Interview with Sue Batton Leonard

Describe your desk
Organized chaos, with a heart shaped stone that serves as a paperweight to hold down loose papers. As a consultant specializing in e-commerce & e-marketing for independent publishers, I often have a number of projects going and am usually reviewing other authors publications to help them strategize on marketing their books over the internet. I love what I do, and the heart shaped stone paperweight reminds me to put my heart into everything I do, and how important it is to do what you love, and personal fulfillment will follow.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in the suburbs of Baltimore from 1953 - 1971. My memoir, Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected has definite influences of that era and place and culture throughout. Baltimoreans will recognize and relate to the story, but it also has universal messages that anyone can relate to about multi-cultural love, faith, healing and life lessons.
When did you first start writing?
I never had even a remote interest in writing until I began my company's blog about 4 years ago. I began writing about the independent publishing industry because I had had experience working for an independent publisher and had become completed involved and obsessed with the fascinating changing world of publishing. It has moved from a traditional to independent model, and I have become an "expert" in the field. I love writing so much that a day rarely passes without my writing something - I am smitten with the creative process! It is my passion!

It is hard to believe that I just won two EVVY book awards from the Colorado Independent Publishers Association - 2nd place for my audio book and merit award in the anthology category. It has been very fulfilling to see my hard work come to fruition.
What's the story behind your latest book?
My book "Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected" is a story I have been wanting to tell all my life but I never had any idea I would tell it in the form of a publication - until independent publishing came along! Then I decided that I wanted to share my story because it is not just my story. It has messages that are important to living a fulfilling life filled with joy, positive attitude and choices that are ours to make that lead one to living a healthy life.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Working for an independent publisher since 1998 and being involved from the start of the change of the publishing model from traditional to independent gave me vast knowledge of the independent publishing industry. It was the impetus behind becoming an indie author. Unless you are a highly public figure or a highly known author, I can not imagine why you wouldn't independently publish!
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
A way of communicating thoughts and I like the creative process. First thing in the morning, the minute I open my eyes and get that cup of tea in hand, my mind begins to flow. It is my most treasured part of the day when I can write my heart out.
What are you working on next?
I have several ideas that are stewing. But what I know for sure is I must keep writing - I am consumed with it.
Who are your favorite authors?
I am a very avid reader - there are many fine authors out there and I have read so many great books by debut authors lately.
I can not name just one favorite!
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I love to walk - it is my thinking time. My mind, body and spirit gets renewed and I come up with my best writing ideas when I walk.
How does it feel to win a book award?
Book awards have brought feelings of having fulfilled my goals in writing my story. Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Expected won two EVVy awards - a mert award in the Anthology category and 2nd place in the audio book category. It also won in the young adult category in the Harvest Book Competition.
Published 2014-12-01.
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Books by This Author

Short Stories - Lessons of Heart & Soul
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 6,790. Language: English. Published: December 17, 2014. Categories: Nonfiction » Relationships & Family » Family relationships
Lessons of Heart and Soul is a limited collection of ten stories that were cut from the original manuscript of the award-winning memoir, Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected by author Sue Batton Leonard. “More Fanny stories,” the readers demanded. We listened. Readers who loved the stellar character in the first publication will fall in love with her all over again.
Gift of a Lifetime - Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 41,090. Language: English. Published: March 25, 2014. Categories: Nonfiction » Relationships & Family » Parenting
A delightful narration of the heartwarming relationship amongst a remarkable older women, a brave young girl with a serious medical condition, and her family. This is a story of trust, faith, friendship, and deep love for one another. Readers will be inspired by Ms. Leonard’s challenges that would empower her to live a life most fulfilling.