Thursday, January 21, 2010


Leah Cypess is the author of Mistwood.

1. What has been the most exciting part of getting published?
It’s hard to say, because every time I reach a new milestone, I find
it more exciting than the one that came before! Getting the offer was
definitely the biggest rush. Seeing the jacket cover was amazing,
especially because I love my cover so much. It was a thrill to see my
text in galleys, looking like a real book. Being a published author
has been a lifetime dream for me, so every time something happens that
reminds me that it’s real, I feel like I should pinch myself.

2. How long did it take you to get published?
A loooong time. I’ve been writing pretty much my whole life, but
started getting serious about market research and submissions during
high school, which was when I published my first short story. It’s
been more or less 15 years since I sent my first novel-length
manuscript to a publisher. (In retrospect, I’m very happy that no one
agreed to publish the book I wrote in high school!)

3. Were you faced with rejection at first? How did you handle it?
Loads and loads of rejection. :) For the most part, I took it pretty
well. I read in a NYT obituary of Katherine Hepburn that when she was
fired from a play when she was younger, she didn’t mind; talking about
it in retrospect, she said, "I am terribly afraid I just assumed I'd
be famous." I think a part of me always believed I was going to get
to be a published writer eventually. It helped that there was obvious
improvement in the types of rejections I was getting -- from form
rejections, to detailed rejections, to invitations to send more work,
to revision requests, to editors who wanted to buy my books but were
turned down by the acquisition committee.

4. Where did you get your ideas for this book?
I couldn’t tell you – the first scene just came into my head one day,
and I wrote it down without knowing whether it was going to be the
beginning of a novel or a short story. (This actually happens to me
often; usually, though, those scenes end up going nowhere.) The plot
and characters just unfurled in front of me as I wrote.

5. What do you think or hope readers will gain from your novel?
Most of all, I hope they’ll enjoy reading it! But I also hope they’ll
identify with Isabel’s struggle, and that it will be helpful to them
if they’re facing a similar struggle in their own life.

6. When writing do you outline or just begin?
I always just begin and see where the story is taking me. In
Mistwood, it took me all the way to the end! But more often, about a
third of the way in, I start writing fragments out of order, so
eventually I have stop and make an outline to impose structure on the
book. Then I come up with more ideas that don’t fit with that
outline, so I write them out, and change the outline. I’ve usually
gone through three or four outlines by the time a book is done.

7. What authors inspire you?
Any time I read a book that takes me into another world, I feel
inspired. Juliet Marillier, Megan Whalen Turner, Dave Duncan, and
Libba Bray are four examples of authors who inspire me.

8. Complete this: While writing this book I learned...
about castles, senses animals have that humans don’t, and the various
ways to throw a knife!

9. Complete this: You should buy my novel because...
if you like fantasy, adventure, and mystery with a little bit of
romance mixed in, I think you would enjoy reading Mistwood.
You all should check out Mistwood! I know I will be!


Bostan said...

very cool, Thank you!

Angiegirl said...

Thanks for this awesome interview. I am a huge Juliet Marillier fan. And a MWT one as well. Great inspirations, right there. I also just finished MISTWOOD and, wow, was it good!