Leisl is a tall red head with an overly large imagination. As a child, she identified strongly with Anne of Green Gables. A voracious reader and a born performer, it came as no surprise to anyone when she did a double major in English Literature and Drama for her BA, then went on to a career as an actor, singer and dancer, as well as script writer, stage manager and musical director for cabaret and theatre restaurants (one of which she co-owned and ran for six years).
After starting a family Leisl stopped performing and instead, began writing the stories that had been plaguing her dreams. Leisl’s stories have won and placed in many competitions in Australia and the US, including the STALI, Golden Opportunities, Heart of the West, Linda Howard Award of Excellence, Touch of Magic and many others.
Leisl lives in the leafy suburbs of Melbourne with her two beautiful boys, lovely hubby, overly spunky dogs, Buffy and Skye, and likes to spend time with family and friends. She is addicted to the Syfy channel, and her shelves are full of fantasy and paranormal books and scifi DVDs. She sometimes sings in a choir, has worked as a swim teacher, loves to ski, can talk the hind leg off a donkey and has been President of Romance Writers of Australia from 2014-2017. She writes paranormal, fantasy and romantic suspense novels.
Q. What got you interested in writing?
I have always been creative in some way, but writing has been a part of that for much of my life, whether writing scripts, short stories, lyrics or novels. When I had my children, I didn’t have time to perform anymore and had some stories that had been playing out in my mind, so I decided to sit down and start writing them out and it just grew from there.
Q. How long have you been writing?
I started writing my first book about 2000, but was just really playing with it and didn’t really become serious until after I had my first child and really needed to have something creative to do regularly. I truly decided that I wanted to get published about 2008 and that’s when I joined RWA.
Q. Do you have any goals/projects in the pipeline?
I have a couple of things in the pipeline at any given time. At the moment I’m working on some edits for my publisher for the first book in a romantic suspense series, am waiting to hear back on another romantic suspense book I’ve submitted to them that’s the first in a series, and I have a paranormal series I’m working on and also another fantasy/paranormal series I’ve started playing with as well when I have time and the characters won’t leave me alone. I’ve also been doing a bit of manuscript assessing and manuscript mentoring for other authors which is going well – most of those I’ve assessed have gone on to be published, which I’m pretty proud of.
Q. What do you like most about writing?
Do you have a year for me to tell you about it? No? Oh, well, I’ll keep it brief. It’s hard to describe what it is I love about writing, but I think the easiest way is to say that when you are in that first flush, where ideas and characters are coming to you and you’re in that time of discovery, it’s like flying, like jumping out of a plane, a wonderful moment of ‘holy crap’ mixed with excitement of an adrenaline rush. It’s amazing and I can lose myself in it and time disappears and all worries and stresses fade away. It’s like meditation, like communing with the universe in some zen-like way. I also love workshopping with writing friends (their work or my work, it doesn’t matter) and I don’t mind the redrafting and editing stages, particularly when I have notes from my editor and can really get stuck into making it so much better and pushing myself to be more clever and make it what it should be.
Q. What genre do you write?
I write paranormal, fantasy and romantic suspense. At the moment I’m published in paranormal and romantic suspense.
Q. What draws you to this genre?
The world building, the multi-layered plots, the series arcs, the mystery that is always an essential part, and also the discovery of character through different ways.
Q. Where do you get your ideas?
I have no idea. They just come. I dream a lot of them, either a scene keeps coming to me or a character talks to me. I often have dreams that play out one scene one night and continue the next – many of my novels have built from these dreams.
Q. Tell us about your process, how do you get into a writing mindset?
If I’m at home, I heat up my heat bags, get myself a big mug of tea and a glass of water, put on my writing music and then sit down and just write. I also write before work and during my lunch break in the café at work and then I just sit down and write. I taught myself years ago not to be precious about my process for writing, but just take the moments that come and use them.
Q. What are you working on at the moment?
I think I mentioned it above. I’m working mostly on some edits for the first book in a romantic suspense series to send to my editor. When I’ve done that, I will continue writing the second book in the series.
Q. Which writers inspire/influence you?
Nalini Singh, Raymond E. Feist, Nora Roberts, Katherine Kerr, MJ Scott, Sherilyn Kenyon, Anne Gracie.
Q. What else about your writing journey should we know?
It’s often hard, often lonely, but is essential and one of the things that has kept me going is the friends I have made, fellow writers, who truly understand the ups and downs of the journey and inspire me to keep going even in the most difficult times. Writing friends are essential for a writer. They also challenge me to keep learning, keep growing, to keep striving to be better at what I do – I think no writer should ever sit back on the laurels and think they know it all. There are always things to learn, ways to improve and I love the challenge of that.
Q. Where can we find you?
Buy Links for my books:
Excerpt from Pack Bound: Book 1 Pack Bound Series:
The microwave pinged and Skye jumped.
Stupid. Jumping at microwaves!
This is what happened when you had the kind of overbearing grandmother who sent people to follow you around on your holiday. Paranoia.
Slamming her hand against the button, she barely waited for the door to swing open before grabbing the bowl. Soup spilled over her thumb.
‘Fudge a fudgy-duck!’ She put the dripping soup bowl down on the bench and sucked at her burned thumb. ‘Ffffffruitloops, that’s hot.’
‘Wow, impressive. She not only skis like a pro, but she knows how to swear in the most inventive way I’ve ever heard. Tell me you can dance the samba and I think I might just want to marry you.’
The prickles on her neck bloomed into hot fire at the sound of a voice she would never forget. ‘You!’ she said, spinning around.
‘Me.’ His lips twitched.
Her gaze collided with those incredible eyes and her heart took a flying leap up her throat, cutting off her breath.
Breathe. Don’t act like a teenager with a crush. He’s just a man.
But what a man!
Luckily, her lungs responded to the demand for oxygen, because her brain was still missing in action.
‘Here. Let me help.’ Without asking, he took her arm and led her out of the kitchen to a bench, made her sit and then headed back to the kitchen, returning with her soup, toast, a spoon and a glass of water a moment later.
‘Thanks.’ Skye spun the spoon between her fingers as he sat on the bench seat opposite. It clanked against the side of the bowl, the sound kick-starting her brain enough for her to ask, ‘What are you doing here?’
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