Today I'm excited to welcome Leah Cypess, author of Mistwood and Nightspell to The Serpentine Library. Not only does Ms Cypess write awesome characters like Isabel, Clarisse, Darri and Callie, she's also a fan of The Queen's Thief series! Plus she has some awesome books on her TBR.
Welcome to The Serpentine Library, Ms Cypess! Can you tell us a little about Nightspell?
Nightspell is set in a kingdom where an ancient spell forces murder victims to come back as ghosts and seek vengeance on their killers. Centuries later, this has resulted in a society where the living and the dead co-exist uneasily. When a warrior princess rides into this kingdom on a quest to save her sister, she will be forced to reexamine beliefs she has never before questioned – and untangle a conspiracy that threatens the balance of power between the living and the dead.
Was it easier or harder to write a second book set in the same world as Mistwood?
I wrote the first draft of Nightspell before getting the offer for Mistwood, so though they were theoretically set in the same world even then, there wasn’t any explicit connection between them; after all, I didn’t know if Mistwood would ever be published. After both were accepted for publication, I decided to connect them more closely. I didn’t realize how difficult that would be, and how much would have to change. It was one of the most difficult revisions I’ve ever done.
If you could bring any of your characters to life, which one would you choose?
Ven. He could explain magic to me!
I read that you are a fan of country music. If a country song was written about Nightspell, what would it be called and who would you want to sing it?
Mmm… “Ghosts of Yesterday” sounds like a country song, doesn’t it? And I would want Trisha Yearwood or Lee Ann Womack to sing it.
If you could choose any character from another book to come “visit” your characters and spend some time in Samorna, who would they be?
Eugendies from Megan Whalen Turner’s Attolia series. I would love to see him come up against Isabel or Clarisse. In fact, I would pay a lot of money to witness either of those confrontations. (**sidebar: so would I!)
I’m a complete Megan Whalen Turner fangirl! Her Queen’s Thief books are high on my list of favorites. How did it feel to have her blurb Mistwood?
I promise, I answered the last question before I read this one! But as you can tell, I share your Megan Whalen Turner fandom. In fact, I was rereading The King of Attolia when I got the formal offer for Mistwood, and I couldn’t believe I was going to be published by the same imprint as her! Later, I met her at ALA, and she asked if I had an extra ARC. Needless to say, I gave her the one in my bag. I was ecstatic when I found out she blurbed the book.
I love hearing about books authors are excited about reading. What are three books on your “to be read” list or three books you’re looking forward to reading?
I’m really looking forward for three soon-to-be-released books: The Demon’s Surrender by Sarah Rees Brennan, Ultraviolet by R.J. Anderson, and Prized by Caragh O’Brien.