- is a poet turned novelist. She’s loud, funny, and prefers the term “eccentric”.
Readers! Let’s give a good, hearty welcome to Leslie Swartz.
Leslie is loud, funny, and prefers the term “eccentric”. She enjoys long walks in the stationary aisle and uninterrupted sleep. She’s a forty-year-old mother of three that homeschools through the week and writes urban fantasy and horror on the weekends. Her biggest fears include failure of gravity and “The Wizard of Oz”.
Leslie, thanks for agreeing to be here today. While most interviews start off with bios and such, and while I’ll get to that as always, let’s start with the important stuff!
If you could have any pet (real/fantasy/no-allergies/no worries about feeding it) what would it be?
Atreyu, obviously. Is there any other right answer? He’s a giant dog that can fly you places, not to mention he’s at least 87% sass.
I think you mean Falcor, the luck dragon. Atreyu was the boy. But, he’s an obvious choice! Why have a world without puppy-dragons when you could have a world with them! (For those unfamiliar, she’s talking about The Neverending Story)
What do you write? And how did you get started?
I mostly write paranormal urban fantasy.
There’s a freedom to it that I’ve become kind of addicted to. If I want to have the vampire queen fall in love with the angel Thor was based on while The Messenger of God sets fifty demons on fire with her brain and Lucifer saves the last Tituban witch from hunters, no one can tell me I can’t make it happen. Anything goes and that’s amazing for creativity.
I fell in love with the genre at age five after watching Legend over and over again. I decided then that my goal in life would be to write something Ridley Scott would want to direct. It’s still the dream.
I love the freedom of fiction as well, but find myself avoiding the worlds we know for even more freedom!
What do you like to read?
Horror is my go-to. Stephen King and Anne Rice, of course, but my current favorites are Evelyn Chartres and J Edward Niell.
Some classic choices there, although I see I have some authors to add to my massive to-read pile.
Name one commonly accepted piece of writing advice that doesn’t work for you.
Write to market
I can’t do it. I hate a lot of the tropes, I hate predictability, and I hate more than anything flat characters. If a book feels manufactured to fit a certain genre, I get bored.
So true! If you can’t love your story or your characters, how can you expect anyone else to? Find a story that resonates with you is the best way to write for most of us.
Name one commonly accepted piece of writing advice that they can pry out of your cold, dead hands.
Rest your manuscript before editing.
Leave your manuscript for a week before editing. It really does help to take a step back and look it over with fresh eyes.
I’m one-hundred percent there with you. (Although, I often give it longer than a mere week.)
Shameless Self-Promotion time!
The Seventh Day Series is seven books of rowdy angels, vampires, witches, and Lucifer fighting monsters and preventing one Apocalypse after another. Really, though, it’s a story of found-family, complex relationships, trauma, and redemption. It’s character-driven, dark, funny, and chock-full of twists.
The story starts with Seraphim:
Wyatt is a typical schizophrenic firefighter with daddy issues when his life falls into shambles. His wife leaves him, he loses his job and the voices in his head are getting louder. Just when he thinks he’s finally made a breakthrough, a woman interrupts his therapy session, setting his life on a course more unbelievable than his hallucinations.
Gabriel is the Messenger of God and she loves humans. Like, all of them. Beautiful men, gorgeous women…and sometimes both at the same sexy time. But, when she’s called to save the world from a long-forgotten enemy, she drops everything and gets to work.
Four angels, born human, must join with Lucifer and the vampire queen to stop the sadistic Lilith from destroying the Gate between Heaven and Earth, enslaving humanity, and slaughtering millions.
Seraphim tells a disturbing, yet hilarious story of complex familial and romantic relationships on a backdrop of the Apocalypse. Set in present-day NYC during God’s rest.
- “Like if Dean Winchester and Buffy had a baby and it grew up a little slutty.”
- “Supernatural meets Shameless but with money.”–Allen Black
- “A masterpiece of imagination and literary devices.”–Dan Santos
- “Anne Rice meets Patricia Briggs.”–Lailani Wright
Check Leslie Swartz out across the web!