Author Spotlight: Leslie Gould

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.

This week please welcome Leslie Gould in the spotlight! To win a copy of her book Courting Cate, leave a comment on this post!

What is the smartest writing advice you ever got?

Think of the first draft as the scaffolding. You have to put it up to build the building, but it all gets torn down later. I write my first drafts fast and furious, doing very little editing along the way. After I’m completely done, I begin the rewriting process. Getting the first draft written really frees me to rework the story as needed. Otherwise I tend to over think, over edit, and over procrastinate.

What was your biggest break?

My agent, Chip MacGregor. He’s encouraged me when things looked bleak, paired me with my co-author, Mindy Starns Clark, and he loved my Courtships of Lancaster County idea—retelling Shakespeare stories—from the very beginning.

I’m inspired by…

Stories! Amish stories. Mennonite stories. Adoption stories. Birth stories. Growing-up stories. Farm stories. Overseas stories. Parenting stories. Redemption stories. I love listening to people talk about their lives.

My great adventure has been…

Traveling with my husband to Vietnam in 2001 to adopt our youngest daughter, who was almost four at the time. A planned two-week trip ended up being almost five weeks. There were problems with the paperwork, which caused a lot of stress, but many good things came from our extra weeks there—spending more time with our daughter in her country before bringing her home, connecting with more Vietnamese people, depending on God, and the inspiration for my second novel, Beyond the Blue. It’s not our story, but it’s based on our emotions.

The one thing I hope to discover is…

How to truly live by faith, minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day. How to wake every morning and say, “This is your day, Lord.” And not take it back in a fit of worry or control or blame.

If I could go anywhere, it would be…

That’s a really hard question. I’d really like to go back to Nappanee, Indiana and visit more with an Amish family I spent time with a couple of years ago. And I’d like to return to Vietnam and work in an orphanage for a few weeks—or longer. Russia has also been on my mind lately. I’ve never been but think it would be fascinating. Right now, though, we have three kids in college and another on her way in a couple of years, so I don’t see any big trips in our foreseeable future!

If you have only…an hour…

I wouldn’t start reading a book—that would be too frustrating! I would go for a walk with my hubby or a friend or one of my sisters and talk, talk, talk.

Describe yourself in one word…

Faithful (even though I have a hard time living by faith ☺)

If your house were on fire, what one thing would you save?

After my kids and husband? And assuming the cats are outside? My laptop. Not only does it have all my documents, it has photos, plus addresses, contacts, and all the stories I still want to tell. (Yes, my laptop, even with an online back system in place.)

What has been your most surreal, “pinch-me-I’m-dreaming” moment so far?

That would have to be winning the Christy Award for The Amish Midwife with my co-author Mindy Starns Clark. Being a finalist was so wonderful, and I felt so content with that. But when the first paragraph of our novel was read indicating we’d won, it really did feel like a dream.

What drives you to succeed?

I would write whether I kept getting contracts or not, but having deadlines and making a living at this is great motivation to keep at it!

Best Surprise…

The Amish Midwife making it to #1 on the CBA and ECPA bestseller lists. I’d never had a bestselling book before at all—I was shocked!

Best Saturday Afternoon Read…

I tend to binge on books—once I get started I can’t stop. Lisa Wingate’s Dandelion Summer is one of my most recent binges. It was excellent! The Secrets of Mary Bowser, by Lois Leveen, is another.

Best Way to Break a Sweat…

Spending a day working on marketing! I feel good about my books and promoting them, but it’s hard for me to talk about myself. I wasn’t raised that way. So I really do try to focus on my books, although this interview is all about me. ☺

Best Time-Waster…

Watching HGTV with my daughters.

Best Indulgence

Crème brûlée at Pho Van, a Vietnamese restaurant in Portland, Oregon where I live. It’s the most amazing combination of the best of French desserts with the Vietnamese addition of ginger to the hard caramel. It’s absolutely divine—this coming from a chocolate girl!

Best Advice…

If you want to write fiction, go to writers’ conferences. Start with a local one and then go to a national one. Network with agents and editors and other writers. Offer to review novels. Be supportive of the industry. Make friends. They will friend you back.

About Suzanne

Suzanne Woods Fisher writes bestselling, award winning fiction and non-fiction books about the Old Order Amish for Revell Books. Her interest in the Plain People began with her Old Order German Baptist grandfather, raised in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. Suzanne's app, Amish Wisdom, delivers a daily Amish proverb to your phone or iPad. She writes a bi-monthly column for Christian Post and Cooking & Such magazine. She lives with her family in California and raises puppies for Guide Dogs for the Blind. To Suzanne's way of thinking, you can't take life too seriously when a puppy is running through your house with someone's underwear in its mouth.


  1. Terry Giet says:

    Thank you for the chance to win this book! I’d love to read it! :0)

  2. Katie J. says:

    I enjoyed the interview and look forward to the author spotlight every week. Thanks for the opportunity to win Courting Cate.

  3. amyc says:

    Enjoyed today’s interview and post.

  4. Jan C. says:

    Thank you for the post. The interview was exceptional in getting to know Leslie. Please enter me for a chance to win Courting Cate. Blessings!

  5. Cheryl says:

    Great interview. Thanks for having this contest. Happy New year!!!

  6. Gina Hill says:

    I would love to win this book as I love to binge on books too!!

  7. Debbie Curto says:

    glad to know an author binges on Books! Would love to win her’s!

  8. Cheryl Y. says:

    I really enjoyed reading the interview. Would love to win the book too. She sounds like a fasinating writer. I don’t have much money so my best way to get books is my mom passes them down to me or I try and win them. I’d be so excited to win this one.

  9. Donna C Taylor says:

    Love the interview and a chance to get to know new authors. Would love to win the book. God Bless.

  10. Katie L says:

    I love Christian Fiction Books! Have a blessed day. May God bless you.

  11. Kim Hale says:

    Can’t wait to read your books!

  12. barbara l says:

    Thank you Ms. Suzanne Woods Fisher for your interview. It was truly informative. I look forward to reading more of your books in the future.

  13. dorothy says:

    nice interview

  14. Ashley F says:

    love Amish fiction and this one looks great 🙂 Enjoyed the interview!!

  15. Would love to read this book. It was a wonderful thing you did by adopting a child. I am sure the child has been a blessing to you. You will receive many rewards for it. Not only on earth but in heaven! God Bless you! Thanks for the chance to win this book.

  16. Skeeter says:

    I would love a chance to read this book, I love Christian fiction and I really like Amish stories

  17. Jean Smith says:

    Looks like a Great book. Would love to win it.

  18. Marilyn says:

    I love to binge on books too. I checked my good reads stats and I read 41 books in 2012. I would love to add your book to my list.

  19. debbie mosley says:

    i would like to win this book thanks for the chance

  20. Sharon Holweger says:

    Would love to win this book

  21. Faye Simer says:

    This a nice cover. I would love to win the book ! Thanks !

  22. Tammy Courts says:

    Would love to win Courting Cate! Thanks for the chance!!

  23. Edie says:

    Would LOVE to win this book!!

  24. Connie R. says:

    I love to experience new authors…thanks for the chance to win the book. Amish fiction is one of my favorite genres.

  25. brenda wheeler says:

    enjoyed the interview Thank you Please add my name for the drawing please, thank you Brenda

  26. Rose Chisholm says:

    Enjoyed the interview. Love Amish Fiction. Would love to win the book!

  27. Anne Gooch says:

    Great interview and I love Amish stories!!! Thanks for a chance to win it.

  28. Leslie Kaltt says:

    Looks like a great book! Love finding new authors I haven’t read yet!

  29. Wendy Ford says:

    I thoroughly enjoyed the Amish Midwife and the Amish nanny . Courting Cate sounds like a really great book and I would love to win a copy .

  30. Pat Moore says:

    I’ve read several of your books, Leslie. I truly enjoyed each one. I read the first one about a year and plan to read a lot more. Thank you & Suzanne for the chance to enter the contest. I haven’t read your new book yet & look forwardto it. Have a wonderul & blessed ay.

  31. Dottie Boyce says:

    Looking forward to reading your book.

  32. Ronda Ferry says:

    Love the post havn’t read this author yet will be looking for her books.

  33. Wanda White says:

    Thank you for the book giveaway! Hope to win as this is a new author to me and I like to share them with my 82 year old mother!

  34. Would love to win this book. Have not read any of Leslie’s books so I’m sure it would be a new author for me to add to my list!

  35. Pamela Hargraves says:

    Great interview. Chocolate is my down fall.

  36. Trudi's McD says:

    Enjoyed Amish Midwife, love the cover of Courting Cate. Hope to win!:)

  37. Stephanie O says:

    Looks great, will be looking for it.

  38. O Norman says:

    This sounds like a great book! I’d love to win it.

  39. Megan Parsons says:

    I can’t wait to read this book!
    makeighleekyleigh at

  40. Linda Morgan says:

    I’d love to win Leslie’s book – thanks for the entry 🙂

  41. Susan Fletcher says:

    I’d love to win this book! Thanks for the give-away.

  42. Becky McCoy says:

    I would love to win this book! Thank you for doing a give-away! Would be willing to share my thoughts about it on a website if you need me to. Thank you!!

  43. Bonnie Traher says:

    Would so love to win a book. Leslie Gould sounds awesome.

  44. Sue Stone says:

    Thank you for giving me an opportunity to win this book. I would love to add to add it to my home library.

  45. Wilma Frana says:

    Sounds like a great book, I’d love to read it.

  46. Kelly Pitt says:

    Thank you so much for this opportunity!!! 🙂

  47. karenk says:

    thanks for the chance to read this wonderful story 🙂

  48. It is so nice to another great author. I have always loved to read, if my mom couldn’t find me when I was younger all she had to do was look under the willow tree or in my room. I always had my nose in a book. Would love to read Courting Cate. Sounds really good. Have a Blessed Day.

  49. Noreen says:

    Great Interview; I love all Amish/Mennonite books so please enter me in this drawing. I look forward to reading more of your interviews.

  50. Karen Murphy says:

    I would love to win a book, I read Amish Midwife and really enjoyed it.

  51. Judy Fritz says:

    I noticed in your interview that we binge on the very same thing – – BOOKS!! My binge books are predominantly the Amish Books!!! I’d love to add Courting Kate to my Amish collection!!! Thanks for offering the contests!!

    Judy Fritz

  52. Trudi M says:

    Eager to read Courting Cate. Would love to win it! Thanks for the giveaway:)

  53. Kathy Faberge says:

    I enjoy your books, Leslie!

  54. Carissa Scott says:

    I would love to win this book!! 🙂
    I didn’t see anything specific I was supposed to comment on.

  55. Thank you for your interview. I have been watching Courting Cate go around! Would love to have a copy! Kathleen ~ Missouri

  56. Suzanne, thanks for this interview with Leslie. I would love to win her book. Please enter my name. Thanks! Maxie mac262(at)me(dot)com

  57. Carol Carman says:

    Fascinating interview – thank you!
    Please enter me in your drawing for Courting Cate.

  58. Ruth Swartz says:

    thank u for a change to win this wonderful book

  59. judith galloway says:

    would love to win one of your books. Love to read them.

  60. Jackie Tessnair says:

    I would love to win and read this book.Thanks for the chance.Great interview.

  61. Suzanne I forgot to answer the question on what Does Leslie binge on. The answer is books! Maxie mac262(at)me(dot)com