Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Interview with Leigh Bardugo about "Shadow & Bone"

It all started with Instagram...
I was posting a couple of "teaser" photos on Instagram of the amazing decor we had set up for Shadow and Bone when I tagged Leigh in my comments so that she could see what fun things we were doing for her book.
I casually checked my account a couple of hours later not only to see that Leigh had made a comment on our photo (I may have done a little jig) BUT that she kindly offered to Skype into our meeting! 
My phone may have flew out of my hands because I started jumping up and down....maybe. 

A little about Leigh:
"Leigh Bardugo was born in Jerusalem, grew up in Los Angeles, and graduated from Yale University. These days, she lives in Hollywood, where she indulges her fondness for glamour, ghouls, and costuming in her other life as makeup artist L.B. Benson. Occasionally, she can be heard singing with her band, Captain Automatic.

She is the author of the New York Times Best Sellers, Shadow & Bone and Siege and Storm (Holt Children’s/ Macmillan). The final book in the Grisha Trilogy, Ruin and Rising, will be published in 2014. She is represented by Joanna Stampfel-Volpe of New Leaf."


Leigh Skyped in with us around 9:30 p.m. and since it was late in the evening, we decided to start with some warm-up questions that have to do with Leigh's love for makeup!

Q: What is your favorite makeup item that you can get at the drug store?

A: Drugstore - Loreal Voluminous Mascara - many professional makeup artists use this mascara
Sephora - d. j. v. beautenizer Fiberwig Mascara has excellent staying power, and makes your lashes look amazing! 

Q: What are some other makeup items you are excited about?

A: Cruella by NARS Costmetics (a red velvet matte lip pencil/lipstick)
And I'm about to try Lime Crime's opaque lipstick--mainly the red shades.  I've heard good things!

Q: What is your favorite question you've ever been asked regarding the Grisha series, and will you answer it for us?

A: I think it would have to be, 'If it were the 21st century and the Grisha gang were together at college, what would they read/listen to?"
It was fun to picture the gang in sweaters, in fall-time at college.

*Teaser: One specific character in "Siege and Storm" (the 2nd book in the Grisha Trilogy) would be a David Bowie fan, but you'll have to read it to find out who!
Speaking of David Bowie, there are some fun parallels between the Goblin King & the Darkling, as well as Sarah & Alina. Labyrinth fans, this one's for you...

Q: Did the Darkling ever really had feelings for Alina?

A: *chuckle* If I wanted you to know that, I would have made it obvious...I want you to wonder about different character's motives.  I want you to wonder about the Darkling's motives, and decide for yourselves by the end of the trilogy whether his feelings are really real. 

Q: What order of Grisha would you be and what would you specialize in?

A: 1st Thought: Heartrender - Well, I would like to say that I would be a Heartrender, because I am naturally a blood-thirsty person.  I love the idea of if someone was boring you in a conversation, you could just make them fall asleep.
2nd Thought, Fabrikator - Because I am not suited to combat, and because I'd like to be left alone in my workshop.  I would work in solace with metals and glass.
3rd Thought, I am definitely more of a word person than a visual person.  Unfortunately there is no Grisha order that crafts words.

Q: What does Mal look like?

A: He looks hot, he looks very hot.  Mal has blue eyes and brown hair. He is traditionally good looking, however, not beautiful like the Darkling.  
*Leigh likes this fake magazine cover created by a fan, and thinks that he looks a lot like Mal
Image Source

Q: We are wondering who might the Darkling's father be?

A: By the end of book 3, you are going to know a lot more about the Darkling's past, and you will learn his true name.  SPOILER: It's not Doug or Toby!

Q: Kill - Makeout With - Marry : The Darkling - Mal - Botkin???!
A: **giggles ensue**  You do realize Botkin's pretty OLD, right?!  I challenge you to read "Siege and Storm" and see if you rephrase this question!

Q: Our book club read "Mistborn" by Brandon Sanderson last year.  "Shadow and Bone" echoed to us elements that we love about the Mistborn series by Brandon Sanderson.  Are you familiar with the Mistborn series?

A: I have not read the Mistborn series.  The only thing I have read by Brandon Sanderson is "The Rithmatist" which I really loved.  I am not familiar with the Mistborn series.  I try not to read a ton of fantasy while I'm writing fantasy, it sort of gets into my head and I start to feel intimidated, honestly.  If it's bad fantasy, no problem.  I will get to it eventually, it's on the list.

 Q: Have you been able to travel to Russia or Eastern Europe, and if so, what things were you inspired by most?

A: No, I haven't gotten to go, but I will probably make a pilgrimage there in about a year or two.  I am going to Tuscany soon!

Q: Do you have a writing ritual?
A: I can't work on a new draft without new notebook.  I have some cafes that I likes to work in.  I also become a hermit when I am finishing something! (more info about her writing ritual can be found here:     

Q: What  upcoming book or recently released books are you excited about reading? (NOTE: this question was asked on September 3, 2013)

A: "Vicious" by VE Schwab (available September 24. 2013)
"Allegiant" by Veronica Roth
"The Waking Dark" by Robin Wasserman (became available September 10, 2013)
"Unbreakable" by Kami Garcia (became available August 27, 2013)

Q: Do you have any suggestions of books for our club to read?

A:"The Coldest Girl in Coldtown" by Holly Black
"Scorpio Races" by Maggie Stiefvater
"Eleanor & Park" by Rainbow Rowell
"Howls Moving Castle" by Diana Wynne Jones (great middle grader book)
"Jellicoe Road" by Melina Marchetta

Q: What are you reading right now?

A: Nonfiction economics to help with a current project.

Leigh also enjoys/has enjoyed reading: 
-The works of George R. R. Martin - author of "A Game of Thrones" & the "Song of Ice and  Fire" series
-The "Seven Realms" novels by Cinda Williams Chima
-The "Attolia" series by Megan Whalen Turner

Leigh is a big fan of Historical Fiction, namely: 
"The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America" by Erik Larson

Leigh also likes to fall asleep listening to Agatha Christie books! (very apropos considering Delicious Reads' pick for Oct.!) 

Q: What is your favorite book?

"Filled with historical references that evoke the excesses and exuberance of Roaring Twenties pre-Depression America, Carter Beats the Devil is a complex and illuminating story of one man's journey through a magical and sometimes dangerous world, where illusion is everything." -

Leigh says to find her online at Twitter and talk to her about this book after reading it.
…shall we add this to our lineup of books to read next year, Delicious Reads Book members? (We DID end up reading this in 2014, see our AMAZING book club meeting photos!)

Leigh's Favorite children's books:
"Many Moons" by James Thurber 
"A Swiftly Tilting Planet" by Madeline L'Engle

*We would like to give a big "Thank You" to Leigh for staying up late, sharing some giggles, and letting us pick her brain!  The next time we watch "Labyrinth," we'll be thinking of you :)

Don't forget to check out all of our pictures from our Shadow and Bone book club meeting and see what we did to bring this fabulous book to life!