1. What is your name/pen name? Leslie Welch
2. What do you write? Genre? I write in a few different genres: Young Adult Urban Fantasy, New Adult Contemporary, and Women’s Fiction.
3. Tell us about yourself? I’m a textbook Leo--outgoing and a little wild. I’m the person who drags everyone onto the dance floor. By day, I’m a communications professional. By night, I’m a procrastinating writer. I’m also a proud Penn Stater who loves ice cream and coffee. Currently, I’m in “survival mode” as the mother of a teenager.
4. What prompted you to pitch your book in #Pit2Pub? I had a personal goal to publish a book before I turned forty-one. After the first round of rejections from traditional queries, I felt like time was running out. I was days away from publishing The Goodbyes myself. I even designed a cover (which was really bad) and formatted it into an e-Book. Luckily, I decided to give this manuscript one last chance in #Pit2Pub!
5. Tell about your #Pit2Pub experience. #Pit2Pub was the perfect event at exactly the right time for me. I polished up my pitches and crossed my fingers. By the end of the day, I had eight “likes” on my pitches. It was so exciting! This tweet made it happen:
She inspired his hit songs. She has hours to live. A rock star braves a blizzard for a chance to say goodbye. #Pit2Pub #NA #CON #R
I researched each publisher and their submission guidelines. Then, I sent queries to my top five. Three of those requests became offers.
6. Which publisher did you sign with? After reviewing the three contracts, I decided to make Blue Moon Publishers my home. I could tell from our first interactions that I was going to be a valued part of the Blue Moon Publishers family. Plus, they had a lot of great ideas for marketing and promotion. I’m happy to say that my instincts were right!
7. Tell us about your upcoming book. The Goodbyes tells the story of rockstar Webb Turner, who has pined for the enigmatic girl across the street, Bree, since he was twelve years old. His lyrics about her propelled Webb's band to superstardom, but his fame came with the price of finding real love. When he discovers that Bree is dying, Webb leaves a stadium full of fans to be at her side. As a blizzard batters the east coast, he fights against the storm and the mistakes of his past for a chance to say goodbye.
The Goodbyes explores moments in the past that define the adults we become: the mistakes, the misunderstandings, and the scars we carry into adulthood. And while the premise seems sad, it’s really a story of hope and growth.
8. When is your book scheduled to be released? The Goodbyes comes out on July 12th, 2016! I think it’s pretty amazing that my publication date is so close to the event that made my dream of being an author come true.
9. What is at the top of your bucket list? I can’t make up my mind between swimming in the thermal pools in Iceland, or staying in an over-the-water bungalow in Bora Bora, so I’ve decided that it’s an epic trip that combines them both! I call it the Fire and Ice vacation.
10. Parting words for other authors? We live in an amazing time. Electronic books have changed the rules of publishing. But to be a good, or great, writer, the rules haven’t changed.
Here are a few tips I’ve collected from other writers who have helped me on this journey:
● Don’t edit until the first draft is done. Make notes if you must. The first draft is supposed to be a disaster. If you get bogged down chasing perfection, you won’t finish. Embrace the mess--fix it later.
● Connect with other writers. Follow them on Twitter. Build your community; you’ll need their support when you feel like giving up.
● Reject the rejection, but consider the criticism. If someone’s telling you there are issues with your story, take a step back and try to see it from their perspective.
● Throw in a 180 degree twist if you don’t know where else to go.