Author Spotlight · Interview with an Author · New Release

Interview with an Author featuring Leila James

The Literary Vixen presents…

Joining us today is Leila James! Her newest book, Sweet Punk (Shadow River Elite Book 3) released on June 2nd 2022.

What inspired you to start writing?

I’ve always loved to read and three years ago I’d arrived at a place in my life where I was looking for a creative outlet. It started as a bit of a hobby, but I quickly became invested in what I was doing. One book turned into a five book series. That was where I started—I was writing under another name in small-town steamy contemporary back then.

What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

I have a very hard time writing without cover images. The images tell me a lot about the characters and the story. For that reason, I always try to have my covers first. I plaster the images everywhere—a couple of places in my office, my phone lock and home screens, my iPad, my computer …

How do you deal with emotional impact of a book (on yourself) as you are writing the story?

I let it overtake me. It’s the only way through it. So, that means sometimes I cry a lot. And then there are those times when I’m stuck in a scene for days. Lemme tell ya, it’s rough to be stuck in a sexy scene for that long.

How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?

Under Leila James, fourteen. Under my other pen name, twenty-two (Amanda Bailey – you can tell them if you want) Asking me to choose a favorite is like asking me to choose a favorite child. No can do. I like them all for different reasons and connect with each character in a different way. 😉

What books or authors have most influenced your own writing?

In the beginning? Nora Roberts. Colleen Hoover.  Now? Anything Ashley Jade or Angel Lawson or Samantha Rue or Rachel Leigh or Becca Steele or Caitlyn Dare. 🙂

Do you hear from your readers much? What do they say? 

Sometimes! I get an occasional email and try to respond to those personally. My ARC and Street teams are probably my biggest fans. They talk to me all the time. I also have a great reader group on Facebook.

What book is currently on your bedside table?

No physical book, but my iPhone Kindle App is currently on Filthy Rich Boys by C.M. Stunich.

Do you have any new series planned?

Yes, but only my editor, alpha reader, and critique partners know anything about it yet. It’s due out in October. Look for a series reveal in mid-August.

If your book was to be made into a movie, who are the celebrities that would star in it?

Honestly, I haven’t thought about it for even a second. I’m not one for Pinterest boards or anything like that. Once the cover model is in my head, that’s it. Maybe I’ve never thought about it like that because I tend to be very practical and right now, one of my books being made into a movie seems like a farfetched fantasy.

What advice would you give to other authors?

There are many different ways to write and to publish a book. Study what others do, but do it your own way. Stop. Evaluate what’s working … and what’s not. 

 What is the one thing you want people to know about you and your books?

All I’ve ever wanted is for people to read and enjoy them. I hope through my books, I help those who need it find an escape.


Thank you Leila James for chatting with me! I will include her information down below. Check out her newest release, Sweet Punk today!


The sweet punk across the hall has my undivided attention.

He’s inked perfection.
Totally unattainable.
He’s hiding something behind his quiet demeanor.
But I’ve got trouble of my own. The dangerous kind.
He wants all of me, but he doesn’t know my whole story.
And I will walk through fire to keep him.

WARNING: Shadow River Elite is a New Adult/College series of standalones filled with drama, angst, and bad boys. If you’re not into romances where hate turns into love, and tortured souls find their match, this might not be the series for you. This series is recommended for mature readers due to graphic language, dark elements, and sexual content.

Leila James has one goal: keeping you up past your bedtime turning the pages of her books. She writes emotional, angsty, and swoon-worthy new adult romances with lots of unique characters and plot twists.

Leila’s family will tell you she’s as big a reader as she is a writer. And … she’s completely obsessed with both. She resides in Virginia with her husband and two children.



Facebook Reader group:

Instagram: @author_leilajames

TikTok: @author_leilajames




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