I guess I should start with a quick introduction because I am by no standards a well-known author; instead, I stick to a little corner of the internet otherwise known as my Wattpad profile. My name is Leigh (pronounced “lee”) and online, I go by the incredibly imaginative username leigh_ (as much as I would like to have a cool story behind it, the underscore was merely an addition to get me up to the character limit). I’m currently a 19-year-old student at the University of Birmingham, where I study Medical Science. People often ask me why I’m not doing anything English-related, but I mostly tell them I’d go insane if I didn’t have something other than writing to think about.
In July 2011, I didn’t know it, but I did something that would change my life. I took the plunge and uploaded the first chapter of a novel I’d been working on (a 15-year-old atrocity called Serenity Falls) to Wattpad. Later that year, I completed National Novel Writing Month for the first time, and I found myself with a second book under my belt. It was at this point I realised I had fallen irreversibly in love with writing again, a hobby that had started when I was a kid. I continued writing, uploading each story chapter-by-chapter to my Wattpad profile, on which I was slowly building up a huge fanbase. By July 2015, I had hit 100,000 followers, with seven finished works to my name.
Formal publishing is still a dream of the future, but writing on Wattpad has been a massive experience all the same. I have made friends from all over the world (some of whom I’ve got to meet in person), had my first experience speaking on a Q&A panel and even signed my first autograph(!).
My latest finished book, Trapeze, is the story of talented teenage trapeze artist Corey Ryder, whose life is turned upside down in the space of a single night. While the entire book can be read for free on Wattpad, I have included the summary here:
For seventeen-year-old Corey Ryder, life on the road is all she’s ever known. A trainee trapeze artist in her aunt’s circus, she’s never found herself in one place for more than a few weeks at a time. For her, it’s a way of life.
But when a tragic accident leaves their entire livelihood in tatters, Corey is forced to leave the circus behind and revisit a part of her life she’s been trying to forget: her mom. All of a sudden, what once was just another stop on an endless road trip becomes the very center of Corey’s life.
Unnerved by the stark differences between circus life and that of her new home, Corey’s convinced she’ll never settle in. She can’t wait for the moment she’ll be able to break free from the bubble of Sherwood, California and return to life on the road. But when an unlikely friendship sparks between her and Luke Everett, the school’s Golden Boy, Corey comes to realize it may be the most unexpected bonds that keep you tethered.
As bonus content for my followers, I have decided to include a newspaper article set five years after the story ended, for anybody who is intrigued about what happened to the characters after I stopped writing. Enjoy!