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Jack Vaughn is sure his life is over as he tumbles down the wooded hillside onto the deserted two-lane stretch of asphalt. Years of work ended with a single gunshot. Yet, it’s not over.
A good Samaritan stops to help him, despite the danger he poses to her.
Laine Wheeler knows better than to stop for strangers on the rural Montana highway near her home, but her conscience won’t allow her to leave an injured man behind.
What she doesn’t know is the man is an undercover ATF agent tasked with infiltrating a domestic terrorist group. His cover has been blown and helping him will put her life in danger.
Though there is an instant attraction, Jack knows that beginning a romantic relationship with Laine would be both unfair and unwise. Yet the farther they run, the harder it gets to ignore the feelings that are surging between them.
Hello and thanks for stopping by and visiting with me and the bunnies. It is so nice to have Leslie McKelvey here. Readers I hope you enjoy this interview as much as I did. Oh, hold on, Leslie, every time someone new stops by the dogs and bunnies go crazy.
What do you do when you are not writing?
Wait, there’s something other than writing? Oh, yeah, housework. Nope, I don’t do that. That’s what children are for (wink, wink).
Where do you get your ideas?
I get my ideas from, well, everywhere. Snippets of TV shows, movies, but most often I get my ideas from dreams. I have great Technicolor dreams, which is why I love sleep so much. It’s so sad that I can’t sleep more….
Can you tell us about your challenges in getting your first book published?
I have the same problem almost every aspiring writer has. “Thank you for thinking of us, but we don’t feel your writing is a good fit for our publishing house/agency at this time.” You have to find the right person who likes your particular style to even generate any interest. It’s more about timing and luck than talent, and that is SO frustrating.
If you had to go back and do it all over, is there any aspect of your book or getting it published that you would change?
Yeah, I’d get it published 20 years sooner. I started submitting in my early 20s, but after a while the endless rejections were too much, so I shelved my writing. I still wrote, I just didn’t bother trying to get published. Between marriage and family life, it became a hobby.
If you were stranded on a desert island what 3 things would you want with you?
#1 would be sunscreen because redheads DON’T tan. Second thing I’d like is a hot guy with the skill sets of Bear Grylls and Bobby Flay. Third and last, a satellite phone with built in GPS so if said hot guy gets on my nerves or I run out of sunscreen I can call for rescue.
What is one book everyone should read?
Accidental Affair, of course! But, if romance isn’t your thing, Lone Survivor by Marcus Luttrell is a riveting read. It gave me a new appreciation for our military. Because I’m a war-veteran myself, that’s saying something.
Night owl, or early bird?
Neither. I am a VAMPIRE.
One of your favorite quotes –
“War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.” — John Stuart Mill
What is the craziest thing you have ever done?
SWAT training. It was the most intense three days of my life, and my favorite parts were rappelling Australian style (face first), window entry (breaking windows and then swinging through them), and blowing the hinges off doors with a shotgun, kicking the door down, and rescuing the hostage. Running around in full tactical gear including vest and helmet, carrying a shotgun, a .45 pistol, AND an AR-15 rifle, all at once, while doing an obstacle course AND shooting? TOO MUCH FUN!
How many books have you written?
I have more than a dozen completed manuscripts, and at least that many in various stages of production. It’s the only way to keep the voices in my head from taking over.
How many are published?
Accidental Affair is my debut novel, but the publisher has contracted three more of my manuscripts. So, when all is said and done, I’ll have at least FOUR books on the shelves. YIPPEE!
Out of all of your characters, which is your favorite? Why?
My favorite character is a secondary character in Accidental Affair: Special Agent Ted “Bear” Bristol. Bear is a combination of my hubby and a Marine I dated decades ago, and he is DELISH! He’s the strong, silent type who knows what he’s doing and is almost always right. Plus he’s 6’8”, blonde, blue-eyed, and built like Thor. Who wouldn’t love THAT?
What is one of the most surprising things you’ve learned as a writer?
I think the thing that surprises me most is it’s not always about writing talent. Let’s be honest. We’ve ALL read someone’s published work and wondered, “How the HELL did THAT get published but MINE isn’t good enough?!” Come on, admit it. I love Stephen King, but I picked up one of his new releases and it was so boring I can’t even remember the title. I got about 15 pages into Chapter One and couldn’t read anymore. It was THAT dull.
What’s the latest news you’d like to share?
My next novel, titled Right Place, Right Time, should be released by the end of the year. It stars my favorite character, Special Agent Bear Bristol. Oh, and my publisher just told me she’s contracting another sequel to Accidental Affair, titled Her Sister’s Keeper. It stars another secondary character from AA, Sheriff Grant Donovan.
Do you have any advice for new writers?
Please, please, PLEASE make sure you have a firm grasp of writing mechanics, grammar, and the English language before putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard). Nothing will get your manuscript tossed faster than juvenile mistakes in spelling, punctuation, and the like. If you don’t have a grasp of these skills LEARN them or find someone who does and have them help you.
Tell me about your book. How did you come up with that (story, angle, idea)?
Accidental Affair is the story of Dr. Laine Wheeler and Special Agent Jack Vaughn, and what happens after she nearly runs him over on a rural Montana highway. Laine is an emergency physician hiding from her past, and Jack is an undercover ATF agent tasked to infiltrate a domestic terror group. After his cover is blown he barely escapes with his life, and now that Laine has made the fateful decision to help him, both of their lives are in danger. The story follows them as they run from their pursuers across Montana, Wyoming, and Colorado, and the fiery, although inconvenient, passion building between them. It started with a dream about the opening scene in which Laine almost runs Jack over. It was like a movie trailer in my head. All I saw was this guy with a gunshot wound somersaulting down a 20 foot embankment, and a woman with her dog in a Range Rover.
What is the best thing about being an author?
The best thing about being an author is being able to answer the question, “What do you do?” with, “I’m an author.” YEA!!
What do you hope readers will take away from your books?
I hope they’ll take away that love is often inconvenient, many times it’s hard, but it’s always worth it when you find the right person. Take it when it finds you.
Pick one profession you would choose if you were not an author. Why?
I’d be a Navy fighter pilot. I’ve landed on and been catapulted off an aircraft carrier before, and to get PAID to do that EVERY DAY? SIGN ME UP! And, contrary to popular belief, the world’s finest air force isn’t the US Air Force, it’s the US Navy. Sorry, Air Force, but until you can land your plane on a postage stamp floating in the middle of the ocean…talk to the hand.
Any last words?
If you want to be a published author, it can happen. Work and refine your writing until it’s as perfect and error-free as you can make it then find someone who knows the publishing business and enlist their help. Without my writing coach, Catherine Bramkamp, I wouldn’t have any of my publishing contracts. She knew the business because she’s also a published author, and her help was invaluable.
Thank you so much for taking time to chat with me today, Leslie McKelvey. It’s been a pleasure having you and I wish you much success in the future.
Thank YOU for having me, and the dogs and bunnies are ADORABLE! I’ll leave treats on my way out….
Leslie McKelvey has been writing since she learned to write, and her mother still stores boxes of handwritten stories in the attic. Leslie read her first romance at 12 and was hooked. When her high school Creative Writing teacher told her she needed to be a novelist, she decided to give it a try. Finally, at the ripe old age of…forty-something…her debut novel, Accidental Affair, made it into print through Black Velvet Seductions Publishing. The publisher has also contracted two more manuscripts, which will follow Accidental Affair shortly.
Leslie is a war-veteran who served with the U.S. Navy during the Gulf War, and she was among the first groups of women to work the flight deck of an aircraft carrier. During her five years tour she was stationed at NAS Miramar and was an F-14 Tomcat mechanic and plane captain. While in San Diego she spent time on the carriers USS Independence, USS Ranger, USS Lincoln, and the USS Nimitz. The final two years of her enlistment were spent on Guam and her squadron frequently deployed to Japan and the Middle East.
She learned everything she knows about firearms and tactics from her police officer husband, who is a weapons expert, range master, and firearms instructor for one of the most highly-respected law-enforcement agencies in the world (and one he wishes her NOT to disclose). He is her biggest supporter and her unpaid consultant on everything law-enforcement and weapons related. She has three boys who keep her very busy and contribute daily to her growing number of gray hairs. Her oldest son is a United States Marine and the younger two have vowed to follow in their brother’s footsteps (OOH RAH!). She spends her off-time (kidding…WHAT off-time?) reading, taking pictures, and sending lead down range (that’s shooting, for those who are unfamiliar). One of her favorite scents is the smell of gunpowder in the morning….