Author Interviews – Leslie

Hey, I got an interview with Leslie Tall Manning here. She’s the author fo the book GAGA. She’s an adult and young adult author. She has a BA in theater, taught english in high school and college, and is now a private writing tutor. You can learn more about her on her website.

Now on with the questions.

  1. What are your favorite authors?

My favorite authors are Ray Bradbury, Mitch Albom, and Lillian Hellman (playwright)

  1. What are your favorite genres to write?

I write Young Adult and Adult Novels.  Although I do not fall into any category regarding genre, all of my stories carry a central theme of an ordinary character thrown into extraordinary circumstances.

  1. What are your favorite aspects of writing? (plot, characters, dialogue, setting,etc.)

I will tell you what my LEAST favorite aspect of writing is: Setting! I often leave almost all setting by the curb, and then come back and pick it up once the rough draft is complete. Setting is hard for me. I don’t want to spend three pages discussing the color blue, or the mist-covered mountains. So I wait until the very last minute. Then I take my time with it, even if it doesn’t always show. I hope I am good at concealing this major weakness of mine!

  1. What time do you usually do most of your writing?

Monday through Thursday, from 11-3. Period. I am very structured. I tutor in the evenings, and I take the weekends off to decompress. This has been my habit through my last six books.

  1. Do you have any writing habits? If so, what are they?

Hmm…other than the Mon-Thurs thing, not really, unless you count hitting the gym every day before I write. This is a ritual. Oh, and a cup of coffee on the front porch with hubby before I start typing. Sort of a habitual springboard for me.

  1. Do you usually type or write your first draft?

I type the first draft, though I do write notes for months prior to the first draft. I have dubbed myself “The Post-It Queen.”

  1. How long does it take you to write a first draft?

Every book is different. One took me six months. Another took eighteen. All depends on depth and length of story, and the research involved. I tend to do a LOT of research. Probably overkill, but I want to get my facts straight before sharing my stories with my readers.

  1. Are you a self-publisher? If yes, what made you decide to self-publish? If no, how was the process of finding a publisher?

I am a self-published author, though I would ultimately like to become a hybrid. I have a wonderful literary agent, and after years of rejections with many novels (close but no cigar) I told him I was ready to take the self-publishing plunge. We decided together which book would be best to debut, and we chose an Adult novel that was most likely to gain the largest audience. I have a backlist of nine novels which I will slowly be self-pubbing, unless the stars align and a traditional publisher gives me a ring!

  1. What’s your most recent book? My most recent book is titled GAGA, a contemporary romance/hen lit.

Book Link: http://www.amazon.com/Gaga-Leslie-Tall-Manning/dp/0996130624/ref=tmm_pap_title_0

Website Link: www.leslietallmanning.com

  1. On your recent book, what inspired you to write it?

Back in the eighties, I was sitting front row center at a concert, and the opening act was singer sensation Corey Hart (“I Wear My Sunglasses” fame). I was pulled onto the stage by one of the band members and sang a duet in front of 25,000 people. My date stealthily paid a photographer for a photo of Corey and me, microphone in my face, his arm around my shoulders, and that photo hangs in my office right over my desk. It is a constant reminder that life is too short to give in to your fears. The lead character in GAGA tosses her fears to the wind, but only after she comes to terms with a stagnant marriage and hum-drum life. She learns that bearing one’s soul, whether in front of thousands, or in front of one, isn’t always easy to do, but it can be the catalyst to having a more fulfilling life!

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