Q&A with author Leanne Beattie


A very warm welcome to Cage of Bone author, Leanne Beattie...

Have you ever read a book that made you think 'wow'? If so, what book was it and why did it have such an effect on you?
That would be Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson. It is a great example of the interior life of a teen as she goes through a traumatic time. It also showed the effect of stigmatism in high school—what happens when you don’t follow “the rules” and people hate you for it.

Who is your favourite author and why?
It’s hard to pick just one, so I won’t. I love Laurie Halse Anderson and John Green for their ability to capture the essence of teens so well. I also read anything by Alice Hoffman because she creates such beautiful imagery and adds magic to every story. The Ice Queen was amazing.

Who, or what, inspires you?
I am very influenced by music and get a lot of ideas from lyrics. Cage of Bone grew out of a phrase from the Jann Arden song Will You Remember Me? Whenever I need inspiration I go to my local bookstore and roam the aisles for an hour or so. Simply being surrounded by all those words, picking up books and seeing what’s new in the market makes me want to run home and start writing again.

 Where is your favourite place to write?
I need to be completely alone to write so I go to my bedroom and shut the door. I can listen to music while I write but I can’t concentrate if the TV is on.

What is your book about?
Cage of Bone is a young adult novel about a 16 year-old girl, Ronnie Campbell, as she tries to cope with her sister’s suicide. It’s an emotional story because Ronnie is very confused about the death. Her sister was the quintessential “golden girl” in high school: popular, smart and going places, so her suicide leaves Ronnie struggling to find answers. On top of everything, Ronnie’s parents are getting divorced and her father is starting a new family with another woman, so Ronnie feels abandoned and pushed aside. At an age when other kids are dating and going to parties, Ronnie is facing some pretty heavy burdens.
Once I had the basic story idea, I got an image of a girl who seems tough on the outside but is really hurting. Her toughness is all a fa├žade. I think a lot of people can relate to that, that everybody is suffering in some way. Griffin McNay, her love interest, is the ideal boy for Ronnie: cute, creative and understanding. He shows her there is more to life than what she is experiencing right now. Her best friend, Danielle, accepts Ronnie as she is, flaws and all, and has great faith in her.

What is your favourite film that was based on a book?
I love The English Patient, based on the book by Michael Ondaatje. It has such sweeping cinematography and great actors. Ralph Fiennes is one of my favourites.

 If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the main characters? 

I had a cover of Teen Vogue posted above my desk while I was writing Cage of Bone because the model looked exactly how I had envisioned Ronnie. I found out later the model was Taylor Momsen (centre), an actress and singer. I would go with her or Dakota Fanning (left). I think Dakota would be able to pull off Ronnie’s bravado and sarcasm and Matt Dallas (right) from Kyle XY would be a perfect Griffin.

Tell us a random fact about yourself.
If I weren’t a writer I’d be a lawyer, someone who fights for the rights of women around the world. I am very passionate about improving the lives of women in developing countries.

To learn more about Leanne Beattie and her book, Cage of Bone, visit https://leanneardellebeattie.wordpress.com/


  1. ..."Cage of Bone" is an alluring title. And I agree with your zero tolerance for television while writing. Funny how that works...okay with music, but talking...forget it:)

    Great interview, Suzy


  2. Hey Elliot! Thanks for stopping by... Cage of Bone is a great title isn't it. It's definitely one for my TBR list!

    Thanks again, Leanne, for the interview!


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