They’re modern romance stories with contemporary themes, a strong sense of family and community and happy endings. I like happy endings. It’s nice to be able to put a smile on someone’s face.
Leeann(a) Morgan Tells All
By Roger Childs
When she was serving as Kapiti’s Library Manager, Leanne used to spend two hours writing before work and three hours after getting home.
Now crafting romantic novels is her full time job and she has been incredibly successful.
Leeanna produces five novels a year and sell 300 books a day!
Far away Montana is her main setting and Leeanna’s extensive readership is mainly American women.
Romance fiction comes of age
It’s not everybody’s favourite genre, however it has existed for decades with Mills & Boon being the best known publishers.
However the unbelievably colossal sales of E L James Fifty Shades of Grey provided the catalyst for a boom in the romantic fiction industry.
Leeanna has tapped into this huge demand and clearly developed a formula which sells big time.
Hard work brings success
Leeanna spends 70% of her work time writing and most of the rest marketing. She researches her settings and time periods carefully and has three editors.
- Her mother: If she cries I know it’s a good book!
- A New Zealand based proof reader who sorts the grammar and typos
- A US based editor who gets the “Americanisms” right.
She also spends plenty of time on cover design which is critical for successful marketing.
To be successful, according to Leeanna, you need to touch people. You want people to feel some emotion. So the formulas usually involves
~ good characters who come across as likeable
~ a hero(s) people can relate to
~ realistic mystery and intrigue
~ conflict to keep the story going so that a crisis occurs which is subsequently resolved.
Leeanna found being a librarian was a perfect place to get ideas. Having reached 40 she was determined to get a book published.
She joined the Romance Writers of New Zealand, went to conferences and hired an agent in New York. The latter didn’t work out, however after producing some early books with New Zealand and Australian setting, her Montana location saw her career take off.
A number of the American books have been based around bridesmaids and billionaires, and her main characters aged between the late 20s and earl 40s have obviously appealed.
Her early Montana based novels were written without Leeanna ever going to the state, however on a recent visit she found that her research had stood her in good stead.
She is currently on book number 19 and it obviously won’t stop there!