Friday, April 20, 2012

Leigh Fallon Author Interview

Book Nerd Interview

I started out life in South Africa. A year later my parents moved home to Dublin, Ireland. When I was older and realized my parents had moved me from exotic Durban, to sedate Rathfarnham, Dublin 16, I was rightly ticked off. I fantasized about the amazing life I could have had in South Africa, and that fantastic accent that could have been all mine.

Instead, I got myself a fine Irish brogue growing up in the foothills of the Dublin Mountains where I went to a convent school and had to contend with uniforms, gabardines, and nuns.

During college I met a dashing sailor who swept me off my feet, all the way to Cork in the south of Ireland. I worked in corporate treasury and traveled Europe doing all sorts of fun finance stuff.

When I had my children I decided to take a career break, and soon discovered a love of writing. That career break became a career change when I wrote my debut novel, Carrier of the Mark.

I posted Carrier of the Mark on a HarperCollins website called inkpop. Within weeks it was voted into the top five books of thousands on the site, and was reviewed by a HarperTeen editor. Two months later that same editor offered me my first publishing contract.

My husband swept me off my feet again, this time in a westerly direction, we landed in Massachusetts, USA, where we now live with our four children and one double pawed cat.


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Tell us your latest news.

My latest news... umm, let me see. Well, the second book in the Carrier Series is going to be released in early 2013. I'll be announcing the title during the YA Scavenger Hunt on the 29th March. Yay! I've also got an anthology coming out in October with a whole load of other amazing authors. It's called Two and Twenty Dark Tales, it's a collection of modern retellings of the old Mother Goose Stories. I can't wait for you guys to read the awesome stories.

Where were you born and where do you call home?

I was born in Durban South Africa, but I grew up in Dublin, Ireland. I'm currently living in the MA, USA. But my home is where I have my house and where my family are living at the moment, and that's in Cork Ireland. I'll most probably be moving back there in the next 9 or 10 months.


What was your first introduction to YA literature, the one that made you choose that genre to write?

I read all the Virgina Andrews books when I was younger, and they were kind of YA, very VERY dark, but they had that YA vibe. The books that made me want to write weren't YA, they were books by Jilly Cooper. Oh my gosh, I loved all her books, and they way she writes just makes me giddy. I think MC's drive your genre. Megan my MC in Carrier was YA through and through, so Carrier became a YA novel. But if an MC presents his/herself to me for an adult novel, I'd be more than happy to write for another genre or target market. But at the moment, whenever I write, that voice is YA, so I'm happy with that, and so is my agent. LOL!

Did it take a long time to get your first book published?

Not really. I wrote the book and got the publishing deal all within one
year.

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating Carrier of the Mark?

I guess it was how easy the words came to me. It was my first attempt at writing, and the story just poured out of me. I couldn't write fast enough (I wrote the first draft in longhand). I lived and breathed that manuscript for a couple of months. It was all I ever thought about.

The settings for Carrier of the Mark takes you back to Ireland. What gave you the idea?

I lived very near the town of Kinsale. I used to spend so much time sitting in the town watching the world go by. I had 4 very young children and my mind used to wander, creating a sort of alternate reality, and that's where Carrier was born. Suddenly school tours to various locations around Ireland sprang to mind. Local historical buildings and sites became more interesting the the world began to create itself. I saw everything differently. It wasn't just Kinsale, it was a character in my story.

Which character have you enjoyed writing the most?

I've loved them all in so many ways, and now with Carrier 2 I've got more characters to love, even the baddies. For me, it changes, but I've always had a soft spot for Aine, and Caitlin too. They're people I'd love to know, friends I wished I had.

What was your inspiration for Megan?

I didn't really have a flash of inspiration for Megan, she sort of grew organically. She started out a little bit more petulant and smart assed, but as I moved into the story I realized she wasn't really that kind of person, she was softer, more understanding. There's a quiet confidence about her, so I went back and rewrote the beginning.

What’s one thing that readers would be surprised to find out about Adam?

That underneath all that confidence he's actually riddled with self doubt. He seems in control and sort of the head of his family, but he depends hugely on Fionn's stability and guidance.

Why do you feel you had to tell this story?

I don't think I ever thought 'I have to tell this story', but it was a story that demanded to be written. The characters wanted to be brought into the world and tortured and teased by me. When I wrote it I didn't even plan on getting it published. I wouldn't have even known where to start. I just wrote the book because I wanted to, and I was having such fun doing it. It was only after I'd written the first draft and a few people had read it that I considered the idea of publishing.

Is there a song you could list as the theme song for your book or any of your characters?

I do have a playlist for Carrier of the Mark, it's on my Blog.
Here's the list:

Weird Fishes - Radiohead
No Surprises - Radiohead
Crosses - Jose Gonzalaz
Nude - Radiohead
Swallowed in the Sea - Coldplay
Beggin Pilooski Edit - Frankie Valli
Shake It - Metro Station
House of Cards - Radiohead
Butterflies & Hurricanes - Muse
My Weakness - Moby
Mirrorball - Elbow
Run on - Moby

Can you share a little of your current work with us?

I can't, sorry. My editor has me on complete lock down *sad face* but I'll
be putting out sneak peeks as soon as I can.

What advice would you give to writers just starting out?

Write what you love, listen to constructive criticism, get yourself some dependable and trustworthy critique partners, and don't stop trying. Writing isn't all about getting published. It's about doing something you love. As long as you're enjoying writing and have stories to tell just keep at it, getting published is a bonus.

Who was your first boyfriend?

Oh my gosh. This is the first time I've been asked that question in an interview. *panics* I was a bit of a late bloomer. I had a string of guys who I snogged, but wouldn't go a far as to call them boyfriends. Eww. Em, oh gosh, I think my first real boyfriend was a guy called James, I was seventeen and he was first year in Trinity College Dublin (I always liked older guys LOL)

When asked, what’s the one question you always answer with a lie?

What's your favorite book? LOL! I hate answering that question as I don't really have favorites as they're always changing, but people always expect an answer so I always make one up or give my current fav. LOL.

Do you have any fun Halloween experiences you can tell us?

One of my best friends growing up had her birthday slumber party every halloween. We used to go for creepy midnight walks to the Hell Fire Club (an haunted old ruin with a shady past that sits at the top of the Dublin mountains and always smells of burning). Afterwards they'd pull out the Ouija board and start messing with it, but I could never bring myself to partake in that game. They used to scare the bejaysus out of me with it.

What are your pet peeves?

Being asked what's my favorite book. LOL!! Badly fitting bed sheets (I'm a bit weird that way), bad manners, people flicking to other channels during the commercials of the show I'm watching (I can't bear that), oh and people reading over my shoulder *shudder*.

Where can readers stalk you?

The can check me out on Twitter, Facebook, and on my blog and website.
Here are the links.
http://www.leighfallon.com/
http://www.facebook.com/Thecarrierofthemark
http://twitter.com/#!/Leigh_Fallon



Their love was meant to be.

When Megan Rosenberg moves to Ireland, everything in her life seems to fall into place. After growing up in America, she's surprised to find herself feeling at home in her new school. She connects with a group of friends, and she is instantly drawn to darkly handsome Adam DeRĂ­s.

But Megan is about to discover that her feelings for Adam are tied to a fate that was sealed long ago—and that the passion and power that brought them together could be their ultimate destruction.



The Carrier of the Mark is an alluring read that I truly enjoyed. Even with a mix of mystery, action, and romance, the pacing of the plot was perfectly in line. Author Leigh Fallon’s writing style is very addicting. She puts thought and care to each word on a page that brings each remarkable character come to life and their world glowing like the sun. The way she builds up the storyline towards an expected action-filled scene is brilliant. Leighfashions such great descriptions that it literally grabs you and raises your interest level to heights you have never felt.

The story is a refreshing approach towards Celtic mythology, legend, and history. Usually there are three elements I look for in a book and The Carrier of the Mark possessed all three. It presented great paranormal elements and promised a very impressive romance. Place the story in a great setting like Ireland and it is a formula for a great read. I love how the characters are easy to relate to. The female lead, Megan Rosenburg, is strong and is not afraid to put herself in tight situations, yet has a few uncertainties that most young woman her age have. The instant attraction between Megan and Adam was a delight to read and see it grow. The building of their relationship is sweet and tender.

The story turns your imagination in full attention and produces an amazing picture in your mind. The ending gave satisfaction but left it with questions that still need to answered. I cannot wait for the next installment so that I may continue this adventure with Megan.

You can purchase Carrier of the Mark at the following Retailers:
    


And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you Leigh for making this giveaway possible.
1 Winner will receive one Signed Copy of Carrier of the Mark by Leaigh Fallon.
1 Winner will receive one Copy of Carrier of the Mark & Bookplate by Leaigh Fallon.



a Rafflecopter giveaway

55 comments:

  1. Oh my most memorable moment... Oh man I dont know! hahah;))) LOL
    thanks for the giveaway:) I AM SO EXCITED FOR THIS one as well:))))

    bella

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  2. Oh so long ago. I just remembered being so happy by the time I got home. Walking on air!

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  3. Haven't had first date (at all!) :/
    *Le me sad*

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  4. On my most memorable first date the guy brought me flowers and packed all my fave things to eat and drink in a big sand bucket (the kind little kids use to build sandcastles) and took me to the beach to have a picnic at sunset.

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  5. The firstdate with my actual boyfriend!

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  6. I can't say as I've never had one. :C

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  7. It wasn't a first date, but the best one I've had was walking around Times Square and Bryant Park with a dozen roses and then dinner at Hard Rock right after.

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  8. Can it be considered a first date if we didn't end up dating? :) He gave me an unbelievable massage and told me he was falling for me. That's the best I've got. Thanks for the chance to win!
    Rafflecopter name is Olivia.

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  9. I haven't had first date yet.

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  10. never had a date. i'm too young for those stuff :-)

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  11. I'm from Dublin, too. My first date with my current boyfriend was a tour around Guinness brewery! How typically Irish do I sound? I knocked over the tour guide who was carrying a tray of full glasses! So I had to hide behind him in embarrassment for the entire time. I thought he thought I was crazy. He probably does.

    It was memorable, anyway! xD

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  12. I was one of the organizators of fantasy and Manga&anime convention and I was taking care of Maid cafe. Then one boy I met on concert just apperared there, dressed as pirate, screamed "I'M KIDNAPING YOU" and took me on a date... Nice, huh? :D I'm still with him and totally happy.
    Disincentive @ (read, watch, listen) - reviews

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  13. Memorable first date? I am still waiting on that one( Both the memorable part and the first date) LOL.

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  14. Well a great memorable first date would be a no plans date at all just winging it :D

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  15. Well, my boyfriend and I had been dating for about 8 months and then he finally took me out on an official dress-up-and-see-a-show date. We saw Avenue Q at the university I attend. It was hilarious.

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  16. First date with boyfriend lakeside picnic.

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  17. Haven't had one yet! Thanks for the amazing giveaway. :)

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  18. Definitely my first date with my boyfriend. I'll never forget it!

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  19. The first date with my husband.
    He invited me on a trip to Korea, then after three days proposed to me in a cab (on the way to Museum) and flew me to Hong Kong to celebrate! Seriously, no joke :) I think that's pretty memorable :D

    Thanks so much for yet another fab contest!

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  20. Although i'm in a relationship, nothing memorable is really sticking out......
    not much fun - lol!
    Kel xx

    lillie.rose.owen.jesse(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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  21. wow this is embarrasing, never had one :( had a couple of drunken hook ups at parties but nothing ever happened the next day so yeah no memorable first date for me
    thanks for the giveaway

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  22. Thanks for the giveaway!!

    Memorable first day... I guess I will say my date with my current guy, we went for ice cream and then we went to see a our first movie together "P.S. I Love You", so now our song is "I'll Love You Till the End", we LOVE this movie, we were so nervous and it was so much fun :)

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  23. Well it was the typical teenage date with the cinema and mcdonalds lol

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  24. My most memorable first date was with a guy who is now one of my good friends. He took me to see Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix in theaters. We made out for a while and then when we stopped because I wanted to actually watch the movie, he started nibbling on my ear... I was a freshman in high school. ...Thattttt was something I'll never forget! (And I remind him of it often!) :)

    Thanks for the great giveaway!

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  25. A snow picnic. Totally unexpected (but I was dressed properly) and totally sweet. We had to hold hands because the snow was so deep and difficult to walk through.

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  26. Thanks for this giveaway! Just a night out with my guy.

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  27. I dont actually remember my first conventional date but I do remember my first slow dance with a boy at a D.A.R.E dance.Shortly after he became my first boyfriend and first love. :o)


    April K.

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  28. It was a walk to the park! We were so nervous and all! Bought some ice-cream and the sit down to talk about books! -sigh- he's a keeper isn't? (ileana - rafflecopter)

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  29. hmm none of them have been amazing.... thats sad considering i was with one for 3 1/2 years and another 1 1/2. just kinda hung out, never did the first date thing. well i did have one that was super random, went with friends to a town 2 1/2 hours away to go shopping at a huge mall. saw this really hot guy coming down the escalator and our eyes met. i kept walking but then he walked up to me and introduced himself...i invited him to lunch with us and we ended up dating for 2 months...so i guess that is a memorable one

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  30. My first date was a BBQ with my now husband. That day he introduced himself as an Eskimo (he was joking). I couldn't help but fall in-love with him right that moment! LOL

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  31. I haven't been on a date yet.
    Thanks for the awesome giveaway

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  32. Thank you for taking the time to share with us today and for the lovely giveaway. I really enjoyed you playlist. As for a memorable first date, LOL . . . I went out with a young man to dinner and a movie. We saw Gandhi and the theater was full so we had to sit in the front row. Oh my who would think a movie could be so long!

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  33. Double date to the movies and driving around in convertible w/almost first kiss =)

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  34. erm, actually don't have one yet. =S

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  35. Every week we Go out to Dinner and Movies,or out of town to shop.those are my most Cherished we make time for each other after 10years its still like a Honeymoon!

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  36. My first date with my now husband was a blind date at a singles church dance, but what I didn't know was that the girl who set us up also invited another girl to meet him that night and so he had two dates and didn't quite know what to do with the both of us. He decided he liked me more and called me two weeks later for a single date. We were married 6 months later :)

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  37. Haven't really had a memorable first date, but I do remember them all :D

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  38. My most memorable date was with my husband (not at the time). Well we were on our first date which happen to be with 2 other couples. I normally don't kiss on the first date, but with him it was love at first sight. He kissed me and I thought I was going to float away. We held hands under the table, hehee. Ahhh young love <3

    rasberryice25@yahoo.com

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  39. Hmm I don't really have a memorable first date. I've never really done much dating. For example, I started hanging out just as friends the guy I'm dating now. I can't really remember how our first "real date" went :P

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  40. I guess it would be with my hubby. I never really dated much.

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  41. Umm..I have a lot of memorable dates just not first dates. :/

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  42. The one that ended in my first kiss and breaking curfew!

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  43. I have never been on a date. I have heard many funny stories from my friends, though.

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