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Friday, March 5, 2010

Interview with Leah Cypess

Hi, everyone! My last interview brought you a little bit closer to the fantasy author Carrie Jones. This time I'm bringing you the amazing Leah Cypess author of the upcoming fantasy Mistwood. Mistwood will be released April 27, 2010 by Greenwillow Books/HarperTeen, and it is sure to be a favorite of every fantasy lover.


1. Did you try and set Mistwood to a particular time period and setting, or did you just have fun with the fantasy of it?

I had fun with making up a fantasy world, and didn’t deliberately try to match a particular historical period. However, I did generally default to the time period I know the most about, which is late Renaissance Europe.

2. What to you think is the hardest part about writing?
Those times when I think I'm done with a certain scene, character, or plot twist... and then I realize there's a problem, and that problem can only be fixed by reworking the entire manuscript.

3. What was your publication journey like?

It started over ten years ago, with a completely different manuscript that got one revision request and a lot of “Please send us your next book” rejection letters. I wrote, critiqued, and submitted three more manuscripts, and with each one I increased the ratio of positive responses to form rejections. By the time I was ready to submit Mistwood, I had a very good idea of which editors were interested in seeing my next manuscript and were likely to be interested in Mistwood; and it took less than two months after sending my first round of query letters that I had an offer from my editor at Greenwillow. (Two months in one sense, over ten years in another!)

4. Are there any authors you particularly look up to?

Many! Juliet Marillier, Megan Whalen Turner, Connie Willis, Dave Duncan, Libba Bray… there are more, but I think five is a good number to stop at. :)

5. When did you start writing?

At the end of first grade, I wrote a story from the point of view of an ice-cream cone. At the beginning of first grade, I didn’t know how to write. So it was definitely sometime during that year.

6. How do you feel about being compared to Kristin Cashore?

Flattered, of course; I love Kristin Cashore’s books. And some similarities are obvious: Mistwood, Graceling, and Fire all have female main characters with supernatural powers, and all those characters are trying to figure out who they are while simultaneously protecting someone else’s interests.

7. How would you feel about making Mistwood into a movie?
I certainly wouldn’t say no. In fact, when I first workshopped the first chapters of Mistwood back in 2003, one of the members of the writing workshop said, “I could see this as a movie with Halle Berry playing the lead.” But realistically, I don’t see that many high fantasy novels getting made into movies these days.

8. Any advice for young writers?

Read. Write. And be prepared for a possible long haul… but don’t give up!

Click here to read my review of Mistwood.

To pre-order Mistwood from Amazon.com click here.


Lauren said...

Great interview! I'm really looking forward to reading Mistwood.

Faye said...

Ditto w/ what Lauren said! Mistwood!!

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