Thursday, July 9, 2015

feature: allison leotta

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On May 20, Allison Leotta visited The Poisoned Pen in Scottsdale, AZ for an afternoon tea promoting the latest in her series about prosecutor Anna Curtis. The event began with a more formal question and answer session from the bookstore before Leotta took questions from the audience and then signed copies of A Good Killing (and her previous novels, of course). For those wondering where the title of the new book came from, Leotta reported that it’s from a case where, in reference to the murdered man, people told the cops that he “need[ed] a good killing.”

Given that Leotta shares a profession with her protagonist, readers often wonder how much the author is like her character. Leotta now wishes she had given Anna Curtis red hair to distinguish her a bit more because although they have similar professional lives (she takes the most interesting bits from her own cases), they are different in their personal lives. And in that vein, it took Leotta a while to figure out how the romance world would work for Anna. She also said she’d grown tired of Anna’s love interest from the previous books, so now Anna has met someone new.

Leotta also shared the process of her first book (additional information can be found in my previous interview with her), Law of Attraction. She started writing to help her process the details of the cases she was handling because it was cheaper than therapy. She got the Writing Fiction For Dummies book and spent a year writing followed by another year rewriting after the agent who accepted her query suggested revisions. The agent sold the manuscript to Simon and Schuster, but the Department of Justice had to review it because of Leotta’s job as a federal prosecutor. Fortunately it all worked out and Law of Attraction came out a year later.

Combining a one book per year schedule with family life (she’s a mom of two) means Leotta no longer practices law, but she has maintained her license. With that schedule in mind, Leotta has already turned in book five which has to do with sexual assault on a college campus. She also has an idea for a standalone novel.

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