As a child, Leanne Marshall struggled academically due to various learning issues and having dyslexia, although she loved to write stories and create her own little worlds it was always a hurdle which affected her.
By her teens, it was evident that although she had a great imagination and a flair for creating believable characters, her technical difficulties in spelling and grammar and the proper structure expected in creating books was holding her back. She found the lack of support from her teachers dented her confidence but never dulled the burning desire to write.
Several teachers throughout her adolescence pointed out that her artistic side would be a better avenue to pursue, something she also had a flair for, as writing would never be her strong point. They failed to see beyond her weaknesses and notice the potential that could be nurtured.
At 15 years old, Leanne, known for her strong will, had written several romance novels. Despite the criticism, she never gave up on her own self-belief. There was a glimmer of hope that she had the talent to go somewhere.
At 17, she bagged a publishing contract but decided the time was not right for her to pursue it. She was young and lacked life experience, and she had her eye on other goals which were pulling her away and into a different kind of limelight.
Leanne had a very varied life path, from a singer to radio and TV, animal welfare and even college for beauty and makeup. She was restless and never seemed to settle on anything that could hold her attention. Her passion was in creativity.
Motherhood and family life finally allowed her to use her artistic skills to create an online shop of handmade items, but she was never truly content. It offered an avenue to work from home and juggle both family life and still be an independent contributor to their income, and even though she amassed a reasonable customer base and following, her heart was not fully committed.
In 2016, she decided to try again at writing a book, yearning for the satisfaction writing always gave her and was saddened to find the publishing world had become hugely saturated over competitive, and the chances of an unknown dyslexic writer to get anywhere was stacked against her. Self-publishing had opened the floodgates to a much lower standard of books, and being seen was near impossible without the backing of a publishing house.
Leanne rewrote one of her novels by her 15-year-old self, taking what she felt was a safer route rather than starting with new material. The book, which had once been offered a contract, was updated to a more modern story with a much more independent heroine. She also created a trilogy that she never imagined would go anywhere as self-indulgence rather than a series she expected would gain much weight.
With a publisher interested in her stand-alone, she took the leap into Amazon self-publishing with her trilogy, not confident that it was the kind of story that would be widely popular. Focusing on child abuse and emotional trauma with grittier undertones and a much more honest style of writing than her stand-alone.
Leanne proved the world wrong. After only half a year with her publisher, she pulled her book back out because her self-published series was indeed flying higher and smashing expectations. It was beginning to soar as it gained traction and becoming a name people had heard of—Carrero.
In only a few short months she hit bestseller ratings, earned Amazon all-star bonuses and began to amass a fan following. She was approached by publishing companies to consider submitting to them and an audio publisher reached out too.
Leanne chose to stay true to her self-published roots with her books, for now. Yet she chose the publisher for the audio and hopes to see the entire series created in the near future.
Leanne now also runs a non-profiting company, set up with fellow author Sarah Marie Gray, for women who need the support in following in her footsteps. Her Carrero series continues to grow not only with an audio version of the first book, released by a trad publisher, but it is also currently beginning translations into other languages. Leanne did not stop after writing the first trilogy; she has written 8 books so far plus 2 bonus books and a magazine to accompany them.
She has her own Facebook fan group with a huge fan base, known as ‘The Carrero Mafia’, who are loyal to a fault, with frequent interactive events such as team wars, sneak peeks and other fan perks. A strong army of admin, who are also huge fans of her books, help her to keep things running smoothly. Leanne attends signings, informal meet-ups and also has an online merchandise range. She is very approachable and makes a huge effort to communicate and mingle with her readership. She also has a craft-based YouTube channel she intends to convert to vlogs in 2019 and much more about her interesting life.
The girl who was told to never pursue writing is a self-published success and growing with every book release.
She hopes that her future sees movies or series adaptations of her books, and she is far from done. With a release average of 3-4 books a year, each one a whopping 130k or longer, she has many more planned, not only for her series but a number of Rom-com stand-alones. She is unstoppable.
More info: ltmarshall.blog