Friday, January 6, 2012

Day Six - All About Leah Bobet ( Above)

Debutante Profile

Name - Leah Bobet
Debut - Above
Genre - Urban Fantasy
Website - HERE
Blog - HERE
Twitter - HERE

Leah Bobet buys her music on vinyl, wears feathers in her hair, and plants gardens in back alleys. She lives in Toronto, in the same neighbourhood as Scott Pilgrim and Ramona Flowers, and loves it fiercely.

Dream Debutante Dress - It's the end of August while I'm putting this together, so my head's in early fall. That means this is totally inappropriate for the weather at publication, but it's a great Debutante Dress for today. I even have the perfect shoes for it!

(And maybe a little jacket...)

Notes from a YA Debutante

Hi, everyone! I'm really excited to be a 2012 Badass Bookie Debutante: it's an amazing list of books by some seriously fun and amazing people.

I'm also terrible at talking about myself in certain ways, so in the spirit of the season, here's the Twelve Days of Loosely Linked Useless Facts! Except compressed into one day. Y'know, for your convenience.

12) I had an awful time picking out a dress for this. I kept thinking about which waistlines look best on me, and colours, and what I'd do with my hair. About two hours later, I finally told myself, _Leah, shut up. It's an IMAGINARY DRESS._

Ironically, I never used to care about fashion at all. And then I finished my degree and had to buy this whole new wardrobe for job interviews, which meant I had to stop wearing the same three pairs of jeans I'd had for years and start thinking in terms of appearances: what looked professional and what didn't. And I haven't been able to turn that part of my head off since. And it got kind of _fun_. And now I am one of those girls who buys shoes. Go figure.

11) I wrote incessantly when I was a little kid – stopped in high school for some silly reason, and then made a serious go of it (and started publishing short stories) at 19. My mother still has stories I wrote in crayon when I was three years old, folded in quarters to look like books. The scary thing is that when I went back to look at them, I could see my stylistic habits all over the place. Apparently I've always liked "quite" and present tense. This is quite sincerely a creepy thing to discover.

...see, I just did that. And I swear it wasn't on purpose. "Quite".

10) What I actually wanted to be in high school was an opera singer: I sang in choirs and musicals all through school, competed locally and in the US, and wrote boxes of music. In my last year of high school I was cut from an adult performance choir and it shook my confidence so badly I didn't sing for years if I thought someone else might hear me. Sometimes I think all that built-up music just shoved in another direction and fell into my words, because the sound of a sentence, the rhythm of it is so ridiculously important to me. Sometimes I don't even care if it makes sense: as long as it makes sense to the _ear_.

(This is also when I started writing again.)

I still love music madly. I still make up little songs, and I'm sort of a professional indie scene fan: I go to piles of concerts, buy EPs from tiny little local bands, and build playlists for everything (novels, my iPod, cleaning my bathroom...). It's kind of nice, in some ways, to have something you love so passionately that you're not expected to contribute to, or compete in, or be good at anymore. There's terrific joy in just being a fan.

9) Up until a few years ago, I was pretty much the shy, reserved, cautious bookworm girl, and always a little sad that I'd spend my life writing about wild adventures and magic and mayhem and never actually _having_ any.

So, y'know, I stopped. Not having adventures, that is. I dyed my hair deep blue and suddenly felt like I had permission to do all the crazy stuff a blue-haired girl can do.

Now I have a lot of good adventures.

8) I have a very strange sense of humour. This is my mother's fault: she is an engineer and has, well, an engineer's sense of humour. When I was very small, we used to take out my Fisher-Price Main Street playset, the one with two levels of street and a manhole up top that opened down into the fire station storefront, and we'd walk the Little People down the street until they fell into the manhole. Then we'd laugh until we cried, because they were so surprised and never saw it coming. Oh no! Open manhole! Eek!

It's been 25 years, and this is still the _funniest thing in the world_, and I can't exactly explain why.

7) I have a day job: I copyedit government transcripts, which involves moving commas about in really esoteric ways so you can get across what people mean without actually changing the words. Being a copyeditor has not really helped with the very strange sense of humour. Copyeditors are even worse than engineers.

6) Batman over Superman, dark chocolate over milk chocolate, tea over coffee, and the book is always better than the movie.

5) Eating local, sustainable food (and when possible, organic food) is a big deal for me: I dated a chef for five years, got ridiculously spoiled when it came to cooking, and it never really wore off. There are a lot of ethical reasons why I do this that I won't preach to you about, but here's the fun bit:

The easiest way to eat local is to have a share in community-supported agriculture: basically, giving a farmer or group of farmers a chunk of money upfront, and then getting fresh-grown food from them weekly.

This is awesome.

It is like being in your very own season of Iron Chef. Here's a box of fruit and vegetables that you weren't expecting, and now they're in your fridge! How do you combine them to make awesome lunches? What on earth do you do with celeriac anyway? What is that thing over there, even, and how am I going to cook it?

Now it's almost like a video game. One you get to eat.

4) Like a lot of writers, I have a Twitter, but most of what I talk about has nothing to do with writing: it's about Toronto city politics. This just kind of happened. There was an election summer before last, people started live-tweeting the debates, and I just

I haven't entirely figured out why my city politics hobby is so exciting and all-devouring. It's kind of a combination of soap opera, wrestling, and taking apart your favourite TV show on TVTropes with everyone else who just watched it: there are weird personalities, picky technical trivia, Big Name Fans, parties, teams, flame wars...

It's basically a fandom: a big, nerdy, real-life fandom. Except with local politics, you can actually play along. And sometimes, you can actually make something _happen_.

3) Most of the movies I watch are pre-1950s. There's something about the flickering of the light in old black-and-white film that makes it feel actually different; otherworldly.

2) I regularly wish on stars, pennies, and bits of dandelion fluff. It never hurts to ask, after all.

1) I am fairly convinced that magic is out there, in ordinary things; that something like the way flowers open, or light falling through leaves, or two strangers on the subway just grinning at each other is pure and unadulterated magic. And when we think there isn't any, it's just that we aren't looking quite the right way. And this is why I write urban fantasy: there is nothing with more corners and crannies and secrets and surprises to explore than a city.

Bookie's Notes - AND - that's our third debutante! Everyone, please welcome Leah! From today, she's a official debutante! TEAM TEA! Beats coffee, hot chocolate and any other beverage out there! Canadian politic tweets? This is something I would like to see! :) Opera Singer? I don't think I've ever heard of that dream... :) Anyway lovelies, come back tomorrow for the second half of Leah's feature + a giveaway!

Badass Bookie xx


  1. Thanks for sharing!
    I agree with you about Batman, dark chocolate & that the book is always better than the movie, except about the tea, I drink it, but I'm a coffee girl ;) Actually, I'm a coffee addict ;)
    And my favorite thing is what you wrote about magic - I think that's a good indication about your writing style, so now I'm even more excited about Above!

  2. Opera singer? You must have a wonderful voice to be able to joined choirs and such. I'm sure you must love Glee. And the it. There's a hippy-ish vibe to it. :)

  3. I absolutely LOVE the outfit...the shoes are just perfect for the dress. I absolutely cannot wait to read Above....and I'm definitely a coffee fiend.

  4. Love the dress! Very colourful! And yeah for twitter :) I have an uncle in Toronto :)

    Yeah for writing an awesome book! Another author to worship :) hehe, I like having new authors to fangirl over! And now 3 in 6 days! Yeah!!!

  5. Great post!! Love her style and that dress is fantastic. Cant wait to read her book.

  6. Sounds like a very eccentric lady but I would love to hear about what actual adventures she has had.

    It was a fun read.


    Carol T

    buddytho {at} gmail DOT com

  7. I am Team tea too. And the only movie that I think is better than the book is The Notebook.
    I can't wait to read Above. I already love the cover!

  8. I love the debutante dress. It looks gorgeous. Love the post. Thank you for sharing!

  9. I don't think I'd ever have the courage to die my hair blue! I love the dress:)

  10. OMG - I had no idea you lived in Canada! :) Will you be doing any signings for your book? The cover is gorgeous and it's been on my wishlist for a little bit. Also, your jacket in your photo is lovely! :)

  11. I love your copy-editor story. Working with commas all day sounds amazing (read tedious).

  12. I really need to start doing more of number 5. I know they have those programs that deliver the local produce to you here. I'm going to go research it now. Thanks for the nudge!

  13. Everybody: thanks! :)

    @Aleksandra: I like coffee too? I just REALLY like tea. :)

    @primrose: Well, I used to have a wonderful voice! It's one of those things that are use it or lose it, unfortunately. But a couple of my best friends now have bands/are recording albums, and they're nudging me back into making music...

    @Chrystal: Yup! I'm in Toronto. And I'll be definitely doing signings and such in town, as well as anywhere I'm invited that's inside GO/VIA Rail distance.

    @Candice: It can be pretty tedious, yeah. Sometimes it's like solving tricky puzzles, though, and sometimes it's hilarious. I work with a lot of really cool, artsy people: That helps a lot. :)

    @Dani: Yay! Thanks for being willing to be nudged! :)

  14. BATMAN!!!!!! :DDDD YEAHHHH! You are awesome!!

  15. Batman is my favorite hero ever. He has no super powers like Superman, and he always has a plan or an idea.

  16. Batman > all. Period. :D Like I read somewhere "Money: the biggest superpower of all."
    I love watching old films from the 50s-60s and before. Usually I do this when I'm at my grandma's in the summer... I have no idea why then and there exactly.

  17. Leah and I may be the same person. We see the world the same way. I love this event so much for just this reason!


  18. Thanks for sharing. I love the dress and shoes.

  19. Aw I love the last point on magic. Soometimes it's just the little things that can really open your eyes. I for one am always paying attention on the subway ;D

  20. Batman over Superman (Yes), dark chocolate over milk chocolate (Yep), tea over coffee( nope, for me it's coffee, coffee and coffee:), and the book is always better than the movie(*nods*)

  21. Love the dress and the boots! I love that you dyed your hair blue.

  22. What a lovely interview! I enjoyed reading it. And I agree with the others--the dress and boots are awesome!

  23. I heart the dress :) and blue hair? AWESOME

  24. That dress is GORGEOUS!! :D and yup, I'm a big shoe shopper as well. DARK CHOCOLATEE <3 Great interview!

  25. The dress is soo gorgeous. Batman =D

  26. Leah you are saying book is better than the movie, it's true, That's so true! People who love reading are frequently disappointed by the movie versions of their favorite books.

  27. Books are better than movies. Tea is better than coffee. I can't agree with these 2 statements more! Coffee is just too strong and bitter for me!

  28. @Ira: Thanks! The shoes I actually own and I kind of adore them. The dress, sadly, would never look all that good on.

    @Natasha: Definitely -- it's only been once that I got the same awesome feeling off the movie version of a book I read and loved first (The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe).

  29. Great interview! I love old movies ... probably more in the 1950's than anything else. Is there anything better than Gene Kelly dancing on screen? :) Oh, and I love the shoes!

  30. Lovely interview! I agree with you, books are better than movies. Almost always. :) I love tea too hehe :)

  31. Great interview. I can appreciate a strange sense of humor!

  32. I really like the top of the dress but not so much the bottom :/ You're totally right about books being better than movies ^^

  33. I am loving these shoes but I don't know if I would wear them with that dress.... I love the vintage/victorian touch the shoes have.

  34. I really love your story about making people fall down the manhole! That does sound very funny!! Also, I agree that stylistic quirks can be found in our earliest writings. My father recently unearthed one of mine where two field mice lived very happily and then three lines later they died. I still see that when I write today! I have to be careful of keeping from contradicting myself... or killing everyone off. ;)

  35. Great post! This is a really cool interview too. I love the idea of interviewing the debutant, it's quite a twist on the normal basic interviews :)

  36. I love the outfit! Great interview! (=

  37. I love the dress!

    Great interview and the Fisher Price people is so quirky!

  38. OHH bold, i like it!! i especially love that dress with the boots!! great combination! :D and dying your hair blue? AWESOME! though i would choose purple :P

    - juhina

  39. I love this interview! She sounds a lot like me. :D Also, the dress kinda looks like a curtain, but a gorgeous curtain!

  40. I loved the dress! But the shoes weren't really my type, but the dress I would totally wear :) and the interview is great!

  41. Cool interview, and I really like those pictures! Bravo, man!

  42. Great interview! I loved those 12 tidbits about Leah, and I agree with almost everything she said (except the tea over the coffee part:)
    And another indie fan! I also make playlists with everything (to sleep, to study, to walk) so I can relate:)
    Thank you for the interview, after this I am looking forward to reading Above even more!

  43. Awesome style you got there ;D Love it. I had the shy, reserved, cautious bookworm girl phase in my life too :) Except I wasn't blessed creative writing skills :P Congratz on your book!

  44. Awesome Interview and style! I really like the dress and the shoes, very unique.

  45. I grew up in Toronto many years ago. It was a great city then, hopefully still is. Thanks for hosting this giveaway, I can't believe I missed it until now.

  46. Fantastic post! I love the dress and shoes, and Leah really had me giggling! A big yes to Batman! Also, I love how her adventures started with her dying her hair. I've always been a little loud and out there but always safe, you know? When I started Uni I was determined to get out there in a much bigger way - so I dyed my hair bright pink. :-D Best thing ever!!

    Thanks so much for sharing!!

  47. Copy editor for gov't transcripts? God help you. I can barely read the finished copies they are so boring let alone the unedited ones. I really need to start doing a CSA again. We did it for years, but then stopped because we travel so much in the summer that we always ended up giving most of it away.

  48. Those boots. I WANT THEM.

    Also agreeing with LisaILJ on the whole copy editor thing. Good god.

  49. One - I love those boots.
    Two - this post was hilarious, it made me laugh so much.
    Three - I definitely want to read your books!

  50. That dress looks so fantastic! This was so great, so funny! Those boots are super cute as well.

  51. I love that dress! Very classy! I enjoyed reading this interview and especially about how Leah loved to write when she was a kid. My mom tells me that she couldn't keep blank paper in the house because I wrote on everything!!

    nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net