Annabelle Walsh thought she had it all. She was the star of her swim team, had a loving family, a great boyfriend, and to top it off, she’d be starting at UCLA in the fall. One day, she’d be referred to as Dr. Annabelle Walsh.
She was living every girl’s dream – until her life was turned upside down. All starting with finding out that she's not just a human, but also a water spirit. Half-human, half-sprite to be exact. Although not just any sprite, Annabelle is prophesied to be the only one who can save both the sprites and mankind.
With a mix of current events, anecdotes from Greek mythology, tidbits of folklore, and Leigh’s own imagination, we join Annabelle in her journey to restore order beneath the sea. Each step of the way her mind, body, and soul are pushed to the limit begging the question, how much can one half-human, half-sprite take?
Welcome, Leigh. Thanks for taking this time with me. How did you start your writing career?
I’ve been writing since I was a little girl. Although I didn’t know I wanted to create a living through writing until college.
In fifth grade, I won a print ad contest that my elementary school was participating in. From that moment forward, I knew I had aspirations to do something creative, but wasn’t quite sure what that entailed.
In college, I completed four different internships within the advertising field. Made sense after graduation to continue into the ad world. Becoming a copywriter has been a great experience. In this role, I see crafting messages as a big puzzle that’s just waiting to be solved. I’ve also found that writing a novel is quite similar and it’s been a great evolution in my writing career. I love what I do!
Tell us about your next release.
My next release is the conclusion to my series, Annabelle’s Story. I released part one, which is called Sprite, in late April, 2012. I’m so excited to be releasing Kin soon. Very soon. You can find more details at LeighMichaelBooks.com.
Plotter or Pantser? Why?
Actually I’d say I’m more of a plotster… a mixture of both. I definitely plan and plot an outline before beginning to write. I find it helpful to organize my thoughts and see how things will unfold. But when the time comes to write, I let my creative side wander. I do little “check-ins” to make sure my plotter side is satisfied. I just don’t shy away from coming up with new ideas at the seat of my pants.
Are the names of the characters in your novels important? How and why?
The protagonist in Annabelle’s Story is named Annabelle, which I’m sure doesn’t come as a surprise. It’s actually the name my husband and I have dreamed up for our future daughter (whenever that may be).
Besides Annabelle, names of my friends and family also made the cut. I borrowed little bits and pieces of their personalities and experiences to infuse into the characters.
Tell us about the absolute BEST fan letter you have received.
So… the majority of parents will see a scribbled picture their four year old drew and say that it’s “magnificent” even though the drawing is unrecognizable. It just comes with the territory of being your child’s number one fan.
With that being said, the best fan letter I received came from my dad. Actually, it was in the form of a text message. He quoted a line from Sprite and said, “Where did you come up with that? Brillant!” My response back, “Thank you. I get my imagination from you.”
What’s one of your favorite passages from Sprite (Annabelle’s Story Part One)?
“It’s weird, people always say that you see your life flash before your eyes when you die. But I didn’t. All I could think about were stories I had heard as a lifeguard — from people who actually drowned and then were brought back to life through CPR.
They said that after a few minutes you begin to sink. It’s because little by little all the air has left your lungs. The aching feeling to replenish your lungs makes your heart quicken. Then the only thing left to do is inhale. You have no choice… your body just instinctively does it. Doesn’t matter if you’re underwater or not. After you do, the water burns your throat as it goes down, it fills your lungs, and then you die.
Right on cue, my body forced me to inhale.”
Entice us, what future projects are you considering?
I’m excited and also a little sad to be wrapping up Annabelle’s Story. It was my debut series and I’ve learned SO much from this experience. I’ll probably take a moment to reflect on this accomplishment then throw myself head first into my next series, a YA historical fiction.
I have a huge stack of history books that I plan to read to prepare my plotter side. Then, I can’t wait to unleash my pantster creativity and start writing.