1.Tell us a little about yourself.
I used to be a practicing lawyer in New York City, and am now a
full-time writer in Boston. I much prefer my current situation. I
write fantasy, mostly YA; I sold my first short story when I was in
high school, to Marion Zimmer Bradley's Fantasy Magazine, and have
been trying to sell a book ever since. I still haven't gotten over the
rush of adrenaline from finally hearing "yes."
2.What got you started writing? What brought you to YA?
I wrote my first story at the end of first grade, about half a year
after I learned the ABCs, so I think it must have been inborn. And I
MISTWOOD, which was released on April 27, is a fantasy novel about an immortal shapeshifter bound to protect the members of the royal family. At the beginning of the book, she is in her woods with no memory of her past or her powers. When the current prince summons her to his castle, she will have to protect him while keeping her powerlessness a secret and trying to find out what went wrong... until she begins to suspect that the prince knows more about her past than he's telling her.
4.Do you plot out in advance, or just start writing and see where
things go from there?
I start writing and see where things go. When I wrote the first
chapter of Mistwood, I didn't even know if it was going to be a novel
or a short story.
5.Many authors have told me their characters talk to them, and
sometimes even have different ideas of where the story should go than
the author. Do you hear your characters?
I would say they talk to me, but they do definitely sometimes take
control of the story. Including challenging my preconceived ideas
about which of them are going to be minor characters.
6.Who is your favorite character (of your own)?
My main character, Isabel.
7.What hobbies do you have when you're not writing?
I like reading, hiking, and biking. Upon occasion, I also like cooking.
8.If you had not become a writer what would you have done instead?
I might be a lawyer, since I do have a law degree. On the other hand,
if I hadn't been so focused on needing a practical "day job," I might
have chosen something equally impractical as my vocation. Possibly
9.Where can readers find you online?
At my website, http://www.leahcypess.com/. I'm also a member of a group blog
for writers of YA Fantasy, The Enchanted Inkpot
10.Your turn. What question do you have for readers of Want My YA?
I'm curious about what kinds of features make you most interested in
checking out a book - reviews, interviews, author guest blogs,
excerpts, or contests?
Thank you so much for being with me here at Want My YA today, Leah! Love your responses. :) In answer to your question....for me it's usually a review that first calls my attention to a book. I try not to be too swayed by opinion (though I do get caught up in the excitement if someone is gushing), but reviews do tend to tell me about books I might not have heard about otherwise.