Monday, January 27, 2014

Interview with Leona Pence, author of Hemphill Towers

Today, I'm very happy to host one of the most inspiring authors I've ever met as she travels the blogosphere on her very first book tour. I'm also proud to call her friend! Please welcome Leona Pence as she talks about her debut novel and how she overcame some big challenges to publish her first book at age 70. 

***One random commenter will be drawn from all the tour stops to win $25, either Amazon Gift Card or Paypal. So, be sure to comment on Leona's other stops! ***

Hemphill Towers
by Leona Pence
Romantic Suspense
Date Published: 10/25/2013

Riley Saunders has her dream job. As an art director at a leading advertising agency, she works every day with her two best friends, Stella and Birdie. All three have been assigned to ensure that the Grand Opening of the Peterson Art Museum is nothing short of a success.

When a girl’s night out at a hot new Italian restaurant ends with a spilled bottle of wine, it sets in motion a series of events that leaves Stella and Birdie caught up in whirlwind romances, and Riley fearing for her life at the hands of a deranged stalker. But, when the handsome museum curator, Trent Peterson, learns of her situation, he vows to keep her safe.

In a quick-paced tale of fine art, wine forgery, and the Russian Mafia, Riley and her friends soon discover their pursuit of love will require them to expose a crime, thwart a murder, and trust the one thing that has never failed them…their friendship.

  Interview with Leona Pence

Is There a Message in Your Novel That You Want Readers to Grasp?

I don’t think so, unless it might be the idiom, ‘What Goes Round, Comes Round.’

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

The biggest challenge or hindrance is scheduling time to write. Procrastination is a terrible thing in writing. The longer you wait, the harder it is to get started again.

Research is not one of my finer points either. I envy those who love to do research.

How many books have you written and which is your favorite?

Hemphill Towers is my debut novel. I have a flash story in two anthologies, but they are just 200 and 250 words respectively.

If You had the chance to cast your main character from Hollywood today, who would you pick and why?

I have three main characters and their love interests. I chose these actors because they’re beautiful people who fit the descriptions of my characters. I’ve added a link to my blog to show you.

Stella: Alexis Bledel                                JB: Gerard Butler
Riley: Amy Adams                                 Trent: Jake Gyllenhoal
Birdie: Rachel Weisz                              Federico: Antonio Cupo
Dierk: Emerson Smith

When did you begin writing?

I didn’t start writing until two years after my husband’s death from lung cancer. I was sixty-five years old, and writing a novel hadn’t even entered my mind.
How long did it take to complete your first book?

I wrote a very rough draft in three months. It spent a lot of time on my computer shelf, but from start to publishing took five long years.

Did you have an author who inspired you to become a writer?

Barbara Cartland and a gazillion Harlequin authors inspired me to write in the romance genre.
What is your favorite part of the writing process?

Just sitting at my computer and letting the words flow. And, of course, writing: The End.

Describe your latest book in 4 words.

Romance, Intrigue, Fraud, Italy

Can you share a little bit about your current work or what is in the future for your writing?

My second book WIP uses many of the characters from Hemphill Towers. I’ve only written about five chapters.  I’d like to try my hand at Flash Fiction. An F2K friend keeps encouraging me to try flash. It’s a challenge to put a whole story into an extremely limited amount of words.

About the Author:
Leona Pence started reading romance novels as a teen. She graduated from Nancy Drew stories to Harlequin Romance, and then to her favorite author, Barbara Cartland and her vast Regency romance collection. Happy endings were a must.
Leona began writing late in life after the death of her husband of forty-four years. They married on her 19th birthday after a three month courtship – and yes – love at first sight really did happen.

She enjoys reading, writing, online pool, and especially being a Mentor in F2K, a free online writing course.


MuseItUp Publishing: 
Barnes and Noble:


  1. Best of luck with your exciting debut, Leona!

    And thanks, Mysti, for the reminder that I need to go and pick up this book. :)

    1. Thanks, Rebecca. Hope you enjoy the book. Glad you stopped by to visit us.

  2. What a wonderful and inspiring interview! Your book sounds wonderful, Leona. I hope you sell a zillion copies

    1. Thanks, Jenny. Woo, a zillion copies would be nice. How many millions are in a zillion?

  3. Oh, it sounds fantastic! Just put it on my TBR!

    1. Thank you, Tara. Hope your TBR list isn't too long.Glad you stopped by.

  4. Leona never ceases to amaze with her talents. I loved reading her first novel and could barely put it down till it was finished. Anxiously awaiting the encore.

    1. Thanks, Marsha. Comments like yours help warm my heart in this subzero weather. I'm working on the encore.

  5. Such a wonderful and inspiring interview, Leona. I've read the book and loved every page. I highly recommend Hemphill Towers to everyone who enjoys romance, intrigue, and a very bad guy with a twist.

    Mysti, your blog page is beautiful.


    1. Thank you so much, Linda. Your support means a lot.

      Mysti does have a cool blog.

  6. Leo, you inspire all of us who came late to fiction writing. And what a great list of actors for your wonderful characters!

    1. Thanks, Joyce. They are beautiful people, aren't they?

      I was happy to see a great deal of older writers. It did help inspire me.

      Thanks for stopping by.

  7. FYI peeps: One random commenter will be drawn from all the tour stops to win $25, either Amazon Gift Card or Paypal :) So, be sure to comment on Leona's other stops!

  8. I'm late to the party, but I loved Leona's book. too, and I count our friendship among my blessings. I'm looking forward to reading the next book in the series and to reading MORE flash fiction. :) We might even get you flashing with the flashdancers at the village someday. ;)

  9. congratulations! May you continue with the beatuiful craft for many years to come!

  10. Congratulations. I think this is a book to be added to my TBR list.

  11. Sounds interesting

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com


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