Leslie Langtry is the national bestselling author of the Bombay Family of Assassins Series & Merry Wrath Mysteries. She lives in the Midwest with her husband, two teenagers and a host of assorted animals. When not writing, she’s either reading or eating cake.
Mint Cookie Murder
Ex-CIA agent turned suburban scout leader, Merry Wrath, is just trying to live a normal, quiet life. But all that goes out the window when a convicted traitor (who’s inconveniently not in his prison cell) dies on her doorstep, and an obese cat, who bears a disturbing resemblance to Hitler, decides to move in.
To make things worse, it’s time for the annual troop cookie sale, her new boyfriend’s old college flame shows up to win him back, and someone’s shooting at Merry in the frozen foods section of the grocery store. Is the assassin after her or the cat? Is Riley, her hot former CIA handler, hitting on her? Is Rex, her boyfriend, going to dump her? Will she sell enough cookies to take her troop to Winter Sniper Camp? If Merry doesn't find answer to these questions soon, it may be too late!
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Jan Schliesman: How often do you Get Lost In A Story?
Leslie Langtry: All the time! I’ve been a reader since I could first pick up a book and I read every night for about 2 hours (my husband and children know better than to distract me during this time). My first love has always been mystery – starting with Nancy Drew & Agatha Christie, and I love mystery/romance and comedy, but I read across all genres. I’m grateful for my e-reader or my house would collapse beneath the weight of books. We’ve had movers vow never to work with us again because apparently, boxes of books are heavy.
Jan: How long have you been writing? What was your first Big Break?
Leslie: I started writing stories in the 2nd grade and all through school. But then I put it off for YEARS. It wasn’t until I was 38 that I finally said I was going to write a book. So I joined Romance Writers of America, joined a local critique group and it wasn’t until my 4th book that I got it right. I met an editor at an RWA conference and pitched my story and sold it a couple of weeks later on my 40th birthday. I started late, but am here to stay.
Jan: What is your definition of romance?
Leslie: I don’t know if I really have one because it’s so different for everyone. I don’t really think of it as flowers, candlelight, and candy. It’s more of just clicking with someone. If they make you laugh, think and your heart go pitter-patter then you have romance!
Jan: I drink Dasani or hot tea and nibble on gummy bears when I’m writing. What about you?
Leslie: I like Earl Grey tea and Dove Dark Chocolates. I eat waaaaaaay too many chocolates. And now that we’ve had Halloween, there’s even more chocolate. I may have a problem…
Jan: It was love at first sight when I met my Mr. Wonderful. How did you meet your husband?
Leslie: I actually met him when I was dating one of his friends. You’ll laugh, but it was the ‘80s and I was dating a guy just because he looked like…are you ready for it? Daryl Hall. There wasn’t really any chemistry, but then I met this guy’s friend and the sparks flew. He was super smart, very funny and we hit it off immediately. We just celebrated our 26th wedding anniversary on Nov. 3rd and are shooting for at least 26 more.
Jan: What’s the most difficult part of the writing process for you?
Leslie: Actually sitting down and starting. I’m a professional at finding other things around the house I need to do like dishes, letting the dogs out, folding clothes, letting the dogs in, etc. But if I just sit down and start, I’m good to go. Unfortunately, life interrupts, with two teenagers and a husband who works 3rd shift and is home during the day. But somehow I manage to get books written. I’d really like a clone. Do you know if there are clones?
Jan: Were you ever a Girl Scout?
Leslie: I was! I was a Brownie for a few years and a Girl Scout for a few more. I loved it – we always went camping, canoeing and hiking. When my daughter was in kindergarten, they had a meeting for scouts and somehow ended up the leader of her troop for 10 wonderful years. I have to admit – they gave me a lot of material to work with for my books. I still volunteer at our local Girl Scout camp teaching archery and facilitating zip line, low ropes and canoeing. I love it out there and I love working with the girls.
Jan: What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done in the name of research?
Leslie: I love research. I love finding bizarre material for my books. I’ve never really gone out and done anything crazy but I have had crazy experiences. Once I was locked in a hotel room for a week to write and I was working on a historical assassin collection of short stories. I ran out for pizza while the maid was in, forgetting that I’d left my books out on the bed. Books about how to assassinate people, assassinations through history, weird murders and deaths… The next day, I found out that the maid transferred so I had to have a new maid, because she was freaked out by my books. That was a learning experience.
Jan: Tell me about getting your first fan letter/email/FB postJ
Leslie: The first fan email was THE BEST EMAIL EVER! Especially since it didn’t come from anyone I knew! The woman who wrote it told me she laughed out loud so much reading ‘SCUSE ME WHILE I KILL THIS GUY, that her husband was worried he’d have to have her committed. One of the more memorable emails was from a woman soldier who told me that even though things were rough in Iraq, my book made her laugh every day and helped her get through her time overseas. My husband has done 2 tours in Iraq – so that meant a lot to me.
Jan’s GOTTA ASK:
Leslie’s GOTTA ANSWER: I LOVE ICE CREAM! You are SO LUCKY!!! In the summer, I eat it every night. I’d eat it every day if I could get away with it. My retirement dream job would be ice cream taster. As for favorite flavor – it’s chocolate. I know, soooo original…
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SPECIAL THANKS to Leslie for stopping by the Get Lost In A Story blog today. She'll be giving away TWO autographed copies of Merit Badge Murder! Follow the Rafflecopter below for you chance to WIN!a Rafflecopter giveaway