Interview with Leslie Tentler: 'I don't think there was anything that didn't surprise me'

Leslie Tentler is best known as the author of the Chasing Evil Trilogy (MIDNIGHT CALLER, MIDNIGHT FEAR and EDGE OF MIDNIGHT). She was named as a finalist for Best First Novel at ThrillerFest 2012 for Midnight Caller, and as a finalist in the 2013 Daphne du Maurier Awards for Excellence in Mystery and Suspense for Edge of Midnight. She is also the recipient of the prestigious Maggie Award of Excellence. Her newest romantic suspense novel is titled FALLEN.

Leslie is a member of Romance Writers of America, International Thriller Writers, The Authors Guild and Novelists, Inc. A native of East Tennessee, she currently resides in Atlanta.
Her latest book is the romantic suspense, Fallen.
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About the Book:

“If it wasn’t an armed robbery, it was a hit. An execution.”

Amid a sultry Atlanta summer, someone is targeting police…

The investigation becomes personal for APD Detective Ryan Winter when a colleague and friend is shot dead, the second victim in just weeks. But even as he finds himself being drawn into the tense hunt for a serial cop killer, he is forced to re-examine his own shattering personal tragedy.

An ER physician at Atlanta’s busy Mercy Hospital, Dr. Lydia Costa is no stranger to suffering. Still, the recent police slayings reopen barely healed wounds—and bring her face-to-face with her ex-husband, Ryan Winter.

As the body count rises and paranoia tightens its grip on the police force, Lydia and Ryan are pulled together by circumstances and fate…causing old passions to reignite despite their painful shared past. But as Ryan moves closer to discovering the killer’s identity, someone is watching, placing both him and Lydia in mortal danger.

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  • Fallen is available at Amazon.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.

Q: Welcome to The Writer's Life!  Now that your book has been published, we’d love to find out more about the process.  Can we begin by having you take us to the beginning?  Where did you come up with the idea to write your book?

A: After completing the Chasing Evil Trilogy, I had an idea germinating for a new book, one that was still set against the investigational aspects of law enforcement, but that also told a parallel story about a once happy couple who had come apart in the face of a terrible loss. That book became Fallen, which is set in Atlanta, where I reside. It’s a romantic thriller built around the tense hunt for a serial cop killer, but what is playing out between the two main characters – Dr. Lydia Costa, an ER physician, and her ex-husband, Atlanta Homicide Detective Ryan Winter, who are thrown together again in the midst of chaos – takes equal spotlight.

Q: How hard was it to write a book like this and do you have any tips that you could pass on which would make the journey easier for other writers?

A: There’s a self-help book titled Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway by Susan Jeffers. That title is right on the money. Doubt and fear of failure are cold-blooded killers for anyone attempting to write a story and put it “out there” for the world to see. You work hard, of course, but you also have to take a bit of a leap of faith with every book.

Fallen was a bit harder to write than my other stories, due to the tragedy that precedes where the current story begins. Both of the main characters are still struggling with lingering grief in their own way.

Q: Who is your publisher and how did you find them or did you self-publish?

A: MIRA published my first three books. Fallen is an independent publishing project, or “Indie release.” Some background: Before writing my first novel, I worked for two decades as a senior writer and editor for public relations firms in metro Atlanta. The firms were all small and entrepreneurial, so I have a big streak of that independence in me. So far, I’m really enjoying the Indie experience, although it requires wearing a lot of hats!

Q: Is there anything that surprised you about getting your first book published?

I don’t think there was anything that didn’t surprise me! When my agent pitched my first book (Midnight Caller, the first in the trilogy), I was completely unprepared for the possibility that the publisher would want it as part of a three-book deal. Before finding that out, I’d always thought, “Hey, I’ll try writing a book and if it’s fun, I might try it again sometime.” So I had to make a decision as to whether I was all-in on this novelist thing pretty quickly.

Q: What other books (if any) are you working on and when will they be published?

I have another novel close to completion that I’m planning to publish sometime next year. While Fallen is a standalone novel, my next book, tentatively titled Clarity Bay, might be the start of a series. It’s my first foray into something outside of “law enforcement-oriented romantic thrillers.” While Clarity Bay certainly has aspects of romantic suspense, it also has a Southern, small town romance vibe. I’m actually very excited about this book!

Q: What’s your favorite place to hang out online?

A: I’m on Facebook constantly. I love it when readers “like” my author page and/or send a friend request to my personal page.

Q: Finally, what message (if any) are you trying to get across with your book?

A: There’s an old proverb that says: A shared joy is a double joy; a shared sorrow is half a sorrow. The latter part of that adage is especially relevant to Lydia and Ryan’s struggle and is at the heart of their story.

Q: Thank you again for this interview!  Do you have any final words?

A: Final words? That sounds like maybe I need a blindfold and cigarette? Kidding!

Seriously, I’d just like to thank my readers for their continued support and encouragement. It’s amazing to be able to make up these characters and worlds and share them with others.

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