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Guest Interview with Savy Leiser

Welcome to the blog! Tell us a little bit about yourself!

Hi! I’m so excited to be getting interviewed! As a freelance journalist, I’m usually the one interviewing other people. My name is Savy Leiser, and I’m a twenty-three-year-old writer living in Chicago. I graduated from Northwestern University in 2015, where I spent four years playing alto saxophone in the marching band. Now, I write for Halftime Magazine about music, and recently released my first contemporary young-adult novel, The Making of a Small-Town Beauty King.

So, first up, how’d you get the idea for THE MAKING OF A SMALL-TOWN BEAUTY KING?

I actually first wrote it as a script for one of my screenwriting classes in college. The summer after I graduated, I realized that this story would actually work really well as a novel, so I started converting it, and found that I loved what it was becoming. (Maybe one day it can be a movie as well!)

Before that, ideas for this book have been coming to me for a long time. I grew up in a town that hosted a yearly Community Fair, which I attended every year. I always loved the fair so much, and I knew one day I wanted to create some kind of fair-related story as a result. When I would watch our fair’s pageant every year, I always wondered what would happen if a boy tried to enter. So, I wrote about it.

What got you into writing for teens? What’s your favorite thing about writing for that age category?

The main reason I like to write for teens is that young-adult books are my favorite genre to read. Growing up, I loved authors like Meg Cabot and John Green, who could so believably create such smart and funny teenagers. Beyond that, I was always a very active person as a teenager. I tried just about every club and activity in high school, so many story ideas grew out of those experiences.

What made you decide to self-publish instead of going the traditional route? Would you self pub again and/or do you have any advice for someone debating on going indie?

Since I’m in the early stages of my career, I wanted to try a variety of different routes. I currently have a few picture book manuscripts that I’m in the process of pitching to agents. I’m also working on a new YA novel right now, which I may pitch to agents and publishers once I finish. So, honestly, I’m keeping my options open. I thought I’d try self-publishing the first time around to get a feel for the book publishing and marketing process. I also know some awesome indie authors who have had great success with self-publishing, so I thought it was worth a try. I think it’s beautiful that there are so many routes for writers to get their work out into the world, and they all just excite me so much that I want to try them all!

My advice for writers going indie would be to get the word out about your book as much as possible. This isn’t the time to be modest. Post about it on Facebook and Twitter every time something remotely related to it happens. Have your friends and family share your posts so that their friends and family will know about it. Find ways to tie it into conversations with strangers. Reach out to book bloggers for reviews. Never shut up.

Time for some book recs! What’s your fave YA right now that someone else wrote? What drew you to that book in particular.

I think John Green’s An Abundance of Katherines has been my favorite YA book since I was fourteen. It’s just so witty! The characters are hilarious, and the plot is so quirky and strange, but so clever and believable at the same time. Also, even though she’s a side character, I love Katherine XIX, because I’m her in so many ways.

Finally, Rapid Fire Round!

Hogwarts House?

I’m a Hufflepuff on the outside, but a Slytherin on the inside.

Star Trek or Star Wars?

That’s hard! I actually wasn’t a Star Wars fan until recently, but ever since I gave it a second chance, I really like it! If you’d asked me a year ago, it’d be Star Trek, hands down, but the new Star Wars movie was so good, I think I’m gonna have to go with that...

Ebook or Physical Copy?

Physical copy, all the way! I just love the feeling of paper!

Cats or Dogs?

I am crazy about dogs! Every time I see a dog on the sidewalk, I melt into a puddle of squeals. (I do like cats, too, though. My web-comic is about a cat!)

Favorite Disney Heroine?

Is it too soon to say Officer Judy Hopps from Zootopia? Because I am crazy about her!

Author Bio:

Savy Leiser is the author of The Making of a Small-Town Beauty King. Her hobbies include losing her voice screaming at Northwestern Wildcats football games, drawing comics about cats, and occasionally performing stand-up comedy around Chicago.

Link to book on Amazon:

Twitter handle: @savyleiser

Link to my website:

Link to my webcomic:

Link to my blog:

Website for editing services:

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