Welcome to Author Spotlight! Each week will feature a different author. We’ll get the scoop behind their writing life and dish a little. The authors will also be giving away a copy of their latest book. FUN.
Welcome Leslie Gould, author of Becoming Bea, to Author Spotlight! Leave a comment below for the chance to win a copy of her book.
Becoming Bea, an Amish romance, was inspired by Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing. Beatrice and Benedick are two of my all-time favorite characters. It was so much fun to put them in an Amish world as Bea and Ben.
How can readers find you and your books?
Anything new for you on the book horizon?
I’m currently working on a series called The Neighbors of Lancaster County, about an Amish family and a military family that live side by side.
Why do you write?
I write to try to understand life, to find truth, and to let readers know they’re not alone in their struggles and heartaches.
What are you best known for…writing or otherwise?
My husband is a colonel in the Army Reserve and commanded a field hospital in Afghanistan. His service has brought depth to our life as a family, as well as uncertainty. Both ultimately draw us closer to God.
Best author moment?
When women tell me my books have deepened their love for God and for their husbands and family, too.
Worst author moment?
Misspelling “Carol” at an author signing. Somehow I added an “e” to the end—I turned it into a flower. ☺ (Okay, that’s not actually my worse author moment—the others have to do with mistakes in published manuscripts. I honestly try not to think about those—the ones that can’t be changed—too much. Although I do plan to write a blog about it someday.)
If you weren’t able to write, what would you do?
Read! (Although that wouldn’t pay the college tuition for my four kids.) A few years ago, I would have said “midwifery,” but I think I’m getting too old for all nighters now.
Describe your ideal circumstances to write.
If I’m on a tough deadline, I like to get away from my house, and write, write, write without any interruptions. Sometimes I’ll go to the mall for a 10-hour day of writing (I don’t like to shop, so it’s the perfect place!). I’ve gone to a friend’s beach house for three-day marathons before. Or I’ll go to the coffee shop in our neighborhood for an afternoon of writing to stay focused and on track.
Right this moment, what does your office look like?
A mess! I have a first draft deadline a week from now, a rewrite deadline a month away, and a class to plan. I have books and papers stacked everywhere!
How would you describe your writing style to a reader?
Character driven, with a touch of humor and a lot of empathy.
If you could write any book–on any topic–and be guaranteed a publishing contract, what topic would it be?
I have an idea about a seventeen-year-old “missionary” girl—her dad really works for the CIA—fleeing Vietnam in 1975 as it fell to the Vietnamese, and her aftermath back in the U.S. It’s an epic story that covers 40 years and three more wars. We’ll see if anything ever comes out of it. It might be that book that I write for myself someday. ☺
Ever had a bad review? How did you handle it?
I usually don’t worry about a bad review, but I had one that purported blatantly false “facts” concerning the content of my book. I contacted my agent, who contacted my publisher, but no one else was as worried about it as I was, and they didn’t ask Amazon to take it down. Now I just take a deep breath when I stumble across that review and say, “C’est la vie.”
What’s one thing you learned about the publishing industry in last five years? Last year? Last six months?
I’ve learned that it’s constantly changing and to be very, very grateful for every contract I sign and every book I complete. I take none of this for granted.
How do you solve a grammar dilemma?
First I Google it—and surprisingly that always works. If it didn’t, I’d ask a writer friend or my sister, who proofs for me. That said, she catches a lot that I get wrong. Sigh. I’m very thankful for my sister. ☺
Are you an introvert? Extrovert? In between?
I used to be smack in the middle of introvert-extrovert according to Meyers Briggs, but I think as I spend so much time alone writing that I’m leaning more toward introvert.
I enjoy it once I’m up there and especially once it’s over and I’ve made a connection with a group of new people and am chatting away. However, I don’t enjoy anticipating the speaking! And I have to admit that I enjoy speaking to book groups and librarians more than I do to fellow writers. It’s harder to gauge what other writers need or want to hear.
Can a person make a living as a writer?
Some people can. I’ve made a “living” the last few years, although the money has mostly gone toward college tuition for our children. But I have a husband with good insurance, a good retirement plan for the future, and good jobs (civilian and military). It’s very difficult to make a living as a writer.
What are you working on now? Newest release?
Becoming Bea, the last in my Courtships of Lancaster County series, is just releasing. Yay!!! All of the books are retelling of Shakespeare plays. It’s been such a fun series to write. I have all sorts of great promos and contests going on to celebrate. Visit my website, www.lesliegould.com, for more info!
Start the Courtships of Lancaster County series today! The first book in the series, Courting Cate, is FREE!! (ebook only)
Get it here: