Lesley Cookman ~ Author
What is your genre? Why did you choose it?
What is now called “Cosy” mystery. I have been an avid reader of Golden Age mysteries since the age of nine, and always wanted to write my own.
Do you work on more than one manuscript at a time?
No! I tried once, but my brain won’t cope!
Do you work with a writing/critique group?
Can you remember your first reading book?
Yes. The Teddy Bear Annual. I’ve got a photo somewhere…
Do you nibble on snacks while writing? If so, what is your chosen treat?
No. Sorry about that. 😉
Tidy desk or a bombsite? Describe your writing area with us.
Absolute bombshell, the whole office. It got like this after moving from the large house where my late husband and I had an office each. I’ve ended up with everything crammed in here, and I’m the most notorious hoarder you’ve ever met. I have scraps of paper, receipts, scripts, notes-to-self, photographs, and old baby scan…You name it, it’s in here. Along with boxes of photographs from both sides of the family and the general detritus of family life.
Are you published in the traditional manner or self-published? Share your journey.
Traditionally published and I’m afraid slightly atypical. I started writing features for Which Computer over 35 years ago, and went on to write for various other trade and business magazines. I met Hazel Cushion, MD of Accent Press when we were students on an MA course. We published Sexy Shorts for Christmas between us for the Breast Cancer Charity, I then stepped back, and Hazel went on to found Accent Press. A couple of years later, she asked if I’d written any more of my dissertation from Uni, which I hadn’t, asked if she could read it again and offered to buy it. She also asked if it could become a series. It was a risk for both of us, but luckily, it paid off, and we’re up to book 17 in the series, with number 18 due out in October.
Who would you say have been the three most influential authors in your reading/writing life?
Elizabeth Goudge, Ngaio Marsh and John Dickson Carr.
What advice would you like to share with other writers/authors with regard to preparing a manuscript?
Heavens! What everyone says, I suppose – write the best piece you can and make sure you adhere to the conventions of your chosen genre, especially if you’re just starting out. There are always exceptions to the rule, but we don’t hear about all the failures!
If the movie rights to your novels are purchased, who would you like to play your main characters?
Libby was originally conceived as a younger Miriam Margolyes, but apart from Ben being based on Paul Freeman, I can’t think of anyone else. All my readers have pictures of the regular characters in their own minds, and I’d hate to disappoint them.
I was on my way to the supermarket, when … Do you have a tale to tell relating to an everyday, boring event?