A Hollywood screenwriter, Leslie Lehr has talent both writing scripts and books!
1. When you were writing screenplays, did you ever think about writing novels?
Yes. I was itching to get inside the character’s heads, which is impossible in a blueprint of stage directions and dialogue. Plus, scripts are designed for many people to work together and create a unified vision. In a book, you get to create the entire story world. It’s a lot more fun.
2. What was the inspiration behind "What A Mother Knows"?
When my daughter was in middle school, she started crying at night, every night - and I felt so helpless. I imagined the worst. I wrote an essay called “Parenting Paranoia” that Arianna Huffington excerpted in her book, On Becoming Fearless. But I was still afraid. Then I had jury duty on a civil manslaughter case in which two women were suing the driver of a car that crashed into a sports bar and killed their sons. We had to decide on the value of their loss. And so, in the worst of what-ifs, I started worrying about what my daughter’s value was to me, who I was without her…and how far would I go to protect her.
3. What authors have influenced your writings?
Tough one! Every author has an influence one way or another. But Madeline L’Engle’sA Wrinkle In Time probably influenced me the most. I read it over and over when I was growing up, then I read it to both of my daughters classes in elementary school. I embarrassed them by crying every time Meg shouted “I Love you, Charles Wallace” to break the spell of the evil ‘It.’ Got me every time. L’Engle used such lush language to create a world with kids that I could relate to even when they were riding on unicorns to go save their dad and their little brother - and the entire world - with the power of love. No matter what I write, it always ends up being about love.
4. Is there any advice you would give to aspiring writers?
- First of all, you have to enjoy the process, because that’s the only thing you can control. It helps to keep your refrigerator locked.
- Remember that the thinking part is just as important as the writing part – even thought there is no evidence that you’ve done any work.
- Keep a notepad handy, to create evidence – and also so you don’t miss any good ideas.
- Read as much as possible for inspiration. And read like a writer to see how other writers put their stories together.
- Finally, write something that moves you or makes you smile. That will keep you going - and make your readers feel the same way.
For more on Leslie and "What a Mother Knows" visit her at her website http://www.leslielehr.com/
Her book "What a Mother Knows" will be out on May 7th.