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Beyond The Bio: Leigh Bardugo

Meredith Russo

Today's guest is #1 NY Times and USA Today bestselling author, Leigh Bardugo! She has written Six of Crows and the Grisha Trilogy: Shadow and Bone, Siege and Storm, and Ruin and Rising. She was born in Jerusalem, grew up in Los Angeles, graduated from Yale University, and has worked in advertising, journalism, and most recently, makeup and special effects. She currently lives and writes in Hollywood where she can occasionally be heard singing with her band. Can you say #lifegoals?

Here at PickMyYA, we're big fans of Leigh and her books, so we're excited to have her join us today to talk about Six of Crows. And we're also excited to announce a special Leigh Bardugo giveaway! Just follow PickMyYA on Twitter to find out how to win signed bookplates from Leigh!


James: Six of Crows is written from several points of view. Which perspective was the most fun to write?

Leigh: Matthias' POV was the easiest to write because he's so dogmatic, but Nina was probably the most fun to write because, well, she's Nina. Six of Crows is jam-packed with danger and suspense.

James: Are there any moments during the heist that still get your pulse pounding?

Leigh: I almost never re-read my work once the last edit is done, but I wrote all of the Ice Court tank scene to Unbelievers by Vampire Weekend, and every time I hear that song, my heart starts racing. It can make a trip to Starbucks feel inappropriately high stakes.

James: For all its action, Six of Crows also manages to have quite a bit of romance! Which couple is your favorite?

Leigh: I honestly love writing all of them. Jesper and Wylan are the easiest to write because they're in that wonderful phase where they're both falling. Nina and Matthias are the most fun to write because of the way their personalities clash. Kaz and Inej are the toughest to write because there's so much pain on both sides.

James: You have a degenerative condition that is in many ways similar to Kaz's own disability. How much of yourself do you see in Dirtyhands?

Leigh: I think I share his determination and some of his anger. And I think my decision to get past my own ableist hang-ups and start using a cane emerged in Kaz's refusal to be shamed by his disability or to attempt to disguise it.

James: Six of Crows also features some LGBTQ+ characters. Do you have any other recommendations for young adult fantasy adventure featuring queer characters?

Leigh: I highly recommend Ash by Malinda Lo, Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Cordova, The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black, and Pantomime by Laura Lam. Proxy by Alex London is technically science fiction, but it's also a favorite, and I'm also hearing great things about The Abyss Surrounds Us by Emily Skrutskie.


That's it for today's interview with Leigh. Don't forget to visit our Twitter for details about how to participate in today's amazing Leigh Bardugo giveaway! And if you have any questions for Leigh or want to let her know how her books have impacted you, be sure to reach out to her on Twitter or check out her website (it's one of the coolest websites in all YA... second only to PickMyYA, of course). And be sure to come back again next week, when we'll be talking to author and screenwriter Nick Hornby!

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