Blog Tour: Good Graces Author Lesley Kagen Interview

We are the next stop in the Good Graces Blog Tour for author Lesley Kagen. You can see a full scheduled over st Tribute Books for the tour HERE. Today Lesley answered a few questions for us. 

Lesley Kagen Links: Website / Goodreads / Facebook

Lesley Kagen's Bio: I was born in Milwaukee and spent my early years in a great working class neighborhood, much like the one where Whistling in the Dark and Good Graces are set.

I attended Marquette University for one year, fell in love, and followed my boyfriend to New York City. I lasted about six months. I was so intimidated, I spent most of my time running from my apartment to the grocery store and back to my apartment, which was located above a 24 Hour Soul Record Store. Hence, I have the dubious ability to recite every lyric to every James Brown tune ever recorded.

After returning to Milwaukee, I enrolled in the University of Wisconsin where I majored in Radio and Television. I fell into a job as a morning drive DJ on one of the country's first alternative radio stations—WZMF. I got to interview lots of very cool rock n' rollers like Frank Zappa, Hendrix and John Lennon.

In 1976, I moved to Los Angeles, where I began a ten year career working for Licorice Pizza record chain where I produced, wrote and voiced thousands of commercials as Lesley from Licorice Pizza. When I set out to expand my career, I ended up doing on-camera commercials, a couple of Movies-Of-The-Week, and a Laverne and Shirley.

I met my husband, Peter aka Sushi Man, in Malibu, which is pretty funny considering he was from Milwaukee as well. While we both loved living in California, after the birth of our kids, Casey and Riley, we felt this overwhelming need to return to the roost, so we moved back home in 1990.

Well, that's about it. Oh, wait. The writing. I adore it. I crave it. But it wasn't until Casey went off to college, and teenage Riley made it clear that any form of communication between us was to be restricted to—"With or without pepperoni"—that I found the opportunity to sit down and let 'er rip. I hope you love readingWhistling in the Dark, Land of a Hundred Wonders, Tomorrow River and Good Graces as much as I loved writing them. 

Welcome Lesley,

OUaT: What's your favorite word?

A. I'm pretty fond of hankering. Love the sound of it.

OUaT: What's your favorite color?

A. Blue.

OUaT: What's your favorite thing to do outside?

A. I'm a nature girl. If I can be outside, I will be. I love to hike. Play with my dogs. Ride horses. Garden. Eating outside is fun, too.

OUaT: Are there any tips you would give a book club to better navigate their discussion of your book?

A. In the back of all my books are a list of discussion questions that I think are pretty good. I also have questions listed on my web site.

OUaT:  What else would you be if you weren't an author?

A. I've been so many things--a riding instructor, an actress, restaurateur, a DJ. I'd probably pick one of those.

OUaT: What's your definition of happiness?

A. The absence of pain

OUaT: What advise would you give to an aspiring authors who want to get their stories published?

A. Be a terrier. Never give up. It took me over 150 tries to get a literary agent, which is the first step on the road to publication.

OUaT: Which of your books is your favorite?

A. Hmmm...that's like asking me which of my children is my favorite. I love different things about the stories, but not one more than the other.

OUaT: Who inspires you?

A. My family.

OUaT: Have you ever writtten a a character who resembles your personality?

A. (Laugh) ALL my characters resemble my personality. A little here, a little there.

OUaT: Has a review ever changed your perspective on your work?

A. No. I avoid reading reviews of my books or others.

OUaT:  Are you working on something new?

A. I am! I'm working on a mother/daughter story set against the backdrop of the horse show world that I'm enjoying the heck out of.

OUaT: Anything else you'd like to add?

A. Thank you for having me. And happy holidays to all!


  1. Lesley is such an amazing author and person. She lives in the same town I do and always comes to our local independent bookstore and signs copies. I've met her a couple of times and she is such an inspiring person.

  2. Yara, thanks for hosting Lesley.

    I really liked the interview. It felt very conversational - the easy back and forth rhythm was great.

    Lisa, I appreciate your sharing your own endorsement of Lesley. You're right, she's a grade A writer (and person)!


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