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Leanna EllisLeanna Ellis sold more than 1.3 million romantic novels writing as Leanna Wilson, winning a Readers' Choice award and the Romance Writers of America Golden Heart award for her work. Elvis Takes a Back Seat is the first book published under her married name, marking a new creative direction in her writing. Like Francine Rivers before her, Leanna has left behind a successful career as an author of secular romances to write novels of faith that glorify God. A former schoolteacher, Leanna is now a homeschool mom and lives with her husband and children in Keller, Texas.

Favorite Verse: Jeremiah 29: 11-14-11 For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you," declares the LORD, "and will bring you back from captivity. [a] I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you," declares the LORD, "and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile."



Can you tell us a little about yourself and your background?

I’m a wife, mom, homeschooler and writer. Once upon a time, I taught school. My specialization was reading. So books have been important to me for a long, long time.

How did you become interested in writing?

My sister actually suggested it. I was trying to figure out what else I could do besides teach school. She said, “You’re always writing in that journal. Why don’t you write books?” I liked the idea. So I quit teaching and started writing.

What compelled you to write a book on this subject?

I saw the husband in my mind telling his wife that he’s known her secret and forgave her long ago. I had to figure out what their story was and write it.


What is the main theme or point that you want readers to understand from reading your book? Are there any other themes present in the book? 

Forgiveness is the main theme with probably a sub-theme of perfectionism. Pride often is a reason for perfectionism.

Are there some specific lessons you hope readers will learn and apply to their lives after reading your book?

I hope they will learn that not only do we need God’s forgiveness but we also need to forgive ourselves. So often the Evil One wants to hang something we’ve done around our neck. We live with regret and shame. That is not God’s plan.

Do you have a favorite part of the book or a favorite chapter?

There are so many parts of this story that I love, like the casket arriving at the dance hall and the scene in the florist shop, where the mother starts fixing the floral arrangements to her own liking. It was a fun book to write. But I think the part that gets to me the most is where my heroine tells her husband the truth.


What makes your book different than any other books similar to yours that are in circulation today?

My heroine’s mother is pretending her husband is dead and planning a royal funeral. I don’t think there are too many books out there like mine.

How does the book intertwine with God¹s call on your life and how you are currently serving Him?

I believe God wants me to write fun, entertaining books with a faith message. I believe this book has a high concept and yet has deep spiritual truths. This book is about grace. When I fail to do something in my writing, like getting up early to work, I start to condemn myself. But God is teaching me about grace, how He extends it to me tenderly and consistently. I am learning to offer that to myself and others, just as my heroine in this book learns to accept grace.


Do you have a favorite Scripture verse? What is it and why is it important to you?

My favorite verse tends to change depending on what God is teaching or showing me. Recently, this verse really touched my heart and I have it on my desk. “Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out! Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor? Who has ever given to God that God should repay him? For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever!  Romans 11: 33-36


I have to totally rely on God to get me through the writing process of each book. He reveals things to me all the time about my characters or plots, things I never would have thought of. I am totally dependent on him. This verse reminds me of that constantly.

Are there any authors that either influenced you personally or influenced your style of writing? Who are they and how did they influence you?

I think every book, good or bad, influences me one way or another. Music works the same for me too. For this particular verse, a Casting Crowns’ cd really spoke to me biblical truths in relation to these characters.

When you are not writing, what do you like to do? Do you have any hobbies?

With my children still fairly young, I’m home with them, homeschooling. That’s pretty much my life writing and homeschooling. It doesn’t leave room for much else other than traveling occasionally and taxi driving to all sorts of kid activities. All of our hobbies become family hobbies and pursuits. We all love to travel, and my daughter and I love musical theater.



 Don't Miss!

Elvis Takes a Back Seat
Elvis Takes a Back Seat
Leanna Ellis
CBD Price: $13.49

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