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Sandbox Spotlight: ANDY LEAVY, Comic Creator / Writer

THE CONVENTION COLLECTIVE: Thank you for joining us in the Spotlight Andy! How did you get into writing and why did you want to become an writer?

Andy Leavy: Thanks for having me! I’ve been writing all my life, my mother is an avid reader and she got me into reading at a young age. I never liked school too much but I loved to write short stories and essays in English class but it was in college that I truly started to think I could make a career out of it.

TCC: What genre do you like writing the most?

Andy: I like writing most genres but a lot of my work has been in Horror, I like horror for a good few reasons but most of all it allows a writer to work other genres into a horror setting such as crime-noir, comedy or action.

TCC: What was the first work you completed, where you stepped back and thought, “Yes, y’know what, I can do this for a living!”?

Andy: Osaka Mime is my first published piece of work not including some short stories, the concept started out as part of a 5-10 page comic script competition. When it was chosen as one of the five finalists and got a positive reception I really felt I owed it to myself to finish the book but when Behemoth Comics agreed to publish the full book that’s when I started to believe I may not have to do a 9-5 office job my entire life.

TCC: Which writers inspire you? And they don’t have to be in the medium you work in, either…

Andy: I’m inspired by risk-takers, creators who carve out their own style and whether people love it or hate it they keep to that style. Jeff Lemire is a massive inspiration for me as well as Ed Brubaker, Kelly Sue DeConnick, Scott Snyder, Gareth Evans, and Denis Villeneuve. I’ve finally started getting into TWIN PEAKS lately too and I adore David Lynch’s style. I pull inspiration from elsewhere too especially from music.

TCC: Can you tell us your greatest fan moment, interacting with a personal hero of yours where you may have gone a little weak at the knees?

Andy: I’ve sadly not met any creators I’m a huge fan of though that may change as I’m planning on attending a few conventions this year and next year. However, I did send out some social media messages to creators I like asking them to check out my book; Jeff Lemire got back to me and agreed! (no word back on if he liked it or not just yet) as well as a few others, Declan Shalvey who I respect greatly especially as a fellow Irish creator did read the book and liked it, he shouted it out on his newsletter and provided me with a pull quote, that was a humbling moment for sure.

TCC: What is your favorite fandom? Who is your favorite comic book character/movie/tv character?

Andy: My favourite fandom despite how horribly toxic it can be is Star Wars. I’ve been a fan of Star Wars all my life and I go to see every movie release with my mother in the cinema, one of my first regular writing gigs was for a Star Wars website and I even have two tattoos. Maybe one day I’ll get to write a Star Wars book.

TCCWhat’s your working routine? Do you work regular set hours and days, keeping certain days free for personal time, or do you find you create any time the muse takes you?

Andy: I don’t have a great routine in place, I work a regular eight-hour job and have other life obligations so I really just try to get as much writing done as I can whenever I get the inspiration or whenever I can find the time. The goal of course is to become a full-time writer and hopefully, then I can plan out a better routine.

TCC: When you’re creating, what do you use for background noise? Some creators use music or podcasts, some use a TV show that they just can listen to in the background. What do you use?

Andy: I use music, I usually create playlists for the projects I’m working on but recently I’ve been listening to a lot of instrumentals and ambient atmospheric music while writing and then listening to the regular playlist when editing.

TCC: What was the first comic con that you remember attending? And, indeed, what was the last?

Andy: Fun fact I’ve never been to a comic con. I had planned multiple times but often life got in the way, I even applied to volunteer at Dublin Comic Con a few years ago but I couldn’t go due to college exams. I am tabling at Thought Bubble this year though! 

TCC: A lot of creatives are also taking to crowdfunding – such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo – to generate income from their work. What’re your thoughts on that?

Andy: I think it’s great. Creating comics is an expensive business but it can be made easier thanks to crowdfunding. I crowdfunded Osaka Mime and I plan to crowdfund again. I love that anyone can now bring their vision to life with the generosity of others and of fans.

TCC: What projects have you recently finished? What are you working on at the moment, what projects are coming up that you can talk about? 

Andy: My most recent project is Osaka Mime which will be out on May 19th and at the moment I am working on my first novel titled The Last American Musician as well as a five-issue follow-up story to Osaka Mime called Osaka S.P.D. both projects are still some way from being ready for release but I’m excited about both! I also have another project Dogeyes; the script is finished on that one and off with the artist.

TCC: How do you stay connected with fans? Do you use a mailing list or newsletters, are you active on social media?

Andy: I mostly use social media like Twitter and Instagram. I also have a Reddit profile where I post some short stories as well as a Patreon that I use for newsletter updates and blog posts.

TCC: Where can people find out more about you and reach out to you? 

Andy: Info on me and my work can be found on my website andyleavy.com. You can see my insane posts and ramblings on both my Twitter @midniteauth0r and my Instagram @midniteauthor

TCC: Thanks Andy, for your time! 

Andy: It was my pleasure.

We at The Convention Collective want to showcase the very best in creative talent. Are you a creator who would like to be featured in our weekly Sandbox Spotlight? Leave a comment here, or reach out to us at admin@TheConventionCollective.com

Dan Berry
Dan Berry
Dan Berry is a man of mystery, an enigma that flits from convention to convention like a spectre, like a spirit. His interests range far and wide: he cannot be determined, he cannot be defined, he cannot be contained. He's like the wind. He also is a Sagittarius and enjoys a nice Italian.

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