Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Author interview: Leslie Lehr

I'm so thrilled today because I've got the amazing Leslie Lehr here to chat.  Today, her new novel WHAT A MOTHER KNOWS comes out and it's a gripping story about mothers and daughters, about what, as parents, we fear the most.  You may also know Leslie as Chemo Chick over on Sick of Pink.  I know her as an awesomely supportive and hugely talented writer friend.  But enough about me-- let's chat with Leslie!

Tell us about yourself!
I grew up in Ohio and moved to California as soon as possible –meaning, after senior year in high school when it was so cold that school was closed for a month. Which was not as fun as it sounds. But I do miss the small town 4th of July. I’m sort of a newlywed, living as close to the beach as possible with my cute husband. (I’d sworn off getting married again, but he was still so cute after four years of dating that I couldn’t resist.) I have two almost-grown daughters who inspire both the angst and the adoration in What A Mother Knows. I collect sand dollars because it thrills me that no matter what else is happening the world, these little gifts keep washing up on the beach. And I’m just finishing treatment for breast cancer, so I absolutely hate pink, but I do appreciate how little time it takes to get ready when I’m rocking a turban.

Tell us a bit about your path to becoming a writer
It was a curvy path. I always wrote, newspaper columns and essays and scripts between jobs after film school, but mainly because I have a lot to say. This morning my radiologist had to tell me to stop talking to his co-worker, Candy, so the beam wouldn’t fry the wrong boob. How could anyone resist talking to a person named Candy?

Tell us about your latest release in 25 words or less.
 A woman who recovers from a fatal car accident only to be accused of murder must find her missing daughter, who might know what happened.

(Except she cares more about finding her daughter than she does about the accident.)

What's your favorite part of writing?  Least?

My least favorite part of writing is when I spend an entire day banging my head against the keyboard, trying to figure something out. My favorite part comes after that when I finally give up, take a walk on the beach – and voila, the answer comes! Then I wish I’d gone to the beach earlier. And brought a notepad.

If you weren't a writer, what would you be?
My original goal was to make music videos, but then I did and it was awful. Then I wanted to produce movies and started working my way up, but got sidetracked by kids. Then again, I always wrote on the side, thinking I could do it better than whoever wrote the script we were shooting.

Now I can’t imagine being anything else. I get to play with the people in my head all day. Boss them around. Is that weird?

What’s your website like?
It’s so fun  - and it was a family affair. My niece just moved to LA, so in exchange for doing her laundry here she helped me with Pinterest character boards and the Skype thingie so I can do book club visits from home.  My daughter is studying advertising in San Francisco, so she filmed the trailer and also came up with the map where my hero searches for her daughter– you can click on cities from Hawaii to New York and find postcards from scenes in the book. She also put together the Spotify playlist. My girlfriend gave me her recipe for lemon bars to put on the page with all the book club menus. And of course there are blogs and reviews and the usual stuff. Plus a picture of me with long hair. Ha!

What are you reading right now?
Caroline Leavitt’s Is This Tomorrow.  If it were July, I would be reading Recipe For A Happy Life by Brenda Janowitz. 

Aw, thank you, Leslie!  I so appreciate that.  Leslie's novel WHAT A MOTHER KNOWS is out today.  What are you waiting for??  Go get your copy now!

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