Leila Sales: Writing Must-Haves + Blog Tour Contest

Once Was a Time_Blog Tour Banner
Today, we’re excited to share a really fun guest post from author Leila Sales as part of the official blog tour for her beautiful new book, Once Was a Time, which is in stores now. Be sure to keep reading for more about the book and your chance to win a copy!


I’ll write pretty much anywhere, and sometimes I wind up writing in some pretty weird places because, hey, that’s what it takes to get the job done. But let’s be honest, there are some circumstances that make the task of writing much easier and more enjoyable. Here are some of them:

Leila Sales (c) Franck Goldberg1. Nonrestrictive clothing. I hate writing while wearing pants. I just squirm in my chair and think about how terrible pants are. I am writing this particular blog post in slippers, snowflake pajama bottoms, and a cozy hoodie. This outfit would be acceptable only if I had a fever of 102, but whatever. I see basically no distinction between writing outfits and sleeping outfits.

2. Water. Staying hydrated while writing is key. Plus if I drink enough while writing, then sometimes I have to get up to go to the bathroom, which is a really delightful minute-long trip away from my computer. The challenge of water is making sure my cats don’t knock at all over my computer. That really puts a damper on a writing day. (Get it? A DAMPER?)

3. Chocolate chips. Chocolate is my favorite food in the world, and chocolate chips are especially good for writing because they are small and not messy and I can just repeatedly shovel them into my mouth whenever I can’t think of what to write next (which is often). When I eat fully a half bag of chocolate chips, I consider that a very productive writing day.

4. A slinky. I picked up this habit from one of my editors. She plays with a slinky while she’s thinking, so now I do, too. It’s much better for you than biting your fingernails, plus it makes a satisfying noise.

5. Music. I like having background music while I write—nothing too intense or attention-demanding, but something to get me in the right mood. Surrounding myself with art makes it easier for me to create art of my own. Some of my favorite bands to write to are Camera Obscura, the National, the Shout Out Louds, Acid House Kings, the Clientele, Cults, Tennis, and others depending on what the weather’s like. (Yes, I have specific rainy day writing bands and sunny day writing bands.)

6. No other people. Or if there are other people, I need to trust that they are going to be quiet and not initiate a conversation with me. I have a writing partner, Rebecca Serle, and I love writing in a room with her because I know that she’s not going to distract me. But when I write in a place where I think other people might start talking to me at a moment’s notice, I get too nervous to focus.

about-the-bookOnce Was ATime_FC_3D

In the war-ravaged England of 1940, Charlotte Bromley is sure of only one thing: Kitty McLaughlin is her best friend in the whole world. But when Charlotte’s scientist father makes an astonishing discovery that the Germans will covet for themselves, Charlotte is faced with an impossible choice between danger and safety. Should she remain with her friend or journey to another time and place? Her split-second decision has huge consequences, and when she finds herself alone in the world, unsure of Kitty’s fate, she knows that somehow, some way, she must find her way back to her friend. Written in the spirit of classic time-travel tales, this book is an imaginative and heartfelt tribute to the unbreakable ties of friendship.

contestWe’re giving one lucky winner a copy of Once Was a Time by Leila Sales, courtesy of Chronicle Books. To enter, tell us in the comments below what period in time you’d travel to — if you could time travel, that is — and then fill out the Rafflecopter to complete your entry & earn more chances to win.

Contest is open to the U.S. only & runs through midnight (PT) on Wednesday, April 20th.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

5 thoughts on “Leila Sales: Writing Must-Haves + Blog Tour Contest

Add yours

  1. I would like to time travel to the future so I could meet my grandchildren as adults. Also maybe get to ride on a space station.

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