Author Interview: Leah Ward

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I was able to review an advanced copy of Leah Ward’s new children’s book, Pinny the Bowling Pin, which is an adorable little tale about anti-bullying and being true to yourself. As part of her blog tour, I’ll be posting my review tomorrow. Today I wanted to share a mini interview I did with Leah. As a young, self-published author, I find her quite inspiring. At the age of 21, Leah will have three books published, once Pinny hits shelves on November 21.

I’m a fan of children’s books and the variety of themes and topics they cover. What made you decide to write your first children’s book about bullying?

When I began writing Pinny the Bowling Pin, I knew I wanted it to be cute and funny, but I also wanted it to have meaning and depth. I wanted children to be able to get more from the story than just a laugh, I wanted them to see a moral. So I made Pinny well-rounded, touching on bullying, feeling left out, dreaming and becoming anything you want, etc.

The topic of anti-bullying is an important one, but what made you choose a bowling pin for your main character?

Well, I had the idea of Pinny before the idea’s of anti-bullying and dream chasing. What’s funny is that one of the first comments I got was “Pinny (Penny) is a girl’s name,” and that sparked the idea for anti-bullying. There are plenty of kids out there with unisex names such as Morgan, Alex, Jesse, just to name a few. Although Pinny’s case of bullying goes further, because in many cases bullying tends to. Which is why I want to make kids aware, and what better way than having a funny character from a book help teach you that?

What made you decide to move on to writing a children’s book, rather than starting another young adult novel?

I do have plans for another YA novel, and even a New Adult novel, but for now I wanted to jump down to picture books. Children’s books (picture/middle grade/young adult) have always been a favorite for me as a reader. When I go to a bookstore, that’s what I buy. And, I wanted to write a little of each genre, for my own enjoyment!

During the publishing process, did you have a say in the design and illustration of the book? Were you able to give input as to what the characters should look like?

Yes! I actually had full input on the designs. I drew the sketches sort of in comic book style and sent them to my illustrator just like that. I wanted the illustrations to be digitized, cute, and very kid friendly!

Overall, how long did it take to write the book and get it published? Did you find it was easier working on Pinny than your previous book, Searching For Darkness?

Pinny I wrote in possibly…a week? I’m not sure! It wasn’t long though. Normally when inspiration strikes, I will stay up to wee hours of the morning working on a manuscript. The illustrations however, and piecing everything together took months. It was easier than Searching for Darkness, less time-consuming on my part because I wrote 30 pages rather than 230! Although, overall they took about the same amount of time from start to finish.

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Stay tuned for my review tomorrow and check Leah out on social media – she posts lots of cute pictures of her dog, Luna, on Instagram and she’s also hosting a couple giveaways. You can also visit her website here.
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