Monday, 4 April 2016

Author Interview | J.L. Leslie | Tame Me | Tempt Me | Demons From My Past

Tell us a little about yourself and your background? 

I'm a happily married mother of 3, live in a small town in Alabama, and like to stay private.

What were you like at school? 

I was outgoing in school. I was a cheerleader, in dance, but also participated in clubs too. 

Were you good at English? 


What are your ambitions for your writing career? 

I feel like I'm writing because I enjoy it. Of course, I want others to enjoy my writing too, but I've learned already that I can’t please everyone. So as long as I enjoy it, I’ll continue to do it.

Which writers inspire you? 

I really love Geneva Lee, Sydney Landon, Karen Marie Moning, Melody Anne, & JR Ward (Among many)

So, what have you written?

I have written 4 self-published romance books so far (one coming out the end of this week) and I also have a blog where I review romance books too. I have another romance book that I wrote several years ago that I have decided not to publish. It’s a historical romance book and since I’m not doing that genre any longer, I’ve decided to keep that one to myself.

Where can we buy or see them?

Right now, they’re only on Amazon, but I plan to venture out and start putting them on B&N and Smashwords soon. Possibly other ebook sites as well.

Demons From My Past is now on Smashwords for free!

$1.99 on Amazon or free for Prime users.

$2.99 on Amazon or free for Prime users.

Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special? 

I like for my main characters to be strong, but also have a flaw or weakness as well. I think there needs to be something realistic about them in order for the reader to be able to relate to them.

What are you working on at the minute?

I'm currently working on a book about a woman torn between two men. 

What’s it about? 

The woman is torn between the man she loved as a teen, but still has feelings for her ex-fiance  who is no longer in the picture. She’s struggling with some issues about how things ended with the ex-fiance and carries a lot of blame for some events that occurred. The man she loved before is now her roommate. It’s supposed to be strictly platonic. You know how that goes…

What genre are your books? 

Romance. A cross between New Adult and Adult. 
What draws you to this genre? I think everyone deserves a little romance.

Which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead character from your most recent book? 

Wow. I don’t know that I know the answer to that. My latest book is Tease Me. I know I would want the male to be played by Luke Bracey. He’s pretty hot in Point Break. I think I would want the female to be played by Katrina Bowden or Claire Holt.

How much research do you do? 

I try to do as much research as possible so that I'm not putting false information in my books. If I can’t find what I'm looking for, then I don’t put it in my books or I decide not to make that part of the book as detailed as I would like. Some things are difficult to research. When I'm reading a fiction book, I understand that it’s not real and I don’t expect everything in it to be real. I hope my readers know that too. 

Have you written any other novels in collaboration with other writers? 


When did you decide to become a writer?

I've always loved writing. Even as a young child, I loved writing and said I wanted to be a writer. When I wrote my first book (the one I'm not publishing) several years ago, I went through a phase where I would start all of these other books and could never finish them and I stopped writing for a while. Then last year I started again and I haven’t been able to stop since.

Why do you write? 

It’s my escape. Simple as that.

What made you decide to sit down and actually start something?

An idea just formed and I told my mom one day last year that I was going to start writing again. She was always very supportive of it. So I just got on my computer and the words started flowing. 

Do you write full-time or part-time? 

Part-time because I work full-time, but would love to be able to do it full-time one day.

Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured? 

My job is a little flexible so I am able to write some during the day. I write a lot at home and on weekends when I’m not spending time with my family. 

Do you write every day, 5 days a week or as and when? 

I write nearly every day. More so 5 days a week. On and off all day. Some days I need a break to let the ideas form.

Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages per day?

I don’t. I just write until the ideas are out of my head or until I'm exhausted and need to sleep. 

Do you write on a typewriter, computer, dictate or longhand? 

On a computer. 

Where do your ideas come from? 

I get my ideas from music, television, movies, other books, and from life. I get my ideas from everything. Sometimes I can listen to a song and formulate an idea or plot in my head just from that song. Then I’ll listen to that song while I'm working on that book (not while I'm typing) and the ideas keep coming.

Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you? 

I have the outline in my head and sometimes I put it on my computer before I start typing. I also let the ideas flow, but I have the main plot already mapped out.

How do you think you've evolved creatively? 

I think I've evolved creatively by maturing. I used to want to write horror books when I was younger. Now I've evolved into writing romance because that’s what I became interested in as I matured.

What is the hardest thing about writing? 

Having too many ideas. I can’t put them all in one book and I can’t write more than one book at a time. Sometimes I just can’t shut my brain down.

What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book?

It was hard to move on from the series I just finished. I love those characters and missed writing about those characters so it was hard to move on and write about new characters.
What is the easiest thing about writing? Getting lost in my writing. I can sit there and write for hours. I lose track of time.

How long on average does it take you to write a book? 

It depends. I don’t like to write really long books. I like fast-paced, quick read books so I don’t write really long books. It takes me a month or two to get it written, but not completed.

Do you ever get writer’s Block? 


Any tips on how to get through the dreaded writer’s block? 

I like to go back and read what I've written already and that helps me get back into it.

If this book is part of a series, tell us a little about it? 

The one I'm working on right now will have two books to it, but both are stand-alone. I wasn't going to make it part of a series, but one of the characters in it, I just fell in love with him and decided he needed his own book.

What are your thoughts on writing a book series? 

I think it can be more difficult because you have to remember everything you have already written in the other books and make sure you include that. You also have to make sure if you’re writing them as stand-alone that you make each book read as stand-alone. You have to kind of recap what happened in the other books. 

Do you read much and if so who are your favourite authors? 

I read every single day. My favorite authors are the ones who inspired me, but I really like so many, it’s too many to name.

For your own reading, do you prefer eBooks or traditional paper/hard back books? 

I like both, but I mostly read on my Kindle Fire.

What book/s are you reading at present? 

Right now I'm reading Yes, please by Willow Summers but I’ll probably be done with it today.

Do you proofread/edit all your own books or do you get someone to do that for you? 

I do proofread/edit all my own books. It’s very difficult to do to your own work. I used to get my mom to proofread/edit for me too, but she recently passed away. Maybe one day I’ll make enough money to hire a professional.

Do you let the book stew – leave it for a month and then come back to it to edit? 

I do this for about a week. Then I read it again. Then I do this for another week. Then read it again. Then again.

Who edited your book and how did you select him/her? 

Right now I let a friend of mine read them before I publish and I trust her opinion. She’ll tell me if it’s crap.

Who designed your book cover/s? 

I use Melgraphic from for all of my covers and have been extremely happy with her. For my first cover, Demons From My Past, I told her what kind of tattoos the heroine had and what I was looking for and she did it. She picked out the pic for Tame Me, and I picked out the pics for Tempt Me and Tease Me. She does all the graphics for me. I plan to keep using her for all my covers.

Do you think that the cover plays an important part in the buying process? 

I absolutely do. It’s the first thing you see so it draws your attention to the book. If the cover isn't attractive, it won’t draw the reader. I've purchased books before just because the cover was smokin’ hot. 

How are you publishing this book and why?

Indie because I think it’s the easiest and quickest way honestly. Right now it’s the only way for me to publish.
What would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing against being published or the other way around? Well, I don’t know anything about being published other than self-published. Self-publishing has been easy for me so far. I can’t say that I won’t ever be published any other way one day. Right now this has been easy for me so I’ll continue doing it.

How do you market your books? 

I use KDP publishing on Amazon to start with. I promote on my FB page and Goodreads. I just starting blogging so I promote on there as well. 

Why did you choose this route? 

I chose KDP on Amazon because I can promote the books for free and who doesn't love free books? I use Goodreads because there are groups on there where I can tell people when my books are free. Same for FB and my blog.

Would you or do you use a PR agency? 

I don’t have a PR agency, but I'm not against using one if I felt it was right for me.

Do you have any advice for other authors on how to market their books? 

I would say just get your name out there as much as possible. That’s what I'm trying to do.

What part of your writing time do you devote to marketing your book? 

I do spend a small portion of my day marketing my books, but I try to make sure my writing comes first. If I'm feeling inspired to write, the marketing can wait. If I don’t have anything to market, what good does it do?

What do you do to get book reviews? 

I request book reviews from the Indie Reviewer website, I post requests on Goodreads, I request reviews from the Amazon reviewer list, post requests on FB, search for bloggers on the web, and on my blog I started offering reviews and posted that I have books that I would like reviewed as well. 

How successful has your quest for reviews been so far?

I've had a lot of people accept my books, but not give me a time frame as to when they will post their reviews. I have some reviews posted on Amazon and Goodreads. I've had a lot of copies of my books purchased from Amazon as well. Now I'm just waiting on those reviews to come in.

Do you have a strategy for finding reviewers? 

I send them the request with my info and a synopsis and offer them a free copy. Sometimes I go ahead and attach the copy of the book as well. Then wait on a response.
What are your thoughts on good/bad reviews? 

I try to take it as constructive criticism. I want to know what I can do to improve. Everyone has an opinion and you can’t please everyone. I've learned that. As long as I'm proud of my work, that’s what matters.

Any amusing story about marketing books that happened to you? 

I have attached the wrong book to a request before. The blogger didn't seem to mind.

What’s your view on social media for marketing? 

I noticed with my first book that every blogger wanted to know my FB, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat account and I didn't have any of those. So I did sign up for FB and a blog page so I could say I had those.

Which social network worked best for you? 

I'm doing well with FB. 

Any tips on what to do and what not to do? 

Not really. I'm still learning.

Did you do a press release, Goodreads book launch or anything else to promote your work and did it work? 

I didn't do any of these, but I did do KDP Free Book Promotions and these really helped me. Especially with the series because I could schedule the book series to have free days at the same time and then post this on my social media sites.

Did you get interviewed by local press/radio for your book launch? 


Is there any marketing technique you used that had an immediate impact on your sales figures? 

I think posting that I had the free promotion for KDP on Goodreads and FB really helped.

Did you make any marketing mistakes or is there anything you would avoid in future? 

I don’t see that I've made any mistakes yet.

Why do you think that other well written books just don’t sell? 

I think it’s because self-published or Indie authors like myself just aren't well-known. I think people think if you aren't a New York Times best-seller then your work isn't good and that’s just not true.

What do you think of “trailers” for books? 

I guess I'm neutral on that. I think of trailers for movies, but if it works, then great.

Do you have a trailer or do you intend to create one for your own book/s? 

I don’t have a trailer and I don’t intend to create one at this time.

Do you think that giving books away free works and why? 

I do think it works because people love free stuff. 

Did you format your own book? 

I did format my book.

In what formats is your book available? 

It is only available as an eBook so I guess whatever device you can read an eBook on. 

How do you relax? 

I relax by spending time with my family, listening to music, vegging out on the couch, reading, taking a nap.

What is your favourite motivational phrase? 

If you want to achieve greatness stop asking for permission. –Anonymous

What is your favourite positive saying? 

Live, Laugh, Love 

What is your favourite book and why? 

I honestly have way too many to name, but I absolutely love “The Catcher In The Rye” just because Holden’s character is an adolescent that everyone can relate to somehow.

What is your favourite quote? 

“If you’re going through hell keep going.” Winston Churchill

What is your favourite film and why? 

I have too many of these to name too. I love Dirty Dancing. Who doesn't love this movie?

Where can you see yourself in 5 years’ time? 

Probably still doing what I'm doing now.
What advice would you give to your younger self? 

When I stopped writing then I would tell myself to keep writing.

Which famous person, living or dead would you like to meet and why? 

Hmm…I would like to meet E.L. James just to see how writing the 50 Shades of Gray trilogy has changed her life. Those books really started a new genre of books in my opinion. I would like to know what she thinks about that.

If you could have been the original author of any book, what would it have been and why? 

The Notebook because everyone…male and female…knows something about this book.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers? 

To always keep writing no matter what type of review you get or how little your books sell. Write for you.

Where do you see publishing going in the future? 

I will continue to self-publish for now. Unless something better comes along…

Is there anything else you would like to add that I haven’t included? 


How can readers discover more about you and you work?

Book Links:

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