Meet Leigh Bardugo, author of Shadow and Bone

Welcome to The Debuts, a series of posts introducing you to brand, spanking new authors you really should get to know.

Meet Leigh Bardugo!

Byrt: If one of the top Hollywood voice-over guys was narrating your book trailer (in a hammy Hollywood way), what would he say?

LB: I’m going to risk being tacky and direct you to my actual book trailer. Because – and I feel comfortable saying this since I had nothing to do with it –  it is AWESOME and the text is straight up, completely delicious Hollywood ham. (Much love to Karen Frangipane and Kathryn Bhirud at MacKids and the people at The Other House who put this together.) Sidenote: I used to write scripts for movie trailers for a living and I worked for one of the companies mentioned at the end of that youtube clip. Oh, the glamour!

Byrt: So what’s the story behind your story?

LB: I think it all goes back to when I was alone in an unfamiliar house in the mountains, standing at the end of a hallway, sure that I could hear something breathing in the dark. After I finished freaking out and got back to bed, I lay there wondering, “What if darkness was a place?” What if you couldn’t just flip a switch or light a torch to banish it? What if the monsters you imagined were real and you had to fight them on their territory? I couldn’t sleep, so I got up and started writing.

Byrt: If you like ________, you’ll like my book

LB: It is taking everything in me not to reply “big butts and you cannot lie.” Sir Mix-a-Lot: poet and knight. I’m going to go with “adventure, fantasy, and romance.”

Byrt: The silliest/craziest author moment you’ve had so far?

LB: I went to a business dinner with some people who had read my book and one of them asked me why the volcra can’t leave the Fold at night. I started to answer, but before I could get a word in, someone else jumped in with his explanation. And then they just went to town debating. It was totally thrilling. As an avid fantasy reader, I love to argue minutiae. But I never thought I’d hear people bickering over my minutiae. Bliss.

Byrt: Book you own with the most tattered, scotch-taped cover, the most battered spine? (And why you love it.)

LB: I tend to give all my books the beat down, but the one that looks worst is my copy of Stephen King’s Nightshift. This book made the rounds when I was in fifth grade because of a story called “The Boogeyman.” It is easily the most terrifying thing I’ve ever read. I kept asking to borrow the book again and again, until finally, the kid who owned it just gave it to me. I like to think its pages soaked up all the wide-eyed terror of my fifth grade class.

Byrt: Book you’re reading right now?

LB: Finnikin of the Rock. I put off reading this for so long because I feared it would paralyze me with its awesomeness, but I just can’t resist any longer.

Byrt: Biggest Fangirl/boy moment you’ve ever had?

LB: I started crying when I met George R.R. Martin. It was completely humiliating, but he took the whole thing in stride.

Byrt: The TV show/movie you feel guiltiest admitting you love?

LB: I’m hard to shame when it comes to this stuff, but I’ve been openly mocked for watching Legend of the Seeker. Do not care. Bring on the slow-mo.

Byrt: First song lyric that comes to mind right now. Go.

LB: Meow meow meow meow meow meow.

Byrt: What’s up next for you?

LB: Book 2 of the Grisha Trilogy is written and in revisions. I’m going to take a little break from Ravka to work on a horror project, then dive into Book 3. Oh and I’m going on tour! Me! On a book tour. You should come. There will be treats.

Thanks again to Leigh for stopping by the Yurt!

For more on Leigh, check out her website here (where you can find her tour schedule)

And you can read an excerpt of Shadow and Bone here (and then pre-order it here)