Today I'm so excited to share with you a wonderful author friend of mine who has just released her first novel. I'm sure you will be as intrigued by it as I was.
Hello and Welcome! Please tell us a little about yourself.
My real name is Linda Baumann. I write under the penname L.Leander. My husband and I live in Mazatlan, Mexico in the winter and Wisconsin in the summer months. I am a singer/songwriter and only branched out into books about three years ago. INZARED, Queen of the Elephant Riders is my first novel in a series about a Gypsy wagon circus in the pre-Civil War era. I am an avid reader who also loves any kind of needlework, swimming, jamming with other musicians, cooking, and playing Scrabble with friends.
What song best fits your life? And Why?
Crazy by Patsy Cline. I’ve been called that a lot in my life – I’ll try anything once!
If you were a cartoon character who would you be and why?
Roadrunner. He fits me to a “T” - always on the go and forgets to look before he leaps!
If you had to live without your car or your computer, which would you choose?
That one is easy. Absolutely, my car. In Mexico we don’t have a car and I function quite well. I enjoy walking everywhere and buses and taxis are cheap. I might have a little problem in Wisconsin without one, because we live about twenty miles from the nearest town, but I don’t think I could bear to be cut off from the computer and link to the world . Especially when I am researching for my book!
Do you have any funny stories from growing up that you can share?
I have a lot of them. I am the eldest of four and we all had vivid imaginations. When I was about six I tied a knapsack to a long stick, slung it over my shoulder and talked my two sisters into running away to join the circus with me. We made it across a huge field before we got hungry and went home. Mom was watching from the kitchen window. I think she knew we wouldn’t go too far, but I was enthralled with the circus even then!
What’s your favorite thing to do to relax?
Playing my guitar or fiddle. Music always soothes me, even when I am really frustrated. I can pick up either one and lose myself instantly. While I’m playing I totally relax and don’t think about anything else. The other thing that does that for me is working jigsaw puzzles – love them!
If you had to be one of your characters, which would you be and why?
I would be Inzared, my main character. I always wanted to ride an elephant in the circus. And now I have!
Did you always want to be an author?
Yes, I think so. I wrote stories a lot growing up and was faithful at writing in my diary. But then I turned to writing songs and enjoyed it very much. It was only when a friend invited me to a writer’s group in Mexico that I got serious about writing a book.
What is your favorite part about being an author? What is your least favorite?
My favorite is the writing. I love being in the moment. The words come faster than I can type. But I can tell you that I absolutely hate the marketing. It’s very hard for me to brag about myself, even though I know my book is good!
What has been your favorite part about getting published?
The wonderful Indie Authors I have met along the way. No matter what my question I can turn to one of the Facebook groups I belong to and get an answer immediately. We’re all in this together and the bond is great!
Where do you write? Do you need anything to help you get in the mood for writing?
I write anywhere I can. In the summer we live in a campground in a camper, so private space is a little hard to find. My husband is wonderful about leaving for a few hours to allow me quiet time to write. In Mexico it’s easier because I have a house with rooms and I can shut the door. I need complete quiet to write. When there’s a lot going on around me I can’t think well. However, I take a notebook everywhere and I have written whole chapters while riding in the car or waiting for an appointment.
Tell us about your latest release:
INZARED, Queen of the Elephant Riders
Blurb: Bertha Maude Anderson has no inkling of how famous she will become when she leaves her Appalachian home in 1843, joins a Gypsy Circus, becomes Inzared Queen of the Elephant Riders, finds love, solves a mystery, and begins to understand who she really is.
INZARED Link to Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/INZARED-Queen-Elephant-Riders-ebook/dp/B008FD5O1E/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1342119804&sr=8-1&keywords=inzared
Bookcover Link: http://tinyurl.com/6w7y6aw
Excerpt: (INZARED, Queen of the Elephant Riders)
Paytre turned to Shandor. “She’ll need a stage name.”
Shandor thought for a moment. She thinks she’s such a queen, she can be called Inzared.”
I gasped in delight at the foreign-sounding name he had given me. “What does it mean?” I asked.
“Queen. Queen of the Elephant Riders,” Shandor replied. “We shall bill you as Inzared, Queen of the Elephant Riders.”
“Here, take Cecil while I get her a costume,” Paytre said. Shandor led the elephant to the performer’s entrance while Paytre grabbed my hand and pulled me to the changing wagon. “Lileth, the trapeze artist, is about your size,” he said. The costume wagon was filled with racks of colorful, neatly-arranged finery. Gauzy fabrics in every hue beckoned me, sparkling and enticing me to try them on. At the base of each display were matching shoes, some with pointed toes, some slipper-like, all with sequins or gems attached. Paytre reached for a bright red leotard and a headdress of red and white plumes set in a silver crown. “Put these on.” He shoved the clothing into my arms then reached for a pair of slippers off the shoe rack and a pair of white tights. “Hurry, get dressed.” He shut the door, remaining in front of it so no one could enter.
In disbelief, I stared at the armload of clothes I held. Inzared, Queen of the Elephant Riders. Even if only for tonight, I would ride Cecil to the call of the ringmaster and the sound of the trumpet in the circus ring. I undressed, donned the costume, and deftly pulled my hair up using a comb I found laying on a vanity table. Pulling on the tights and the glittering red suit, my eyes lingered a moment on the shimmery fabric and spangles sewn haphazardly all over the skimpy garment. The headdress was a bit difficult, but once it was secured with pins, I put the slippers on my feet. The girl who smiled at me in the mirror was unrecognizable. She was beautiful. She was tall. She was mysterious. A pinch of red powder from a jar on the vanity, rubbed into my cheeks and lips, gave my face some color. Tonight I’d be a star. I sure hope no one recognizes me. A pang of guilt stabbed my conscience as I thought about the scanty outfit and what Ma would say, but I tried to ignore the voice and opened the door to Paytre’s admiring whistle.
“You are beautiful, Inzared, Queen of the Elephant Riders.” He took my hand and we ran to join Cecil. “Don’t be scared, just follow my lead. Cecil likes you and you’ll do fine.”
A line of performers was in place at the back entrance of the Big Top, waiting for the grand entrance. Laughter tumbled out the door as the clowns went through their antics inside the tent, preparing the audience for the big show to come.
How did you decide on your story plot?
I didn’t. I can’t take any credit for it. The story plot chose me. Inzared had a tale to tell. I sat down to write and she talked faster than I could type. I did my very best to include all the details, but she was adamant that her story get told.
How did you choose your characters names and location for your story?
I did extensive research on Gypsy culture for my book and most of the names came from that research. I made Inzared’s name up because nothing else fit. A lot of Inzared’s character is based on someone I knew growing up. She was from the Appalachians of North Carolina and told me story after story of her hard bringing up. Inzared’s strong character comes directly from her.
Do you have a favorite scene? Why?
My favorite scene in the series is actually in the second book. However, in this book I think it’s probably Inzared and Cecil’s (the elephant) first performance together in the ring. They practiced long and hard together to form the main attraction and their love is undeniable and their bond unbreakable.
Do you have a character that you identify with? Who and why?
I guess I’ve answered that – it’s the main character, Inzared. She and I are a lot alike so it was easy to write her character. She is strong, but naïve and she feels guilty, but isn’t afraid to buck the system and follow her dreams.
Let our readers know how they can get a hold of you…
Here are my links. I’d love to hear from anyone who cares to email me. My hope is that everyone who reads INZARED, Queen of the Elephant Riders will enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.
Amazon Link: http://tinyurl.com/7dfave4
Video Trailer: http://youtu.be/lQHtsFQGAP0
FB Author Page: http://facebook.com/lleanderbooks
L.Leander Blog: http://lleander11.wordpress.com/
L.Leander Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Twitter Handle: @lleander11
Is there anything else that you want to share… feel free!!
I am very proud to be a part of the Indie Author movement. There has never been a better time to publish. There is a wealth of information available to anyone who asks and many authors who are willing to help newbies find their way. It’s exciting and rewarding! Thank you so much for the opportunity to share my work on your blog. I appreciate the opportunity!
Thank you for stopping by today and sharing your book with us. I hope everyone enjoyed our visit and will take a look at INZARED, Queen of the Elephant Riders today!
Gator Girl Extraordinaire