For the new release of the Koush Hollow audiobook, Leigh Goff provides insight into her writing process and about Koush Hollow, a mystical place where magic abounds and all that glitters…is deadly.
What comes first for you — the plot or the characters — and why?
For me, they must come together at the same time. I always outline the story first, so I need both of those elements fleshed out in the outline before I start to do the actual first draft. That being said, the characters are always a bit easier to develop than the plot.
What part of Koush Hollow was the most fun to write?
In Koush Hollow, the climactic end was absolutely the most fun to write. It’s actually the darkest thing I’ve ever written. I totally enjoyed visualizing those events and writing them down. Great fun and bit cathartic!
What would you say to an author who wanted to design their own cover?
I’ve never had to design my own cover and I’m not sure that’s my strength anyway, but I have had input into all of my covers. I’m appreciative that the publishers asked for that input and took my advice to tweak the art to make the cover design more pertinent to the story. No one knows the story better that the writer so it’s always nice to add those little touches.
Have you ever considered writing under a pseudonym, and why or why not?
You know, I wish I had used a variation of my name. I thought about using L. A. Goff, rather than Leigh A. Goff when my first book, Disenchanted, was published in 2015. With Koush Hollow, which is my third, I requested that change in my name for the cover, but since I already had a following under Leigh A. Goff, the publisher wanted to stay with that. However, in the future, if I write in a different genre, I may push for L. A. Goff.
What’s your favorite and least favorite part of publishing?
My favorite part is the excitement that comes with the offer letter. It means someone read the work and loved it. There’s nothing you want to do except pop a Champagne bottle and toast to the book’s future. Least favorite part—public speaking events to promote it. I’m absolutely terrified of public speaking, however, I love speaking with small groups or book clubs or doing book signings and meeting the readers. That’s pretty awesome.
How important was professional editing to your book’s development?
Oh my gosh—editors are critically important to finishing and polishing the final version. When a writer has been in a story for months, it is difficult to go back and see the trees (the trees being all the mistakes hahaha) for the forest. It’s not always fun to see those mistakes, but editors are a necessary part of a writing team. I am always so grateful for their insight and suggestions to make the work the best it can be.
How did you come up with the title for your book?
Koush is a play on the French word, cauchemar, which means a terror that comes in the night. And there are legends in the South about witch-riding nightmares where people dream about a witch or demon sitting on their chests or backs trying to suffocate them. This strange phenomenon is called a cauchemar. And since there are mystical characters, strange waking dreams, and nefarious women in Koush Hollow, it seemed like an appropriate title.
What do you need in your writing space to help you stay focused?
Ice cold lemon seltzer water in the warmer months/hot chocolate coffee in the colder months, my dog Summer next to me, a comfy chair, and my laptop. I need to be comfortable so I can just focus on writing and nothing else.
Here’s a bit more on Leigh’s latest release.
After her father’s untimely death, Jenna Ashby dreads life with her wealthy mother in Koush Hollow, a bayou town outside of New Orleans.
As the sixteen-year-old eco-warrior is introduced to the Diamonds & Pearls, her mother’s exclusive social club, she comes to the troubling realization that secrets are a way of life in Koush Hollow. How do the Diamonds & Pearls look so young, where does their money come from, and why is life along the bayou disappearing?
As Jenna is drawn into their seductive world, her curiosity and concerns beg her to uncover the truth. However, in this town where mysticism abounds and secrets are deadly, the truth is not what Jenna ever expected.
Leigh Goffis a young adult author with type 1 diabetes who is inspired by caffeine, enchanted spells, and unforgettable, star-crossed fates.
Although she’s terrible at casting any magic of her own, she is descended from the accused witch, Elizabeth Duncan of Virginia, who went to trial in 1695 for charges including bewitching livestock and causing birds to fall from the sky.