Congratulations to Janine! You are the winner of Leslie’s giveaway! Leslie will be in touch with you. Thanks to everyone who stopped by and commented!
I’m pleased to welcome friend and romantic suspense writer extraordinaire Leslie Marshman to the Spotlight today!
Multi-award-winning author Leslie Marshman is (finally) putting her psychology degree to good use, getting inside the heads of her characters and figuring out what makes them tick. She writes novels that feature kick-ass heroines, the heroes who love ’em, and the bad guys who fear ’em.
Leslie called Denver home until she married a Texan without reading the fine print. Now she lives halfway between Houston and Galveston and has learned to embrace the humidity.
She is a Daphne du Maurier finalist, Golden Heart finalist, and winner of the National Readers’ Choice Award, the Booksellers’ Best Award, the Emily Best of the Best, the Molly, the Orange Rose, and the Charlotte.
N: Welcome to the blog, Leslie! I’m so delighted to have you visiting today. So, what inspired you to start writing?
A: Thanks for having me, Nan. I’m so happy to be here. Like many other authors, I started writing as a child. I loved writing epic fantasy poems in elementary school. In junior high typing class, the girl next to me and I co-wrote X-rated Dick and Jane stories. I’d always wanted to write books, so for many years I learned the craft of writing them while selling stories to magazines like True Romance and True Confessions. About six months after my husband passed away, I started writing my first romantic suspense and it’s been a very happy whirlwind ever since.
N: What comes first—the plot or the characters?
A: Usually my characters come before the plot. My first two books, Goode Over Evil and The Goode Fight were about a female Texas Ranger. I had Samantha Goode in mind, then I needed to figure out what crimes she would solve. In my Protectors of Boone County, Texas series with Harlequin Intrigue, I already had Sheriff Cassie Reed and her three brothers before I started book 1, Resolute Justice. Then it was a matter of plotting each of the four books.
N: Your new mystery with Harlequin Intrigue, Scent Detection released yesterday—that’s so exciting! The book is part of Harlequin’s K-9s on Patrol series, all by different authors. Are the books all connected in some way, other than the dogs as characters element?
A: A small town in Idaho is the setting for the entire series, and characters from each book show up in others as secondary characters. But the main thing the series centers around is the Daniels Canine Academy, where K-9s are trained. The series is more of an ensemble than a continuity, and each book works as a stand-alone.
N: Talk to us about writing romantic suspense. Do you plot out the entire story or does it simply unfold as you write?
A: I’m definitely a plotter, but I don’t plot out the whole book in advance. I write like I plan road trips. I know where I’m starting and ending. Then I figure out the major cities (chapters or plot points) along the way, and I’ll figure out the towns and roadside stops (scenes) for the first few chapters. If I get to where I’m not sure which way to go next, I stop and plot out the scenes for the next few chapters. I especially love it when the characters tell me what’s happening.
N: How much of you is in your character Marie Beaumont?
A: There’s a little bit of me in all my heroines, and even some of the heroes and secondary characters. But I enjoy writing kickass heroines, and when they would grab a rifle and follow the bad guy into a dark abandoned building, I’d most likely be cuddling up to a dust bunny under my bed. The parts of me that do show up on the page lean toward their wounds, fears, or emotions.
N: Are you working on anything at the present you would like to tell your readers about?
A: Oh yes, thank you for asking! Earlier I’d mentioned my Protector of Boone County, Texas series. It’s about a female county sheriff and her three brothers, two of whom are deputies. Book 1, Resolute Justice, was Sheriff Cassie Reed’s book and released in January of this year. I just turned in the edits on book 2, Resolute Aim. It’s Deputy Noah Reed’s book. And I’m currently writing book 3, Resolute Investigation. This one is Deputy Adam Reed’s book. And book 4 will be Noah’s twin brother Nate’s, book. He’s a bodyguard instead of a deputy. I’m having so much fun with this series.
N: What do you like to do when you are not writing?
A: Camping and fishing have been a big part of my life since I was a toddler, but it’s been harder to go since my husband passed. I love jigsaw puzzles (the bigger and harder, the better). I also cross-stitch, read, and play with my two miniature poodles, Harley and Davidson. (Yes, there’s a story there.)
N: What did you want to be when you grew up?
A: I wanted to be a Broadway dancer or a Rockette, but that dream ended very early in an unsuccessful dance class. I wanted to be a veterinarian, but I’m allergic to pretty much all animals. When I went to college, I wanted to be a psychologist or social worker, but by the time I got my B.A. with a double major in those subjects, I was pretty darn tired of school.
N: Favorite book when you were a kid?
A: Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House books, and the Nancy Drew series. I can’t pick just one.
N: And here is my signature question that everyone loves: If you could choose three people, living or dead, to invite to a dinner party, who would they be and why?
A: 1) Siddhartha Gautama Buddha, who founded Buddhism. I’m interested in aspects of the discipline, and who better to teach me?
2) My Grandpa Peterson. He died a couple of months before I was born, and I have so many questions about my Norwegian heritage. (Apparently, we wound up in America because someone got drunk, but I would love to hear the details! Ha-ha)
3) Comedian Steven Wright (still alive). I saw his first TV appearance on the Johnny Carson show in the early 1980s and was an instant fan. I appreciate and relate to his sense of humor and deadpan delivery.
GIVEAWAY: Leslie is thrilled to give one lucky commenter a $10 Amazon gift card and a signed paperback copy of Scent Detection. Just tell her in the comments if you’ve ever been whitewater rafting, would like to sometime, or have no desire to try it.
Veterinarian Marie Beaumont has spent five years in witness protection hiding from a ruthless foe. But then she and her K-9 save the life of a handsome stranger with amnesia and Marie’s horrified when he begins to remember her—as the woman she once was. But who is the elusive Jack? A caring, electrifying protector…or a killer sent to finish off Marie once and for all?
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