Friday, February 15, 2013

Interview with Leslie McKelvey, Author of 'Accidental Affair'

Today, I would like to welcome author Leslie McKelvey to the blog, as she lets us get to know her and her book Accidental Affair a little better. Thanks for stopping by!
What was the inspiration behind 'Accidental Affair'?

A number of things inspired Accidental Affair. I have a love of law enforcement (my hubby is a 14 year veteran), and I also love open spaces. Our family took a trip from California to Ohio through Washington state, Idaho, Montana, and the Dakotas, and the one thing I remember most about Montana (aside from the gorgeous scenery) was the sign at almost every off ramp – NO SERVICES. I often wondered what one would do if something happened out in the middle of nowhere like that, and what one who lived out in the middle of nowhere would do if they encountered someone who needed help. It seemed like the perfect pairing to me and out of that Accidental Affair was born.

Which character was the most fun to write?

Hands down, Bear. He’s a lot like my husband, personality wise anyway. He has no filter, just says whatever comes to his mind, but he’s not rude or thoughtless. Don’t ask Bear, or my husband, for their opinion because they’ll both give it to you, whether they think you’ll like the answer or not. Bear doesn’t take crap from anyone, and I really like that about him. Plus he’ll defend those he loves with a zeal that borders on obsessive. He’s an all or nothing kind of guy.

To which character do you relate the most?

I relate to all of them, but I think I relate to Laine the most. She’s been through hell, and she gets thrown into a situation that is completely foreign to her yet somehow she adapts. When I served in the Navy it was like that. I was among the first groups of women to work the flight deck of an aircraft carrier. Talk about a completely foreign environment! I was one of about 150 women on a ship of 2000 men, but it’s adapt and overcome or get drummed out. I saw some pretty horrific things in the military, stuff the average citizen never hears about, but it becomes part of the job. You learn to live with it and function in spite of it.

If you could turn your book into a romantic thriller movie, which actors would you choose to play each role?
Originally I thought about Hugh Jackman for Jack, although another actor named Taylor Kinney, who stars in the NBC show Chicago Fire, has recently hit my radar (he plays Kelly Severide for those who are familiar with the show). YUMM! I think he’s a much better representation of how I imagine Jack. Laine would be played by a not-so-well-known actress named Jewel Staite who was in the sci-fi movie Serenity and had a recurring role on Stargate Atlantis. She’s pretty, but in a girl-next-door way and not a super-model way, which makes her, I think, far more likeable. Oddly, as soon as I started writing Laine’s character Ms. Staite’s was the face I kept seeing in my head. Bear, on the other hand, is a tough one. While his personality is based on my husband, physically his character is based on an ex-boyfriend who retired a Master Gunnery Sergeant from the US Marine Corps, blonde, blue-eyed, looks like a Marine even out of uniform. He’s my “one who got away” (and, before you ask, I already ran this by my husband (of 19 years) and, thankfully, he’s secure enough not to be bothered). There aren’t many in Hollywood with Bear’s brazen masculinity, build, and height, which are key components of his character.

What other projects do you currently have in the works?

I liked Bear so much I had to give him his own story and it is currently next in line for publication after Accidental Affair. It’s titled Right Place, Right Time, because Bear is always when and where he should be. Next, Black Velvet Seductions will release another romantic suspense novel of mine titled Runaway Heart. Currently I’m working on the story of another secondary character from Accidental Affair, Sheriff Grant Donovan. The tentative title is Her Sister’s Keeper, but it’s still in the creation phase. Between that, being a cop’s wife, trying to get through the holidays with my family, and two of my boys’ birthdays in February, my plate is FULL.

What are some of your favorite romantic suspense novels you have read?

I enjoy JD Faver’s series set in the Texas Gulf, but I actually read a lot of historical. I think part of the reason I don’t immerse myself in my own genre is the fear that I will unwittingly copy ideas from other authors or shape my work based on someone else’s blueprint. Plus, the first romance novel I ever read, at age 12 (I know, gasp! WHERE was my mother?), was a historical romance. It was about the stereotypical pirate who kidnaps the stereotypical heroine and takes her to sea in his stereotypical ship and they wind up living happily-ever-after on the stereotypical tropical island (probably Jamaica) after he takes her virginity. I don’t have a lot of time for reading, but when I do I don’t want something intellectually challenging. I want mental chocolate: makes you feel good but isn’t good for you in large quantities.

If you could become a character in any book, who would you be?

I’m partial to Jane Eyre, actually, which is probably the one character farthest from my own personality. She’s quiet and long-suffering, I’m volatile and opinionated and outspoken. She’s patient and understanding, two qualities my boys, ages 18, 14, and 9, will tell I DO NOT have. But she’s also tough. She endures much, sacrifices much, maintains her dignity, stays true to herself, and in the end she finds her happily-ever-after. The harder won victory always tastes sweeter, I say.

What is your favorite thing about being an author?

I get to take the voices in my head and create fictional settings and stories in which they can live. I get to immerse myself in someone else’s fantasy every time I sit down at the keyboard, because as soon as I start writing it becomes the character’s world, not mine. Also, I write because it would be illegal to kidnap people and force them to act out what I see in my head. Last, one of the best things about being an author is the ability to answer this question: “What do you do for a living?” I get to say, “I’m an author.” It doesn’t get any better than that!

What is the best piece of writing advice you ever received?

“You need to be a novelist. Whatever you do, don’t stop writing.” My high-school creative writing teacher told me that one day as I was leaving class. I don’t remember his full name, but we all called him, “Stan the Man.” He’d chosen my assignment to read in class (a short-story romance, go figure), much to my horror. Thankfully, he kept me anonymous. My classmates laughed during his monologue, I was mortified, but it was as if he didn’t hear the snickers or see the rolling eyeballs. When he finished reading my paper he said, “THAT’S the kind of writing you all should be striving for.”

What is something readers may be surprised to learn about you?

I’ve had extensive firearms/tactical training, including sniper training (came in 2nd in my class, and I was the ONLY female), and SWAT methods and tactics. My favorite scenario is where I get to shoot the hinges off of doors with a shotgun and kick the door in, and window entry. There’s nothing quite like breaking glass and swinging through a window into a possibly dangerous situation to get the blood pumping. I’m also a hell of a baker.

About the author:

Leslie McKelvey has been writing since she learned to write. Her mother still stores boxes of handwritten stories in the attic. Leslie read her first romance at 12 and was hooked. When her high school Creative Writing teacher told her she needed to be a novelist, she decided to give it a try. Finally, at the ripe old age of...forty-something...her debut novel, Accidental Affair finally made it into print through Black Velvet Seductions Publishing. The publisher has also contracted two more manuscripts, which will follow Accidental Affair shortly. The next story slated for release is Bear’s, so for all of you who fell in love with Jack Vaughn’s best friend, get ready. The 6’8” FBI agent saves wildlife photographer Beth Drummond’s life and loses his heart to her in the process, a journey that tests the boundaries of loyalty, friendship, and love.

Leslie is a war-veteran who served with the U.S. Navy during the Gulf War, and she was among the first groups of women to work the flight deck of an aircraft carrier. During her five years of service she was stationed at NAS Miramar (yes, Miramar used to belong to the NAVY) and was an F-14 Tomcat mechanic. While in San Diego she spent time on the carriers USS Independence, USS Ranger, USS Lincoln, and the USS Nimitz. The final two years of her enlistment were spent on Guam and her squadron frequently deployed to Japan and the Middle East.

She learned everything she knows about firearms and tactics from her police officer husband, who is a weapons expert and firearms instructor for one of the most highly-respected law-enforcement agencies in the world (and one he wishes her NOT to disclose). He is her biggest supporter and her unpaid consultant on everything law-enforcement and weapons related. She has three boys, the oldest of whom will soon be wearing the uniform of a United States Marine (SEMPER FI!). She spends her off-time (kidding...WHAT off-time?) reading, taking pictures, and sending lead down range (that's shooting, for those who are unfamiliar). One of her favorite scents is the smell of gunpowder in the morning....

Follow Leslie McKelvey's blog: 

Buy links for 'Accidental Affair': Amazon \ B&N \ Smashwords

Black Velvet Seductions is giving away a $25 Amazon gift certificate to a commenter on the tour. Follow the tour for more chances to win!  


  1. I would cast Hugh Jackman in everything, so the fact that you can see him cast for your story. Big+.


  2. I am a HUGE Firefly and Serenity fan. That Joss Whedon is a genius! SO, of course I know Kaylee, played by Jewel Staite. She is really a spunky, girl-next-door type. That gives me a good vision of your character Laine.
    catherinelee100 at gmail dot com

  3. Thanks for the interview, I always love hearing who'd you'd cast for the main characters. It is great to have a mental picture of who these people are that you are getting to know

    fencingromein at hotmail dot com

  4. It seems that you are a busy and prolific writer. That is great, because I think you are an awesome writer.

  5. Wow, you have sniper training, sounds impressive why were there not more women?

    shadowrunner1987 at gmail dot com

  6. Hi Leslie! I love Jane Eyre too! Though I don't think i'd like to be her...she ends up with a blind guy who's 20+yrs her senior in a rotten and burned down old house...still...props for going old school! :)

    andralynn7 AT gmail DOT com


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