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Author Interview - Leigh Fallon

Thursday, April 28, 2011
Leigh Fallon, whose debut novel The Carrier of the Mark will be published this Fall by HarperTeen, is joining us today with interview.

A move to Ireland is about to introduce Megan to her destiny, her real destiny, can she embrace it and will she survive it?

A tragedy in Megan’s past set her on a predetermined course. A chain of events has been set in motion that brings Megan to Kinsale, a small town in the south of Ireland where her destiny awaits her. Her life starts to fall into place as she makes new friends and settles into her new school. However, the reclusive and distant Adam DeRís calls to her body and soul.

She finds herself increasingly drawn to Adam and his strange family. Adam knows a secret from her past and he and his family hold the key to her future. A future that binds her to Adam and his world, a world of power, mystery and ancient orders. A world that unbeknownst to her, she very much belongs in.

Have you always known that you would be a writer, or did you have another childhood dream? What got you writing?
When I was a kid I wanted to be a vet, or an international show jumper.  I think at one stage I even wanted to be air stewardess (imagine? Oh I’d make an awful stewardess).  I ended up being Treasury Analyst (yeah, never saw that one coming).  Being a writer never crossed my mind until the day I started writing The Carrier of the Mark two years ago.  I was about three or four chapters into it when I suddenly realized I love this! From there I became obsessed, and I haven’t looked back since.

Would say that working in corporate finance has influenced your writing?
Seriously?  Banks… accounting… money, if ever there were a lineup of inspiration killers, that would be it.

Do you like to outline before writing? Mind sharing how you go about the writing process?
I don’t really outline actually.  My first draft is a bulky tale that starts with a couple of ideas that I trash out.  I always know how a book will end, and I ‘see’ the main scenes long before I get to them.  I write out of sequence quite a bit too.  I’m always eager to get to the juicy bits, it inspires me to go back and write a lead up befitting to the exciting scenes.

How did you come up with the idea behind The Carrier of the Mark?
I was sitting in my jeep outside of my daughters’ ballet school.  My twin babies were in the car bawling their eyes out with boredom.  I was looking for a way to escape it all for a few moments when something my dad said popped into my head. ‘everyone has a book in them’.  So taking these pearls of wisdom, I picked up some scraps of paper and started jotting down notes about a story that was stirring in my head.  Each of the characters became very clear almost immediately and the magical element was at the forefront.   The inspiration for it? Well probably the town of Kinsale, the old buildings, the eclectic mix of people, the beautiful views.  But the story went from inspiration to the makings of a book in less than 30mins on the backs of receipts and napkins.

Which character was your favorite to write about? Who was the hardest?
My favorite character, ooo that’s a difficult one.  I love them all so dearly, Caitlin was fun, she’s the most relatable character to me I guess.  But if I had to give an absolute favorite… maybe Áine.  I love her attitude and her smart ass comments.  I love the way so sees the light side of things.   The hardest character to write was actually Jennifer.  I had her as a much bitchier character in the first draft of the book, my editor didn’t really like her, so instead of getting rid of her character, I made her friendlier, so I had to do a bit of a mind shift for writing her.

What is the hardest part about working with an editor? Your favorite?
The hardest part about working with an editor is reading your first ever editor’s letter, absorbing all the ideas, revision requests, and edits.  It’s a bit overwhelming at first.  But once I’d learned to trust my editor that disappeared, and I devoured the editor’s letter several times.  I ended up loving the editing process, as it’s getting into the nitty gritty of the creative process again. So the hardest bit soon became my favorite bit.

What 2011 releases are you looking forward to?
  • Die for me by Amy Plum
  • Divergent by Veronica Roth

What do you look for in a good story?
  • Absorbing characters
  • Excellent, believable dialogue
  • And skin tingling romance

What is the craziest dream you’ve ever had?
I always have crazy dreams, I used have this recurring one that I was in an elevator but instead of it going up and down it would whizz around the place going left to right as well as up and down, and breathtaking speeds.  I’d wake up petrified and with motion sickness… now that’s weird.

Paranormal creature you’d be?

Literary Hero?
Jilly Cooper the author of Adult books, Riders, Rivals, Polo, The Man who made husband Jealous, Score, Appasionata, and Wicked.  I loved every one of her books and have read them so many times they’ve fallen apart.  Her Epic bad boy, Rupert Campbell Black, and his best bud and sidekick, Billy Lloyd Fox, entertained me all the way through the 90’s.

Favorite cartoon character?
Can I say a program? I loved the Gummi Bears best cartoon ever, with the smurfs coming in a close second.

Favorite vacation spot?
Sicily, Italy

Hidden talent?
I’m a trained soprano singer. I won loads of competitions when I was kid, but I’m too shy to sing much these days, unless I’m poking fun at myself.

I hope that you enjoyed this interview as much as I did. Remember, The Carrier of the Mark is coming out this Fall and is currently available for pre-order at Amazon. Don't forget to check it out!

Leigh's Website | Facebook | Twitter
Leigh was born in South Africa, raised in Dublin, Ireland and moved to Cork in her 20’s. While living in beautiful Kinsale, Co Cork she discovered a love of writing. She writes mainly for the young adult market. Her current book, The Carrier of the Mark, prompted her to abandon her ‘riveting’ career in corporate treasury, and she has been writing ever since. She has another three books in the Carrier series and a few other projects she's working on. She and her family now share their time between Ireland and the US.

Related Posts: my review of The Carrier of the Mark

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2 comments on "Author Interview - Leigh Fallon"
  1. I won this book a while and I am really excited to read it. Great interview and can't wait for more :D

  2. That's kind of cool that she's a trained soprano singer! Great interview.


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