Zrinka: Welcome, Leslie. Please tell us about your writing, and Basement Level 5, Never Scared. Can you explain the title without giving too much away?
L. R. Wright: I had a vivid dream about escaping to an underground lair five floors below ground and Basement Level 5 was born. As I developed the story, one of the themes flowing throughout the book was that Alexa (heroine) was never scared of anything. Initially, I called the book B5. When I started querying, the title changed to Never Scared. Finally, I just put the two together.
The book is about a woman (Alexa) who was raised to be a killer. Of course, they justified it because she worked as an operative with the CIA, but she’s still a killer. Things changed once she became a mother and she decided to try to leave that life behind. Unfortunately, she is pulled out of retirement when her family is threatened and forced to make some hard decisions in order to keep her children safe.
Zrinka: What was your journey as a writer?
L.R. Wright: As cliché as this sounds, I’ve always made up stories, but I never thought I’d write a book. I always wanted to write a soap opera (I love soaps). My Barbie dolls starred in my very own complex “stories” from a very young age. It wasn’t until college when I started keeping a journal that I considered actually writing a book. In fact, my journal later became my very first novel.
Zrinka: I am inspired by authors like Arturo Perez Reverte, Jack Vance, Dan Simmons, Beatrice Small, J.R.R Tolkien, C. S. Lewis. What writers inspire you?
L. R. Wright: I’m always inspired by writers who take me on a journey. I love to be able to read and be transported into new worlds. One writer in particular who did that for me was Beverly Jenkins. I wasn’t a fan of historical romance, or romance in general, until I read Indigo. Once I read that, I was a fan for life. I’m also a huge fan of Toni Morrison, Terry McMillan, and Nora Roberts.
Zrinka: What one book, written by someone else, do you wish you had written yourself?
L. R. Wright: I wish I’d written Twilight. (Lol) Just kidding. I have to say I don’t wish I had written anything other than what I write.
Zrinka: What are your future writing goals?
L. R. Wright: I hope to continue plugging away at the keyboard, coming up with new ideas. I’m working on 3 books and a novella right now. I hope to also pen a screenplay soon as well.
Zrinka: Whom do you see as your ideal reader?
L. R. Wright: I love to appeal to people who normally don’t read. I want my book to be the book that inspires them to pick up the book. I’ve actually had a few readers who’ve come up to me and told me my book was the first book they’d read in years. That makes me feel good.
Zrinka: When you have time, what would we find you reading?
L. R. Wright: I wish I had more time to read… but I’m always interested in good romantic suspense.
Zrinka: What do you learn from your writing?
L. R. Wright: I’ve learned so much. I found that research is the key when writing because I don’t like holes in my plot. I want to tie everything together so that readers don’t have too many questions. At the same time, I enjoy leaving a few questions so that readers will want to know more… in case I have a sequel or prequel planned.
Zrinka: Who has been your biggest supporter?
L. R. Wright: I have a lot supportive people in my life. My brother was one who hadn’t read a book since high school and read mine in one night. I call that support. Lol I had a core group of beta readers that were invaluable to this process. They helped me kick around ideas.
Zrinka: How are you promoting your work?
L. R. Wright: Facebook, Twitter, blog tours, guest posts… anything I can find that will give me more exposure.
Zrinka: What advice can you give to aspiring writers?
L. R. Wright: Never stop writing. You have to find time to write every day. And don’t let people bring your down, whether it is a negative review, a rejection (there were so many of those), or a plain hater.
Zrinka: Where can our readers find a copy of your work?
L. R. Wright: Black Opal Books, Smashwords, ARe, Barnes and Noble, AmazonZrinka: And finally, as an author, do you have any quirks or habits that help you write better?
L. R. Wright: I have to have my music blasting. It’s my only requirement. I create a playlist for everything I write because music has always inspired me.
Zrinka: Thank you for being my guest today, Leslie. I wish you the best of luck with your writing.
L. R. Wright: Thanks Zrinka for having me. I appreciate the opportunity. I’m so glad that I’ve met so many wonderful people. Black Opal Books is like a little family and I find myself looking forward to chatting with my fellow BOB friends.
OverviewAlexa Martinez was raised to believe that murder, deceit, and lies were a part of life. A trained killer, she follows in her father’s footsteps, specializing in political assassinations for Martinez Security—contracted through the CIA. She thrives on the power, money, respect, and—most of all—the adrenaline rush.
Despite the danger associated with her profession, Alexa strives to give her children a normal life. But when her past catches up with her, they become pawns in a deadly game of revenge. Operating from a secret base, five levels below ground, Alexa struggles to unravel the puzzle, uncovering secrets that will alter their lives forever. Now she must make a choice—is she willing to die to give her children a life outside the bullet-proof glass?