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Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Interview with Lindsey Leavitt, Author of Princess for Hire

I'd like to extend a warm welcome to Lindsey Leavitt, author of the novel Princess for Hire. Lindsey stopped by to talk about her debut novel, which released in March. Let's get started!

Your debut novel, Princess for Hire is about Desi Bascomb, an ordinary girl with extraordinary powers. Desi has just about the greatest job ever- the chance to substitute for real princesses. Can you share with us a little teaser snippet to tantalize readers?

OK. But only because you said tantalize and that’s one of the best words ever. In this scene, Desi enters the Fa├žade Agency for the first time.

…And then the door clicked open, revealing the real reception area. And… wow.

I’d never been in a fairy tale castle, but I imagined it must look something like this. Tall stain glass windows cast a rainbow of sunshine on the gold-inlay floors. The cathedral ceiling was covered in silver stars carved into a midnight sky. A monstrous chandelier reached down, radiating a warm glow on the front reception area. The whole place exuded majesty. Centuries of it.

“But… it’s a tower! The building was boxy and all glass… you couldn’t even fit this room on the whole floor—”

“Desi. I have magic powder that morphs your physical appearance. I travel in a bubble. And you might not have noticed, but my hair is consistently fabulous. There are few limits to what we can do.”

After a truly horrific day involving a groundhog costume and public humiliation, Desi makes a wish on an enchanted “wishing tank” in the back room of the pet store she works at. When you were Desi’s age, what would you have asked for if you could’ve made a wish like she did?You mean after peace on earth?

Oh man, it would probably have been something selfish and lame like becoming the best softball player ever or having every guy I meet like me (although after reading about a girl with a similar curse/gift in the charming HOW TO DITCH YOUR FAIRY by Justine Larbalestier, I’d reconsider that).Now that I’m older and wise, I’d be far more realistic. A forever-flowing chocolate fountain sounds about right

If Princess for Hire was to be made into a movie, who do you think would make a great Desi?

My new favorite TV show is Modern Family and I LOVE Ariel Winter, who plays the smart, snarky Alex.

Plus, she’s young enough that the movie could be in production for awhile and she’d still be a teenager.

Desi discovered that subbing for a princess involved more than waving at cameras while wearing tiaras. Which of her subbing assignments do you think you would’ve had the hardest time dealing with?

Desi has to perform an Amazon tribal dance. Notice the word DANCE. I would have totally gotten fired from that job. I took dance for about eight years as a kid and I was awful—the girl they stuck in the back corner during recitals. So yeah, I’d take addressing an international crisis over busting a move any day.

In your own experience, what is the best job you’ve ever had and what is the worst?

I’m currently living the life—mommy writer. It’s tough to juggle (Literally. I’m holding my baby and typing one-handed right now. Skillz!), but I’m so lucky to be doing the two things I love most.

Worst Job: I worked as a Physical Therapy Technician for a few weeks in college. The people I worked with were great (and my boss was my future father-in-law) BUT I had to give massages. Which may sound fancy, but sometimes people had hairy backs or weird moles or funky smells or… yeah. Not my thing.

What is the most surprising thing you’ve learned since becoming a published author?

I was surprised how much work goes into a book after the sale. I knew there would be revision, but I don’t think I totally understood the meaning of that word until I went through it. And I thank the Publishing Gods that I had an editor who really pushed me with this book.

You have a three book deal for Princess for Hire. Can you talk a little more about the next series installment, as well as any other projects you have in the works?

There really isn’t much I can say without giving much away on the first book. Um, the series follows Desi as she continues to balance her home and work life. Later books will be less episodic and focus more on the connections Desi makes.
Vague? Yep. I’m a tease of an author.

I also have a YA contemporary coming out with Bloomsbury in early 2011 called SEAN GRISWOLD’S HEAD. It’s about a girl who has one part of her life crash and builds it back up through her relationship with a boy in her class. And, um, his head.

Thank you Lindsey for taking the time to stop by!

Lindsey Leavitt grew up in Las Vegas and now lives in Alabama with her husband and two small daughters. Although she has been a substitute teacher and a homecoming princess, she has never been a substitute princess. Yet. She’s still scanning the Want Ads…

Visit Lindsey Leavitt's Official Website and Blog


Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

Oh my! This sounds like such fun!

Jennie Englund said...

So many congrats to that mommy-writer's success! Can she put in a good word with the Publishing Gods for me?

Catie S (Book Bound) said...

I am giving a copy of Princess for Hire on my blog! http://bit.ly/a5yYDC Ends on the 21st!