Monday, April 18, 2011

YA & MG Author Lindsey Leavitt, gives us a humorous look at an author's life with young children

Today we welcome Lindsey Leavitt, Young Adult Author of Sean Griswold’s Head
(Bloomsbury, March 1, 2011), Princess for Hire and The Royal Treatment releasing May 3, 2011.

Lindsey was raised in Las Vegas, yes, she had a normal upbringing, and lives there with her family among the Cacti.

I had the pleasure of asking Lindsey about creativity, time for writing with young children and coping with multiple book releases in a year.

What every mother with children wants to know, how do find the time to write?

I get this question a lot, usually around deadline or release time when I feel like THERE IS NO TIME. Why couldn’t there be one more hour, just one? Or even a day. 25/8 sounds right.
When it’s business time, I put my kids down for the night and work until I flop. I also have started to get babysitters twice a week, and work a few hours on the weekend. Add that all up, and it’s a solid part time, sometimes full-time, job. But when I’m not on deadline, I schedule a few hours a week for administrative, a few more to write, and then just kind of hang out. Writing is the best job for this—it’s usually there the next day if I need to put life things first, and there are weeks and even months in between projects where I take time off. I’m looking forward to a low-event, high-fun summer.

If creativity strikes, how do you take advantage of it?

Like most authors, I have an idea notebook in my purse for those littler bursts of inspiration. Like I met this guy the other day, and he ONLY wears red socks. And I asked if he had a lot of pink underwear because of this fashion choice/laundry disasters, and then he ran away from me. But anyway, red socks! That’s brilliant. In my idea journal.
I’m also notorious for getting out of bed to jot ideas down. There’s a notebook by my bed for that reason too. I get some of my best ideas when I’m in the not-awake, not-asleep state. AND I take a journal on vacation, because I’m usually seeing new terrain and relaxation=clarity.
So short answer=journal.

Sean Griswold’s Head, released just last month. How do you pursue marketing your books with young children at home? Do you adapt the run-of-the-mill marketing to suit you or jump on the book tours and appearances?

A mix of both. I really like the online interviews because I can do those in my pajamas, at home, while kids are in bed. Skype has also been AMAZING, because I can visit with schools around the country without worrying about travel or childcare (and actually, since I’m pacific time, most of these are still while kids are in bed).
Of course, my kids aren’t Mini Rip Van Winkles, so I have to do some promotion when they’re awake as well. I do really enjoy the signings and in-person visits—especially in schools—so I do as many as I can. And by can, I mean when I can get a babysitter. I’ve had to say no a couple of times, but I do try to take these opportunities when they arise. And if it’s west coast and on the weekend, I bring my kids along, so we’re kind of partridge family lately. Er, minus the musical talent. And bus. And David Cassidy.

Your new book, second in the series of Princess for Hire, The Royal Treatment, releases in May. What plans have you laid for the book release, writing more entertaining books and keeping your mother role?

Since I’m crazy and launching two books two months apart, I’m not doing as much for the next Princess for Hire book. I’m doing a few signings, a couple of interviews, and then just trying to hit previous readers through newsletters and social networking. I worry if I’m too out there, people are going to get sick of me. Not you, though, right? Right? Hey! Don’t leave.
Also? While I strongly believe an author should have some sort of brand and market themselves, the most important thing is to be working on the next book. I’m revising the last book in the series right now, and after that I have a contemporary to write. I like to be under contract, because the deadlines help me plan vacations and school field trips and spring cleaning (ha! That one is a total lie). If you’re pre-published, I suggest setting a deadline on each project. Make it realistic, factor in other things you have in your life, but have a plan so you’re moving forward.

You can find Lindsey and her books at:

Thanks so much Lindsey for your insight and humor. Good Luck!

Praise for Lindsey Leavitt

Sean Griswold’s Head, Bloomsbury, March 1, 2011

“Leavitt delicately handles topics of illness, evolving relationships, and what it means to grow up. Payton’s alternately sarcastic, snappy, and reflective narration carries this insightful story.”~ Publishers Weekly
“Payton’s voice, funny and honest–drew me in from the first line. This is my favorite kind of book–one that offers laughter and hope even in the midst of a serious subject.” –L.K. Madigan, author of Flash Burnout

Princess for Hire, Bloomsbury Hardcover available now. Paperback release March 29, 2011

“I totally heart this book! Funny, witty, and magical, Princess for Hire is a must-read.” ~Lisa Schroeder, author of I Heart You, You Haunt Me and It’s Raining Cupcakes

“This story will easily appeal to fans of Meg Cabot’s “The Princess Dairies” as well as anyone who likes their princess stories with a bit of excitement.” ~Children’s Literature.

“Desi shows that she’s a heroine with heart.” ~Publisher’s Weekly


Anonymous said...

Great interview. Wow, launching two books in two months! You are going to be busy. Good luck, Lindsey.

Holly Dodson said...

Great interview, Adreinne! And thanks Lindsey for taking the time to give such honest answers. It's really nice to hear from a mom what it's like dealing with deadlines and kids.

cleemckenzie said...

Very lovely to hear from a successful mom who writes and is successful at that too. Hats off to you and to Adreinne for the blog post.

blueeyedadri said...

Thanks for stopping by guys.