And Now for Something Completely Different…

“It is not often that someone comes along who is a true friend and a good writer.”  E B White

Every time I read this quote, I’m reminded of my dearest friend who happens to be a very good writer and who I’m thrilled to  introduce to you today. Leanna Ellis is the author of eighteen books, –she’ s more prolific than I am . We met twenty years ago in a fiction writing class and discovered that we had a lot in common–we’d left careers in public education to pursue writing. We  had  just acquired new puppies (one large and one small)  and new SUVs, one large, one small, both red. But beyond that, we were very determined to be published authors. Through all the ups and downs of this life, we have supported and encouraged each other, laughed and cried with each other. Stood together as we laid our fathers to rest. It was her encouragement that convinced me to write inspirational historical fiction after a long career writing YA novels in the secular market.  I’m excited to introduce you to her new novel, FORSAKEN, an Amish/Vampire story out this week from Sourcebooks.

Normally I don’t read Amish fiction, or vampire stories. I’m one of only a handful of living humans who have not read the Twilight series.  But with FORSAKEN, Leanna has managed a fusion of these two genres that makes for a compelling read.  Here’s the story of how this book, the first in the PLAIN FEAR series, came to be.

Doro: What moved you to write FORSAKEN?

Leanna: Hi Dorothy! First of all thanks so much for having me here today. So wish this could be a personal visit. Forsaken actually began as a joke. I was at a book signing and another author and I joked that we should write an Amish/Vampire story because those two genres were the best selling. Some seed was planted in my warped little brain and took root. Soon a character was speaking to me and wanting me to write her story. I resisted. But there was an intriguing element that I couldn’t ignore. I wrote the  prologue and first chapter, then set it aside because I was busy meeting other deadlines. Besides, what was I to do with an Amish/Vampire story? I wasn’t sure. I spent a lot of time in prayer over this book. More than a year passed.Then, an editor at a writers conference I attended said that her perfect submission would be…you guessed it! I made an appointment to talk with her about the idea and she requested it. Uh oh! I hadn’t even mentioned the idea to my agent yet. But she loved the idea. She loves how my wacky brain works. It’s so nice to be appreciated instead of given a wide berth. When I got home, I sent her the first chapter. She loved it. I wrote a couple of more chapters and a complete proposal. That was in the fall of 2009. By 2010, I had a contract for FORSAKEN.

Doro: I love stories about the serendipitous nature of this business. Sometimes a writer just has to follow her instincts. And it never hurts when you happen to be in the right place at the right time. What do you hope readers will take away from this story?

Leanna: First of all I hope they’ll enjoy it and have a fabulous time reading it. This book is about the fight between good and evil, and how the dark side is alluring and tempting. Evil doesn’t  start out looking dark and scary.My heroine, Hannah, is drawn to the darkness. But by the time she recognizes it, will it be too late?

Doro: What’s the title of the next book in the PLAIN FEAR series?

Leanna: It’s called FORBIDDEN. I’m in the middle of writing it now and getting very excited about it. Thanks for having me here today. You’re the best friend anyone could ever have.

Doro: Right back at you, girl! Good luck with this series.

READERS: Leave a comment to be entered into a random drawing for a copy of FORSAKEN. Deadline is Wednesday, August 10th.

21 thoughts on “And Now for Something Completely Different…



  2. Judy B

    Enjoyed the interview with Leanna very much! Her story goes to show that we just never know where the Lord is going to lead us! I too love Amish fiction but I have branched out in other Christian fiction genre’s. I just love to read period!

    Thank you Dorothy for hosting this interview and giving us chance to win a copy of, Forsaken. I can’t wait to read it!


  3. Leanna Ellis

    Hi, Helen! You are probably the perfect reader for Forsaken, those that like Amish fiction and yet also enjoyed Twilight! The book just released! Thanks for stopping by Dorothy’s blog and entering.

    Judy, I love to read too! I read so many different genres. I was in the store the other day helping my son find something in the Sci Fi/Fantasy aisle, which is not a place I usually visit. My son started looking at a Ray Bradbury book so I picked up Something Wicked This Way Comes, which I’ve heard of but never read. So I opened it up and inside it was dedicated to one of my favorites: Gene Kelly. Then reading the first page or so, I discovered the book started on my birthday. So I had to get the book. It’s definitely different but I’m enjoying it. I enjoy reading such different things.



  4. Pam

    I enjoyed reading about the background for Leanna’s newest book. I just checked it out at her website and read the first chapter. Wow – this looks VERY different from her other books. I have to admit that an Amish vampire novel sounds intriguing. Will have to pick up a copy if I don’t win this one.

    1. dorothy Post author

      Hi Pam,

      Thanks for stopping by. I’ve read all 17 of Leanna’s other books and this one is definitely different, but wow, does it ever draw you in!

  5. Mad Monica Brown

    Hey, this sounds GREAT! I can’t wait to read it! Do you guys have your books available in epub format? My sight is getting worse and there are times when I’ve got to have the print pretty big to read. My Nook is about the only way to read things without a magnifier sometimes.

    I’d love to be able to add you both to my Nook collection if possible.

    I can’t wait to see how the Amish/Vampire combination goes. I don’t read the Twilight books but I’m a big fan of vampire stuff. I grew up in a time when vampires went from the horrors of Stephen King’s version to the sort of elegant, alluring vampires of Anne Rice’s books. It’s just so strange to see a creature that for centuries has been feared move into a world where it is admired and loved. I can’t WAIT to read how you combine the two genres!

    Thank you, Ms. Dorothy, for this interview and for introducing us to your wonderful friend! Once again you’ve given me a new world to explore. Thank you so much.

    1. dorothy Post author

      Monica! So great to hear from you. thanks for stopping by. I think my book is available on Kindle etc. easy way to check: hit the amazon icon on my home page here on the site and it’ll take you there. I know you will love Leanna’s book!! I’ll let her chime in about e-editions of FORSAKEN.
      So glad you visited today.


  6. Leanna Ellis

    Pam, thanks so much for checking out my website ( I do have excerpts for download available. Glad you liked the one of Forsaken so much! It is very different from my other books, but this story would not let me go. I fought against writing it and prayed over it a lot before knowing that God wanted me to write it. So I hope you enjoy it!

    Monica, Yes, my books are in e-book format. Should be available for Nook, Kindle, etc… It is interesting how vampires have become distorted through the years and are often now the good guys. But MY vampires are not. 😉 My story is definitely good versus evil. Hope you enjoy it!



  7. Karen

    I love reading Amish stories, but this one sounds intriguing! Looks like I will get immersed in this series!

  8. Carol Haynes

    I am a regular reader of Leanna’s and love her books. I enjoy reading about the Amish, but haven’t gotten into vampire stories, but when I saw Leanna was writing this, I knew it would be entertaining! Dorothy, I’m excited to find another southern author…will read your books now.

    1. dorothy Post author

      Hi Carol,

      You’re now entered in the giveaway for Leanna’s book. Good luck! And I’m thrilled you’re considering Beyond All Measure. It’s quite different from Le’s books, but hope you will enjoy it. Thanks for stopping by!

  9. Connie Saunders

    I am a librarian in a public library in KY and these 2 genres are the most requested! I would love to win a copy but I will certainly consider adding this title to our collection. Our county is home to quite a few Amish families so the I interest in Amish stories is very high.

    1. dorothy Post author

      Hi Connie, thanks for visiting. I’ve added your name to the list of entries for tomorrow night’s giveaway. Good luck!


  10. Leanna Ellis

    Hi, Carol! Thanks so much! Hope you like Forsaken! Also, you will LOVE Dorothy Love’s books. She’s a fabulous writer. 😉

    Hi, Connie! Great to meet a librarian here! If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me. Blessings, Leanna

  11. Barb Shelton

    Now, I might need a change of mind about vampire stories. I’ve always shyed away from the subject. LOL I do enjoy Amish stories. Leanna is brave to set out on a new genre and I congratulate her for that. I promise if I win this book in the giveaway, I will read it from beginning to end – every word. I have a feeling I’ll like it. Thanks for this giveaway and the chance to win this different book. I hope I win!!

    Barb Shelton
    barbjan10 at tx dot rr dot com

    1. dorothy Post author

      Hi Barb,

      Thanks so much for checking in over here. I have a feeling you will love Leanna’s new book, too.

      Blessings to you too,

  12. Lee Carver

    I can’t believe you, girl! From Elvis, the yellow brick road, Luchinbach, now Amish vampire? OK, if you wrote it, I’m buying and reading it!

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