Lesley Krier Tither is an amazingly versatile author who has successfully written books in three different genre’s under three different pen names. I only came across Lesley’s books recently as I have never read much in the crime and travel areas of fiction, preferring to spend my limited leisure time reading classics and children’s literature. Initially, I found Lesley’s book for children, The Dog with the Golden Eyes, written under the pen name L M Kay, and it really appealed to me.
Subsequent to this initial finding, I did a bit of research to see what else Lesley had written and came across the Sell a Pig and DI Ted Darling series of books. Now that I have discovered these books, I will most definitely be making time to read them.
Read on to learn more about Lesley, her books and her writing. I found some of Lesley’s answers to my questions really interesting and helpful to me, in my capacity as a writer who is quite new to this game. I hope you will enjoy this interview as much as I did. This interview was undertaken for purposes of Mystery Thriller Week Annual Event. The Facebook page for this event is https://www.facebook.com/groups/1333307913355544/1374815612538107/?notif_t=group_activity¬if_id=1482263199727969 and it is being hosted by Vicki Turner who blogs at The Page Turner https://vickgoodwin.wordpress.com/.
Robbie: Please tell me a bit about your three different genres of book and who the target audience is for each genre;
Lesley: I write travel memoirs as Tottie Limejuice and am just finishing the fifth and final one in the Sell the Pig series, about my move to France. It appeals to just about everyone who likes to read about life, as there’s humour among the pathos.
As L M Krier, I write crime fiction, the DI Ted Darling series. This has a very wide-ranging readership base and I’m finding that even people who don’t usually read crime like Ted as a character so are avidly following the series. To my certain knowledge, the fan base goes from teens to 80s.
I’ve just published my first children’s book with a crime twist, writing as L M Kay. The Dog with the Golden Eyes is suitable to be read alone by 7+ but a lot of adults are discovering and enjoying it. It’s been beautifully illustrated for me by Cornwall artist Andrew Campbell-Howes.
Robbie: Why did you write your books under different pen names?
Lesley: Tottie Limejuice was always my social media name. She’s an old music hall character, someone my elderly maiden aunt used to talk about, and the name tickled me so I adopted it. When I started the travel memoirs, just about everyone knew me as Tots or Tottie so I thought I’d keep the name, to be a bit different. Clearly, though, no one would ever take seriously a crime writer called that so I reverted to some of my own names – I have four to choose from, two first and two family names.
With the children’s book, obviously it was not ideal to use either of those two names so I just amended one of them and used that.
Robbie: I have been contemplating the wisdom of publishing different genres of fiction under one author name and so I found this answer very interesting.
Robbie: Have you found it more difficult to market new books written under a different pen name?
Leslie: No, not really. Having once established a reader base, I just told them of the different genres and most of them enjoyed trying them out. Lots of the memoirs readers say they were not into crime at all but would try one and now a lot of them are avid Ted fans, although they still don’t read any other crime.
Robbie: Another very useful piece of information for authors considering using more than one pen name.
Robbie: Have you found one particular genre to be more successful than the others?
Leslie: To my surprise and delight, the crime fiction series is forging ahead and that’s a hard genre in which to make headway as a newcomer. The Pigs have done brilliantly, hitting the No 1 spot in their genres several times over. Ted’s been up in the top ten British Detectives several times with several of the books and that’s a very hard spot to hit for a total newcomer to the genre so I’m thrilled by that.
Robbie: What inspired you to create your character of DI Ted Darling as a gay man?
Leslie: I didn’t! Being gay is about as significant for Ted as his shoe size or his love of cats. He is absolutely not ‘the gay detective’. The character actually came to me in a dream one night – yes, I know it sounds corny!- as a complete entity, fully-formed, and he’s been in my head ever since, so I know him well. Ted is completely open about his sexuality but he is also an intensely private person. He wouldn’t dream of sharing details of his personal life with anyone, including the readers!
Robbie: Did you find it difficult to get under this characters skin?
Leslie: Not at all. I feel I know him very well and it’s as if there’s a switch in my brain I can throw to go from thinking in Tottie-mode to Ted-mode.
Robbie: In your book, The Dog with the Golden Eyes, you feature a dog as one of the main characters. Do you have a specific pet that you based this character on?
Leslie: Yes, indeed. I had a wonderful border collie called Meic (pronounced Mike) with beautiful dark gold eyes. I’ve had seven border collies, two GSDs and a collie cross. I currently have two borders. Meic was a special boy, great at supporting people, a big dog and a calm presence. My mother had vascular dementia and was in a home for a time and he was a very popular visitor there and would let all the old people stroke him and talk to him.
Robbie: Meic sounds like he was a wonderful companion and friend to you.
Robbie: I read that you like to plot your stories in your head while you are walking, does the plot pop into your head more or less ready-made or do you have to work at it?
Leslie: I’m lucky in that my ideas come fast and furious once I throw that switch, and so far, my memory is still such that I can capture them on the computer when I get back in. I’ll have a rough idea of a plot, and some scribbled notes of what to include and in what order. Then when I’m walking, or driving, I’ll work through a scene in my head a few times to see how it goes and what fine-tuning it needs.
Robbie: Does your writing flow quickly and easily or does it take you time to draft each paragraph and chapter?
Leslie: I’ve written for a living for many years, first as a journalist then as a freelance copywriter, so I’m used to writing under pressure. Newspaper deadlines are bad enough but in copywriting, they are unbelievable. You have to train and push yourself to produce fresh, new ideas, quickly, over and again. It’s been very good training for writing books. I set myself daily targets and so far I always manage to meet them.
Robbie: It take a lot of dedication and discipline to meet daily targets like that. You are an inspiration to us all.
Robbie: What are your plans for your writing going forward?
Leslie: More writing! I absolutely love it, always have, and I’m thrilled that my readers seem to enjoy my efforts in all genres. I’ve already started the seventh book in the DI Ted Darling series and I plan to continue the series as long as I can come up with original ideas.
Robbie: Thank you, Leslie, for providing such interesting answers to my questions. I am delighted to hear that your future plans include a lot more writing and am looking forward to reading the fruits of your efforts. Wishing you and your family a very happy holiday season.
You can purchase Lesley’s books via the following links:
Tottie Limejuice books: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Tottie-Limejuice/e/B00ADQX5KS/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1482392557&sr=1-2-ent
L M Kay The Dog with the Golden Eyes: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Dog-Golden-Eyes-L-Kay/dp/1540541894/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1482392740&sr=1-1&keywords=L.M.+Kay