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Sunday, June 13, 2010

Author Interview: Leah Cypess (Mistwood)

Everyone please welcome Leah Cypess, author of Mistwood. Thank you so much for doing this interview! I have yet to read Mistwood but I am sure it'll be a great read!

In Leah's words, "I wrote my first story in first grade. The narrator was an ice-cream cone in the process of being eaten. In fourth grade, I wrote my first book, about a girl who gets shipwrecked on a desert island with her faithful and heroic dog (a rip-off of both The Black Stallion and all the Lassie movies, very impressive). However, I took a few detours along the way to becoming a full-time writer. After selling my first story (Temple of Stone) while in high school, I gave in to my mother's importuning to be practical and majored in biology at Brooklyn College. I then went to Columbia Law School and practiced law for almost two years at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, a large law firm in New York City. I kept writing and submitting in my spare time, and finally, a mere 15 years after my first short story acceptance, I am going to be a published novelist. I am very excited about this! I live in Brookline, Massachusetts (right outside of Boston) with my husband Aaron, a researcher and doctor at the Joslin Diabetes Center, and our two daughters."

For more info on Leah, visit her site(s):

Mistwood by Leah Cypess
Genre: Young Adult Fiction
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Pages: 320

Summary: The Shifter is an immortal creature bound by an ancient spell to protect the kings of Samorna. When the realm is peaceful, she retreats to the Mistwood. But when she is needed she always comes. Isabel remembers nothing. Nothing before the prince rode into her forest to take her back to the castle. Nothing about who she is supposed to be, or the powers she is supposed to have. Prince Rokan needs Isabel to be his Shifter. He needs her ability to shift to animal form, to wind, to mist. He needs her lethal speed and superhuman strength. And he needs her loyalty—because without it, she may be his greatest threat. Isabel knows that her prince is lying to her, but she can't help wanting to protect him from the dangers and intrigues of the court . . . until a deadly truth shatters the bond between them. Now Isabel faces a choice that threatens her loyalty, her heart . . . and everything she thought she knew.

Now Available in Bookstores!

Book Trailer:


Author Interview:

1) How old were you when you started writing?

LC: Six years old, or so I’m told. My parents still have a copy of my first story, which I wrote in first grade, told from the point of view of an ice-cream cone.

2) What inspired you to write Mistwood?

LC: I don’t remember what spurred it, but I had an image in my mind of a supernatural creature being hunted in a misty woods. I wrote down that scene… and then just kept writing.

3) Are the characters in the books based on someone you know?

LC: I’m sure bits and pieces of people I know are in a lot of my characters… but no, I didn’t consciously base them on anyone.

4) What was the hardest part about writing Mistwood?

LC: I wrote large parts of Mistwood while I was working at a law firm, and the only time I had to write was during my subway commute. I would sit on the subway and write scenes in notebooks, but I rarely had time to type them into my computer. When I left law and started writing full-time, I had literally dozens of scenes and snippets of conversation and description that I had to put together in a way that made sense. I had even written some scenes twice, and had to decide which version I liked better (or piece together a new scene out of the parts of each version I liked better). The whole process was rather difficult!

5) If you had to describe your book in one word, what would it be and why?

LC: Early on in the acquisitions process, my editor used the word “atmospheric.” I think I like that one, because it captures one of the main reasons I love fantasy – the way it can make you feel like you’re somewhere else entirely.

6) I see you've written a good amount of stories, do you prefer writing short stories or novels?

LC: I prefer writing novels; when a plot idea or a character comes to my mind, I almost always think of it as the start of a book. Very few ideas come to me saying, “I should be a short story!” I probably have as many novels in progress as stories, but the stories get finished faster, which is probably why there are more of them out there.

7) Do you have any other projects you're currently working on?

LC: There’s a companion book to Mistwood, which is scheduled for 2011. I’m also writing another novel set in the world of Mistwood, and a project or two set in our own world as well.

8) What book are you currently reading?

LC: Right now I’m in middle of All Unquiet Things by Anna Jarzab, and I’m really enjoying it.

9) Do you have anything to say to all your readers?

LC: Thanks for being my readers!

10) Tell us something about yourself that no one knows about.

LC: When I was in sleep-away camp the summer before high school, during morning wake-up I would put my pillow over my face and lie flat in my sleeping bag so that it looked like I wasn’t there. Then I would sneak off into the woods and go exploring by myself. I managed to time these excursions so that no one ever found out.


iluvhersheys_andbooks said...

Great Interview Eleni!!! I can't wait to read her book. Its so cool how she ended up writing some of her book on the subway. I really want to be an author and a lawyer, so it seems like I'll be finding my inspiration on the bus. Great interview, I really need to get my hands on this book!!!

Vixen Pearl said...

Agreed, this was a nice interview. Your book looks very interesting, Leah. I love how you squeeze in writing between lawyering--what an accomplishment! I can't imagine how tough it must have been to combine the two. Congrats on the publication. I always like to see good Fantasy being pubbed, for whatever age group. :) I'll be looking for Mistwood. Thanks for a great read.

Alyssa Kirk @ Teens Read and Write said...

I just picked this up from the library and am looking forward to getting started! Amazing that it took her 15 years - talk about perseverance! The cover has great atmosphere so I imagine the book will be even more so!

Book Butterfly (Kim) said...

I'm really impressed with Leah Cypress after reading this interview--I can't WAIT to get this book too. Excellent job!

Cleverly Inked said...

I enjoyed this interview...I also thought when she said she ripped off Lassie and Black Stallion was hilarious

Amanda said...

Great post!
Btw, there's a blog award for you at my Blog!

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