June Author of the Month: LeTeisha Newton
My June Author of the Month is one that is close to my heart. She is without a doubt a personal hero of mine. An avid reader since she was a little girl that blossomed into a magnificent writer, she delves into the darker side of love and leaves her readers begging for more.
Her gift spans many genres and spins tales of fantasy, love, darkness, and tragedy. She has her own personal story to tell. A journey of survival and forgiveness. Here is a most intimate look at Author LeTeisha Newton…
Writing professionally since 2008, LeTeisha Newton’s love of romance novels began long before it should have. After spending years sneaking reads from her grandmother’s stash, she finally decided to pen her own tales. As many will do during their youth, she bounced from fantasy, urban literature, mainstream, interracial, paranormal, heterosexual, and LGBT works until she finally rested in contemporary romance.
LeTeisha is all about deep angst and angry heroes who take a bit more loving to smooth their rough edges. Love comes in many sizes, shapes, and colors, as well as with—or without—absolute beauty and fairy tale sweetness. She writes the darker tales because life is hard … but love is harder.
When did you know that you wanted to be an Author?
Well, that’s a hard one, and right off the bat too! Originally, I wanted to be a dancer. I studied ballet, tap, jazz, and contemporary styles for years, and was all set to go to college for it. But you know how it is, the creative life can be hard for the family to accept. It’s scary, the idea their child may struggle needlessly, and I got a choice—school or military. I went for school, then military. Throughout it all, I was writing Baile, my first book, a fantasy romance, but never thought it would go anywhere. Out of the military, thanks to a busted knee, I figured “why the hell not?” The rest, as they say, was history.
Who are some of your favorite Authors?
You’re good at these hard questions, I notice. It’s easier to ask me which authors are my favorite in a particular genre. For instance, I’m infatuated with Gena Showalter and Laurell K. Hamilton when it comes to Paranormal Romance. Jacqueline Carey, who wrote the Kushiel Trilogy, still has my heart when it comes to Fantasy. Let’s see, Diana Palmer gave me amazing cowboys who were swoon-worthy, and Christine Feehan gave me the Carpathians. For Dark Romance, I’d go with Anne Rice (the mother of ALL, if you ask me, and there is no one that does Vampires like her too!), CJ Roberts, Skye Warren. For BDSM, give me Sierra Cartwright. Whew. I’m missing a few, I know it, but we just don’t have enough space for all that.
Your work is multifaceted, what inspired you to write different types of erotica and were you nervous about delving into the other categories?
Pfft. My muse is ADHD, pure and simple. She loves what she loves, and doesn’t give a damn about what I may want at the time. If she wants dark anti-hero with Joker like qualities, then she picks at me until I finally write. I created Caesar from Vanquished because of that need. When she wonders, what would happen if two people have to survive torturous abuse and then live their lives the only way the know how? I sit my butt down and figure it out. That wonderful trip gave me Whispers in the Dark. But, then, sometimes she wants something fiery, and breathtaking. Mates running free in the wild, and ready to talk, life-threatening situations for love. Well, paranormals and fantasy works step right up.
You are very vocal about being a survivor of abuse and your battle with PTSD, do you find sharing that aspect of your life a tool of strength?
It’s therapeutic. I write the sort of stories I write because I inherently understand an aspect of each character. They all have some part of my story sliding through their veins. My dark romance look at the after effects of being a survivor, or answer the dark needs sometimes left behind after that trauma. Sometimes people who’ve never gone through it that, don’t get it. And that’s okay. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. But, for those who do understand, I want them to know they have a safe place with me, and the world in my books can be closed up. For my military romances, I write from what I know, what I grew up with, and the battles of PTSD. It’s a disorder where it’s more dangerous to the person suffering it than others, and we all need to understand why. That’s where support begins.
I’ve shared with you that I myself am a survivor of abuse, do you find yourself being a listening ear for other women who have experienced abuse and do you find freedom from the past within your writing?
Absolutely, to all points of the question. We know our own, don’t we? Without seeing each other or hearing a voice, there is an … aura permeating who we are, and what we’ve survived. I write about it, and I’m vocal, so I tend to have people privately talk to me and even ask for advice. I’ve recommended therapy or support networks. Hell, I even told one reader to not read a particular book of mine because the triggers were too close to their story, and they hadn’t healed yet. It took time, but she came back to me a while later and thanked me for it. She ordered a signed copy and hasn’t cracked open the pages yet. She will, when she can. Things like that make me feel so amazing. And writing each book helps me exorcise another demon, even those I didn’t realize I had.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
Game! Or watch anime. Or K-drama, because, they are so freaking hot. But, seriously, I’m a nerd. I’ve got my PS4 controller in my hand playing some adventure or RPG, or replaying Personal 5 for the thousandth time, when I can’t get writing done or need a break. It’s a great way to palate cleanse. And my animes just make me feel amazing watching. Lately I’ve been in the sport animes, and that’s pretty sweet.
If you weren’t an Author, what would you be?
Well, I’m in college for Business Admin with a concentration in Marketing. I enjoy the business aspect of things, creating images to show what a company is really about. I suppose if I weren’t an author full-time as I am now, I’d probably be working on internships with larger companies to work on the admin side. Doesn’t’ sound like a blazing good time for some, but I’d love it!
Are you working on any new projects?
Always! I have several projects in the fire right now. I have to continue the Truculence Series, a Dark BDSM tale along seven books and couples, that started with Midas in Aleatha Romig’s Fidelity Kindle World and will continue with Scathed. I also have my Doppelgänger Trilogy, featuring a set of sexy and broken twins fighting to have one woman. That one will be a rapid release every month when I have it ready to go. Lastly, I’ve got a super-secret project, DARKER than dark, and will only be talked about in my reader group over the coming months before I reveal it. That’s four books in that one. Yeah, I think I’m stacked through next year LOL.
Do you believe in love at first sight?
Yep! And lust at first sight. Hate at first sight. All of the above. It can happen and does happen. Love doesn’t play by any sort of rules and can come in a whirlwind courtship or a slow burn over decades. I’m a romance author, love is always possible.
You’re invited to a Halloween party, what is your costume and why?
Harley Quinn baby! I just love the girl. I have Pop! Dolls for her, comics, the whole nine. In fact, I’ve planned to get her diamond emblem tattooed somewhere. Considering I’m a blonde, I’d be happy to dye my hair a few colors just for the event, have my Puddin’ choker, and carry my bat. I think that would be pretty sweet. That or come as Satsuki Kiryuin or Ryuko Matoi as a cosplay. But you have to have a serious body to pull off one of those girls.
If you had to write a slogan about yourself, what would it be?
FIDO, it actually is my slogan. F*ck it and drive on. Don’t give up, don’t let fear hold you down, don’t stop just because it’s hard. Get up, fight, dust yourself off, and try again. It’s always worth it.
What is your pet peeve?
Um, a lot? Not saying “thank you”, “bless you”, not giving your seat to an elder, ignorance, cliché crap in storylines, and weak-willed women. I have more, but I want people to still like me.
What is your favorite quote or words you live by?
I believe I always live by “tomorrow is never promised.” Don’t put off what you can do today. Don’t forget to live fiercely, love hard, and make a beautiful mess of things. It’s your life, enjoy it!
Finally, what message do you have for your readers and what do they mean to you?
Easy question! (Finally.) I love my readers. Even readers who aren’t mine. It’s because of readers that authors even exist. Taking you for granted is like cutting off the muse. It’s not possible or healthy. I’m still a reader, I recently fangirled over E.K. Blaire and Colleen Hoover. I laugh, cry, curse, and scream when I’m reading a good book just like everyone else. To think I can do that for someone else is … magical. I wouldn’t give that up for all the world. If one, reader tells you you’re appreciated and loved, I am. Thank you. Thank you for everything.
About the Author
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