Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Books & Writing -- The Real Leslie Gould

I'm excited to have Leslie Gould as my guest! 
Welcome Leslie.

Leslie Gould is the award-winning author of fifteen novels, including the #1 bestseller, The Amish Midwife (CBA & ECPA) co-written with Mindy Starns Clark. The novel, the first to be written in the Women of Lancaster County series, was a 2012 Christy award winner.  

Leslie received her master of fine arts in creative writing at Portland State University and has taught fiction as an adjunct professor at Multnomah University. She also teaches workshops at public and private schools and writer's conferences. 

She is an Army Reserve wife who has supported her husband, Peter, through many years of service, including a deployment to Afghanistan as the commander of a field hospital. Leslie and her husband live in Oregon with their four children.

Just to give us a peek into the "real" Leslie Gould can you tell us about the craziest thing you've ever done?

The "real" Leslie Gould might be pretty boring--or else forgetful. I'm not sure this is the craziest thing I've ever done, but it's what comes to mind. 

When our first baby was four months old, my husband and I took him on a trip around the U.S. in a VW bus. As it turned out our traveling 8,000 miles with an infant is probably a lot easier than taking a toddler or even a teenager on a trip, but we didn't know it at the time. It was an amazing experience though. I'm a history major and my husband is a Civil War buff so we enjoyed nearly every minute of the trip. Our son turned out to love traveling as a boy, so I don't think it did him any long-term harm. The good thing about traveling with an infant is that you stop . . . a lot.

Taking an infant on a cross-country trip is courageous. 

Now, on to writing. What did the path to full-time writing look like for you?

It was definitely a sloooow journey.  I started writing fiction in 1991 when I was in my late 20's and it wasn't until 2001 that I signed my first contract. During those ten years I wrote short stories and then novels. I wrote and wrote and wrote, encouraged by my writing group members, the sale of one short story, and winning second place in a writers' contest.

Most people don't realize how many years of work go into making that first book sale. I'm so glad you persevered.

You've published sixteen books (including three co-authored novels and eight Guideposts novels). That's a lot of work. When you make time for fun what do you like to do? 

I spend a lot of time at soccer and lacrosse games watching my daughters play and our family also goes to a lot of Portland Timbers' (MLS) matches. But what I like to do most is travel with my hubby and kids. My husband spent 2011 in Afghanistan, commanding a field hospital. After he came home last spring, we were able to go to Hawaii for a week. It was a wonderful family adventure. Most of our traveling is closer to home, but no matter where we go I get an idea for a story!

What a great way to find stories.

Your earlier books were a good fit for women's fiction. Can you share how you came to write Amish romance?

My agent, Chip MacGregor, suggested I collaborate with Mindy Starns Clark because she needed a co-writer and he'd determined that our voices were very similar. He was right. We can write a novel and no one can tell which of us wrote  what--sometimes not even me. It turned out to be an amazing experience. Once I started researching the Amish and spending time with families in Pennsylvania and Indiana, I decided to branch out on my own along with co-writing with Mindy.

Leslie's new release!

When Addie Cramer's mutter and daed decide Phillip Eicher is the man for her to marrry, they claim she must honor them by obeying their wishes. But then she falls in love with Jonathan Mosier--part of a family with whom the Cramers have a long-held grudge.

With the help of others in her community who long to see the quarrel healed, Jonathan and Addie struggle to continue their relationship against both sets of parents'  wishes. But when one of Addie's vengeful brothers harms a member of the Mosier family, Jonathan intervenes and is banished from Lancaster County.

A distraught Addie determines to find the true reason for the grudge between the two families, hoping to tear down the animosity of the past. Can their love for each other bridge the divide between their families? Or are they destined to remain apart forever?

This sounds like a good story. And I love the cover!

What kind of books do you see yourself writing in the future?

I have another idea for an Amish series that I'm playing around with, an idea for a stand-alone Biblical novel, and an idea for a historical series set in the 1800's in the U.S.A. I also have a few ideas for contemporary women's novels. So  many ideas . . . so little time!

True--so many stories and so little time. I'll never be able to write all the stories I have rattling around in my head.

Where can readers contact you online?

I'd love to have you visit me at http://www.lesliegould.com/.
I blog and include the following regular features: Writerly Wednesdays, Flashback Fridays, Fun Facts, Simple Recipes and Recently Read (Okay, honestly I just started being timely about blogging but I'm really excited to be doing it!). I'd love to hear your comments. 
You can also find me on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/lesliegouldauthor 
I also spend time on Twitter at @lesliejeangould.

Leslie will be giving away one copy of her
new book Adoring Addie!

All you have to do to win is leave a message
along with your email address.
I'll be drawing the winners name one week from today!


  1. Anonymous11:52 AM

    great story love to read stories
    and would love to have a free book to read

  2. Anonymous12:07 PM

    Wonderful interview. I would love to win a copy of her book. Thanks for offering it.

    Ann Ellison

  3. What a lovely interview with Leslie. Thank you! I love Amish stories and this one sounds great.
    Campbellamyd at Gmail dot com

  4. Anonymous5:34 PM

    I really enjoyed this interview. Very interesting sounding life Leslie. Would be nice to get to travel that much. Most of my traveling has been using our vacation week to visit our parents, and that wasn't nearly enough time with them. And, have gotten to go to several family re-unions since 2001. I did live in WY. and MOntana for awhile so got to see some pretty country. I do have Leslie's Amish Midwife series and Courting Cate, and would love to win this book. Please. lLOL Thanks for this chance Leslie and Bonnie. Maxie mac262(at)me(dot)com

  5. Anonymous10:30 PM

    Bonnie, Thank you so much for hosting me today! Thank you, ALL, for reading and for the comments!

  6. Loved the interview you had with Leslie. And would love to win a copy of her book.


  7. I would love to win a copy of Leslie's book. Loved the interview

    Juanita Cook

  8. Anonymous4:57 AM

    Have greatly enjoyed previous Amish stories, looking forward to this one. Would love to win! Thanks for the opportunity. Great interview!

    Karen Schulz
    aregeetee5162 at yahoo dot com

  9. Thank you for the opportunity to wi your latest book. It looks like a great read.


  10. Anonymous10:52 AM

    Wonderful interview with Leslie Gould. Would love to win a copy of her new book! On a side note, a biblical novel sounds like something I would love to read.
    Thanks so much

  11. I've heard Chip McGregor is a great agent. I'm really impressed with his insights into you and Mindy Starns Clark.

    I can't imagine co-writing a book. Did you two have any stumbling blocks, things you had to work out? I'd love to know more about the process.