Interview with LJ DeLeon

Today I have the pleasure of interviewing LJ DeLeon.  Please remember to leave a comment to be entered into a drawing for her latest book.

1.    How did you get started writing?

I’m a reader. I’ll read box labels if nothing else is available. When my husband and I were posted at the US Embassy in Berne, Switzerland and I was four hours from the nearest Stars & Stripes Bookstore, I became desperate. What else could I do but write my own between fixes.

2.    What genre(s) do you write in and why?

I write urban fantasy romance and futuristic romance with a heavy dose of action adventure as LJ DeLeon—my maiden name. I love writing stories I can’t get enough of as a reader.

3.    Tell us about your current series.

The overall story line tracks the eternal struggle between good versus evil, made more difficult because not everyone is who or what they seem. To quote Captain Kirk from Star Trek, “Good can triumph over evil, but it must be very, very careful.” I love complex characters, where even the good can step into shades of gray or into the dark in the name of the greater good, and the bad will sometimes even surprise themselves.

When I first got the idea for the series, I plotted out the entire story line and wrote a “Series Bible.” This contains every character—including minor ones, all their characteristics, and which books they will appear in. It also has the entire series plot line. Each book has its own story plus part of the whole.

4.   What move best describes your life?  Why?

Mission Impossible. I’ve spent over half my life in foreign countries and worked for the CIA. Also, I’ve survived my 100-year-old mother-in-law living with me with my sanity—I think—and written seven books in the last year.

5.    What inspired your latest book?

I’m still writing Sophie’s Challenge. It’s the fourth book in the Warriors for Light series. The readers met Sophie in Book 2, Dragon Child. With Sophie, I want to show how an abused wife, even one with magical powers, has to deal with the pain from the physical and psychological scars of abuse. To love and trust, Sophie needs to release the self-inflicted guilt of having been with Carlson, a black mage. Who better to help her than Jamie, a werewolf, who would die protecting those he loves and who walk in the Light?

6.    What is your favorite part of writing?

When the story comes together. I’m not being flip. The story flows when I know the story cold and my characters agree.

7.    What is your least favorite part of writing?

It’s rough when the story isn’t working. Sometimes I’ve made a wrong turn. Or my characters go on strike and I want to knock them upside the head. How dare they stop talking to me!

8    What is your next project and when will it be released?

Sophie’s Challenge and her identical twin’s book, Kate’s Army, will be released in first half of 2012.

9.    What is your typical day like?

I take care of the housework first, then email, Twitter, and Facebook first. Then I write. My goal is 10,000 words per week. Do I make it? Yes, because I won’t stop until I do. Once I finish my quota, I do critiques for my two partners and check my email, Twitter, and Facebook.

10.    How much time do you spend promoting your books? What works best for you?

It varies. I try to keep it under control because it can take over and keep me from writing. What works best? Sigh. I wish I knew. I’ve taken part in paid promotion, and seldom earned out my investment. However, blogs that introduce me to readers tend to be best. They are personal, require me to give something of myself, and introduce readers to me as an author and my books.

11.  How has your experience with self-publishing been?

Because I’ve owned my own businesses before, I thought I was prepared for what was involved. I wasn’t. I had no idea how the business side could take over the creative side. I’ve had to force myself to write and not focus on the business side.

12.  What advice do you have for other authors wanting to self-publish?

Aside from writing the best book you can, research what is involved before tackling it—editing, formatting, pricing, cover art, promotion. You are an artist, a creator of magic when you write the story. But as an indie, you must also be an entrepreneur and able to run a business. As for sales, it’s similar to being published by NY. Some authors have immediate success with great sales. Others barely sell. And yet others sell steadily with sales growing slowly.

So, my advice, don’t become discouraged, keep writing, and keep publishing. The more books you have on your bookshelf, the greater chance you have of selling enough books to make money.

LJ’s Website:
Warriors Website & Blog:

You can find LJ’s books at:

12 thoughts on “Interview with LJ DeLeon

  1. Great advice for indie authors, L.J. So many people put up the one book and promote it to death. So much more effective to have several books so your promotional efforts trickle over and aren’t so quickly dissipated.

  2. Thank you for stopping by. And Lindsay, I’m thrilled you loved Dragon Child. Moira’s a hoot, and boy did she learned the hardway that you never hear anything good if you eavesdrop. 🙂

  3. Thank you LJ for blogging with me. I love your advice. It applies to all writers but especially indie ones who have to do it all. Although even New York published authors are having to do most of their own PR. I think the only advantage they have is that they don’t have to foot the bills to get it published, cover art, editing etc.
    This is a great blog.

  4. Like you, I can’t get enough of your kind of book but I hadn’t yet discovered you! Your stories sound right up my alley so I’ll be checking them out. The stories sound intriguing. Your covers are even more so. I admit, I’m a cover girl. 🙂 So, my question is, what part do you play in your covers? Do you do them yourself? Design? Have someone else come up with them from a scene in your story?

    • Thank you, Karen. Here’s hoping you win the drawing.

      As for my covers, I have a great graphic artist. I give her a synopsis of the story and tell her what I’m looking for. Dawne & I discussed a series style for the covers, one that focused on the heroines. Dawne’s also read the stories so she gets the series.

  5. I have been looking for the Novella, Defiance.. where can I find it? At the end of the 3rd book it said comming out July 2011 but I havent been able to find it. Help.

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