BRoP Interview: C.N. Lesley

CN LesleyElizabeth Hull, writing under the by line of C.N.Lesley, lives in Alberta with her husband and cats. Her three daughters live close by. When she isn’t writing, Elizabeth likes to read and to paint watercolors. She is also a keen gardener (despite the very short summers) and now has a mature shade garden. Once a worker in the communications sector, mostly concentrating on local news and events, she now writes full time, and fusses over her cats. She was senior managing editor of FlashMe Magazine and now is assistant flash fiction editor for Abyss and Apex.


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Sword of ShadowsTell us about your new book and when it is out? Where can people purchase it? Sword of Shadows is on its way to the printers right now. It will be live in a week to ten days give or take. It will be available on the Amazons, Kobo, Barns and Noble, iTunes, and Smashwords in both e-format and as a paperback. This is book two in the Shadow series and follows on from Shadow Over Avalon.

Is there anything new, unusual, or interesting about your book? How is it different from other books on the same subject? As a series, these books are about taking a legend of King Arthur promising to return to save his people in the time of their greatest need, which happens in the far future. How he is returned and what he faces haven’t been done before. I know nobody else has stuck scales and gills on King Arthur and gotten away with it.

What was the hardest part of writing this book? The angst. It was upsetting to have to write certain scenes that were necessary to the plot. Here is where my beta readers came into play as I was sent death threats if I didn’t alter a certain thing, which, on due reflection, and with regard to the reaction, I did.

What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why? It has to be where the antagonists have point of view time. They are beyond nasty, but at the same time they have wants, wishes and needs, just the same as the rest of us. It was necessary to humanize them and in doing so, they became such fun.

Did you learn anything from writing this book and what was it? Never, ever try to outline again.

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in this book? Having just gone through the editing process, then nothing. I got my chance to tweak whatever right then and there.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp? Consequences. There is always a reaction to an action.

Tell us about your book’s cover – where did the design come from and what was the design process like? Oh drool. My cover for Sword of Shadows has a pterodactyl hovering over Stonehenge on the front and a kneeling Arthur with the sword suspended in the air on the back. The design reflects the story and was implemented by the talented Evelinn Enokson, who painted the cover for the first book, Shadow Over Avalon. Wonderful graphics were by the talented Ken Dawson. The design process was a dream. I put forward some ideas and we tossed them around for a very short while; soon coming up with something everyone loved.

Shadow over AvalonPART 5: WORDS OF WISDOM

Tell us about your route to success –how did you land your agent/publisher? I could paper the walls of my office with rejection slips if I printed them out. It doesn’t matter who didn’t like whatever I sent, it matters who did. One yes is all it takes. Kristall Ink have been awesome to work with.

What are the most important elements of good writing? Keeping the writing fresh. The author has to be excited by the story. If they are bored, then this will come over and I have seen it many times in books that are series, which probably should have ended way before they did.

What tools are must-haves for writers? A dictionary and thesaurus, along with a Chicago manual of style. Also a slew of non-fiction books related to the genre chosen. It is sort of necessary to know simple things like a daffodil will not be in flower in a garden at the same time as a rose, for example. A setting must be credible. Also cook books wouldn’t go amiss as there seems to be a huge temptation to have characters on a road trip stop for the night, throw a few veg and a lump of meat in a giant cauldron and voila, there is an instant stew. Note, stews take hours and exactly how does one transport a giant cauldron when on horseback?

Do you have any advice for other writers? Read a lot, both in genre and out of it.

What do you feel is the key to your success? Gotta be great covers and editing. I also spend time each day marketing.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers? My pen name is C.N.Lesley. I have one not because I want to hide behind it, but because I cannot use my legal name of Elizabeth Hull for my work. There is a dear, sweet lady using that name who is already published under the fantasy genre. Thank you for reading my books. I love you all.

What are your current / future project(s)? Oh lordy. The third book in the Shadow series and the second book in the Darkspire series for sure and just getting the finishing touches. I have a sci fi I would like to finish, also, and then there is a paranormal romance and an urban fantasy. Currently on the back burner is another science fantasy set off world and nothing to do with the Shadow series.

Is your book in print, ebook or both? Both.

Is there anything else you’d like to share? I have a ghost short story that will be free over Halloween on the Amazons, entitled Forever and a Day.

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