Today I’d like to introduce best-selling Australian author, Leisl Leighton. Leisl is a tall red head with an overly large imagination. As a child, she identified strongly with Anne of Green Gables. A voracious reader and a born performer, it came as no surprise to anyone when she did a double major in English Literature and Drama for her BA, then went on to a career as an actor, singer and dancer, as well as script writer, stage manager and musical director for cabaret and theatre restaurants (one of which she co-owned and ran for six years).
After starting a family Leisl stopped performing and instead, began writing the stories that had been plaguing her dreams. Leisl’s stories have won and placed in many competitions in Australia and the US, including the STALI, Golden Opportunities, Heart of the West, Linda Howard Award of Excellence, Touch of Magic and many others.
Leisl lives in the leafy suburbs of Melbourne with her two beautiful boys, lovely hubby, overly spunky dogs, Buffy and Skye, and likes to spend time with family and friends. She is addicted to the Syfy channel, and her shelves are full of fantasy and paranormal books and scifi DVDs. She sometimes sings in a choir, has worked as a swim teacher, loves to ski, can talk the hind leg off a donkey and has been President of Romance Writers of Australia from 2014-2017.
It’s a pleasure to have this talented woman here today, and to find out about her books. But before we do that, let’s get her to answer three questions. Who in your life is your greatest cheerleader or support in your writing?
My whole family really – my hubby, my two boys, my mum and dad and my brother and sister. Also, my best friend, Helen, who passed away last year from cancer. She was always a massive cheerleader, encouraging me and telling me I was an idiot if I told myself I couldn’t do it, because she knew I could. I’ve also got some wonderful writing friends who always make me feel good about myself and pick me up when I’m down and celebrate the successes, no matter how small.
That’s awesome. None of us can do it without some support and a few pep-talks now and then. Now, next question. How important do you think marketing is for authors today?
Hugely important. I wish I was better at it. I’m constantly reading about it and trying to educate myself, but I know I can do better. However, time is a factor because I do work part time and have a family and struggle all the time with giving up writing time to market.
I agree that marketing is a big challenge for almost every author. We want to spend our time writing, not working out how to get the word out. It’s definitely a balancing act. Now, one last question for you. Where did you get the idea for your first or latest book?
The idea for my CoalCliff series came to me in a dream as many of my ideas do, but it was also an idea based a bit in reality too. I used to go to a horseriding camp at a Palomino stud when I was in my teens and into the first few years at Uni when I went from being an attendee to being hired to look after the kids on the camp. I started having a series of dreams about the camp, but those dreams weren’t about me or anyone I knew on the camp and had a definite romance and suspense element to them. After a number of dreams occurred, I realized a few characters were returning in them and a plot was developing, so I started to explore that and that’s how I came up with Climbing Fear. Blazing Fear came into being when I was writing Climbing Fear as I began to think about a few of the other characters who appeared in Climbing Fear and wondering about what made them tick.
That’s fantastic … I love romantic suspense, and credit my love of writing to reading books by Daphne du Maurier, who many refer to as the Queen of Romantic Suspense! So, let’s hear a bit more about this book, and where we can find it.
Climbing Fear is available on Amazon NOW as a pre-order, with the release on 12th June.
A Coalcliff Stud novel – His beloved home is under threat, and with it the beautiful, haunted woman he’s never been able to forget …
X-Treme TV sports star Reid Stratton has everything-until his best friend falls to his death on a climb while shooting their show. In the fierce media fallout, Reid begins to question everything about himself. Crippled by a new fear of climbing, Reid returns to CoalCliff stud, his family’s horse farm, to recover.
Single mother Natalia Robinson is determined to start afresh, away from the shadow of her past. A job at CoalCliff Stud where she lived as a child is the perfect opportunity to live the quiet life she always wanted. But she is unprepared to see Reid, and is even more unprepared for the passion that still burns between them.
But after a series of menacing events threaten the new home she is trying to build, Nat realises that Reid is the only person she can rely on to keep her and her daughter safe. Together, Reid and Nat must face the pasts that haunt them if they are to survive the present and forge a future of hope.