Querytracker.net forum. There were only a few of us back then and we formed a tight-knit group that is still one of my main sources for support and inspiration. We were all just starting out on our querying journeys back then, but it has always been evident that Leah has what it takes to be a rock star :) It has been a pure joy and thrill to see Leah find her incredible agent, Rosemary Stimola, and, most recently, land an amazing three book deal.
Her first book, A Touch Mortal, will be coming in Winter 2011 from GreenWillow / HarperCollins. I asked her to stop by and answer a few questions about her writing and new book.
MM: When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
LC: I've known I wanted to be a writer pretty much forever. It sounds cliche, but my grandmother used to read to me when I was little, and as soon as I figured out the stories were made up by people, I knew that's what I wanted to do.
MM: How long did it take you to write your book?
LC: It took me about 8 months, with about 5 months of that lost to writer's block where I just couldn't figure out where the story was going. I ended up adding another POV and it changed the entire book and I was able to finish it rather quickly!
MM: I know some writers only like to write when the mood strikes them, and some have a set schedule. What is your work schedule like when you're writing?
LC: Well, I have a day job, so I work on the writing during pretty much all of my free time. I usually wake up early to get a few hundred words in, go to work and get a majority of my writing done after. My prime hours are at night from 11pm until 2 or 3 am. I'm a night owl.
MM: We writers can sometimes be a strange bunch :D What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
LC: I *HAVE* to have a song for each scene. Until I find my song, I can't write the scene. Sometimes finding the song takes longer than the actual writing.
MM: What do you like to do when you're not writing?
LC: Wait...there's supposed to be downtime? Oops.
MM: LOL Well, I guess downtime can be optional for writers ;-D What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
LC: How a character can change your whole idea of what's supposed to happen. When I was writing A Touch Mortal, the characters just kind of took over and dragged me along with them. I've learned to just go with it. Fighting it was what led to my writer's block, and once I let go and let them tell the story, everything fell into place.
MM: You had several offers of representation – what made you choose your agent?
LC: Ro (Rosemary Stimola) and I had very similar ideas of what an agent/client relationship should be like, which had me leaning toward her after our phone conversation. She just fit me best in so many ways.
MM: Can you tell us a bit about your book?
LC: This is a mishmash of my query and the PM announcement...
Death isn't what Eden expected. Where the hell is her release? Her quiet ending? Not that Eden remembers the details of her final hours, but one thing is for sure--becoming a Sider, trapped between life and death, was definitely not part of the plan...
For Eden, nothing seems to be coming easy. Somehow, word's gotten around that her power can kill her own kind. With desperate Siders already camping out on her doorstep, the last thing Eden needs is the rumor to spread. Especially since it's true...
When her ability pulls her into a feud between Fallen and Bound Angels, she'll have to figure out who to trust and get to the truth behind her death, even if the answers will alter heaven, hell and everything in-between.
MM: Sounds like an amazing book! What can you tell us about your next project?
LC: The next project will be the second book in the series, which I'm working on in between edits.
MM: Thanks so much for stopping by, Leah. I have no doubt your series is going to be a huge success!
For more information on Leah and her work, check out her website, and her awesome vlog group, The YA Rebels. You can also find her on her Facebook page and Twitter.