I’m happy to welcome Leslie Tentler, author of Fallen, to my blog today. She’s talking about how she went from reader to write and mentions a couple of books I read when I was a kid.
On Becoming an Author
By Leslie Tentler
It’s sometimes said that authors start off as avid readers who begin to desire even more immersion into fictional worlds. Simply reading becomes not enough, so we begin to dabble in creating worlds of our own, daydreaming stories until finally we attempt the task of putting those ideas on paper (or these days, the computer screen).
For many authors, I believe this path is true.
As a child, I never planned to be a novelist, but I did have a strong imagination. And I also loved to read. My particular favorites were Nancy Drew mysteries. I’d learned the general timeframe in which new ones arrived at our local “Rose’s” – a discount retailer similar to Target or Wal-Mart in our small Southern town – and I’d beg my mother to take me there. Once the book was mine, I’d force myself to savor it as slowly as I could, not wanting that world to end. And when the book was sadly finished, I’d daydream about new plots for Nancy until another mystery was released.
I also became enraptured by Island of the Blue Dolphins, a bittersweet coming-of-age novel I no doubt read a dozen times. I’d imagine life for Karana, the novel’s heroine who survived alone on a desolate island for years, after she was rescued and what her return to civilization was like.
As an author, I realize that creatively, things haven’t changed all that much for me from those days of my childhood. The characters and worlds are now completely of my own creation, but I’m still getting little nuggets of story ideas, glimpses of heroes and villains, passing through my head. Germinating those ideas until they become fully formed novels takes a lot more work, though, and I do sometimes become slowed by adult fears like failure.
It was certainly easier when those stories in my head were just for me, when they weren’t being put out there for the world to see. It can be a little scary sometimes. But in taking the risk and putting my stories “out there,” I also experience the great joy of sharing them with others. There is nothing more elating than having a reader tell you they enjoyed your story, that they shared that same bond you feel with your characters.
While Fallen is a romantic suspense novel set against the backdrop of a tense hunt for a serial killer targeting police, there is also another story within a story. It’s about a once-happy couple torn apart by tragedy, then brought together again by circumstances and fate. It’s this – Lydia and Ryan’s story – that is at the book’s heart. Their journey took a while for me to tell, but I’m glad I finally have.
“If it wasn’t an armed robbery, it was a hit. An execution.”
Amid a sultry Atlanta summer, someone is targeting police…
The investigation becomes personal for APD Detective Ryan Winter when a colleague and friend is shot dead, the second victim in just weeks. But even as he finds himself being drawn into the tense hunt for a serial cop killer, he is forced to re-examine his own shattering personal tragedy.
An ER physician at Atlanta’s busy Mercy Hospital, Dr. Lydia Costa is no stranger to suffering. Still, the recent police slayings reopen barely healed wounds—and bring her face-to-face with her ex-husband, Ryan Winter.
As the body count rises and paranoia tightens its grip on the police force, Lydia and Ryan are pulled together by circumstances and fate…causing old passions to reignite despite their painful shared past. But as Ryan moves closer to discovering the killer’s identity, someone is watching, placing both him and Lydia in mortal danger.
I was sooo moved by Ryan and Lydia’s story. Of all your books was there one that was easier to write – that flowed well in your head?
Hi, Willa! And thanks ~ Lydia and Ryan’s story was very special to me and I would say it was also the hardest one to write. (Of course, I always think the LAST one I wrote was the hardest!) As far as the easiest, probably my first book, Midnight Caller. Since I was unpublished at the time I wrote it, I really felt less pressure and just let myself have fun with it! Great question!
Thank you for answering my question! 😀
Carol, thank you for hosting me today!
You’re welcome. I enjoyed reading the post – Nancy Drew was always one of my favorites and I remember the bookmobile librarian letting me borrow her personal copy of Island of the Blue Dolphins