Ask the Author: Leslie Vedder
What would you like your readers to know about you?
Reader, I am more afraid of you than you are of me—I promise! I am such an introvert that I sometimes can’t believe I’ve been working my whole life toward a dream that requires me to put myself out there so much. I can happily go for weeks seeing only my girlfriend and our two spoiled housecats!
Books and writing have always been how I connect with other people. I love talking fandom and gushing over my favorite pairings and, yes, I definitely have a whole folder full of fanfiction hidden away on my computer! 🙂
What is your book about for those who haven’t read it?
The Bone Spindle is a genderflipped Sleeping Beauty x Indiana Jones!
Fi, a bookish treasure hunter out to break a dark curse, teams up with Shane, a queer ax-wielding huntswoman with a lot of attitude and a dangerous treasure map!
Together they take on a lost ruin—but instead of riches, all Fi gets is more trouble when she pricks her finger on a bone spindle and comes face to face with the mysterious spirit of the sleeping prince, Briar Rose. Now she’s stuck with him until she can break the ancient curse.
Traps, ruins, riddles—a little bit of true love—and a whole lot of snark.
What had been your inspiration for writing it?
I love girl adventurers and heroes. I also love close partners who drive each other crazy, like Steve McGarrett and Danny Williams, Rizzoli and Isles, and Jack and Daniel of SG-1. So I wanted a kickass pair of girl treasure hunters who could take on an action/adventure book with nonstop bickering and teasing!
I also think fairytale retellings have this magical ability to be both nostalgic and new all at once. My favorite story when I was a kid was always Sleeping Beauty, so I leapt at the chance to reimagine it! I even managed to sneak in one of my all-time favorite easter eggs: dancing with a suit of clothes! I won’t give away how that happens, but I will say I had fun!
What was your favorite part of your scene or book to write?
The girl treasure hunters in The Bone Spindle have the classic Brains vs Brawn partnership. For Fi, the brain, I had a blast figuring out traps and riddles for her to outsmart in the ancient relic-filled ruins. And for Shane, the brawn, it was fight scenes! Deciding the weapons, the terrain, the stakes, and sometimes even the horrible ways it would all go wrong.
What books or authors inspired you to become an author?
When I was little (second grade, I think), a librarian handed me Alanna the First Adventure by Tamora Pierce, and I looooved it. It was the book that made me into a lifelong reader and the book that made we want to be an author—like, right there on the spot.
I’ve loved and treasured so many books, from my Phantom Tollbooth and Dealing with Dragons days, right up through Wheel of Time and Game of Thrones. But YA books hold a special place in my heart.
I always knew I wanted to be an author, but when I read Cinder and the rest of the Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer, I knew what kind of author I wanted to be. Those books were so lighthearted and fun and full of humor. Not to mention wildly imaginative takes on old fairytales! I hope my book is in the same vein.
What advice would you give aspiring author who want to write a book?
It’s a little cliché, but you’ve really got to write what you love! Getting a book published can be a very long and difficult road, and the only thing that’s going to sustain you is writing a book that you really, really adore. It took me an inexcusably long time to start writing stories that really meant something to me.
This epiphany came to me one day when I realized how much more love and attention I was putting into my fanfiction than my original writing—because honestly, it made me happier. And while fanfiction still makes me happy, now my original work does too! And that’s way more sustainable for the long haul! 🙂
The Bone Spindle Goodreads page is here: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/53252268-the-bone-spindle
My website: leslievedder.com