Carroll, Leslie (Leslie Sara Carroll, Amanda Elyot)
Carroll, Leslie (Leslie Sara Carroll, Amanda Elyot)
Writer and actress. Founder of Survivor Productions, a not-for-profit professional theater company; Back Stage, associate editor. Has worked in politics, advertising, public relations, and journalism.
Dramatists' Guild, Romance Writers of America, New River Dramatists, Playwrights Workshop at the Players.
(Editor) Loosen Your Laces (recipes), Survivor Productions (New York, NY), 1992.
Miss Match (novel), Ivy Books (New York, NY), 2002.
Reality Check (novel), Ivy Books (New York, NY), 2003.
Temporary Insanity (novel), Avon Books (New York, NY), 2004.
Play Dates (novel), Avon Books (New York, NY), 2005.
Spin Doctor, Avon Trade (New York, NY), 2006.
Herself, Avon Books (New York, NY), 2007.
Choosing Sophie, Avon Books (New York, NY), 2008.
Royal Affairs, NAL Trade (New York, NY), 2008.
Author of stage adaptations of Ivanhoe, The Prisoner of Zenda, and The Scarlet Pimpernel.
HISTORICAL ROMANCE NOVELS; UNDER PSEUDONYM AMANDA ELYOT
The Memoirs of Helen of Troy, Crown Publishers (New York, NY), 2005.
Sense and Sensuality, Three Rivers Press (New York, NY), 2005.
By a Lady: Being the Adventures of an Enlightened American in Jane Austen's England, Three Rivers Press (New York, NY), 2006.
Too Great a Lady: The Notorious, Glorious Life of Emma, Lady Hamilton, New American Library (New York, NY), 2007.
All for Love: The Scandalous Life and Times of Royal Mistress Mary Robinson, New American Library (New York, NY), 2008.
Leslie Carroll is an actress and author. After a friend suggested that she try her hand at writing romance stories, the actress took a day job at the trade publication Back Stage to gain writing experience. Shortly thereafter, Carroll crafted her first novel, Miss Match, the story of Kathryn Lamb, a drama teacher who enrolls with a dating agency in the hopes of meeting Mr. Right, only to meet a series of Mr. Wrongs. Carroll's second novel, Reality Check, details the story of Liz Pemberley as she finds true love in the most unexpected of places—a televised reality show. A Publishers Weekly contributor wrote that the "sheer number of coincidences will cause many to cringe" but concluded that the book was "cheery" and would "strike a chord with readers." In her novel Play Dates, Carroll tells the story of Claire Marsh, a twenty-six-year-old Manhattanite whose wealthy, forty-something husband has left her for another woman. Marsh, who married her husband at the age of eighteen, has never had a job and has to learn how to support both herself and her child without the benefits she has been used to. Beth Leistensnider, writing for Booklist, called the book "engaging" and wrote that "Carroll's mockery of the snobbishness that pervades some urban parenting circles is spot-on."
Temporary Insanity focuses on Alice Finnegan, who works as an office temp while looking for work as an actor. Along with her friends Izzy and Dorian and her supportive grandmother, Alice keeps looking for love and work. "This is a fun chick lit tale starring a delightful protagonist," wrote Harriet Klausner on the AllReaders.com Web site. In Spin Doctor, Carroll tells the story of Susan, a therapist who meets with women in a New York apartment building laundry room to counsel them. Among her "clients" are a lesbian couple who want to adopt a child and a grieving actress. Before long, however, it is Susan who realizes that her laundry room friends are providing her with succor as Susan's life takes a turn for the worse. Aleksandra Kostovski, writing in Booklist, noted that the author "creates sympathetic characters from all walks of life." A Publishers Weekly contributor called the novel "an exuberant ode to friendship among women." Library Journal contributor Amy Brozio-Andrews wrote: "The issues [the author] raises and examines lend the story emotional weight and substance."
Carroll has also written historical romances under the pseudonym Amanda Elyot. In The Memoirs of Helen of Troy, Helen has reached middle age and is writing her autobiography to tell her side of the story concerning her notoriety. Beautiful from youth, Helen is the object of jealously, and she leaves her husband for another, soon learning that beauty may not be something that everyone should want. In the end, Helen presents her own view of the Trojan War and its aftermath. Sara Johnson, writing in Booklist, called the book an "engrossing novel about the rewards and dangers of following one's heart." A Publishers Weekly contributor also noted that "the story is engrossing." Writing in the Library Journal, Mary Kay Bird-Guilliams commented that the author "keeps the action moving with lots of exciting drama."
In By a Lady: Being the Adventures of an Enlightened American in Jane Austen's England, Carroll, writing as Elyot, tells the story of C.J. Welles, an American who is transported from modern New York to 1801 Bath, England. In the process of trying to find her way back to her own place and time, C.J. has various adventures, including a romance with Lord Darlington and a budding friendship with Jane Austen. A Publishers Weekly contributor commented that "there are plenty of upper-crust scandals and snobbery to keep anglophiles engaged." In a review in the Library Journal, Loralyn Whitney wrote that the author "is knowledgeable about the Regency period." A Kirkus Reviews contributor noted that "fans of lighthearted mystery/romantic/historical fantasies may be amused."
Carroll has continued to write novels under her own name and as Amanda Elyot. Writing as Elyot, the author, in Too Great a Lady: The Notorious, Glorious Life of Emma, Lady Hamilton, features a fictionalized account of the real-life Emma Hamilton, who rises from humble beginnings to become the mistress of the English war Hero Horatio "Hornblower" Nelson. A Publishers Weekly contributor called the novel "an energetic portrait of a unique historical figure."
In Herself, written under Carroll's real name, the author tells the story of speechwriter Tessa Craig, who works for New York congressman David Weyburn, who is also her secret lover. A near-fatal heart attack brings out the fact that David may be gay, and his campaign manager puts all relationships David may have on hold until the campaign is over. Unhappy about the state of affairs, Tessa heads off to Ireland. Once there, she finds herself fighting off a romance with a local fisherman named Jamie Doyle, who follows her when she returns to New York. "Readers will enjoy this fine contemporary romance with its interesting political spin," wrote Harriet Klausner on the Best Reviews Web site. A Publishers Weekly contributor noted the novel's "endearingly quirky cast and … snappy dialogue."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, December 1, 2002, Megan Kalan, review of Reality Check, p. 650; February 1, 2005, Beth Leistensnider, review of Play Dates, p. 938; September 1, 2005, Sarah Johnson, review of The Memoirs of Helen of Troy, p. 62; January 1, 2006, Aleksandra Kostovski, review of Spin Doctor, p. 52.
Kirkus Reviews, August 1, 2005, review of The Memoirs of Helen of Troy, p. 805; January 15, 2006, review of By a Lady: Being the Adventures of an Enlightened American in Jane Austen's England, p. 55; December 15, 2006, review of Herself, p. 1232.
Library Journal, May 15, 2002, review of Miss Match, p. 78; October 15, 2005, Mary Kay Bird-Guilliams, review of The Memoirs of Helen of Troy, p. 44; January 1, 2006, Loralyn Whitney, review of By a Lady, p. 96; January 1, 2006, Amy Brozio-Andrews, review of Spin Doctor, p. 96.
MBR Bookwatch, March, 2005, Harriet Klausner, review of Play Dates.
Publishers Weekly, January 21, 2002, review of Miss Match, p. 71; January 6, 2003, review of Reality Check, p. 45; June 7, 2004, review of Temporary Insanity, p. 33; August 29, 2005, review of The Memoirs of Helen of Troy, p. 34; January 2, 2006, review of Spin Doctor, p. 37; January 16, 2006, review of By a Lady, p. 37; December 18, 2006, review of Too Great a Lady: The Notorious, Glorious Life of Emma, Lady Hamilton, p. 42; January 22, 2007, review of Herself, p. 160.
AllReaders.com,http://www.allreaders.com/ (October 31, 2006), Harriet Klausner, reviews of Miss Match, Reality Check, Temporary Insanity, and Play Dates.
Authors on the Web,http://www.authorsontheweb.com/ (August 23, 2007), brief profile of author.
Best Reviews,http://thebestreviews.com/ (February 26, 2007), Harriet Klausner, review of Herself; biography of author.
BookLoons,http://www.bookloons.com/ (August 23, 2007), Kim Atchue-Cusella, review of Herself.
Curled up with a Good Book,http://www.curledup.com/ (August 23, 2007), April Bamburg, review of Herself.
Harriet Klausner Home Page,http://harrietklausner.wwwi.com/ (October 31, 2006), Harriet Klausner, review of Reality Check.
Leslie Carroll Home Page,http://www.tlt.com/authors/lesliecarroll.htm (October 31, 2006).
Romance Reader,http://www.theromancereader.com/ (April 4, 2002), Cathy Sova, interview with author.
Romance Review,http://www.aromancereview.com/ (August 23, 2007), Kris Alice, interview with author.