Sunday, May 19, 2013

Author Interview: Leigh Hershkovich

Hello fellow readers!

Today I'm happy to welcome Leigh Hershkovich author of Shattered Illusions to Melissa's Midnight Musings. Read on to enjoy an interview with Leigh and learn a bit more about her and her new book.

About Shattered Illusions:

Publisher: Full Court Press
Buy the book: Amazon

When Sam, the unassuming, salt-of-the-earth proprietor of a local cafe is shot dead on the street, four strangers become the unwitting witnesses to a seemingly inscrutable crime. As the investigation progresses, this quartet of accidental onlookers find themselves not only haunted by the homicide, but pursued by their own pasts.

The deeper into the death they delve, the further into their own personal histories they plummet, as each is forced to face the fact that the loss of Sam is far from their most devastating. As the case continues, inner anguish reaches crescendo points for Danny, Ella, Marco, and Sarah as the answers they want continue to elude them, and the evidence they want to escape refuses to retreat.


Please tell us a little bit about yourself. Do you have any unusual talents or hobbies?

I am twenty one years old, and I grew up in California. I don't have any unusual talents, though I love to cook and play piano. I'm also a dancer, which is a great way to get my creative juices flowing whenever I have writers block.

 When did you first know that you wanted to be a writer? 

I've always been a story teller, but it was translating the stories to paper that became apparent to me when I was about twelve.

 Where did the inspiration for Shattered Illusions come from?

The inspiration for Shattered Illusions came from a number of things, most importantly, a novel that I read in high school called The Angels Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafon.

What made you choose to write a book of this genre?

I wanted to really test my limits as a writer, and I felt that writing a murder mystery was going as far out of my comfort zone as physically possible. I am glad I did it, because it taught me about my potential as a writer.

This book deals with a murder and secrets. Did you have the answers to the murder and the secrets before writing the book, or did those answers change/fall in to place as you were writing?

I thought I had the answers before I began writing it, but as I weaved my way through writing it, I realized just how far off my original ideas were, so I changed the plot half way through.

 Who is your favorite author?

I have two: Carlos Ruiz Zafon and Roberto Bolano.

 Do you have writing routine? A special pen, a certain type of music, time limits?

That really depends on my mood. I usually write on paper, but when there are times that I have too much to say, I type out whatever I need to write. I generally try not to listen to music when I write because the music subconsciously becomes part of the writing, and I like to have my own, clean thoughts on paper.

 Do you enjoy edits/rewrites, or not?

I do enjoy edits and rewrites, because it allows me to come to terms when what I have written.

Do you do a lot of external research in the process of writing? If so, what's the most interesting thing you've uncovered in your research?

Yes, I did! That took a lot more time than expected. Shattered Illusions is set in Louisiana, so I got to dive head first into the history of the state, which was amazing.

Which character  was your favorite to write and why?

Danny Michaels. I was the same age that he is in the novel when I began writing it (seventeen), so I felt the most connected to him. He also changes the most over the course of the novel, and I am most proud of him out of all of the characters.

How do you come up with your character names?

A lot of the names were names that I had liked as a child, either of people that I knew, or people that I liked. I am yet to name any of my characters after friends and family members, but I am sure it would be interesting if I did.

Please tell us a little bit about your journey to publication

My journey to publication began three months after I completed Shattered Illusions and took about a year and a half. It was a very interesting journey, and I grew so much as a person during the course of the year, that when I look back at who I was at the beginning of the process, I can hardly believe that it was the same person.

What is the hardest part of being a writer?

The hardest part of being a writer is learning to deal with criticism. I really had to grow some thick skin to get past the harsh comments and nasty things that people said to me about my work.

Are there any common themes that you feel are particularly important to write about?

Not really. I sort of go with whatever comes to mind, and stick to those themes as they come.

When you're not writing, what are your other hobbies/passions?

I love to cook. I think that if I hadn't chosen writing as a career, I would have gone to culinary school and become a chef.

 Are you working on any new projects?

Yes, I am! I have a couple of projects lined up, which I hope will begin to come to life in the next year or so.

Quick Fire round:

Coke or Pepsi? Coke
Chocolate or Vanilla? Vanilla
Rainy winter days or blazing hot summer days? Rainy winter days!
Hard Copy or e-book? Definitely hard copy
Favorite book? 2666 by Roberto Bolano
Last book you read? Blindness by Jose Saramago
What's a quote that inspires you? Any quotes by Dr. Seuss.
What's your favorite comfort food? Sheperds Pie

Connect With Leigh:

Leigh Hershkovich’s writing career began almost at infancy. Born and raised in The City by the Bay, Leigh was never seen without a pen and paper by her side, and was never without a story to share. With her vivid imagination and sharp writing tactics, she has taken the world by storm twice over. Now, with her debut novel Shattered Illusions, readers will get a first time glimpse into her first full fiction attempt.

An avid reader, accomplished pianist, passionate scholar of the language and the arts, Leigh currently resides in New York with her imagination. 

You can learn more about Leigh and the world of Shattered Illusions by visiting her website (, her blog ( or by following her on Facebook ( Shattered Illusions can also be found on Goodreads (

1 comment:

kimbacaffeinate said...

Wonderful interview and thanks for sharing this novel. I love a good whodunit.