Those of you who follow my blog may remember my recent review of her new release – The Midsummer Captives. It was such a fun novel. And today, author Lea Doue has so kindly agreed to do an interview with me!
Lea is the author of The Firethorn Chronicles, a series inspired by fairy tales and other classic stories. Homeschooling and writing take up most of her time, but she also enjoys directing a small puppet team at her church. A native of south Georgia, Lea currently lives in Nova Scotia, Canada with her husband, their two boys, a rescue greyhound, and three cats. But, sadly, no dragons.
If you could trade places with any book character (your own or someone else’s) for a day, who would it be?
That’s so hard! The first thing that pops into my head involves dragons, of course, so I’ll say someone from the Pern series who owns a telepathic dragon. They also teleport, so I would be able to visit as many places as possible in a day.
What is your favorite fairytale?
If I have to pick just one, it’s Beauty and the Beast, but I like many of them. I have to say The Twelve Dancing Princesses, too, which inspired the first book in my series. I blame that one on the book becoming a series at all. The twelve princesses started talking, and they each wanted their own story. Who am I to argue with royalty?
Those are two of my favorite fairytales too! 😀
How about favorite reading genre?
Fantasy all the way, especially retold fairy tales or stories inspired by them.
The original Star Wars trilogy.
Describe your latest novel in five words.
Don’t mess with the princess.
Now that Midsummer Captives has been published, what’s coming next for you?
Firethorn Chronicles 3 will be next and will follow Melantha, who is the fourth princess. I kind of skipped Hazel, who appears in the second book and may still get her own story down the road. Melantha’s story is (for now) inspired by Rumpelstiltskin.
That sounds like fun! I can’t wait to read it!
What are your hardest scenes to write as an author?
I would have to say maybe descriptions. I have to stop and “look around” a bit before I can pick out the details to include, which takes longer.
How long does it usually take you to write a novel?
If I could sit down and just write all day, it would take about two months. But I homeschool two boys, and other things inevitably pop up (my husband had bypass surgery this summer, for instance), so the first two have taken around a year from start to finish. I would really like to have the third out sooner this time.
What kind of research did you have to do while writing Midsummer Captives?
Besides rereading A Midsummer Night’s Dream a few times, I did some research on bugs. The antagonist has an unhealthy fascination with them, as well as other critters.
Tell us a bit about your journey to publication.
I’ve been a storyteller for as long as I can remember, even when I never wrote anything down or shared the stories. About a year before a milestone birthday, and after reading countless indie-published books on my husband’s Kindle, I decided to finally jump in and go for it. I read dozens of how-to books and website articles as I was outlining and writing the first manuscript. Once that was done, I hired a cover artist and an editor, which finally led me to the finished product and publishing on Amazon. It’s been an amazing journey so far, and I’ve met some incredible people along the way.
How many drafts do you usually have to go through before the manuscript is complete?
Two or three? I’ve never counted. I start with notes and plotting in a notebook, and then I move on to a detailed outline of all the scenes (usually 60-80 pages, typed). Once the outline is done, I write the whole first draft scene by scene in order, adding details and little changes along the way. After that is a second draft and a few polishing runs before sending it off to the editor. The Midsummer Captives needed some big rewrites and another pass with the editor before being finished.
Thank you Lea, for taking the time to do this interview with me! It was a lot of fun.