Author Interview: Lesley Livingston (& Contest!)

Thursday, April 1, 2010 |

Lesley Livingston

  • Wondrous Strange
  • Darklight
Blog / Twitter / Facebook/ Myspace

What are some of your strengths and weaknesses as a writer?

I like to think one of my writing strengths is that, as a result of all of my time spent in the theatre, I have developed a certain ear for dialogue. But then, sometimes, my characters wind up talking way too much! I’m also fond of finding the humor in situations—although that can also be either a strength or a weakness, depending on how you approach it! And then sometimes when I’m writing I will become fascinated and fixated by a bit of minutiae that, in terms of wrapping my head around a story point may be crucial… but might not really be something the reader needs to know at that precise moment: a lot of times, I find myself having to go back a comb out bits of extraneous info that snuck into the prose because of that tendency. On the other hand, all of that background detail is what can give a fantastical tale its grounding… um… heh. Looking at it that way, I guess my strengths/ weaknesses tend to dovetail a bit!

Why do you write books about faeries? (Background story on how you had the idea)
I love Celtic mythology and folktales and I’ve been fascinated by Faerie lore in general since I was a kid. But the stories that intrigued me the most were never the ones that portrayed the Fae as tiny, sweet, sparkly things. Rather, I was drawn to the idea that these were the creatures that existed beyond the circle of firelight, or just on the other side of the threshold, or just over that far hill; things only ever glimpsed out of the corner of your eye – if you were lucky! I love the dangerous aspects of the Fair Folk. I always appreciated that you got that sense with Shakespeare’s characters. That, given just a little nudge, things could go badly south with those creatures pretty quickly.

How are you and Kelley alike? How are you different?
Well… we share a common background that involves a disastrous theatre school experience… and we’re both Shakespearian actors… but I think Kelley’s a little (maybe a lot!) braver than I am. I’m not so sure that I would have been able to handle moving to NYC all by myself to try and catch my big break. Also I’m reasonably certain I’m not a Faerie princess in hiding. Reasonably certain.

My real-life experiences came in very handy writing this book, though. The world of the backstage is kind of a strange and startling one if you’ve never been there and I’ve been told that the theatre scenes in the books have a particular ring of verisimilitude to them. That makes me happy and I know that’s because I’ve lived in that world.

What is the hardest aspect of writing Wondrous Strange and/or Darklight?
So far, the hardest part has had nothing to do with either of those books! Actually—that’s not, strictly speaking, accurate. It has everything to do with those books… in terms of wrapping up all the plot threads and story arc and bringing everything together for a satisfying conclusion in Book 3!! I’m working on that one right now and it has proven by far the most challenging. But, honestly, these books are just so much fun for me to write that its seems a bit petulant on my part to call any of it “hard”! ;-)

If you could pick a them song for Wondrous Strange and/or Darklight, what would it be and why?
How about a theme album? I have extensive playlists for each book I write but, for the entire WONDROUS trilogy (I just finished writing book 3 – yay!) I also listened to the Roxy Music album AVALON a lot. It has an overarching feel to it that was very appropriate to the themes and moods in the series. I recommend listening to it in order, front to back—which is not something a lot of people do anymore, I don’t think, with the advent of “shuffle play”.

What is one thing not many people know about you?
When I was kid my piano teacher wrote that I had “schizophrenic” hands. Also, I was once cast in a commercial where I had to learn a huge chunk of dialogue phonetically backward. They specifically hired me because the casting director was convinced that I was the only actor she knew who could pull it off. That’s two things, but I think they both prove the same point—that the wiring in my brain was done by the neurological equivalent of an amateur electrician! Or possibly mad scientist.

What is the best piece of advice for those young aspiring writers out there?
This is my standard advice that I give whenever I’m asked this question because it’s the best advice I ever got:

READ. Read everything. Read outside your genre. Read non-fiction. Through sheer osmosis you will pick up on cadence and structure and pacing and all that good stuff. Read read read. Aside from that? WRITE. I'm not being facetious. You can't edit a page full of nothing. And you can't call yourself a writer unless you write. Write write write. Keep writing. And then keep rewriting. And then write something else. Rinse, repeat.

Lastly, is there anything else you'd like to add?
How about a great big THANK YOU! for hosting me? :-D This was great fun, Mavie, and I really appreciate it! Thank you!

Thank you so much, Lesley!

(1) copy of Darklight to (1) lucky winner.
Faerie can't lie . . . or can they?

Much has changed since autumn, when Kelley Winslow learned she was a Faerie princess, fell in love with changeling guard Sonny Flannery, and saved the mortal realm from the ravages of the Wild Hunt. Now Kelley is stuck in New York City, rehearsing Romeo and Juliet and missing Sonny more with every stage kiss, while Sonny has been forced back to the Otherworld and into a deadly game of cat and mouse with the remaining Hunters and Queen Mabh herself.

When a terrifying encounter sends Kelley tumbling into the Otherworld, her reunion with Sonny is joyful but destined to be cut short. An ancient, hidden magick is stirring, and a dangerous new enemy is willing to risk everything to claim that power. Caught in a web of Faerie deception and shifting allegiances, Kelley and Sonny must tread carefully, for each next step could topple a kingdom . . . or tear them apart.

With breathtakingly high stakes, the talented Lesley Livingston delivers soaring romance and vividly magical characters in Darklight, the second novel in the trilogy that began with Wondrous Strange.
Thanks to Media Masters Publicity!

Official Info:

  • open to U.S. residents only
  • fill out the form below to enter
  • must be 13 years of age or older
  • April 17 is the deadline
  • check my contest policy
Winner: Liz


elizabeth said...

Great interview! Thanks for the contest :)

Christa Holland said...

Thanks for the contest! : ) And fun interview... Her hands being "schizophrenic" made me laugh.

misskallie2000 said...

Loved the interview.. I have been wanting to read this book so maybe I can win..LOL

Thanks for the opportunity to enter.,

misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

angie said...

Great interview! Thanks for the contest!

Tawania said...

Great interview and contest!

pepsivanilla said...

Hilarious interview! Thanks for the contest :)

Alyssa Kirk @ Teens Read and Write said...

I love her books - her humor and the way she surprises me are my favorite aspects of this series! Great interview!

Bianca said...

Interesting the part about what most people don't know about her! And great advice!

Thanks for the giveaway.

Book Monster said...

Amazing interview :) I love Celtic mythology as well :)

AchingHope said...

Ooh... How have I not read these books yet? I must run to the bookstore very, very soon.

Thanks for the interview. :)

Adeeva Afsheen said...

Banned complain !! Complaining only causes life and mind become more severe. Enjoy the rhythm of the problems faced. No matter ga life, not a problem not learn, so enjoy it :)

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