Tell us about your writing journey. How many manuscripts and years before publication? And what book number are you up to now?
My writing journey started late in 2009 when my daughter was diagnosed with cancer. Writing proved therapeutic in coping with stress and my first book, an NA fantasy, helped me to escape reality.
In early 2013, and with my daughter in remission, I started writing my second novel, and first-to-be published eBook, Winning the Player. I have since completed a NA rural romance and I am currently writing my fourth NA book, another football romance.
Can you tell us a little about your past – growing up in Broken Hill and the different occupations you’ve had!
Growing up in a country town was free, fun and safe and like being part of a huge extended family. You leave but your heart remains because the people are warm and friendly.
After leaving school I worked as a nurse at the local hospital and nursing homes until my early twenties when I moved to Adelaide.
Your debut novel with Destiny Romance, Winning the Player, is based around football, you married a football player, and footy season has just started! So… which team do you barrack for? And how much truth is there in your fiction work surrounding the footy world?
My husband was 17 when we started dating and he was a diehard Hawthorn supporter. Back then I didn’t follow football so I also supported Hawthorn. When the Crows joined the AFL, I supported SA’s only team.
Like many fiction novels, there is an element of truth for inspiration, however, it is twisted and exaggerated to create a story. The characters and storyline of my book are complete fiction.
What’s it like being a mum to four daughters? What can a typical day be like for you?
My girls are athletic, confident, strong-minded young ladies and I’m extremely proud of them. Dinner can be challenging and one might be mistaken for being at a verbal tennis match!
My weeknights and weekends were busy transporting them to sport trainings/games [when they were younger]. Thankfully my parents helped as it was impossible to get all four to their different trainings in one night. Dinner could be a Subway in the car travelling from one venue to another.
Describe how you came to meet Hollywood star Natalie Portman, and what she was like?
Natalie is the most beautiful and kindest lady I’ve ever met. My daughter was granted a ‘Make A Wish’ and we met her in 2012 in LA. From the very first minute we were taken in with her charm. She is just as beautiful off the screen without makeup on.
Finally, why did you choose New Adult as a genre, what is it, and what authors would you suggest people read if they want to learn more about the genre?
I think New Adult encompasses stories about people who are leaving high school through their mid-twenties and the unique set of problems, issues, and relationships that they encounter during that time period. It is becoming a category on its own with subgenres of contemporary romance, fantasy, and paranormal just to name a few.
My favourite NA authors are J. Lynn, Cora Carmack, Tammara Webber, Allison Parr, and Chanel Cleeton.
For more on the lovely Leesa, click here. And for Winning the Player, head on over here.