Debut author Leslie Scott is my guest today, and she's sitting down for an interview. Leslie's first book, THE FINISH LINE, has just released from The Wild Rose Press. It's a new adult novel about two young people who are meant to be, despite the trauma in their lives. Please welcome Leslie Scott!
Why did you choose this genre?
You know, I felt a very strange kinship with the New Adult Romance novels I’ve read over the past few years. I can still vividly recall the excitement and promise of that phase of my life. Writing characters who are smart and strong, but still learning how to really live is evocative and challenging. I love it.
What do you want readers to come away with after they read THE FINISH LINE?
I want them to come away happy and fulfilled, as if they’ve made a family of new friends in Arkadia and went on a journey with them.
What genre have you never written that you’d like to write?
Paranormal. I’m super excited for some things I have in the works, but I really love Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance. The idea of writing in a world I created with all my own rules sends my mind racing in all sorts of directions.
When were you first published and how did that happen?
Was it a long or short journey? The Finish Line is my first submitted and first published novel. I had given myself five years to get published or find an agent. Not sure what was at the other end of that ultimatum, but five years none the less. A year after completing my first polished manuscript I signed my contract with The Wild Rose Press. It’s been a whirlwind journey for sure, one I am incredibly thankful for.
If writing is your first passion, what is your second?
My son and his education. Several years ago we had to pull him out of public school. He’s a gifted child and has a difficult time conforming to the setting and structure within a modern public school. He flourished once we removed him from that setting and teaching (or chauffeuring him between other teachers) is now my other full time job.
Do you have any pets? Are you cat person or a dog person? Or are you into totally different pets, like goldfish? What do you like best about your pet?
We currently have four cats and three dogs. I’m probably a cat person, but my son’s Boston Terrier is pretty darn cute (and googly eyed). We have rescued all of our pets and my ten-year-old son takes pride in being able to rescue kittens and find new homes for them (with the help of an awesome, local non-profit).
What did you want to be (occupation-wise) when you were a child?
This is so funny, because as a child I either wanted to be a teacher or a writer. Now, it just so happens, I’m both. I can’t think of any other things in the world I’d want to do. I’m happy and grateful to do what I love every day and I hope that all of you enjoy my writing as much as I enjoyed doing it!
What are two (or more) of your all-time favorite books in any genre?
Okay so, I could write a list of authors and books I loved, then break it down by genre, and so forth and so on. To be a writer one must be a reader. However, I’m going to swing for the fences here. I’m not particularly a Sci-Fi fan, but, if you ever get a chance to read John Scalzi’s The Old Man’s War… do it. I fell in love with the entire series, but that first novel? Is just insane and amazing. I read it in four hours, straight through, without stopping.
What do you like best about your hero from THE FINISH LINE?
I like that Jordan made a family for himself. That even after all the bad things in his life, he found good in Arkadia. He loves, and loves big.
What do you like best about your heroine from THE FINISH LINE?
Her loyalty. There are just certain things that Raelynn would never consider doing. Ever. Including betraying those she loves. That, to me, is commendable and makes me root for her.
How do you choose the names and physical characteristics of your characters? Do you base them on real people?
Raelynn’s name just came to me, no real reasoning behind it. I loved the way it sounded and went from there. Jordan’s, though, has a story. I knew he was going to be my first romance hero and I wanted his name to mean something to me. So, about halfway through the writing process I changed his name. Two of my very first celebrity crushes were Jordan Knight from NKOTB and Christian Slater. So, Jordan Slater for the win. Jordan needed to be larger than life, his physical characteristics spawned from that need. Raelynn, however, came from a cashier at a gas station. I don’t know why, but I took one look at her and thought “that’s what Raelynn looks like” and there you have it.
How can readers reach you or find you online?
They can find me at my website: lesliescottromance.com, on Twitter @leslieSwrites, and on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/lesliescottwrites
Tell us a little about your current work in progress.
In The Finish Line you meet a host of characters from the Arkadia, Texas racing scene. Including Raelynn’s little sister, Breanna. She’s sassy, brassy, and well… she’s a novel unto herself. Thus, I’m working on Book Three of the Arkadia Fast Series. Hot Lap (Book 2, Hadley’s novel) should release sometime next spring.
What’s your tagline? Why did you choose it?
Romance with a shot of Nitrous. I chose is since, ya know, racing and all.
Thank you, Jana for hosting me today. I really appreciate it and I’ve had a wonderful time answering your questions. I hope your readers have had as much time reading them!
Blurb, THE FINISH LINE:
Another night at the races is more than burnt rubber with a hit of nitrous. For one young woman, it's navigating trauma, love, and loss in the stifling Texas heat under the watchful gaze of her brother’s best friend and reigning King of the Streets, Jordan Slater. Home in Arkadia again, Raelynn Casey starts to heal from a terrible incident at college. She finds love in Jordan, a member of her brother’s circle of racing buddies. When another in the racing circle, the guy who took her to her high school prom, exposes his feelings for Raelynn, tragedy erupts like a tank of race fuel. Guilt, remorse, and pain must be overcome before Raelynn and Jordan can race to The Finish Line.
Leslie Scott thrives in the middle of chaos. Not because she home schools her son and rides herd over the family's zoo of indoor pets or listens to her soul mate wax poetically about all things car and related. Oh, no. That's nothing. The real chaos is the characters in her mind, elbowing and tripping each other to get to the front of the line so they can be the next romantic couple in one of her stories. Her family is her passion. Writing romance is her dream.
Another night at the street races is more than burnt rubber and a hit of nitrous. For Raelynn, it's a chance to be near Jordan and his own brand of danger. Amazon: http://amzn.to/2A875ZX
For Raelynn, it’s always been Jordan Slater. Now, she just has to convince him that he’s worthy. Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/2A88mjH
The Wild Rose Press: https://catalog.thewildrosepress.com/all-titles/5464-the-finish-line.html
He turned away from me and watched the approaching truck stop several hundred feet from our
hiding spot. The silence seemed to stretch on forever. Again, he said a lot without saying a thing and it made me nervous as hell. I couldn’t handle that sort of silence.
“I’m not going to pretend like it didn’t happen, Jordan.” Because it had happened. It had happened and I’d been left reeling from it. When he’d followed up kissing me stupid in his driveway after my graduation with verbally shooting me down hard, I’d been left with all sorts of unsettled emotions.
“For a while, I thought you’d broken my heart.”
“I never meant to.” I barely heard his words over the roar of the small truck Hunter raced as he fired it up.
As much as I’d wanted to hurt him after that, as many nights as I’d spent awake in my dorm room
wishing I could make him feel what I felt, I never could have. Not then and not now. I loved him too much for that. I always would.
“You didn’t,” I assured him quietly. The smell of melted rubber from Hunter’s burnout assaulted us. “I had to learn what being broken really felt like to know it.”
He turned toward me, his face and eyes softening in a way very few people had seen or would ever see.
My knees went weak.
I held a hand out to stop him. This line of conversation wasn’t what I wanted out of us right then.
I wanted us back to an ease I could navigate with far more clarity. “Life is about learning. Besides, Hunter East taught me more than you ever could have.”
The concern vanished from his face and was replaced with a contorted expression of annoyance.
The smug smile on my face was as genuine as they came. I was proud, in a pesky girl sort of way.
“There are things I could have taught you, Hunter East never would have dreamed of,” he growled.