Leanna Ellis: More than Skin Deep
A natural-born storyteller, author Leanna Ellis loves spinning tales that explore unwavering faith in the real world. In her latest novel, Facelift (B&H), the author, wife and mother of two explores the price of beauty through the compelling story of a unique, can-do woman named Kaye.
Ellis’ journey as a writer started “once upon a time,” when she was a teacher who knew that teaching wasn’t what she wanted to do forever.
“I was trying to figure out what exactly I wanted to do when my sister suggested I start writing, because I was ‘always scribbling in a journal,’” the author says. “That seed took root and grew. At the end of the school year, I quit teaching to become a writer. So writing was never a hobby for me. From there it’s been a long journey of almost 20 years. Quite an adventure!”
Starting out, Ellis wrote with a collaborator—but she soon found that she had so many ideas, she began to write more stories on my own. “I suffered numerous rejections,” she says of that period. “But I was growing as a writer and learning.”
She attended conferences and entered contests—and all the hard work paid off when she began to be noticed by editors and agents.
She began her career writing romances for the general market. Writing as Leanna Wilson, she sold more than a mil- lion romantic novels—and in the process won a Readers’ Choice Award and the Romance Writers of America Golden Heart Award for her work.
But a few years ago, she felt God pulling her in the direction of Christian publishing. This new phase of her career was launched with Elvis Takes a Back Seat, the first book published under her married name.
The storyline of her latest book, Facelift, coudn’t be more timely. There doesn’t seem to be a day that passes without hearing about some celebrity’s Botox regime or recent nips and tucks to his or her appearance.
But Facelift is about more than cosmetic surgery. “When I started working on Kaye’s story,” Ellis says, “the title seemed to fit as Kaye was needing an emotional facelift. I’m not sure anything specific inspired the story, just my wacky brain at work again. I wanted to explore how some things that happen in our lives don’t make sense and yet do.”
One theme of the book is that blessings often arrive in the strangest packages. Ellis hopes this book will make readers smile and laugh. “But also, I hope they can relate to Kaye as she is trying to do everything perfectly,” she says. “So many of us try to do it all and do it well, and it’s an impossible task.”
Ask Ellis what comes next, and the answer will surprise you. “After Facelift, I have another book that’s a bit different for me,” she says. “An Amish/vampire novel called Forsaken, which is scheduled for release in the fall of 2011.” FF