I had the wonderful chance to interview the lovely author herself. Without further ado, here is Leah Cypess...
1. I've developed a love for shape-shifters. If you could shape-shift into any other object or creature, what would it be?
A bird. Which might seem like a strange answer given that I'm somewhat afraid of heights and hate flying in airplanes, but I assume as a bird I wouldn't have those problems.
2. As I know, you spent many years writing Mistwood. Was the final product different than what you had a few years ago?
Oh, yes. The main plot points never changed, but during the revisions process, entire scenes were taken out, entire new scenes were written,and at least one scene skipped all over the book before finding its proper place. I also did a lot of adding and refining descriptions,something I usually don't have much of in a first draft.
3. How did you come up with the character names in your book?
I came up with most of these names so long ago that I don't remember exactly, but I can tell you that usually, I go with some combination of syllables -- or some variation of a real-world name -- that feels"right" to me. (A very rigorous scientific method.) Usually, either this comes to me right off the bat, or else I fill a page with invented names until I hit upon one that I like. Sometimes, when I haven't thought of the right name for a character yet, I'll just use a blank line as a "placeholder" until I make my decision. If I'm doing this for two characters at once, it can get a little confusing.
4. I can't wait to read what you have next for us. What are you currently working on?
Thank you! There will be a companion novel to Mistwood, which I am currently revising with my editor and which I hope will be published in 2011. I'm also working on a third book set in the world of Mistwood, and simultaneously on a fantasy novel set in our world.
5. What is the best restaurant you have ever eaten at?
In Jerusalem, Israel, where I studied for a year, there is a place near the central bus station that makes these gigantic stuffed laffas. I'm not sure I can call it a "restaurant" because it's more like a hole in the wall, and you can smell the grease from the street, but those laffas were the best things I have ever tasted. It was especially amazing because they were filled with things I usually don't like -- meat, chicken, french fries, etc. -- but somehow the combination was addictive.
6. What are three things in nature you find the most beautiful?
Mountains, sunsets, and the sea.
7. Can you remember your last dream?
Oh, yes. I was in school (either college or high school, I don't remember) and it was the end of the semester. I hadn't attended any of my classes or opened any of my books and I couldn't even remember which of my finals was on which day.
Thank you Leah! And to those who are reading this post, get your butt out there and buy yourself a copy of Mistwood!