Author spotlight: Joan Leotta

Welcome author Joan LeottaJoan Leotta

Why do you write fiction?
I like to read fiction. Stories come into my head – from life, from the news. I simply look at something and say “What if?” and a story soon spins around in the old cranium.

Please tell us about your book.
A Bowl of Rice is the third book in the Legacy of Honor series. Anna Maria O’Shea, a smart young woman at University in 1970 must face the fact that although she makes smart choices in career, her taste in men might not be so good! She goes to Vietnam to serve as a nurse and must relearn the lesson, while learning more about herself and the honor of serving.

What ideas or images inspired this novel?
This is a four book series, each one set in a wartime era, showing the progress and honor of one Italian-American family (Anna’s Mom is the heroine of book one) and how they adapt to life in America, including marrying a non-Italian.

Do you have an ideal reader in mind when you write? If so, please describe that reader.
My ideal reader is someone like myself who wants a good story, with likeable characters who have an adventure while learning things about themselves and their society. I like happy endings.

Please describe your writing routine.
My routine is not routine. I vary research and writing and interviewing (I am a journalist) with other tasks, such as preparing for performances and doing housework. I like to start my day with reading the Bible and prayer, play words with friends and then write. When I can, I start the day by writing a poem. During the day I take breaks to do marketing tasks, check Facebook, send emails and gab with friends. By marketing, I mean doing things like writing blog posts, querying magazines, and of course, reading. I am a voracious and eclectic reader. I always make time for family, and I sometimes talk about my story ideas with my daughter.

What advice do you give new writers just starting out?
Keep writing and do not be afraid to revise. Revision is sooooo important.

More about A Bowl of Rice:

Anna Maria O’Shea never wavers from her commitment to serving her country as a nurse in Vietnam.
A Bowl of RiceFor a smart young woman she makes remarkably poor choices when it comes to men! A war zone friendship with Kathy, a girl from a Mennonite background, offers her new insights into life and men, and then she must help rescue Kathy from the Viet Cong.

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