Talkshow Thursday: Welcome LeighAnne Clifton!
LeighAnne: The Together for Good series follows Alex, a young woman who has to make a difficult decision after she’s assaulted by someone she trusts. Alex runs away, only to encounter a lady who changes her life by taking her in to pregnancy care home and introducing her to the matchless love of Jesus. Ultimately, Alex finds not only the peace and acceptance she longs for, but also love and family.
Together for Good is the name of the pregnancy care home, which the series centers around. It comes from Romans 8:28, “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose.” The goal of the home is to show the mothers-to-be that God loves them and their unborn children and has a purpose for them.
I feel it’s important for people to know that Christians aren’t immune to the same problems everyone else faces. Sickness, pain, and even crime happen to Christians, too. The difference is we have Jesus to walk through these hard things with us. He promised He would!
LM: Tell us about your writing journey.
LeighAnne: I didn’t do this the normal way! My degree is in chemical engineering, and I worked in the environmental compliance field for over 30 years. Most of my professional career involved technical writing and editing, but I’ve always had a deep-seated love for reading. Several years ago, the Lord began stirring a desire in my heart to create stories, not just consume them.
LM: You published a children’s book in 2018. How is writing adult fiction different? The same?
LeighAnne: The Little Vessel was written as a response to a group of girls I taught in Sunday school to remind them that God creates each of us with a unique and wonderful purpose.
Writing adult fiction is different in that there’s more room to let the story breathe and grow, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the author can just take the reader on some meandering jaunt through unrelated scenes and miraculously expect everything to end up in a nice, neat package. I think writing for adults is like playing Jenga backwards! All of the pieces have to be put in place so that by the end, it’s satisfying and complete.
LM: Research is an important aspect of writing. What sort of research did you do for Ready to Forgive? Was there a particular piece of information you knew you needed to include in the book?
LeighAnne: Not to give away too much of the plot, but there’s a wedding in Ready to Forgive! My research for this was kind of on-the-job since my daughter got married a few years ago. She was still in college, so a lot of the details fell to me (as an engineer, this was in my wheel house!). So, I relied heavily on my experiences from that time.
LM: In addition to your fiction writing, you have a blog, flip furniture, and pursue other crafts. How do you juggle your various responsibilities?
LeighAnne: It’s funny that this is one of the questions! I’ve seen several people on social media choose a “word of the year,” and I kept wondering what that was all about. Recently, though, God impressed on my heart that I should choose “Focus” for 2022. I do have a lot of things pulling me in different directions, including a newly-retired husband and a 3rd grade Sunday school class, but I believe my writing is my worship. It’s hard to stay focused, but I keep my planner handy and rely on the time-management skills I developed over years of juggling a career and motherhood.
But, always, I start the day with God. If something happens to upset this, my day is a mess.
LM: What is one thing you wish you knew how to do?
But, even as I try to think of something, I realize how blessed I am. When God has called me to something, He’s equipped me for it. Like writing my first novel in my 50s!
LM: What is your next project?
LeighAnne: I’m writing the third book in the Together for Good series. It’s actually my favorite so far. Can an author say that, or is it like picking a favorite child? Anyway, I hope that my newly discovered focus for 2022 will produce the best book to date.
LM: Where can folks find you on the web?
LeighAnne: My website is https://alive-leighjourney.com. There’s a Book News tab for readers to keep up with the latest on book releases, launches, cover reveals, etc. There’s also a place to sign up for my monthly newsletter. When readers sign up, they’ll receive In Their Own Words, the prequel to the Together for Good series, just for subscribing.
About All Your Heart
When Alex strikes a deal with Chad, the handsome mechanic with secrets of his own, the citizens of Burton discover Alex’s artistry, prompting a business partnership with Matilda’s nephew. Alex soon discovers the life-altering sweetness of trusting Jesus, but her past hurts make it difficult to trust Chad with her heart. Then, secrets within the pages of an old diary discovered at the home threaten to tear families apart. Can the people of Burton learn to heal the hurts of the past by trusting the Lord with all their hearts?
Ready to Forgive
Before she can marry Chad, Alex must forgive the man who changed her life when he attacked her. Meanwhile, Terry decides to finally meet his biological father. The two embark on a trip that changes not only their lives, but also J.T.’s eternity. Despite the hurdles of planning a wedding in less than two months, Alex and Chad’s big day finally arrives. Only to be derailed by Karen and a bombshell announcement. Will the couple, and everyone they love, make it through all the obstacles thrown in their way?
Purchase Link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B093KK7W69