Q & A With Author Leslie DJ

Hi, Leslie. Thanks for joining me! Let’s get started! What is your book, Luz, NOT about?

It’s not an autobiography. Although Luz and I may have a lot in common it is not my life story.

What is your book, Luz, about?
My book is about a young woman’s struggle; Luz Vargas is a semi successful writer who at the beginning of the book is very lost. She’s living the life she thinks she’s supposed to live rather than the one she actually wants. In its own way it is a coming-of-age story. 
What is your favorite line from your book?
“She lived her life in fiction, too afraid to let the world in…
She surrounded herself with the only friends she knew,
Susan Sontag and Maria Irene Fornes…”

What celebrities would play your main characters if it were a movie?
Rosario Dawson would play Luz and I’d love to see Chris Evans play Luke. We can always go with a sexy unknown to play Henry. 
Take me through a day in your life. 
Since writing is not my main source of income, I have a day job. I wake up at 5:30am; shower then feed my birds and dog. I prepare a protein shake while Joey (my Chihuahua) looks on, take my vitamins and pour it in my to go cup to consume on the bus. 
I take the bus into work where I work as an administrative assistant at a college. 
Show me a picture of your writing spot. 

If you could spend the day with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be and what would you do?
I would love to spend a day with Carrie Fisher. I would spend the day gathering stories about her life and thanking her for all her advocacy work with mental health. Then we’d walk over to her mom’s house and sing some cabaret. 
What is the weirdest thing you have had to research for writing purposes?
I had to prove to my editor that in the Dominican Republic a family of four would ride at the back of a motorcycle taxi with groceries in tow. 
What was your favorite book as a child, and what is your favorite book now?
Charlotte’s Web” was my favorite book as a child. It was the first book I read from cover to cover. A book that I love re-read as an adult is Julia Alvarez’s “How The Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents”. 
What book are you currently reading? 
The Princess Diarist” by Carrie Fisher. I love and miss her daily. She meant a lot to me; her outspokenness, her courage when it came to talking about addiction and mental health, it breaks my heart knowing she is no longer around.
What is the strangest fact about you? 
I’ve been a vegetarian for 16 years. People think it’s strange that I don’t eat meat because I’m Latina and in Dominican culture especially a lot of meat is consumed. 
What writers inspire you?
Junot Diaz, Carrie Fisher, Julia Alvarez and Marian Keyes. 
Why do you write?
I just love it. It comes easy to me and I constantly have dialogues floating around in my head that I just need to jot down. I also feel like our stories as Latinos aren’t often told and I would like to do my part and contribute to the community. 

What are you working on right now?

I am in the very early stages of writing the sequel to my first book, “That Girl” I have a few scenes written out, a killer opening and tons of notes and points I want to hit. I’m hoping to release that by end of 2018.
How can readers learn more about you and your work?
You can visit my website.
Or follow me on social media:
Thanks again for joining me, and best of luck writing your debut novel!

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