A Conversation with Author Leslie Wolfe

What inspired the idea for your book?

 – Learning that spousal psychological abuse can take many forms, some so insidious that victims rarely know they’re abused until it’s too late.

What was the most surprising thing you learned in writing this book? 

 – Something from my research into the legal system: the State can actually file murder charges against a suspect without having found the victim’s body. Huh! How interesting. 

If you were friends with a character in this book, what kinds of things would you do together? 

– I’d be friends with Andrea, and we’d explore our shared love for the ocean, the Gulf of Mexico in particular. We’d be out there on a boat, diving, fishing, taking in every breath of air and ray of sunshine the Gulf has to offer. I’d learn from her wealth of knowledge about marine creatures big and small, and, in return, I’d teach her to be a little more wary of charming men who seem too good to be true. 

What does it mean to you to be called an author? 

– I rarely am… I keep a very low profile. I’m a very private person. I love it when people talk about my books without knowing I wrote them… in bookstores and such. Love that!  

How do you define success as an author?

 – This is the kind of success I’m aiming for, to become a household name, like James Patterson, E. L. James, Michael Crichton, etc.

Do you have any quirky writing rituals? 

– I like drinking chamomile tea when I’m writing and listening to Calm Piano Music 24/7 – it’s on Youtube. Both are calming, soothing “helpers.” I don’t write well when I’m cranked up on caffeine. 

What comes first for you — the plot or the characters? 

– Always the villain! I have to “fall in love” with a villain before I build a story around them and let them shine. 

As an author what do you think makes a good story? 

– The ability to ensnare a reader’s mind, to offer them an escape from the daily grind, but also an opportunity to learn something they didn’t know before they read your book. Ultimately, good entertainment value is what makes a good story.  

What do you look for in a story as a reader? 

– To be captivated. To be able to identify with at least one of the characters, to resonate with them, to root for them so hard I forget to eat dinner or go to bed on time. 

Who is your audience?

 – Mostly women, most of them in the Eastern, Central, and Mountain time zones. 

How do you interact with your readers? 

– By email mostly, rarely through Facebook. I’m not a huge fan of social media, and many times I forget to log in for weeks. But I always receive and answer my emails, even if sometimes it might take a while to get to everyone. 

What has been your favorite reader feedback?

 – “I fell into the Leslie Wolfe hole,” was the final sentence in a reader’s email. Well, I had no idea such a thing existed. Apparently, it’s what happens when a reader and new fan, as she explained it, drops everything and reads all the books in a newly discovered series, abandoning housework, cooking, all the daily chores. My overactive imagination immediately visualized a table surrounded by screaming, starving children banging their forks against empty plates, just like inmates before a prison uprising. Ouch.

What is your all time favorite book or author? Do you think this has influenced your writing?

 – My all-time favorite is Michael Crichton, and yes, he was an influencer. I share his passion for science, for weaving scientific fact into emotionally powerful stories. I deeply regret that I never had the opportunity to meet him before his untimely passing.

What was the defining moment that made you say to yourself, “Today, I am going to write a book that I will publish.”? 

– I didn’t have one. I just had one story I absolutely wanted to tell. After it was finished, an undisclosed number of literary agents ☺ refused to publish it. Then, I asked myself, “Now what?” That first novel still sells today.  

What is the first book that you remember reading? 

– The Three Musketeers, by Alexandre Dumas. A gift from my Mom.

How do you avoid or defeat writer’s block?

 – Never had it. I procrastinate a little like everyone else, but my Nemesis is lack of time, not writer’s block. 

What difference do you see between a writer and an author? 

– To me, a writer is someone who writes (books or anything else, for that matter) on spec, following a formula. An author is someone who creates freely, who lives for the story they must tell, not what the market/genre/surveys say they have to write. There’s another definition: Authors write books, and writers write screenplays for film or television. That’s Hollywood’s definition ☺

What is an underrated book, series or author that you think everyone should read at least once?

 – Dune, by Frank Herbert. It’s a fantastic example of how to create a perfectly amazing new world, starting from concepts inspired from our earthly reality. You can easily read Dune and equate the spice with oil, the planet with the desert regions of the middle east, and so on. The story vibrates, it has depth and a level of perception that leaves you breathless, discovering implications and facets to it for years to come. 

Aside from writing or reading, what are your hobbies or interests?

 – I’m a dog lover with all my heart. I train dogs, get involved in rescue efforts, find or place dogs who need a forever home, and finally, I train dogs. Tell me you have a puppy and need some pointers on housebreaking, and I’ll drop everything and meet you for a session, free of charge. 

What advice would you give to a writer working on their first book? 

– In the words of Winston Churchill, “Never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never—in nothing, great or small, large or petty—never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense.” Then I’d move on to Hemingway’s advice, “Write drunk, edit sober.” Finally, I’d add mine, “Have the courage to let the story lead you wherever it wants to go. Worry about genres/markets later. Your passion for that story is what makes it capture the hearts of the readers.” 

If you could have lunch with 3 authors (past or present) who would they be and what do you think you would all talk about during lunch? – Michael Crichton, Ernest Hemingway, and Sidney Sheldon, and we’d talk endlessly about character development and character arc.

What are you reading now? 

– Falling, by T. J Newman

What is your author spirit animal? 

– You have to ask? LOL Hint: my name is Wolfe.

What would your dream library look like? 

– Large and well lit, with plush, burgundy carpeting and massive oak shelves lined up with thousands of books. Some I’ve read, others I’m planning to. It has a recliner by the window and a leather sofa, and several dogs sleeping in various spots, all nice and comfy. None of them, I repeat, none of them is chewing on any book covers or spines.

If you had your own talk show, what would the topic be and who would be your first guest(s)? 

– The topic would be The Sociopaths Among Us, and I’d invite Jack Welch first.

If your book were made into a movie, which actors would play your characters?

–Andrea would be Kristen Stewart — the pale and gaunt version of Kristen, with short hair and blonde highlights in her hair, and Craig would be Nicholas Hoult. Anthony Hopkins would play Andrea’s father.

Name three fun facts about you or your work. 

– I sometimes talk out loud to my villains as if I were their mother, scolding them for the bad deeds they do. 

None of my books include any characters inspired by real people, but all of them include at least one situation inspired by real situations where people’s mistakes or negligence made a predator’s job easy. 

I love writing from the villain’s POV.  

If you had a secret room that opened by pulling a book on a shelf, what book would you choose? 

The Iron Curtain, so I could say, “Pull the iron curtain.” 

If you went on a road trip with any author, dead or alive, who would it be, and where would you go? 

– Sidney Sheldon, and it would be a trip to South Africa, to visit the diamond mines that inspired his 1982 bestseller, Master of the Game. Then we’d go to Hollywood; he achieved at some point the incredible success of having Broadway shows, movies, TV shows, and books all making the charts, so much so that producers had started to worry that his name was everywhere and that was bad for business. I’d love to hear him talk about that. 

What is something you can do better than anyone else you know? 

– Relocate. I’ve moved thirteen times across state lines and/or national borders. I lived in many places and countries. I pack, move, research locations, lease/buy/sell homes, organize, and restart living in another place like no one else, fast and efficiently, on any budget. I really hope the roots I’ve grown here, in Florida, are my forever roots, and I won’t relo ever again. I found my forever home and I love it, with mosquitoes and snakes and all. And frogs, and bears, and noseeums. And hair-frizzing humidity.

If you knew you could not fail, what would you do? 

– Anything I’d set my mind to do.


Simply Wow

Craig has been charged in the death of his wife, though he claims his innocence. The investigation into her disappearance and presumed murder takes the reader on a wild ride that does not allow the book to be put aside. It is a trip through master manipulation as the marriage that starts off as fairy tale rescue on the side of the road slowly takes away all that i important to Andi as she conforms more and more to her husband’s machinations. It starts off  a bit tense and finishes super intense with twists and subplots that come out of nowhere. The drama is built upon superbly written, well defined, and dynamic characters that leap off the page to tell their version of truth. This is part mystery, part courtroom procedural, all thriller that doesn’t let go until the final sentence. 

Rating: 5 out of 5.

I received an advance review copy for free through Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours, and I am leaving this review voluntarily

Andrea Brafford’s life is nearly perfect. A passionate marine biologist, happily married to Craig, the man she loves, recently moved into a home commensurate with their success to enjoy a life many others only dream about, in one of Houston’s most desirable suburbs. But only a few months later, a trial that dramatically polarizes their town names Craig Brafford as a defendant in the murder of his young wife, shattering the serenity of the peaceful community.

Andi’s name is on everyone’s lips, her relationships exposed and torn to shreds in a highly publicized case that has everyone’s eyes glued to the internet. Andrea’s life remains a mystery that investigators and public opinion equally fail to solve. Was she the happy, devoted wife she’d made everyone believe she was?

Only she can answer that question.

The best-selling author of Dawn Girl is back with a suspenseful, gripping psychological thriller. Fans of Celeste Ng, Alex Michaelides, and Liane Moriarty will enjoy The Girl You Killed, an addictive psychological thriller that will keep readers enthralled until the last page.

Purchase Link – Amazon

 Leslie Wolfe is a bestselling author whose novels break the mold of traditional thrillers. She creates unforgettable, brilliant, strong women heroes who deliver fast-paced, satisfying suspense, backed up by extensive background research in technology and psychology.

Leslie released the first novel, Executive, in October 2011. Since then, she has written many more, continuing to break down barriers of traditional thrillers. Her style of fast-paced suspense, backed up by extensive background research in technology and psychology, has made Leslie one of the most read authors in the genre and she has created an array of unforgettable, brilliant and strong women heroes along the way.

A recently released standalone and an addictive, heart-stopping psychological thriller, The Girl You Killed will appeal to fans of The UndoingThe Silent Patient, or Little Fires Everywhere. Reminiscent of the television drama Criminal Minds, her series of books featuring the fierce and relentless FBI Agent Tess Winnett would be of great interest to readers of James Patterson, Melinda Leigh, and David Baldacci crime thrillers. Fans of Kendra Elliot and Robert Dugoni suspenseful mysteries would love the Las Vegas Crime series, featuring the tension-filled relationship between Baxter and Holt. Finally, her Alex Hoffmann series of political and espionage action adventure will enthrall readers of Tom Clancy, Brad Thor, and Lee Child.

Leslie has received much acclaim for her work, including inquiries from Hollywood, and her books offer something that is different and tangible, with readers becoming invested in not only the main characters and plot but also with the ruthless minds of the killers she creates.

A complete list of Leslie’s titles is available at LeslieWolfe.com/books.

Leslie enjoys engaging with readers every day and would love to hear from you. Become an insider: gain early access to previews of Leslie’s new novels.

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS

October 27 – I Read What You Write – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW,

October 27 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT

October 28 – Novels Alive – GUEST POST

October 29 – Novels Alive – REVIEW

October 30 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

October 31 – off

November 1 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

November 2 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

November 2 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW

November 3 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – GUEST POST

November 3 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT

November 4 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT

November 5 – Elizabeth McKenna – Author – SPOTLIGHT

November 6 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

November 7 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT

November 7 – Rosepoint Publishing – REVIEW

November 8 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT

November 9 – fundinmental – REVIEW

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