Please help us welcome
Leah worked with an editor after winning the Harlequin Mills & Boon New Voices Competition in November 2010, and was offered a contract on February 25th, 2011. Her first book, Secrets & Speed Dating, will be published as Mills & Boon Riva/Sweet/Romance and will be released in the UK in October this year, and in the US and Australia in 2012.
Before we got to down to business, we asked Leah our fun NewCat questions!
|Leah's Pointer, Stella
Horses. I was a horse mad kid that grew up to be a horse mad adult. Sadly I had to sell my horse in 2005 as I just didn't have the time to commit to riding and competing any longer.
Favourite mythical animal?
Unicorn (see above :) ).
First category book you read?
The first one I remember absolutely adoring was Gina Wilkin's "A Stroke of Genius" that I bought secondhand as a teenager and kept hidden at the back of my bookcase. It went missing when I moved out of home and I'm still searching for a replacement copy.
Last great category book you read?
Anything by Sarah Mayberry or Nikki Logan - although I also really enjoyed Mira Lyn Kelly's Front Page Affair.
Something we wouldn't know about you?
That I'm getting married in less than four weeks!
Thank you for giving that peek, Leah, and CONGRATULATIONS! We send you a great big LoveCat hug to you and your hero for a purrrfect happiness! And now on a more serious note... can you tell us a bit about your journey through the New Voices program with Harlequin and on to the exciting moment that you were offered a contract.
|Leah's cat, Luna
The New Voices competition was such an amazing opportunity that I absolutely had to enter - despite the nausea inducing reality that The Whole World would be able to read my entry. With this competition, there was nowhere to hide!
I purposefully entered something completely new to New Voices, so I wouldn't be too attached to it when it (inevitably) crashed and burned. When it didn't, and I made the Top Ten, it was such a shock! It also made the next two rounds just that little bit harder, as I had absolutely no idea what would happen next.
But with lots of help from my lovely mentors - editor Meg Lewis and author Jessica Hart - as well as my writing friends (a particularly huge thank you to Lovecat Nikki Logan) I made it through Round Two (Chapter Two) and then my final round entry of a pivotal moment from my book won the competition. Winning the competition was one of the most amazing things to have ever happened to me, and I am so grateful for every single person who entered the competition, and everyone who voted.
|Stella in action!
New Voices itself was a huge amount of pressure and stress, but it utterly paled in comparison to writing the rest of my book. The full story is on my blog (trust me, it's long!). The short version is that I threw out my half finished book - twice - before I finally got it right. My editor, Meg, was incredible, and kept her faith in me, even when privately, I wasn't so sure.
|Leah writing her New Voices entry in Croatia
Thank you for sharing that, Leah! We asked Leah what question she'd like to ask our commenters and she's come up with a fabulous and very pertinent one...
What is your best advice for a bride to be?
We've put together a LoveCats Book Pack to send to one of our party guests! Just leave a comment and you'll be in the draw!
In the LoveCats Book Pack....
- Robyn Grady - Amnesia Ex: Unforgettable Vows
- Sharon Archer - TBA
- Zana Bell - Tempting the Negotiator
- Michelle Douglas - Christmas at Candlebark Farm
- Emily May - Beauty and the Scarred Hero
- Nikki Logan - Friends to Forever
- Sue Mackay - Playboy Doctor to Doting Dad
- Natalie Anderson - Walk on the Wild Side
- Rachel Bailey - Million-Dollar Amnesia Scandal
- Mel Teshco - Moon Thrall (ebook)