Today I’d like to introduce you to a fellow RWA author of three of my favorite genres. But I’ll let Leslie Hachtel tell you about herself and her books.
Leslie Hachtel was born in Ohio, raised in New York and has been a gypsy most of her adult life. Her various jobs, including licensed veterinary technician, caterer, horseback riding instructor for the disabled and advertising media buyer have given her a wealth of experiences.
However, it has been writing that has consistently been her passion. She sold an episode of a TV show, had a screenplay optioned and has so far produced eleven novels, including eight historicals and three romantic suspense. Leslie lives in Florida with a fabulously supportive engineer husband and her writing buddy, Jakita, a terrier.
@lesliehachtel, or at her Leslie Hachtel, Writer blog.
Betty: How many books have you written and published?
Leslie: I have written 12 plus contributed to an anthology. Eleven of those are published, as is the anthology.
Betty: What genre(s) do you write in and why?
Leslie: I write historical, historical paranormal, and romantic suspense. Why? Because I love them all.
Betty: What themes or motifs did you use in your recent release and why were they important to your story?
Leslie: Texas Summer is hot. Everything about it breathes heat. So the setting had to be in the desert.
What if your car broke down on a deserted highway in the middle of Texas? Would you think it was fate and that it would change your life?
When Wylie Nichols walked toward the nearest town, his future was forever altered. The problem when you’re a stranger in a small town is you never know what you might discover. In this particular place, there is murder, greed, lust.
But waiting is earthy, sexy, enigmatic Kennedy. With her convoluted family history and the power to make his dreams come true.
Betty: Do you have a specific place that you write? Revise?
Leslie: I have an office upstairs in my house and my husband knows not to interrupt unless it’s the zombie apocalypse.
Betty: Do you have any writing rituals while you write? Did you have a special drink, or music, or time of day that you gravitated toward?
Leslie: I just like quiet so I can “get into the zone.”
Betty: What helped you move from unpublished to published? A mentor or organization or something else?
Leslie: Persistence! And RWA advice.
Betty: What do you think is your greatest strength in your writing?
Leslie: I think of myself as a storyteller and I believe my stories are my strength.
Betty: What comes first when you’re brainstorming a new story: setting, situation, characters?
Leslie: A situation. Like: What if I was kidnapped and taken to a harem in the 1700s? Or what if my car broke down in the middle of nowhere?
Betty: Do you have a structured time to write or is more fluid/flexible? Do you have to write between family obligations or do you set aside a block of time?
Leslie: I generally write between 6 and 11 am. Sometimes in the afternoons, but mornings are better for me.
Betty: What is one recent struggle you’ve experienced in your writing?
Leslie: Sometimes I get to the middle of a novel and wonder what comes next. So, I have to step away and figure it out.
Betty: Do you participate in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month)? Why or why not?
Leslie: No. I don’t do well when I have to produce words that way. Sometimes I write 50 words a day, sometimes 5000, but I never know when the words will flow, so I just have faith they will.
Betty: What are you reading right now?
Leslie: I just finished Blood Orange. Great read!
Betty: What is your favorite genre to read?
Leslie: Books. I mean that. I love all genres. I love books.
Betty: What are your keeper books? How often might you reread them?
Leslie: Anything by Kathleen Woodiwiss, the “key” series by Nora Roberts and Twilight. I read them once a year or so.
Betty: When you’re writing, do you read in the same genre as your work in progress or something else?
Leslie: Generally something else. I don’t want to worry about being influenced by someone else’s work because I just read it.
Betty: Do you have a “day job” or do you write full time?
Leslie: I now am able to write full time.
Betty: What do you wish readers knew about the publishing industry?
Leslie: It’s hard and you need a thick skin and a lot of patience!
Betty: What advice do you have for new writers?
Leslie: The best advice I ever received was: “Don’t give up.” If you have a story to tell, tell it and then be patient since publishing is a marathon, not a sprint.
Betty: Any hints of what you’re next writing project might be?
Leslie: Book Three of the Morocco series is coming up, as is a story about women in the Civil War.
Betty: What kind of writing would you like to experiment with? Or what’s a different genre you’ve considered writing but haven’t yet?
Leslie: I would love to do historical women’s fiction.
We have much in common, Leslie! Thanks so much for coming by and sharing with us about your writing process and books.
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