If you like multi-generational stories and have ever wondered what your neighbors are up to, you might want to take a literary visit to Clarence Bay. Created by Joan Leacott, the shoreline community is the namesake for her contemporary romance series. I’m happy to welcome her here today to discuss her work.
After the interview, leave a comment for a chance to win e-copies of the first two books in the Clarence Bay series, ABOVE SCANDAL and SIGHT FOR SORE EYES.
1. Your contemporary romance series is set in a place called Clarence Bay, “where the neighbors will keep your secrets.” Is this based on any real location? Where did the inspiration come from?
My husband and I have had a cottage on the shores of beautiful Georgian Bay for fifteen years. The nearest town for shopping is Parry Sound. Over the years, we’ve grown fond of the place, attended festivals and fireworks, done the cruises. The town is situated between the deep forest and rock of the Canadian Shield and the clear, island-dotted waters of Georgian Bay. The town has a human history spanning aboriginal settlement, through the lumber era, to modern tourism. A long history combined with awe-inspiring geography makes Parry Sound the perfect stand-in for Clarence Bay.
2. The first volume centers around three different women, all from a different generation within the same family. What can readers expect in the second volume?
I love multi-generational stores told from multiple points of view, so that’s what I write. In Sight for Sore Eyes, a pair of scheming seniors have matchmaking on their minds. Jean is the heroine Emma’s grandmother and Horace is the hero Asher’s grandfather. Little do Jean and Horace know, they’re about to get caught in their own trap.
3. Why do you write? What do you want readers to take away from your work?
I have stories swarming in my brain and, every once in a while, one of them escapes to the page. These are stories of real people dealing with real life issues, just like you and I: families, jobs, baggage from the past. I’d like my readers to take away a smile, perhaps a bit of insight, and a sigh of romance.
4. Now that you’ve completed two books in the Clarence Bay Chronicles, are you working on a third? If so, how far do you see the series going? If not, are you working on something else?
I see four more stories in the Clarence Bay Chronicles. I want Hayley to grow old enough to have her own first romance. I have plans for Melody as well. But my next release will be a short story about a very opinionated wedding dress. This summer, I’ll be working on a collection of connected stories inspired by incidents I witnessed during the ice storm, and subsequent power outage, of Christmas 2013.
5. What is your writing process like?
With each new story, I first write a backstory document to record the events in each character’s life that has lead them to the opening of the book. I move on to a scene-by-scene outline showing, in two sentences, the events and outcomes of each scene for each plot line in the book. Then I braid the plot lines together to shape the story. Then I start to write. Yep, I’m a plotter. …
This year, I’ve started exchanging daily goals with a good friend. It’s a great way to keep track, and stay on track, of all the facets of the writer’s life. Real life is included in our goals as well; e.g., walk the dogs, go to aquafit and yoga, run errands. We exchange high fives for our successes and develop strategies for our problems.
6. Becoming a published author is never an easy path. How do you make it through the tough days?
My front line support is my husband of thirty-three years. He listens to all my whining and complaining, and offers solid commentary on how to deal with stuff. And I don’t know what I’d do without my QuinceApple group of writer friends to help me get through the rough times and celebrate the good times. Chocolate works wonders for either occasion.
7. Spreading the word is one of the most daunting aspects of publishing with a smaller press. How do you get your titles out there? Laura, I’m self-pubbed. Woven Red is my own company.
As I write this, I’m on a blog tour that’s going well. I have my own WordPress website with automatic links that send my blog posts to Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads and other social media. I belong to a blog exchange group where indie authors exchange blog posts. And I have a Mailchimp newsletter. My addresses are listed below.
8. What is the best piece of advice you’ve received that you can share with aspiring writers?
“If you feel like you could stop writing, then you should.” Meaning if you haven’t the passion and persistence to be a writer, you should rethink how you’ll the huge amounts of time it takes to write, never mind, publish and market a story.
To keep up with Joan, visit her website at joanleacott.wordpress.com and sign up for her newsletter. She is also active on Facebook, Twitter (@JoanLeacott), and Goodreads.
Comment below to win e-copies of the first two books in the Clarence Bay series, ABOVE SCANDAL and SIGHT FOR SORE EYES. The giveaway will remain open until 11:59 p.m. Thursday, February 27, at which point a winner will be chosen at random. Best of luck to you all!
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3 responses to “Joan Leacott wants to give you “a smile, perhaps a bit of insight, and a sigh of romance””
I love stories that interweave multiple storylines. As a reader, I feel like I am getting a bargain:) I also thank you for you insight to writers. Can’t wait to read your books.
Thank you for stopping by, Cathy. I never thought of my stories as BOGO deal. 🙂
This looks like an interesting new author for me. Our family has always been an inter generational bunch, with me now being the Grandma. Always taught that the gift that gives back is a smile. Great title for a book. Would love to be able to read and review these books!