The Road (That Used to Be) Not Taken by Leslie Tentler
After writing three books for a traditional publisher and then putting out two as an “Indie author,” I’m often asked why I stepped off the path I was on.
For me, there were multiple reasons, but most central was my need for flexibility in writing, particularly in meeting deadlines and schedules. You see, I still work as a strategist, writer and editor for an Atlanta PR firm, and it’s a job I enjoy and where I’ve found both stability and friends. But even with all that, I still felt the need to tell a story to express myself creatively, which is how I came to churn out my debut novel, Midnight Caller (February 2011). That book ended up selling as the first book in a three-book, traditional deal.
As I signed and fulfilled that three-book contract, the Indie movement was just catching fire, and as I watched it grow I saw much of the freedom and control that I craved. And that wouldn’t be all that surprising if you knew a little bit about my past.
When I first moved to Atlanta—let’s just say many years ago—my first job was with a very small, entrepreneurial public relations agency in Midtown. Instead of being in a fancy, stretch-to-the-sky high-rise, we were in a small, old blue house at the corner of Juniper and 10th. It was also within walking distance to Piedmont Park and the Margaret Mitchell House—a fact I loved—but I digress. This small agency grew to develop a stellar reputation as a “boutique” firm serving the high-tech industry. From there, I went on to work for several other small but dynamic and successful firms, all of them employing many of the same people I’d started out working with years ago.
I love working with smaller agencies, due to their flexibility and less formal structure, and I believe it’s the same reason I’m drawn to the entrepreneurial spirit of the Indie world, which lets me reshape my writing schedule as needed. I also admit to being a bit of a control freak, and I find comfort in having decision-making over my covers and pricing, and being able to select my own team of editors, formatters and publicity help.
But just as in the traditional world, putting out a professional product is paramount. In the Indie world, perhaps it is even more so. I strive to ensure that my Indie books are every bit as good as those I published traditionally. My first Indie release, Fallen, was a finalist for the 2015 Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery & Suspense. I love that so many key awards like these are now open to self-published titles, as well.
Technology has created a huge paradigm shift in publishing. Still, I feel strongly that there is no “one way” that is right, or that any one way is wrong. I still consider myself a hybrid author and may one day return to traditional publishing if the situation and timing are right. But for now, at least, Indie publishing speaks to me personally as a way to “have it all.”
Before the Storm (4 Stars from Confusedagony of NOR)
Six years earlier, Trina Grissom disappeared, on the run for her life. Now living under an assumed identity—as Samantha Marsh—she still struggles with the dark secret she harbors and the fear she might one day be found. When she moves to the coastal town of Rarity Cove, South Carolina, to open a café, a handsome widower begins to chip away at the walls she’s built to protect herself.
Mark St. Clair lost his wife two years ago in a tragic accident. Head of the grand St. Clair resort, he distracts himself from his lingering grief by running the family business and caring for his troubled young daughter...until a beautiful restaurateur sets up shop in town. Before meeting Samantha, Mark was convinced he could never be drawn to another woman. But as his attraction to Samantha grows, the mystery surrounding her deepens.
As the two begin a hesitant courtship, double perils emerge. Someone from Samantha’s lurid past comes calling, threatening to expose her. And a powerful hurricane is forming in the Atlantic with the small beach town in its path. Trapped in the storm by the brutal man who wants vengeance on Samantha, she and Mark must fight for their lives.
Leslie Tentler’s October 2015 release is titled BEFORE THE STORM. She is also the author of FALLEN and the Chasing Evil Trilogy (MIDNIGHT CALLER, MIDNIGHT FEAR and EDGE OF MIDNIGHT). MIDNIGHT CALLER was a finalist for Best First Novel at ThrillerFest 2012. Learn more about Leslie and her books at www.LeslieTentler.com.