LeeAnne Hansen was born in Paris, grew up in Oklahoma and now lives in sunny southern California with her husband and cats. She enjoys writing, acting and playing bass guitar. She can be seen gracing the stage in various theaters or even directing. She is a graduate of the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York City and has studied art and astronomy. She also thoroughly enjoys long walks on the beach.
- The locations your stories take place in are very important, how do you choose and research the places?
When I visited Scotland I felt a special kinship to Scotland, although I’m not sure why. The climate, remoteness, the scenic beauty and even the trains were a big inspiration for Ghost Light … Scotland is a country rife with ghost stories so I was thrilled to be able to add another to their canon.
For Yonder- I needed a state that was southern but one with a climate I would be familiar with. Having grown up in Oklahoma (which is considered mid-west, not southern. ) I had to choose a state that was close enough that I could describe the climate. Thus Mosby, Mississippi was created. Not to mention that my grandmother is from Mississippi. She was full of southern charm, stories and the famous accent, all of which managed to find its way into Yonder
- All of your characters come across as familiar old friends, how do you get to know them before writing their stories?
It may sound kind of crazy but they just sort of enter the story that way. It is more like they are people that exist somewhere ‘out there’ and I have been given the honor to allow them to tell me their stories. Hopefully, We become friends along the way. A few may have been inspired by people I know or met, but then they take off and come into their own, unique personas. It’s rather fun, I must say.
- What’s been your favourite part about being a published author? The feedback. I just love to hear that readers are enjoying the book. When I finish writing a book, I really hope it is something that is (fingers crossed) good but I am never really sure. It is hard to judge it, after existing in the world of the book for so long, you kind-a-need a new pair of eyes.
- If you could choose one song/piece of music to go with each of books, what would you choose?
I’d chose Magic by Coldplay. Magic’s lyrics and tones fits Ghost Light’s overall theme of illusion, deception, smoke and mirrors and the search for love. Hmmm. That’s a tough one. Sometimes, It is more like certain character’s have their own theme songs. For instance in Ghost Light Sean’s theme would likely be The Worst Day Since Yesterday by Flogging Molly. It’s a fun/sad song that perfectly captures Sean’s mood and spirit and would certainly be a song he’d join in at his local pub, had it been around. But if I had to pick one song for the entire novel,
Yonder feels more solidly rooted into the past, so I’d chose Serenade in Blue by Glenn Miller, which although was written a few years further on than Yonder’s time period, it definitely fits the mood, style and sentiment. (Miller is also the composer of Moonlight Serenade, a song that is important in Yonder.)
- How do you motivate yourself to write on those days when you just can’t be bothered? (Do you have those days?)
Ha ha. I do have those days. I have always said “That the hardest part of doing something is doing it.” So I try to just do it. There are days when I would rather not but even if I only get a paragraph out or edit what I wrote the previous day or cut it, I think it is so important to try to constantly move the story forward and to make writing daily a habit. But I am not going to lie : There are also days when there are Twilight Zone marathons and something absolutely tempting to binge watch on Netflix… I lose on those days.
- The classic ghost story genre you write for is one of my favourites, what’s your favourite ghost story?
The Haunting of Hill House, by Shirley Jackson (also the movie version of that book ‘The Haunting’ directed by Robert Wise, not the remake in the late ’90’s… ugh) That book chilled me to the bone when I read it. You never see what is haunting poor Eleanor and her group. I think that is one of the scariest things you can do. Your imagination will always create worse terrors than seeing the actual monster.
- What’s your all time favourite book writing beverage?
Oh… I am going to be extra boring. Water, Coffee or Tea, depends on the morning. Although, a wee dram of scotch at night definitely helped keep the mood lively while writing Ghost Light.
- What’s the most positive thing anyone’s ever told you about your work?
In one of the reviews for Ghost Light someone said that I was “one of my new favorite authors.” What could be better than that?
- When is your next book due to be published and how excited are you?
The Great Hereafter: A Southern Haunting Book 2 is coming along very well. I have quite a few people eager for it which is very exciting. It will be available in the next few months, definitely by mid-2016. I have been working on it daily, but these characters keep asking for more to say and do.
- Choosing one character from Ghost Light and one from Yonder, who would make the best friends.
Although they are very similar and both slightly ( if not a lot) based on me, my first impulse would be to say Fiona and Isabel (The leading ladies in both novels), however being so much alike and being headstrong women, it would probably cause a lot of friction laced with a lot of drama. A more solid, lasting friendship would be Patrick from Ghost Light and Charles from Yonder. I can see them pal’ing around pubs together.
The one thing I’ve definitely learnt from this experience is that one should ALWAYS ASK THE BONUS QUESTION!