Jun 8

Tenner Tuesday! Lindsey Leavitt

Over the next 7 weeks or so I’m going to be doing a post every Tuesday to celebrate the awesomeness of some of my fellow 2010 debut authors and their books! Some of their books are Middle Grade and others are Young Adult, but all are filled with amazing!

For my first interview I have with me middle grade author, Lindsey Leavitt and her book Princess For Hire which released just a few months ago! Not only is this book cute and funny but it’s also funny and cute…and besides she has an awesome name, doesn’t she? (even if she doesn’t spell it correctly)

Here is a little bit about Lindsey and her book, Princess For Hire, before I get on to my interview!

Lindsey Leavitt grew up in Las Vegas and now lives in Alabama but recently moved BACK to Las Vegas with her husband andthree small daughters. Although she has been a substitute teacher and a homecoming princess, she has never been a substitute princess. Yet. She’s still scanning the Want Ads…

Princess For Hire Blurb! When a flawlessly dressed woman steps out of an iridescent bubble and wants to know, like, now if you’d like to become a substitute princess, do you

a) run
b) faint
c) say Yes!

For Desi Bascomb, who’s been longing for a bit of glamour in her Idaho life, the choice is a definite C–that is, once she can stop pinching herself. As her new agent Meredith explains, Desi has a rare magical ability: when she applies the ancient Egyptian formula “Royal Rouge,” she can transform temporarily into the exact lookalike of any princess who needs her subbing services. Dream come true, right? Well, Desi soon discovers that subbing involves a lot more than wearing a tiara and waving at cameras. Like, what do you do when a bullying older sister puts you on a heinous crash diet? Or when the tribal villagers gather to watch you perform a ceremonial dance you don’t know? Or when a princess’s conflicted sweetheart shows up to break things off–and you know she would want you to change his mind? In this hilarious, winning debut, one girl’s dream of glamour transforms into something bigger: the desire to make a positive impact. And an impact Desi makes, one royal fiasco at a time.

Now onto the interview!

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

I was always a writer. I kept journals, made up silly poems for friends, and plotted novels in my head at night. I just always thought I needed a creative writing degree or celebrity status to become published. So it wasn’t until I quit teaching to stay home with my youngest daughter that I started researching how the book business worked. I began to take writing much more seriously and actually let myself hope that I could become an author.

How long does it generally take you to write a book from those first words to the very last?

Ha! I wish I had a consistent answer for that. If I can get a solid, revised manuscript done in a year, I’m feeling good. And it can take longer than that since I like to have two projects going at once.

What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?

First drafts are hard for me, and take the most amount of time. I work on these whenever I can, but can’t follow too much structure. Now, when I have revisions, I’ll work up to eight hours a day—four with a sitter/during school, and another four once my kids are in bed.
 I go into a haze during this time, not really focusing on much else (like cleaning or communing with the living or showering) until it’s done.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk…come on…I know you have one!

I must have my feet up. At home, I alternate between my Lazy Boy or the chaise on my couch. When I’m at café’s or the library, I pull a chair over. I take the laptop name very, very literally.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

Play! Seriously, I get pretty stir crazy when I’m on the computer too much. I love the outdoors, or playing sports, or hanging out with my family and friends. Variety makes me happy.

What do you think makes a good story?

My agent, Sarah Davies, is actually doing an excellent series of posts on this right now. http://www.greenhouseliterary.com/index.php/site/sarahs_blog

She breaks it down really well, but I also think literary magic happens when an author figures out their writing strength and really pushes themselves in that area. That’s not to say we can’t do well across the board, but it helps to know who you are as a writer.

What kind of research went into writing your book if any?

More than I thought, that’s for sure. Although none of the countries in PRINCESS FOR HIRE are real countries, I researched all sorts of countries and royal traditions and tweaked them to suit my needs for the story. I’ve found lots of people automatically think about Europe when it comes to royalty, so I really tried to think outside of the box when it came to that.

Have you ever had someone try to match make for you and if so, how did it go?

No, I was more the matchmaker. I’ve done it a couple of times or my brother-in-laws and let’s just say it didn’t go well. Hey, I just lead the horse, er… family member, to the water. What they do next isn’t on me.

Because I think you should always save room for dessert, as a child, what was your favorite dessert? And what is your favorite dessert now?

I am no respecter of desserts. Seriously, I have the biggest sweet tooth in the world (which is why I married a dentist. Gotta keep these teeth). Today my favorite is a really good chocolate chip cookie. Ask me tomorrow and it’ll probably be a cannoli. Mmmm, cannoli.

What do you hope to leave your readers with once they’ve finished your book?

I hope they close the pages and are happy. It’s an escapist read, and if I can make some one smile or laugh for a few hours, I’ve done my job.

What question would you like to ask me?

Why do you spell your name with an A instead of with the more correct E?

Well, LindsEy…it’s just cause I’m cool like that…and I like the minor confusion that crosses someone’s face that sort of says “why do you spell your name with an A instead of with the more correct E?”

Thanks so much for joining me, Lindsey!

To order Princess for Hire click HERE! And you can visit Lindsey on her website at www.lindseyleavitt.com

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