Leslie Hachtel was born in Hamilton, Ohio and has lived all over the United States. She started writing years ago when she simply decided to sit down at a typewriter and she was transported to another world. She realized then a writer writes because there is no other choice.
Her genres include historical, contemporary, romantic suspense and historical/paranormal since she loves them all.
Leslie lives in Memphis, Tennessee with her fabulously supportive husband, Bob. And of course, with Jakita, the terrier.
Welcome to Authors Visits Leslie. We are delighted to have you visit.
Tell us something you would like your readers to know about you they don’t.
I have an awesome bucket list and I am working on it. For example, I wanted to feed a giraffe and I did that last weekend. It was amazing. I am taking ballroom dancing lessons and I challenged myself by doing “Go Ape” where you zip line and face challenges high in the trees.
Wow. I was not expecting that. Tell us about your traveling. What is the most unusual place you’ve ever visited and did you put something about it in one of your books?
I have traveled extensively around America (and lived in many states) and I have been to Europe and the Caribbean. I think I would consider all of those places unusual since there are so many cultural differences. Each location has so much to recommend it. And some have ended up in my books. “Payback” is set in Michigan, “Texas Summer” in a small town in Texas. But I suppose my favorite location remains in England – hundreds of years ago – and I sometimes wish I could actually time travel.
In a prior life, what did you do before becoming a writer?
Over the years, I had a variety of jobs. And I do mean a variety. I have owned a catering service for NBC in Los Angeles, taught horseback riding to the disabled, spent time in advertising as a media buyer, and most recently, I was a licensed veterinary technician for 18 years.
Do you still do that, if not how difficult was the decision to give it up? If you still do it, how do you balance that with writing?
There are definitely things I miss about working in veterinary medicine. Which is why I just decided to volunteer a few hours a week at the Memphis Zoo. But, choosing full-time writing was a decision I have not regretted.
Does coincidence sometimes play a role in your books? If so is there a particular example you can share?
If coincidence defined as being in the right place at the right time, then many of my books play a role in that. In “The Dream Dancer”, Lady Bryce was in the marketplace at the same time as Rowland. In “Hannah’s War”, Hannah happened to stumble onto Lucas’s doorstep. In “The Defiant Bride”, Dariana was in the woods right where William was injured.
Your favorite Hobby? Does it by chance have any impact/influence on your writing?
When I’m not writing, I love to sew, make jewelry and paint (in acrylics). I also love to cook. And yes, some of my characters share the same hobbies. Lily in “Once Upon a Tablecloth” is a painter, as is Kennedy in “Texas Summer”. Marilee, In “Captain’s Captive” is a great cook.
Are your books research intensive? What’s the scariest
research you’ve ever done?
Yes. Very. I hate when I read a book and there is some glaring flaw in the facts or the history. So, I endeavor to make sure my books are accurate. The most frightening research was for “Hannah’s War”. It’s set in the Civil War and there are many history buffs out there who are well-versed in the facts of that war. I did not want to make a mistake. Also, in “A Dance in Time”, many books have been written about the sinking of “The Mary Rose”. (I know, since I think I read most of them). Again, I had to make sure I was as accurate as possible.
Name a few fun facts you learned while researching some of your books.
In “Hannah’s War”, I learned about Smokey Row and the fact that prostitution was virtually legalized in Nashville during the Civil War.
What are you working on now that you can share with us?
I just started working on Book 2 of the “Morocco” series and I recently signed a contract to be part of an anthology entitled “Perfectly Poisoned” set in the 1800’s. I am very excited about both of these projects.
Tell us how your newest book came about; the Story behind it so to speak.
Oddly enough, “Bound to Morocco” came about during a fun excursion to Escapology. That is one of those places where you are ‘locked’ in and have a time limit to escape. Great fun. Anyway, the scenario was we were ‘shanghaied’ on a ship and had to solve puzzles and get out before ‘it sailed’. And I thought, what if …
What was the easiest part of writing it and what was the most difficult.
The easiest part of writing is the actual writing part. I become totally immersed and time just flies. The hardest part is keeping up with the business part, like marketing.
Which is the easiest for you? Writing dialogue, creating characters, plots, and or scenes?
Once I sit down and start to tell a story, it seems to be pretty easy. Until I go back and have to edit. That’s the hard part. I have to be objective, with a reader’s point of view, and it’s not easy.
What advice would you give to writers?
Just two words: Don’t quit! If you are a writer, you write. And you cannot let negative feedback discourage you. That is not the same as constructive criticism. Believe in yourself, believe in your work and Don’t Quit!
Share a fun Fact with us.
I think my dog would take credit for the books I write if she could talk. But, I have to say, it is nice to have her in my office as I work.
Thank you so much for visiting with us. We enjoyed hearing about your life as a writer and more about your books.
Be sure and visit Leslie Hachtel at https://www.lesliehachtel.com/