Leah Spiegel is joining me today to talk about her book, Foolish Games. This YA romantic suspense novel is an exciting romp across country as Joie Hall gets drawn into love and danger while following a rock band on tour.
Pauline: Was being a writer something you always wanted to do? How did you get your start?
Leah: I accidentally stumbled upon writing when I was in middle school. Once I discovered the places writing could take me, I was hooked. I remember searching the house that summer for any paper I could find because I had more stories to write than we had paper in the house.
In the early years, I only wrote short stories, but as I grew older my English teachers really responded to my writing. At the time I was torn between drawing, acting, and other creative outlets, but I was by far a better artist than writer in high school.
Still I enjoyed writing very much, and by the time I graduated college I started to think larger in scale when it came to concepts and the length of my stories. It wasn’t until I moved down south about five years ago though that I was actually able to complete my first full length novel about shape shifters.
Leah: I have so many ideas that inspired me to write Foolish Games. By that time I had been following the Dave Matthews Band around for ten years, so I knew everything I needed to know about the backdrop of my scenes and what concepts I wanted to tackle when I wrote it. The idea of three friends following a band around, sleeping in their Volkswagen Van at Walmarts, and basically driving from concert to concert was something I actually dreamt of doing, but couldn’t afford, so writing it was the next best thing for me.
Pauline: I’ve been dying to go on a road trip since finishing the book! Unfortunately, it was the middle of winter so we’re waiting for warmer weather.
Did you do any special research or use personal experience for the story?
Leah: Riley writes reviews for the Grimm Brothers Band in the story which is something I actually had the privilege to be selected to do as a contributing writer by a website linked to official Dave Matthews Band homepage. A site dedicated to posting anything newsworthy about the band.
Pauline: Is there a scene, or character, or other aspect of Foolish Games that’s a particular favourite of yours?
Leah: I have two scenes that I love the most: one involves a meadow and the other involves a stage. But I really love any scene that makes me laugh like the ones between Hawkins and Joie.
Pauline: You’re stuck on a deserted island with ONE thing to eat – day in and day out. What is it?
Leah: I’m not sure I can live off of fruit rollups, but it is a staple in my diet. I’m kind of embarrassed to admit that because I’m pretty sure they’re for kids, but I try to eat somewhat healthy snacks which comes in handy when you’re sitting all day and writing!
Pauline: Wow, I haven’t had a fruit rollup in years. We used to buy them in the mega-boxes at the bulk store.
Do you write every day or on a set schedule, or just when the muse strikes you? Any writing quirks?
Leah: I am constantly writing especially when I set out to write a certain story. If anything I have a problem stopping myself from writing and have tried to set a schedule so I’d stop writing, but that only lasted for like a week. When I say that I sat down to write five years ago, I mean like every day. I’m a little obsessed. I guess a quirk would be asking your sister to hide your computer so you can get a break!
Pauline: My computer goes everywhere with me. It would take hiding it to keep me from it but I probably wouldn’t be pleasant to live with!
Do you plot everything out or are you a “pantser”?
Leah: I do a combination of both. I usually have a general idea of where I want a story to go in the first drafts and then let the characters take me through the journey I’ve outlined. Sometimes I find that if I plan too much when I finally write the scene it doesn’t meet the expectations I had in my mind. Sometimes the surprising scenes actually work out better because I didn’t ruminate over them. As for Foolish Games, I edited the story so many times and rewrote most of scenes that it came out very deliberately planned.
Pauline: What’s the most unforgettable thing you’ve ever done or has happened to you?
Leah: I have three. I got bullied my eighth grade year by my entire class and it really showed me what I was made of and how strong I am. The next would be falling in love in for the first time in high school because love is the thing that drives all the stories I write. The third would be, being blessed to have a family who so supportive of everything I do; they are everything to me.
Pauline: What books do you have available to-date?
Leah: Foolish Games, Night Crossers, and South Hills Sidekicks: Uninvited.
Pauline: Are your books available as print, ebooks or both? I was an early convert to ebooks. As a reader, do you prefer ebooks or paper?
Leah: My books are available in both and I love different things about each one. I love how easy it is to access an ebook, but I love the feel of paper in my hands.
Pauline: What are you working on now?
Leah: I’m working on the second book of the South Hills Sidekicks Series. I love the chemistry between Shane and Alley in the second book which rivals that of Hawkins and Joie in Foolish Games.
Pauline: Now that’s something to look forward to! South Hills Sidekicks: Uninvited was a delight to read and I can’t wait to find out what happens next.
Any advice for aspiring writers?
Leah: Don’t let anyone get in the way of your dreams and just keep in mind this is your unique journey so it may not always resemble other authors.
Pauline: What are your favourite things to do when you’re not writing?
Leah: Hanging out with my family, listening to music, and shopping!
Pauline: Where can we find out about you and your work?
Leah: I’m on Twitter. @Leah_Spiegel and @leahspiegel
I have a website that I update with relevant articles about what’s new. www.leahspiegel.com
I just started a new blog that I love! www.leahandmeg.blogspot.com
Many thanks to Leah for taking the time to answer a few questions here today. Now I’m off to find a mega-box of fruit rollups! Thanks for visiting and have a great day!