Thursday, January 29, 2009

Author Interview and Book Giveaway: Leslie Lehr

Today, we've got award-winning writer, Leslie Lehr, here to answer all of our deep dark questions!

Leslie has generously offered to give away one copy of her novel, WIFE GOES ON. To enter, just post a comment in the comment section below. But for now, let's get to the questions!

Tell us about your most recent novel in 25 words or less.
Wife Goes On is the story of four women who have nothing in common besides being in various stages of divorce who find this to be the basis of true friendship. After all, husbands may come and go, but friends are forever. The story has been described as a modern mix of First Wives Club and Sex and the City, with that combination of heartbreak and humor and fun.


When did you first begin writing?
I always wrote, had a silly poem published in a magazine during elementary school, but I never considered writing as a career. I was interested in TV and film and left Ohio for California to go to film school. After the hormones hit, when I proposed to my now ex-husband and had our first child, I realized that having it all was one thing; doing it all was quite another. The travel and long hours of film production weren’t conducive to motherhood – or creativity, for that matter. I kept pages in the drawer when I was on staff as the West Coast manager of a commercial and video production company, then when I went freelance to work on movies, I wrote between projects. Then I read a novel that was a hit and thought that I would have done that story differently, and better. So I gave myself the summer to try it before heading back to the film business, traded a neighbor for babysitting a few days a week, and gave it a shot.

How do you fight writer’s block?
My biggest challenge, as a single mom, is finding those uninterrupted hours to write, so I'm always excited to be writing. That said, when I sit down most days, I backtrack to get into the story mood. I can start in by doing research or working on a different part of the story or someone’s dialogue. Monday’s are almost completely a matter of getting back to where I was Friday. Between my kids and my boyfriend, I’ve given up working on the weekend, so that’s the price you pay to have a good life. ☺ But if I’m really stuck on the story and my outline isn’t giving me the enough direction for the scene, I found it’s waste of time to just sit there and force out bad stuff. If I can get around the guilt of playing hooky and go to the beach or the movies - anything but more family errands - I usually wake up in the middle of the night inspired.

If your book were to become a movie, whom would you cast?
Diane Lane as Diane, Viveca Fox as Annette, Gwyneth Paltrow as Lana and Jessica Simpson as Bonnie.

What is your favorite part of writing?
Being inspired when I least expect it, when my brain does the work for me or when my characters do things that surprise me - but it’s logical and heightens for the story.

What tips would you offer to aspiring writers?
Read!! And remember, you can never fail until you quit.

How do you usually begin your stories—with a character or with a plot?
A character who has a burning question. That drives the plot.


Do a quick character study on yourself: don’t forget to add in the fun stuff, like favorite foods and things you love/hate!
My favorite place, aside from the real ocean, is my office, which is periwinkle blue with a custom made antique white desk with giant files for my work and photographs of my daughters under the table top glass. I have an old couch covered with blue and pink rose fabrics and my French doors look out onto the pool. It’s small, but perfect, with my palm tree drawings and pictures of mermaids. I was a swimmer and grew up in Ohio, so being in California close to the beach is like heaven. And I start with coffee and lots of healthy stuff, but have to have Diet Pepsi and Popcorn to really work. I love frozen yogurt when I watch TV in bed at night. I wear white skirts in the summer and black in the winter and a few bright colors between. I hate Steven King saying that a writer has to write every day. He has someone to do his laundry and grocery shopping. Plus, thinking is even more important than the writing part. Writing is the fun part.

Lana says that when you wear a jacket, you immediately elevate yourself above the crowd. Is this advice that you follow?
Not to be above the crowd, that was Lana talking – she’s a performer. But jackets do add polish and look more professional, so I feel more confident wearing one and have more authority if I’m teaching or speaking. I love a black jacket over a silky blouse and nice jeans and heels. If there were more jackets out there that are good for everyday, I would get them. I actually love to dress up, in dresses since they are more comfy for me than pants, but it’s hard to find casual dresses after summer. To write, I usually I wear soft sweaters and stretchy pants. But my panties have to match or I can’t concentrate at all!


Want to win a free copy of WIFE GOES ON? Just leave a comment below and you're entered!
Want extra entries? That can be arranged.... Blog about it for another entry. Become of follower of this blog for another entry, too.

The winner will be announced on February 11th.


51 comments:

S. Krishna said...

I'd love to be entered!

Valorie said...

I would love to be entered!

I also blogged:
http://morbid-romantic.net/2009/01/26/book-giveaways-0126-0201

And, I follow you on Google Reader. :)

Valorie
morbidromantic@gmail.com

Karen Harrington said...

Great Q&A with Leslie. No need to enter me as I already have my copy of Leslie's wonderful book! :)

BusStopMommies.com said...

I LOVE Wife Goes On! My daughter is reading it now. If you don't win it, buy it! --it is AWESOME!

mindy said...

nice read thanks for the giveaway

Carleen Brice said...

Still giving away books, I see? I want one, and I'll follow. Enter me twice! :)

Carleen Brice said...

Where do I click to follow the blog?

Carleen Brice said...

Never mind. Got it.

Leslie said...

Leslie, I really enjoyed reading this interview and finding out a bit more about your process AND what you have been doing since HS. Your personality comes through in your words. Can't wait to read your book!

Cheryl F. (Lucky Ladybug) said...

I'd love to read this :) *Thanks* for the giveaway!

lucky[dot]ladybug[at]verizon[dot]net

Cheryl F. (Lucky Ladybug) said...

I blogged about the giveaway :
http://luckyladybug.wordpress.com/bloggy-giveaways/more/
lucky[dot]ladybug[at]verizon[dot]net

Cheryl F. (Lucky Ladybug) said...

I'm following you on Blogger :)
lucky[dot]ladybug[at]verizon[dot]net

Alyce said...

I would love to be entered.
akreese (at) hotmail (dot) com

Janel said...

Please enter me! I loved the interview.

jgbeads AT gmail DOT com

Janel said...

I have also blogged about this in my right sidebar at:

http://janelsjumble.blogspot.com

Lindsay said...

I love that remark about how she hates what Stephen King said about writing every day ;)

Erika Lynn said...

I'd love to be entered!

Erika Lynn said...

blogged!
http://kissmybook.blogspot.com/2009/01/another-week-of-contests.html

Erika Lynn said...

i follow on google reader

purplg8r said...

I would love to be entered!

purplg8r said...

I blogged about the contest here

http://purplg8r-somanybooks.blogspot.com/2009/01/book-contest-wife-goes-on.html

scottsgal said...

Sounds like a great book - I'd love to be entered

Kaye said...

Great contest, I love the title. Please enter me in the drawing, I am blogging about it
http://kayespenguinposts.blogspot.com

I am also a follower

Stacie said...

I'd love to be entered!!

MJ said...

I'd love to read this one!

MJ said...

I follow

Kristi said...

Great interview - I used to live in California and am now land-locked, so I miss the ocean! Your office sounds very comfy to work in though!

Oh - and I now follow this blog.

kherbrand at comcast dot net

Alyce said...

I blogged about it here:

http://athomewithbooks.blogspot.com/2009/01/weekly-giveaway-roundup_31.html

tsslug said...

Please enter me......
God bless our victorious Steelers

judyv12306 said...

Lana says that when you wear a jacket, you immediately elevate yourself above the crowd. My vote is yes. When I was in the corporate world (retired now), I followed the advise dress for the next position you want.

Sheri S. said...

This looks like a great book - I'd love to be entered! Oh and I subscribe to your blog already :)

tetewa said...

I'd like to be included, count me in! tWarner419@aol.com

Nancy L said...

Loved your interview posted on Gather!

Your home office sounds so pretty- periwinkle blue is a great color. I agree; writers do not have to write every day to be considered a writer; some of us have other responsibilities that can't always wait. I laughed about your panties comment!

I'd love to win your book, but even if I don't, I'll read it.

Thanks for a peek into your writing life!

Dan said...

Please enter me in your contest. Thanks

Mitzy said...

This looks so good!

Following*!

Erika Lynn said...

I am obsessed with the cover of Wife Goes On, i think it is stunning

Erika Lynn said...

i am a follower in google reader.

Erika Lynn said...

I blogged about it here
http://kissmybook.blogspot.com/2009/02/wanna-win-some-books.html

bridget3420 said...

Looks like a good read. Count me in!

bridget3420 said...

I'm a follower:)

Bev said...

Happy Thursday : D Please enter me in the contest as well. Wife Goes On, sounds little like the old black and white movie 'The Women' . I loved that movie!

Bev
half4books@gmail.com

ChristyJan said...

Please enter me.

hawkes(at)citlink.net

Lady Roxi said...

Love to read this.

Thanks,

darkfyre1(at)gmail(dot)com

kathy55439 said...

Look like a great read.....

Wrighty - said...

Another good book! Please include me and thanks for your contest.

5wrights1[at]verizon[dot]net

Wrighty - said...

I'm a follower.

Wrighty - said...

I'm adding this to my blog.
www.wrightysreads.blogspot.com

traveler said...

This book sounds compelling and special. Thanks for this giveaway.

Estela said...

What a cool giveaway! Please enter me!!

easagredo@yahoo.com

Hi There! said...

I'd love to win this!

tbbycatt (@) gmail (dot) com


http://martasmeanderings.blogspot.com

Rebecca said...

Love to read this book, I have a group of women friends like this.