Monday 12 November 2012

The Artist Unleashed: THE STORY THAT WAS, by Leigh T. Moore (We have 2 Wednesdays this week!)

First, Thanks so much, Jessica, for having me here today! I'm so excited to share my new book ROUGE with everybody.

Last time I talked about how as I wrote The Truth About Faking (link) the whole story changed ("The Story That Wasn't"). In the case of ROUGE, however, the story pretty much turned out exactly as I planned it.

I got the idea walking in my neighborhood one fall day. A melancholy little song came on my iPod ("Complainte de la Butte"), and I thought, "What if there was a girl who tried to help another, younger girl, and it all went terribly wrong?"

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I wanted the girls to be orphans. I wanted them to be street-smart and running cons to survive. I wanted it to be set in New Orleans, which was as close to France as I could get without research…

I imagined main character Hale saving Teeny from starving, only to discover her "salvation" brought her into a situation worse than hunger. I imagined a carnivalesque "family" Hale turns to for help…

 In the first chapter, readers learn the girls' theater-home is a front for prostitution, and Teeny's getting old enough to "earn her keep." Hale's desperate to keep that from happening, so the questions become what will Hale do to make it right? How far will she go to protect this little girl?

Then I started thinking about problems like time. I knew it would have to be set either in the future, post-apocalyptic-style, or in the past.

So I went with the past. Hale's doing her best to con a rich Parisian suitor into proposing to her and taking them both away. Then she meets Beau. Falling in love complicates everything.

Writing ROUGE was the first time I stuck with the plan (for the most part) in one of my books. It's full of theater and New Orleans and romance. It has sexy moments; it has dark moments. I hope you guys love it as much as I do!

Find it on Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Smashwords

Thanks again, Jessica!

Leigh Talbert Moore is a wife and mom by day, a writer by day, a reader by day, a freelance editor when time permits, a caffeine addict, a chocoholic, a beach bum, a lover of YA and new adult romance (really any great love story), and occasionally she sleeps. -THE TRUTH ABOUT FAKING is her debut young adult romance. -ROUGE is the first book in her mature-YA/new adult romance series.

Leigh loves hearing from readers; stop by and say hello!


  1. All from a song and a walk down the street...

  2. Loved hearing the inspiration for your story Leigh. Can't wait to read it.

  3. I can`t wait to read the book! :D

  4. Yay! Thanks so much, Jessica, for having me here today! And thanks, guys, for the nice comments! I hope everybody likes my new book! :o) <3

  5. Hi Jess and Leigh - great guest post .. sounds a fascinating premise .. I'm sure we'll love your book - the setting sounds interesting .. good luck and congratulations to you both .. cheers Hilary

  6. Sometimes I think 'sticking to the plan' can be more rewarding then something that has to evolve a ton, because you really see your original idea bloom into something you can use. ROUGE sounds like such a fun read! I like Hale already, just from the descriptions I've read on your different guest posts.


“I'm using my art to comment on what I see. You don't have to agree with it.” ~John Mellencamp

“Allowing an unimportant mistake to pass without comment is a wonderful social grace” ~Judith S. Marin

“I don't ever try to make a serious social comment.” ~Paul McCartney

“I'd make a comment at a meeting and nobody would even acknowledge me. Then some man would say the same thing and they'd all nod.” ~Charlotte Bunch

“Probably what my comment meant was that I don't care about the circumstances if I can tell the truth.” ~Sally Kirkland

“We're not going to pay attention to the silliness and the petty comments. And quite frankly, women have joined me in this effort, and so it's not about appearances. It's about effectiveness.” ~Katherine Harris