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Monday, November 3, 2014

Author Interview with Leah Good

Greetings, Faithful Readers!

Remember on Friday when I told you I had something special for you? Well, here it is! Today, we have guest Leah Good answering some questions in an author interview.

Leah is a wonderful and talented young woman who I met online through the One Year Adventure Novel Student Forum and then had the pleasure of getting to meet in person two summers ago at the OYAN Summer Workshop.

She’s here with us today to tell us a little about herself as a writer and her new YA book, Counted Worthy, which releases today.

Leah, thanks so much for sharing with us today! Why don’t you start by telling us a little bit about yourself…
I’m a nineteen year old Christian girl who has a huge heart for orphans and adores homeschooling. My Myers-Briggs personality type is ENFJ, which means that I’m super outgoing, bubbly, and type A, but worry incessantly that I said something wrong and feel guilty about things even when I didn’t do anything wrong.

And, your book. Tell us a little bit about it…
My book is about a young woman whose father is arrested for owning a Bible. The story follows her struggle to overcome guilt from the past and stay true to her faith, all while fighting to save her dad’s life. You can read the full synopsis here.

Sounds exciting! Give us some insight into your main character. What does she do that is so special?
Heather is special because she does the right thing. She listens to her conscience, even when it’s hard. She struggles with that sometime, but over the course of her story, she’s constantly learning to trust God with everything instead of putting all the pressure on herself and her own wisdom.

She sounds like a very interesting character and I can’t wait to meet her! What made you decide to sit down and actually start writing this book?
I’m always writing. Whether it’s blog posts, novels, short stories, letters, or journal entries. Counted Worthy started with a short story. The idea of this girl smuggling Bibles and her father getting arrested because of it popped into my head one night, so I sat down and wrote it as a short story. I showed it to a few friends, and they all wanted more. So that short story became chapter one of Counted Worthy.

What was the hardest thing about writing this book?
The editing. Because I started with basically zero outlining the plot was all over the place at first. A few chapters in, I stopped writing and sketched out a basic outline. Then I deleted everything but chapter one and started over … three times. After I finished the rough draft, there was still a lot of cutting, rewriting, and reworking to be done. It took a long time.

Oh, yes. That dreaded editing stage. I feel your pain. What was the best thing about writing this book?
How much my writing improved. I’d written several novels before this one, but a lot of things fell into place as I worked on Counted Worthy. It was so exciting tore-read bits and pieces and realize that the writing was so much better than anything I had ever written before.

I have to agree about the excitement of seeing yourself improve. It’s certainly a great feeling. Do you have any unusual writing habits?
I tend to blast through outlining and writing the rough draft really fast. There are other writers out there who do the same, but very few of the writers I know work that way. The fastest I ever wrote was a 50,000 word rough draft in three weeks.

I like to write fast as well! It makes the process simpler, for me. Do you have any advice for new authors?
I just saw a quote on Twitter that said, “Avoid the pitfall of thinking that just because your artistic vision is *yours,* it’s 20/20.”That’s so important for beginning writers to realize. I’d advise beginning writers to develop a thick skin and always be willing to accept advice and learn from it.

And, for a fun question: If you could have been the original author of any book, what would it have been and why?
That’s hard to say. A lot of an author’s own personality, history, and soul go into books, so I couldn’t be the original author of any book besides my own. Safely Home, by Randy Alcorn is one of my all time favorite books, though. I would love to be able to say I had some part in that book’s creation.

How can readers discover more about you and your work?
Checkout my blogs, Leah’s Bookshelf and Teens Interceding forOrphans. You can also connect with me on FacebookTwitterGoodreads, and Pinterest

Is there anything else you would like to add that I haven’t included?
I wrote this book in the hopes of creating an entertaining, gripping story that would simultaneously help readers identify with persecuted Christians. Persecution is alive and well today, and it’s something those of us who live in freedom need to be aware of. I hope Counted Worthy will encourage and challenge those of you reading this. Both paperback and Kindlee-book copies of the book are available for purchase if you follow the respective links. If you want to learn more about the persecuted church, visit Open Doors, USA.

Once again, thank you, Leah, for taking the time to do this. And, congratulations on your book release!

I hope all of you check out her book, Counted Worthy. I’ve already ordered a copy and I would like to encourage you to as well. Christmas is right around the corner and books always make perfect presents (yeah, yeah, I know, says the writer XD). It’s classified as YA, with a target audience of 12-22. That covers a lot of family members and we all know people who like to read will read out of their age range…

Speaking of book releases, I hope all of you are as geared up as I am for the release of How to Properly Deface a Book. Only one more week to go!! So excited :D

And, don’t forget to send in your questions for Friday! See you all then.

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