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Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Author on the 'Hump' Wednesday : R. Leonia Shea

Hump Day is that special day in the middle of the week, where we try to figure out whether the week is just beginning or about to end.  So, I've decided to use Wednesdays to catch up with some other writers.  

So I  spoke with Author R. Leonia Shea on the release of the second book from her Relic Hunter series, Destructive Magic.

1) Was writing always your dream?  
Writing was always just something I did to amuse myself.  I have notebooks from when I was in the 8th grade and wrote the normal teenage-angst stuff that was natural for an adolescent girl.  Years later, I saved up money from a waitressing job to buy myself a computer so I could write.  That's when it became a serious ambition for me. 

2) What current book series are you known for?
The series I'm currently known for is the Relic Hunter series.  I love archaeology and myths and I read a lot of urban fantasy.  It was natural for me to combine those three things and come up with Dr. Arienne Cerasola.  I wanted her to be older - someone who had a life and a career and then had to start over.  I think that's a scary place to be in, but it's also very exciting. 

3) When and where do you write?
I write in the wee hours of the morning and usually devote Sunday to writing and editing.  A few years ago, I developed the annoying habit of not sleeping well so rather than stay in bed and obsess over the fact that I'm not sleeping, I get up and work.  I just set up an office this past spring, so I'm still adjusting to working at a desk!

4) So, you're working on the prequel to Tattered Shadows.  Are there any spoilers that you can give us from the new novella? 
I'm going to write the novella from the perspective of Finn.  As a demon who feeds on strong emotion, I think Finn would be a fun guy to tell the story of how he gets banished by his lover, Cleo.  You have to be a really bad boyfriend to make someone send you to demon-jail for a thousand years!

5) Do you ever see yourself as one particular character in your novels?  If so, which one? 
I think I see myself as Arienne more often than I'd like to admit.  I have a successful career in another profession and in a way I'm also starting over with some the same fears she has.  There's the fear of the unknown, of what's next, of how to determine the success of the venture, but there's also the excitement of finding success and learning new things.  When I'm working on a project, I tend to see the characters more as my friends, but every once in a while I think "oh wait!  I know how that feels!" 

6) Do you have a favorite book character (not in your novels)?  Please, please, do tell who!!! 
I think my favorite character right now is Lisbeth Salander from Stieg Larsson's Millennium trilogy.  She has guts, she's sharp, and completely self-reliant.  It's impossible for her to ask for help, but she takes it when offered and she never hesitates to help someone else.  I really love the way she champions causes nobody else pays much attention to and the way she'll defend to the death what is right - she has a great sense of justice and the people in her life appreciate her quirkiness.  I also relish her ability to do things that are distasteful - she really lives the "ends justifying the means" philosophy and I enjoy her twisted side. 

7) What was the greatest thing you learned at school in regards to writing?
I've often said "it was always my writing that saved me" because that was often the truth.  I'd read the syllabus in college and immediately look for what papers I would be required to write for each class.  I could give you thirty pages - typed and double spaced - on any topic you asked for - and it would be logical and well organized.  I loved crafting the papers and developing the argument.  I didn't always have a strong opinion when I started the paper, but I wrote it with conviction.  I can't tell you how many times I got papers back with a huge "A" on them and knew that it was my writing that had earned that grade. It always made me smile!  

8) What was the greatest thing you learned that helped you write the life-story of your characters?
It's been over two decades since I bought that first computer and I remember thinking "but I have no real life experience!" as I faced a blank screen.  That type of self-doubt killed some of my early attempts.  I hadn't lived, really, and I forgot that my "experience" as a writer didn't need to come from my own adventures all the time.  When I started writing seriously a few years ago, I incorporated so many things into my character's life stories because I knew people who had similar experiences or because I imagined what something would be like.  I think the biggest thing I learned was that there are some experiences that are universal but how each person reacts to those situations is very different.  

9) Alrighty now, just to wrap it up.  One last thing, what your favorite bedtime drink? Cocoa, soda, wine?  Inquiring minds want to know, please.  (Don't worry, you can answer 'water,' if you don't want to say (lol). 
Since I don't sleep well to begin with and I always fear I'm on the verge of dehydration, I really do drink water constantly!  Some nights I'll have herbal tea or caffeine-free root beer or ginger-ale but nothing stronger than that.  I'm absolutely no fun because one glass of wine or a nice imported beer saps all of my ambition and makes me want a nap - but then I'm up again three hours later and I'm cranky!

Thanks, Leigh, for visiting the blog!


  1. Actually, I just started reading one of this author's books, Tattered Shadows. So far, it is superb!!!! She is an EXCELLENT writer!

  2. I totally agree with you, she's really got some serious writing skill.....