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*Leslie walks across the gangplank onto the Romance Writers’ Revenge and has barely set one foot on the deck when two loud and boisterous crew members come screaming to greet her: Hellion bolting neck and nothing and jumping several coiled ropes; and Sin swinging out of the Crow’s Nest and gliding to the deck like Batman*
Sin: OMG! I’m so excited to see you again! I’m so glad you agreed to kick off your blog-book tour with us….
Hellion: *shoving Sin out of the way* Back off, Ninja Girl, she’s my guest!
Leslie: Girls, girls, did you two forget your medication again this morning?
Hellion: Not exactly. *craning head to look behind Leslie* You didn’t happen to bring Coney with you, did you? What’s he up to lately?
Sin: *wicked grin* Oh, I know what he’s up to lately….
Hellion: *affronted gasp* I saw him first!
Sin: Apparently not.
Leslie: *waving hands* Girls, girls, can I get a drink before the catfighting begins, please? Leading the girl scout troop is less treacherous than boarding this ship.
*Sin and Hellion remember themselves long enough to escort Leslie to a cushy chair and hand her a mixed drink, before drawing up ottomans so they can perch near her*
Hellion: Thank you again for kicking off your blog tour with us. This is really exciting. So…today’s the day, right? Stand By Your Hitman comes out today. Tell us more about it. what’s it about—and more importantly, does Coney make any sort of appearance?
Leslie: Well, the book starts with the Bombay Council sending Missi to compete in a cheap, Canadian knock-off of Survivor called Survival. She’s supposed to be checking out a Vic and awaiting further instructions on whether to take him out or not. Of course, then she’s actually got to stay in the game until this happens. Coney is mentioned but doesn’t really make an appearance in the book.
Sin: Can you tell us about any of Missy’s new gadgets in this book? Or gadgets she’s working on for new books?
Hellion: Yeah, like maybe Coney’s book, perhaps?
Leslie: I can’t tell you about Coney’s book yet, but Missi does have some fun gadgets in this one – like a tool that can cut through wood and start fires but looks like a piece of jewelry. You also get the scoop on how she got started inventing lethal weapons and some of her more interesting hits in the past.
Terri: *stepping forward to refresh Leslie’s drink* This is your third in the Bombay series. Is it getting easier or harder? Or is it about the same? Is there anything you didn’t expect that you wish you’d been warned about?
Leslie: Thanks, um, where’s the little umbrella? I was specifically promised little umbrellas? *Terri opens up a cigar case where Leslie can pick her favorite color of umbrella; Leslie picks one and Terri pops it in her glass* I’d have to say each book is hard in that I have to keep coming up with new ways to kill people. I love the Bombays and try to make each book different than the others. That is not easy. Fun, but not easy.
Hellion: How many Tom Collins will I need to buy you in order to make a small guest appearance in Coney’s book? Preferably as Loofah Girl or something. How about an undead monkey as a bribe?
Sin: You are so pathetic.
Hellion: Two words: Daniel Craig. Okay? So zip it, Sparky, and let the woman talk.
Leslie: How about one undead monkey and a spastic heron with rickets? I can definitely work you into the book. I think I have the perfect character for you…
Hellion: *rubbing hands together* I can do the spastic heron like no one’s business. Excellent.
Sin: You realize, of course, you’re probably a Vic.
Hellion: I don’t care.
Terri: *rolling her eyes at the spatting* Missy’s new guy sounds attractive and sexy. What’s he like? If there is anything that a shipful of love-starved lady pirates adore more than a pint of rum, it’s a hunky man pouring it for her. And we’re always adding to our crew. *smiling at Lance as he ambles over with more rum all around*
Leslie: Lex, Missi’s hero, is based on detective Lee Scanlon on the Patricia Arquette show about the psychic. What was that name? How many of these drinks have I had?
Hellion: *waving hand as Terri refills Leslie’s glass without her noticing* Only a couple. And they’re small. No worries. And the name you’re looking for is Medium.
Leslie: Yes, that’s it. That’s what I said. *looks baffled to see her drink is still full, but takes drink*
Sin: I know Coney’s book is next (seriously, if you have to be near Hellion for any length of time, you know Coney’s book is next)—when will it be coming out and what will be up next? Another Bombay story, or will you take a break and introduce a new series?
Leslie: The publisher is looking at June for Coney’s book. I might take a break because all the creepy voices in my head won’t shut up – they all want their damned stories told. And shock therapy ain’t helping.
Hellion: It never does. For those of us who don’t know you—or don’t stalk you—what’s your Call story?
Leslie: I’d met my editor at a Romance Writer’s of America conference. She wanted to see the first three chapters and I sent them the day I got back. She e-mailed the very next day and wanted to see the whole thing (which I didn’t have done yet. Hello? Pirate!). After four days of locking myself away to write (I think the kids got fed…at least I hope so) I finished it and sent it off and left the next day for a trip to L.A. for my 40th birthday. When I came back, one week to the day I sent the full ms, Leah called and offered to buy Gin Bombay’s book. I sat in the back yard at 2pm (a Tuesday in August) and drank two bottles of Moet & Chandon White Star champagne while I drunkenly called everyone I knew.
Marnee: Did you enter contests to help with your publishing path? Or did you query only? What do you recommend to those trying to break in—what’s most important?
Leslie: I’m not really into contests since my work is so…well…strange. They seem to work best for mainstream authors. I attended 3 RWA conferences and wrote four manuscripts before selling. I think the most important thing to remember is to keep going – perseverance leads to the payoff in this business. Well, that and knowing how to hold your rum.
Sin: Okay, final question, non-Coney related and non-writing: what is your favorite song playing now on your Ipod/playlist?
Leslie: I’ve been listening to Godzilla by Blue Oyster Cult a LOT. What?
Hellion: Hey, I’m just glad it’s not Korn…or Disturbed. *Sin promptly smacks the back of her head* What? *shakes it off* Leslie, thanks again for kicking off your book blog tour with us! And I want to remind everyone to run out today and buy it!
Leslie: Thank you so much for inviting me aboard, ladies! We’ll have to get together for some grog…SOON!