult thing I’ve ever tried to do. And I’ve tried and done quite a lot.
Have you seen that project at myintent.org that makes the “what’s your word?” bracelet. The word is stamped on a metal coin. It can be a word of virtue you want in your life, a challenge to overcome, or maybe what you are passionate about. Anyway, my word on my bracelet is BELIEVE. I have to believe that all of this work, effort, hope and dreams means something and will come to something.
What’s your word?