Sunday, January 15, 2012

Interview & Giveaway with Lesley Livingston

1. When did you first start writing, and was there something in particular that inspired you?

Myth, legend, history. All of those stories that have been with us down through the ages in various versions and combination and permutations. Shakespeare. King Arthur. Tales of Faerie (which is not quite the same as Fairy Tales, although I love those, too). Cranky, cantankerous, amorous and bellicose gods and goddesses. All that good stuff.

2. What first attracted you to the paranormal realm when it comes to writing?

The plain fact that, so long as you can make it make sense, anything—absolutely anything—can happen. I could open up a gateway to another realm in the middle of New York City or send a teenage girl hurtling two thousand years into the past. And, in doing so, I could explore my own fascinations with history and mythology and folklore and legends. Also? It’s just so dang FUN to write!

3. In regards to your own characters, who is your favorite and why?

No fair! That’s like asking which of my cats is my favorite!

Okay… if I have to name one, I’m going to say Bob, from my WONDROUS STRANGE books. Mostly because he’s just so fun and funny and sarcastic and dangerous and unpredictable to write. Every time I had to write a Bob scene, it was as if I could hear his voice directly in my head. And that, in itself, is a real joy when it happens.

4. What other genres (besides your own) do you enjoy reading?

I’ll read pretty much anything you put in front of me. But I do enjoy historicals, historical fantasy, urban fantasy, regular fantasy, science fiction (not necessarily the really hard stuff, although I will always make exceptions), adventure, thriller. I tend to not read a lot of hardcore horror because it’s a bit like pizza right before bed—gives me nightmares!

5. If you could not be a writer, what would you be?

An actor or an artist—both of which I have been at various times in my life—because those are both something that involves the act of storytelling and that is what I love to do. Barring those professions… cat wrangler. I do that anyway.

6. As a reader I know how difficult it can be to name a ‘favorite’ book, would you mind listing your top three? (Past or present authors)

FIRELORD by Parke Godwin. The book that made me what to be a writer. It’s out of print now but it’s an incredible realistic telling of the Arthurian legend from the point of view of Arthur and the prose is stunning.

THE FIONAVAR TAPESTRY by Guy Gavriel Kay. This is actually a trilogy, but it was collected into one volume so I’m counting it as one! Ha! This is a high fantasy series that is rich and complex, but also a lot of fun. I read it when I was a teen and I think it had a lot of influence on the things I wanted to write.

Any one of the DRESDEN FILES books by Jim Butcher. I’m addicted to this urban fantasy series. Private Eye/ Wizard Harry Dresden is one of my favorite protagonists.

7. What are some must haves when you sit down to write?

Aside from my Mac Air (his name is Bob, in case you were curious), and—depending on the time of day—a cup of coffee, I don’t actually have must haves. Sometimes, I really like music (so I plug the shiny purple iPod into my head), and occasionally I require the use of a white board and multicolored pens (hey—writing about time travel and dueling mythologies can get confusing!). Also, I’m fond of my pile of research texts sitting next to my desk. At the moment, they have to do with life in the Roman Empire (for EVERY NEVER AFTER, the second book in my ONCE EVERY NEVER series), and several different ancient mythologies (for my STARLING series). Plus a guide to unexplained mysteries and a couple of fold-out maps.

But, really? I tend to write wherever and whenever I get the chance, so I long ago divested myself of the need to ritualize the experience. Now it’s just a matter of open up the file and... type. And, hopefully, the words are there when I do!

8. If you became trapped as a character in a book or series, which would you choose and why? (Any book, any series, new or old)

Someone/thing from the DRESDEN FILES books. The world Butcher has created is diverse and complex and fascinating and insane amounts of fun. And there seems to be a lot to do if you’re trapped there (mostly involving running and fighting and ducking and slinging dangerous magic around). But I’d want to be a character on Harry Dresden’s side. Because anyone else usually fairs rather poorly in the end. Actually, come to think about it, characters who are on Harry’s side frequently don’t fair much better! Hm. Okay… I’m going to have to get back to you on that one…

Thanks for the super-fun interview, Amy!!

Lesley's Newest Release:
You can read my review here.

Once Every Never:
Clarinet Reid is a pretty typical teenager. On the surface. She’s smart, but a bit of slacker; outgoing, but just a little insecure; not exactly a mischief-maker… but trouble tends to find her wherever she goes. Also? She unwittingly carries a centuries-old Druid Blood Curse running through her veins.

Now, with a single thoughtless act, what started off as the Summer Vacation in Dullsville suddenly spirals into a deadly race to find a stolen artifact, avert an explosive catastrophe, save a Celtic warrior princess, right a dreadful wrong that happened centuries before Clare was even born, and if there’s still time—literally—maybe even get a date.

This is the kind of adventure that happens to a girl once every… never.

About the Author:

Lesley is a writer and actor living in Toronto, Canada. Captivated at a young age by stories of mythology and folk lore, past civilizations, and legendary heroes, she developed into a full-fledged Celtic Mythology Geek, steeped in stories of the Otherworld, Faeries and King Arthur. Lesley went on to earn a Master’s Degree in English from the University of Toronto specializing in Shakespeare and Arthurian literature.

Find Lesley:

Website | Twitter | Facebook

Thank you Lesley for stopping by today! Lesley has offered up an amazing prize; a SIGNED and PERSONALIZED copy of Once Every Never!

Rules for entry:
- Giveaway ends on January 22, 2012 12 AM EST.
- Open Internationally.
- Leave a comment and fill out the FORM, entries will not be counted otherwise.


  1. Wow, thank you for the interview, I really enjoyed it! I like writing short stories and I also like doing with music in the background and a cup of cafe :)
    And thanks for the giveaway as well!

  2. It really was a super-fun interview, so thanks for it and for the giveaway!

  3. Thanks for the great interview.

  4. Very beautiful interview! I haven't read Wondrous Strange series yet. It must be great and the covers of books are amazing!
    Thank you for the giveaway.

  5. I could never choose what book to be trapped in but since I love the Anita Blake series by LKH, I'd definitely love to be a fellow US Marshal to help on a case!

  6. I would definitely love to be trapped in Harry Potter's world. Love Lesley's other books :)

  7. Sweet interview and giveaway!
    If I got trapped in a fantasy world it would either be Harry Potter's (as a Gryffindor witch), Iron Druid Chronicle's (so wanna be a druidess), or Grimm Legacy's (a fairy tale library keeper).
    I wonder if there will be sequels to Lesley's new release (any info)?

  8. great interview! I can't wait to read the new book. Wonderous Strange was amazing!

  9. Firelord is an excellent choice- though it was one of the best Arthurian book I have read.

    Love you answer for why you like writing paranormal books (also a very good reason for doing so).

    Lovely interview. =)

  10. What a lovely interview! I love Lesley and her Wondrous Strange series! Can't wait to read Once Every Never.

  11. We share a love of Jim Butcher.

  12. Thanks for this great giveaway and interview! I haven't read any book by Lesley, but she's definitely on my TBR list

  13. Thanks for sharing your book here- it sounds like a fun read. I'm always a fan of stories built around myths, and smart heroines. :D


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