Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Author Interview: Lesley Livingston

I am thrilled to welcome Lesley Livingston to my blog. Lesley is a writer and actor living in Toronto, Canada. Captivated at a young age by stories of mythology and folk lore, past civilizations, and legendary heroes, she developed into a full-fledged Celtic Mythology Geek, steeped in stories of the Otherworld, Faeries and King Arthur. Lesley went on to earn a Master’s Degree in English from the University of Toronto specializing in Shakespeare and Arthurian literature. Darklight is the sequel to Wondrous Strange and it's in stores now.

How much research do you do before starting a novel?
It varies from book to book but, in general, I tend to write about topics I already have more than a passing familiarity with. So when I’m writing I usually already have an overall knowledge of my subjects and then the research end of things comes into play with making absolutely sure that I get the specifics right. For instance, I’ve been fascinated by Faerie lore since I was a kid and—as a Shakespearian actress myself—I already had a solid handle on not only the Bard but on the intricacies of the acting profession and what it’s like being involved with the kind of company and production that Kelley finds herself in with the Avalon Grande Players. So I might have to check details for a particular Faerie species or reference quotes from plays for accuracy. But one aspect that I had to do a fair amount of research on with these books was with my setting. I spent a lot of time with Central Park—both researching it and visiting it. No complaints, though—it has become one of my favorite places on the planet!

Are there any writers, past or present, who inspire your style?
Shakespeare, Guy Gavriel Kay, Tennyson, Parke Godwin, Jim Butcher, Jack Whyte, RJ Anderson, Lisa Mantchev… I tend to like writers who can infuse a touch of humor into even the most dire situations.

Which if any of your books were harder to write?
Book three in the trilogy (which is, at this point, still nameless) has been slightly more challenging to write than the other two—simply because of the fact that I have to weave together all of the plot lines from the first two books into a cohesive satisfying whole. I just sent the manuscript into my editor and have yet to receive my first-round revisions back yet—so, we’ll have to wait and see how I did! But, honestly, these books are so much fun to write, it doesn’t seem fair to call it “hard” work!

Can you share a teaser with us?
Sure! (*laughs evilly* this one’s kinda mean but, here you go!…)

“In spite of himself, Sonny knelt back down on the grass and glanced into the Faerie queen’s improvised scrying pool. He had no wish to spy on Kelley. Still, he found he could not look away. . . . The wild, dangerous look on Kelley’s face made her look so much like her mother that it gave Sonny a hollow feeling in the pit of his stomach. But not nearly as much as the last, lingering image that flared up in the water—the image of Kelley throwing her arms around another man.”

Can you tell us your favorite Fantasy Author, Book and Movie?
Guy Gavriel Kay is one of my all-time fave fantasy authors for his Fionavar Tapestry Trilogy (so there’s my author and book answer all rolled into one—you can get the trilogy in a lovely collected edition now—I read these books when I was a teenager and just loved them. Still do!)

As for fave fantasy movie? Can I go trilogy again?—it’s really all one story… I’m going to say the Lord of the Rings trilogy. I have a lot of faves in this department but I do truly love these movies.

What other projects are you working on?
Well, like I said, I just finished writing the third book in the WONDROUS STRANGE trilogy… and my editor is a speedy goddess so I imagine I’ll have revisions back on that in no time.

Meanwhile, I have another YA project I’m working on currently—I can’t say much but I can tell you it has elements of the paranormal, and a strong historical bent and there’s also a somewhat complicated romantic angle to it. And maybe time travel. Maybe. But you didn’t hear it from me. Also, there is another project that has recently started banging on the doors of my frontal lobes. And, of course, I’m always open to considering the possibility of more stories set in the WONDROUS universe, you know…..

So far, what has been the most surprising response to your book?
It’s all been surprising to me! It’s funny—as an author, you’ve been living with these characters inside your head and then the book is done and it’s ready to be published and all of a sudden you send them out into the world and you get to see how they fend for themselves. And when all of a sudden, you start getting email from readers who obviously care a great deal about your creations, it’s really gratifying and thrilling and marvelous. Also a bit humbling. The foreign reader-response has been really cool, too! When I get fans from Italy and Spain telling me how much they love Sonny and Kelley… that’s pretty freaking awesome!

Is there any additional info you would like to add?
Not so much info, but how about a great big “Thank You” to all of the people out there who have come with me so far on this adventure! I hope you enjoy the next chapter in the story of Sonny and Kelley and company. And all the best of the season—I hope it’s a magickal time for everyone!

And thanks, Tina! This was much fun!
Cheers,
Lesley


Thanks Lesley!

For more information about Lesley Livingston and her books, please visit her website here.

31 comments :

  1. Great interview! It is always nice to learn more about an author. Especially one from my area.

    Happy holidays!

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  2. Great interview! I am AMAZED that she lives in Toronto! *bounces for Canadian authors*

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  3. Great Interview.I stll haven't read the first book,but know I have to :)
    Got to support our Canadian Authors :)

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  4. Great Interview! :)
    I cant wait to hear more about her new WIP! From what she teased it sounded good! :)

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  5. Ooo...she's working on another paranormal YA book? I'm excited now! And I can't wait til they release the cover of the third book in the Wondrous Strange series. The first two were gorgeous!

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  6. That teaser WAS mean...especially since I haven't read Darklight yet :P And a paranormal? With time travel? Sign me up! I can't wait! Great interview!

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  7. great interview, love hearing from authors about thier writng

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  8. As much as I don't want this trilogy to end I have to say that the next project sounds excellent. Great interview!

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  9. I had had no idea she was from Canada! And YAY for her writing another paranormal YA novel!

    Great interview!

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  10. Great interview. That is so interesting that you are a Shakespearian actress.

    lizzi0915 at aol dot com

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  11. Great interview. It always gives me such insight into a book when I can see how the author feels about their creation.

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  12. Wonderful interview! I would love to read these books!

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  13. Really Awesome Interview. I LOVE Shakespeare So It Was Nice To Know He Was One Author Who Helped Inspire Your Style.

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  14. Oooh...that teaser is so juicy! Can't wait to read Darklight now...

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  15. Thanks for the interview. Her new YA project sounds awesome!

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  16. Great interview and the new YA sounds very interesting!! I really love the covers on your books...they are so pretty.

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  17. Ms. Livingston seems to hold to the "write what you know" school of thought, and it definitely works for these books. Can't wait for the final book of the trilogy!

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  18. Kudos to another Canadian author. Had no idea that she was Canadian as well.

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  19. I didn't know Leslie was Canadian. I don't think many YA writers are from Canada. Great to learn some new things about her.

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  20. Great interview! I can't wait to hear more about her upcoming books.

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  21. Loving this author.

    I love Lord of the Rings Trilogy too! One of THE best movies I have ever seen. I like watching it every now and then [my friends think I'm lame, but pfft! Forget em :]

    Nice Q+A, by the way. I would have never thought of those questions :)

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  22. These two books are already in my "TO READ LIST" but have now been pushed up close to the top after reading that great teaser. Thanks Lesley!

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  23. Have added this trilogy to my wishlist. Can't wait to read it. I love books about Faerie lore so these are definitely on my list.

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  24. This was a great intereview with Leslie. I have enjoyed all I have read here. You have an awsome blog. Hope 2010 will be a terrific year for you.
    I have not read any of Leslie's book so would be delighted to be the winner, Thanks for the great contest.

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  25. This is a great interview. The teaser has me biting my nails even when I don't yet know the characters. :>

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  26. Great Interview! Faeries...my kinda book :)

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  27. Loved the interview. It's always inspirational to hear an author talk about a book they've written. polo-puppy-fluffy AT hotmail (dot) com

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  28. OMG! Totally loved that teaser! Awesome and informative interview. :D

    ~Briana

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  29. Thats some teaser man! Great interview. =)

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