An Hour with author Leah Stewart

I love to meet authors.  For book bloggers and writers they are celebrities.  My local library brought Leah Stewart, author of 3 books, to talk to us and answer questions.  I am over halfway through her latest book (and the first one I’ve read) and I’m loving it.  It is about a woman’s identity and how it changes once she becomes a mother.  Given my nine months of motherhood I relate.  I hope to have it finished and my review posted in the next few days.

Leah talked about her writing process.  When she started Husband and Wife she had a 3-year-old and a 7 month old at home.  I am in awe of that!  It took her a little over a year to write and was her easiest writing experience because she knew the story before she started writing.  Her second novel, The Myth of You & Me, took her 5 years to write because she had no clear vision, just the suggestion from her editor to write a contemporary story about a woman.  She offers the advice to know the story before you start writing.

If you’ve read Husband & Wife she based physical likeness of the Rajiv character on Naveen Andrews View Image.  A few authors she feels are important because she connects with them personally are Austen, Eliot and Fitzgerald.  She had just finished reading a Sarah Dessen book and My American Unhappiness.  She does not like the labels of chick lit or women’s fiction, but understands their marketing value.

She was asked if she was happy or sad when she finished a book and she said, “I’m so happy when I’m done.”  I loved the honesty.  When she was asked the most important quality for a successful writer to have, her answer was perseverance, determination, or the inability to stop doing it.

I really enjoyed her talk and the easy way she listened to the questions and took her time to answer them completely, not just giving stock answers.  She describes her books as ambiguous, moral situations.  Husband & Wife centers on infidelity and she told us right up front that she has no knowledge of her husband cheating on her!  It’s fiction people.

She likes twitter and if you’d like to find her @leahcstewart.  Or on her website.  I thought the evening was wonderful and that she was a delightful speaker.   I do hope you will check her out.

17 thoughts on “An Hour with author Leah Stewart

  1. Mary says:

    How great that your library hosted Leah Stewart. I liked Husband and Wife – very impressive that her children were so young when she wrote it. Did she mention if she has a new book coming soon?

  2. Veens says:

    I am glad you did this interview because I have not heard of her much. Now I am going to hunt her books down and I think I will also like the latest book you are reading 🙂

  3. BermudaOnion says:

    I love author events too – it’s so much fun to meet the brains behind the books. I don’t think I’ve read any of Leah’s work, but you’ve definitely made me interested in it.

  4. Amy says:

    Great post, Stacy! I read and reviewed Husband & Wife several months ago, I thought it was a great book, and I loved where Leah took the story. I had no idea she wrote Husband and Wife when she had a 3-year old and a 7-month old. That’s Crazy! I am so impressed because it obviously didn’t hurt her writing at all! I didn’t know she based Rajiv on Naveen Andrews but I had a picture in my mind similar to him when I read Husband and Wife!

    I love the authors she connects with, they’re wonderful and I think she makes an interesting point about the terms”chick-lit” and “women’s fiction” neither of which I really care for!

    Thank you for telling us about talking to Leah Stewart, I think she’s great and I cannot wait to read more of her work!

  5. Bonnie says:

    I wish that I could have made it to this author signing but my schedule was full. I loved The Myth of You & Me and haven’t yet read her newest book. It’s always nice to meet and connect with authors and hear the backstory of their books and writing thoughts. Let me know if there are any upcoming author events in our area, maybe we can meet up at one.

  6. Stephanie D. says:

    Oh, I absolutely agree with you about authors being rock stars. And it’s always a delight when they are accomodating and are genuinely glad to meet and talk to their fans. I’m very interested in the book about a woman’s identity as it relates to motherhood.

  7. jennygirl says:

    What a wonderful opportunity. I understand her sentiments on labels. They can discourage people from doing or trying things because of their label. It’s always exciting to meet an author.

  8. Staci says:

    I have one of her books…now after reading this you’ve made me want to pull it off the shelves and get to it!! I think authors are rock stars!! 😀

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