I'd like to welcome Sam C. Leonhard, author of "Tainted Blood", to The Dancing Dove today! Sam has agreed to do a short interview with me today.
The Dancing Dove: What was it like when your first novel, "Tainted Blood,” was published?
Sam Leonhard: Actually, submitting the first four chapters to my publisher rather than the publication date was the most exciting part, and when they asked for more, I was thrilled. Three weeks later, they agreed to publish it, and I couldn’t stop yelling Hooray. It is my first novel and Dreamspinner Press was the first publisher I contacted… I simply couldn’t believe my luck. Somehow, I still can’t believe it, especially because English is not my first language.
TDD: What is the novel about? Where/when was it published?
SL: It is a fantasy novel and was published on May 3rd, 2010 by Dreamspinner Press. Basically, it is about a murder mystery, portals to other worlds, runes, and magic – that sort of stuff. I am a big fantasy fan and I felt the genre could do with a bit of gay love, which is an integral part of the story.
TDD: What inspired your novel "Tainted Blood"?
SL: About three years ago, I began writing fanfiction, and I stumbled upon a page where readers could leave reviews. Reviews, now, are a big motivation for me, but eventually, I wanted to write something original. "Tainted Blood" was inspired by a scene I couldn’t use in the fanfiction world. It is the scene with the centaurs – a bit too cruel and too bloody to be used in my fandom, so I wrapped my own story around it.
TDD:What made you start writing fiction?
SL: I read my first fantasy novel with twelve, loved it, and never grew out of it. I enjoy playing with words, I enjoy twisting fate, and it was wonderful to find fandom, where people tick just like me. Writing fanfiction was and still is great, but eventually I learned that writing about characters someone else invented is not wholly satisfying. So now I create my own worlds, my own stories, and make my own characters beat the fate I invent for them.
TDD: How often do you write?
SL: I try to write on a daily basis, but don’t always make it. Sometimes, half a week passes before I manage to open my notebook. If I don’t write for too long, I get miserable, I must admit. I guess I just need my fix.
TDD: Is writing your full time job or do you have another occupation?
SL: I don’t know if I would like writing fantasy novels to be a full-time job. At the moment, it is my way into other worlds. I can leave reality behind for the time being, and this might very well change if I had to do it for a living. I am working as a technical editor, which earns me my bread and butter. When at home, I spend some of my time as a fantasy author, which is very satisfying. Perfect combination, in my opinion.
TDD: Is there a certain place you like to write? The beach, the library, a comfy spot on the couch?
SL: I prefer to write at home, and mostly on the couch. Occasionally, I choose the armchair in the dining room, but only if the living room is too hot. Writing outside doesn’t work for me, although I always have a pen and paper on me in case I have an idea about the next chapter. Writing things down helps me to concentrate on the task ahead, and that I can do everywhere.
TDD: What's your least favorite part of the writing process?
SL: Writing is what I love to do, and when I am not at my notebook, I think about the story and the next chapters. The only part I have my problems with is getting myself kicked into editing a story I consider finished. Reading and rereading and rewriting and correcting is not what I like to do. Editing and reworking a story, awaiting and incorporating feedback is a very important part of the writing process, but I don’t like it anyway.
TDD: Do you have any works-in-progress you'd like to tell the readers about?
SL: I am working on the sequel to Tainted Blood, which is my first priority at the moment. In addition, I am writing a story about an assassin. The main character, Rage, is usually a man who does the job he got paid for without questioning it. This time, though, he makes the mistake of feeling sorry for one of his victims, a young girl deeply hated by her father. Instead of killing her, Rage saves her, and has now to deal with a spoiled princess, a jealous lord, an annoying cat, and a very cruel, sadistic killer. The content is adult, but the love story between Rage and the gardener’s son is only a small part of the plot. I will post a draft blurb on my LiveJournal next weekend, hoping I can gather some early feedback.
TDD: Do you have anything else you'd like to tell the readers? (Contact info, upcoming books, exclusive website content, etc.)
SL: I made it to Facebook only recently, so anyone who likes can find and friend me. I’m always happy for feedback, and whoever likes can mail me directly. As soon as there are news concerning the sequel to Tainted Blood or Rage, I will put it on my LiveJournal and on Facebook. Also, I plan to post the first chapter of Tainted Blood to a friend’s website; under all reviewers I will raffle two PDF-copies of the novel. I’ll announce on Facebook and LJ once the chapter is up and give a link to the site as well.
Thank you very much for the interview!
Sam C. Leonhard
You can contact Sam at the following places: Facebook, LiveJournal or by email at sc.leonhard (at) googlemail (dot) com
You can learn more about Tainted Blood at Dreamspinner Press’s website. Information about the Ebook can be found here here. Information about the Paperback can be found here.
Thank you so much for joining us, Sam! I hope everyone enjoyed the interview. =)