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Leita Crossfield | Cashmere author’s work inspired by current events

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Author: Connie Ann Michael

About the author: 45, lives in Cashmere

Occupation: Teacher

Type of writing: I write mostly Contemporary Romance although my Young Adult Paranormal, “Entrusted” came out in November.

Recent projects: I am promoting “1000 Sleepless Nights” currently, which takes a lot of time. The sequel to “1000 Sleepless Nights” is in the works.

Blog: Loco for Libros — http://connie-avidreader.blogspot.com

Q: Briefly describe how/when you began writing (what led you to write):

A: I have always been a writer. I loved journaling and writing in school but can’t say it was always an enjoyable experience. Thankfully, I continued to write regardless of teachers who didn’t always get my stories. Then when my kids got older and I found myself having extra time I decided to get more serious about the stories in my head and started writing them down.

Q: Why do you write/what inspires you?

A: Current events and people watching inspire me. The characters in my books are often loosely based on people I have come in contact with in one way or another. Almost all of the books I write have a research aspect to them. I love to learn about new things and then turn it into a fictional experience.

Q: Who or what has influenced your writing?

A: I think the fact that I am a teacher has influenced my writing. I teach writing, and have to write for a variety of purposes in my job, which makes me want to remember writing is supposed to be fun.

Q: What about this place inspires or informs you? How does the local area (North Central Washington) impact your writing?

A: Actually I grew up in Seattle and along the coast so currently my books take place in those locations. However the Wenatchee Valley has great activities to chase away writer’s block. I spend many an afternoon taking a ride around the loop, mountain biking, or kayaking to get inspired to continue my stories.

Q: What is the writing project or work you are most proud of and why?

A: I am really proud of “1000 Sleepless Nights.” I was not aware of how ignorant I was about the war in Afghanistan and I wanted to really get the tone of the story and the events right so the reader could get a glimpse of how different this war is and hopefully get a glimpse of the struggles of our military. I was able to have a Navy Corpsman read my story and when she praised my accuracy, I felt like I had accomplished my goal.

Q: How often do you write?

A: I try really hard to keep a schedule so from about 7 or 8 at night until 10 p.m. I am usually working on some aspect of my writing. Although when deadlines hit I have been known to stay up much later.

Q: What is something that people probably don’t know about you?

A: I think the fact that I am a published author is going to surprise a lot of people. Once you write a book and it is out in the world you really realize how big the world is. Our valley has been a great support but it isn’t like I can stand on the hill and announce I am an author, so not everyone knows I even have a book out there. That is why it is such an honor that the Wenatchee World is helping to support local writers.