Interview: Leah Cypess

As part four of Leah Cypess week, I was able to do a fun interview with Leah! If you're into shape-shifitng in general, she has a long list of her recommendations that I recommend you check out. :)

Very clickable links: {website}, {goodreads}, {amazon}

 1. Disregarding the official summary, if you had to summarize Mistwood using the words "silly," "slow," and "boring" in any context, what would you say?

Ooh, very tricky. And just to challenge myself, I'm going to refrain from putting "not" in front of any of those words (though for the record, in MY opinion Mistwood is not silly, not slow, and not boring! Okay, I guess that goes without saying...)

So here goes:

Isabel's slow, peaceful existence in the Mistwood is disrupted when she is summoned to the Samornian palace. According to Prince Rokan, she is an ancient shapeshifter bound to protect him from his enemies. Isabel can't remember her past or use her powers, and at first she's not sure why Rokan needs her help at all. But beneath the placid veneer of the court, with its silly noblewomen and boring banquets, a conspiracy is stirring. Only Isabel can stop it in time... but at the root of the conspiracy lies a secret that will threaten everything she believes herself to be.

2. Is there a specific scene or character that you think readers will love?

Angie over at Angieville actually picked out, as her favorite scene, one of MY favorite scenes, and reproduced it on her blog. So I'll refer you over to her:

3. Was there any particular event that inspired you and made you think, "oh, I have to write Mistwood!" or was it more of a gradual process?

Neither and both. I got an idea in my head that made me grab a pen and think, "I have to write!", and I wrote the first chapter in a rush; but as far as I know there was no external event that triggered it. And since I didn't know what the book was going to be about after that first chapter, the rest of the plot developed more gradually.

4. From reading the excerpt, Isabel sounds insecure yet fiercely determined. Especially considering her supposedly being a Shifter, would you say she leans toward human or animal/nature or both?

It varies depending on the circumstances she's facing. When she's in animal form, she's more animal, and when she's in human form, she thinks more like a human being... and that's about all I can say without spoilers!

5. If you had a shape-shifting ability, what would your favorite form be and why?

I would love to be a bird... flying sounds like one of the most freeing things in the world, especially if, as a bird, I didn't have to deal with a fear of heights.

6. So, back to Prince Rokan, I think he has a very unque, beautiful name. Is there a story behind his name? What's your favorite character name?

Nope, no story - just a combination of syllables that sounded good to me and seemed to fit his character (one of the perks of writing fantasy!) Most of the male character names in Mistwood actually changed during revision, since in the first draft they all seemed to have "k"s in them; my editor pointed this out and suggested that I try a little variety. Rokan was one of the names I determined not to change.

7. In hindsight, if you could go back in time, would there be any part of Mistwood's writing/publishing process that you would change?

A part of me wants to say that I would have finished and sent Mistwood to editors sooner; I was writing an urban fantasy at the same time that had vampires in it, and I decided to send that one out first, because I figured vampires were commercial. Turns out that even though I started that book way before the current vampire craze, I had managed to write all through that craze and then finally finish it just as everyone was getting sick of vampires. I am incredibly commercially savvy like that.

But the truth is, in the end I couldn't be happier with how things worked out. I got an offer from an amazing editor at one of my dream imprints, and I am amazed by the extent to which my publisher has gotten behind my book. It was definitely worth the wait.

8. In one word, what is the most important thing about writing?


9. Are there any other projects you're currently working on?

Several -- I like to work on a number of projects at once. One of them is a companion book to Mistwood, which I am currently revising with my editor.

10. And that about wraps it up. Is there anything else you'd like to say to readers?

Thank you for reading the interview and for your interest in Mistwood (if you are interested!) And thanks, Jenn, for featuring me.

Thank you, Leah!

Yay for companion books! And kudos for Leah's great summary. I hope you're interested in Mistwood too! :D