Talking with Leenie Brown & A Giveaway!

On this blog we are featuring one of the nicest people in JAFF and that is Leenie Brown. She is also one of the most prolific writers in our genre and I am certain you will be just as fascinated as we are at what she has on her plate right now. So, without further ado, here is what Leenie has to say.  

 

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What are you currently working on and what inspires your muse? 

Currently, I am working on three stories ─ each at various stages of completion. 

•   I am giving With the Colonel’s Help a quick first edit before posting pieces of it each Thursday on my blog. As with all my Thursday Three Hundred stories, this story will find its way to the story thread on the forum here. 

•   I have just completed the manuscript for my first Austenesque novella called His Beautiful Bea. This story incorporates touches of Mansfield Park in it but with an original plot and characters. Beatrice Tierney, the heroine, is fashioned after Fanny Price and has a crush on the younger of two sons of a baronet, who is her neighbor. I have just started working on the first round of edits for this story.

•   I have just started a new story that has no official title yet. It is also based on Mansfield Park. It will be set after the conclusion of Mansfield Park and will (hopefully) show the redemption of Henry Crawford.

My muse is inspired by many things ─ music, movies, books, art, nature, historic places… I have been known to jot down story notes during the sermon at church, in the very low light of a theatre, during science class when a particular illness or poisonous mushroom is discussed in a lesson… I find inspiration just about everywhere.

 

What first drew you to JAFF and how long have you been reading it? What prompted you to begin writing? 

I stumbled across JAFF a few years ago after reading a North and South variation, and I decided to see if there were variations of Pride and Prejudice. There were! I was delighted! I have always loved writing and creating stories. When I was young, I would act out stories based on books I had read when playing. So for me, discovering JAFF was like discovering playing all over again. I began by reading, but it wasn’t long until I wanted to jump in and write my own stories.  I never expected to share them or publish them.  I have to credit my husband with that.  

As I began spending more and more time writing, my husband started asking when I was going to let someone see my writing.  I told him I wasn’t planning to let anyone see my writing “because it wasn’t good enough.”  He said that was silly and asked how I would know if it was good or not if no one ever saw it?  So to placate him—he had threatened to break into my computer and share my stories for me—I began posting some of my stories online and eventually worked up the courage, with his somewhat pushy encouragement, to attempt publishing.  And I haven’t looked back, and I am so thankful for his continuing and constant support.

 

Do you prefer Regency or Modern? Do you write for other fandoms besides JAFF? Do you have any hobbies besides JAFF?

I prefer Regency both when writing and reading.  There’s just something about that era that I find captivating. 

I do not write for any other fandoms, but I have written some nonJAFF regency. 
I used to have hobbies ─ I suppose I will have them again one day.  Perhaps in a couple of years when my youngest son is done with high school, I will find them again. J  I taught in a traditional private Christian school until this year. This year, I took on the challenge of homeschooling a highschooler, and as the year draws to a close, we are both still enjoying it so we will do it again next year. I do like to tour museums and take walks along the waterfront with my husband, and I read. So I guess I still have some hobbies.

 

What are three of your favorite resources to turn to when writing? 

Aside from my Kindle version of whichever Jane Austen novel my story is related to and the timeline for that book, I also rely on the following: 

thesaurus.com ─ I constantly have it open to double check meanings and spelling as well as to help me vary my word choice so that it conveys the emotion or tone for which I am striving.

Pinterest ─ There is a lot of good visual inspiration here, and it is a great place to pin history articles.

Youtube ─ Every book needs a sound track, right?  

 

Are there any people in your life who have inspired certain traits in your character or scenes?

Yes.  A couple of examples would be Lydia ─ yes, both examples involve her. In Through Every Storm, some of her behaviour, such as having trouble concentrating and adding columns of numbers, was inspired by students that I have watched struggle with those very things.   In So Very Unexpected, the relationship between Lydia and her sisters is inspired by my experiences growing up with four sisters. In fact, when my older sister read the book, she asked me if I was thinking about a particular thing when I wrote a certain section, and I was.  I asked her if the relationship seemed real ─ even if it does show Lydia being rather negative about Elizabeth, the sister of whom she is the most jealous.  My sister assures me it is. So, bits and pieces of real life do seep into my writing.  Sometimes this is on purpose, and sometimes it is serendipitous.

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Be sure to leave a comment for a chance to win one of two kindle e-books of any of Leenie’s books (including her newest). If you have trouble commenting here, you may leave a comment on our FB page for this blog post.

You have until our next post (we post 15th and 30th) to comment and the winners will be announced on the forum and the DarcyandLizzy.com facebook page. Please check these sites to see if you won. Comments link is right beside ‘Discussions’ at the top of the page under the title. Good luck!

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38 Comments on "Talking with Leenie Brown & A Giveaway!"

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JanisB
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The comment I left seems to have disappeared. So I’ll try leaving another one. I always enjoy reading about what inspires authors, esp JAFF authors. Many thanks for the delightful interview and the giveaway offer.

Leenie Brown
Guest

It really is fun to read these interviews, isn’t it? I am currently listening to some melancholy music to set the stage for tonight’s writing session. 😉

Maria Maderi
Guest

I have really enjoyed reading your books. I am sure your new WIP will be just as enjoyable.

Leenie Brown
Guest

I hope it is, Maria. 🙂 I do get nervous about new things. 🙂 Happy to know you have enjoyed the others.

Elissa Berg
Guest

I have so enjoyed getting to know you a little better. I also homeschool, this upcoming year will be my 14th year, having started with preschool and now my oldest is entering his senior year, and I wouldn’t change the journey for anything.
I am very happy that your DH was so encouraging and has allowed us the honor of enjoying your stories. Thank you so much for sharing each and every one of them! Looking forward to many more.
Blessings

Leenie Brown
Guest

Wow! 14 years! That is an accomplishment. 🙂 I have taught for over 20 years, and had my children in my classes several times over the years. However, this homeschooling gig is pretty sweet! 🙂 I love the time we get to spend together and that I get to help him so individually — more than I could in a standard classroom.
My DH is pretty awesome! (IMO) So glad that you have enjoyed my stories. It’s great to know that they are being loved by more than just me 😉

Lady Tempe
Guest
This is the first time I found this section and I am glad I can read more about the authors and get a glimpse of what inspires you. Thank you for letting your husband talk you into sharing your stories with us. I really appreciate all the authors who take the time to write and share their stories in JAFF. Sometimes life is very challenging and I am grateful to have something that takes my focus away, even for a short while. Thank you for sharing about your life too… I always thought that homeschooling is a great and noble… Read more »
Leenie Brown
Guest
I’m glad you found this section. I think these author spotlights are a lot of fun. I like getting to know the authors a little bit and sharing myself with the readers is also fun 🙂 I have really enjoyed homeschooling. I love that i can stop and repeat things and adjust things to suit my son’s learning needs. And the flexible schedule it awesome! I told him next year we are not having school on book release days and he hopes I write lots of books LOL I also like to escape the realities of life by reading (and… Read more »
Lúthien84
Guest

This interview is a good way to get way to get to know you, Eileen. Congratulations on your new book too! Just want to say that your book covers are pretty amazing. Do you design it yourself?

Leenie Brown
Guest
I’m glad you liked the interview! It is nice to be able to let people get to know me a little bit. 🙂 Yes, all of my current covers have been designed by me. I did at one time have a couple of purchased covers, but I needed to make some updates to the print versions of the book and needed new covers so I made new ones for those. I enjoy making them, and it is good to hear that you like them since I tend to think “oh, that could be better” 🙂 (Kind of like I do… Read more »
Maureen
Guest

This was an interesting interview. I look forward to reading your Mansfield Park-based stories. I never liked Henry Crawford, and I find a story showing his
Improvement to be very interesting.

Leenie Brown
Guest
I have never liked him either, so when the challenge was presented, it took a while before I was comfortable accepting it. LOL However, as I am writing him with all the mistakes he has made in the past and trying to delve into who he is (at least as I read him) and why, I am starting to like this version of him. I did not change any of the things he did in Mansfield Park. I am starting with him in his sorrowful “I have lost Fanny” state — so he is ready to change and now must… Read more »
Zoe Burton
Guest

I,for one, am eternally grateful to your DH, Leenie! <3

Leenie Brown
Guest

Thank you, Zoe! (and I am grateful for your encouragement)

bludpoison
Guest

Thank you for this D & L Author spotlight. I learned different authors have a different method, different favorite things, different muse, a different inspiration.I even love them more by getting to know their look likes. I love her book (all of them). I wish I could read her book that outside of P & P.

Leenie Brown
Guest

I’m glad you are enjoying these spotlights. I am, too. I also like to learn about how other authors do things. 🙂 I’m happy to hear you enjoy my stories! The non-P&P books should be ready by August, I hope — if things go according to plan (which they are at the moment). 🙂

KateB
Guest

Lovely interview, Leenie. Having 4 sisters must help with writing the Bennet sisters ‘ characters and interactions. I’m thankful you have a determined husband, otherwise we would miss all your great stories. 💖

Leenie Brown
Guest
I know I am blessed to have such a wonderful husband. 🙂 I also feel blessed to have my four sisters — although at various points while we were growing up, I likely would not have counted them as blessings, nor would they have counted me a blessing. (Haha) But that’s kind of how it goes at times in families at various ages and stages. So, yes, having my sisters does help when writing what the dynamics between the Bennet sisters might be in a story. [Our mother, however, was the complete opposite of Mrs. Bennet. She kept us in… Read more »
Arkansas Austen Fan
Guest

Just wanted to say how much I love Lennie’s books and appreciate that she lets us be a part of them here on D&L as she writes them. It is so exciting to get her thoughts as the books come together. Thanks Lennie for sharing your talent with all of us. We anxiously await your books.

Leenie Brown
Guest

I love being able to discuss the stories as I am posting them — perhaps that is the teacher in me, always wanting to give explanations. 🙂 Thank you for taking part in that discussion. I love hearing what the readers are thinking as they progress through the story. For me, it enriches the writing process.

Vesper
Guest

Loved reading your books and look forward to reading the non P&P ones when they are published

Leenie Brown
Guest

Thanks, Vesper! I’m so glad you have enjoyed the stories. 🙂

Pam Hunter
Guest

I love your books, Leenie! Congrats on your latest, and thanks for the giveaway! ❤️

Leenie Brown
Guest

Thank you, Pam!

DarcyBennett
Guest

I am so excited to see you have plans for a redeemed Henry Crawford. Can’t wait to see what you do with him and the rest of the MP characters.

Leenie Brown
Guest

Well, this story will just have Henry in it and his sister as it starts after the conclusion of MP — not sure if any other MP characters will show up in it, but some will be talked about a good deal since Henry is dealing with the results of his foolish behavior that lost him any chance with Fanny.

Patty Edmisson
Guest

I have enjoyed all of your books. Looking forward to reading the new ones.

Leenie Brown
Guest

Thanks, Patty!

Theresa M
Guest

I am currently reading Jane Austen, the Secret Radical by Helena Kelly and part of her theory is that JA’s novels were far more political than her time. Mansfield park has the slavery issues as well as 2nd sons, cousins marrying, sex outside of marriage, etc.
I am happy that LB is taking a JAFF turn with Mansfield Park. I look forward to both rereading the canon and her stories.
Thanks for the blog.

Leenie Brown
Guest

Hi, Theresa.

Mansfield Park is one of my favourite JA novels, and I love both Fanny and Edmund, although I know it is often the opposite for most people. 🙂 So, attempting stories based on it is both fun and daunting. But, challenges are good for me — they promote growth and strengthen skills. 🙂 Hopefully, readers will find the results of the challenge enjoyable when I am done. 🙂

Carmalee
Guest

I’m a huge fan of you stories.. I love them all, I especially love the Lydia’s you wrote, you make her more human and less of a twit. it is nice you have such a great husband, you are both blessed to have each other. 5 girls at your house? that must have been interesting at times, we had 4 and that was a challenge! thanks for sharing your stories with us and I look forward to reading more.

Leenie Brown
Guest
I love reading the comments with all those emojis 🙂 I love sharing my stories and knowing that someone was entertained for a few hours by them, so those comments are like full to this writer. I am blessed to have the husband I have. I thank God for him daily. And although he attempts to give me plot ideas, I have yet to take any of them for a story since they often seem to involve Darcy dying…hmmm, suspicious, isn’t it? LOL Life in a houseful of girls was “interesting” at time for sure! There is a large age… Read more »
Linda A.
Guest

I really enjoy your stories and follow them on your Thursday’s Three Hundred page. I, too, look forward to many more stories from you.

Leenie Brown
Guest

I’m so glad you enjoy them, Linda! That is the best part of writing now that I have learned to be brave and share them — knowing that there are readers getting enjoyment from them. Thank you for reading! 🙂

Jennifer Redlarczyk
Guest

Eileen, I loved this spotlight. Thanks for sharing your love of JAFF with us here on the forum. Your stories are always so creative and even with the novella length, your characters are well developed and you have such interesting plots. I’m happy to hear that your DH is supportive of your writing. Keep on with all of your good work. Looking forward to many more stories. Jen Red ♫

Leenie Brown
Guest
Jen (and Brenda), thank you for having me! And I would like to also say a great big thank you for the forum to Brenda and all the mods that help it run. I love being able to post my stories here and interact with the readers. It is both encouraging and motivating. I appreciate the positive atmosphere that I have experienced here. I’m happy to hear you enjoy the characters and find them well-developed. I constantly worry about making sure that the story is interesting and the characters “come to life” on the page even though the story is… Read more »
Jennifer Redlarczyk
Guest

Eileen, this was such a fun blog post. Thanks so much for your interaction with the readers. Lady Tempe and Linda A were the winners of your eBooks. I know that they will enjoy them so much. Jen Red

Leenie Brown
Guest

Thank you to Darcy and Lizzy for giving me this opportunity to be part of the spotlight!

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