Today I am excited to welcome author Leanna Sain for an author spotlight and to have her share more about her latest book.
Hush is my seventh published novel. It’s still Southern suspense—or “GRIT-lit”—but this one is a little “darker” than my usual fare. Here’s why.
I’d had the idea for a story with a serial killer who used the “Hush, Little Baby” lullaby as a sort of blueprint for his murders knocking around in my head for a while, but I didn’t start writing it until my mother entered the final stages of her Alzheimer’s disease. In my opinion, Alzheimer’s is straight from the blackest pit of hell. It’s a death sentence, but it’s the worse kind of death. It wasn’t satisfied with just killing my mother, it was intent on stealing away everything that made her the person she was, leaving an empty shell that looked like her, but that was where the similarities stopped.
I guess I used the writing as a kind of therapy…a way to rid myself of some of the negative emotions. It worked. After reading the first murder scene aloud to my husband, he looked at me with the strangest expression on his face and said, “Sometimes you scare me.” Good. My goal in my writing is to make my readers feel every emotion, from laugh-out-loud to crying like their heart is breaking, and everything in between.
I decided to give my main character’s mother Alzheimer’s. I hated to do it, in a way. Even in fiction, it seemed like a mean thing to do, but it allowed me the ability to weave some of the things Mama said and did right into the story, and that was cathartic. It gave me a little control over something when the rest of my world seemed to be spinning out of control.
I dedicated the book to Mama, but I wanted to do more, so I decided to give any royalties I make to Alzheimer’s research. It’s my hope that it will help them to find a cure for this awful disease so that others won’t have to experience the pain, frustration, confusion, and sadness that my family did.
About the book:
Lacey Campbell can dream murders before they happen. The problem is her dreams are in fragments—bits and pieces—not enough clues to allow her to stop the murders from happening. She dreams flashes of a man singing “Hush, Little Baby” while he strangles a young woman. When she awakes, she tried to convince herself it doesn’t mean anything, but the next night she dreams a second murder—same scenario—the lullaby… another strangulation. It’s time to tell the police.
State Bureau of Investigation sends in their man, Detective Ford Jamison, to help the local police which results in the typical territorial skirmish between the two forces. Ford soon has a two-part working theory: the killer is using the lullaby to stage his murders and he’s targeting women who look remarkably like Lacey. That knowledge doesn’t slow the killings, though and the police are always one step behind. Now Lacey is afraid to go to sleep because the next face she sees in her dreams might be her own.
As a hurricane churns ever closer to the little coastal town, danger and suspicion spin out of control. Time is running out. Can they stop the killer before the last verse of the lullaby?
Describe yourself in three words: strong, creative, and quirky
What (2 or 3) fun or unique things can you tell us about yourself? I can finish milking a goat in about a minute; I painted a mural in an orphanage in Kirov, Russia; I know how to spin wool on a spinning wheel.
What can readers expect from you next? I’m working on the sequel to Hush now. The working title is Hoax, and I’m loving it even more than the first one, if that’s possible. Look for Leanna Hewitt Sain on Facebook to let me know what you think of Hush and stay tuned for more information on Hoax. And don’t forget to write a review on Amazon.
North Carolina author, Leanna Sain, earned her BA from the University of South Carolina, before moving back to mountains of western NC. Her Southern suspense or “GRIT-lit,” showcases her plot-driven method that successfully rolls elements of best-selling authors Mary Kay Andrews, Nicholas Sparks, and Jan Karon all together, making it her own. She loves leading discussion groups and book clubs. For more information or to contact her, visit: www.LeannaSain.com