I'm so super excited about today's post, because it's an interview with one of my favorite authors!!
Here's what happened: I came across Trisha Leigh's WHISPERS IN AUTUMN this past summer when I was browsing for some books to read. The cover was absolutely stunning, and when I read the description I was hooked. Basically, it's a dystopian with aliens who subdue humans via mind control (!) but the main character isn't affected. Awesome.
(Tell me these covers aren't like the most gorgeous things you've ever seen. Go on.)
Anyway, I read WHISPERS IN AUTUMN and WINTER OMENS, all the while freaking out on Twitter like a
I know. I'm freaking out too. Obviously.
And even more exciting, the amazing author agreed to do an interview right here to celebrate the launch of SPRING. (Freaking. Out.)
So without further ado, here she is! Enjoy!
Q: Trisha, thank you SO MUCH for coming over. First, I'll ask what all my readers really want to hear: Can you tell us a little bit about The Last Year series?
A: Sure! The Last Year is a four part, post-apocalyptic series that begins about eighteen years after a race of aliens has conquered earth through mind control. The books are about four kids who aren’t what they seem, but might be able to find a way to save humanity from a future of slavery and annihilation. The stories are told from the first person perspective of Althea, and along with her we learn about the world, the Others, love, friendship, and the truth in all of those things.
Q: Oooh, gorgeous. Does it have a playlist to go with it? Tell us the Top 5 songs?
A: I’m that rare weirdo writer who doesn’t listen to music while she writes, BUT I do have several songs that go with certain scenes or books. The five most important (to me) would be: I’ll Follow You Into the Dark by Death Cab For Cutie, Belief by Gavin DeGraw, Wild Hope by Mandy Moore, Turn to Stone by Ingrid Michaelson, and Possibilities by Freddie Stroma. There are more. I could probably make an entire playlist for my central couple (no spoilers!), but maybe another time.
Q: I don’t think most people realize just how much work goes into making a beautiful book. Can you give us a quick rundown of your process, first draft to publication?
A: I’d love to. First, I worked with a cover designer to get her going with a summary and concept. I got lucky and only had to do this once, instead of four times, since my cover designer came up with a concept that wouldn’t change much for each new installment. Then, while she works on a cover, I write the first draft (typically a 4-6 week affair, for me). I send the first draft to my developmental editor, then she returns it and I do a (usually daunting) first revision, along with a couple more read throughs for tweaking. Then it goes for line edits, and back to me again for input. Then copy edits, then three proofreaders. Once I’m finished proofreading, I format the print book myself and send the manuscript our for e-book formatting, upload it all, check proof copies, and viola!
It’s a lot when I write it in a paragraph like that. Also in real life. But quality is the most important thing, as far as I’m concerned.
Q: What are the best and worst things about being a debut author?
A: The best is definitely sharing my stories, having readers connect with the characters, and being able to interact online. It’s gratifying and unbelievable. As far as a worst, maybe just the pressure of putting out new work and hoping it’s not a disappointment to the people who have come to love the stories as much as I do. I might have more anxiety than I did a year ago, but the good makes up for all of it.
Q: What’s the biggest thing that keeps you going? Reviews? Chocolate? The Vampire Diaries?
A: HA. Actually, I gave up on The Vampire Diaries last season! Mostly coffee, Hershey’s Kisses, coffee, and most importantly, a fabulous and unwavering support network made up of critique partners, writing friends, non-writing friends, and family. I’d be completely insane without them.
Q: Oh, the support network is KING. For sure. In that vein, what’s the greatest lesson living in the writing life has taught you?
A: To be tough. To believe in your work enough to want to clearly see the flaws in it so that you can erase them as well as possible. And also to support other authors, at every stage, so that they can find their way to that toughness as well.
Q: Can you please give us some book recommendations? Our TBR piles are empty (ahahahahah).
A: DARK INSIDE by Jeyn Roberts, IF I STAY and WHERE SHE WENT by Gayle Foreman. HERE by Denise Grover Swank. SWEETHEARTS by Sara Zarr. THE FOREST OF HANDS AND TEETH trilogy by Carrie Ryan. SHADOW AND BONE by Leigh Bardugo. I could go on, but those are the favorites that come to mind.
Q: Favorite Wintertime drink?
A: Hmm. Salted Carmel Mocha, hot spiced wine, and peppermint tea.
Q: X-Men or Avengers?
A: GAH. I know I’m going to answer wrong, Leigh Ann. I’m not a comic book reader (though I have recently started reading FABLES), so my only point of reference is the movies. So based on those alone, I choose Avengers. Because…Joss Whedon. And Thor.
You did answer wrong, but I still love you.
(Isn't she awesome, you guys???)
To celebrate the release of BETRAYALS IN SPRING, which comes out today, I'm doing a giveaway of all three books in the series to one lucky commenter! Wheeee!