Today Leanna drops by MPB during her Natalie Stewart blog tour to describe what it’s like to be a working actress while also writing a bestselling book:
I wear many different hats. And I don’t just mean cute little Victorian hats, though I do have quite a collection. I’ve always been a Jack of All Trades and it’s my varying interests that have kept me busy, employed in the arts and happy in always having a project or two to work on.
The trick to doing anything well is time and discipline, it’s very hard to juggle theatrical pursuits and writing and promoting your books full time. I have to pick and choose and shift focus. While I was a full time professional actress on stage in various regional theatre productions around the country, my writing took a back seat. Today my writing is at the foreground and I do theatrical and/or film projects sporadically.
The ability to shift focus from one priority to another depending on deadlines is a skill I’ve been trying to sharpen forever. The biggest challenge is self-discipline of one’s own time. It’s something I struggle with day in and day out.
Storytelling is at the core of all my interests, and while I’m very selective now about the stories I tell and the mediums I use to tell them, I’m blessed to have several different avenues to pursue the stories that intrigue me. One of the most fascinating ways that my worlds have blended is in adapting my first novel into a musical theatre production with Broadway talent on board. My time as an actress and brief stints as a playwright made it easier for the production company behind the musical adaptation of The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker to approach me to be on the collaboration team.
I’m uniquely suited as having experience in all these fields to weave a story together in an entirely new medium, a show. And it’s that process of adaptation and collaboration that then allows me to have fresh insights and new tricks to make an engaging story come to life when I return to my novels, such as THE TWISTED TRAGEDY OF MISS NATALIE STEWART.