Happy Monday Everyone!
This week’s author spotlight is on Leslie Conzatti, author of “The Water Man”, “Merely Meridith”, “Princess of Undersea”, and “The Commander’s Courage”. Her works aren’t currently published, but they can be viewed on her blog and Wattpad. The interview I had with her, as well as her biography, are below! Enjoy!
1) What is your favorite genre to write, and do you write across different genres?
When I am working on entirely-original projects, my writing generally vacillates between fantasy and cyberpunk. I do have some “adaptations” I have started that are kind of contemporary romance (“Merely Meredith” [http://upstreamwriter.blogspot.com/2015/05/story-feature-merely-meredith-modern.html] is an adaptation of Jane Austen’s “Persuasion”) or historical fiction (as in “The ReBible Series”, [http://upstreamwriter.blogspot.com/p/the-rebible-series.html] which are historical/modern adaptations of Bible stories) but in those cases it’s a story already written, so I am just repurposing the details. It is a lot of cyberpunk and fantasy, though.
2) What has your publishing experience been like?
So far it’s been great! Not at all what I thought it would be, since originally I was going to be a part of a self-published anthology, then a small-press published anthology, and then that dwindled down to just me… But the publisher I am working with has been very patient with all of my worried questions and inadvertent procrastinating, he has been clear and above-board in his dealings, and I am confident that this will continue moving forward!
3) What is your advice to aspiring authors?
Keep freaking writing. Absorb other media, whether it’s books, TV shows, or movies. Learn what you can about the writing process; there have been quite a few times I have come across books that the author was really excited and proud of the fact that they produced a book… But since they ignored the basic rudiments of storytelling, what may have been a unique and inventive premise got lost in the flurry of sensational scenarios, flat characters, dull plot dwindles, and forced conversations. Learn from others’ successes and mistakes. When you like something or don’t like it, stop and see if you can figure out why that is. If you liked it, maybe you will want to add it to your own writing. If you didn’t, identify it so you can avoid it. Oh, and Keep. Freaking. Writing.
4) What do you hope readers will take away from your writing?
I want to give a message of hope and empowerment. I love literature with such a passion that I am devastated when I witness it used in such a way as to leave the reader confused and hopeless, or (God forbid) more detached from the real world. I believe that literature should be designed to improve the world one reader at a time, so when that aspect is disregarded, then what is the point of all those words?
5) What are you currently working on?
I am currently in the process of publishing a novella entitled “Princess of Undersea,” which is sort of like my own version of The Little Mermaid.
As far as in-progress novels, I have an urban fantasy novel called “The Water-Man”, [https://www.wattpad.com/story/49585258-the-water-man] which I am currently posting on Wattpad.
Any other works-in-progress are available for perusal as excerpts on my blog.
Leslie Conzatti is an avid reader, a passionate writer, and a committed lover of all things fantasy. A native of the Pacific Northwest, she has been running the blog “The Upstream Writer” since the beginning of 2013, to promote her own writing and as a medium for interacting with readers. In addition, “The Upstream Writer” is an “indie book blog” as well, since Leslie willingly uses it as an excuse to get free books. (to review, of course!) Leslie’s “day job” is a staff assistant at a local elementary school. She is currently in the process of getting a novella published, and hopes to be ready for release by the fall!