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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Won’t You Be My Neighbor—Leigh Covington


Hey bloggers! You are in such luck today. I have the spirited and feisty Leigh Covington! I love Leigh! She is one of the very first bloggers I met last May when I started blogging. She pretty much rocks!

Leigh: Awww! Ang, how is it that you always make my day? For real! Meeting you in the blogging world has been more than a treat! You're an awesome blogging friend and an inspiration. I love you!!! Oooh, wait, is that creepy? Don't worry - I don't mean it in a creepy way. tehehe. But I may or may not be watching through your window right now!

Angie: Alright then, test...What am I making for dinner?

Leigh: Uhhhh. Hot dogs? Or spaghetti. Definitely spaghetti!

Angie: Oh, so close! Lasagna! You must be able to smell the tomato sauce from the bushes :)

Leigh: LOL!

Angie: Okay, I have a great starter question for you, but it needs a little set up...

Leigh: Okay... hold on a sec. I need my sweater. My sunshine yellow one!

Ahh… that’s better. 

Angie:  I like your sweater! Very bright! I'm wearing my olive green one, so we clash a little, but I'm too lazy to change :)

Leigh: And I like your sweater. We’re so official looking, even if we do clash. I’m all for it. Let’s wear these to Storymakers, okay!

Angie: Such a great idea! Clashing sweater twins!

First question…Leigh Covington is your pen name. I know your real name because I've been following you for so long. And can I just say that it makes me feel special, like knowing that Clark Kent is Superman. I feel like I'm in on a great secret or something.

So getting to the question...Why did you decide to use a pen name and when people meet you in person do they call you Leigh? (I saw pictures of you at dinner with Shelly and the caption said "Leigh and me"-- it made me laugh).

Leigh:  You are totally special to know about my "secret identity." Obviously, anyone who followed me before knows about the change, but it's always fun to find someone who doesn't know. For instance, when we went to the Writers Dinner in SLC, I met Morgan Shamy for the first time. I always tell people they can call me "Abby." Morgan was blown away that Leigh wasn't my real name! It was awesome. I love it.

Honestly, I think having a secret identity is kind of fun. It's like I can be 100% me... uncensored!
Too many times, I have my poor mom shaking her head wondering why I did this or said that. Now, she can blame it on Leigh Covington! *insert maniacal laugh*
But in a more serious manner, I didn't really love my name before. I mean I like "Abby" but my name just didn't flow. I love authors who have awesome names. But I couldn't think of any on my own so I did a contest. Then I picked out some of my favorites (which was horribly difficult, BTW) and I let people vote. It was so much fun and I liked letting my friends in on my secret.

Angie: LOL! So do you say, "Hi I'm Leigh, but you can call me Abby" ?

Leigh: Yes! I totally say that! So weird, right? It just comes out! I try to say, "Hi, I'm Leigh.  Uh... but you can call me Abby." *sigh* There's no escaping it. But I try to answer to both. I'm totally used to Leigh online, I'm just not used to hearing it in person. One day I will be! The other trouble is that half of the people are calling me Leigh and the other half are calling me "Abby". It gets confusing and people are bound to ask why they're calling me Abby. It's all pretty comical. Just another funny reason to have a pen name.

Angie: I have a fun little question for you. I'm going to give you five words and you are going to write down the first thing that comes to mind. Word association :) No cheating.

Cuba, Raisin, Yeti, Tension, Blacksmith...I gave you the first five words that came to me.

Leigh: Now you're getting tricky. I feel I might be lame on this. I wrote them all down first. Here are my answers...

Cuba—Travel
Rasin—California
Yeti—Scary
Tension—Ooooh
Blacksmith—Sexy

FYI—Afterward I had to actually look up a Yeti to make sure I knew what it was. I was right. Whew. That would have been embarrassing!

Angie: Good answers! My little sister had a question like this during pageant interview. They said Cuba and she said Bikini :) Too funny!

I love that you said Sexy for Blacksmith! I think it's the giant forearms pounding metal...or the leather pants...or the sweating...

Leigh: Darn it - now I have to take off my sweater. Do you have a fan? It's hot in here right? It's not just me?

Angie: It is hot! A blacksmith will do it every time ;) Maybe I should add one to my story.

Leigh:  I think we both need to add a blacksmith to our stories. Oh the possibilities!

*shakes head*  I’m sorry. Oh yes…the question.

Angie: *laughing* You are very close to finishing your MS, or maybe you are done now?!?! What I want to know is...What was the hardest thing about writing your story, and what was the easiest?

Leigh: I am practically done with my story. (Does that count?) I need to fine tune the ending. I think the end of a book is so important, I really don’t want to screw it up. I am currently revising my first few chapters and tweaking a few things in my other chapters. Then I will finish up the ending and get it out to some alphas. 

Can I say that this has all been hard? LOL. Honestly, I’m a bit of a perfectionist. Okay—I’m a lot of a perfectionist. Sometimes I look back through my chapters and can’t believe I’ve let anyone read it so far. But…I know they can help me improve it. I know they can see what I don’t see because it’s easy to be blind to your own writing. I want my story to have a delicate balance of plot, characters and action. I like detail, but you have to be careful not to overdo it. I like action and good pacing. And I want a killer ending. Honestly…is that too much to ask?

*sigh* Easy part? Writing. I just think writing is fun. I love to create new worlds and bring life to my characters. I love having a say over which way the story will go and what surprises lay around each corner.


Angie: Perfection is never to much to ask :) I loved your story! I feel so lucky you let me read the first few chapters. I agree that endings are SOOO important! I'm a fan of the cliffhanger, but I know that annoys some people. 

Leigh: I really enjoyed reading your story, so I wanted your opinion on mine. I'm glad you liked it, but prepare yourself. I'll be begging you to read more!!!
And I kind of like the cliffhanger too. I should say I DO like it, as long as most of the stuff is wrapped up. If you’re going to write a trilogy it’s almost impossible not to have a cliffhanger. There has to be something leading into the next book! That makes it so much more exciting!

Angie: It makes a world of difference if you can find someone who writes in a similar genre to you and have them critique your story.

Next question: I know that besides YA your write Picture Books. I love great picture books! When they are done well they can be brilliant storytelling. Do you have a favorite PB author? And why?
  
Leigh: Oh man! That's hard. There are so many fun picture books. One of my very favorites is Sandra Boynton. She writes for really young children, but her illustrations are darling, her prose is fun and she writes in rhyme. The stories are great and my kids love to read them over and over. And I like them enough so reading them over and over isn't a problem.

I have also grown to love Jane Yolen’s “dinosaur” books. She writes “How Dinosaurs Say Goodnight” and other dinosaur books. They are fabulous! So fun to read and great illustrations. They’re high on my “like” list these days.

Angie: I love both of those authors! Sandra Boynton is a favorite at my house as well. My 12 year old son likes to read But Not the Hippopotamus backwards, "hippopotamus the not but..." What a weirdo :) 

Have you ever read the Gossie books by Olivier Dunrea? The ink and watercolor pictures are priceless and they are sooo funny! Buy worthy!

Leigh: LOL! That is too funny about him reading it backwards! Ha! Now I have to try it. Kids come up with the best ideas.

I haven't read the Gossie books. Now I'm bummed. I wonder if I can find them at my B&N store? If not, I'm sure I can find them on Amazon and heaven knows I love making an amazon order!

Angie: They are so worth it especially for little ones (1-4 year olds). GossieGossie and Gertie, and Ollie are my favorites!

I think it is about time for the pageant question. That snuck up on us fast! How about this one...What is one thing that symbolizes happiness for you?

Leigh: Oh man! That really did sneak up on us! I should warn you, I'd make a terrible pageant girl. I tend to ramble. So... with that warning, I'm going to start out with the color yellow. You know, the bright, sunshiney yellow, like the sweater that is hanging on my chair thanks to all that blacksmith talk? I love yellow. It is bright and happy and reminds me of the sun. I'm always happier in the warm and sunshine.

But happiness is more than that. To me, happiness is family. Happiness is friends. Happiness is the innocence and creativity of youth. Happiness is camping with my family and kissing my kids goodnight, or having my kids bring me soup when I’m sick. It’s different for all of us, but happiness is what truly envelopes your heart.

Whew. Did I pass? Feel free to lie and tell me I rocked it!

Angie: First off...I NEVER lie (except to my kids) and Second...You did rock!!! Solid 9.5 *clapping and a little whistling*  I LOVE your answer! Happiness is what envelopes our heart...can I quote you from now on?

And Third so funny... I would totally pick yellow as the color that reminds me of you :) And you know I have a thing for color.

Leigh: I'm blushing a little. I didn't blow it! I'm debating on a sigh of relief and a dance of giddiness! I don't know which one to do!

You can totally quote me. I’ll feel so cool! LOL. And that’s cool that yellow reminds you of me—although it might depend on my mood, hahaha. I’m like you. I think color is so much fun. You’ve made me love it even more after reading your book, and knowing how much you love symbolism. You’ve got to love that stuff!

Angie: Such a wonderful job Leigh a.k.a. Abby!

Leigh: Thanks for the opportunity to be your neighbor. Angie! I love theses interviews and it has been so fun to participate.

Angie: You are awesome! I love your bright happiness. You know someone is happy when you can feel it through the internet :)

Leigh: Dude! Now I need to use that quote! It's awesome! As are you!

Wasn’t “Leigh” great? Head over to her blog and tell her so.

-Angie







64 comments:

Talli Roland said...

Great interview, ladies! Leigh, er, Abby, er, Leigh is the best. :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Leigh isn't your real name? Now I'm all messed up...

Kyra Lennon said...

Okay, you totally look like a "Leigh," so much that I thought it was your real name! Kyra Lennon isn't my real name either. My real name isn't cool enough lol!

Coleen Patrick said...

Great interview! I get the double identity name thing! Online I use the name I had until I was 25--legally I have a different first and last name. Even though my name is not a secret, I feel a bit like a secret agent ;) I actually prefer the name I was born with--which is why I decided to make it my writing name.

Libby said...

A secret identity? And the plot thickens...

Daisy Carter said...

Great interview! I think it's so cool (and BRAVE) that you let your friends vote on your pen name! If I had a pen, it'd probably be really lame, Like Rose.....Rose Retrac. Angie, your son inspired me!

L.G.Smith said...

Fun interview Abby Leigh! And I love those Yolen Dinosaur books too. So adorable. Also, I really want an alternate personality with a separate name to blame my outbursts on. :)

Deana said...

Yep, Leigh/Abby pretty much rocks the party! That was a great interview and I can't wait to meet you both at Storymakers:)

Jackie said...

How fun to have a double identity thing going on!
Awesome interview. You guys rock!

Leigh Covington said...

Dude! Two pen names! Awesome!

Leigh Covington said...

Oh man! Another person to throw off! And it's YOU! I feel a little bit tricky right now :)

Cassie Mae said...

Leibby is your name, remember! A nice combo of both, lol.

Yellow is my favorite color too! We are just so in sync my friend.

And PS: I'm married to a blacksmith. A very hot and sexy blacksmith. But he stinks something major when I'm pregnant. Metal and sweat ain't good on the prego nose.

Tasha Seegmiller said...

Okay, first I'm impressed at your ability do a toe touch and live to talk about it. And my favorite color is red, so I guess that will go with pretty much any yellow, so we can still be friends. And I am so so so excited to meet all these people I know at Storymakers! Great interview Angela.

Leigh Covington said...

Thanks for the comments everyone! So fun! And fun that some still don't know my secret!

This was SO FUN Ang. I feel so lucky to be a part of your "neighbor" interviews. Thanks for having me. You ROCK!

elizabeth seckman said...

Leigh (or Abby...I din't know!) you win the crown.
Angie and Leigh..love you both in the non creepy way...glad I found you guys!

Small Town Shelly Brown said...

Abby that toe touch is IMPRESSIVE!

As for the caption I wrote Abby at first then thought if I linked it I should probably write Leigh, so I changed it. Don't laugh at me...too much...in public...(you know me, I'm always serious and wish you were less 'laughy' as well)

Love it ladies :D

Shallee said...

Um...Leigh...Abby...you've totally blown my mind. At least now I won't embarrass myself when I meet you in person and go speechless as my non-working pregnancy brain tries to process that you have two names. ;)

Great interview, it was fun to get to know more about you! Thanks for hosting, Angie!

Kittie Howard said...

Great interview. Really enjoyed the wit deep friendships have. But, hmmm, you look like a Leigh, Abby.

Nicole Mc said...

Fun interview!! I totally remember when you first started blogging!! LOL I loved the name contest! :)

Linda Jackson said...

Great interview, Ladies. Leigh, I agree with you--the end of a novel is the hardest to write. Because no matter how good that book's been throughout, a messed up ending can spoil everything. :)

Peggy Eddleman said...

Hahaha! You two rock my neighborhood. Love you both!

J. A. Bennett said...

You know, it's funny, becasue I feel awkward calling you Abby in front of other writers, but I also think it's weird when people call me J. A. (which has happened) which is why I always try to address you as Abby. But if you want me to call you Leigh, I totally will. Great interview gals!

David P. King said...

Okay. That's hand's down the funniest interview I've read all year. Way to knock this neighbored out of the park! I'm so glad I know Leigh's identity, too! :)

Melissa Sarno said...

What a fun interview! Leigh/Abby rocks! But I'm so confused over the name thing.

Morgan said...

ABBY!!!!!!

Gah. Can't do it. You're TOTALLY Leigh to me! I WAS freaking out over the whole revelation... It's still upsetting *winks*

Such a fab interview... You guys both are crack ups... Abbs, you're SO top 3 of my favorite blogger peeps I've met ever. You're amazing. :D

And holy pic----Leibby, are you a fellow dancer friend???? That's impressive, girl! Thanks for the interview, Angela ;)

Carrie Butler said...

I remember voting on your name! I think that was before I started commenting on a regular basis. You know, back in the days when I lurked (read: stalked)... ;)

Great interview!

Michael Offutt, Tebow Cult Initiate said...

The word raisin made me instantly think of my mom (she's old). Is that rude?

Cristina said...

LOL.. Leigh you ROCK! I was so confused as to how address you online for a while, because I wanted to call you Abby, but you were going by Leigh..... eeek, you made me feel a little schizophrenic, LOL.

and yeah, that picture? holy cow, I don't think I have EVER been able to do that. EVER! Rock on!

Leigh Covington said...

Yes! Leibby works so well & yes! We are so in sync. Hmmm... can I swoon over your blacksmith husband? Lucky girl!

Leigh Covington said...

So excited for Storymakers. Red is a good color too. It was my favorite for a long time. And don't be too impressed over that toe touch. I think I pulled a muscle. lol

Leigh Covington said...

Okay - I'm trying not too laugh, but you're just too awesome and fun! I love it!

Leigh Covington said...

Shallee, I totally thought you knew! This will be good to give the pregnant brain time to work around it. You can always make me get used to being called Leigh! That'd be cool too!

Leigh Covington said...

LOL! I'm glad I can pull off the "Leigh"! That's good! :)

Leigh Covington said...

Thanks Nicole! It's to have friends from my "Abby" days! :)

Leigh Covington said...

Awww! Thanks Talli! You're awesome! Hugs!

Leigh Covington said...

I didn't know that!!!! So cool!

Leigh Covington said...

hehehe :)

Leigh Covington said...

We almost went with a ROSE! I have a thing with roses. Very cool. And there were times that I was nervous about the voting, but it ended up being so fun!

Leigh Covington said...

The more I learn about you, the more I find we have in common. :0) I love it!

Leigh Covington said...

I can't wait to meet YOU in person! And Angie too as a matter of fact! Storymakers will be awesome! *squee!*

Leigh Covington said...

Thanks Jackie! I was a little nervous at first, but it really is fun!

Leigh Covington said...

You are so much fun! So glad I've found YOU!

Donna K. Weaver said...

Wow! Look at that girl go.

And I'm waiting until Abby . . . ur, Leigh decides to write another genre and has to come up with another name!

Elana Johnson said...

I can't BELIEVE I didn't know Leigh wasn't your real name. I'm still going to call you that, so just deal with it. Ha!

Melissa Sugar said...

Awesome interview with one of my favorite blogger buddies (and her alternate personality). I think I remember her contest where she asked for bloggers to vote on a pen name. If it is the same one I am thinking about, then I do. I was a brand new blogger then, but the name Abby is bringing back memories.

Fin interview with a fun, fun girl.

Jennifer Ruth Jackson said...

It was a very lovely exchange. I loved every word.

Leigh Covington said...

I'm glad you feel that way too! It makes me strive to really make my ending powerful and meaningful. :)

Leigh Covington said...

Rock my neighborhood! Ha! That's brilliant!

Leigh Covington said...

hahaha! You can call me whatever you want! Okay - as long as it's nice! lol. I'm obviously good with either one! :) And now I know to call you Jennie! (With an IE) :)

Leigh Covington said...

Awww! Glad you liked it David! Angie pulls off a magnificent conversation with this. She's so much fun!

Leigh Covington said...

Aw man! We're confusing! My real name is "Abby." I originally started to blog with my real name, but finally decided to go for the pen name and brought my friends in on the fun. It's crazy! It really is confusing! :)

Leigh Covington said...

Morg--- don't tell me you're a dancer too? A was a cheerleader, but that counts, right? I couldn't come up with anything for a picture! lol. I finally just sent her that last minute. It was funny. And you're one of my faves too Morg! Can't get enough of you!

Leigh Covington said...

hehehe. I'm glad we've gotten to where we are both commenting more often! So fun! Glad you were there for the voting and fun! :)

Leigh Covington said...

LMAO!!!! bahahaha

Leigh Covington said...

hahaha! I know! I think it made me a little bit schitzophrenic too! It was a crazy change, but also kind of fun. I think I like to throw people for a loop! But now you know that you can call me either!!! :)

Leigh Covington said...

hehehe! Man, that will mean another vote!!!

Leigh Covington said...

HA! I think you knew, you hadn't connected the dots yet. lol. But you can totally call me Leigh! I think someone needs to. I need to get used to it! hahaha

Leigh Covington said...

I didn't know you were that new Melissa! I think I remember you from the voting. I'm sure I remember you from "before" the change, so it had to be! So fun that you remember though! Thanks!

Leigh Covington said...

Thanks Jennifer! And so nice to meet you. :)

Trisha said...

My real name is Trisha, but I haven't decided whatever to put my surname up yet...so I haven't. Fact is, people can find it out anyway by looking me up on Facebook, but for some reason putting my whole name to my writerly stuff feels weird. And I think my real name is a tiny bit boring, so that's another reason I haven't splashed it around ;)

Trisha said...

I meant I haven't decided 'whether' ;) not 'whatever'. Guess I just love the word 'whatever!' too much. hehe

Susanna Leonard Hill said...

Great interview! Loved the blacksmith talk :) Thanks for sharing, and glad to "meet" you Angie!

Ruth Josse said...

Love Angie! Love Leigh! Lots of love happening here. :D

Leslie Rose said...

Which one is the evil twin Abby or Leigh? It was cool getting to know you better through the interview. I think I'll go search blacksmiths in Google images.

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