• Sheila & Swede

Author Interview: Leanne Lovegrove

Indie romance author Leanne Lovegrove talks to Sheila & Swede about her writing and her next project. Read on for the full interview below.

Sheila & Swede interview indie romance author Leanne Lovegrove

Would you like to tell us a bit about yourself?

I'm first and foremost a wife, and mother to three wonderful teenagers. I work as a lawyer and have been writing for many years. I am obsessed with reading and all things writing related. I am a member of two bookclubs and read widely and voraciously. To be honest, I'm trying to read less and write more! When I'm not spending time with my family, or rather, usually driving to and from children's sport, I like to run and walk and be outdoors.

Would you like to tell us about your novel, Unexpected Delivery?

This is the story of Vivienne and Daniel. Vivienne is a city slicker lawyer who is successful in her work but not so much in her personal life. It isn't until she's forced to fill in for a colleague on maternity leave that she's thrown way out of her comfort zone and has to confront the life she's been living. I love Vivienne, she's feisty and strong.

Daniel is a struggling dairy farmer who has tragically lost his wife and now must parent twins and run the farm. He decided to convert to radical robotic milking and running the business has been hard. His focus is on his children and the farm. However, Vivienne's role is to deliver a foreclosure notice on Daniel. They have competing interests but can't deny their attraction to each other.

Leanne Lovegrove's debut novel Unexpected Delivery

What would you say makes your novel stand out?

That's tricky. I hope it's because people read the blurb and it sounds like an engaging romance that they'd like to escape into. But also, I think the deregulation of our dairy industry is topical and something current that people are interested in. Only this morning on the television, there was yet another segment on the struggling dairy industry.

We understand you’re a lawyer. Would you like to talk about how your experience in law helped you to write your heroine in Unexpected Delivery, Vivienne Greene?

I have been a lawyer for 20 years. Over that time I have seen and heard everything! Reality is stranger than fiction. But I have worked with many female lawyers and they are, in the main, driven and successful and have such a lot to offer. But it is also an industry that expects a lot of those that work within it, so I wanted Vivienne to be successful and driven and a great lawyer, but realise that she can have other aspects to her life as well. I hope I've achieved this in the book. My work has provided many stories - problem is I don't think readers would believe most of them...

Your hero in Unexpected Delivery, Daniel Beckett, is a dairy farmer. What made you choose this profession for him? Do you have any experience in farming yourself?

When thinking about this story, the setting of the dairy farm came first and then naturally came Daniel the dairy farmer. I had heard of a Qld [Queensland] dairy farm that had adopted what seemed like radical robotic milking practices and thought, that would make a great story. Daniel then came after that.

I have no experience in farming! Except for visiting them, of course.

How do you research your books?

I research by visiting locations, my fictional town that I based on a real town, using the internet and reading widely.

Are you a plotter or a pantser, and do you use outlines?

I confess, I am a plotter. I use character maps and quite detailed outlines. Those outlines might change as I write the story but I need to know where it is heading. I like direction.

How do you make time for writing in your daily life?

I picked up this trick on the internet, so I can't take any credit for it. I commit to writing for no less than 10 minutes every day when I am writing a manuscript. Making this commitment is easy because you can always find 10 minutes. Inevitably, though, I will always write for longer. I can only recall two occasions where I timed the 10 minutes and then stopped. I find that if I'm working I will spend the day thinking about the next scene I'm writing so that I'm ready when I sit down at the computer. This small commitment keeps the story percolating in my head and you make little advances each day.

It's so important to commit to your writing. What made you decide to self-publish?

This was a hard decision for me. With Unexpected Delivery, I was shortlisted for a romance prize (the book had a different name then) and I had a lot of interest from publishers when I sent it out on submission. However, in the end, publishers didn't accept it and there were a variety of reasons for that. I was convinced by a close writing friend and mentor that this story should be told and I took the plunge. It's been fun!

That's great! Your cover looks amazing. Did you create it yourself or did you use a cover artist to design it? If you did it yourself, what type of software do you use? If a cover artist designed it, how did you find this person?

Thank you for loving my cover! Yes, it is beautiful. I sourced the images and knew how I wanted it to look but Lana Pecherczyk who is an author and also runs a cover design business did it for me. She's fabulous and I'd highly recommend her. I found her as we are both members of the RWA.

Excellent. You’re currently working on a new book, titled Illegal Love. Would you like to tell us a bit about it?

This is a very different story to Unexpected Delivery. I hope that people will like it, too!

This is the story about Kate and Nick and they should never have fallen in love. Kate is a teacher trying to piece her life back together after the death of her husband and Nick is a successful criminal defence lawyer. He has been invincible until he's unable to acquit the leader of the notorious Warlocks motorcycle gang and they aren't happy and seek revenge. As Kate and Nick fall in love, their lives are placed in danger.

Ooh, sounds intriguing. We'll keep an eye out for it. Thank you so much for taking the time to answer our questions and we wish you the best in your continued writing career!

Leanne Lovegrove is a lawyer, wife and mother and a lover of romance and reading. Leanne lives in Brisbane, Australia with her husband and three children. Check out her website for more information on upcoming releases, and connect with her on Instagram.

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