On this blog, author Leanne (Willetts) Dyck reviews books, shares her short stories, offers online author readings, and comments on her author journey. Leanne writes for adults and children. Her long-term goal (five years) is to be published by a large, established publishing house. Her short goal (one year) is to earn one million page views for this blog. Please help nurture this blog by visiting and sharing.
How/why did you
start to write?I wrote as a child and through my teens and had some
success with poetry in student contests and fall fairs. It started from a love
of words then became about self expression and eventually about telling a
How did you become
an author?With a group of writers I met in a creative writing course, I
formed a critiquing group. As we gained confidence, some of us began submitting
our work and reading at open mic nights. Within ten years, three of us had
published our first novels.
What was your first
published piece?A poem about unicorns that won a national contest.
How long ago?When I was sixteen.
What did you do
before embarking on your writing career? Was it an asset to your writing? How?
I earned two degrees in English Literature. Devoting five years to reading and
analyzing literature humbled me and fed me as well. Having come from a place
where writing books was not a valued way to spend one’s time, I gained strength
from being in a place where books held power. Reading widely and deeply has
been essential to my growth as a writer. Certain books became touchstones and
signposts. University changed how I
read and how I write.
What inspires you?Other artists (and I include writers) inspire me, especially those for whom
making art (or writing) is a part of living. Activists inspire me, too, as do
trees and my children.
Please share one of
your successful author platform building technique. This question is
tricky. By success, do you mean sales? Recognition? Both are hard to gauge.
Publishing articles is one way I’ve invited readers to engage with my work. In
the wake of my second novel, Tell
Everything, I wrote an article about women writers of “true crime fiction”
that tapped into what was going on in my own book. I love when other authors
write or speak about their research or the obsessions that led them into their
Parting words:I’ve never felt as if there was a time when I became a writer, as if I crossed a
line that meant “now I am this thing known as writer.” I’ve always wanted be one, even during years
that I wasn’t actively writing. That said, I struggled as a young person to
call myself a writer. It seemed such an important, worthy moniker, one I’d have
to prove myself with time and publication to earn. I used to post index cards
that read “I am a writer” on my mirror so the name would stick. Though I get now
how little that label matters, at the time, owning that self-definition felt
huge. If I could tell my younger self anything (not that I’d have listened),
I’d say, get out of your own way because it’s not about you. It’s about the
work. Author website Goodreads