It gives me great pleasure to announce the September 2015 release of my new book "Ladies of the Canyons: A League of Extraordinary Women and Their Adventures in the American Southwest." The book was an adventure to research and write, and it is a privilege to bring to light the remarkable stories of women who a century ago loved and lived upon the same landscape I call home.
My love affair with the high desert of Abiquiu and northern New Mexico began when I first came to Ghost Ranch on a family vacation as a child in the 1960s. Like my "Bone Horses" protagonist, Charlotte, I was born and raised in New York, specifically in Westchester County. Unlike Charlotte, I loved the wild vast empty desert and wide blue sky of the Southwest on sight. I was always working my way back home to this exotic, magnificent place. After college I moved full time into the Indio-Hispanic world of Abiquiu. I began to write the real and imagined stories of my adopted community.
For several decades my primary work was as a writer/historian. For my first 3 books ("The Harvey Girls," "Valley of Shining Stone," and "Ghost Ranch") I interviewed and talked with literally hundreds of old-timers all over the Southwest. I heard remarkable tales of the early days in New Mexico, Colorado, and Arizona.
Lesley’s work has received the WILLA Award for Contemporary Fiction, the Tony Hillerman Award, and the Zia Award for Excellence. Her books have been finalists for the Western Writers of America Spur Award for Best First Novel (Canyon of Remembering), for the Independent Publisher Book Award for Best Western Non-Fiction (Ghost Ranch), and won the IPPY Award for Best Fine Art Book (Georgia O’Keeffe and New Mexico). Her book about the Harvey Girls and the Santa Fe Railway, based on seventy-six interviews Lesley conducted in the early 1980s, is considered the definitive work on the subject and era in women’s history.
Lesley's work is represented by Elizabeth Trupin-Pulli and JET Literary Associates, Inc.