Interview with Adriane Leigh, Author of The Last Writer

30 Mar 2021

What can you tell us about your new release, The Last Writer?

The Last Writer is the story of an ambitious young writer and a mystery surrounding a very famous children’s book from the past. The beautiful setting of The New York Public Library is the perfect backdrop for a chilling story about genius, madness, legacy, and ambition. I dove into this world and didn’t want to come up for air! I like to think that if Tim Burton and Stephen King made a movie together, it would look something like this.

What or who inspired you to become an author?

I write to understand life. From an early age I had an obsessive desire to understand all sides of it. The who, the what, the how are questions that keep me writing to this day.

What’s on your top 5 list for the best books you’ve ever read?

The Alchemist. The Ocean at the End of the Lane. Gone with the Wind. From Sand and Ash. All the Stephen King.

Say you’re the host of a literary talk show. Who would be your first guest? What would you want to ask?

I’d like to say somebody romantic like F. Scott or Hemingway, but the truth is, I’d love to sit down with Charles Bukowski or Hunter S. Thompson! They’re wild and unexpected and refused to conform. They sought to report life authentically, if not chaotically in their art, and I appreciate that.

What’s your favorite thing about writing?

The unexpected way a story unfolds as I write is the most exciting thing for me. I work with a brief outline and almost every chapter a character or scene surprises me in some way.

What is a typical day like for you?

I jump out of bed with coffee on my mind. Pack school lunches and get the kids on the bus, spend a few minutes over coffee talking to the hubby about our upcoming day. Write. Coffee. Instagram. Write. Edit. Coffee. Repeat. I end the day with administrative things because they zap my brain the most. Then the kids are off the bus and we cook and listen to music and drink wine (the adults, not the kids) and then we go to bed early. My life is boring and I love it. I used to spend more time traveling for business and hosting events for readers and authors, I loved it but after six years it left me no time for writing. I finally have time to play with the demons in my head!

What scene from The Last Writer was your favorite to write?

When I originally wrote The Last Writer, I imagined the entire setting in the secret apartments of The New York Public Library. Instead, an isolated ancestral home on Shelter Island continued to call me and I realized there was much more to this story than at first glance. What unfolded as I wrote is a tale that weaves a modern story about a writer with the dramatic and sometimes horrific history of a rambling old mansion on Long Island and the cracks that fracture the famous family that live inside of it. It was equal parts chilling and beautiful to write the scenes at Usher House. In my mind it exists in real life and someday I want to visit.

Do you have a motto, quote, or philosophy you live by?

Progress over identity is written on a sticky note above my desk (along with many more). I have a tendency to get wrapped up inside my own head, this grounds me to reality and keeps me forward-focused.

Adriane Leigh is the author of the new book The Last Writer

Connect with Adriane Leigh

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