Leila’s original interview was published on 9 July 2011. When she was asked where she saw herself in a year’s time, she said, “Hopefully with more books published and/or under contract“. Well, Leila’s certainly been busy this past year …
Are you where you thought you’d be when you looked forward to this point a year ago?
Actually, no! Not that it’s worse, or indeed better, but it’s definitely different. I have been lucky enough to get a contract to write some publisher-led YA novels for Hyperion (part of Disney) in the UK. The books have sold in the UK to an exciting new publisher called Hot Key and I believe in Germany also. The first one is called Cinders and Sapphires and it is described as a ‘teen Downton Abbey’. So that has been my main work for the first half of this year.
What has changed and what has stayed the same?
Well, one big change is that I now have a baby. Magnus is two months old now and I’m getting back into the swing of work. But I was working literally up until the day before I gave birth, writing Cinders and Sapphires.
What have you learned? What do you wish you’d known a year ago?
I don’t know if I’ve learned anything new, particularly. I think i already had a pretty good idea of the pros and cons of life as a writer.
Any more hints and tips for people?
The pram in the hall is a myth. You CAN write with a baby. You have to be very disciplined and ditch everything unnecessary, like personal grooming and housework, but it is possible. Actually, in some ways having a baby is possibly more motivating. I don’t think I’m getting less done than I did before having Magnus. Maybe more.
And … where do you see yourself and your business in a(nother) year’s time.
Hard to say. The contract with Hyperion is for three books so still writing those. I should just have delivered book 2 by this time next year. I hope to have more of my own books published or under contract. I am working on something at the moment that my agent likes, it’s at the self-editing stage. I also hope my teaching work will have expanded to include more workshops in Birmingham.
Exciting news from Leila there, and we wish her all the best with baby Magnus and her writing career. I think this is our first Small Business Chat baby … !