Interview with Leenna Naidoo

Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
It would have been one of my creative writing efforts from primary school. I might have been ten or eleven... I think it might have been about a carriage horse in Sherlock's London. I was seriously in Sherlock Holmes back then; can't say I am anymore :-D
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
There were two. I got both starter books one Christmas back when I was seven or so. There was Pano The Train (I still love trains) and Crispin Christian (which was very hard for me to read. It was about a brown bear in a straw hat who went fishing. I loved both books for different reasons: Pano because it was fun to read about the brave train, and Crispin because it meant I was a Real Reader--that I could break up words and read anything!
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
Mostly by accident. I look at the Smashwords homepage , read the blurbs and decide if they might be interesting. I also follow links from blogs or social media I've found interesting. I'm almost never reading what everyone else is reading--always been out of sync that way :-D
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I take photos, mostly of nature. I chat to my friends and family, or I read a book or watch a movie. I love travelling too, so I often start to research holidays even if I can't yet afford them :-D And then I day-dream too...
What is your writing process?
I'm not sure...
How do you approach cover design?
Haphazardly, as opposed to wizardly, as you may have guessed :-D
So how did you get into tarot reading, and does it influence your writing?
The tarot and other divination methods has always fascinated me. As soon as I could, I began teaching myself to read the tarot and bugging everyone I knew to let me practice reads on them. I had a lot of free time back then, so would spend 6-10 hours a week learning the cards and how to read. I was fortunate to have two good mentors in Johannesburg, and by remaining true to my integrity and original intention to help people reach their potential, my ability as a reader grows.
As for my writing, occasionally I might use the tarot to resolve a plot point if I have writer's block, or to look deeper into a character and their motivation. Then too, while all my readings are confidential, I do get a lot of inspiration from the events I see in my client's lives and the awesome people I've met while reading.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I'm very much a story-lover, be it oral, written or performed. So, for me, the greatest joy in writing lies in sharing a story -- hopefully one which eventually brings hope, joy and understanding to you. If it makes you smile or think twice, so much the better for both of us :-D
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
Verulam -- a small town in Durban, South Africa -- is my home-town, and the place I keep coming back to. It's on the east coast of South Africa, almost directly west of Perth, Australia and about four hours away from the Mozambiquan border. Verulam is quite a historic town and was very colonial and industrial when I was growing up. It's grown very large over the past twenty years, and is not as sleepy as it once was. Much of the sugar-cane fields have also given way to housing and other development.
There wasn't much to do as a teenager, so I read a lot, and then decided that I had to be a writer. Boredom and my nature meant I read lots of fantasy, suspense and the odd historical novel. As a result, these are the genres I'd prefer to write, and imagining that something magical was needed to relieve the boredom means I tend to write magical realism.
I didn't get much support for my writing except from three teachers and some close family, as fantasy was frowned upon and regarded as not being 'serious' or 'literary' books.
It's only recently, in short stories like 'Strive' (see Foreigners) that I've begun to explore Verulam in my writing.
Published 2016-12-27.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Walpole Were
Price: $2.99 $1.50 USD. (50% off!) Words: 9,960. Language: Commonwealth English. Published: March 30, 2018 by Learning To Surf Publishing. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Paranormal, Fiction » Mystery & detective » Short Stories
(5.00)
Sighting: Possible Canid. Likely a werewolf Location: Walpole, Western Australia Status: Developing—tracking and research
9 Point 8
Price: Free! Words: 5,570. Language: English (South African dialect). Published: December 26, 2017 by Learning To Surf Publishing. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » General, Fiction » Women's fiction » General
(4.00)
Physicist Jo is having a bad morning. When salt is added to the mix, things take a unexpected turn. A short South African story.
Your Tarotscopes 2018
Price: $9.99 $7.49 USD. (25% off!) Words: 132,840. Language: English. Published: February 21, 2018 by Learning To Surf Publishing. Categories: Nonfiction » New Age » Tarot, Nonfiction » Entertainment » Astrology
Your tarot readings for February 2018 to January 2019, plus a special look at your birthday 2018 to birthday 2019 challenges.Discussing trends and likelihoods, dispensing positivity, while giving you a brief overview of your year as defined by your Western zodiac sign. Only for entertainment and enlightenment purposes.
The BaGua And Other Stories
Price: $3.99 $1.00 USD. (75% off!) Words: 16,040. Language: English. Published: September 12, 2017 by Learning To Surf Publishing. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Short stories, Fiction » Science fiction » Short stories
From mad scientists to familiar aliens, to Irish gods who only make Halloween dates, and the odd dragon making an unexpected appearance, they’re all here in this collection of micro-, flash- and short-fiction.
Three Million's A Crowd
Price: $2.99 $1.50 USD. (50% off!) Words: 23,140. Language: English. Published: July 22, 2017 by Learning To Surf Publishing. Categories: Fiction » Women's fiction » General, Fiction » Romance » Short stories
1 Flash, 3 Short stories, and a full novella. From high-school, to work, to a crazy run on a reality TV. From choices in love, to choices in life to finding the real treasures in life. Would you make the same choices? Short reads for the train, that wait or a quick lunch-break.
Your Tarotscope 2017
Price: Free! Words: 19,290. Language: English. Published: December 30, 2016 by Learning To Surf Publishing. Categories: Nonfiction » New Age » Tarot, Nonfiction » Entertainment » Astrology
Your tarot readings for each month of 2017. Discussing trends and likelihoods, dispensing positivity, while giving you a brief overview of your year as defined by your Western zodiac sign. Only for entertainment and enlightenment purposes.
Slipped Up
Price: $0.99 USD. (Free!) Words: 2,230. Language: English. Published: March 22, 2016 by Learning To Surf Publishing. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Short Stories, Fiction » Women's fiction » General
The stolen Glass Slippers are worth a little fortune. How can Fiona keep her mind on the production when her fiance’ is the main suspect?
Surviving Oblivion
Price: $0.99 USD. (Free!) Words: 2,820. Language: English. Published: March 15, 2016 by Learning To Surf Publishing. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Apocalyptic, Fiction » Women's fiction » General
There’s little to keep her going in the aftermath of Oblivion. Can a dream love really be her salvation?
Ride The Wave, Kiss The God
Price: $0.99 USD. (Free!) Words: 2,000. Language: English. Published: March 1, 2016 by Learning To Surf Publishing. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Short stories, Fiction » Women's fiction » General
Her ex is adamant she join him for the end of the world and beyond, but she’s convinced it will all end in tragedy.
Foreigners
Price: Free! Words: 3,550. Language: English. Published: July 21, 2015 by Learning To Surf Publishing. Categories: Fiction » Adventure » General, Fiction » Anthologies » Short stories - single author
Two short stories: In far-flung mysterious China, two foreigners discover the secrets of The Temple Heavenly Falsities despite the language barrier. In South Africa, Trishnen returns home to find so much, yet so little has changed.
How Not To Meet The Man Of Your Dreams Revised
Price: $2.00 USD. (Free!) Words: 6,660. Language: English. Published: February 9, 2015 by Learning To Surf Publishing. Categories: Nonfiction » Sex and Relationships  » Sex guides & how tos
A short humorous guide for singletons with a simple 10 step program.
The Incident At Wolfe Creek
Price: Free! Words: 18,890. Language: English. Published: November 2, 2014 by Learning To Surf Publishing. Categories: Fiction » Women's fiction » General, Fiction » Science fiction » General
Jon and Rita have more than their fair share of problems. Now at the beginning of their long planned trip to the southern tip of Western Australia, things aren't exactly going to plan. Will their relationship survive the rigours of extraterrestrial abduction, aboriginal folklore and a convergence of forces neither of them could have ever conceived before.
Dear Santa (A Love Wish)
Price: Free! Words: 6,480. Language: English. Published: September 1, 2014 by Learning To Surf Publishing. Categories: Fiction » Holiday » Christmas, Fiction » Women's fiction » General
(4.00)
Does Santa still have the magic to help her find the right man?
Here Be Monsters
Price: $2.99 $1.50 USD. (50% off!) Words: 14,150. Language: English. Published: March 8, 2014 by Learning To Surf Publishing. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Adventure, Fiction » Women's fiction » General
(5.00)
First-time visitor to Mars, Angela Dornach, finds a horrifying mystery awaiting her.
No Distance To Run
Price: Free! Words: 47,810. Language: English. Published: July 8, 2013 by Learning To Surf Publishing. Categories: Fiction » Women's fiction » General, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » General
(5.00)
Witness to a murder; denied police protection, Sammi has no option but to run. Though the longer she runs, the shorter the distance she seems to be from her pursuers...
I Find Myself Charmed
Price: Free! Words: 15,210. Language: English. Published: May 30, 2013 by Learning To Surf Publishing. Categories: Fiction » Women's fiction » General, Fiction » Romance » Short stories
A snack-time reading. Six short stories of unexpectedly finding The Perfect One.