Monday, November 23, 2015

9mm interview with Leonie Mateer

Puppeteer, children's entertainer, owner of a model agency, TV talk show panelist, luxury accommodation owner, entrepreneur: storyteller Leonie Mateer has lived a full and diverse life. Born and raised in New Zealand, Mateer moved to the United States in her 30s to pursue business opportunities. She returned to New Zealand for several years in the 2000s, running a luxury lodge in Northland - which has been an inspiration for her crime series - and now splits her time between Northland and the United States. Today, she becomes the 135th author in our 9mm series.

Mateer is known for her huge success as a brand development expert, and has previously written business advice books. She was named in the 'Who's Who' of both Leading American Executives and American Inventors in the 1990s. A lifelong storyteller, she published THE MURDER SUITE, her first adult thriller, last year, kickstarting a series starring Audrey, "a psychopath, a serial killer and a friendly resident in a small town in rural Northland". The series has continued with THE CABIN BY THE SEA (Book 2) and THE MURDER TRAIL (Book 3).

But for now Leonie Mateer becomes the latest crime writer to stare down the barrel of 9mm.


1. Who is your favourite recurring crime fiction hero/detective, and what is it you love about them?
As a constant traveler, I would consume large quantities of “best sellers” from airport gift shops often being drawn to suspense thrillers from authors such as Stephen King and John Saul.

Kathy Bates character in Misery and “Dexter” are two of my favorite crime characters. I find the perpetrators of the crimes much more interesting than the detectives on their case. Dexter’s psychopathic personality enables him to live in both worlds – as a killer and as a forensic analyst. His everyday normality and his lack of remorse or guilt I find both fascinating and creepy.

2. What was the very first book you remember reading and really loving, and why?
With no doubt it would be Hansel and Gretel. I grew up on fairy tales.  I loved the dark side of fairy tales. Two children alone in the forest, tempted by the candy cottage only to be trapped in a cage by a wicked witch… all the elements of a great story.

3. Before your debut crime novel, what else had you written (if anything) - unpublished manuscripts, short stories, articles?
My first book was The Caboodles Blueprint, a “how-to” business book.  I still continue to blog on subjects ranging from the creative process of product development to taking your product to the worldwide market.

When I was a little girl I used to tell my younger brother “made-up scary stories” every night in the dark. So it was no surprise to find that my first fictional novel was a children’s fantasy thriller The Magical World of Dantonia.

4. Outside of writing, and touring and promotional commitments, what do you really like to do, leisure and activity-wise?
I always need a “project” and one that is a challenge. My projects are as diverse as my interests. I like to tackle projects that require learning a new skill such as creating a tropical fruit tree orchard, sewing new pastures for grazing sheep, learning the challenges of social media marketing, converting old buildings into dwellings and visiting my family whoare scattered worldwide – just to name a few.

5. What is one thing that visitors to your hometown should do, that isn't in the tourist brochures, or perhaps they wouldn’t initially consider?
The far north of New Zealand is one of the most beautiful places in the world and, unfortunately, is not on the popular “tourist route.” White sandy beaches, pristine harbours, rolling green hills spotted with cattle and sheep, dense native bush, kiwi reserves and native birds are just some of the wonders of the winterless north.

6. If your life was a movie, which actor could you see playing you?
Bette Midler (USA) or Judi Dench (UK)

7. Of your writings, which is your favourite, and why?
I wrote a small piece one day about a little boy given the “talking stick” in his classroom.  Owning the stick gave him a few minutes to talk and be heard by the other children in the circle before passing it on. To capture the moment in prose kept it forever in my minds eye reminding me how precious it is to be listened to when there is something you want to tell.

8. What was your initial reaction, and how did you celebrate, when you were first accepted for publication? Or when you first saw your debut story in book form?
I received a contract to publish my business book when I was in Ventura, California with my two pre teen grandsons. We joined hands and danced in sheer joy. They were so proud of their “Bubba” and I was so happy to share this wonderful moment with them.

9. What is the strangest or most unusual experience you have had at a book signing, author event, or literary festival?
My first book signing event was in Ventura, California and was remarkably successful due to family and friends in full attendance. I talked, they laughed, they bought books and the store manager was pleased.

My second book signing was in Malibu on the first sunny day of the season. Crowds went to the beach and empty chairs greeted me in the bookstore. A sprinkling of disinterested customers obliged me by taking a seat to hear my short presentation. I could feel their disappointment when they realized my book was a business book and not a great mystery or sultry romance, so I cut my reading short and handed out chocolates instead.

Thank you Leonie, we appreciate you taking the time to chat to Crime Watch

You can read more about Leonie Mateer, including sample chapters from her crime novels, at her website here
You can follow her on Twitter here or find her crime novels for sale here

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