Leslie Gould – Featured Woman!
The Modern Woman’s Life is proud to introduce you to Leslie Gould!
Leslie is the #1 bestselling and Christy-Award winning author of 22 novels. She and her husband, Peter, are the revolving-door parents of four children and three cats.
I first met Leslie many years ago in my first serious writer’s critique group. Our time spent together with other writers birthed several of her popular novels. I adore her spirit and passion for family as well as her flawless writing! She’s the first to inspire a new writer and in her own busy world remembers what others are working on and asks often how they’re doing on their project. If you haven’t read her stories, you should. Leslie has the ability to pull you into her world and you’ll get lost in the stories. I rarely read a book that I can’t put down, but Leslie’s do just that. I’ve learned to only pick them up early in the day so that I don’t read through the night!
In her own words, here’s more about Leslie:
Some of my strongest memories from childhood include stories—and how those stories connected me to my family and friends. As a preschooler, I remember playing Island of the Blue Dolphin with my three siblings and the neighbor kids, my father reading A Street of Flower Boxes to us before bed, and my mother reading A Tree Grows in Brooklyn on long car trips. I also soaked up Bible stories and accounts of grace and redemption during Sunday school and Good News Club. Along with my love of stories, my love of writing began in those early years with my very first written word—S-K-Y.
Even though I knew I wanted to write fiction by the time I was in the sixth grade, as I grew older I pursued other things instead, such as majoring in history and communications, and then working as a museum curator, then a public relations specialist, and finally as a magazine editor. Once I finally started writing fiction, it was another ten years until I sold my first novel. By that time, I’d been married for nearly 20 years and had four children of my own to read to.
In the decade and a half since my first contract I’ve written twenty-one novels, from Beyond the Blue, a story about international adoption set in Vietnam, to Courting Cate, a retelling of Shakespeare’s “Taming of the Shrew” set in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. No matter what I write, I aim to reveal truths about God’s love, beauty, and redemptive work in our lives. My goal is to connect more deeply to God, family, and friends through my writing. My hope is that my stories encourage readers to deepen their own connections too.
Awards I’ve received include Romantic Times Book Club Magazine’s Reviewers’ Choice Award for Best Inspirational Novel, 2006, for Beyond the Blue; Christy Award, 2012, for The Amish Midwife; Inspirational Reader’s Choice Award, 2013, for The Amish Bride; and the Oregon Christian Writer’s Trailblazer Award, 2013.
1) What exactly is your business and what made you get started?
I write novels, everything from contemporary to Amish to historical. I’ve published 22 in all, starting in 2003. I’ve always loved the power of stories and started writing short stories in high school. It wasn’t until my late 20s that I began working on novels, and then it was another decade before I sold my first.
2) What one thing do you do every day to move yourself forward and stay focused?
Where do you find your inspiration? I’ll be honest, I don’t do this every day, but I do it fairly often. I pull out my journal and write down everything that’s bothering me, everything that has me “stuck.” Then I pray through my list. I usually come away with a solution, more patience, or a better understanding of what’s going on in my life. This exercise helps me find my inspiration as far as everyday life—and often for my stories too.
3) What do you do regularly do to take care of yourself?
I walk—with my husband, a good friend, and my sister. Not all at once, lol, but once a week with each, on good weeks. When the weather’s good, hubby and I also hike on nearby Mount Hood. But during the day when I’m working and doing life, when I start to feel overwhelmed, I take care by reminding myself to pray and breath. Both are essential for my survival.
4) How do you keep yourself emotionally balanced while you are pushing forward?
I don’t read fiction when I’m on deadline because I have no self-control when it comes to consuming stories. I absolutely binge. But when I’m not on deadline, I read a variety of fiction—both novels and short stories. I love losing myself in a good story and experiencing life from someone else’s point of view. This helps me stay emotionally balanced in real life and also helps me become a better storyteller.
5) What’s the best part and the worst part of your job?
The best part of my job is making up stories—I love coming up with settings and characters. It’s like creating mini worlds! Plus, I get to write about what I’m interested in. The Amish. Military families. History. Midwifery. Adoption. Yes, my interests are extremely varied!
The hardest part is deadlines. I get a little obsessive and can’t seem to get anything else done. Nearly every available minute for weeks and weeks goes toward my manuscript. I’ll miss important e-mails. My family begins to notice I’m glued to my laptop. I’ll find myself thinking about my story all the time—in the car, in church, doing dishes. I end up “living” in that world I’ve created. By the time I meet my deadline, I’m ready to escape back to real life! I’m still working on trying to find a better balance in that part of the process.
6) What failure taught you the most and what was it?
After my first three novels were published I wasn’t offered another contract right away. I received good reviews and one award, but the sales weren’t great. For a time, I thought I might not sell another book, and what I learned was not to take anything for granted in the publishing world! After a two-year hiatus, I did start publishing again—with an even greater level of gratitude than I’d had before.
7) If you had to do something different, what would that be?
I’m actually already doing that “something different.” Besides writing novels, I teach a course each term at Warner Pacific College. I love interacting with young adults. They teach me so much, keep me real, and help me keep up with the issues of the day. It’s a writing class, but we focus on racial, gender, and economic inequity. I’m a news junkie and totally geek out over getting to teach around such important topics.
8) If you had advice to give to someone else who was thinking of becoming an entrepreneur, what would that be?
Invest monetarily in your business, learn how to market, and hire help when you need it. And, most importantly, be flexible if you want to make money, especially if you’re in the arts. I’ve done write-for-hire novel projects and I also co-author with another writer. Neither of those were things I initially planned to do when I first started writing fiction, but both have increased sales and made me a better writer in the long run.
9) What did you have to overcome personally to be able to do what you do?
I don’t like being in the spotlight, and I really don’t like talking about myself. I had to separate myself from my books and learn how to put them in the spotlight. Part of producing is promoting! Along the way, I’ve gotten more comfortable talking about myself too. J
10) Any last parting words?
Keep working at what you love! I wrote fiction for ten years before I was finally offered a contract. I’m so thankful I didn’t get discouraged and give up.
OTHER SOCIAL MEDIA: https://www.facebook.com/lesliegouldauthor/
Amish Sweethearts (Neighbors of Lancaster County Book #2) *
Their Two Worlds Couldn’t Be Further Apart.
Can Anything Bridge the Divide Between Them?
For years Zane Beck and his Amish neighbor Lila Lehman were the best of friends. But just as Zane gathered the courage to discover if their friendship could develop into something more, her controlling father arranged for her to be courted by their bishop’s son. Zane, heartbroken and frustrated, joined the Army, running away from his shattered dreams.
The passing of time and the distance between Zane and Lila haven’t been enough to halt their–now completely hidden–feelings for each other. Any hope for their love grows even more impossible though as Zane’s service takes a dangerous turn when he’s deployed to Afghanistan. Being on the frontline, confronted with the hard choices of war, has him questioning everything, including whether he can continue to serve or not. But all choices have consequences, and with Lila preparing to marry another, will these one-time sweethearts ever find the life together that they both still long for?
Amish Promises (Neighbors of Lancaster County Book #1) *
When Joel and Shani Beck arrive at their new home, they’re looking for peace. Shani is thrilled to have Joel back from Iraq, but he needs time to heal, and the quiet of Lancaster seems just the place. They can’t imagine any trouble with their Amish neighbors, the Lehmans, but things get off to a rocky start when their son is involved in an accident that injures one of the Lehman boys.
Eve Lehman has run her brother’s household ever since the death of his wife, but Tim’s a stern patriarch. Despite his protests, she’s drawn to the new neighbor, Shani, and the two begin to form a strong friendship forged on faith and family. Things seem like they’ve quieted down until Joel’s single and handsome army friend Charlie catches Eve’s attention–a man unlike any Eve has ever met. Suddenly life for both families becomes more complicated than any of them could have ever imagined.
“Shani and Joel’s struggling marriage due to PSTD is a very realistic plight faced by soldiers returning home from war. Readers will be sympathetic to the tension Eve feels between doing what others expect and doing what is true to her heart….This heartfelt novel is a fantastic beginning to Gould’s Neighbors of Lancaster County series.” –RT Book Reviews
Not Since Romeo and Juliet Has a Couple Faced Odds This Long
The Cramers and Mosiers have been angry with each other for as long as anyone can remember. Things had cooled to a simmer…until Addie Cramer and Jonathan Mosier fell head over heels for each other. Now old tensions are renewed, and Addie’s parents insist she marry stolid and uninspiring Phillip Eicher.
Distraught at a future apart, the two decide their best hope is to reconcile the two families…but that means digging into the past to see what tore them apart. Will their love be enough to keep them together or will long-held secrets ruin their chance at happiness?
“Leslie Gould has written a wonderful Amish story depicting a very unique perspective of modern day Amish culture. She gives a very human quality to her characters.” —Fresh Fiction
“Gould’s latest novel in the Courtships of Lancaster County series touches on love and family loyalty and the bonds that result from both. Her strong, crisp language and genuine characters draw you in.” —RT Book Reviews
Molly Zook Has Everything Planned Just Right.
Or So She Thinks!
Molly Zook’s always liked being in control, so she’s struggling with her mother’s wish that, to save the family farm, she marry Mervin Mosier. Especially after Molly meets Leon Fisher. He’s from Montana but is now training horses at a nearby ranch. He’s tall and muscular and confident–Molly has never met anyone like him and she’s sure he feels the same about her.
Determined to let nothing get between them, Molly tries to coax Mervin into falling back in love with Molly’s best friend, Hannah. A weekend camping trip in the Poconos could be just the place…but things quickly go awry, and it seems Leon and Hannah might be falling for each other instead! Will Molly keep struggling to control everyone and everything around her? Or will she learn to let God handle the twists and turns of her life?
“With her descriptive yet concise writing, Gould is a master storyteller as she weaves a plot that is as tender and real as they come. Her expert knowledge and insight on the ways of the Amish make this story one delight of a read.” –RT Book Reviews
When Beth Zook’s daed starts courting a widow with a mysterious past, will Beth uncover this new family’s secrets before she loses everything?
Sixteen-year-old Beth Zook has already lost so much — first her sister in a tragic accident and then her mamm a year later to cancer. As Beth and her daed Marcus struggle to rebuild their lives in the Amish community of Indianasburg, Marcus finds love awakening in his heart when a new family — a widow and her two sons — move into their quiet community. But things are not as they seem, and the more Beth learns about this new family, the more reason she has to fear. Will Beth uncover this new family’s secrets before she loses everything? Start reading Beth’s story in Book 1 of the False Worship Series.
Two Worlds. Two Women. One Love.
In 1975, an American girl named Genevieve loses her mother when a plane full of orphans crashes in war-ravaged Vietnam. Miles away in the countryside, seven-year-old Lan, a Vietnamese girl, is forced out of her family home by her own brother who has joined the Viet Cong. Worlds apart, these two girls come into womanhood struggling to recover a sense of family–until their journeys suddenly converge.
Lan has grown up in the harsh realities of post-war Vietnam, but she yearns for a better life for her children. Meanwhile, Genevieve marries and, faced with infertility, decides to adopt a child from the country her own mother loved so deeply. But the uncertainty and risk of international adoption threatens to overwhelm both women before their hearts and their families can be healed.
Beyond the Blue is the story of enormous losses, unthinkable choices, and the transforming power of God’s love for the children of the world.
The Amish Bride (The Women of Lancaster County) *
Bestselling authors Mindy Starns Clark and Leslie Gould offer readers The Amish Bride, Book 3 in the Women of Lancaster County series, which tells the stories of young Plain women as they explore their roots, connect with family, and discover true love.
Ella Bayer and Ezra Gundy are in love and hope to marry someday, but she is a young Mennonite woman while he is an Amish man. Though both Plain, one of them will have to forsake what they believe to embrace another way of life.
Hoping some distance will cool the relationship, Ezra’s family sends him to work at an Amish dairy farm in Indiana. But Ella disregards what her family wants and follows Ezra. In short order she finds a place to live, a job in a bakery, and an unexpected but budding friendship with a handsome Amish farmhand, Luke. When a family tragedy forces Ella back to Pennsylvania, she must face all she’s been running away from. And once she has made peace with those around her, she has an important decision to make: Whose Amish bride will she become—Ezra’s or Luke’s?
A dusty carved box containing two locks of hair and a century-old letter regarding property in Switzerland, and a burning desire to learn about her biological family lead nurse-midwife Lexie Jaeger from her home in Oregon to the heart of Pennsylvania Amish country. There she meets Marta Bayer, a mysterious lay-midwife who desperately needs help after an Amish client and her baby die.
Lexie steps in to assume Marta’s patient load even as she continues the search for her birth family, and from her patients she learns the true meaning of the Pennsylvania Dutch word demut, which means “to let be” as she changes from a woman who wants to control everything to a woman who depends on God.
A compelling story about a search for identity and the ability to trust that God securely holds our whole life—past, present, and future.
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