Monday, April 11, 2011

Author Interview: Leigh Fallon

Leigh Fallon, author of The Carrier of the Mark, is the first author to be published through inkpop. Leigh describes herself as 'a South African born, Irish writer, living between the US and Ireland... interesting!' For a synopsis of Carrier look here, then scroll down and read this exclusive interview with the author. 

What was your inspiration for Carrier?
I was sitting in my jeep outside of my daughters’ ballet school [in Ireland]. My twin babies were in the car bawling their eyes out with boredom. I was looking for a way to escape it all for a few moments when something my dad said popped into my head, ‘everyone has a book in them’. So taking these pearls of wisdom, I picked up some scraps of paper and started jotting down notes about a story that was stirring in my head. Each of the characters became very clear almost immediately and the magical element was at the forefront. The inspiration for it? Well probably the town of Kinsale, the old buildings, the eclectic mix of people, the beautiful views. But the story went from inspiration to the makings of a book in less than 30 mins on the backs of receipts and napkins.

How has your life changed since getting the publishing deal?

Well, since I got my publishing deal I’ve moved to the US. Getting the publishing didn’t make me move to the US, but it coincided with the move, so things have changed greatly. I’m also super busy. I spend so much time answering emails, tweets, Facebook messages, and interview requests, it’s bizarre. I’m still getting used to all the attention, but it’s great, I’m really enjoying it. I’m also writing full time now -Yay.

Can you share any details of your query letters?

I could, but I’m not going to because my query litter sucked! Seriously, it would benefit no one. LOL. When I think back to that letter I cringe, it was so amateurish. I guess it wasn’t my fault; I was new to the publishing world and didn’t really know what was expected of a query letter. It’s amazing what you learn in a few months when mixing with your writing peers. My advice to anyone embarking on the search for an agent… Stop! Wait! Read agent blogs. Get on twitter and follow the good agents. Read their tweets religiously, listen to what they are saying. They are very honest. They’ll tell the twitter world what they are looking for at the moment, what they are NOT looking for. They also tweet about things that irritate them or things that are the pet peeves. Get to know the agent BEFORE you send in that query letter. You only get one shot at it, so make a good impression. Your manuscript could be amazing, but if you press the wrong buttons in your query, the agent won’t even get as far as your signature at the end of the page before they toss it in the shredder.

How many books will there be in the Carrier series?
I’d originally planned for three books in the series, I’m still aiming off for that, but it might end up being four. But (and there is always a but), I’m only under contract to write one book in this series, HarperTeen do get first pass on the second, but there are no guarantees. So I need The Carrier of the Mark to do VERY well if I am to secure a future for the rest of the series. So we have to get the word out there. Please… buy the book!

What makes Carrier unique?
The Carrier of the Mark is a totally different spin on Paranormal. It delves into the ancient world of Irish history and folklore. The story is set in places that actually exist. Every monument, castle, or building mentioned in the book is there for all to visit. The core of the paranormal element, is one that is deep rooted in Celtic tales, symbols, and structures and I’ve built the story around the very fabric of those stories, intertwining history, folklore and magic to make it that little bit more real.

Is there anything you’d like to say to aspiring YA authors?

The publishing industry is a tough nut to crack, but stay with it, don’t get disillusioned. The way to success is through persistence. Grow yourself very thick skin, and stick your neck out. Get out there. Join writers’ forums, start networking, and reach out to people. There is an amazing, diverse group of exceptionally friendly and supportive people out there who will help guide you towards your goals.

I'd like to thank Leigh for doing this interview. Anyone who thinks Carrier sounds interesting (and who wouldn't? Irish folklore is the best!) should check out some of the important links below. Leigh's ramblings on 
her blog or Facebook will help pass the time until the release date: October 4th. 

Important Links:
Barnes and Noble
Leigh's Blog
Leigh's Facebook Page


  1. This is a fascinating interview! Thanks, Elanor! I'd been seeing things here and there about THE CARRIER OF THE MARK, but hadn't yet read the description. Your interview with Ms. Fallon has convinced me to pick it up!

  2. Hi *waves* great to see the interview. Oh, and you have the kitty too. He is so cute.
    Thanks and all the best.

  3. An excellent interview Elanor- nicely done! :)

  4. Great interview! I will definitely be buying Leigh's book, I'm so excited for her :)