Before I forget, Leslie will be giving away an autographed copy of Cold Sight. If you leave a comment, please leave an email address so that we may get in touch with you should you be the LUCKY WINNER
Tell us about COLD SIGHT and where you came up with the idea.
Leslie: Last year, I debuted my new Leslie Parrish alter ego, and loved writing much darker romantic-thrillers. One of my favorite parts of doing that was creating a team of investigators working together to solve crimes, in that case, a group of FBI Cyber Action Team agents. I liked that they weren’t traditional cops or FBI agents, they stood out. When I decided to write a new series, I thought hard about another less conventional group of crime solvers—how they would work together, what they’d do. And maybe because of my extreme love of shows like Supernatural and Psychic Detective, I decided to try my hand at writing a paranormal detective agency.
Are you a plotter or a panster?
Leslie: A bit of both, actually. I used to be strictly a pantser, but when I started writing the longer suspense novels, I knew I had to have a few things laid out in advance, before I started writing. There are a lot of twists and turns in one of my Parrish books, red herrings, clues, and all those things can’t come if I just pants my way along.
Do you work with other writers, critique partners, critique group?
Leslie: I work with three of my oldest, dearest friends—Julie Leto, Carly Phillips and Janelle Dennison—in a plotting group. We meet once or twice a year and plot out our books, brainstorming all kinds of ideas while a recorder captures our conversation. Then I take those tapes, listen to them later and use them to springboard into my stories. It’s tremendously helpful—and a lot of fun!
What do you look for in your manuscript when doing revisions?
Leslie: I have a really bad habit of falling in love with certain words when I’m writing, and use them half to death. Some words show up again and again, book after book, like they do with every other, but some are unique. But I can definitely tell you I do a thorough “very/just/little/turned/smiled” hunt on every book!
What have you learned being published that you wish you knew before you were published?
Leslie: That it really doesn’t get easier. I mean, yes, it’s easier now for me to get another contract with Harlequin now that I’ve written 30+ books for them. But the day to day of this business is incredibly tough, and the writing itself just doesn’t get easier, it gets more difficult. Every word I write now feels familiar, and I have to work hard to find new ways to convey similar themes. Super tough!