As an author, many of us can remember the exact moment when we became a writer. We can think of the many writing assignments we were given over the years, we can think of our attention to detail when reading a book and how we were the only ones in our class that were happy about reading and writing. Author Leondra LeRae is no different.
In high school, Leondra and her friends wrote stories for fun. When she decided to write her first book, it too, was for fun. Leondra used her writing to escape her reality, even if it was only temporary.
While writing Hood Love, Leondra would post little snippets in groups for feedback. She had several avid readers pushing her to continue on her literary journey. Because of the motivation and encouragement she received, she decided to self-publish.
“Hood Love is my baby!” Leondra tells me when I ask about her first book. “It’s the book that started me off and gave me the fan base and support I have now. It was nerve racking when I put it out because I questioned whether or not I had the ability to write and produce a successful book.”
“Hood Love” published October 9th, 2012 -part of a three book series.
Leondra has published quite a few titles and is still in her early twenties. Throughout our years of publishing, we learn as we go. We tend to learn from our mistakes as the books are published. I asked Leondra what she’s learned throughout her years of publishing and what mistakes she’s made in the past that she will be sure to never make again. “I’ve learned not everyone will like everything that you write. Although people have loved my first book, they may have hated the next and everyone has their own opinion. I can’t allow one opinion to change me from doing something I enjoy. As far as mistakes, I guess I can say trusting those who aren’t trustworthy. I’m still learning and growing and I know as I go along, even if I don’t realize it, mistakes will be made that I have to learn from.”
I came across the book “Don Divas” a few months back and was pleasantly surprised. Two authors had come together to tell an amazing, page-turning story. This was the book that introduced me to Leondra.
“Don Divas’” was released in September 2013 and was written by Leondra LeRae and Alicia Hartley. “Don Divas” came at a difficult time for both authors. Leondra shares, “The ‘Don Divas’ collaboration was actually a stress reliever that Alicia Hartley and I did together. We both were going through a lot and felt a lot of pressure on our personal ends that we needed an escape from. We both had character names and personalities in our heads and we decided to come together and write about them. After we both did our first chapters, we saw it as a fun way to write and within a three weeks’ time, Don Divas was finished.”
“Don Diva’s” published September 23rd, 2013 –part two is coming soon.
Being a writer tends to bring out a comfort in being by yourself and Leondra embraces this. She’s a loner at heart and loves to spend time with her nephew and grandfather or go to the movies alone. If she’s not writing, she’s reading or thinking of her next book.
With so much potential in this young author, readers can definitely expect a few releases from Leondra, “I’m working on Hood Love 4: Loving A Carter; Official Street Queen 3; Don Divas 2; and a few others.”
Last, but certainly not least, I like to ask authors, veterans or newbies, young or old, their personal advice for other authors. “Never doubt yourself. Never allow anybody to down-talk you; if you really want to do something, then go ahead and do it. Never be afraid to ask for help because all writers/authors have been in your shoes at one point before they got to where they are now.”
I really enjoyed getting to know Leondra. Download any of her titles on Amazon today!
About Leondra: Leondra LeRae grew up in Providence, RI. She has six siblings; three brothers and three sisters. She has dreams of becoming an OBGYN but enjoys writing in her free time. At 19, she self-published her first urban fiction novel.
At 20 years old, Leondra signed to SBR Publications where she released National Best Seller; Official Street Queen.
She is also the author of:
Hood Love 2
Hood Love 3
Official Street Queen
Official Street Queen 2
Don Divas (with Alicia Hartley)
She is currently a full-time student at the Community College of Rhode Island majoring in Nursing.
Check out the January/February Issue at: www.penashemagazine.com