Thursday, October 19, 2023

Talkshow Thursday: Welcome Leslie L. McKee

Talkshow Thursday: Welcome Leslie L. McKee!

1. What was your inspiration for your book?

My book is a devotional journal for those with chronic pain and illness. Sadly, this is something I know all too well, as I have lived with chronic pain and illness for over twenty-five years. I wanted my book to serve as a reminder to others that they’re not alone. It’s called Hope Amid the Pain. There is always hope, no matter the circumstance, when we have Jesus by our side.

2. How did you start writing in your particular genre?

Years ago, when I was in elementary school, I wrote a few short stories, but then I moved on to poetry. I then went on to reviews and devotions, which really aren’t that different from the poetry I used to write.

3. Tell us about your road to publication.

I won a few contests with my poetry, and had some published. I continued writing poetry for many years before I started writing reviews for a magazine (RT Bookreviews Magazine). That led me into editing. An editing contact asked if I’d be interested in writing some devotions to possibly be included in a compilation by Ellie Claire/Worthy Publishing called Just Breathe. I immediately said, “Yes!” Then I realized I’d never written a devotion! God provided the words. I was given a contract to be part of that project, and I’ve been writing them ever since. Hope Amid the Pain is my debut solo book.

4. How did your life prepare you for being an author?

As I mentioned, I’m a chronic pain/illness warrior. I have always been hesitant to share my journey and struggles with others. I had many friends tell me I should, but I always pushed the thought aside. A few years ago, I felt a nudge from God telling me that He wanted me to share my story. I wrote the devotions and book to encourage and comfort others while reminding them that they’re not alone in their pain. God is with them through it all, and He still has a purpose for their lives.

5. What is your process for writing? (do you outline, have a special place or time of day you write, etc.)

I guess, thus far, I’d be a pantser. For my devotional book, I didn’t do any sort of outline, just a list of
Pixabay/Giani Prilea
verses that have been important and encouraging to me in my journey. In addition to writing devotions, I have written some flash fiction stories. For those, as they have always been a bit out of my comfort zone, I’ve prayed, and God has given me the ideas and guidance to write the stories. While I’m an editor in my “day job,” and I love it, when it comes to my own writing, I prefer the writing to the editing, which does seem a bit strange!

As for when I write, I largely wrote my book in the evenings. Now, it varies, based on when inspiration hits.

6. How do you celebrate when you finish a manuscript?

When I finished my manuscript, I believe we celebrated with a meal from Olive Garden. To celebrate my book release, we actually had a cake with my book cover on it, which was pretty cool.

7. What books are on your nightstand right now?

My husband wishes I only had books on my nightstand! 😊 I have books all over the place, including multiple TBR piles. I review books for various publishers and authors, so most of my current reads are advance copies (ARCs). I enjoy a number of genres.

8. What is your next project?

I have a number of projects in mind, and I’ve started a few of them. They include a children’s book, another devotional book, and some flash fiction stories. However, life has thrown me a few curveballs this year, so my writing has been put on hold. I do hope to get back to my ideas soon.

9. What is your advice to fledgling writers?

Write what you feel God is telling you to write! With my book, I had some people in the publishing industry tell me that I should make it more general and not share so much of my personal story. I admit I was hesitant to be open and transparent about the struggles and realities of living with chronic pain and illness, yet it was what I felt God telling me to do. And I’m glad I listened. Some of the things readers mention when they contact me is how much they appreciate me being open and honest because they know that I truly understand what they’re going through. That’s exactly what I hoped for when writing Hope Amid the Pain. I know how much it means to me when I find someone who “gets it,” and I thought others would feel the same way. Thus far, it’s been apparent that they do.

Thanks so much for having me on your blog, Linda. I enjoyed speaking with you, and I appreciate you letting your readers know about Hope Amid the Pain, which will be celebrating it’s second birthday on October 26, 2023! 

Leslie's book Hope Amid the Pain is available from all your favorite online retailers:

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