When her cousin, Jackie, asks her to give a presentation to her online class, Amy thinks all she has to worry about is speaking before a group. But then the nitpicky professor collapses. He has been murdered, and hot-tempered Jackie is the prime suspect. Some online forums are even speculating that the professor was an extra-terrestrial, so Amy must sort out fact from fiction to get to the truth.
Certain the real killer is setting Jackie up, will Amy be able to outwit the killer and save her cousin?
LKBR: Thank you for joining us today, Gayle.
GL: Thanks for having me on your blog, Lisa. I’m happy to be here.
LKBR: Please tell us a bit about Truffles and Tragedy.
GL: In this book, Amy’s cousin Jackie is accused of murder. It’s a scary time for the entire family, even though everyone is trying to keep Aunt Bess in the dark as much as possible. The fact that the Winter Garden Sheriff’s Department is investigating the crime also creates conflict between Amy and Ryan.
LKBR: What are you plans for this series?
GL: I still have several adventures in store for the Down South Café gang. They’re a terrific group of characters, and I enjoy spending time with them.
LKBR: Are you working on any new projects?
GL: I’m currently working on the next book in the Ghostly Fashionista series, titled Buttons and Blows.
LKBR: When did you first know you wanted to be a writer?
GL: I’ve been telling stories all my life. Before I could read, I’d look at storybooks and make up the stories based on the pictures.
LKBR: Was getting your first book published everything you thought it would be? The feelings? The process?
GL: Getting my first book published was both exhilarating and nauseating. (LOL) I was thrilled, but I was also terrified that strangers would be reading my work. I met my first publisher at a writers’ conference, pitched the manuscript, and she requested to read it. She called and made me an offer shortly after that.
LKBR: How did you handle it when changes were made to your first manuscript? I don’t have a thick skin, so I know how I would have felt.
GL: Yeah…that’s still tough, to be honest. My skin has gotten thicker over the years, but I’m still no rhino. But a lot of it has to do with whether or not the changes make the story better. If it does, then I can acknowledge that and move forward. But if it’s a cute or funny scene that gets called “fluff” and cut out, that stings a bit.
LKBR: What is your favorite part of being a writer?
GL: Meeting fantastic people and learning about new things. And when those two aspects mesh, it’s really great!
LKBR: Have you ever read a book that has stayed with you long after reading it?
GL: Yes. A Tale of Two Cities, by Charles Dickens; The Ring, by Danielle Steele; and Watchers, by Dean Koontz. Does reading get any more eclectic than that? (grin)
LKBR: Why are reviews, good or bad, so important to authors?
GL: Reviews let authors know that people are reading their books. Good reviews are wonderful, of course; and while everyone would prefer to get all five-star reviews, bad ones can help readers choose whether a book is right for them or not. For instance, I might get a bad review saying, “I didn’t like this book because I hate café mysteries” but another reader might prefer the book for the same reason.
LKBR: On what sites do you recommend readers leave their reviews?
GL: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Goodreads, BookBub—anywhere they’d like!
LKBR: If you could spend one hour with a reader, what would you want to talk about?
GL: Books! What they’ve read, what I’ve read, their favorite books, what they enjoy most about their favorite books…
LKBR: Thank you so much, Gayle for letting us get to know you better!
GL: Thank you again for hosting me on your blog. It’s been fun!
About Gayle Leeson
Gayle Leeson is a pseudonym for Gayle Trent. Gayle has also written as Amanda Lee and Gayle Trent. Going forward, Gayle intends to keep her writing under the Gayle Leeson name. She lives with her beautiful family in the hills of Southwest Virginia.