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Leslye Walton - Author

About the Author

Leslye Walt on was born in the Pacific Northwest. Perhaps because of this, the author has developed a strange kinship with the daffodil – she too can only achieve beauty after a long, cold sulk in the rain. Her debut novel, The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender, was inspired by a particularly long sulk in a particularly cold rainstorm spent pondering the logic, or rather, lack thereof, in love – the ways we coax ourselves to love, to continue loving, to leave love behind.

Leslye Walton has an MA in Writing and lives in Seattle. When she’s not writing, she teaches
middle-school students how to read and write and, most important, how to be kind to one another, even on days when they don’t really feel like it. She is currently working on her next novel.

Q&A with Leslye Walton

Please describe The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender in ten words or less.  Love can make us such fools.

Describe the writing process for the novel. How long did this book take to fully form? What is your writing process like as an author?  This novel was a learning process. I was in grad school at the time, earning an MA in Writing from
Portland State University. Though I’d written short stories before, I had no idea how to write a long piece of fiction, and the plot developed as I wrote. I lived and breathed this novel, these characters, for two years. It consumed my life, but again, I was spending as much time learning how to write as I did actually writing. My stories are always very character-driven. For me, the writing process starts with getting to know the characters. I need to understand them, who they are, and what they care about before I can begin to formulate the plot. And usually it’s the characters themselves who tell me where the story is going to go, and not the other way around.

The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender is a debut novel. What does it feel like now that the book is being published?  It feels surreal. I was driving to work when I got the call from my agent telling me we’d sold the book. I pulled over and had my first phone conference with my editor in an alleyway behind a car dealership. I kept looking around, thinking, Is this really happening? But as surreal as this whole experience has been, I’m also a teacher – I teach middle-school language arts – and my students are very good at keeping me grounded.

What are your hopes for the book, and what do you hope readers take away from it?  I hope it means something. Although that might not sound very original – don’t we all hope the things we create will mean something?– it still remains true. I bought my favourite book, How to Make an American Quilt by Whitney Otto, at a book fair when I was fourteen. That book sat on my bedside table throughout high school. I brought it with me to college and then later to grad school. The binding of the book is torn, and the pages are yellowed. I can speak some of the lines from that novel as naturally as if the words had derived from my own head. I’d love for Ava Lavender to mean that to a reader. I hope that it speaks some kind of truth for someone – that it makes someone feel less alone, or more alive. I want readers to fall in love with
Ava. I want them to love her like I do.

Featured books by Leslye Walton

Other books by Leslye Walton

Price Guide to the Occult

Price Guide to the Occult

Author: Leslye Walton Format: eBook Release Date: 06/09/2018

"e;An atmospheric, blood-drenched dark fantasy for a cold and stormy night."e; Kirkus ReviewsFrom the author of The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender comes a haunting tale of magic and murder.When Rona Blackburn landed on Anathema Island more than a century ago, her otherworldly skills might have benefited friendlier neighbors. Instead, guilt and fear led the island's original eight settlers to burn "e;the witch"e; out of her home. So Rona invoked the privileges of a witch; she cursed them. But such a spell always comes with a terrible price, and in punishing the island's residents, Rona also bound her family ever tighter to them. Fast-forward to the present day and all Nor Blackburn wants is to live an unremarkable teenage life. And she has reason to hope that she may have escaped the thorny side-effects of the family matriach's curse. But then a mysterious book comes out, promising to cast any spell for the right price. The author - Nor's own mother - seems capable of performing magic that should be far beyond her capabilities. And such magic always requires a sacrifice.A storm is coming. It's coming for Nor.

Price Guide to the Occult

Price Guide to the Occult

Author: Leslye Walton Format: eBook Release Date: 06/09/2018

"e;An atmospheric, blood-drenched dark fantasy for a cold and stormy night."e; Kirkus ReviewsFrom the author of The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender comes a haunting tale of magic and murder.When Rona Blackburn landed on Anathema Island more than a century ago, her otherworldly skills might have benefited friendlier neighbors. Instead, guilt and fear led the island's original eight settlers to burn "e;the witch"e; out of her home. So Rona invoked the privileges of a witch; she cursed them. But such a spell always comes with a terrible price, and in punishing the island's residents, Rona also bound her family ever tighter to them. Fast-forward to the present day and all Nor Blackburn wants is to live an unremarkable teenage life. And she has reason to hope that she may have escaped the thorny side-effects of the family matriach's curse. But then a mysterious book comes out, promising to cast any spell for the right price. The author - Nor's own mother - seems capable of performing magic that should be far beyond her capabilities. And such magic always requires a sacrifice.A storm is coming. It's coming for Nor.

The Price Guide to the Occult

The Price Guide to the Occult

Author: Leslye Walton, Ana Sender Quintana Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 06/09/2018

An atmospheric, blood-drenched dark fantasy for a cold and stormy night. Kirkus Reviews From the author of The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender comes a haunting tale of magic and murder. When Rona Blackburn landed on Anathema Island more than a century ago, her otherworldly skills might have benefited friendlier neighbors. Instead, guilt and fear led the island's original eight settlers to burn the witch out of her home. So Rona invoked the privileges of a witch; she cursed them. But such a spell always comes with a terrible price, and in punishing the island's residents, Rona also bound her family ever tighter to them. Fast-forward to the present day and all Nor Blackburn wants is to live an unremarkable teenage life. And she has reason to hope that she may have escaped the thorny side-effects of the family matriach's curse. But then a mysterious book comes out, promising to cast any spell for the right price. The author - Nor's own mother - seems capable of performing magic that should be far beyond her capabilities. And such magic always requires a sacrifice. A storm is coming. It's coming for Nor.

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