Who is Lev Lyonne?
If you've ever wondered what makes me tick, this is the interview for you. The brilliant Aña Anne and I had a great discussion about my writing history, my interests, and what this craft means to me. She came up with the creative way of framing the interview, which is no surprise. Aña is a dear friend and a wonderful writer, who also has an online platform that I will link below. She let me interview her in exchange, which will be up on the blog shortly.
In the meantime, I hope that you enjoy this peek into who I am!
Interview with Lev & Aña
Footsteps slice through the silence in the air, sharp, decisive footsteps. One after another until Crack, Crack, Bang! And down goes the door. What an expensive and unnecessarily dramatic entrance. There can only be one person behind it.
From the sawdust and ruble comes a figure, sashaying in like she owns the place. She wears a fantastically large dress and obnoxiously colorful lipstick. The outfit is almost as loud as her. She plops down in a chair, not hers, and faces the space where one would assume a camera would go.
A: Hello darlings, it is I, Aña Anne (aka Trivial_Universe), here to bless you with my presence. And less importantly, to interview the owner of this blog, Lev Lyonne (aka Simply_Hiraeth)! Why don’t you introduce yourself?
Sitting in a chair opposite of her, Lev blinks in bewilderment.
L: I’m Lev, I’m currently a university student who somehow finds the time to throw myself into writing.
A: Talk about relatable. With that, why don’t we get started? I’m so excited to interview you! Now let’s get to it with my first question:What’s it like being the best writer of your generation? Just kidding, kind of. My real question is why and when did you start writing?
L: You’re too much. I’ve been writing stories since I was a little kid, but my first attempt at a book when I was eleven. My family was on a road trip, I was bored, and I penned the most blatant rip-off of Harry Potter. I haven’t looked back since, though hopefully my ideas are more original now.
A: I think every young writer has faced the dreaded famous book rip-off. What has kept you motivated all these years?
L: Writing gives me more joy than anything. The motivation lies in the happiness it brings.
A: That’s amazing! Not everyone can say that. What are the pros and cons of writing, in your experience?
L: There is something magical about creating worlds, shaping people, and weaving stories. It’s an extraordinary thing, to have the freedom to put words on a page and create anything you wish. A negative side to writing is the daunting nature of it. The freedom to write can sometimes be a bit off-putting.
A: Oh, definitely. I think we can all attest to that. What is your favorite genre to write in? And are there any you could never do?
L: Fantasy is my favorite, but not high fantasy. Something that is rooted in real history. I enjoy reading all types of genres, but my writing is mostly fantasy, historical, adventure, romance, and a dash of steampunk. I never say never, but realistic fiction and I seem to clash.
A: That’s interesting! You write it brilliantly too, which brings me to my next question. The series you are currently working on and rewriting, The Spectacular Flying Thieves of 1903, is amazing and one of the best things I have ever read. But that’s besides the point. How did you come up with the premise?
L: Thank you, that’s so flattering! I have always wanted to write an adventure with a large and crazy cast. None of my ideas ever felt right for something like that. It began to fall into place when I jotted down a thought about two boys breaking into a library and falling in love. Never thought it would truly unravel into that great adventure I’ve always wanted to create.
A: Well, I for one, am so glad it did. What was your favorite part of writing it?
L: That’s such a tough question. I think seeing all of the characters develop from ideas on index cards to what they are now. I loved exploring the characters and building the cast.
A: That’s wonderful. I love that part too, it’s so fulfilling. Do you have a favorite scene or character?
L: That’s like choosing a favorite child. Everyone has one, but it’s hard to say… Crow and Abner have a special place in my heart. However, my favorite character to develop has been Malachy. As for scenes, one of my favorites is Abner and Crow’s first kiss. It kicks off the adventure, plus I think it was super sweet.
A: I feel that. I personally love all the characters, they are so interesting! And yes, that was such a magical moment. While writing, do you have any rituals or special things you do to get in the zone?
L: I don’t, actually! I do write with more ease when it’s dark out, though.
A: How mysterious. What do you hope is in the future for ATCF?
L: After a hundred more rewrites, I hope to pursue publishing! Being able to hold this book in my hands would be a dream come true.
A: I know what you mean. I can’t wait for that day either! Dagger and Cloak, your short story anthology, how do you get the ideas for those? And what is your process for writing them?
L: Several ideas I’ve had for years, stashed away in notebooks. Usually it just floats by and I have to snatch onto it. For the short stories, I’m inspired by mostly random things. As for writing them, it varies. Some of them I just sit down and write, letting the idea take over. Others, like Sakoiya the Skeleton, I had to outline.
A: That’s so cool! I honestly love all of your short stories, they are written so beautifully, so keep doing what you do! How do you write so well and can I have your talent?
L: If you can find the talent, you may take it. But thank you, I’m blushing.
A: I’d rather just take yours, but I guess beggars can’t be choosers. Haha. Do you have a writing playlist? If so, what kind of songs do you have on it, and can you link it?
L: I am constantly deleting and creating writing playlists. I don’t have one right now, mostly just grabbing onto to random songs. I do listen to Cosmagora by Jo Blankenburg for atmosphere. I also listen to a lot of terrible disco music while writing. I think I'll have a post about writing, music, and my tastes sometime in the future!
A: Sounds fun. Oh, excuse me, funky. What are your goals for your writing career, big or small?
L: I would love to be a published author and write novels for a living. I debated for a long time if that was really my dream, but I think it is. So I’m slowly figuring out how to achieve that goal.
A: It’s a dream job, really. You’ve got plenty of fans to support you on the way, we’ll be cheering you on from the sidelines! What do you think you will be doing after the rewrite is done, a while from now?
L: Mmm, taking a nap.
A: Ah, thank you for answering all my questions about writing! Now, onto the more personal stuff.What is life like for you outside of writing?
L: I’m either in class or at work. I’m majoring in global studies, which is a lot of fun. I have two jobs, one at a community theatre and the other at a library.
A: What are your hobbies?
L: Writing is my main hobby, though I enjoy theatre as well. I’ve done more backstage work than onstage, but I think performing is so fun. I've also gotten back into reading. It's been great.
A: How old are you, and do you have anything planned for the future?
L: I just turned nineteen. As of right now, my main goal is to get into a summer study abroad program and then graduate early.
A: What do you plan to do for this blog?
L: I want to engage with more writers, perhaps through interviews and discussions. I would also like to present different ideas on writing and how to understand this craft.
A: What is your favorite book? What is your least favorite?
L: My favorite book is City of Thieves by David Benioff. A quote from that book inspired the name for this blog and the main character inspired my pen name. I have a least favorite but it feels me with so much frustration that I never speak its name.
A: Favorite genre to read in? Least favorite?
L: This isn’t a genre, per say, but I love “fantasy with criminals.” Books like Six of Crows, A Darker Shade of Magic...stories with slightly unsavory characters are the best. My least favorite is hardcore sci-fi or fantasy, which is strange, I know. The really intense stuff doesn’t do it for me.
A: Literary trope you hate, and one you love?
L: Love triangles. Unless they are incredibly well-done, I despise them. On the other hand, I love the rivals-to-lovers trope. I could read that all day long.
A: What Hogwarts house are you in?
L: Ah, my favorite question. I am a Slytherin and proud of it.
A: What is your favorite movie?
L: The Rabbi's Cat. It’s in French, which I know makes me sound pretentious, but it is amazing. It’s animated, but is gorgeous and funny and interesting. It’s a fun and dangerous adventure set in Algeria and is a great inspiration to me.
A: What are your favorite shows?
L: I have so many! Russian Doll, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, The Office, Schitt’s Creek, Parks & Recreation,...the list goes on and on.
A: Guilty pleasure?
L: Watching Big Brother.
A: Pet peeves?
L: People who watch videos in public spaces with no headphones or earbuds.
A: Likes, dislikes?
L: I like the rain, New York City, bookstores, cats, turtlenecks, and globes. I dislike the color orange, insects, crumbs, snow, and wearing hats.
A: Your most amazing and flawless friend? (the answer is me, by the way)
L: Indeed, the answer is you.
A: Are there any creators you want to shout out?
L: Why, you, of course! Everyone go check out her exquisite book, It’s Better to Burn, on Wattpad and Tapas. There are so, so many creators, but I’ll pick just one, or this list would be ten pages long. I’d like to shout out Avis_Scipione for always leaving such thoughtful and fun comments. She is on Wattpad and has an amazing book called The Mosaic.
A: How much do you love your fans, and is there anything you want to say to them?
L: It is impossible to express my appreciation and adoration for my readers. Being able to share The Flying Thieves with you all has changed me for the better. Thank you so much for your interest, your support, and always being the best. I love you more than Crow loves stealing things or the Librarian loves being snarky. That much.
A: Thank you so much Lev for allowing me to interview you on your blog that I stole. I had fun, let’s do it again sometime! Fellas and ladies and gamers, all of my and her info will be down below. Follow us, we’re pretty cool, if I do say so myself.
And with that, she got up from her seat, walked calmly to the back door, and broke that down too. She was never seen again.
Until she popped back in to take some food off the snack table.