Feb 13, 2014

Layla's Gale Interview

When did you realize that you wanted to become a writer?
I’ve been a writer all my life. I always wrote stories or poems, and assumed everyone did. I thought I was supposed to do something else as a career, so I didn’t take my writing seriously until about 10 years ago. At that point, I realized I wanted to publish, and started the process of formal creative writing.

Is being an Author all you dreamed of, or did it just happen? The best and worst thing about it?
Being an Author is different from being a Writer, isn’t it? I had a professor in college that believed Writers write because we have no other choice. I don’t think I can exist in this world without having access to pen and paper. I’d go insane. Writers write whether or not they are published. I kind of see it as a state of being.
Authors have quite a different task. Being an Author means committing to all that goes along with the career. An Author has to revise to perfection, navigate marketing, and get fully involved in the business of writing. I majored in English in college so I could improve my writing, yet had no desire to be an Author. No, I never wanted to be an Author. The idea used to scare the crap out of me!
But, now that I’ve published and am in the thick of this Author stuff, it’s not so bad. Of course, writing is my favorite part. I think my least favorite is worrying about sales. It’s like hosting a party and praying strangers will show up!

What was the very first thing you ever wrote?
My mom gave me a little green book with blank pages as a Christmas gift when I was six. I filled that book with short stories and poetry (of the six-year-old variety). The first was about going to the zoo and learning the difference between African and Asian elephants. (It’s all in the ears.)

What made you create (your book)?  How did it come to you?
Years ago, my husband and I were chatting about the Mayan calendar ending in 2012. He said it would be interesting if the world morphed into something spectacular at that date, as opposed to all the doom and gloom being predicted. His idea planted the seed for my Meso-American mythology based paranormal series.

Who is your literary hero?
The college professor I previously mentioned was Lucille Clifton, the late poet. I loved her poetry because of the imagery and her care with words. And, I loved her even more because of her calm way of getting me to look at my writing as something to share with the world. She used to say, “Always protect the poem from the poet.” And, though I primarily write romance these days, I think the sentiment still applies. I’m just the vehicle through which these characters enter the world.

How much of your characters are based on your traits or someone you know personally?
I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t somewhere in all of my characters. I also think of friends and even interesting acquaintances when writing. Their mannerisms sometimes get thrown into my books.

Describe your main character in six words.
She dreams; she loves; she fights.

Describe the world you’ve created in six words.
Romance and super-powers save us all.

What scene was your favorite to write?
Layla’s Gale, A Paranormal Romance is mostly set in Washington, D.C. In one scene, Layla walks through the cherry blossoms and then the outdoor Eastern Market. Having grown up right outside the nation’s capital, writing this scene was wonderfully nostalgic. I loved including the smells, sights, and sounds that create the D.C. vibe.

What scene was the hardest for you to write?
Funny enough, the scene immediately following Layla’s walk through D.C. was the hardest to get right. There is a death in the novel that affects my hero, and it was difficult to set his emotions correctly while also advancing the story.

What are you working on now?
I’m writing Cadence’s Cauldron, A Paranormal Romance. It’s Book 2 of the Elemental Myths series and features a jazz singer in London. Look for it in the fall.

Goals? Accomplishments? Improvements?
My goal is to visit Machu Picchu soon, so I can plot out the scenes for Book 3 or 4. I want to walk the same dirt floors that my characters will walk, and be able to provide the feeling of actually being there that I’ve been able to provide for Washington, D.C. and London.

Are there any authors or books you recommend?
I love Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series. She wrote brilliant characters and made her settings so real.

What's your favorite thing to do when you're not writing?
I love coloring with my sons.