Interview: Leslie Claire Walker on “Angel Hunts”

When a cold-blooded magical assassin finds her heart, she’ll battle the forces of Heaven and Hell to protect her found family.

Night Sanchez braces for a fight when the Order of Assassins she betrayed finally tracks her down. But she could never expect a threat more dangerous than the Order to strike…

Until the Angel of Death threatens all she holds dear. To have any hope of defeating him, she must own her blood-drenched past and face the memory hidden deep within her mind. Can she unlock the secrets of her magic in time?

Angel Hunts is available for a limited time in the Wild Magic bundle.

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…and then there are our worlds, secret, wild, and free.

The Wild Magic bundle holds ten volumes of the magic. Ten books about what we find after we have passed through the illusion that we can live without wonder in the world, and come out the other side.

Pack your bags, put on your good walking shoes, and make sure you bring plenty of water. We’re going out into the wilderness, and who knows when we’ll be back?

The Wild Magic bundle is available through July 14th, 2021.


The air felt thick—almost too thick to breathe.

The woman who’d walked through the door stopped ten feet from me, a signal she intended to talk rather than attack. Really, it was unnecessary. If she’d meant to harm me, I’d never have seen or heard her coming.

She pushed back the hood of her black rain slicker. Her blond curls had grown all the way to her shoulders since the last time I’d run my fingers through them. The only makeup she wore on her porcelain face was a pale pink flush of lipstick; her dark blue eyes were sharp on me.

Sunday Sloan. Once upon a time, my salvation.

The halo around her body held a tint of rose red, life force flavored with a strong, blinding passion that she harnessed in everything she did, including her kills.

One look in the eyes of her victims, and she could literally blind them if she chose. She had a touch of the traditional psychic as well, not enough to actually see the future, but enough to guess what might happen that would affect her most and allow her to act accordingly.

The same magical gifts infiltrated her personal relationships. Her faults became hard to see. And once she made up her mind about a cause or a person, she gave them her unconditional, undying—blind—loyalty. I’d been on the receiving end of that loyalty. I’d thrown it away when I’d left the Order without saying goodbye.

Sunday Sloan was the Order’s MVP. Or MVO—most valuable operative.

If she was here, I was in deep trouble.

—from Angel Burns by Leslie Claire Walker

The Interview

Night Sanchez, the protagonist in Angel Hunts, left her blood-drenched past as part of the Order of Assassins, and adopted the young girl she’d been sent to kill. Night is complex and fascinating. How did you come up with her character?

Night was created during a workshop assignment on the Oregon Coast and honed during a year-long role playing game set in the universe of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. After I finished writing the third book in the Soul Forge’s sister series, the Faery Chronicles, I realized I wanted to write Night’s books. And so the workshop/RPG character became a richer, more well-rounded, more complicated human being through her adventures on the page.

Angel Hunts is the first book in your Soul Forge series, which includes assassins, angels, and elder gods. What was your favorite part about writing this series?

More than anything, I love bringing together characters who need each other into a single family of choice. Found family is an important theme in all my books and stories. While the representations of found family in TV, movies, books, and stories I’ve read have had an indelible influence on me, I’ve personally been in situations where bonding with family of choice has kept me housed, safe, and loved—and where I’ve been able to do the same for other people.

Night needs a family, and she needs to be family for others. Her love for her family of choice empowers her to embrace her humanity and reach for redemption while grounded in community.

The Soul Forge series is set in the same world as The Faery Chronicles. How do the two intertwine?

The first of the Faery Chronicles characters to appear in the Soul Forge show up in Book 3, Angel Falls—the witch, Stacy, and her friend Beth, apprentice to the Garden of Eden’s serpent. They surprised and delighted me when they insisted on a place in the story!

But it made sense. The events that take place in the Soul Forge series are world-altering for all beings. So naturally Night and crew draw the attention of the Faery King, Who happens in this universe to be a very important character in the Faery Chronicles.

All of the Soul Forge books from Angel Falls onward contain characters from the Faery Chronicles. The Faery Chronicles characters become an integral part of the team. And, eventually, family.

Why do you think so many people are drawn to reading stories about magic?

Anything that can’t be sufficiently explained by science is magic—I know I’m paraphrasing, but isn’t that how the saying goes?

There’s so much in this world that we can’t understand through science or even experience, so many things that happen that seem to be woven from serendipity, dreams, wishes, and mystery. Stories about magic allow us to inhabit worlds where those things are not only possible, but necessary to the fabric of life.

The magic in those stories becomes a part of us, and we bring some of that feeling back with us into our everyday lives. And that’s a gift.

“Fight or Flight,” which appears in the Magicks & Enchantments anthology, is set in the same world as Angel Hunts. Each time Charlie, the protagonist in this story, hovers between life and death, he not only sees the future, he enters it. Have you written more stories about Charlie? If not, do you plan to?

I haven’t yet written other stories about Charlie, but he appears in Book 4 of the Soul Forge, Angel Strikes. It was fun to reunite Charlie with his mysterious friend Sunday Sloan.

Is there something from a legend, fairy or folk tale, or myth that you haven’t yet used in your writing, but would like to?

I’d love to explore the folkloric Crossroads in my writing. When I imagine it, I can see it out there—like catching a glance at something shiny from the corner of my eye. (The one thing I’m not interested in doing with it is exploring the Crossroads in terms of its use in living spiritual traditions. Those are not my tales to tell.)

What are you working on now, and what’s fun about what you’re writing?

I’m currently working on the first book of a paranormal romance series that I can best describe as James Bond meets Outlander meets Supernatural.

The hero is a former fae assassin pulled back into the fold for one last job, and the heroine is a human writer who desperately wishes for magic to be real. Both of them get far more than what they bargain for.

The most fun thing about this series so far is the freedom to go as bonkers as my muse wants. The first book is lighter in tone than the Soul Forge books, but with just as much magic and action, plus more romance!

About Leslie

Since the age of seven, Leslie Claire Walker has wanted to be Princess Leia — wise, brave, and filled with heart, even in the face of impossible odds. She is the author of the Awakened Magic Saga, which includes two complete series of interconnected urban fantasy novels and stories filled with magical assassins, fallen angels, faeries, and found family. Leslie currently lives in the rain-drenched Pacific Northwest with a cast of spectacular characters, including cats, harps, and too many fantasy and romance novels to count.

Find Leslie

Website ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Goodreads ~ BookBub

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