Author Interview: Leslie Hooton – After Everyone Else by Leslie Hooton is the follow-up novel to Before Anyone Else (BAE). I’m so thrilled Leslie joined me for an author interview to discuss her newest novel. This post may contain links to purchase books & you can read our affiliate disclosure here.
Leslie Hooton is many things: a fabulous friend, a powerful speaker, a flower enthusiast, a lover of language, a seeker of color in a black-and-white world, but most recently she became a newly published author.
Synopsis for After Everyone Else by Leslie Hooton
Bailey thought she’d gotten her happy ending. She is married to the man she loves, she has started a family, and her design business is flourishing. But when Bailey’s ex-husband, a famous TV chef, is found murdered with her DNA all over his apartment and body, she is suddenly facing murder charges in a high-profile case. Already burdened by the demands and challenges of marriage, motherhood, and her career, Bailey now must do everything she can to prove her innocence. But it’s the ones she thought would surely be on her side—her enigmatic lawyer and her husband—who might be doubting her innocence the most.
Alternating between the past and present, After Everyone Else chronicles the grip of the past, the challenges of forgiveness, and the resilient love we save for the person we love after everyone else.
Author Interview: Leslie Hooton
Leslie, I’m so excited to talk to you today about After Everyone Else. Thank you for joining me for this Q & A!
Any book involving a celebrity is catnip for me. Bailey’s ex-husband, a famous TV chef, is found murdered with her DNA all over his apartment and body, and she is suddenly facing murder charges in a high-profile case. Can you tell me a little about the inspiration behind After Everyone Else?
I started thinking about how you forgive someone you love when you think they have done something egregious, and then how far would you go to protect the people you love. My characters from Before Anyone Else, Bailey and Griffin, remained with me and I wanted to write a sequel to see what happens next. I love celebrity chefs. It was fun to make Bailey’s ex-husband a famous TV chef. Anything celebrity raises the stakes on his murder.
Can you tell readers what themes to expect from After Everyone Else?
Reviewers has described After Everyone Else as a family drama murder mystery mash up. And that is about right. A murder is the backdrop to explore relationships; husband and wife; mother daughter, and siblings and the murder only heightens the stakes for each of these relationships. The book starts off with the murder of Bailey’s ex-husband. Her DNA is found everywhere in his apartment including on the dead body. I wanted to explore how Bailey juggles her design business with a murder charge; with raising a daughter and trying to have a happy marriage.
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Do you have any favorite scenes in After Everyone Else?
I love many of the scenes between Bailey and her daughter Charlotte. Especially the ones when Bailey talks about forgiveness and the love she shares with Griffin and what epic love really means.
Author Interview: Leslie Hooton: Let’s Chat About Writing
I would love to know if you’re a plotter or a pantser. What seems to work best when you’re working on a new manuscript?
I like to have the manuscript almost fully formed in my head before I start writing. However, I give my character‘s free will so many times they do things that surprise me! And then I’m left to write them out of their messes.
Do you have any favorite snacks, music or rituals for your writing? For instance, are you blasting music or need complete silence?
I love music. For this book I leaned heavily on Taylor Swift and Harry Styles!
Do you have any advice for fellow writers?
think it is a good thing to always be in pursuit of your craft. That means write every day or work on character development.
Fancasting & More
Who are some of your favorite authors?
There are so many! I wouldn’t list anyone for fear I would leave someone out.
I always love talking about TV and movies. If you were to cast an adaptation for After Everyone Else, do you have anyone in mind for your characters?
Such a fun question
Anders Holm – as Griffin. Tall, lanky and kind of scruffy. Not at all concerned about his appearance.
Daisy Edgar Jones or Rashida Jones – Bailey. I see her as confident in her work with a sense of humor and style and a little bit quirky.
Julia Garnet – Charlie. I see her as very spunky and sarcastic and always pushing Bailey’s buttons.
Idris Alba – Floyd Potts Bailey’s criminal attorney. I see him as no-nonsense. He will not put up with Bailey’s hedging or prevarication. You never know what he’s truly thinking.
James Marston – Henry. I have always seen Henry as very good-looking and not above primping. Very much a ladies man. It gets him into trouble and out of trouble.
Who is the ideal reader for After Everyone Else?
Women that are smart and love a good story.
Thank you again for taking the time to speak with me! How can readers best connect with you?
Instagram, Facebook, website. I am on tour currently and I would love you to come out and see me.