Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Interview with Leigh Evans, author of The Trouble with Fate - January 2, 2013

Please welcome Leigh Evans to The Qwillery as part of the 2012 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. The Trouble with Fate was published on December 24, 2012 in the US and will be published on January 3, 2013 in the UK.

TQ:  Welcome to The Qwillery!

Leigh:  Thank you! Can I tell you a very short story?

Flash back a couple of years, and there I was, sniffling into my sleeve because @LeighEvans001 had less than 20 twitter followers. Then one day The Qwillery took a chance on me, and you know what? That started the ball rolling—other people started following me. I’ve had fond feelings for The Qwillery ever since. Which makes me all kinds of happy to be here as your guest.

TQ:  Wow! It's been a pleasure following you!

TQ:  What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

Leigh:  I have an ugly callus on the side of my left foot because I have the bad habit of sitting with one foot tucked under me while I write. There’s no hope of breaking me of it.

TQ:  Who are some of your favorite writers? Who do you feel has influenced your writing?

Leigh:  My list of favourites is near endless, and very diverse, as I read cross-genres. But whenever I sit down in front of the keyboard, I slip into the manuscript praying:

-- Dear Goddess in the big blue sky—please—for just for this morning, can you help me make my prose flow like the passages found inside one of Patrick Rothfuss’ s books?
-- Hey, Karma, I’ll be good today. Promise. So about this afternoon…I need my characters to read as real as the vampires and shape-shifters in Charlaine Harris’s Sookieverse…
--Helloooo, guardian angel. Wake up. I need you. What do you say that tonight is the night? I want my world building skills to evolve into something as complex and solid as Jim Butcher’s multi-layered realms.

Which basically means that every day I’m looking at a whole bunch of disappointment, but damn, I keep trying.

TQ:  Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Leigh:  Bit of both. Long before I type the heading, “Chapter One”, I do at least a month on character profiles and world building. Then I create a story outline, which is a near waste of time because I never really follow it. But that being said, I start each book cognizant of one goal—either what I want Hedi to learn, or how Hedi is going to foul up. The rest of the story? It either comes to me in the shower or during revisions. Gad, the revisions…

TQ:  What is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

Leigh:  Two words: action sequences. Why, oh why, do I write them? And why, once in the scene, do I feel compelled to use a whole cast of characters? I know that’s going to be a headache. And seriously? What’s with the size of those sequences? Why can’t they be short and sweet? I know writing a full chapter with magic and bullets flying is never going to be easy. But do I listen to myself? No. And that’s a shame, because I’d save a fortune on Tums if only I was content to write, ”bang, bang, you’re dead.”

TQ:  Describe The Trouble with Fate (Mystwalker 1) in 140 characters or less.

Leigh:  Hedi Peacock, a half-Fae/half-Were barista, must steal an amulet from the neck of the one wolf she swore she'd kill if she ever met again.

TQ:  What inspired you to write The Trouble with Fate?

Leigh:  I’ve read a lot of urban fantasy and hero-journey novels. The ones that interest me most feature a main character who begins the series thinking they are neither kick-ass or hero-inclined.

Enter Hedi Peacock. One confused 22 year-old on the cusp of learning who she really is.

TQ:  What sort of research did you do for The Trouble with Fate?

Leigh:  I have to admit the truth on this one. After I screwed up on one tiny detail about the Asrai (according to folklore, they’re aquatic fairies), I took a long, thoughtful look at the concept of basing my worlds on existing myths.

Totally ruined my manicure. I must have spent a full afternoon, alternately clicking on Google links and filing my nails.

Whoa, I thought. Getting it right will be a helluva a lot of work.

I put down the nail file, and decided from that day on whatever I wrote was going to be pulled from my own brain—created just to suit my needs. Because doing that was easier, and if I messed up no one was going to jab an accusing finger at some page in a reference book.

That being said, I’m older than dirt. A whole bunch of stuff has seeped into my brain during my life time. So what you get is a bit of this, and a lot of that. I’ll leave it up to you to decide how well I did with it:-)

TQ:  What is the oddest bit of information that you came across in your research?

Leigh:  Asrais like water… Huh. That messes up the whole hates-water rule.

TQ:  Tell us something about The Trouble with Fate that is not in the book description.

Leigh:  One character that earns a lot of fan love is Merry, a sentient being imprisoned in a hunk of amber that Hedi wears around her neck. Merry’s all attitude. She knows exactly what she wants, and she’s willing to put herself (and Hedi) on the line to do it.

TQ:  Who was the easiest character to write and why? Hardest and why?

Leigh:  Hands down, in terms of motivation, the easiest character to write is Merry.

I guess the hardest character was Lou. She didn’t start out that way. I didn’t realize how twisted she was until the end of the first draft, and once I realized what was hidden in the murk of her personality....well, I found it very difficult to work on any scene she was in.

TQ:  Without giving anything away, what is/are your favorite scene(s) in The Trouble with Fate?

Leigh:  My agent decided to represent me when she got halfway through the book—she cried reading the courtyard scene. So that’s probably one of the strongest. But you know what? I had the most fun writing the love scene. Mostly because it’s not your usual romp in the sheets.

TQ:  What's next?

Leigh:  I’m busier than a girl with small bailer and boat with a large leak. This week, copy edits are due for the second book in the series, THE THING ABOUT WERES. Meanwhile, I’m trying to hurry toward the end of the first draft for the third book in the series. That book doesn’t have a name yet—mostly because with me, the story is very much in flux until I hit the period on the last page.

TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Leigh:  The pleasure is all mine.

The Mystwalker Series

The Trouble with Fate
Mystwalker 1
St. Martin's Paperbacks, December 24, 2012
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 368 pages

My name is Hedi Peacock and I have a secret. I’m not human, and I have the pointy Fae ears and Were inner-bitch to prove it. As fairy tales go, my childhood was damn near perfect, all fur and magic until a werewolf killed my father and the Fae executed my mother. I’ve never forgiven either side. Especially Robson Trowbridge. He was a part-time werewolf, a full-time bastard, and the first and only boy I ever loved. That is, until he became the prime suspect in my father’s death…

Today I’m a half-breed barista working at a fancy coffee house, living with my loopy Aunt Lou and a temperamental amulet named Merry, and wondering where in the world I’m going in life. A pretty normal existence, considering. But when a pack of Weres decides to kidnap my aunt and force me to steal another amulet, the only one who can help me is the last person I ever thought I’d turn to: Robson Trowbridge. And he’s as annoyingly beautiful as I remember. That’s the trouble with fate: Sometimes it barks. Other times it bites. And the rest of the time it just breaks your heart. Again…

The Trouble with Fate (UK)
Mystwalker 1
Tor, January 3, 2013
Paperback and eBook, 464 pages


WHAT SHE DOESN’T KNOW MIGHT KILL HER: Hedi looks normal. Yet that’s taken effort. Her fellow Starbucks baristas don't see her pointed ears, fae amulet or her dark past, and normal is hard for a half-fae, half-werewolf on the run. Hedi’s life changed ten years ago, when her parents were murdered by unknown assassins. She’s been in hiding with her loopy aunt Lou since, as whatever they wanted she’s determined they won’t get it.

Things change when wolves capture Lou, forcing Hedi to steal to free her – for if she can offer up a fae amulet like her own they may trade. But it belongs to a rogue werewolf named Robson Trowbridge, who betrayed Hedi on the night of her greatest need. Over forty-eight hours, Hedi will face the weres of Creemore, discover the extent of her fae powers and possibly break her own heart in the process.

The Thing About Weres
Mystwalker 2
St. Martin's Paperbacks, July 30, 2013
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 464 pages


In the never-ending saga that is my love-hate relationship with Robson Trowbridge, I, half-Were Hedi Peacock, have had a change of heart. Ever since I shoved Trowbridge through the Gates of Merenwyn, I’ve been the leader of the pack—hard to believe, right? The thing is: I’m half-Fae. So even though my Were side is ready to heed the call of the wild, the other part of me is desperate to take flight. And much as it pains me to admit it, life without Trowbridge is really starting to were me down…


To make matters worse, the wolves of Creemore want my blood—and the North American Council of Weres wants me dead. So I’m just counting the days until Trowbridge returns from the other realm…and comes to my brave rescue…and becomes my alpha mate. Wishful thinking? Of course it is. But given all the mess I’ve been through already, what’s the harm in doing a little bit of daisy-plucking? Besides, Trowbridge owes me bigtime. A girl can dream.

About Leigh

Leigh was born in Montreal, Quebec but now lives in Southern Ontario with her husband. She’s raised two kids, mothered three dogs, and herded a few cats. Other than that, her life was fairly routine until she hit the age of 50. Some women get tattoos. Leigh decided to write a book. A little tardy, but then again, her Mum always said she was a late bloomer.

Website : Facebook : Twitter : Pinterest : Blog

The Giveaway


What:  One commenter will win a US Mass Market Paperback copy of The Trouble with Fate (Mystwalker 1) from The Qwillery.

How:   Answer The Qwillery's Question:  

Which cover for The Trouble with Fate do you like better - US or UK?

Please remember - if you don't answer the questions your entry will not be counted.

You may receive additional entries by:

1)   Being a Follower of The Qwillery.

2)   Mentioning the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter. Even if you mention the giveaway on both, you will get only one additional entry. You get only one additional entry even if you mention the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter multiple times.

There are a total of 3 entries you may receive: Comment (1 entry), Follower (+1 entry) and Facebook and/or Twitter (+ 1 entry).  This is subject to change again in the future for future giveaways.

Please leave links for Facebook or Twitter mentions. You MUST leave a way to contact you.

Who and When:  The contest is open to all humans on the planet earth with a mailing address. Contest ends at 11:59pm US Eastern Time on Wednesday, January 9, 2013. Void where prohibited by law. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 years old or older to enter.

*Giveaway rules are subject to change.*


  1. I prefer the US cover - the colors stand out more.

    1 comment
    1 blog follower

  2. [+1] Love the US cover, hands down! :)

    [+1] GFC follower name is Cherry.

    [+1] Twitted:

    Thank you for the chance to win!

    Happy New Year!!

    Cherry Mischievous
    cherrymischif-spamme [at] yahoo [dot] com

  3. The US cover hands down! The UK cover is so bland, I'd never pick it out on a shelf! This book is going on the wish list, it sounds really great. Thanks for the chance and happy new year.

    gfc follower Martha Lawson
    email subscriber

    mlawson17 at hotmail dot com

  4. There's really no competition. I loved the US cover the UK version didn't even compare. The cover is what drew me to the book. I can't wait to read this book! Thanks so much!
    Rhonda D
    Follow: email -
    GFC slinkydennis

  5. I like the US cover most.
    GFC as Victoria Sloboda

  6. I like the US cover.

    I follow the blog.


  7. Thanks for the great post and congrats to Leigh on the new release! I like both but the US cover is a bit flashier.

    gfc: erin

  8. I think the US cover is more attractive, I like it better than the UK cover.

    Barbed1951 at aol dot com
    GFC: Barbara E.

  9. Definitely the US cover! The UK one is very bland.

    +3: comment, blog follow, tweeted:

  10. I'm prefer UK version :)

  11. I like the UK cover best. It's fresh & interesting.

    GFC: Mary Preston


  12. I like the UK cover best. It's fresh & interesting.

    gfc laurie goudge

  13. I like the US cover better. The UK cover, to me, is kind of boring. The US cover has more colors and things to look at.

    GFC- Joanne B