Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
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.
Mateer is known for her huge success as a brand development expert, and has previously written business advice books. Creator of the teen brand “Caboodles™” – A brand which took the retail industry by storm in the late 80s and early 90s.
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).
Other books include: The Caboodles Blueprint – Turn Your Idea into Millions, The Magical World of Dantonia – mid-grade fantasy, Read Your Own Fortune, Read Your Own Financial Fortune.
An avid blogger on inspirational and business topics.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
“The Murder Trail” the third book in the series : The Audrey Murders.
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.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
For most of my life, I have been a product developer. Before I create a new product – I need to hold something tangible in my hand such as a prototype. When I began to write books, I realised I was creating the cover of the book first – both front and back. When I was happy with the cover, I could continue on with “filling” the book with the story. The cover was my inspiration – a title, a brief description and a graphic.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
When I was just a little girl, my Mother used to carry home library books on the bus every week. There were four children in the family at that time and she would bring home at least three books each. (a heavy load) I would always request fairy tales. Fantasy was my escape. Hansel and Gretel was one of my favorites. 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.
As an adult I would consume five to seven books a week. Traveling extensively enabled me to read almost on a daily basis. Again I was attracted to the dark side of people’s personalities.
I write books that I like to read. Dark but not brutal or violent with an emphasis on the reasons behind the perpetrator of the crime.
What are you working on now?
I am writing a book on Psoriasis – The Natural Cure. Having been a sufferer for twenty five years and finally going alkaline – and acid free… I am finally psoriasis free…. I want to share my story to help other psoriasis sufferers.
Still deciding if my readers would like “Book Four” of the Audrey Murders. …. I will wait and see.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
I like using twitter and google+ to draw visitors to my website and to my books on Amazon. I use Facebook- but not as extensively as other social media sites.
I also have joined writer’s groups on Linkedin.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
I am a new author. I would say to just write, write and write. Get it down. Tell the story. Enjoy the process. If editing is not your thing… get someone to edit for you.
The world needs story tellers.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
20% of people love you for who you are
20% of people dislike you for exactly same reasons
60% of people don’t give a damn.
It is all in the statistics. When I get harsh criticism – I remember the odds. You can’t please all of the people all of the time.
What are you reading now?
Books on eating Alkaline.. (research for me and my book)
What’s next for you as a writer?
I have no idea – Life has a way of surprising me.
What is your favorite book of all time?
Oh there are too many to name… I like light, easy to read, books. I remember reading Bridget Jones Diary and loving the writing style. Jemima J – another fun book. The Talented Mr Ripley.. loved the book and the movie… The Happiness Trap… I don’t think I have a favorite – I read in subject matter; Religions of the world, New Age Topics, Self Help, Women’s personal journeys, Biographies, ..