LeAnn Neal Reilly graduated from Carnegie Mellon University with a master’s degree in professional writing. Along the way, she majored briefly in chemistry, served as opinion editor and then editor of her college newspaper, followed by an internship for an international design firm. After graduate school, LeAnn began working first for a small multimedia startup before moving on to a computer science research group. While at the startup, she spent her time writing user manuals and scripts for multimedia software used to train railroad engineers.
While writing among geeks, LeAnn became enamored with one and decided to take him home all for herself. After the bliss of getting married and starting a family, she returned to her adolescent daydreams of writing novels. Following years of working in an office not much better than an unfinished closet, LeAnn published The Mermaid’s Pendant.
LeAnn lives outside Boston with one husband, three children, a dog named Hobbes (after Calvin &), and a cat named Attila. She is at work on her next novel as well as writing reviews at Goodreads.
You can find LeAnn at her website.
Please tell us a bit about your book: The Mermaid’s Pendant - characters, plot, etc.
In the first half of The Mermaid’s Pendant, a graduate student named John Wilkerson runs away from his overbearing girlfriend Zoe and his high-tech research to Culebra Island. When a mermaid named Tamarind saves John from drowning and falls in love with him, she sets his life on a different course. Over the course of their romance, John and Tamarind face rivals, internal conflict, and a hurricane. Unlike typical fairy-tales, however, the story doesn’t end with John and Tamarind on the beach as the sun sets. Instead, the second half finds John moving his young family to a new city and starting a job. Without their awareness, the magic of their romance drains away, forcing them to cope with the realities of marriage. Zoe returns, bent on getting John back, and Tamarind’s old mentor, Ana, does what she can to wreck their chances. Yet John and Tamarind have advocates in their neighbor Lucy and their old friend Valerie.