with Leann Harris


Welcome to Patterings, Barbara!
Tell us about your epiphany moment when you decided you were going to seriously pursue writing and eventually publication.

I started to write when my youngest went to kindergarten. I’ve always had stories running around in my head, so I decided to write a story about a deaf girl in Colorado in 1876. I taught deaf kids and grew up in Denver, so I wrote what I knew. It took 7 books for me to get published. I started with historicals, then went on to write a futuristic, and finally wrote contemporaries. The historicals have never seen the light of day, but I did get the futuristic published.

Which of your books (published or upcoming) has been the most fun for you to write and which character is your favorite?
Oh, that’s like asking me which child do I love more? Each book has a character that I like. The book that’s been the most fun hasn’t found a home yet. My heroine is a livestock photographer and all sorts of shenanigans happen at the livestock show where she’s taking pictures--a murder, a stolen pig, and a good looking sheriff. And of course, the sheriff is the hero.

If I had to pick a favorite character it would be the heroine of my first published book. J.D. Anderson. Her full name was Juliet Desire Anderson. She first appeared in a book that didn’t get published, but she came to me whole. I knew her backstory, her family, her life. She was the son her father never had (or knew about). This Texas oilman had three daughters and a son he never knew about until the son was 30. Growing up, JD tried to make her father proud of his eldest. JD is a lawyer, warrior, and a woman who fights for justice and has a big weakness for chocolate.

What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?
While I was teaching, time was the biggest obstacle. After I finished a day of teaching, I came home, ate, watch a little TV, then between 9-10 every night I write. Most of the time I didn’t feel like writing, but it’s a matter of discipline. You ignore your feelings and sit down and write. Some people might wonder how could I write without inspiration? I had it when the book was born. It’s the daily work that demands discipline. Once I sit down to write the words come and all sorts of wonderful things happen.

Which character in your new release most interested you while you wrote?
I’d pick Jonathan Littledeer, the hero in my up-coming book. Both of his daughters died of a genetic disease. His wife couldn’t handle the grief and committed suicide. When he was in that black pit, not caring about anything, and drinking himself to unconsciousness a little four-year-old girl (one his partner’s twin daughters) told him that Jesus could help him. It was the moment Jon knew the truth. When he met Lilly and her daughter, Penny, his heart came back to life.

What is your strangest habit?
I have tried to cut down on the number of diet Cokes I drink. I allow myself one 20 oz Coke each day. I drink about half of it, then freeze the remaining Coke into the consistence of slurpee. I then drink it before I go to bed. I am an ice ‘chewer.’

LoL I'll have to tell my husband about that one! He's an ice chewer, too. re there things you put off doing because you dread them?
Cooking. If I could have a cook, I’d be in heaven. My husband is a great cook, but I can’t convince him to do it all the time. I am amazed that my children have fond memories of me cooking and have their childhood favorite meals. Who knew?

hehe. I'm with you on cooking and wanting a cook!
What would a perfect day for you look like?

It would be an Autumn day up in the mountains of Colorado. (Hey, a girl can hope.) I’d get up, take my tea outside and drink it, read my Bible and enjoy the cool morning. Then go in and write for 3 hours. During that time, have my editor call and tell me she wants to buy my next book. Go out to lunch with other author friends. Come back home and write again for a couple of hours. Talk to my grown kids and enjoy dinner with my husband which he’d cooked.

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I enjoy reading both historical and contemporary books. I do like romances or romantic suspense best of all. I also enjoy reading books on deafness, deaf culture, and new ways to teach the deaf.

Are there certain foods or snacks keeps the words flowing for you?
I always have tea by the computer. Apricot tea.

Are there spiritual themes you like to write about?
The themes come from the characters in each story. Forgiveness, allowing God to turn your mourning into dancing. Also, teaching Christians how to deal with the bad things that happen in life.

What I find exciting is when I go to church, the Lord always has something for me to put into my books. The amazing thing is what my pastor says fits so perfectly into the book. All I can do is marvel at how good God is.

I'm always amazed at how tailored the sermons are to me personally. LoL--It's not always a comfortable feeling.
What lesson is the Lord teaching you right now or recently taught you?

To wait. Abraham had to wait for the promise of his son. When Sarah tried to help along the promise, it caused all sorts of problems. I know what the Lord told me. This summer, I’ve debated whether to teach next year, but I know I need to stay at home and write. Things are coming together and I need to wait.

Also, the neat thing I’ve found writing inspirational romantic suspense is sometimes God drops in a lesson and I can only marvel as He tells me about it and I write it.

Thanks so much for being with us this week, Barbara! It's been wonderful getting to know you!

One of the things I loved about Guarded Secrets was how well Barbara captured the little girls in the story. They were real and they added funny little things. But not just that. Those little girls could pack a punch that caught me off guard several times. I thoroughly enjoyed reading Guarded Secrets!

Barbara is giving away a copy of Guarded Secrets. To be entered in the book giveaway, you must be have as US address. Leave a comment and check back on Sunday, October 18th to see if you've won. If you want to guarantee that you're notified if you win, then leave your email address in the comment, otherwise, you can just check back and email me through the button in my sidebar.


  1. Anonymous1:42 PM

    This book sounds intriguing!

  2. Enjoyed the interview.

  3. Loved reading more about Leann Harris!!

  4. Anonymous11:28 AM

    I liked reading the interview. It was really good. Please enter me in the drawing. ~Abby


  5. Thanks, ladies. I am actually really boring, but I hope my stories arent'.

  6. Wow I haven't been back for awhile but I'm glad I'm back. Thanks for the Leann interview. It's always interesting to learn about others. Please enter me in the giveaway.

  7. I'd love to be entered for the giveaway.



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