LAV Blog Hop: S. E. Leder

The “Like A Virgin” contest allows aspiring authors the opportunity to present their work to a highly talented group of published authors, editors, and agents for critique. It’s a fabulous opportunity. In the spirit of the contest, they would like to get to know some “firsts” of the authors involved, so here’s my list!

1. How do you remember your first kiss?
 It was with a guy who turned out to be a real jerk … I still follow him on Facebook though. Is that wrong? He seems lovely now.

2. What was your first favorite love song?
 “Islands in the Stream” by Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton. (I just asked my husband if that’s a love song, and he very adorably recited the lyrics to prove that it is.) I saw them in my first concert, which I didn’t admit for a long time. Now it’s awesome again. In fact, when Scottish Booker Prize nominee Andrew O’Hagan found out I’d been Dollywood, he grabbed my arm with his eyes wide and said, “I … LOVE … Dolly Parton!!!” Who knew she’d be so cool again?

3. What’s the first thing you do when you begin writing for the day?
 Set myself up in our library with coffee, a dog bed (so my mini-dachshund doesn’t whine at me to pick him on), and slip on some headphones blasting some inspirational instrumental soundtrack music for the scene I’m doing. I might also try to watch a movie that’s similar to what I’m writing the night before. (See my post, How Movies Can Inspire Your Writing).

4. Who’s the first writer who truly inspired you to become a writer?
 I was always trying to write something my whole life, but I didn’t try to emulate anyone until I read Morgan Llywelyn’s “Lion of Ireland.” I’ve since spent a day with her IN IRELAND. It was amazing. She’s a great lady. Very Audrey Hepburn.

5. Did the final revision of your first book have the same first chapter it started with?
 HA! Are you serious? I rewrote the beginning 439508405493543 times, to the point that I now feel queasy looking at it. That being said, I am always willing to revise to improve my work. I’ll just wait until I have solid feedback. 🙂 The Battle of Toc prologue/chapter 1 got cut last year BUT it’s mostly been the same. That is the first official section I ever wrote for this book, in Ireland, back in 2001.

For your first book, which came first: major characters, plot or setting?
 Characters I would think. I actually wrote a section featuring Melandor Ormonde, King Cromas Morgenroth, and Selatse that I didn’t use in the book but always referenced in a historical context. That was invaluable for me to know.

What’s the first word you want to roll off the tip of someone’s tongue when they think of your writing?
 Epic. This is a cast of thousands, full of battles and betrayals, love and loss. I am hoping it’s the New Adult version of Game of Thrones.

What are some of your firsts, fellow writers?




  1. Dolly is so genuinely “Dolly”, I think it’s virtually impossible to not love and admire her, even if, like me, you’re not a huge fan of country music. Glad you’re participating in the contest and GOOD LUCK in the next round!

  2. Completely understand rewriting a bazillion times. I wound up rewriting the first chapter so many times I began to loathe looking at it which was particularly depressing.

  3. Gotta love Dolly. My mom had that cassette and I loved that song. There’s something about her that’s so sweet and perky, you just can’t help but like her. 🙂 Best of luck!

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