20 QUESTIONS FOR LESLEY JONES
1. Have you always wanted to be a writer?
No, when I was younger, my ambition in life was to be a stripper. I fell into writing by accident. I was going through a difficult time and doing a lot of reading, some of the books I read were terrible, truly terrible. One day my husband asked what I was reading and I said “Absolute crap, I could do better.” His reply was “Go on then.” So I gave it a go.
2. Are you a full time writer? If so, what did you do in your “previous life?”
Yep, writing is all that I do. I used to work as a class room assistant and I’ve also run my own business.
3. If you could go back in time, what advice would you give your younger self?
Slow down, don’t be in such a hurry to grow up… And those legs, tits and arse won’t look that good forever, so work that shit, while you’ve still got it.
4. Do you work on one storyline at a time or do you have multiple storylines in the pipeline?
I generally work on one story at a time, but right now, I have three on the go. So many voices are in my head right now that it’s not even funny.
5. CARNAGE The Story of Us and The Story of Me blew me away (as well as many of my friends)! I really did not want it to end. Did you get as emotionally attached to your characters as much as we did while writing these books?
I did, Carnage only took me about about ten weeks to write and two of those were spent writing that last chapter, I’d sit and look at it every day, but just couldn’t bring my self to write the words. They were all there, going around in my head but I just couldn’t get them down. Then when I did, I called my husband and said “It’s done.” He came in from work that night, with a case of wine.
6. While writing CARNAGE, did you realize you were writing something special?
Not at all. I just wanted to write something that wasn’t your typical HEA love story. I know a lot of people read to escape but I just don’t see why it always has to be fluffy clouds and rainbow farting unicorns everywhere. As a reader, I like my books gritty, angsty and I can take or leave the HEA. So that’s what I set out to write. The day after the ARC’s went out, I was getting messages from bloggers telling me they’d stayed up all night reading and that I needed to write a follow up, which, at the time, I had no intention of doing. In the end, before hitting publish, I added Book #1 The Story Of Us to the title and started working on book #2
7. What are your biggest distractions?
Social media. If I were to switch off my phone from 9 to 5, I would get so much more done. I also have to have a completely silent house when I write. Which isn’t easy at my place, believe me.
8. What is your least favorite part of the writing or publishing process?
Writing the synopses. 120K words, no problem, a 500 word blurb, impossible. When I first started out, I also struggled with pimping my own work. Luckily, within about 10 months, I’d established a pretty good fan base and I started to get more and more mentions, then Carnage came out and everything just exploded. I now have a fantastic admin team around me, which enables me to step away from social media and concentrate on more writing.
9. Do you find it difficult, or challenging to write from the male POV?
I actually don’t. Perhaps it’s because I have a husband and three sons, I’m used to ‘bloke talk”.
10. What activities do you enjoy outside of writing?
I like to cook, I like to socialise, watch my son play football and read.
11. Do you have a favorite author or book?
I have lots of authors that I love. My favourite book is The Little Match Girl, by Hans Christian Andersen. Modern day authors that I love are Mia Asher, Sylvain Reynard, Jodie Malpas, Tali Alexander and I’ve just discovered Mo Mabie, who’s book Bait, has been my fave read so far this year.
12. Ever think you have a great idea for a book, only to find out someone released the same storyline already?
No, that’s never happened yet. Sometimes I’ll read a book or hear a song and it’ll give me an idea for something which you would never in million years guess where the inspiration originally came from. Carnage came from this story I just happened to have in my head and a news story that I heard.
13. Have you ever had writer’s block?
No, the voices in my head never seem to shut up.
14. I noticed that Georgia’s move from England to Australia is similar to your own experience. Was that by design or coincidental?
My move to Australia was entirely different, we moved here as a family, to try something new. Georgia was trying to pick up the pieces of her life and find a way to move forward.
15. What does your writing workspace look like?
Warm and cozy. I can’t write at a desk, so I sit at the room at the front of our house where there is just a couple of sofas, a coffee table and the fire. It’s probably not good for my back but it’s the only way I can write.
16. Sharing your baby with the public has to be scary. How do you respond to negative reviews?
If they’re constructive, I’ll take on board what’s being said. If they’re spiteful and personal, I cry. I stay away from reviews nowadays. My husband reads them and tells me about the nice ones. I still have trouble believing anyone would want to read my work so getting caught up in the negativity isn’t a good thing for me, I’d rather stay on board the happy train.
17. While you are writing, do you visualize your characters? Who is your Sean, Cam and Georgia?
Yep, I do. I tend to find my muse before I start writing and even write outfits that the characters are wearing to fit with a picture I’ve seen. Justin Barringer is my Muse for Sean. Emily DiDonato is my G and Joe Manganiello is my Cam. I actually held a comp in my fan group to find Conner Reed from Conviction. Jacey Elthalion fitted the bill perfectly. He’s actually started following me on Instagram and liking all the teasers I post with his image.
18. Can you tell us what you are working on next?
Right now, it’s last minute edits for Conviction, which is out March 3rd. Then I will be writing Marley’s book and a short companion novella to Carnage, called, The Letters.
19. What is in your purse right now?
Lipstick, hair ties, wallet, anti bac wipes, lots and lots of receipts.
20. Which one of your books is your favorite and why?
Probably Saviour, because it was my first and got me through a pretty difficult time in my life.