I have a lovely surprise for you today, everyone! Author Gayle Leeson has given her character Amanda Tucker some time off out of her story, Designs on Murder, to come chat with me for a few minutes. Let’s take a glance at Gayle’s bio and then we’ll get to know Amanda.
Gayle Leeson is a pseudonym for Gayle Trent. Gayle has also written as Amanda Lee and Gayle Trent. As Amanda Lee, she wrote the Embroidery Mystery series, and as Gayle Trent, she writes the Daphne Martin Cake Mystery series and the Myrtle Crumb Mystery series. Going forward, Gayle intends to keep her writing under the Gayle Leeson name. Please check out her Ghostly Fashionista and Down South Café series.
Betty: How would you describe your childhood?
Amanda: For the most part, it was great. My mom was—ha! is—a little overbearing and demanding sometimes, but my dad spoiled me rotten. Plus, Grandpa Dave and Grandma Jodie lived nearby, and I loved spending time with them. In fact, I still do enjoy living close to Grandpa Dave and see him nearly every day. Grandma Jodie is no longer with us, and Mom and Dad moved to Florida, so Grandpa and I keep a close eye on each other.
Betty: What kind of schooling did you have? Did you enjoy it?
Amanda: I went to public school, and it was all right. I loved drawing and sewing and making patterns, so I excelled more away from school than I did inside it. Still, I made good grades, and I recently graduated from college with a degree in business administration.
Betty: What do you think is your greatest achievement? Why?
Amanda: I feel that opening my shop this past year was my greatest achievement. Doing something so bold was both exhilarating and frightening; but I took the leap, the business has been successful, and I’m so glad I took the risk.
Betty: What is the most embarrassing thing that has happened to you?
Amanda: Well, this happens on a regular basis—I’m trying to talk with people in my shop and find myself answering Max, the ghost that they can’t see or hear! I’m sure my coworkers often think I’ve lost my mind.
Betty: If you could change one thing from your past, what would it be and why?
Amanda: I’d like to have found Max sooner.
Betty: What’s your greatest fear? Who else knows about it?
Amanda: Failure. I think Grandpa Dave knows, but he has enough confidence in me for the both of us.
Betty: How much of your true self do you share with others?
Amanda: Very little unless I’m really close to them. There are only a handful of people who know about Max, and that’s because they can communicate with her too.
Betty: Are you close to your family? Do you wish your relationship with them was different in any way? If so, how?
Amanda: I am. I wish my mom and I were closer. Now that I’m an adult with my own business/life, I realize that much of her domineering behavior comes from a place of love and fear. That doesn’t always make it easier to live with, but I can make an effort to understand her better.
Betty: How do you like to relax? What kind of entertainment do you enjoy?
Amanda: I love reading and watching old movies. Max and I have a sort of book club now. She adores reading but hadn’t been able to do so until I introduced her to eBooks.
Betty: If you could change yourself in some way, what change would you make? Why?
Amanda: I think I’d like to be more fearless—like Max!
Betty: What do you think you’re good at? Bad at?
Amanda: I’m excellent at designing a dress and creating a pattern for it. I’m horrible at saying no. I need to be less of a people-pleaser!
Betty: What items do you carry in your pockets or handbag?
Amanda: I’m never without a tape measure and a sewing kit.
Betty: What foods and beverages do you routinely have in your refrigerator?
Amanda: – Tea, bottled water, salads, fruits, and something chocolate to satisfy my sweet tooth.
What if you discovered your lively new friend wasn’t really…alive?
When Amanda decides to lease a space in historic Abingdon, Virginia’s Shops on Main, she’s surprised to learn that she has a resident ghost. But soon Maxine “Max,” a young woman who died in 1930, isn’t the only dead person at the retail complex. Mark, a web designer who rented space at Shops on Main, is shot in his office.
Amanda is afraid that one of her new “friends” is a killer, and Max is encouraging her to solve Mark’s murder a la Nancy Drew. Easy for Max to want to investigate–she can’t end up the killer’s next victim!
I hope you catch the killer without any scary moments yourself, Amanda. Thanks for swinging by!
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