Can you believe we’re into December already? Christmassyness can officially start lol. Today though Im thrilled to have the fab Renee Leigh visiting, she’s going to chat about her re-release You Should Smile.
So, let’s start with you telling us a bit about yourself.
My name is Renee Leigh. I write contemporary, stand-alone erotic romance novels. I’ve always been a sucker for a good romance movie or novel – a happy ending, everything tied up neatly into a bow!
In my “spare” time, I’m also an attorney, wife and mom. I enjoy reading, researching, writing, and college basketball.
I live in the South with my husband, children and dogs.
Sounds like you’re definitely kept busy! Was there a specific moment where you first knew that you wanted to be a writer?
I’ve written for as long as I can remember. Words have always been my outlet. I began writing erotic romance scenes with quirky characters for myself – to make ME smile. I wrote my first book, You Should Smile, three years ago. My husband told me that I should publish it. I thought maybe I could make others smile, too, so I decided to publish it last year. I’m glad I did!
Do you have a particular writing routine, or any special rituals?
I am a binge-writer. If I’m in the mood to write, I can write through the night without stopping. If I’m not in the mood, nothing sounds right that I put down on paper. I just have to wait to be ‘in the mood’ I’ve realized!
Lol, always a tricky balance to find. Tell us about the genre you write in, and what drew you to it.
As an attorney, I read all day – usually boring and very legalistic books. At the end of the day, all I want to do is turn that part of my mind off and just have fun reading. I’ve found that contemporary romance does that for me. I enjoy light-hearted and comedic romances the best – books that don’t cause too much emotional turmoil or analytical thinking. Just sit back with a glass of wine and have fun! I suppose that is now my target audience – those who don’t take themselves (like me!) or their books too seriously. They just want to sit back with a fun, yet sexy, read at the end of long day.
That is the aim at the end of the day, right? To entertain and give people that bit of escapism and destress 🙂 Are there any particular authors or books that have really inspired you?
I adore Alice Clayton. Her books have always made me laugh, yet they’re sweet and hot at the same time. I also love Mia Sheridan. Her writing! Oh my gosh! She can’t write a bad book. It’s impossible! And I JUST finished Priest by Sierra Simone and I was speechless. I was absolutely speechless with the beauty and imagery of her words…and the HEAT. (I’m blushing just thinking about it. Lol.) She’s my new favorite!
Ooh, shall have to look out for her. What five things could you never do without?
1. My family
4. My kindle
Hehe, first time I think anyone has said ‘words’ – but where would we be without them? Speaking of… tell us a bit about your new release.
I’m re-releasing the first book, You Should Smile, for .99 beginning on November 21st to promote the Smile series and my second release, Sunlit Smile. You Should Smile is a professor-student love story. It features quirky characters and tongue-in- cheek writing. Though, like its author, the book doesn’t take itself too seriously, it does try to focus on serious themes and relationship issues in a way that maintains a fun atmosphere. In the end, I want to make readers finish the book with a smile.
Where did your inspiration for it come from?
Almost all of my writing evolves from a single phrase that sticks in my head and won’t go away. This time, it was: “‘You Should Smile’ I heard him say” …. That became the opening line of the book and Thad’s opening line to Shay in the book. He sees her standing at the gas station, looking sad and something just makes him want to see her smile. She teases him that telling women to smile can be offensive – and their banter and chemistry just take off from there. Little do either of them know, of course, that he’s about to become her professor.
Sounds like a fun start! What did you find most enjoyable about writing it?
Getting to know my characters as they came to life. I fell in love with them as individuals, including all of their imperfections. Even the side characters (like Grant) became a part of me. Grant is the best friend that everyone wants and deserves. I am still jealous that Shay has him for one. 🙂
Aww, it’s always the way, I fall a little bit in love with all my chars 🙂 What was the hardest part about writing it?
Sharing it with others and hoping that people could see that it is a tongue-in- cheek poke of fun at the romance ‘formula’. Yes, the nickname Shay gives Thad IS stupid. She’s awkward. She knows it’s dumb. She knows her movie obsession is dumb. That’s the point. Some readers get it and some don’t.
Those who do ‘get’ it tend to love it – and those are the readers I’m trying to reach!
Who’s your favourite character in it? (I know, I know, favouritism!).
Oh gosh! I sympathize with Shay because I created her and she’s a lot like me in
a very awkward, quirky way…Of course, I love Thad because he’s all sorts of intelligence in a big heated package…and I just finished my book on Chris, who is an emotional and uncontrolled Alpha mess underneath his calm demeanor…but I think Grant might be my favorite character to WRITE even though he’s not even part of the actual book series. He’s just a good-hearted and funny guy. He’s probably the one I most wish existed in real life because I want to hang out and drink with him. Haha.
Why should we run out and buy it right now? 🙂
Because the Smile series books are fun, sexy reads! They will make you smile – and blush – at the same time! 🙂
Check out the details here:
You should smile,” I heard him say.
Unsure, I squinted my eyes from the sun, used my hand as a shade, and turned toward his voice. “I’m sorry?”
“You should smile,” he stated louder. “It’s a beautiful fall day. Summer’s wrath is left behind. So smile.” He stepped out from the shadows and into the sun where I could see him clearly. My lord. I’d heard the phrase ‘sex on a stick’ before, but never knew what it really meant. I did then.
A smile slowly crept across my lips. “You’re not supposed to tell women to smile. It can be offensive,” I said, teasing him.
“But you are smiling now, aren’t you?” he teased back.
“True. Any more advice for me?” I met his eyes. They were deep blue.
He nodded his head slowly. “Yes. Ditch that guy and come with me….”
Graduate student Shay Elliott gets hit on by a sexy stranger in a gas station parking lot – and the sparks fly immediately. She’s there with her boyfriend, though, so she declines the man’s invitation to leave with him. She thinks she’ll never see him again….
She was wrong.
He’s just been hired as a professor at her university – and she’s about to become his student.
You can get your hands on a copy here:
You can follow Renee on social media here:
Renee Leigh Author Facebook page: https://m.facebook.com/reneeleighauthor/
Renee Leigh Twitter: https://mobile.twitter.com/reneeleighsmile
Renee Leigh Amazon author page: https://www.amazon.com/Renee-Leigh/e/B00T4HV590
Take care x