Author Spotlight: Leesa Bow
Describe yourself in one word:
What is your background with regard to writing?
My background is nursing and sales. I am a reader but never dreamed of becoming a writer. Five years ago when my daughter fell ill I began writing for a therapeutic benefit, and it all happened from there.
When did you first begin writing with a view of embarking on a career as a published author?
By 2010 my daughter was in remission, I decided to take my writing more seriously. I attended courses at the SA Writing Centre, and joined writing groups.
Tell us a little more about Charming the Outback:
Charming the Outback is the second book in the series. Winning the Player is the first and has a sport theme. Maddy McIntyre is a secondary character (Best friend of the heroine and cousin to the hero). I received many requests for Maddy’s story. Even though I write sporty new adult romance, the sport is minimal in this book as I focused on a rural romance with emotion of new adult characters. I enjoyed taking Maddy out of her comfort zone of the city to a small outback town, away from family and friends, for a new teaching job with the hope of forgiveness, redemption and second chance love.
In Charming the Outback, we meet recently-heartbroken Maddy McIntyre who is leaving the city for a fresh start in the country. Conveniently she chooses to follow Luke White, the man who broke her heart, to his home town of Broken Hill, however once she arrives in town she realises that city Luke and country Luke are very different people. What inspired this concept?
First of all I confess to be a pantser and never know where the story will take me apart from a few ideas that pop into my head while I’m in the shower or listening to the radio while driving. As I write, the characters direct my story and sometimes I get ideas for the next book so I stop and jot down ideas in dot points. This is how Maddy’s story in Charming the Outback came about. There are a few points in Winning the Player that lead to her following Luke to Broken Hill. I start with a vague idea and then run with it.
What one character trait will most endear Maddy and Luke to readers?
Maddy’s determination to fight for love, and Luke’s loyalty to family, friends and Maddy.
Tell us a little more about what lead you to writing inside the new adult genre?
When I started writing romance fiction my characters were in their early twenties. I stumbled across some new adult books by American authors and realised I was writing this genre, although I knew little about it. After researching some more I decided the new adult genre to be a perfect fit for me.
One thing you’d like readers to know about the romance genre…
Reading romance is truly satisfying and often takes you on a rollercoaster journey of emotions to finally find happiness, with the heroine also finding herself along the way. Writing romance is a great fit for me after my daughter was diagnosed with cancer. Fiction Happy-Ever-After stories bring hope to a world that doesn’t always offer a fortunate ending.
If you weren’t writing, what would you be doing?
Spending time with my family. I love walking along the beach, watching sport, and catching with girlfriends in cafes that sell gourmet coffee.
Biggest accomplishment to date:
Writing: My two books published with Destiny Romance.
What’s next for you?
I am currently writing another football NA romance and I also have ideas for a NA cricket romance. Over summer I intend to rewrite the book I wrote while my daughter was sick.
Favourite snack whilst writing?
Coffee and chocolate
What advice would you give your 16-year-old self?
Trust your decisions. Life has a way of making everything turn out the way it should.
What do you find easiest to write? And, the hardest?
Favourite travel experience?
I won a trip to Los Angeles for a month and stayed at Malibu Beach
Number one thing to do on your bucket list:
Visit South America
Milk, dark or white chocolate? Milk
Red, white, bubbly? Oh gosh I like all three and it depends on the occasion or the weather. White.
Salty or sweet? Sweet.
Beach or mountains? Beach.
Give or receive? Give.
About the Author:
Leesa Bow grew up in Broken Hill. Sport played a major role in her life growing up in a small country town, and Leesa had a passion for basketball. Although she loved to read books with happy endings, she never believed she would end up a novelist.
Leesa started her professional life nursing at the local hospital before moving to Adelaide in her early twenties. She married a football player, and inevitably her four daughters were also sporty. Leesa began writing seriously when her second daughter became sick with cancer. Initially writing was therapeutic, but when her daughter got the all clear, she decided to continue writing seriously. Stories about sport, romance, and characters aged eighteen plus seemed logical since her daughters were of a similar age, and often surrounded by athletes.
Leesa writes New Adult romance. On weekends she enjoys watching basketball and football, having beach days with the family, catching up with girlfriends, and daydreaming about strong heroines.
Charming the Outback
When jaded city girl Maddy McIntyre packs up and leaves Adelaide for a new job in the country, it’s not only a chance at a fresh start. Six months ago, the first guy she’d ever loved shattered her heart before moving home to Broken Hill. Deep down inside, Maddy is hoping that living in the same town will give her an opportunity to prove to Luke that she’s one temptation he can’t resist.
But when she arrives in Broken Hill, Luke White is not the same guy she knew in the city. And it soon seems very clear that he doesn’t want her there. Although Maddy settles in quickly, excelling at work and partying with her new friends, she can’t understand why Luke is remaining so distant. Particularly when all her instincts are telling her that they’re meant to be together – and that he feels the same burning attraction.
As Maddy learns more about Luke’s family and background, she begins to understand that his mixed messages are caused by balancing what’s expected of him with what he really wants. Maddy gave Luke her heart long ago and, despite their differences, she knows she’ll only ever be happy with her hot country boy. But how can she convince him that she’s the risk he needs to take?