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I’m known for my maturity, so you probably won’t be surprised when I start bragging. I got to interview the awesome Lindsey Leavitt, neiner neiner neiner! Lindsay’s book, Princess for Hire, comes out tomorrow, March 16th from Disney-Hyperion. Let’s get on with the interview so you can go order it! Quick, quick, before it sells out!

Lindsey Leavitt grew up in Las Vegas and now lives in Alabama with her husband and three small daughters. Although she has been a substitute teacher and a homecoming princess, she has never been a substitute princess. Yet. She’s still scanning the Want Ads…

Visit her gorgeous website and snarfalicious blog here.

When a flawlessly dressed woman steps out of an iridescent bubble and wants to know, like, now if you’d like to become a substitute princess, do you

a) run
b) faint
c) say Yes!

For Desi Bascomb, who’s been longing for a bit of glamour in her Idaho life, the choice is a definite C–that is, once she can stop pinching herself. As her new agent Meredith explains, Desi has a rare magical ability: when she applies the ancient Egyptian formula “Royal Rouge,” she can transform temporarily into the exact lookalike of any princess who needs her subbing services. Dream come true, right?

Well, Desi soon discovers that subbing involves a lot more than wearing a tiara and waving at cameras. Like, what do you do when a bullying older sister puts you on a heinous crash diet? Or when the tribal villagers gather to watch you perform a ceremonial dance you don't know? Or when a princess's conflicted sweetheart shows up to break things off-and you know she would want you to change his mind?

In this hilarious, winning debut, one girl’s dream of glamour transforms into something bigger: the desire to make a positive impact. And an impact Desi makes, one royal fiasco at a time.

You've said that 10-year-old Lindsey was a total tomgirl. How do you think she would have done as a princess for hire? 
As far as pretending to be someone else, I would have been all about that. I was always practicing faces in the mirror and creating really dramatic scenarios with my brother’s He-Man. There might have been problems (like eye gouging) if make up application was required. 

I dance around the living room to Thriller before sitting down to write a new scene. What's your writing process like?
Do you really? That’s so awesome. Dude, I’m lame. I, uh, sit down. And then I click on a bunch of internet things like twitter and facebook. Then I open the document and stare at it. Then I play an online word game. Then I get up and go feed my crying baby.


You're a stay-at-home mom with a tight schedule who still manages to write kewl books and keep an awesomesauce blog. What advice do you have for people who struggle with finding time to write?
Make the time. Man, that is such a mom answer, isn’t it? Almost as bad as “You’re bored? I’ll give you something to do.”

I know that’s easier said than done. Based on what is going on in my life, writing can feel like the best escape or the biggest chore. But even before I sold, even before I had an agent, I made the choice that this is something I was going to work to achieve and that sacrifices needed to be made. I don’t watch a lot of TV, and sometimes I miss out on something fun because I have a deadline.  My family, specifically my husband, also have to step in occasionally and I love them all for it. It really all seems to work out as long as I have my priorities in check and my diet pepsi on hand.

One of the hardest things I do as a writer is "kill my darlings." What was the hardest thing for you to cut or rewrite from Princess for Hire?

One of the princesses Desi subs for is set in a middle eastern country. She’s the younger, chubbier sister and kind of gets stomped over. Originally, she was actually one of many wives in this made-up The King and I kind of place and my editor was like, um, this? DOES NOT WORK. And although I agreed, it was really hard to come up with the plotline I ultimately ended up with. So I wouldn’t say it was so much the darling itself, just coming up with a better plot element to replace it.

What things about the publishing process have surprised you?

Good question. I guess that the book sale isn’t the end, but really the beginning. I had a lot of post-sale revisions to do, and I don’t think anyone can fully prepare you for that. BUT, I’m grateful for it, because my book benefitted, and when I got my revisions for my second book, it was not nearly as painful.

I'm uber excited about your next book, Sean Griswold's Head, but what about Desi? Any chance we'll be able to revisit her world again?
Yes. OH YES. The next book in the Princess For Hire series (now cleverly titled Book 2) will be out in spring 2011.


ChickLitTeens says “Princess for Hire is a fabulous debut novel filled with romance, princesses and magic. The ideal book for fans of fantasy, chick lit and anyone who’s ever dreamed of being a princess.”

BookChic says “It's easy to get pulled into the storyline. I barely put the book down while reading the last 150 pages this past weekend…Overall, a really cute, fun debut!”

You can get more info on Princess for Hire here.

Thanks so much for the interview, Lindsey, and mucho congrats!


( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 15th, 2010 02:11 pm (UTC)
Lindsey is awesome. And I'm not saying that just because we live in the same town and I keep hoping she'll send Meridith over in that magic bubble. Really REALLY fun read. And the kind of tight writing I totally aspire to. GO, LL!!
Mar. 15th, 2010 02:28 pm (UTC)
Wow - I can't believe tomorrow's release day already. I have been reading about and anticipating the arrival of this book for a long time! Congratulations to Lindsey. Thanks for such a fun interview, Carrie!
Mar. 15th, 2010 02:38 pm (UTC)
Great interview!

I've got to say, Sean Griswold's Head is one of the coolest titles ever. How could anyone read that title and NOT want to pick up the book to see what it's about?
Mar. 15th, 2010 06:54 pm (UTC)
You can't read this interview and not sort of love both of you! Great interview - really looking forward to reading Lindsey's book!

PS - what Kim said!
Mar. 15th, 2010 08:56 pm (UTC)
Great interview! Thanks Carrie & Lindsey!
Mar. 16th, 2010 01:49 pm (UTC)
Great interview, and happy book birthday to Lindsey and Princess for Hire. It sounds like a lot of fun!
Mar. 16th, 2010 06:37 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the great interview! Can't wait to read the book. :)
Mar. 16th, 2010 07:26 pm (UTC)
Dude, I'm so glad I'm not the only one that writes in a very roundabout way. Like, maybe I'll just check my farm one more time kind of way.

Great interview. And the book is out today! Yay!
Mar. 17th, 2010 07:01 pm (UTC)
Great interview - fun questions and fabulous answers! Princess for Hire sounds like such a fun book! I can't wait to check it out!
Mar. 23rd, 2010 07:54 pm (UTC)
Read this as a Tenner ARC and it was one of my faves! Congrats, Lindsey!
Apr. 4th, 2010 02:33 pm (UTC)
Oh, yay! I was lucky to read an early version of the ms and an ARC...but now I can buy the book! Yay!
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )


The Elevensies
a mid-morning snack
with coffee or tea

A group of YA and MG authors whose first books debut in 2011


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