About the Author

According to Kirkus Reviews, LeAnn Neal Reilly writes novels "about resilient women caught in magical, otherworldly circumstances." She grew up in the Midwest, migrated east to Pittsburgh for graduate school, and then migrated even farther east to the Boston suburbs where by day she raises three children. In the slivers of time that she calls her own, she writes novels. It's a tough job, and most days she forgets to don her tights.

Her first novel, The Mermaid's Pendant, reimagines the Hans Christian Andersen/Disney fairy tale "The Little Mermaid" as an urban fantasy in which the mermaid learns to live happily ever after as a human wife and mother in the suburbs.

Her second novel, Saint Sebastian's Head, uses the martyrdom of St. Sebastian, a favorite among medieval and Renaissance artists, as a metaphor for the suffering that the protagonist, a woman nicknamed Weeble, must endure and overcome.

Her third novel, The Last Stratiote, transforms the vengeful, bloody French peasants and civilized, law-abiding English society in Dickens' classic "A Tale of Two Cities" into a litigious American society grappling with the bloody, eye-for-an-eye worldview of the Balkans and Mideast.

10 Random Things About LeAnn

  1. She wrote an opinion column for her college newspaper emulating the style of Pulitzer-winning Chicago columnist Mike Royko. Her fictional alter ego drank outrageous coffee drinks instead of hanging out in a bar conversing with Slats Grobnik.
  2. She eats dark chocolate every day with a cup of tea or coffee.
  3. She beat a CS professor, a CS staff programmer, and two or three CS grad students at the logic game SET. She quit while ahead.
  4. Her first query letter for an illustrated fairy tale was sent when she was eight by her big brother. As she recalls, it was about a princess enchanted as a flower who waited for a prince to rescue her. Needless to say, that's when LeAnn got her first rejection.
  5. She home schools three children, which explains why she's a bit dazed most of the time.
  6. Her secret reading vice is romance novels. She loves YA novels, classics, and historical fiction. She is also reading her way through history to make up for her poor education.
  7. Her biggest fear: public speaking. No, imagining everyone in their underwear does NOT help.
  8. She's waited tables, something she thinks EVERYONE should do.
  9. Biggest peeve: unflushed toilets. Biggest perpetrators of this heinous crime: her kids.
  10. Her favorite authors: Shakespeare, Charles Dickens, and Jane Austen. If she had only three books to take with her on a desert island, her copy of Shakespeare's complete works and a collection of Austen's novels would make the cut.