Caroline Leech is a Scottish writer who moved to Texas for an adventure ten years ago. In addition to writing YA fiction, she blogs a lot, reads a lot, and almost always has an audiobook playing through her headphones. She lives in Houston with her husband and three teenage children.
Caroline’s debut novel, WAIT FOR ME (Harper Teen (Harper Collins), January 31, 2017) is a YA Historical Romance. It’s 1945, and Lorna Anderson’s life on her father’s farm in Scotland consists of endless chores and rationing, knitting Red Cross scarves, and praying for an Allied victory. So when Paul Vogel, a German prisoner of war, is assigned as the new farmhand, Lorna is appalled. How can she possibly work alongside the enemy when her own brothers are risking their lives for their country? But as Lorna reluctantly spends time with Paul, she feels herself changing. The more she learns about him—from his time in the war to his life back home in Germany—the more she sees the boy behind the soldier. Soon Lorna is battling her own warring heart. Loving Paul could mean losing her family and the life she’s always known. With tensions rising all around them, Lorna must decide how much she’s willing to sacrifice before the end of the war determines their fate.
The two or three items she needs when she sits down to write: I’m easily pleased. I only need my laptop and my wireless mouse. Other than that, I don’t really need anything else, though since I often work in a Barnes & Noble café or Starbucks, a large Earl Grey tea is often on the table too. And of course, I still carry a huge bag full of notebooks, reference books, a pencil case, scarf, fingerless gloves, emergency bottle of 5-hour energy and granola bar everywhere I go, but when it comes down to it, I could still work without all that.
The literary character she’d most like to meet: Right now, I’m obsessing about the Tearling trilogy by Erika Johansen, and so I’d love to meet Kelsea, Mace and Pen, but for old times’ sake, I’d love to buy a beer for Simon Templar, aka The Saint, a long time literary heart-throb of mine!
Her favorite childhood book: I loved working my way through huge series of books. First it was the Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys mysteries, and then I moved on to the wonderful animal adventure stories by Willard Price – Gorilla Adventure, Lion Adventure etc. A little older, I discovered all the books about The Saint by Leslie Charteris (see above!) and James Bond by Ian Fleming, and of course, anything by Agatha Christie. We went to our local library every couple of weeks and I worked my way through whole shelves of the same writer. Once I was working and could afford to buy my own books, I even tried to collect every book PG Wodehouse ever wrote. I ended up with more than twenty, but still I don’t think I got them all.
Her hobbies when she’s not writing/reading: I love going to the theater, especially to see musicals and opera, and I love having people over to my house for dinner – very casual evenings, with lots of food and great chat, not fine dining in any way! And right now, with three teenagers, my hobbies tend to follow theirs, so I go to a lot of volleyball games, see a lot of movies and watch quite a few cooking shows on TV! I enjoy swimming too, though I don’t get much time for that at the moment.
Her favorite Muppet and why: Fozzie Bear was always very special to me – he was always so enthusiastic and kind to other people, but really, he wasn’t really sure what was going on around him. I used to have a Muppet LP – remember those round black things before CDs and mp3s? I played it so often, I can still sing entire songs from it – delights such as Lydia the Tattooed Lady, I’m in Love with a Big Blue Frog and Halfway Down the Stairs.
The craziest thing she did when she was 17: Oh dear, I’m afraid I wasn’t all that crazy as a teenager. My sister was older and used to go out to all sorts of parties and always had a boyfriend. But I was more of an athlete – field hockey in the winter and track and field in the summer – so I was a little less . . . shall we say, sociable? But I did start driving when I was 17 and had adventures driving all over Scotland with my friends in my dad’s little pea-green mini! But I wasn’t really into anything wild.
If she could travel anywhere in the world she’d go: After I left college, I spent almost a year travelling in Australia. I started down in the South, near Adelaide, staying with my aunt and uncle, and then I took off for a few months at a time, picking up work in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne, and travelling up the Barrier Reef. Just before I went home, I drove up through the Outback to Coober Pedy, Alice Springs, and Kings Canyon, and we camped out in our swag (very sturdy sleeping bags) under the stars near Uluru/Ayers Rock. I had such a great year, and would love to be able to go back for an extended period of time to travel (as long as I had an unlimited budget and none of the responsibilities that come with having kids and owning a house!)
Where You’ll Find Her: