Linda Leander wrote a fascinating book about a girl that becomes an elephant rider for a circus.  The book itself is called Inzared and has garnered great reviews so far with many reviewers giving it five stars.

Linda is busy working on the sequel but time out of her busy schedule to answer some questions for me.

What genre would you like to write a book in (that you haven’t yet)?

True Crime.  I have always been fascinated with Ann Rule’s books simply because I cannot believe how depraved and inhuman some people are.  I think the research and interviews would be interesting, however, I think it might be hard to handle the aftermath of writing the book, as I get so caught up in my characters.

Where do your ideas come from?  Do you have a standard formula for plots or do stories come to you as a whole construct?

My ideas come from the world around me.  My writing could be called “Linda’s view of Life,” I think.  I definitely do not have a standard formula for plots.  In fact, I’m probably as far from that statement as an author can get.  My writing is internally driven.  Things I have experienced read about or heard about inspire me.  I am always asking “why?” and from there the idea takes shape.

When you start a new story, do you have a title for it?  Does that trigger the story?

I generally come up with a title as I am writing.  I often change the title when I’m finished, though, as characters take me to places I had not intended to go.  I can honestly say most of my stories are not triggered by the title, although many of my songs are.

Do you see the future of fantasy and science fiction as bright?  If so, which authors are driving it?

I definitely think fantasy and science fiction are here to stay and will continue to delight readers for years to come.  A world nothing like the one in which we live, with memorable characters, will always be appealing to readers.  Of course, probably the biggest, most recent fantasy writer to have had such a pull over the world is J.K. Rawlings.  But, from the Brothers Grimm, Hans Christian Anderson, Orson Welles and Isaac Asimov to Ray Bradbury, fantasy and science fiction writers have a knack for transporting us into another world.

What themes are being overused?

I don’t know that I feel themes are overused.  There’s room for everyone to tell their story, whatever the subject.  Each tale is different as are the words each writer uses to express him/herself.  It’s up to the reading public to decide which author rises to the top because they are unique.

Are movies of books ruining the book?

I don’t believe movies ruin books.  I always make it a point to see the movie after I’ve read a book.  Sometimes I’m a little let down by the movie for not including scenes I felt were important to the story line, but a movie is just another interpretation and as such should be enjoyed purely on its own merits.  Moviemakers, like songwriters, have a shorter time than an author to tell a tale and a lot of detail has to be eliminated.

Do you see eBooks threatening traditional publishing?

I’m not sure what I think about eBooks versus traditional publishing.  My gut feeling is that the two can exist side by side.  Authors have to realize the world is changing and technology is widespread.  With the extensive use of eBook readers, cell phones, computers and the like, many people are finding it easier than ever to carry an entire library of books around with them.  But this way of reading will never replace libraries and books in print entirely.  Many people will continue to prefer them and continue to read in this manner, I think.

Do you prefer to read established authors or debut authors? How do you choose which ones to read?

I don’t have a preference for reading established authors or debut authors.  How would you become an established author without being a debut author first?  If a genre, book title, or author entices me, I’ll read the book.  Of course, I have many favorite established authors and love the classics.  But, I am also finding many good books to read in the “new” author classification.

What is it about fantasy that appeals to you?

Being transported to another world, one of make-believe, where I can reside for a while and get away from real life.  Many people love to escape while they are reading.  A good fantasy author provides a delightful journey into a make-believe world – and this provides a good way to relax.

Can I get an autographed book? (lol)

Yes, of course!  Thanks for asking!  All I ask in return is that you post a review once you’ve read it!  An autographed copy is in the mail (along with the check)! lol

Do you have a group of people that you show a new story to? How much impact can they have on the whole story?

I belong to a wonderful writer’s group in Mexico, where I spend the winter.  I trust these writers to be truthful, even if it hurts.  I always run new ideas and writing past them first.  If it passes muster I’m on the right track.  If not, I go back to the drawing board.  They do have input on the story, as I take their suggestions very seriously.  I give their ideas a lot of thought and if it makes the story better I might change something.  If not, I leave it.  After all, I am the author!

Do you set yourself a word limit for each book?

I don’t set word limits.  I write until I’m done.  Then I edit.  The book is finished when I feel that it has the strength and character to appeal to readers.

Do you have a target each day?

I wish I had a target each day – maybe I’d get more done!  Seriously, I try to write between 1,000 – 2000 words a day.  I don’t beat myself up if I don’t accomplish that many, though.

Do you write constantly or have breaks between books?

I write constantly, even if I am taking a break between books.  I write songs during those breaks, or develop characters or story lines.  I am a blogger, so I also play catch-up then.

Do you have characters running around your head?  Do they dictate events and their histories to you?

Yes to both questions.  Inzared was a good example of a character running around in my head.  She demanded to be heard, even when I tried to quiet her.  She told me all about her life as a poor dirt farmer’s daughter in the Appalachian hills and made me understand her need to explore the world. There were nights I really didn’t want to hear about her circus escapades, but she wasn’t having it.  She would keep at me until I got out of bed just to make her stop.  If I got something wrong I was severely chastised and believe me, I hastened to put it right.  She could be a real nag at times! Lol

After so many books, how do you keep them unique?

I think every author has to be cognizant of the fact that their writing can become stagnant if they don’t pay close attention to details.  That’s where editors, beta readers, writer’s groups, friends and family come in.  Their eyes and minds will catch things you might not.  Always work with people you trust to tell you the truth, even if it hurts.  Uniqueness comes with saying the same old thing in a different way.

What is your biggest (self-imposed) time waster?

It has to be social media.  I am trying to use it to market my book, but it’s a big drain on my writing time.  I get snared into reading things that look interesting, clicking on a link, and soon I’m not doing anything remotely close to marketing or writing!

Do you remember the first time you saw your book in a shop?

My debut novel, INZARED, Queen of the Elephant Riders was published June 27, 2012 on Amazon KDP.  It’s in eBook format only.  When I actually saw the book on the site I felt like crying – tears of happiness, of course.  Instead, my family and I opened a bottle of champagne and toasted its success!  I am afraid to think of how I’ll react when the book is in print form and stocked on a shelf in a bookstore.

Do you read other people’s writing?

I believe a good author must be an avid reader.  I read all the time.  It has always been a favorite pastime of mine.  When I need a break I read and review for other authors.  I generally have a pretty good queue of books by new authors in my lineup to review, but I love the classics and have a few guilty pleasures that I return to often.  Reading good work can only enhance your writing!

Would you read mine?

Of course I’ll read yours.  Send it on over!  Kindle format please.  (Want to read mine too?) lol


Here are some details about INZARED, Queen of the Elephant Riders and links:

INZARED Link to Amazon:

Video Trailer:


FB Author Page:

L.Leander Blog:



L.Leander is from Michigan.  She is an award-winning singer/songwriter who loves to camp, read, and sew in her spare time.  She and her husband currently spend summers in Wisconsin and winters in Mexico, where Ms. Leander says she is inspired to write prolifically because “the sun shines all the time.”  Ms. Leander spent her childhood playing dress-up, make-believe, and begging her parents to take her to the circus.  It’s no wonder she chose to write her debut novel about a Gypsy circus and a famous elephant rider!