A Profile of Author Joan Leotta

(July, 2012)

"From a tender age of ten, I've been writing and performing." Mysteries have always been a favorite of mine. At age ten I started "writing, directing and starring in plays in progress, an ongoing "series" of brother and sister detective dramas for my cousins and myself (two girls, two boys). We had a great time."

I went on to become a professional story performer for children and adults and freelance writer — mostly journalism. My specialty has always been not having a specialty. I love to write about many kinds of things and still do. Food, travel and profiles are some of the fun things I write. Along the way in my career, I wrote several books, among them, The Complete Guide to the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia for Norton and Massachusetts for Scholastic (the latter a children's book) My latest work, Giulia Goes to War is an historical romance (sweet) that brings in the issues of ethnic identity and a spy story.

My efforts at publishing fiction were stalled — until my husband and I moved to North Carolina. With the encouragement of my writing group, I began to submit short stories to magazines again. Editors seemed more receptive and slowly my list of mystery credits has grown — from Crimestalker to Overmydeadbody.com. Of course, since I am eclectic (some would say scattered) in my interests, general short stories and the occasional romance have found their way from my pen to publication in magazines or e-zines. I've begun to enter contests as well (and win some!) including in the historical fiction category, with the Lower Cape Fear Historical Society, and an international contest using art as a take-off for a story.

I have also developed three one-woman shows with women from history, that I perform for adult audiences (high school on up). And since coming to North Carolina, I have developed a set of stories and shows for adult audiences as well — very G-rated.

My personal commitment to children, most often exercised in my performance work (although I have been doing shows for adults since moving to NC), has started to take shape in writing. One of my stories received an award from the Intergenerational Foundation. Another was included in an Anthology and yet another has been given an award by the Alabama Writers Association. I have a Young Adult mystery in the works and hope to start sending it to agents soon.

Giulia Goes to War is the first in a four book series called Legacy of Honor. These four are under contract and Letters from Korea (book two) is scheduled to come out soon. Although these four are mostly romance there are elements of mystery in them. My blog reflects my varied (scattered) interests as well. Mondays are for working with children to develop their creativity. Wednesdays are for food. Fridays are for writing and performing information that I share not just from my own experience, but from others as well. Take a look at the blog at www.joanleotta.wordpress.com. I appreciate followers and lookers. Comments and suggestions for improvement are welcome.

Also, be sure to check out the author's FB page Joan Leotta Author Performer. She would love people to "like" it!

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