Wednesday, April 07, 2010

SPOTTED: Leah Cypess & Mistwood

Hi guys! Today, I'm with the awesome author of Mistwood, Leah Cypess! I've taken this chance to ask her about her writing, as well as about her upcoming debut novel.

What inspired you to write Mistwood?

The idea for the first scene came into my head, and it all just flowed from there.

What is your purpose in writing Mistwood?

I don't know if I had a "purpose," other than to write a good book!

What lessons will the readers pick up from your novel?

That's up to the reader. :)

What do you like about Shapeshifters?

I love animals, and I love the idea of being able to turn into different types of animals, to experience the world in non-human ways and to use abilities that ordinary people don't have.

So, here in my country, people believe that we have shapeshifters in the far provinces. They turn into dog-like creatures or sometimes, cats. And some claim that they become half-animal and half-human. Do you have a shapeshifter belief in your place/country that you can share?

Wow! That's fascinating; I'd love to find out more about that. I live in the northeast United States, where the most popular type of shapeshifter seems to be werewolves -- at least, for people to read about; I don't know how many people actually believe in them.

What was it like writing how your character changes form?

It was definitely challenging! On the first round, I just relied on my instincts and imagination. Later I did research into specific animal senses and abilities.


Favorite book?

I have so many favorite books that I feel like every time someone asks me this question, I give a different answer! But today I'll go with The King of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner.

Favorite author?

Same as above... but to pick one: Connie Willis.

Favorite movie?

The Last Unicorn. (This one, there's no question about!)

Favorite among the characters of your novel and why?

Isabel is my favorite, because she's the character I started with, and the character whose actions and decisions are most crucial to the book. I also like to think that she's a very unique character.

Favorite scene in Mistwood?

I think the very last scene is probably my favorite.

Was there a part of the novel that was hard to write?

There are two scenes in the beginning, one in the practice yard and one on a riding trip, that were added late in the revision process. They were hard because I had to both figure out that they needed to be there, and then write them, in a very short time period, which is not the way I usually work.

Did you include any personal experiences in the novel? Or was there a part of the novel that was inspired from your personal experience?
I am aware that much of the characterization of anything I write is probably inspired by my personal experience, or by my own reactions to the experiences of close friends and family. I try not to do too much psychoanalysis of my books, though! On a more mundane level, I did some fencing in college, which helped with the swordfighting scenes.

How does your mood affect your writing?

Usually I write when I'm in a fairly positive mood. If I'm very sad, I usually can't write at all. If I'm very angry, it's a toss-up -- some times I can't write at all, sometimes I just pour words onto the page.

Is it important that you are in an ambience that you like when you write? If yes, why?

Fortunately not! I wrote most of Mistwood on the subway; did the bulk of my pre-submission revisions in a hotel lobby in Rochester, Minnesota; and did most of my editor-guided revisions while at a playground watching my daughter. So I'm flexible.

Do you listen to music when you write? Do you have a specific song in mind?

I never listen to music when I write. I sometimes listen when I revise, but I have no specific song.

Do you write continuously or do you take breaks?

I let myself be guided by how the writing is going. When I start slowing down and can't think of what comes next, I usually take a break.

What are you working on now?

I'm working with my editor on a companion novel to Mistwood, and working on my own on a few other new projects.

What tips can you give to aspiring writers (like me)?

I recently saw this quote on Mandy Hubbard's blog: "A published author is an amateur who didn't quit. Don't quit." I think that's the best advice I can give! I would also suggest that you pace yourself in your writing development... first find your own voice and style, then find a critique group to polish it, and only then should you start worrying about publication.

What would you like to say to the people who have read Mistwood or have included your novel in their wishlists and/or to-be-read piles?


Thank you for dropping by Leah!

Mistwood will be available in bookstores on April 27, 2010!

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 Mistwod.

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.
If you're interested, you can watch the trailer below.

1 comment:

  1. wow! awesome interview Precious! can't wait to read Mistwood! =)