Leisa Rayven's BIO
Writing has always been a passion for Leisa, and even though she originally intended to be an actress, it wasn't long into her time at drama school that she began writing plays.
Those plays were bad. Very bad. Well, her friends thought they were good, but that's because they were always cast in them and any opportunity to be on stage was met with an obnoxious amount of enthusiasm.
Since then, she's honed her craft, and several of her plays have been produced and toured throughout Australia.
These days, playwriting has given way to fiction writing, and her debut novel, BAD ROMEO, will be available in a worldwide release through Macmillan Publishing in December 2014. The sequel, BROKEN JULIET, will be available in April 2015.
Leisa lives in Australia with her husband, two little boys, three judgemental cats, and a kangaroo named Howard. (*NB: Howard may or may not be her imaginary marsupial friend. Everyone should have one.*)
Who would be your dream cast?
I'd love Cassie to be played by Phoebe Tomkin. She's an Aussie actress who's now appearing in The Originals, and I think she has the perfect blend of beauty and sass to pull it off.Ethan is more difficult to cast, because even though there are plenty of pretty-boy actors who look right, getting his intensity and defensiveness down isn't easy. I'd like to see how Douglas Booth would handle it. He certainly looks the part. :)Also, I have to admit that I wrote the part of Marco Fiori (Cassie and Ethan's director) for Stanley Tucci. He just makes every movie he's in better.
Would you be opposed to, or all for bringing your characters to the big screen, or the stage?
Lordy, I would LOVE it to be a film or tv series. That would be stupendous! A fan has already started a campaign on The IF List, so if anyone has casting ideas, head on over and put in your two cents worth. :)
And our bonus questions,
because we feel like we could talk to you forever!!
The character of Ethan was written with such angst that it made me feel like it was a personal journey of sorts. Do you have an “Ethan” in your past or present?
I think everyone has an Ethan in their pasts, don't they? Lol! I did date someone for a while to was a slave to his issues, and as Cassie knows, it's exhausting. Fortunately, the day after he broke up with me, I met my husband, so there was a silver lining. Of course, as soon my ex saw me with someone else he wanted me back, but by then it was too late. I knew I'd met my true soul mate. Sadly, the boy in question never got himself together the way Ethan did. I still see him every now and then, and wish him happiness, but I don't know he'll ever find it.
Bad Romeo, honestly reads like someone’s personal diary, and we see that you incorporated that aspect into your book with the lead character, did that come from you personally keeping a diary?
I did keep a diary for a few months in high school (oh the ANGST of a teenage girl!) but I've never been able to keep one for an extended period of time. I really wish I could because I think journaling is a fantastic tool for both purging tension, and chronicling the big moments in our lives. Maybe that can be one of my New Year's resolutions for 2015. :)
Now with the evident success of Bad Romeo, are there any rejections or assholes from your past that have made you think “yeah, how do you all like me now”?
Haha! I love this question. I've been really blessed to not have encountered too many assholes in my life, but there was one girl in grade 5 who made my life hell. I was the new girl in the class and she was total cow to me. One day we were doing basketball drills together and she threw the ball at me really hard. I happen to have excellent eye/hand co-ordination and caught it easily. However, when I threw it back at her equally hard, she missed it and it smashed into her face, giving her a bloody nose and busted lip. I got into trouble by our teacher, but it was sooooo worth it. :)
As far as writing and publishing goes, I don't really have anyone I'd like to say a bit fat TOLD YOU SO to, except maybe my parents. Haha! It's not that they weren't supportive when I said I was pursuing my dream of becoming a published author because they were, it's just that it all happened so fast, it was pretty unbelievable. I'd only had 2 agent rejections before the amazing Christina Hogrebe came into my life. When I told Mum and Dad that a New York literary agent had offered to represent me, they were all, "Of course she has, sweetie. That's nice." Then, when I told them my agent had submitted my manuscript to one of the big publishers, they were all, "Uh huh. Great.", and finally when I told them I'd been offered a three-book publishing deal with Macmillan they were all, "What? Oh, honey, are you sure this isn't a scam? Don't give them any money!" Lol! I don't really blame them. It was all completely bizarre. I don't think they truly believed it until a put my book in their hands. Now, they can't shut up about it. :)
What questions have you been burning to answer that no one has asked you? (this is your moment to ask yourself and answer it, lol)
Actually, you've asked a couple of kickass questions that I've never answered before. Good job! :)
What is one thing that readers would be surprised to find out about you?
I grew up on a cane farm in a small country town in Australia. One part of Bad Romeo that was very true to life was how I felt when I went to the Big City to audition for drama school. Like Cassie, I really did feel like a country bumpkin compared to the glamorous city kids. Still, I guess I did something right because I got in! :)