Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Interview with Author Richard Leonard

FANTASTIC GIVEAWAY!
Richard has offered a book (your choice) to everyone who comments and leaves their email address!!

Here are your choices:
HEART OF THE HIGHRIDERS (http://www.haxbooks.com/)
or

  • Make sure you leave your comment, email address, and which book you'd like, so that I can get ahold of you! Now on to the interview:
How long have you known that you were a writer? Did you receive a clear “call?” Or have you just loved writing all your life?

I have been writing since childhood.
  • A while ago, sorting through some memorabilia, I found a little story I had written at age five or six that my mother had saved.
  • In high school I won two local short story awards.
  • I took a writing class in college and had stories published in the college literary magazine.
  • In graduate school my writing shifted to an academic vein (term papers, doctoral dissertation, etc.) and then to writing sermons.
  • In secular work I became a technical writer, creating software manuals. Eventually I was engaged to write some works for hire, as well as to do some editing, for Christian publishers.
  • Finally I decided to try my hand at novels, and have produced three (with another in progress).
What is the genre you write in? Would you explain what it is?

As the above answer indicates, I have written in several genres. My fiction genres, all with a Christian perspective, have included family life, fantasy-adventure, and speculative.

How do you spend your writing days? Do you set goals to reach a certain number of words per day? Can you give us a general idea of how long it takes you to write a novel?

Because I am retired I have a wide range of interests including web site development, which involves writing descriptive copy such as material relating to locomotive photographs in my railroad hobby site, http://www.railarchive.com/.

Because of my varied activities I do not have a consistent fiction writing schedule, but write when ideas come or opportunities arise. I wrote Heart of the Highriders (http://www.hazbooks.com/) jointly with my daughter, sending files via email, and it took us about two years. I started New America in 1993 and worked on it intermittently, completing it in 2008.

Tell us about your new book. What is the spiritual message in it? What can readers expect to get from reading it? How and where can readers buy your book?

New America is a story set near the end of the twenty-first century in a Christian nation that had been established a generation earlier on the east coast of Siberia. The main character makes several trips to the United States, during when we witness the further development of today’s cultural trends.

There is a prominent romantic interest; the main character has to rescue a young woman, an abortion survivor whose life is endangered by the Fugitive Fetus Law. He is reluctant, because the way he has to do this jeopardizes his relationship with his New American girlfriend. I think one spiritual lesson here is to avoid postponing hard decisions — especially about things the Lord calls you to do — in the effort to protect yourself.

Do you ever feel like giving up? Most people don’t understand the stress, the work, and the joy of being a writer. How tenuous becoming a writer is. Do you care to share how it feels, what discouraging/encouraging times you’ve gone through? Who’s inspired you the most?

It is tempting to give up, especially when it is difficult to interest an agent or publisher in your work because you don’t write to a current popular template. I finally decided to write fiction for my own satisfaction, and for posterity, and not to try to suit publishers’ ideas of what they think they can market. My writing is motivated by ideas, not by the need to sell what I write. In fiction, I am a reader of older novelists such as Elizabeth Goudge, Joseph C. Lincoln or Samuel Hopkins Adams. But I would not say that these fiction writers inspire me as much as do some current writers in biblical theology, especially N. T. Wright whose style is not only learned but lucid and witty.

Would you explain how you “chose” (or were chosen by) a publisher? Do you just go “inny, minny, miny, moe?” Grin. Now, that you’re published, can you sit back and relax from the success you’ve experienced?

I am a published author through works for hire for which I was engaged by a book packager, Livingstone Corporation. I was the “ghost writer” of A Theological Miscellany (Nelson, 2005) and co-compiler of A Glimpse of Heaven (Simon & Schuster, 2007), and have contributed to other publications from Hendrickson, Tyndale House, Integrity and Broadman Holman. Thus I was never chosen by these publishers, who contracted with the book packager for the work that was assigned to me. The books I have authored on my own have been self-published through our own imprints, Laudemont Press and Lampstand Books, plus a few other outlets.

Do you mind telling us some of your likes and dislikes? Hobbies, interests? Where would you like to travel if you could?

  • I am a big fan of classical symphonic music, especially from the first half of the twentieth century, and enjoy collecting CDs of works by composers who are not well known (AlbĂ©ric Magnard, Franz Schmidt, Havergal Brian, Edmund Rubbra, Arnold Bax and Howard Hanson are not household words). I was a music major in college and have composed hymns, worship choruses and other pieces including a flute sonata which I performed.
  • I also am a railroad fan with a large web site (http://www.railarchive.net/) of historic photos, especially steam locomotives, many of which I took in the 1950s.
  • I enjoy working with computers (we own five) and have built or rebuilt a few. I host and manage the web sites for several churches and Christian organizations.
  • I publish WestWard Quarterly (http://www.wwquarterly.com/), a poetry magazine edited by my wife, Shirley Anne.
  • As to travel, I think it would be fun to see South Africa, New Zealand or Australia but have never planned to do so. I did make several trips to the Netherlands, France and other European countries some years ago, most recently to teach at a seminary in Croatia.
You recently had a book published. Would you take this time to describe it to us? How and where can readers buy your books?
The most recent title is New America, described above, which is available through our Laudemont Ministries web site (http://www.laudemont.org/) or through Amazon.com. Actually, I give away most of the copies that are distributed as an outreach of our ministry. Readers of this page are free to request a copy by emailing laudemont@aol.com with their address information.

Would you give us your blog or webpage so everyone can check it out? Anything else you’d like to share? Promotional information?

My blog, “Considered Opinion,” is embedded in my author web site, http://www.rcleonard.com/. I comment on theological, biblical, literary and other matters. I would be happy to take advantage of any offers to assist with the promotion of my fiction titles. While I do not write in the typical genres of Christian fiction (romantic, historical, etc.) I believe my stories maintain the interest of the thoughtful reader and will stand the test of time.

Wonderful, Richard. I've loved having you and look forward to reading your books. Thanks for visiting.
 
Blessings, friends!

36 comments:

Charity said...

I would love to read New America. Please enter me:)
Thanks!

esterried[at]yahoo[dot]com

Donna said...

Interesting interview! I'd love a copy of New America please!
donnaalice540@msn.com

Thank you!

MoziEsmé said...

Wow - this is generous!

We posted about this giveaway at Winning Readings: http://winningreadings.blogspot.com/2010/06/richard-leonard-book.html

And my pick is Heart of the Highriders.

janemaritz at yahoo dot com

Carly Kendall said...

Great interview. New America sounds like a really interesting book. Thank you.
carlyberd[at]yahoo[dot]com

Peggy Blann Phifer said...

Interesting interview, Carole and Richard. Looks like I'm the first to post a comment. :)

I'd love a copy of New America. It sounds intriguing and I like the concept.

pbphifer @ gmail.com

Thanks!

Kathryn Page Camp said...

Both books look interesting, but a fantasy world without magic? That concept intrigues me.

kcamp@kathrynpagecamp.com

I'd love to have "Heart of the Highriders."

Wendy said...

Great interview! New America is the book that interests me. This is a new author you are exposing me to. Thanks!
wsmarple/at/gmail/dot/com

Deb said...

Sounds like some good stuff. Great interview. Thanks for sharing. Blessings

Silverbill said...

Sounds like two great books, HEART OF THE HIGHRIDERS sounds most interesting to me.

Regards, Bill Tillman

billd3@gmail.com

Linda Glaz said...

Fabulous interview. What a multi-talented man. Good luck to him and thanks for the awesome interview.

Great Lakes Romances said...

I loved reading this interview and I would like to have a copy of New America. Being a small publisher of mostly my own titles, I can relate to deciding on one's own objectives with writing and publishing and not worrying about what the larger publishers require. A few months ago Richard and I exchanged emails about blogs and blog followers so we met briefly in cyberspace a while back. I'd be glad to send Richard one of my titles in exchange for one of his.
Thanks for your offer!

Donna Winters
booksnboats [at] gmail [dot] com
http://www.greatlakesromances.com

Linda Kish said...

New America sounds interesting. Thanks

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Holly said...

Hey Carole! Great Interview! I would like New America and my email address isL 1joy4you@gmail(dot)com. I really enjoy reading your blog! Keep up the goodwork! :) You're an inspiration to me...

Caroline said...

Ah, people, love your comments! Thanks so much for sharing your feelings.

I noticed a couple didn't leave your choice or your email. Please do so if you'd like a book. :)

Lv u all!

Trinity Rose said...

Greetings,
What a great giveaway.
Thanks so much.
They both sound super, but would like to read Heart of the Highriders.
Have a blessed day,
Trinity Rose

wandaelaine at gmail dot com

Naasom A. Sousa said...

Hi, congratulations for this post. Please enter me. I'd like win a copy of New America please!

letrassantas[at]hotmaill[dot]com

Thank you!

Richard C. Leonard, Ph.D. said...

Hello, everyone -- a great response! I'll process these requests as soon as I can get your postal mailing addresses. I'll be emailing everyone later today. -- Richard

apple blossom said...

cool. I'd love
HEART OF THE HIGHRIDERS

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

Melanie said...

I think Heart Of The Highriders sounds great. Thanks.

peacelily_2006(at)yahoo(dot)com

Ann Lee Miller said...

Please enter me for Heart of the Highrider.

Thanks!
Ann Lee Miller
Ann_Lee_Miller@msn.com

Jeanette Levellie said...

Thank you both for this excellent interview.

I would enjoy winning Heart of the Highriders. Any book written by a father-daughter team must be brilliant!

Thank you,
Jen

jeanettelevellie(at)gmail(dot)com

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

I'd also like to read New America.

Thanks.

susanjreinhardt (at) gmail (dot) com

Blessings,
Susan :)

Katie G. said...

WOW! This is wonderful! I believe I would like to recieve a copy of Heart of the Highriders, please. Thanks SO MUCH!

God bless!

~Katie G.

katiegalyean (@) yahoo (.) com

Esther Y.M. said...

This is great, thanx.

I would love to read New America.

estherym[at]yahoo[dot]com

Esther Y.M. said...

and p/s Carman sent me :)dee

pixie13 said...

Both books sound interesting, but I would prefer Heart of the Highriders.
Carmen sent me.

gevin13{at}gmail{dot}com

mudrash said...

Wow - Thanks for the book!

Looking forward to reading this!

HEART OF THE HIGHRIDERS

bigo.of.buckland[at]gmail[dot]com

mudrash said...

Would love to read: HEART OF THE HIGHRIDERS

thanks!

bigo.of.buckland[at]gmail[dot]com

Judylynn said...

WOW! This is great! I would love to be included in this! (Carman sent me!)

seizethebookblog(at)gmail(dot)com

Atypical Girl said...

I'd love to read HEART OF THE HIGHLANDERS!!!!

Thanks for the giveaway!
Amy
artsyrockerchick at aim dot com

Lou Ann said...

This was a great interview and such a generous offer. I would love a copy of "New America" please. Thank you so much and God bless you.

louann@carolina.rr.com

Lou Ann said...

I would love the opportunity to read "New America" please. Thank you.

louann@carolina.rr.com

Nichole said...

I always love a good book. I think Heart of the HighLanders sounds interesting. I think New America does to, because I love historical fiction.

Nichole Seiler
mommy.n.girls@gmail.com

Richard C. Leonard, Ph.D. said...

Thanks to all who responded; this has been one of the best distribution events for my novels (even though as give-aways!). I will be unable to ship books for any NEW requests for about a week, so if you should request a book after June 16 there will be a delay getting back to you. -- Richard

Richard C. Leonard, Ph.D. said...

Thanks to all who responded; this has been one of the best distribution events for my novels (even though as give-aways!). I will be unable to ship books for any NEW requests for about a week, so if you should request a book after June 16 there will be a delay getting back to you. -- Richard

Erin said...

Great interview! I'd love to read Heart of the Highriders.

erin1aussie[at]gmail[dot]com

Thanks!