Today we are spending time with Trish Kaye Lleone, women's fiction author whose novel "Dear Tommy" is nearing publication. Here's a little bit about Trish:
Trish Kaye Lleone is a 37 year old Filipina Women's Fiction writer/author and marketing specialist. She has lived in the Philippines all her life and is looking forward to joining her fiance’ in Sydney, Australia soon. She loves chocolates, coffee, good food and good wine. Trish Kaye Lleone is a pen name.
Trish, I understand you weren’t originally planning to publish your first book, the anthology “Fired Up”. Tell us what made you decide to go ahead and publish it. Was publishing something you were always thinking of doing eventually?
I didn’t want to publish it for the simple reason that it is an erotica and I didn’t want any members of my family- especially my parents who are ultra-conservative- to get a hold of it and suffer a cardiac arrest. However, I really wanted to get published, it is a childhood dream and so I thought, “Heck, if getting published meant hiding behind a nom-de-plume, then I would take that risk.” So I did.
We know what your bio says. Tell us one thing about yourself that you think might surprise us.
My maternal grandfather was Jewish. He came to the Philippines from Israel and fell in love with a Filipina. He settled and died here. I didn’t know about this until I was 32 years old because I never knew my biological mother. Finding out about my heritage was a shock, I have always known I looked different than most Filipinas and that I may have foreign lineage but my Dad always thought I had Italian blood.
Do you remember what it was like, the feeling you had when you learned your first book was out there in the world?
I self-pub’d through Amazon’s CreateSpace. When I hit the publish button, there was a nanosecond that I wanted to take it all back and cancel, I was so nervous and a large part of it was because of the fact that the book is erotica. I look forward to feeling nervous and excited when I publish my second book,”Dear Tommy” which is women’s fiction.
Tell us a bit about what you are working on right now.
“Dear Tommy” is about one woman’s struggle with infertility, a failed interracial marriage which is not exactly a result of the infertility and a failed adoption. This is a story inspired by my own story. Many adoptions fail because the adoptive parent and the child did not emotionally attach, or in some cases because the birth mother changed her mind about getting her child adopted. But what if the child and the adoptive mother were able to form a very special bond and yet, the adoption still got disrupted? What would happen to both of them? This book gives a lot of insights about this type of adoption disruption. Not a lot of people may believe it, but it does happen because it happened to me.
If there is one character you would really like people to meet, who would it be?
The main character in “Dear Tommy” and her name is Laurel. Laurel is a strong woman but often she doesn’t realize it because she is so entangled with her past and so lost in her own pains. She had to be pushed to her limits most of the time before she would put her foot down and fight back. She also always has good intentions but because of her impulsive nature, she often makes the wrong decisions which get her into trouble. Luckily, she is smart enough to find her way out.
It would also be great for people to meet David. David is a very loving, sensual, patient, considerate, gentle and wise man. His love for Laurel often takes my breath away. He is also bipolar.
What other ideas do you have bouncing around in your head?
To be honest, there are two books I am thinking about writing after “Dear Tommy”. One will be about politics and media and the other one will be about one family’s saga. Most of my main characters are women, for the first book it will be about a young lady journalist’s attempt to make it in the media industry and what she discovered in the process. The second one will have some family scandals peppered all over it.
What about being published and the book industry in general have most surprised you?
That there are so many wonderful Authors out there who are willing to help you, all you have to do is ask. In the last few months, I have met so many great people, so many talented writers who, just like me, are waiting to have their share of the limelight. It is both interesting and surprising to discover that the book industry in general, despite the competitiveness, is a very friendly industry. I am a member of several Writers’ Groups and I love how I get to interact with fellow writers from all across the globe.
What other things besides writing do you have going on that keep you busy?
I have a day job. I work for Firebrand Publishing and I am the company’s PR & Marketing Assistant. I manage the company’s social media marketing and I also blog on the company website’s blog page. Firebrand is based in Atlanta, Georgia and is a self-publishing company.
To close the interview, I have ten questions for you, plus one. Here they go!
- What is your favorite word? - baby
- What is your least favorite word? – “Batingan”. It’s a Filipino word that when translated in English means “leave”
- What turns you on? – Smart people turn me on. I am a Sapiosexual.
- What turns you off? – Dumb and disrespectful people turn me off big time.
- What sound or noise do you love? – This may sound weird, but the sound of my fiance’s snoring when he sleeps gives me some sense of peace especially at night. There was a time when I loved the sound of rain on my rooftop, but that has changed since my fiance’ came into my life.
- What sound or noise do you hate? – blaring horns, heavy metal music, loud sounds.
- What is your favorite curse word? – the “F” word.
- What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? – I have always wanted to be a lawyer.
- What profession would you not like to do? – Heaven forbid, I don’t want anything that deals with blood and gaping body parts.
- If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates? – I believe it does exist and I look forward to sitting at Jesus’ feet and hear him tell stories. Maybe a nice, warm “Now, rock the heavens, my child!” would be awesome.
- What question have you never been asked, that you wish someone would ask you? – “Will you marry me?” J
Trish, thanks so much for spending time with us. Can you let us know where to follow you, and where we can go to purchase your work?
Aaron, I really appreciate this. Thank you for being so generous in having me featured on your website. I loved answering all of the questions! I am on Facebook and Twitter. I also blog, whenever I have the time, over at http://tklleone.blogspot.com/. The book “Fired Up” can be purchased through Amazon and I sincerely hope that people would watch out for “Dear Tommy” which is due to be out by late October.
Rudy and Trish are the main characters in our two published short stories in the "Evernight: Romance in a World of Darkness" anthologies. You can get to know them as well as get 23 other great stories! Here's where you can find them: