top of page
  • Rita Garcia

Creatives on the Journey

When we pursue our passions—life opens up in magical ways.

Featuring Novelist Leann Austin

Leann writes young adult fiction—young adults finding happily ever afters.

Finding Henry was Leann's debut young adult novel released in 2020. She recently released Dancing with the Bad Boy, the second book in the Lakeside High Love Diaries series. Both are stand-alone young adult fiction, set in the fictional town of Lakeside near Chautauqua Lake, New York.

Finding Henry

The Lakeside High Love Diaries series: Book 1

When Emelia is forced to make a snap decision, she later realizes she made the wrong choice. But it's too late—her soulmate has gone missing. With the help of a gypsy fortune teller and a time-travel portal, will Emelia get a second chance at the love of a lifetime?

Dancing with the Bad Boy

The Lakeside High Love Diaries series: Book 2

After Olive has a string of crummy dates, she's totally over guys. She makes a list of things to keep her busy, that doesn't involve dating. It would have been the perfect plan if the high-school boys didn't make their own list—a list that put her on the bad boy's radar.

In part 1 of Leann's interview, she shared her inspiration and passion for writing.

In part 2 Leann shares more about her writing journey, along with her published works. Including my favorite question: Where she gets her ideas?

Leann's Writing Journey

My first published story was a story I wrote for a Christmas contest. The prize was a hand-made German-mohair designer teddy bear. I really wanted that bear. It was valued at $300. So I wrote the best Christmas story I could. I had my daughter read it, and when she had tear-stained cheeks, I knew I had a chance. I won that teddy bear, and my story was published on the designer's Web site.

On that credential alone, I was hired as a newspaper correspondent and wrote news articles for four years.

I took time off from writing to pursue a degree in business administration.

It was after receiving my Bachelors in Business Administration that I began to write children's stories. It was hard for me to chose a genre to write. I'd say that was the most difficult part of my journey. I finally followed the advice, "Write what you know." I have four children, and chose to write children's stories for magazines. At the time, my car was broke down, I was stuck at home, and I found a meme that read "Do what you can, where you are, with what you have."

I had a computer, notebooks, pens, the internet—so I wrote. My first story was accepted and I continued to submit more stories, based on some of the antics of children I know. I also like to create awareness about the disabilities of children in my life.

Leann’s Publishing Journey

I have over twenty children's stories published in Primary Treasure—a children's Sabbath School take-home magazine. Primary Treasure is also available for subscription.

Denim Dog Days, in Clubhouse magazine. It's a collection of easy dog toy patterns for children to make.

I can't remember all the newspaper articles I wrote. The one I was most proud of was a story of a young girl from the local children's home who was mentored by a 90+ year-old woman at the nursing home. The girl had been abused and was angry, acting out. While being mentored, the elderly woman shared her story of childhood abuse and the two bonded immediately. The woman made a positive difference in the young girl, who was planning to go to nursing school. Coincidentally, the older woman had been a nurse too. (I love how God works!) She passed on her nursing stethoscope to this young girl. That wasn't the only gift the young girl received that day. It was a touching story and I was happy to write it. It proves you can be a mentor at any age.

Finding Henry was my first novel. It was the story that begged to be told for a long time. It was going to be my only novel. Dancing with the Bad Boy started as a writing challenge, but Dean intrigued me and I wanted to keep writing to learn his story. That's how my second novel was born.

Leann, many authors cringe at this questions.

Where do you get your ideas?

My children's stories come from the antics of my youngest son. Or did, because he's not so young anymore. For example, one day at the bowling alley, he was getting mad at how poorly he was doing. He tossed his towel onto the bench and scowled, mumbling some angry words. The idea came to write a story about sportsmanship. Yes, there is scripture that can be related to being a good sport, so I wrote that story.

Finding Henry was inspired by the notion that maybe I'd taken a wrong turn in my life and how would it have turned out if I had chosen this over that. That was my hook for my time-travel novel—which I'd always wanted to write. This was my second attempt at a time-travel story and it was the one that made me say 'ahh' when I wrote the final sentence. I knew I had something good.

And Leann Austin did, indeed, have something good.

First with Finding Henry. Followed by Dancing with the Bad Boy. I look forward to her third novel in The Lakeside High Love Diaries series.

Leann, it’s an honor having you as a guest. Thank you for sharing your Creative Journey. And inspiring and encouraging others in their own journey.

Thank you for having me on your blog today, Rita. It's been my pleasure.

Leann Austin's Books are Available:

Finding Henry is available on Amazon—paperback and Kindle—and in paperback at Barnes and Noble, Books-A-Million, and can be ordered through your local independent bookstore.

Dancing with the Bad Boy is available exclusively on Amazon in paperback and Kindle.

Visit Leann Austin online:



TikTok: @leannwrites

Follow me on Amazon at:


Thanks for stopping by. May you find the magic in your own journey.

Dr. Rita writes Stories that Warm the Heart. Romance is a big part of her novels—hope is an even larger element of her contemporary women's fiction.

A FREE eBook gift for you. Subscribe to Rita's Newsletter. Inspiration straight in your inbox. Plus, updates on Serenity Cove! Sign up at the top of this page. And receive an eBook copy of Kaleidoscope Summerthe book that started it all.

Reflections With Dr. Rita

bottom of page