Name: Leah Cypess
Debut Group: Class of 2k10
Debut novel: MISTWOOD
New books - none yet (PJH: except for NIGHTSPELL, below), but I've got a duology about assassins that I'm working on frantically; the first one is scheduled for publication in Winter 2014. I'm really, really excited about these books.
New degrees - Nope. Though I really do know a lot more about assassins than I used to.
New pets -- Nope. But even better, I have a new baby! He's seven months old and... wait, I have pictures here somewhere... wait, what was I supposed to be talking about? Oh, right...
NIGHTSPELL (Greenwillow, May 31, 2011)
PJH: If you could summarize to a debut novelist the best part of being a member of an author group like the “Class of” groups, what would you say?
LC: Having people to share this crazy experience with! I'm incredibly grateful and fortunate to be published, but while Ionce saw publication as the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, now I realize that it's only the beginning of a journey that has very high highs but also very low lows. Being around people going through the same experience played a large part in keeping me sane(ish).
PJH: Though I absolutely loved being a debut author, I’m really thrilled with all the experience I’ve gained since. What advice would you give to those who are debuting now? What do you wish you had known when you started out?
LC: I wish I had known that for the most part, your publisher isn't going to tell you anything unless you (or your agent) asks them. Don't assume no news is bad news; instead, assume that everyone in publishing is doing the job of two people and doesn't necessarily have the time to remember to email you updates. (Yes, even though you ARE the author.) I also wish I had known how much marketing can take over your life. With regard to marketing, my advice would be to pick certain things that you're going to do - things that are both effective AND not incredibly draining for you -- , and do exactly that. Budget the time you spend on promotion. Self-marketing is required for most writers, but if possible, you should never allow promotion to become more important than writing the next book.
PJH: In addition to writing the next mega-million bestselling novel, what do you want to accomplish in the next five years? Do you want to write five more books? Get your black belt in Kung Fu? Walk the Great Wall of China? Let’s hear it.
LC: Oddly enough, learning martial arts is one of my goals for the next five years! Another is getting my desk organized. (Chances are, I will become a black belt first.) I have more book ideas than I do time to write them, so if I could write five books in the next five years, that would be fantastic. I also want to step up my short story writing, which I really enjoy and which tends to fall to the wayside when novel deadlines loom. And while the Great Wall of China is on my bucket list, in the near future I'd really like to travel to Nova Scotia. It's close enough that it seems like it should be doable even with three small children.
MISTWOOD (Greenwillow, April 27, 2010)
PJH: Anything else you want to add? Five reasons to read your book? A picture of your writing space? How you celebrated when you signed your contract? Your choice!
LC: I signed my contract about a month after accepting the offer, and by then I was knee-deep in revisions! When I got the call, though, I jumped around my living room for a solid ten minutes. Which was pretty impressive, as I was seven months pregnant at the time.
Five reasons to read my book(s):
1. You like tough heroines.
2. You like fantasy-mystery combinations.
3. You like books that take place in different kinds of worlds.
4. You like books where the characters face tough choices.
5. You are breathing.
LC: Thank you so much for having me on your blog!
PJH: Thank you so much for being here!
BIO: Leah Cypess is the author of two young adult fantasy novels, MISTWOOD & NIGHTSPELL, with another fantasy duology scheduled for release in 2014. She has also published numerous short stories. She lives in Brookline, Massachusetts with her family.
Thanks for helping me celebrate former debuts! And if you are a former debut and are interested in being featured, check out this post here!