A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of sharing my review of Leigh Fossan’s debut novel, Painting Blue Water (click here for original post). As part of Romance Week, I asked Leigh to join us for a little chat. Leigh is an artistic soul and a promising new author. I hope you enjoy this interview and give her book a read!
1. Tell our audience a little bit about your writing background and what inspired you to write “Painting Blue Water”.
My writing background is non-academic for the most part. I did take a creative writing class in college while I was studying abroad, and I actually won an award for a piece I wrote there. But aside from that, my writing in college took place primarily in my art history and art appreciation courses. As I moved into the professional art world, my “writing” consisted of artist biographies and press releases for galleries. I have always loved to tell stories though, and my husband has insisted for years that I should write a book. Ultimately, it was his nudging, along with the brilliance of other authors I have come to love that inspired me to sit down and write Painting Blue Water.
2. What authors or books have inspired your writing style?
I am such a sucker for stories that take me away to somewhere beautiful and romantic. Therefore, I’m a huge fan of writers like Nancy Thayer and Nina George. With Thayer, I love the contemporary feel to the characters, and the richness of “situation” whether it be love, or friendship, or family. Her books take place on Nantucket – which is one of the most charming and enchanting places I’ve had the pleasure to visit. As for George, she writes of Paris and France in a way that makes my heart ache with longing to be there. Her words are delectable.
3. What’s your favorite part about being an author?
Aside from the excuse to drink coffee all day long without being judged? “Oh it’s okay, she’s an author…” 😉 haha!
I love pushing beyond my real life, beyond my daily happenings, and diving into another world that is all my own.. a world others will not discover until the book is published. Then, I get the joy of sharing that world with everyone else!
4. Do you have any projects coming up that you feel comfortable sharing?
I am working on my second novel! I do not have a title yet, but I have the storyline in my head, and now I am just trying to type fast enough to keep up with my thoughts. My brain is on Chapter 25, but my word doc is only on page 16. I will get there… and I just can’t wait to share it with you all! It’s going to be a good one 😉
5. Supporting characters are an important, but often overlooked, element to a story. Which supporting character was your favorite and why?
Ooh, this is a TOUGH one. I LOVE my supporting characters in Painting Blue Water. They are so much of that story. I guess if I had to choose, I’d choose Ginger Mayrose, the formerly troubled major starlet who settles down into small town life and befriends my protagonist, Katherine. I love Ginger because she is imperfect, but she is the perfect friend for Katherine to have at this stage in her life. She has overcome her own issues, and she is a more raw and vulnerable version of her former self. She’s just charming as all heck too – you just can’t not like her.
6. Do you have any advice for new authors out there that want to publish their story?
If you believe in your story, and if you are passionate about what you write, go for it. Do what you need to do in order to achieve this dream! It is a heavily saturated and competitive market – it is scary, terrifying even. But there is no feeling like knowing people are reading YOUR book, YOUR story – the one you poured your soul into, the one that made you go broke because of all the cappuccinos you “had to have” in order to write… You deserve this feeling. Oh, and hire an editor! 😉
7. “Painting Blue Water” was heavily influenced by your own artistic background. Do you plan on using this as a constant muse for your writing career?
That is a very interesting question! I don’t have a solid plan for that. However, I am so inherently an artist, that I doubt I can really escape that factor entirely. I guess we’ll see if it trends in my upcoming works! 😉
8. Let’s end with a fun question! Tell us all about your adorable little dog!
Oh my gosh, the love of my life! Sorry, husband 😉
Mrs. Howell is her name. She is a 6.5lb maltipoo, and she is just the softest ball of love. She was a gift for my daughter, for Christmas about three years ago. We literally put her in a box (with holes in it) under the tree on Christmas morning! Three years later, she still looks like a puppy, and she brings us so much joy. I plan to give Mrs. Howell a cameo in at least one book….so keep an eye out 😉