I am so happy to welcome Leah Garriott to the Deb ball this week! Although she earned degrees in math and statistics, Leah Garriott lives for a good love story. She’s resided in Hawaii and Italy, walked the countryside of England, and owns every mainstream movie version of Pride and Prejudice. She’s currently living her own happily ever after in Utah with her husband and three kids. We’ll be giving away a signed copy of Promised, so stay tuned to the Debutante Ball social media (and below) to learn how to get it!
You can find Leah on
And now to the interview!
Talk about one book that made an impact on you.
This may seem a little archaic, but Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott, which I read as a teenager. Ivanhoe as a character didn’t affect me much, but the passion of Sir Brian de Bois-Guilbert for Rebecca captured me. His all-consuming need for her awakened me to how words can evoke real and lasting emotion in a reader; generating such emotion is now a goal with my own writing.
The road to publication is twisty at best–tell us about some of your twists.
So many twists. PROMISED was accepted for publication by one publisher while my current publisher was deliberating. I passed on the first publisher only to have my current publisher tell me the timing wasn’t right for them. So, I delved into the world of fantasy (and wrote two of those) before returning to the Regency romance genre. After a year and a half, I resubmitted PROMISED and it was accepted! Yay! But it was still a long road to publication, including three release dates (the last of which finally stuck) and a total rewrite of the book.
Tell us a secret about the main character in your novel — something that’s not even in your book.
My main character, Margaret, and her brother have ongoing competitions, mostly to see who can embarrass the other to the greatest degree. This started when Margaret was around seven and she and her brother and a few neighbors built a fort in the woods on her father’s land. Her brother and his friend convinced her to spend the dark hours of the evening outdoors with them in the fort, but the boys passed the time telling Margaret ghost stories and doing all they could to scare her into crying. Though the boys didn’t succeed in making her cry, Margaret vowed to get even with her brother for his pranks. Thus began the long series of bets, dares, follies that provide for some great entertainment in PROMISED.
Tell us about your next big project.
I’m currently writing a companion story to PROMISED. It’s proved to be challenging to capture the world and love story the way I want, but I had a breakthrough recently and now I think I can bring the novel together like I’ve envisioned. Hopefully my publisher will like it as much as I do. There are two men in it—which one should win the girl’s heart?
Tell us what you’re looking forward to reading.
I just finished The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah and I’m looking forward to reading her previous book, The Nightingale. Some other authors on my to-read list include Julie Klassen, Nancy Campbell Allen, Julie Berry, Gail Honeyman, Margaret Rogerson, and Nicholas Sparks. I’m also really looking forward to fellow debut author Natalie Jenner’s book, The Jane Austen Society. And I think I need to add a Juliette Marillier to my list because she’s amazing.
Margaret Brinton keeps her promises, and the one she is most determined to keep is the promise to protect her heart…
Betrayed by love once before, Margaret attends a house party seeking a marriage of convenience with the only requirement for her future spouse be a man she’ll never develop affection for. She finds her perfect match in the rake Mr. Northam. But as she attempts to garner Mr. Northam’s proposal, his meddlesome cousin Lord Williams humiliates her, destroying not only her chances with Mr. Northam but also with any other man at the party. She returns home to discover her father has arranged his own matrimonial plans for her—an engagement to the despicable Lord Williams. Margaret must free herself from the engagement to Lord Williams before it’s too late to secure Mr. Northam—and before her heart decides Lord Williams is the perfect man for her after all.
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