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Interview with Lesley Young, debut author of Sky’s End: Book One in the Cassiel Winters Series
Susana: What inspired you to start writing?
Lesley: I’m a journalist so I write for a living. I never dreamed of writing fiction until a few years ago, after I read Hunger Games. I loved the first-person present tense voice and thought, ‘I could do this.’
Susana: What advice would you give to writers just starting out?
Lesley: I say the same thing over and over. Live it. Feel it. Be it. If your story makes you laugh, makes you cry, keeps you up at night, makes your heart race, it will have the same impact on others.
Susana: What comes first: the plot or the characters?
Lesley: Hm, this is a chicken-egg question for me. I was going to say characters, specifically a strong hero or love interest, but then I realized he doesn’t exist outside of some sense of plot (thriller, mystery etc).
Susana: Describe the “perfect hero.”
Lesley: Someone who is flawed, and therefore redeemable. Someone who is unpredictable, and by that I mean not formula and thus more real—as in could truly exist. Someone who is mysterious. I mean is there anything more exciting finding out why he’s so dark, stormy and brooding?
Susana: Tell us something about your newest release that is NOT in the blurb.
Susana: What is your work schedule like when writing?
Lesley: Insane. When I am busy with my day-job writing, and fiction I can end up writing for 10 or 12 hours a day. I like to think this makes a better writer but probably just means I spend a lot on massages.
Susana: What did you want to be when you grew up?
Lesley: A neuroscientist. Ha! Then a foreign diplomat. Then a journalist. Now, it’s a novelist. And no, I have not grown up!
Susana: Do you have a favorite quote or saying?
Lesley: Yeah, and I tell myself this all of the time (to no avail). Don’t take yourself so seriously, cuz no one else does.
Susana: Is there a writer you idolize? If so, who?
Lesley: Kresley Cole. Is she even human? Holy machine. She puts out two incredibly terrific genre novels a year. Wow.
Susana: Thank you so much for coming today, Lesley!
Lesley: Thanks for the opportunity to visit your Parlour, Susana!
About Sky’s End
A secret she must never share. A secret that two warring species are determined to control. A universe’s future at stake.
Twenty-year-old Cassiel Winters joins Earth’s new space academy in hopes of finding her brother, one of Command’s top pilots and her only family, who’s been reported MIA. But she quickly realizes she may not be cut out for life in space, where female cadets are outnumbered, competition’s fierce, and she’s already failed her hand-to-hand combat test once.
When Cassiel’s manipulated into a perilous mission, she encounters a warrior species bred to protect the universe from an even greater threat. And she learns that her secret visions are at the heart of it all. Now Cassiel must fight to control her own destiny and race to save her brother—even if it means pretending to be the pawn of Prime Or’ic, the cold-as-steel Thell’eon leader. Even if it means risking her life, facing hard truths, and making the ultimate sacrifice.
“You would understand us,” Prime Or’ic beseeches me, hands out. He places them on the downcore, searching the room, until he spots what he’s looking for. He returns with a stool and sits on it, making him eye level with me. A first. “Our beliefs,” he starts and stops. I’ve never seen him this . . . uncertain. “Kirs spend a lifetime training and fighting Aeon. We strive to achieve a perfect Horde, knowing the likelihood is incredibly small. And still we prevail. To get the chance to have, to fight with a sift,” he corrects himself, “with you, is . . . sacred. Once given, it is understood to be a right that is earned.
He rolls his eyes, frustrated. Ah, that’s more familiar. When he focuses back on me, his eyes are different. Earnest, I think.
“Think of how you ‘fell’ into our path. ESE sent you to our ship! You! When you took my beacon portal, then I knew for certain. It was our destiny to have a sift. You belong to us!”
His vehemence scares me more than the simple deduction. Those things all happened, but not so that I could be his sift. Not even so I could help ESE get the sift (isn’t that ironic?). But so that I could save my brother Daz! I’m certain of this. Being their sift is not my destiny. And even if I believed in that crap, I would never belong to them. Or anyone.
“I’m a human being, Or’ic!”
“I know, I know,” he says, touching my hand with his.
I pull away. I don’t like they way he’s looking at me. Not at all. He doesn’t understand that I wasn’t speaking literally. I meant to say that I’m not an object. But he continues, oblivious to his mistake
About the Author
Journalist Lesley Young never thought she would delve into the world of writing fiction, but when she sat down for the first time to put pen to paper, ideas for what would become her first novel just poured out naturally. Young’s first book, Sky’s End, is a multi-genre tale that showcases her unique style of weaving romance, action and wit into one page-burning story.
Young was born in Edmonton, Alberta in Canada. She holds an arts degree from the University of Alberta and a journalism degree from the University of Victoria.
Young now lives in Loretto, Ontario where she works as a journalist, freelance writer and editor for health, décor and business magazines. Since 2008, Young has written more than 300 articles for print and online media including Profit, Toronto Life, MSN Green, and Elle Canada among others. She is a regular contributor to Reader’s Digest, Best Health, Canadian Living and House and Home Magazine.
Young has won three gold honors for feature stories from the National Business Magazine Awards and another top media award from the Canadian Dermatology Association.
Soul Mate Publishing released Sky’s End on July 15 in paperback and e-book and since its launch, it has remained an Amazon Best Seller. The novel is Young’s first installment in a series about Cassiel Winters, a futuristic heroine, and her outer space escapades.