Welcome to a new month. It’s my birthday month and I’m super excited for October to be here. To help celebrate this awesome month I am sitting down today with MC & Contemporary Romance author J.L. Leslie. We are going to talk about herself of course and her latest book. Stop by and check it out. Happy reading :).
Tell us a little bit about yourself?
There’s not much to tell LOL! I am a country girl, born and raised in Alabama. I’ve always loved reading and have always had a wild imagination. I love music, television, and movies just as much as I love books! I’m not super outdoorsy, but I’ve been known to catch a fish or two! I can also be found cheering my kids on at their sports events and rooting “War Eagle” during football season!
What genre do you write in? Why?
I write romance and the reason for that is I was drawn in by a romance book when I was a freshman in high school. In middle school, I decided I wanted to be a writer, but romance was definitely not the genre I envisioned myself writing. I actually thought I would be writing horror! But as I grew older, my taste in books began to change and I was hooked on the way a love story unfolds.
What inspired you to become an author?
I would always write short stories and draw pictures when I was a kid, letting my imagination go crazy. I told myself when I grew up, I was going to be the female Stephen King and write these amazing horror stories. As I said, my taste in genre changed and as a teenager, I was more into reading books than writing them. In my early twenties, I sat down and wrote a historical romance novel, which has not been and will not be released. This was prior to self-publishing. I shopped around for publishers, but as a newlywed with really no financial budget for writing, I realized paying a publisher to simply read my work was something I couldn’t afford to do. I tabled the book and my writing for a while. Fast forward several years, after getting divorced and re-married, I was a new woman with a new outlook on life, and decided I wanted to give writing another shot, especially since self-publishing was now an option. In 2015, I sat down and wrote my debut novel, Demons From My Past, and with the support of my family, I haven’t looked back.
Tell us about your latest release?
My latest release is Something Honorable (Dirty Southern Secrets Series: Book Two) and I have truly enjoyed writing a series based in my home state of Alabama! I have one more book to go in this series, but this series features the Holt brothers, each with their own love story. I have never been one to shy away from sensitive subjects and this series definitely hits on topics that aren’t normally found in books. I want my readers to read something they can relate to or might have experienced and understand that others have gone through the same.
Tell us about your main character in your book. What makes them unique?
The main characters in Something Honorable are Tauren Holt and Helene Jacobs. Tauren is a construction worker during the week and drives a race car on the weekends. Helene is the goodie-two-shoes daughter of the pastor and local chief of police – yes, they are one in the same! What makes these characters unique is that they make mistakes, huge ones, but they also learn how to deal with the consequences of their decisions and how to fight for what they want. This isn’t a sweet, everything goes perfect, love story, because life and love isn’t like that. There are obstacles to overcome and sometimes we are the ones who create those obstacles.
Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years as a writer?
This is a tricky question for me honestly! Although I set personal goals for myself, I don’t set goals as to say “Okay, in 5 years you’re going to be a NYT or USA Today bestselling author!” My plan in 5 years is to still be writing what makes me happy. If I’m not writing what makes me happy, what’s the point?
How did you come up with the story within your books? What inspired your creativity?
I get my inspiration from everything! Music, television, movies, and personal experiences all play a role in my books. There have been a lot of times I can hear a song on the radio and a story will unfold immediately! I’ve also seen a photo online or a scene in a movie and I’m hit with inspiration to go write! It just happens out of the blue and sometimes I’m a plotter, meaning I plot out the entire book before writing, but the majority of the time I let the story come to me during the process of writing it.
Who is your biggest support system in your life?
When I originally decided to sit down and start writing again in 2015, my mom was my biggest support system. She told me to go for it and I did. Of course, my husband supported me as well, but he doesn’t read romance books LOL! My mom read my first two books and was reading my third when she passed away. I still have the support of my husband and family, but my mom was definitely my biggest supporter and I dedicate all of my written words to her!
What are you reading right now?
I am currently reading an ARC of Hidden Pain by Anna Edwards, which I’m loving so far! This book is part of the Glacial Blood Series and is PNR, so if you’re a fan, pick it up!
What should we expect from you in the coming months?
I am always working on something and my current WIP is the follow up to The Sinner Within (L.A. Sinners MC Series: Book One). I love writing difference romance sub-genres and after writing the Ravens MC Series, discovered that I enjoy the gritty side of MC romance! The Sinner Unleashed (L.A. Sinners MC Series: Book Two), is Warren and Mackenzie’s story and I am furiously writing on it, so I hope to release it very soon! I will also be releasing Something Reckless (Dirty Southern Secrets Series: Book Three) this year and plan to release the fourth and final installment in the Hearts of Hollis Series with my co-author, Nicole Dykes. I’m certain these will not be my only projects though so be sure to check in and see what I have in store!
I am a happily married mother of three (two boys and one girl). I live in a very small town in Alabama. Never lived anywhere else. I’ve been writing since my early twenties, but I couldn’t seem to finish a book. I’ve started self-publishing with the encouragement from my mom. Without her encouragement, I don’t think I would’ve done it. She always supported me and writing is something I’ve always enjoyed doing.
Connect with the Author
She’s the perfect incarnate of an angel. Pure. Innocent. The only reason I come to church on Sunday mornings. The only woman I treat differently than the others. The only woman I unintentionally make promises to.
Promises I do intend to keep.
I’m practically sin walking. Immoral. Dishonorable. The very reason she should be in church on Sunday mornings. The only man she has ever allowed to touch her. The only man who makes her turn her back on everything she believes in. The only man who has the capability to destroy her.
Promises aren’t always kept. Life can unravel at the seams. The decisions we make when our world is falling apart can either be cowardly or something honorable.
**Something Honorable is Tauren and Helene’s story and is book two in the Dirty Southern Secrets Series. It is a standalone full-length novel. It contains adult content, adult language, and sexual content. It is intended for mature readers only.**