Interview with Leela Atherton

How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Smashwords has changed my life! 'Passion and Deceit' had been read by my husband and a handful of friends, who thought it was 'great'. Now, after publishing Part One of Passionate Deceit on Smashwords, 5 days ago, I have 578 downloads and 4 reviews! For me, having this number of readers, even if it is free, is a dream come true, and the reviews are an added bonus. I love Smashwords!
Who are your favorite authors?
The List is long . . . As I said in my Bio, I grew up reading Anne Mather, Mills & Boon Author, way ahead of her time. Reading her books helped me to hone my writing skills.
Other Mills & Boon Authors:
Lynne Graham
Michelle Reid

Smashwords Favourite Authors:
Alyssa Kress; Marriage by Mistake
Storm Stone; Casual Car Sex, Casual Car Affair, Casual Car Cravings (Hardcore Romance!)

Other Favourite Authors:
Jane Austen - Pride and Prejudice
Linda Howard (Especially her earlier, steamy romance novels)
EL James Fifty Shades Trilogy (A beautiful Love Story)
Monica Ali; Brick Lane
Simon Beaufoy; Slumdog Millionaire
John le Carre - All his books. I love falling in love with his characters.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Besides my passion for writing, my husband and I have been running a Non-profit Organisation called UmbelekoNpc for almost 2 years now, Living in Cape Town, South Africa for the past the past 5 years it soon became apparent that there was a huge divide between the 'haves' and the 'have nots' surrounding us.
Umbeleko is situated in an extremely poverty-stricken part of Gugulethu in Cape Town. We provide breakfast to 130 children who would go to school hungry if it were not for our feeding scheme. Umbeleko also provides Aftercare to our 130 kids, including a meal for the children once they leave school at the end of the day. Our Aftercare also includes assisting the children with their homework, teaching them English and other extra-curricular activities.
I believe it is time for authors, particular successful ones, to share their success and spread the love!
If you would like to know more about Umbeleko please check out our website: www.umbeleko.co.za
Maybe Smashwords could begin encouraging its successful authors to contribute to their chosen charities and 'be the change you want to see in the world'.
What's the story behind your latest book?
My husband and I travelled through India, before our daughter was born, and fell in love with this unique and utterly mind-blowing country. Since then, I have always had a passion for India and all things Indian - especially the food!
Being gay - male or female - is still quite unacceptable in India, as well as by many Indian families all over the world. So, I guess my story started with Sanjay, a young, gay man from a very wealthy Anglo-Indian family.
Maya arrived as the heroine stuck in the middle of this huge family secret and Rajiv my gorgeous, alpha-male hero is kept in the dark; torn between his attraction for Maya and his loyalty to his brother.
There will definitely be a second volume to 'Passion and Deceit'. Even if Rajiv finds out about his brother's sexuality, that does not ensure a happy ending for him and Maya. Rajiv cannot envisage himself marrying any woman other than an Indian woman. So is there any chance for a happy ending for our hero and heroine, we'll just have to wait and see?
Plus Sanjay certainly deserves his love story to come to a conclusion and we can only hope he gets the happy ending, which seems so unattainable right now.
I hope that people who get the opportunity to read 'Passion and Deceit' will reach a deeper understanding of how difficult life can be for gay men and women stuck in similar situations to that of Sanjay, and allow them the freedom to find their own happy endings.
In Passion & Deceit IV you describe Rajiv as a 'complex and tortured soul', why is this?
Rajiv is so dominant that he's making his own way in this story. I am having to follow him!
Two crucial issues concerning Rajiv are beginning to emerge:
He is a very staunch Indian Catholic, and he has certain sexual predilections. These predilections leave him filled with Catholic Guilt.
His plan was to marry a good Indian woman, put his sinful life behind him, and become a decent family man. Then Maya arrived and turned all his plans upside-down. His desire to possess her overpowering his whole belief-system. He sees himself as a pervert - a mortal sinner and Maya's innocence only exacerbates his self-disgust. But it doesn't stop him from wanting her.
Will he overcome his guilt? Will he reveal his tortured soul to Maya? Will the modern man and the traditional male ever be able to live in harmony. That is up to Rajiv. As I said, I'm just a follower...
Tell us something interesting about yourself?
As a child I dreamed of becoming a nun.
Published 2014-04-26.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

SensualShifter
By
Price: Free! Words: 4,610. Language: English. Published: October 18, 2014. Category: Fiction » Erotica » Paranormal
When successful writer, Justin Farrell, arrives back at his sea-side bungalow on an island in Thailand, the last thing he expects is to find a beautiful, naked woman on his bed. She tells him she is a shapeshifter from the future and needs his help. Justin is sure the woman is delusional. Until she shifts into a frightening feline and proceeds to seduce him with her sensual innocence.
TimeShifter Part 2
By
Series: TimeShifter Part 2, Book 2. Price: Free! Words: 8,870. Language: English. Published: April 8, 2014. Category: Fiction » Romance » Time travel
The morning after . . . The police are now staging a nationwide search for 'escaped convict' - Zak. Chloe strives to fight her growing attraction to this mesmerising being, but it is a losing battle . . .
TimeShifter Part 1
By
Series: TimeShifter Part 2, Book 1. Price: Free! Words: 12,640. Language: English. Published: November 6, 2013. Category: Fiction » Romance » Paranormal
Zak is a shapeshifter sent back in time on a mission to save the world. Chloe, a prison counsellor, is taken hostage by Zak when he escapes from jail and entraps her in her apartment. Terrified yet attracted to this strange and beautiful being, Chloe tries her utmost to escape. Thrown into turmoil - is she going crazy or can she believe in him?
Umbeleko
By
Price: Free! Words: 1,190. Language: English. Published: October 25, 2013. Category: Nonfiction » Politics and Current Affairs » Public affairs
Umbeleko is a Non Profit Organisation situated in Gugulethu, one of the most desperate and deprived areas in South Africa. What are Umbeleko and the people / organisations supporting it doing to make a difference in this poverty-stricken "suburb,'" opposite Cape Town International Airport and just 20 minutes from the thriving City of Cape Town? Read this Newsletter and find out.
Passion and Deceit
By
Price: Free! Words: 4,030. Language: English. Published: August 22, 2013. Category: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
When Maya arrives in London to visit her friend, Jay, she's aware that he has a secret he is keeping from his family. However, deceiving Jay's dangerously, attractive older brother, Rajiv, is something she had not expected to deal with . Now keeping Jay's secret becomes much more difficult with Rajiv watching her every move...