K G Leslie interview


A little introduction:

I grew up and still live in the North West of England. I trained as a journalist but had no love for it, and diverted into a healthcare profession instead. My clinical career is a huge part of my life, but the desire to escape into a fictional world of my own creation never left me, so now I’m doing both because I appear to be mad.

When did your love of books begin?

I particularly remember loving the Animals of Farthing Wood series by Colin Dann as a kid. My parents are both avid sci-fi readers and as a teen I was introduced to the likes of Orson Scott Card and Frank Herbert, but my darker side began to explore Stephen King’s work. That's when I realised you could still have depth and style, even if you were writing about a killer car.

When did you start to have the wish to become an author?

I planned my first novel around the age of ten. It was about a wolf and was imaginatively titled "The Wolf". I wrote half of it on my mum's word processor (probably a few thousand words) before losing focus, but I plotted it all out in my daydreams, and would act out scenes with my toys. I knew then that I wanted to make stories when I grew up.

How have you found the process for becoming an author?

I wrote my first novel “I'm Thinking Pie” in my early twenties, and it was supposed to be the start of a fabulous writing career. But I have a habit of mixing genres and creating stories that I can't sum up very well, which makes things hard to market. In those days you queried by mail, with printed copies and self-addressed stamped envelopes. It was expensive and I gave up quickly. As other life things unfolded, I lost my drive to write.


Then six years ago I had an idea that wouldn't leave me alone, so I wrote the scene down. I was very rusty, but it was fun. My idea germinated so I carried on with my little writing exercises, and very accidentally it turned into a novel, which then organically and completely unintentionally turned into a four-part series. Publishing is a whole other world now and suddenly being able to produce my own work and make it readily available was very feasible. I’ve learned a lot through this process, and certainly grown as a writer over the last few years. My brain has already bugged me about two stand-alone projects, so it looks like I won’t be stopping when I finish this current series. Oops.

What would you say to those wanting to become an author?

If you want to write a novel, don’t get overwhelmed by the scale of the project. If you have a snippet of an idea, just write it down, and don’t worry if the quality of your writing isn’t up to scratch yet. Get the first coat done and you can go back over it later to polish and perfect. I think I stalled many early projects by over-editing a first draft or trying to write perfectly in order. Now I start by writing out of sequence, whatever scene takes my fancy at that particular moment, and while about 90% of my first draft is generally terrible I know I can refine it once the story is out of my head. Get something down, then take a step back to review the pacing and structure of the whole thing, then zone right on in to make that prose flow. Keep repeating that for a few years and you’ll have a novel. Easy.

Tell us about your book/books:

My new series starts with The Killing Complex, a fast-paced survival thriller about a young woman who is abducted, kept in a cage and forced to fight. I wanted to explore what would happen to a person if they were kept in abhorrent conditions and made to do terrible things, so it's very much around my character's journey psychologically as well as physically. Cassie is an unintentional action hero, who has incredible physical strength but can be sometimes selfish, often afraid, and regularly swears like a proper northerner. The second book, The Killing Shield, is already available, the third will be out later this year, and the fourth (and last) is what I’m currently writing. The tone shifts from thriller to horror, to a bit of a twisted romance… I don’t write to a particular genre, but as I said that makes summing up my work tricky.


The Killing Complex is mostly available as a free download, and if you can stomach the first few chapters (it’s a bit grim, sorry) then I think you’ll want to follow Cassie’s journey to find out what on earth happens next.

What do you love about the writing/reading community?

I love that there are people out there who get just as lost in a fictional world, or as obsessed with their own characters, or have the same struggles and doubts as I do. As an indie author I have also learned a lot about the trade from others, and I’m really grateful to those who share their experiences.

If you could say anything to your readers what would it be?

In this content-saturated world, thank you for choosing to use some of your time on my work. Hope it’s ok.

Where can people connect with you?

On twitter @KGLeslieWriter and through my website kglesliewriter.com 

I love to hear from people so don't be afraid to get in touch, as long as it's not going to make me cry.


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