Interview with Leslie Gordon

What are you working on next?
After publishing Cheer: A Novel, I spent six months working on a novel that just didn't pan out. I stuck it in a drawer and, after licking my wounds for a few months and reading tons about the craft of writing, I'm embarking on a new story. Like Cheer, its very premise is fraught with tension and I'm excited to see where it goes.
Who are your favorite authors?
I have so many favorites from wildly divergent genres. It would be reckless of me to name just a few. I will say that I was absolutely blown away by Rules of Civility by Amor Towles.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
My day job is "legal affairs journalist," which means I write for lawyer magazines. (I am a "recovering" lawyer.) I'm also a mom to two fantastic middle schoolers. I love to knit, work out and, of course, read.
What is your writing process?
I work best when I have a detailed outline of the story. While some elements of the story may change or evolve, my writing is best when I don't have to also worry about what's going to happen next. When I'm deep into the writing process, ideas come to me while I'm doing other things -- working out, knitting, driving -- so I dash off notes to myself and incorporate them into the story once I'm back at my computer.
What do you read for pleasure?
I love everything from literary fiction to cheesy celebrity biographies! I'm a huge fan of audio books so I usually have one book I'm listening to and one I'm reading in hard copy or on my Kindle.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I have a first (!)-generation Kindle! It's crazy clunky and poorly designed compared to the later models but it still works for me.
Describe your desk
White. Long. Tidy. Colored files. Legal pads. Mug of decaf or green tea.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. Cheer: A Novel is set in San Rafael, in Marin County, which is not my hometown. But I worked for a year in Marin and got to know it pretty well. My next story will also be set in the Bay Area but the protagonist will have to travel (unwillingly) to Manhattan.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I found that several agents liked my book but for purely monetary reasons, took a pass. That is, they were looking solely for the next Hunger Games or 50 Shades of Grey, which forced them to pass on books they liked. I found this very frustrating. At that same time, I read the famous "How Amazon Saved My Life" essay and began researching self-publishing. It has worked out great.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
There's some great quote out there that goes something like, "A writer is a reader drawn to emulation." Whenever I read a great book, I'm more inspired as a writer. I strive to move readers with prose the way I've been moved by great stories.
Published 2013-09-23.
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Books by This Author

Cheer: A Novel
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 61,110. Language: English. Published: August 6, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Plays & Screenplays, Fiction » Women's fiction » General
What happens when a family suffers a tragedy and everyone blames themselves? An unforgettable story of redemption and hope, set in idyllic and quirky Marin County, California, Cheer is a rich exploration of a family's resilience in the wake of betrayal and tragedy. Told from three perspectives, this novel is for anyone who has been a mother or a daughter.