So, today was my day on Lesley Livingston’s Once Every Never blog tour. As you can probably tell, I didn’t post a review. I wanted to post a review. Hell, I wanted to write a review. But that would require having read the book, something I haven’t done yet. Why, you ask? Well, I’ll tell you: my review copy is one of the victims of the postal strike.
So the fine folks at Penguin Canada are sending me out another copy. I PROMISE as soon as it lands in my hands I’ll stop WHATEVER I’m doing and read it. Honestly. But in the mean time I have this awesome Q&A with Leslie.
Colleen: Was it hard to write about new characters?
Leslie: It was a bit of a gear-shift, admittedly, going from the three WONDROUS STRANGE books to ONCE EVERY NEVER. I don’t know that I’d say it was hard… it was certainly fun! One of the advantages to writing Clare’s story after Kelley Winslow’s is that they are such completely different books. Faerie Shenanigans versus Time Travel? The only similarity, I guess, is that Clare is briefly mistaken for one of the ‘Fair Folk’ when she shimmers into existence in 1st Century Britain out of thin air! But she’s quite a different protagonist than Kelley, and along with Milo and Allie and Connal and Comorra, I didn’t really have too much difficulty breaking away from my Faerie-infested New York Cityscapes and slipping into a story on the Other Side of the Pond. (Waaayy on the Other Side—spatially and temporally!)
Colleen: What does a day in the life of Lesley the writer look like?
Leslie: What does it look like? When I’m working on a deadline, which I just was, it ain’t pretty. Heh. There are coffee stains everywhere. And aggrieved cats. And a brooding, jungle-ish garden on the other side of the window that looks as if it may be hiding jaguars and poisonous reptiles. There are haphazard sticky notes on the white board in the corner, an iPod that hopefully I remembered to charge the night before on the desk (usually not), a stack of research books accumulating in perilously teetering piles on either side of my chair and probably an empty bowl that had hosted Multigrain Cheerios earlier. And then there’s me. Bleary eyed, hair in a ponytail, muttering darkly, hunched over Bob’s keyboard (Bob is the name of my Mac Air) as I try to muscle a sentence into submission… In truth, I should probably do yoga or meditate or something for an hour before I start pounding away at the keys. It might make for less crazy.
Colleen: What is your editing process?
Leslie: I tend to edit as I go, and how many times a scene or a sentence or a chapter gets a going-over varies wildly. Sometimes there are entire exchanges that remain almost unaltered from the minute I first typed the words. Then there are the paragraphs that, once I hand in my “First Draft” to my editor, are already on draft #72. I’m always going back and folding in other stuff as I move forward; shifting around, cutting and expanding, playing with scene placement and arc. And then, once I get my edits back, it’s pretty much the same process all over again, only this time, with another perspective to help me out and more finessing and fine-tuning. Hey—I never said it was scientific… but it seems to work for me!
Colleen: What are some of your must-reads for the summer?
Leslie: Ooh. Right now I’m reading an ARC of Kenneth Opal’s This Dark Endeavour. I’ve just started it but I think I’m going to like it! I’m also going bonkers waiting for the next book in the Dresden Files series by Jim Butcher—it’s a paranormal noir series and one of my favorites! I’ve also got some non-fiction research to catch up on—yay, comparative mythology! Perfect beach reading, right? Right…?
Thanks for the great questions, Colleen! And thanks for being part of the ONCE EVERY NEVER Blog Tour!
Colleen: Thanks for stopping by Leslie! Enjoy your beach days and “light” nonfiction reads.