Her publishing story is unique, and I know you'll learn a lot. Welcome to Six Questions Leigh!
1. What do you find the most challenging about starting a new writing project?
Getting myself to sit down and focus. Seriously, I'll have the most amazing idea that I'm so excited about, and then I'll be all Doug (the dog from UP)... squirrel! :D But once I get going, then I usually get sucked in and time flies. But it's all about the BICHOK (butt in chair, hands on keyboard). (Sarah Fine invented that, btw.)
2. What book or author has influenced you the most in your writing?
I think Stephen King's "On Writing." Because he made it okay to have a weird, sort of hybrid style that wasn't outlining and all the steps you imagine. He was very empowering in a "So long as it's working," way for me. Plus he gave me so many great ideas--like the putting your finished MS in a drawer for a month, etc. It's a really great craft book. Highly recommend it to writers!
3. Do you write every day, or what is your system to get words on paper?
When I'm working on a book, I write every day. Once I get the BICHOK going, sometimes I don't stop writing, which is not good because I'm a mom. But when I'm in between books (like now), I don't write every day. And I miss it. :P
4. Once you finish draft one, what's next?
I have the most amazing group of critique partners (critters). Once Draft #1 is done, I go through it again myself and make revisions, then I ship it off to them and chew my nails while I wait for them to read it. :o)
5. Where do you connect with your readers?
This is evolving for me. Initially, I was a traditional author. I had an agent, I had a deal with Simon & Schuster, and I was happy just to blog and connect with writers and readers that way. I also have a pretty active Facebook page, but that's mostly non-writer friends and family. Basically, I was going to let the traditional guys do all the work connecting me with readers.
Since I've gone independent, if I want to connect with readers, I have to get out there. And I've been looking at the different options to see what works best for me. I'm getting more active on Goodreads, I'm following more reader-oriented blogs and FB pages, I'm even Tweeting more! :D And I get email from readers quite often, and I LOVE that! It's so great. I'm so happy doing it this way because I feel like THIS is why I'm a writer--to connect with readers.
6. If you could start over, what about this whole process would you do differently?
I would've skipped the agent-publisher game and jumped on the indie bandwagon in 2011 when several of my writer-friends were doing it. But I'm a firm believer in everything happening for a reason, and I pray a lot. So I'm following MY path, and we'll see where it leads!
PS Both of Leigh's books are on special for just 99 cents... fill your Kindle!
As I say all the time, we all have our own unique path -- what sets you apart from other authors?