Good Afternoon dear readers,
Today I am welcoming Leigh Dreyer, and author who reflects what Jane Austen Fan Fiction is all about! Leigh started out as a reader, but her love for Austen’s characters, and the need for more time with them, turned her into an author who is now delighting us with wonderful new stories. She has just released her second book, The Flight Path Less Traveled which is a sequel to The Best Laid Flight Plans, and today not only will she talk talk to us about the writing process for her, but also about this new release.
I hope you enjoy the questions we put together, and don’t forget to comment to enter the giveaway 🙂
Welcome Leigh, first of all, can you tell us when you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
Interestingly, I never really did. I do other art: musicals, singing, etc., but I hadn’t really thought much of writing until after I had kids and found I was going a little crazy staying home with people who don’t talk. I found that writing was a great way for me to tap into my creative energies and still take care of my little ones. Writing has also allowed me to grow a lot closer to my sisters-in-law, one of whom is a writer and one who is an editor.
How long does it take you to write a book?
About a month and a half for the first draft. When I’m really writing, I do about 1600 words a day and both of my novels are right around 75-80,000 words.
What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?
Well, I have three jobs. I am a speech pathologist at a school in California and I work using teletherapy (therapy over video conferencing software), at a school here in Las Vegas, and then at a Long Term Acute Care hospital in Vegas as well. My schedule is pretty crazy most days. Did I mention I have two kids and am currently in a musical? Crazy. So, I write whenever I can. Mostly when kids are napping or in bed. If I’m doing well, I can hit my day’s goal in about an hour.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I have to eat. I constantly snack while writing. Currently I am eating a chicken flatbread melt. I try hard to eat something like grapes or blackberries that I can snack on and feel healthy at the same time.
What does your family think of your writing?
They think its great. My dad is one of my main technical advisers and its been fun bonding with him over flying stuff. He’s given me the last line of the series…we’ll see if I use it.
As a child what did you want to do when you grew up?
I wanted to be an astronaut so bad it hurt. I wanted to be Sally Ride. Honestly, most of Elizabeth’s childhood dreams are really just mine through a different lens.
This book is part of a series, tell us a little about it.
The Flight Path Less Traveled is book two in a series of three planned books: The Best Laid Flight Plans, The Flight Path Less Traveled, and Came a Flight Gently. The first book is a P&P variation whose story line closely follows the events of P&P. The next two are original continuations although you will definitely see other favorite Austen characters and events as the story continues. Each book is an altered line from a poem that I find meaningful and that I feel speaks to the tone of book I wanted to write.
What about your main character in this series. What does he/she do that is so special?
Elizabeth Bennet has just gone through tremendous trauma at the end of The Best Laid Flight Plans and now she has to get back up, brush herself off, and push forward. In the original Pride and Prejudice Elizabeth faces a lot of invisible enemies (marriage or lack thereof, the entailment, etc.), but I wanted to see where she would take me when her enemies were very much physical. Would she be strong and fight?
You know I love covers, can you tell us about the cover/s and how it/they came about?
The photoshoot was done in Utah by Monica Cook, a military spouse, who runs Joyous Reflections Photography and Portraiture, at the Air Force museum at Hill Air Force Base. It was important to me to highlight Elizabeth as a female officer. Females are so rare in the pilot world that I wanted to be able to see Elizabeth as I see her, a strong woman who is willing to work harder than anyone else to achieve what she sees for herself. I made the choice to have the little ringlets and her hair up in a kind of braid Mohawk, because I thought it was a fun throwback to the Regency hairstyles. Of course, after the events at the end of The Best Laid Flight Plans, she is pictured out of a flight suit and in her blues, but I wanted to continue to present that strong image as she fights to recover.
Who designed your book covers?
My amazing friend Alishia Mattee. She is a military spouse and my next door neighbor when we were stationed together at Hickam Air Force Base and she is so talented.
What are you working on at the minute?
Book three, Came a Flight Gently and a short story about how Mr. and Mrs. Bennet meet and get married. I’m also working on outlining a time-travel story.
What’s it about?
Came a Flight Gently will start where The Flight Path Less Traveled ends and will continue the story in New York and feature the Reno Air Races (National Championship Air Races), the last of the great pylon races.
Thank you so much for visiting today Leigh! I really enjoyed having this “conversation” with you. I hope my readers enjoy getting to know you it as much as I did!
Leigh Dreyer is a huge fan of Jane Austen variations and the JAFF community. She is blessed to have multi-generational military connections through herself and her husband, who she met in pilot training. She often describes her formative years in this way: “You know the ‘Great Balls of Fire’ scene in Top Gun (‘Goose, you big stud!’), where Goose and Meg Ryan have their kid on the piano? I was that kid.” Leigh lives with her pilot husband, a plane-obsessed son, a daughter who will one day be old enough to watch romantic movies with her, and another little one expected in September 2019.
You can contact her through the following media:
Facebook: Leigh Dreyer
Facebook Page: @leighdreyerauthor
In this modern Pride and Prejudice continuation and sequel to The Best Laid Flight Plans, 2nd Lieutenant Elizabeth Bennet and Captain William Darcy are facing trials after the events of Elizabeth’s last flight. Darcy’s proposal lingers between them as Elizabeth becomes almost single sighted to her rehabilitation and her return to pilot training. A secret is revealed to Elizabeth about Mr. and Mrs. Bennet’s past that throws all she has known to be true into a tail spin. The romance between our hero and heroine begins to blossom through military separations, sisterly pranks, and miscommunications. Can Darcy and Elizabeth come together or will flying in the Air Force keep them apart?
You can find The Flight Path Less Traveled at:
Leigh Dreyer would like o offer one ebook copy of The Flight Path Less Traveled to one of my readers. The giveaway is international and will end on the 27th of March. To enter it all you have to do is comment on this post. You know the drill, share your opinion with us and have fun! The winners will be announced here shortly after, so don’t forget to stop by to see if you were the lucky winner.
Good Luck everyone!