ARRR!!! Jack is back, me hearties! Come aboard and help us welcome contemporary romance author, Lady Leslie P. Garcia, eh? An author of over 7 books, Leslie believes words still have power and always will. We’re inclined to believe her!
Home. Alas, there is little true adventure in this landlubber’s soul. I could walk beaches for miles, but a bad lightning storm in a 12 foot aluminum boat called the Little Jumper cured me of wanting to wallow amongst the swells of a heavy sea. Plus, being waterborne in this day and age takes an awful lot of coin.
Wow. A provocative question. Family, to be sure, and that’s like double the allotted amount, but if we call family just one, then also my passion for words, the books that have enlightened, entertained and devastated me over years, the strange twists that have become the stories I tell — you know what? That’s 3 pieces, right, and it’s more or less enough, so I’ll add my friends and be done, because otherwise — I’d just wish for the material pieces one occasionally lusts after.
“Lust? Swounds and blood. You’re a sassy wench to be bringin’ up lust and we’ve only hit on question two. Belay that! Ye do write romance, eh?” Winks. “But easy now, we’re just gettin’ started and we’ve yet to drink rum. When did the wind/muse take hold of your sails?”
May all your further questions be this easy.
“Easy? I’m a gentleman of fortune. I live rough, risk swingin’ and eat and drink like a flightin’ cock. I wager nothin’ is easy, includin’ your journey to port.”
I could read and write before I entered school. I honestly believe it to have been osmosis — my mother and father valued books over everything else, and when we didn’t have clothes (really) we had books. My very first sale was when I was in six, in first grade, to a magazine called Kids. I made a $1.50. Unfortunately, that treasure had to see me through pretty much a lifetime of lean earnings.
“Pirates know about lean earnings, luv. Nothin’ to do but put your back into it. Were there times the Kraken,” Jack shivers “tried to pull ye down to Davy Jones Locker? If so, how’d ye escape?”
Oh, and when didn’t they attach themselves to my veins and suck, or to my feet and drag me under? So many “We regret to inform you,” each one a burning criticism. But my biggest hurt came from the grandmother who told me my writing was worthless, and the teacher who said I should find another path to pursue. How did I escape? The Kraken still pursued me, but habit is a stern master, so I just go on until they’re momentarily behind me.
“In situations like these, there’s nothin’ for a pirate to do but scupper your hide out of there and escape the beastie. Well done, m’lady. Now for me next question. During a broadside, what do you do to mend your sails?”
Not good at that. This ship hasn’t launched a thousand faces, but man, have those broadsides sunk it a thousand times. I allow myself way too much whine time, a little time for what my mother called my brown funk, and then I just sigh deeply and go on. Once I take those next few steps — I’m all better.
“Ye’ve a good plan. Get to windward, I say. Batten down the hatches and back to your post. Which leads me to this question. Once the course for that coveted horizon had been charted, how long did it take ye to make port/publication?”
Well, as I said — the first time was the easiest. I was six. After that — a few publications in magazines over the years, most notably, a poem in McCall’s. My breakthrough, though, didn’t come until Crimson Romance published Unattainable in 2013.
“Avast and likewise belay that! Congratulations on your first sale! Ye stayed your course, m’lady. Test of a true pirate. Pirates have a code, more like guidelines anyway. What is your code?”
Funny, you’d think a land seeking anchor like me would plot and plan and plot — but it’s the seat of my pants, bumping along until a story tells me it’s done.
“Seat of your pants, eh?” Raises a dram of rum. “Here’s to ourselves, and hold your luff, plenty of prizes and plenty of duff.” Drains mug and slams it on the desk. “And now to my favorite question of this interview. Your all time favorite pirate is?” Leans forward flashin’ a charming grin.
Romantically, Jack Sparrow. Is there anyone else?
Pragmatically, Harry Morgan, that great English pirate of debatable virtue, because my mother claims we’re related — and you honor family first, right?
Jack’s eyes widen. “Prodigny of Morgan, eh? Well now, you ARRR a well-propertied wench! This calls for more rum!”
A scurvy babe, if my mom remembered right, born in a horrible heat wave, moved around for most of her young life—sounds romantic, right? Except for the scurvy part? Truth be told, I moved often during my childhood, finding adventures everywhere, but have spent almost all my adult life in south Texas, raising the family that is my center of gravity, coaxing first graders to write during the day, and coaxing myself to write by night, usually accompanied by a motley assortment of much loved pets.
“Every tar what sets foot on a ship has a story. What story do you have to tell, Lady Leslie?”
Oh, stories I have, Jack, two of them burning like stars over an ocean or those pieces of eight. May I brag a wee bit? Both are anthologies, treasures struck by several hands to bring joy to many. The first is the Crimson Romance Crazy for Cowboys Bundle. Eight full length romances, can you imagine? For a dead man’s ransom? No! For .99! The bundle includes my personal bestseller, Unattainable, and seven other stories of men in boots and hats. Sorry — not a sea faring rogue in the lot, but great stories none the less!
Then — also seeing the light of day on September 8th, the collection of seven more hot men on horses, Cowboy Up. Seven shorter, faster reads by seven amazing authors. My contribution to that prestigious group is A Cowboy’s Heart, a story of teenage love grown up. Guaranteed to give more than the eight seconds of pleasure from a bull ride, I guarantee. And every bit as economical as the bundle, the anthology will set you back a mere $.99! $.99! So “Cowboy Up”, my maritime lovelies, and pick up both these treasures for a mere pittance!
Wishin’ ye fair voyage and success, Lady Leslie!
Do you have a favorite cowboy?