Interview with Lesley Livingston [blog tour]

Today I’m very excited to welcome Lesley Livingston to Escape Through the Pages!

Lesley Livingston

Once Every Never (2011)
Wondrous Strange (2009)
Darklight (2009)
Tempestuous (2010)

Welcome to Escape Through the Pages! A lot of Once Every Never takes place during ancient times in Britain. What kinds of research did you need to do to keep it as realistic as possible?

Thanks for the welcome!

I actually already had a lot of pertinent information floating around in my brainpan when I set out to write ONCE EVERY NEVER. I’ve been fascinated with this particular era since I was a kid and so there was already a foundation there. I did, however, do a lot or research into specifics—particulary when it came to the topography/ geography of certain landmarks, and the specifics of Boudicca’s life (what little is actually known about it). I also visited the British Museum and became very familiar with the artifacts that Clare comes into contact with. Up close and personal, this stuff is truly fascinating! I spent hours just gazing into glass cases.

Were you ever hesitant about tackling the concept of time travel in the novel? Because I must say, you managed to keep it from making my brain hurt, haha.

Hee! I’m so gald to hear you say that! Because, truthfully, there were times when my own brain was nothing but a giant temporal knot! Time travel is a bit daunting because you really do have to keep very close watch on your plot threads and character/ object interactions… but it’s also great fun to write! A little like doing a giant word puzzle. Or, you know, juggling flaming chinsaws.

I’d love to read more about Comorra and Connal’s lives during the times Clare wasn’t present. Have you thought of writing those in between moments?

I have definitely considered it! There is, of course, a wealth of story there to draw on and it’s the kind of thing I might do as a series of short stories… in between writing the longer ones! I’ll let you know if it happens. Hmm… now you’ve got me thinking….

If you could shimmer to any time and/or place, where and when would it be?

I think a brief—brief!—visit to Celtic Britain would be cool. So long as I didn’t have to eat or avail myself of the facilities. I’m fond of refrigeration and indoor plumbing. Actually, I suppose that caveat holds true for most past eras. That being said, I’d definitely want to hit King Arthur’s court, Hathepsut’s Egypt, Caesar’s Rome, and catch an original performance of Hamlet! I think the Pre-Raphaelites would have been a kick to hang around with for awhile, too. Maybe I could have modelled for a Burne-Jones painting!

If you went back to ancient times, which book would you need to have with you?

Heh. Probably something written by Bear Grylles—you know, that “Man Vs. Wild” dude. Something that would tell me how to make fire, build shelter, and avoid poisoning myself with innocent-looking mushrooms. Also maybe a handy Latin “common phrases” translation book. Since Rome was busy conquering most of the known world, it’s probably the language you’d be most to likely stumble upon, in some form or another. Phrases like “Non placet me occideret, ex futuro sum!” would be a useful to have at your fingertips in a pinch, right? (​“please do not stab me, I’m from the future!” — at least, that’s according to Google Translate… heh.)

Thank you so much!

Thank you, Cait! That was fun!!

Find Lesley:
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My review of Once Every Never.