Author Spotlight · Coming Soon · Interview with an Author · New Release · Pre-Order

Interview with an Author featuring Angelina J. Steffort

The Literary Vixen presents…

Welcoming back, Angelina J. Steffort! Her upcoming release, The Quarter Mage is set to release August 31st 2022.

How do you handle writer’s block?

Honestly, I rarely run into writer’s block. Usually my characters are quite chatty throughout the writing process. My life is determined by family life, so I have natural breaks during writing that allow me to come up with the next plot point or the next book idea. I consider myself lucky to be surrounded by a team of wonderful creatives to bounce ideas off if needed. That helps in some of the cases when I reach a fork in the road and need to decide which way to go with a story.

What inspired you to write The Quarter Mage?

The idea for The Quarter Mage has been brewing for over 3 years. I commissioned the covers for the entire series in 2020, the map in 2021, and have been anxiously waiting to fill the world with life.

What, in your opinion, are the most important elements of good writing?

I sincerely believe that there is no one right answer to this question. While craft is important, craft is nothing without the ability to create intriguing worlds and settings. Adorable characters are nothing without proper plot and clean prose. From a writing perspective, I can only say what I find most enjoyable, and that highly depends on the day and the mood. Sometimes I will obsess about grammar and sentence structures, on other days I will question every plot point and story line, and there will be days where I simply hang out with my characters and let them chat. So what is important depends on the phase in the process of creating a book. 

From a reader’s perspective, the characters are what hooks me first.

What comes first, the plot or characters?

In my books, usually the book title, then a premise. Once I have those, the characters spring to life on their own.

How do you develop your plot and characters?

In a lot of cases, I don’t have the characters ready when I write the first sentence. They simply awaken word by word. The same is true for the plot. As a pantser I write into the dark and follow where the characters lead. The Quarter Mage was the first book I had thoroughly plotted before starting. But it pantsed me from the first line—and the outcome is so much better than the intended version. I guess, I learned my lesson.

How do you come up with the titles to your books?

The book titles are usually what comes first, long before I ever think up a character or a potential plot. Usually, they just pop up in my head while I’m trying to focus on finishing a book. I have a list of over forty titles that are waiting to be written.

Do you find it more challenging to write the first book in a series or to write the subsequent novels?

Over the past six years I’ve written twenty-three books in five different series, and I still can’t tell you what terrifies me more, a first in a series, the sequels, or finishing up the last in a series. Each has its perks and its daunting properties. The Quarter Mage as a first in a series was difficult for me, since it pantsed me from line one. Now I’m dreading what The Hour Mage and the other two in the series have in store for me.

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?

There’s so much I’m learning on a daily basis. What surprised me was that this is something I can see myself doing when I’m 92.

Describe your perfect book hero or heroine.

The best heroes or heroines are unexpected ones.

What advice would you give a new writer, someone just starting out?

Know your genre and what readers love. Don’t worry about a perfect first draft. You can do revisions later, and that’s why authors work with experienced editors. If you want to write a book—really write one and not just dream about it—sit down and write. It’s not going to write itself.

 

Thank you Angelina J. Steffort for chatting with me! I will include her information down below. Check out her upcoming release, The Quarter Mage today!

~Synopsis~

Perfect for fans of A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas and The Cruel Prince by Holly Black.

WHEN DESTINY FAILS YOU, WHO WILL YOU BECOME?

A forgotten princess. A cruel realm. A Mage who might be her salvation.

Sanja is a princess on the run. And when she flees her father’s court to escape an arranged marriage to a tyrant, the one thing she doesn’t expect, is to be killed for her throne.

But magic that shouldn’t exist in her kingdom saves her, and Sanja is thrust into the daunting fairylands where, as a human, she’s prey…

Fighting to survive, Sanja signs herself into the service of the most powerful Mages in the fairylands, determined to master the magic to save her kingdom—and finds herself stuck with a brooding Mage with a knack for keeping secrets.

As Sanja’s feelings for Tristan turn from dread to attraction, she learns that she isn’t the only thing the fairies are after. And Sanja must risk her life and her heart, or she will lose both him and her kingdom forever.

Dive into Angelina J. Steffort’s latest heart-wrenching upper YA fantasy romance and find out what makes the world of The Quarter Mage so special.

“Chocolate fanatic, milk-foam enthusiast and huge friend of the southern sting-ray. Writing is an unexpected career-path for me.”

Angelina J. Steffort is an Austrian novelist, best known for her Wings series, a young adult paranormal romance series about the impossible love between a girl and an angel. The bestselling Wings series has been ranked among calibers such as the Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer, The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare, and Lauren Kate’s Fallen, and has been top listed among angel books for teens by bloggers and readers. Her young adult epic fantasy series Shattered Kingdom is already being compared to Sarah J. Maas’s Throne of Glass series by readers and fans. Angelina has multiple educational backgrounds including engineering, business, music, and acting, and lives in Vienna, Austria with her husband and her son.

Author Spotlight · Interview with an Author · New Release

Interview with an Author featuring Evelyn Shine

The Literary Vixen presents…

Joining us today is Evelyn Shine! Her newest release, Dancing with the Moon: Vargree Shifters Book One released on March 23rd 2022.

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I’m an author of fantasy romance writing under the pen name Evelyn Shine and I work as a private chef. When I’m not writing or cooking, I keep company with my three crazy Australian cattle dogs and my indulgent husband.

How long have you been writing?

I started writing in fall 2019 after three months of insomnia. It began with fanfic to entertain my brain, then moved on to original works in winter 2020. A year later I had a dozen 80k word first drafts written, and at the urging of my bestie, I picked a few to polish up for publication. The other drafts are waiting patiently for rewrites.

Do you have a writing quirk or ritual?

My brain never stops. The plotlines to at least six new books are always percolating away. My ideas kick me awake around 4am every day. I make my cup of tea and curl up on the couch with my laptop to write for a few hours–or all day–depending on my schedule. On nice days, I sit outside in my hammock with my dogs to write. I’m very focused, but my thoughts are so loud when I’m working that I need absolute silence to write.

Where do you get your inspiration for your books?

Everywhere really. I’ve lived a really full life, so some of it is from experience. A great cover or a piece of art will spin an entire story in my head. An old Rumi poem I saw on Tumblr inspired Dancing With the Moon. The entire story downloaded into my brain and I started writing. That poem is at the beginning of the book.

Do you have a favorite character that you have written? If so, who? And what makes them so special?

I’m attached to all my characters so it’s hard to pick just one. I love really strong but flawed FMCs. Kiara is the star of Dancing with the Moon and was so fun to write. She struggles with her addiction to the venom in a vampire’s bite but still tries to hold her life together and be independent. I’m a big fan of the heroine rescuing herself, so women fighting to come out on top will always have a place in my heart.

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

I love the highs and lows of writing a new story. It unfolds like a movie in my head and I try to type fast enough to keep up. My housekeeping and other mundane tasks wait until I hit the editing phase because everything else just gets forgotten. My wonderful husband is accustomed to this intensity, and usually makes sure I remember to do things like eat. He claims coffee is not a meal. He’s wrong, but I still love him.

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?

Genre related covers have been my kryptonite and I’ve found the process frustrating. I’ve been reading for decades and have literally never picked a book for its cover. Usually when picking out a book, I’d open it to a random page and start reading. If I liked the writing style, I bought it. I had a rocky start with my first covers, but after swapping them, the series has done better.

When writing a series how do you keep things fresh, for both your readers and also yourself?

The overall story is already in my head, so each book takes the reader a step closer to the conclusion and reveals a little more of the overall plot. I never actually get “writer’s block” but if I get hung up on something I will go to the beginning of the story and start editing. Usually something will trigger a thought and I can move on again.

Are you working on anything at the present you would like to share with me?

I just finished a “romancing the fairy tale villain” novella for an anthology that was super fun to write. I have a sensual retelling of the goddess Inanna that I’m working on for an anthology next spring.

My current big pet project is an epic fantasy why choose series. I’m 140k words into what will be a 4 or 5 books. The main character Skadi shows up in book 2 and 3 of my Dawnchild Series as the Queen of the Vargree wolf shifters. She appears again as a side character in book 1 and 2 of my Vargree series. She’s this fabulous archetypal badass queen with five mates. How could I not give her the rags to riches origin story she deserves? Currently, I plan to write the complete series then release a book every three months. With all the time it takes for beta reading, editing, and covers, I’m probably looking at a summer 2023 release for book 1.

What advice would you give to other authors?

Lift each other up and be kind. Everyone is made of stories and will tell theirs in their own way and time.

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

I still don’t sleep much and I probably drink more coffee than I should. It’s an endless loop.

My worlds are rich and all the characters intertwine, so there are cameos and Easter eggs in every book for stories I have yet to publish. I love leaving little presents that someone can come back later to read and discover.

 

Thank you Evelyn Shine for chatting with me! I will include her information down below. Check out her newest release,  Dancing with the Moon today!


~Synopsis~

A singular moment could change centuries of hatred.

I can’t stop thinking about her. Kiara saved my life by giving me her blood. It tasted like every fond memory I’ve ever had. And now, no matter how much I’ve tried to stay away, I’m drawn even closer. As if all I’ve ever needed is her.

But she’s a Vargree. The wolf-shifters and my kind have been at war for centuries and my hands are stained with the blood of her people.

I should let her go. Especially now that she’s found a prospective mate with her pack. But seeing her with him only makes me strive to win her over, to show her that singular moment wasn’t enough for me.

Can my love for her end the wars between our kind?

Dancing with the Moon is an epic fantasy romance about family ties, forbidden love, and the secrets that could shatter them. It’s a spin-off novel from the Dawnchild series, but can be read as a stand-alone.

Evelyn Shine is the author of fantasy romance books for anyone that enjoys steamy myths and fantastical species mixed with their adventure filled love. No matter what stories she’s writing—vampires or shifters—they all share a common thread of love, heart, and action. When she isn’t writing, Evelyn enjoys playing with her three crazy Australian cattle dogs, riding her Vespa through the countryside, or spending time with her indulgent spouse.

Website: www.evelynshine.com
Insta: @evelynshineauthor
TikTok: @evelynshine_author
FB fan group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/419458819756653
Author Spotlight · Interview with an Author · New Release

Interview with an Author featuring Danielle M. Orsino

The Literary Vixen presents…

Joining us today is Danielle M. Orsino! Her newest release, Kingdom Come (Birth of the Fae Book 4) release on May 30th 2022.

Tell us a bit about yourself.

My name is Danielle M. Orsino, I am a competitive martial artist and Nurse. However, I have left that all behind to write the Birth of the Fae series. I have two rescue pups Carlos which anyone who has read the Birth of the Fae series, may know him as “Los” the dragon.  Penelope my other little dog the readers will meet later in the series as “Lady Penelope” a member of the Aubane Faction.

What inspired you to start writing?

I am not a “Classically trained writer” the entire process was a huge learning experience. Overall writing the book was joyful. It came from an organic place, inspired by a patient who had been undergoing long IV treatments for a chronic illness and needed a distraction. I told him a story, that tale was the spark for the Birth of the Fae series. It was born from those sessions with him.

What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

I go with the flow, I handwrite the books and begin the real editing work when I sit at the computer to type it out that is the first real edit. When I handwrite it is just to get it out of my head, I build the skeleton first, the first edit on the computer places the organs and I go from there.

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

Not sure I really deal with it, I tend to carry it with me this way as I write the next one I hold those feelings and work them out on paper.  I also make a playlist which mimics the emotional crescendo of the book that I listen to over and over as I write. The emotions are always flowing through me so I can call them back up.

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?

My characters are living inside of me at all times and they have their opinions about EVERYTHING!

What comes first for you — the plot or the characters — and why?

The Characters, they will pop into my head with a voice and they are ready to go. I am there just to put their voice to paper that is my job, wherever it goes is anyone’s guess- and it makes it the journey a lot more fun. 

How much ‘world building’ takes place before you start writing?

I do research based upon the character or creature, for example my dragons took months of research and illustration before they were ready to become the creatures ready for the Veil. I consulted with engineers, physics professors and veterinarians. I knew I wanted realistic dragons but I built them from the inside out, physiology and anatomy first, once I had that I did a deeper dive into their society, religion and built their world. However, first the dragons had to be real to me.

What book is currently on your bedside table?

“Queen of the Damned” by Anne Rice- first edition paperback one of my absolute favorites and “Wonder Woman- The Hiketia” by Greg Rucka.

Do you have any new series planned?

I am finishing up book 6 of Birth of the Fae which will be the last book in this Volume, we will then move onto Volume two which begins a new chapter for the Fae- Birth of a Succubus, Volume two.

What advice would you give to other authors?

Find a great editor, and write for yourself, write the books you want to read, it will come from an authentic place.

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

My books are just that- books, a form of escapism. I am honored every time someone reaches out and says they picked up my book. I think the art of storytelling is the oldest form of entertainment and I love that I get to be a part of that tradition. My books are high fantasy twisted with some dark humor, political intrigue and great fight scenes. They also aren’t long books. I did that on purpose, I don’t think reading should be chore. Sometime fantasy can be overwhelming with all the worldbuilding, magical systems and stuff, readers can run from it. Yes, there is worldbuilding, especially in book one but mine are not 400-page books they are gateway books into the fantasy genre if you haven’t read fantasy before. If you like it then you can read my books back-to-back for that binge feel. I also put two books out a year. So, no waiting years for my endings (George we are all looking at you… )

Thank you Danielle M. Orsino for chatting with me! I will include her information down below. Check out her newest release, Kingdom Come today!

~Synopsis~

All is peaceful in the Veil, which is usually when everything falls apart…

Queen Aurora of the Court of Light and King Jarvok of the Court of Dark have fallen in love despite all odds. A relationship of political convenience has turned into something real and tangible for the two monarchs. After centuries of conflict and mistrust, the two Courts are about to unite as one: the Court of the Fae. But not every Fae is happy about the impending union.

Queen Aurora’s most trusted advisors have never lost touch with their old Angelic ways. These bishops still believe that Virtues and Power Angels were never meant to mix. According to them, Queen Aurora is no longer suitable to rule. As they mount a complex coup d’état to grasp the throne, a new threat to the monarchy makes their move.

Will the entire foundation of peace crumble with one last act of betrayal? Or will the bond between Court of Light and Dark prevail in the face of danger?

Danielle M. Orsino is a fantasy novelist whose lifelong vision to create whimsical realms that her readers can escape to. Her compelling word-weaving pays homage to a multitude of personal muses, from Chris Claremont and George Pérez (both famous comic book writers), to Anne Rice and Wonder Woman. 

The creative spark of storytelling has been with Danielle ever since she was a child, but martial arts and her nursing career took center stage into adulthood. Then, on a day like any other, it was reignited during the most unexpected of moments: while treating one of her patients. Seeing that they longed for a distraction during their arduous treatments, the floodgates of inspiration soon burst forth. So, Danielle took it upon herself to tell them a story; a fantastical narrative that would leave the confines of that IV room’s walls and land upon a page. Before she knew it, what started as an imaginative tale to pass the time, turned into book, followed by an entire series: The Birth of Fae. This awe-inspiring series includes Locked out of Heaven (Book One), Thine Eyes of Mercy (Book Two), and From The Ashes (Book Three), all of which are published by 4 Horsemen Publications, Inc. And with an unwavering passion for cosplay and comics, it was a unanimous decision to place her on the cover of each book in all her Fae cosplay glory. The Birth of Fae also features Los, an affable chameleon dragon inspired by her fun-loving Yorkie named Carlos.  

When writing wasn’t at the forefront of her mind, Danielle was a successful Martial Artist. Some of her achievements include “1999 World Martial Arts Hall of Fame Inductee”, “Female Martial Artist of the Year”, “WKA World Champion Silver Medalist 2008”, and numerous more. She has also garnered hundreds of martial art tournament wins, various other national and world titles, and features on big-name channels like TLC and CBS. She even had the rare opportunity to perform for former U.S. President Bill Clinton and collaborate alongside Vincent Lyn and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. From there, she pursued her Bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology and Exercise Science, and she is now a Licensed Practical Nurse who focuses on Lyme disease research.

This “New Queen of the Fae’s” unmatched world-building and masterful Fae-origin retellings have led to an ever-growing queendom of “Fae-natics”. 

To begin embarking upon a quest in an epic world unlike any other, visit Danielle M. Orsino’s official website at http://www.BirthOfTheFae.com. You can also connect with her on Instagram (@BirthOfTheFae_Novel) and Twitter (@BirthOfTheFae).

Author Spotlight · Interview with an Author · New Release

Interview with an Author featuring Kris Calvin

The Literary Vixen presents…

Joining us today is Kris Calvin! Her latest release, Under a Broken Sky: A Novel release on July 12th 2022.

Have you always wanted to be a writer?

When I was little, I didn’t feel safe in my own home. Sadly, I’m far from the only child who has endured those circumstances. But my particular response to having a frightening reality was to also fear what my imagination might hold—I didn’t play make-believe, and I didn’t originally have much interest in “telling stories”. Fortunately, I discovered the local public library, where the librarians and staff were unfailingly kind and the children facing peril in my books had happy endings. 

For my career, I worked in an analytical and unimaginative, but fulfilling policy job advocating for children’s well-being in the state legislature. In the process, I wrote a lot of dry policy memos and letters. It wasn’t until I was in my 50s that I felt “safe” enough to  explore my creative side and write fiction.

What time of the day do you usually write?

5am to 9am.

How much ‘world building’ takes place before you start writing?

Before I start writing, none–I don’t make outlines. But as I write, I pause frequently to envision everything. I need to be able to see a scene in my mind to transform the scene into words, so every sound, color, and texture matters.

Which of your books were the most enjoyable to write?

I am always most enamored with what I am currently working on. What’s already written and out there has to be “forgotten” for my new ideas to feel fresh. Right now that means a dual timeline story with two strong women protagonists set 100 years apart.

What gave you that final push to press publish on your first book?

When I shared my first manuscript for my first book, a “whodunnit” mystery called One Murder More, with a developmental editor, to my horror she pronounced it “terrible”. She said from my years working in policy I wrote clearly, but that what I’d produced was dull and dry. My characters only “saw” things; they didn’t touch or hear or smell. I spent a year in workshops and read countless books on writing fiction, gaining what I could from those who had already done it. I contracted with a hybrid publisher, they set a deadline, and I was ready. For my second book, the first in the Emma & Alibi series, I did 17 drafts before I submitted it to a traditional publisher, who gave me a 2-book contract. For that one, I was “ready” when I was done!

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

I know a lot of authors don’t read their Goodreads and Amazon reviews. I read each one. I don’t expect a book of mine to be a good fit for everyone, so it doesn’t bother me when that happens (unless the reader is flat out mean and calls me names, which has only happened once). I learn from what people like best and what they struggled with and do my best to use that to improve my writing. The most common positive comment is that people like Emma, my 32-yr-old ethics investigator, and Alibi my homicide cop. They also seem to like the dynamic between Emma and her best friend, Kate, and Kate’s teen son. 

Negatives have included a few people saying I describe clothing too much (which as a result I dialed down in my later books 🙂 and that the names are “weird”. (I didn’t change that. I like weird names.)

Favorite book when you were a kid?

Black Stallion.

If you had to describe yourself in three words, what would they be?

I love this question! I used to play this game with my kids and their friends. 

For me? 

(1) Responsible. Ugh, I was once on a 3rd date with a man who I thought was about to tell me how fabulous I was and instead he said, “If I could sum you up in one word, it would be ‘responsible’.” No 4th date for him! 

(2) Kind. Not always and not perfectly, but one plus side of having lived in fear is I have no interest in making anyone feel anything other than respected and safe.

(3) Creative! This is a new one, late-in-life, but being creative is now a big part of who I am.

What advice would you give to other authors?

Write every day, and don’t share what you’ve written until you are very far along.

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

I write thrillers where no harm comes to children. They may be in danger, and we may worry for them, but every child you come to know in my books will be safe.

Thank you Kris Calvin for chatting with me! I will include her information down below. Check out her newest release, Under a Broken Sky today!

~Synopsis~

In this Sacramento-set thriller perfect for fans of Meg Gardiner, Emma Lawson uncovers greed and deception for a living, but this time is different. If only she knew this killer can hear her.

He can see her.

One year into her prized role as the youngest ethics investigator in California’s history, Emma suspects corruption in the state’s billion dollar expansion to train travel. That unwittingly puts her on a killer’s trail – a killer who will do anything to reach his illicit million dollar payday, including personally eliminating Emma Lawson as a threat.

Detective Alibi Morning Sun sees connections where no one else does. For him, a drowning at a lake, a fire in a storage facility and a murder by the river carry a thread soaked in blood.

As Emma follows the money and Alibi traces bullets and bodies, the killer counts down to his grand finale. With each mounting danger, it quickly becomes apparent that the corruption Emma has been digging for is real— and it’s deadly.

Three days. Two days. Now only one…

Kris Calvin’s latest novel, UNDER A BROKEN SKY (July 12, 2021; Crooked Lane Books) is the second in her Emma & Alibi mystery-thriller series. Kris served for more than 20 years as the CEO of the American Academy of Pediatrics in California, and was honored for her leadership in advocacy for children by the California Legislature. You can visit Kris online at kriscalvin.com.

kriscalvin.com

Author Spotlight · Interview with an Author

Interview with an Author featuring D.B. Motu

The Literary Vixen presents…

Joining us today is D.B. Motu! His debut novel, Lords Of The Archipelago: Blood-Feud released on August 1st 2021.

Tell us a bit about yourself

Hi! My name is D.B. Motu. My debut novel, Lords of the Archipelago: Blood-Feud, is a modern-day-pirate action thriller, with a hard-edged Romeo & Juliet love story mixed in. 

I was born on an island you’ve probably never heard of and I spent most of my childhood not far from the South China Sea Archipelago, where the events of the novel take place.

I currently live and write in sunny Southern California.

How long have you been writing?

I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember; short stories, songs and even poetry…whatever I could put down on paper. I wrote screenplays for years—and my greatest claim to screenwriting fame is that Wes Craven once declined a script of mine, because he thought it was too dark! The man who gave us Freddy Krueger thought my script was too dark. Fantastic. Now, to be clear, I don’t write horror, but the script he read was a dark drama and very grim. Anyway, I’m pretty proud of that particular rejection!

What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

For my day job, I’m a background actor. I’m the blurry guy that you see in the background of some of your favorite tv shows and movies, the don’t-blink-or-you’ll-miss-me guy. My writing quirk is that I enjoy writing on set. As a matter of fact, I have some of my most productive writing days on tv and movie sets. The constant activity and energy seem to tap directly into my creative flow somehow. I love it.

Where do you get your inspiration for your books?

Well, my debut novel is actually an adaptation of a script I wrote years ago. I went back and took a script that had been well received in Hollywood and I turned that script into a novel. I had to flesh it out quite a bit, because when you write a script you only write what the audience can see onscreen. The screenwriter doesn’t include thoughts or emotions, except through the actions of the characters. For the script to read like a book, I had to fill in the gaps, but it was great fun!

What do you hope your readers take away from this book?

At the end of the day, I am a storyteller. I tell stories for the enjoyment of others, and if I can stumble through a narrative effectively enough to take someone on an adventure, then I’ve done what I set out to do. I don’t have a message, I just want a reader to lose themselves for a little while in the magic of a tale well told. If I manage to make them laugh or cry or feel inspired along the way, then all the better, and I’m happy.

What is the significance of the title?

Ha! That is a funny question, because the title has seen many changes. When I first wrote the story as a script, it was simply ‘Archipelago’. My agent was not a big fan of that title, so we kicked around a few ideas and then he suggested ‘Guardians of the Reef’. We went with that. When I turned the script into a novel, I went back to one of the ideas we had discarded, ‘Lords of the Archipelago’, then added ‘Blood-Feud’ at the last minute, in an attempt to make it sound more action-y.

What gave you that push to press the publish button?

I have always been super excited about the idea that I could tell a story and someone else could hear it or read it. That has always seemed magical to me, and it’s what led me to publish this novel. I want as many people as possible to be a part of this circle and enjoy the stories I tell. 

What was the highlight of writing this book?

That’s a tough question, but a good one. The process of writing is such a roller coaster but I have to say that the greatest moments in the creation of the book were when I could see that my beta readers had connected with the characters–that those characters had become real to them and they were no longer strangers. That process of creating something out of nothing is absolutely magical and I will never get used to it.

Are you working on anything at the present you would like to share with me?

Thanks for asking. I’m working on the sequel to ‘Lords of the Archipelago: Blood-Feud’ and that is going quite well. I tend to work on more than one project at the same time, so I’m also working on adapting another script into a novel. I’m very excited about that project, as it gives me a chance to reconnect with characters that I wrote a decade ago.

What advice would you give to other authors?

I’m no expert, but… 

READ. Whenever you can. As much as you can. That would be my first piece of advice. 

Secondly–WRITE! I know that sounds obvious, but writers need to write. Every single day. Be consistent and strict with your writing time. Don’t dilute it with distractions. Do your research outside of writing time. Do your social media posts and marketing outside of writing time. If you lock in dedicated writing time, you will be amazed at what you can accomplish.  

Finally–give yourself grace. Being a writer/author is hard. Don’t beat yourself up. The world needs your words. 

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

I love writing. I want people to know that my goal is to tell a story as well as I can. As far as the books are concerned, it’s the same. I want people to enjoy them enough to care about what happens to the characters. I wouldn’t mind if I made a reader laugh or smile every now and then as well. I believe stories are essential. I’m excited that I can be a part of the process of building worlds and adventures that other people can walk in. I’ll never get tired of it. 

By the way,I love to hear readers’ thoughts about my book. If you decide to read it, you can always connect with me through TikTok (@authordbmotu). I can’t wait to hear what you think! 

Thank you.

 

Thank you D.B. Motu for chatting with me! I will include his information down below. Check out his debut release, Lords Of The Archipelago today!

~Synopsis~

A brutal, modern-day-pirate syndicate.
A young man torn between family honor and the woman he loves.
Deadly secrets. Cold-blooded killers.
Welcome to the Archipelago.

The Tavingtons are the PIRATE LORDS OF THE ARCHIPELAGO—the most powerful family in a high-seas, 21st-century pirate syndicate—and Caleb Tavington is the heir to the throne.

Unknown to the syndicate, Caleb wants out. He’s in love with Emma Wallace, and in the Archipelago that’s a death sentence, because the Wallaces and the Tavingtons are locked in a deadly blood-feud, with decades of hatred and violence between them.

Caleb knows that, to survive, he and Emma have to disappear, and he has an exit plan…but then everything falls apart.

To make it out alive, this modern-day Romeo and Juliet must walk a deadly tightrope of betrayal, blood-feud and war, and Caleb will have to remind an ocean full of stone-cold killers why he is the most feared pirate in the syndicate—and still a Lord of the Archipelago.

Readers call this explosive action-thriller ‘RIVETING’, ‘BEAUTIFULLY CRAFTED’ & ‘ACTION-PACKED’

D.B. Motu is a recovering screenwriter, often found drowning in coffee shops. He was born on an island you’ve never heard of, grew up under martial law in Southeast Asia, and currently lives and writes in sunny Southern California. He insists he’s directly descended from Samoan and British royalty, and counts among his ancestors a South Seas pirate. He’s a board-gaming poet and aspiring liar. Pull up a chair.

Link to Amazon page:
Link to Goodreads Author Page:
Author Spotlight · Interview with an Author · New Release

Interview with an Author featuring S.C. Grayson

The Literary Vixen presents…

Joining us today is S.C. Grayson! Her debut, Spears and Shadows (Defenders of the Light Book 1) released June 16th 2022.

Tell us a bit about yourself.

 Hi! I’m S.C. Grayson, and I’m a fantasy romance author. My first book, Spears and Shadows, released on June 16th. I was born and raised in Chicago (and I show my love for my hometown in my books), but I now live in Pittsburgh with my husband and our two adorable cats. When I’m not writing, I’m a registered nurse and a breast cancer researcher.

Congrats on your debut release! How was that experience for you?

It’s been great! My debut has been out for about a month now, and I’m still waiting for the day it will really sink in that I’m a published author now. It still doesn’t feel real. I don’t even know what to do with my personal copy of Spears and Shadows. It’s sitting laying sideways across other books on my shelf, haphazardly shoved in there because I’m out of room. I should make a place of honor for it I suppose, but I just haven’t gotten there.

How long have you been writing?

Fiction? This book is my first foray into fiction, and I started writing it back in 2018. After I finished drafting it, the story sat on my computer untouched for almost a whole year, since I didn’t know if I was going to publish it. At first, I started writing it just for myself, so when I realized I wanted to share it with the world, it took me a while to figure out how I wanted to do that.

In terms of writing in general though, I’ve been at that for quite a while! I’m currently a nurse researcher working towards my PhD, so I’ve written a good number of scientific publications regarding my research of breast cancer genetics. I even wrote a chapter in a genetics textbook that is being published in September! It feels extra special to publish fiction and nonfiction in the same year.

Describe a typical writing day.

I’m not sure I have a “typical” day, considering I don’t really have a writing routine. I tend to write huge chunks at a time, followed by a period of days with no (fiction) writing when I get busy with science. When I am dedicating a day to my writing though, I walk to my favorite local coffee shop and camp out with an iced americano and one of their homemade rice krispie treats. I think I wrote at least 75% of Spears and Shadows while sitting in that coffee shop!

Where do you get your inspiration for your books?

This is one of the questions I get asked the most and still is one of the hardest for me to answer. I’m not always sure where my ideas come from when they pop into my head. I do know that what makes me sit down and write is the need to make the kind of stories I would like to read. I started by first book because I had been reading a lot for a period, and I still felt like I was looking for a specific story that I wasn’t able to find. I decided that I owned a laptop, so I might as well fix the problem by creating it myself!

What do you hope your readers take away from this book?

First and foremost, I want my readers to be entertained. Especially in this day and age, I feel like we could all use a little escapism. If I offer readers a chance to spend an afternoon engrossed in another world, then I will have done my job.

What is the significance of the title?

To be transparent, the title wasn’t settled on until well after I had signed a publishing contract, much closer to publication. For me, the spear was really important as it symbolizes the start of the adventure. The weapon is what draws Nora, the main character, into the whole new world she discovers. The Shadow is the evil in the story, and while it is a dark and mysterious force, it isn’t the traditional characterization of evil. The concept of an evil that is born from the good, just like light casts a shadow, is a central tenant of the story. So, Spears and Shadows refers to two of the most important aspects of the story. Plus, who doesn’t like a little alliteration?

If you had to describe yourself in three words, what would they be?

Enthusiastic, unconventional, compassionate.

What was the highlight of writing this book?

Sharing my book with my sister and my husband for the first time was incredible. They are the first people to read everything I write. My sister and I have been reading fantasy and discussing it since I could read, so being able to talk with her about a story I wrote was really special. This book really wouldn’t exist without my husband’s support, so handing him the first copy and having him open it to see the dedication to him in the front was a teary moment for me.

Are you working on anything at the present you would like to share with me?

Yes! I have the first book in another series scheduled to release in January. It is called Beauty and the Blade and is a reimagining of Beauty and the Beast taking place in a dystopian version of Victorian London that is being overrun by magical street gangs. Spears and Shadows is also getting not one, but two sequels! So all the reviewers who have been saying they want to know more about the side characters, your time is coming.

What advice would you give to other authors?

Write the story you want to tell. You can figure the rest out later.

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

I write because I love telling stories! I have a job outside of writing that I wouldn’t leave even if I sold a million copies. So for me, this is about sharing books and connecting with people through the characters I create. With that in mind, I don’t think I’ll ever be tired of hearing from readers. I genuinely love to connect with all of you!

 

Thank you S.C. Grayson for chatting with me! I will include her information down below. Check out her latest release, Spears and Shadows today!

~Synopsis~

Nora struggled with work-life balance even before an immortal sorcerer showed up and turned her career-and her love life, upside down.

Historian Nora Zvezda is gunning for a promotion at The Chicago Field Museum. The discovery of two ancient Greek weapons unlike any she’s seen before might be her big break-but the artifacts are more than they seem.

Trying to uncover their secrets, Nora enlists the help of professor of ancient languages, Dr. Adam Scott, an undeniably handsome man of intrigue. Nora has been too busy to worry about romance, but Adam seems to be overflowing with charm-and secrets, the biggest being his rank among the Eteria, a secret society of powerful sorcerers who’ve been in hiding since the days of the Greek empire.

When Nora’s work with the ancient and mystical weapons draws the attention of the Shadow, a powerful force that feeds off fear and negative emotions, she finds herself thrust in the middle of a perilous, age-old war between good and evil.

To protect herself, she must join the Eteria in their fight, all while struggling not to sacrifice the life she’s worked so hard for. Complicating things further is her undeniable desire for Adam and the feeling that he may be hiding more than his status as an immortal sorcerer.

S.C. Grayson has been reading fantasy novels since she was a little girl stealing books from her older sister’s shelves, and that has developed into a love of writing and storytelling. Her writing is currently focused on fantasy and paranormal romance. When she is not sitting in a local coffee shop writing and consuming an iced americano, Grayson is a nurse working towards a PhD in nursing with a focus on breast cancer genetics. She lives in Pittsburgh with her loving husband and their two cats, who enjoy contributing to her work by walking across her keyboard at inopportune moments (the cats, not the husband).

Website/newsletter sign up: https://www.scgrayson.com/
Spears and Shadows on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0B1CJF65W
Author Spotlight · Interview with an Author

Interview with an Author featuring J.S. Latshaw

The Literary Vixen presents…

Joining us today is J.S. Latshaw! Author of the Brathius Legacy Series.

How long have you been writing?

I was one of those kids that was always writing, trying (and too often succeeding) to make my classmates perform my plays. I remember a Christmas play in 3rd grade where for some reason I thought making 80% of the production an intense birthing scene would be a good idea, and my teachers didn’t agree, though they expressed their horror too late, only after it was performed for an audience of visiting parents. More formally, I started writing screenplays 20 years ago, and novels 7 years ago.

Where do you get your inspiration for your books?

I get my inspiration from living life and all the hurts and joys that come from doing that, from exploring the outdoors, from lots of reading (fiction and non-fiction), from unapologetically watching and loving movies and television, and from paying attention to what rattles around in my head and heart throughout the day.

How much ‘world building’ takes place before you start writing?

For me, a whole lot. I normally do not start writing until I’ve got a ton of raw material to work with, and I can inhabit the world and hang out with the characters. I think about stories and worlds for a long time before I write, normally during long solitary hikes in the santa monica mountains. Sometimes I even try to write little almanacs and encyclopedia entries about the worlds my stories take place in, and answer a lot of those questions. I’m curious about mapping all these things out, whether I’ll use them in the books or not, it’s important for me to know. Of course, while writing more of the world will be revealed to me too. But I need to have a lot of it felt and known prior to writing pages.

What do you hope your readers take away from this book?

I would hope characters are transported somewhere faraway and fantastic, and yet in that journey learn something about their everyday life and their own heart. I want people to feel like they’re reaching for the unknown and grasping enough of it to think they’ve embarked on an adventure. There’s a lot of loss and pain and joy and curiosity and strength and weakness and betrayal and heartbreak in my books, and I want people to feel those things deeply.

What is the significance of the title?

I’ve always been fascinated by the hidden dangers in this world, the creatures in the shadows, the sea monsters hidden below the surface. There’s something about an unmapped, unknown area that is both incredible attractive to me, and utterly frightening, at the same time. So with THE THREAT BELOW, to me that’s both a warning but also a siren’s call. Yes, it’s dangerous down there, but isn’t it also exciting? And don’t you want to know what’s going on exactly?

If you had to describe yourself in three words, what would they be?

Curious, sensitive, active.

What was the highlight of writing this book?

Finishing it! And having it exist not only in my head, but in a form where other people can experience it, live in it, interact with it, love or hate it, feel something. That’s been truly satisfying in a way I wasn’t fully aware it would be prior to writing.

Are you working on anything at the present you would like to share with me?

Yes! I’ve finished the sequel to the Threat Below, and now I’m working on the third in the series. (I have 4 books planned all together.) I’m also almost finished a shorter stand alone novel which is set in this same world, but a completely different location with different characters. And I’ve completed a novel with a writing partner which I’m also very excited about and we’re pursuing traditional publishing for that one.

What advice would you give to other authors?

Oh goodness. One, write what’s exciting to you. If you’re looking at a chapter and you think I don’t want to write this because it feels boring… don’t write it! If you’re bored by it, there’s little chance someone else will enjoy it. Find another way, find something that intrigues you, characters who beguile you, stories that enfold you. And two, expect the criticism, and listen to what is useful but tune the rest out. Nobody can write something that everybody in the world loves. Accept that. There is no bullet proof book. Write something that you love, and there’s a good chance many others will love it too. And lastly, just write it! It’s scary to actually bring something that exists only in your head onto the page, because it never looks quite as good there as you’d hoped. But something on the page, that actually exists in the real world, is a thousand times better than something that lives only in your head. Accept this on faith, and press into it. You will fight yourself on this. But make the writing your goal, and tune out the naysaying.

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

If you like headstrong stubborn but lovable characters, faraway worlds that maybe could have been or could still be, mysterious monsters that aren’t quite what you think they are (but are, I promise you, still monsters – not people in masks, I will never write a scooby doo ending, my monsters are always real, and huge stories that ultimately focus on heart and relationships, you might find something you like in my work.

 

Thank you J.S. Latshaw for chatting with me! I will include his information down below. Check out Brathius Legacy Series today!

~Synopsis~

She heard the legends. She knew the history. But nothing could have prepared her for what she found.

Three hundred years ago, a lethal and mysterious threat arose and pushed humanity to the brink of extinction. Now, a small remnant – the descendants of the few survivors who escaped the massacre below – lives above the clouds, atop a mountain. When they discover their water supply is being poisoned, an expedition, including seventeen year-old Icelyn Brathius, must descend and face the horror that wiped out civilization centuries ago.

The danger is closer than you think. The shocking true nature of the Threat Below.

As Icelyn faces dangers in a world humans are not meant to survive, she learns that not everything is as it seems, uncovers an ancient revelation, and faces a choice that will change the fate of everyone above and below the clouds. Will Icelyn be strong enough to survive – and bear a terrible secret?

Read this page-turning adventure today. 

Jason was raised in Pennsylvania and now lives in Los Angeles, where he attended UCLA’s Screenwriting MFA program.

Website: https://jlatshaw.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jasonsethlatshaw/?hl=en

Author Spotlight · Interview with an Author

Interview with an Author featuring Kristy Brown

The Literary Vixen presents…

Joining us today is Kristy Brown! Author of The Summer Solstice series.

Have you always wanted to be a writer?

When I was a teen, I wrote lots of poetry and short stories, but I ended up falling in love with drama. I studied acting at university. After having my first child I started writing again. A short story turned into my first book, KIERA’S QUEST, a Middle Grade fantasy series. I haven’t stopped writing since. 

What time of the day do you usually write? 

I usually write when the husband and kids are at work/ school/ college. I need total silence. Normally I try to fit in two to three hours a day. 

How much ‘world building’ takes place before you start writing?

If I’m to be honest the characters usually come first and I build the world around them. There was lots of world building in Kiera’s Quest as it happens across different magical realms. 

Which of your books were the most enjoyable to write?  

All my books are special to me for different reasons. I love Summer, Alex and Andi in Summer’s End. I love the magical romance in Cinderfella, a modern-day retelling with all roles reversed. Kiera’s Quest was an adventure as I could go mad with my imagination creating new creatures and worlds. Just Sam was the easiest to write as there’s a lot of my personality in it. For instance, Sam loves tennis, as do I (watching, not playing!) She loves Disney and I love a bit of that! My problem is that I can’t seem to stick to a genre. I write whatever may pop into my head. 

What book is currently by your bedside table? 

Flock by Kate Stewart. 

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

Yes, I love talking to them. Mostly it’s positive asking me to continue with a series etc. 

Favorite book when you were a kid? 

The Magic Finger by Roald Dahl because I have fond memories of my grandad reading it to me and chuckling all the way through. 

If you had to describe yourself in three words, what would they be? 

Honest. Caring. Creative. 

What advice would you give to other authors? 

Read as much as possible. Edit as much as possible. Get a thick skin because not every reader will like your work. 

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

That I love writing each one and hope that the reader finds something to love too. 

I’m currently writing a modern retelling of Romeo and Juliet…watch this space 😊 

 

Thank you Kristy Brown for chatting with me! I will include her information down below. Check out her series today!

~Synopsis~

YA Paranormal Romance

She wakes up in the hospital, badly burned with no identity.
He’s been trained to kill her before she burns the world to ashes.
When they finally meet, will he be able to take her life now that he’s started to feel for her?
His fate is already written.
The prophecy is already set.
Love between them is forbidden.

Hi I’m Kristy and I live in the U.K. I have always written short stories and poetry. I went to university to study acting which I loved, but my real passion has always been writing. So, now I write the kind of stories I would have wanted to read as a teen. “Kiera’s Quest- part one & two,” a Middle-grade/ teen fantasy series, is now available on e-book and paperback. If you like shape shifters, magical realms and a chosen one, then this may be for you!
My YA contemporary romance book, “Just Sam,” about a young tennis star who loses someone important and has to trust in life and love again, is available on Amazon in print & on Kindle, as is my YA/NA fairy-tale retelling, “Cinderfella.”​ Cinderfella has all roles reversed and is aimed slightly older, as there is a little passion and darkness to this tale, but still keeps the magic of the original.
I also have a YA Paranormal Romance trilogy, ‘The Summer Solstice series.’ “Summer’s End,” book one, “Summer’s Lost” (2) and “Summer’s Time,” are all available on Amazon and Kindle Unlimited, as are all my titles. I love reading of course. I have lots of new projects in mind, and I’m currently working on a retelling of Romeo and Juliet.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KristyBrownWrites/

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3nAKk7O

Author Spotlight · Coming Soon · Interview with an Author

Interview with an Author featuring Ariel Dawn

The Literary Vixen presents…

Joining us today is Ariel Dawn! Her upcoming release, Hecate (Speed Dating with the Denizens of the Underworld Book 6) is releasing June 28th 2022.

Congrats on hitting the USA Today best selling list!!

What inspired you to start writing?

I’d always wanted to be an author. I can remember being younger and thinking one day I’ll write a book. Even then I was inspired by love and love stories, and some of my first writings were love poems and fanfiction. I’ve always been a dreamer, and always constructed stories and epic daydreams in my head. It just took me 35 years to put those stories on paper and realize they could be published, and that I had the drive to actually finish a story and see it through to publication.

What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

I write on my couch. I have a desk, in fact I have a studio downstairs in my house that is a stocked art studio, with shelves and great lighting…but I write on my couch under a blanket, usually with a big cup of coffee beside me.

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

It’s almost a little impossible for me to NOT soak up some of the characters I write. Especially the ones that I feel a connection to, like Ava, Jade, or Ketra. Those 3 are probably the most vivd to me, and writing them can sometimes be very taxing on me emotionally, and when I find myself soaking up too much of those moments, too much of their drama, I usually take a break or hop into another book, or read someone else’s book to reroute my brain a bit.

But for me I think what impacts me the most, if when I’m in the zone, I tend to hyperfixate. When I was writing Blood & Lust, I wrote for nearly 5 days straight. I slept, but not well because my mind was racing with the next chapter almost non-stop. When I get like that, I build in breaks to my schedule for rest. Shut my phone off and zone out with some Netflix, take a nap.

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

I wrote and published 8 books in 2021. So far in 2022, I have published 3, but I’ve written quite a few. I’m on track to publish 15 books for 2022 total, and I’m going to be starting work on my 2023 books soon, and there is a lot for 2023 as well.

If I had to pick ONE, I’d say In The Blood (or literally ANY of the Ava Crowley books) is my favorite, but Hollow’s Sunset (well, the whole Shifters of Starfall Creek Series, really) is a really close second.

In The Blood gets the number 1 spot because I’m a vampire girl at heart, and In The Blood is inspired by a lot of my favorite vampires ad vampire media. It’s the one I am most proud of, and Ava & Cas are my favorite to write because they really come so naturally and easily to me, and they are really great characters on their own as well as together.

Hollow’s Sunset is the second book in my co-written Shifters of Starfall Creek Series with Quell T. Fox, and the series was a milestone series for me for a number of reasons. It was my first shifter story, my first reverse harem story, my first crack at writing steamier material, my first time writing spicy m/m scenes (and group scenes). Hollow’s Sunset is my favorite out of the series because I really started to explore more m/m romance, and was much more confident in writing steam, plus there is a lot of really great character development and action in it. Even though I didn’t write him, Dustin is my favorite, and he really opens up in the second book, which I loved!

What books or authors have most influenced your own writing?

First off, Quell T. Fox. If I hadn’t met Quell and started co-writing with her, I would never have gotten so comfortable writing steam and spice this fast, that I know. Before I started writing with her, I could barely write the word cock, and I’d never written anything other than M/F. Writing with her really helped me learn firsthand where my strengths and weaknesses were, and her support as I found my footing and got more comfortable writing reverse harem, steam, spice, and conflict has definitely made a huge impact on my writing.

I also have to shout out C. Rochelle and AJ Mullican for their constant support and the role they play when it comes to my writing. Especially when I hit those roadblocks in the steam and conflict department. Both of them were authors I started reading in the very beginning of my author career and they continue to be two of my favorite authors, and are both amazing writers as well as amazing people.

What was the highlight of writing your latest book?

The latest book coming out, Hecate which comes out in just a few days- the highlight of that book had to be the steam for me. It’s my first book in a shared world, and I was writing it while I wrote the Shifters of Starfall Creek with Quell, and I got to really explore writing an alphahole and writing something on the steamier side solo.

The latest book I WROTE- was A Dark & Stormy Night, and the highlight of that for me was writing my first F/F romance. Dark & Stormy is a menage romance with f/f romance in it, and after writing m/m romance I was really excited to tackle a MFF pairing.

What book is currently on your bedside table?

I have a literal STACK of books my bedside table, on my coffee table, on the floor in front of my bookshelves… but the NEWEST book to my coffee table stash is New Orleans Vampires by Marita Woywod Crandle. I picked it up on my recent trip to New Orleans after learning about some of the local vampire legends.

Do you have any new series planned?

I have many!

This year I am releasing Heaven Knows, which is the first book in my Lost Souls Series, and Voices In The Dark which is the first book in my Monsters of Ashwood Series.

Next year I plan on releasing my Lunar Mates Series, as well as my Merciless Gods Series, and I have another Ava Crowley spinoff series in the works which follows the male hunters from the Ava Crowley Vampire Slayer Series!

What advice would you give to other authors?

Just write. Don’t worry about polishing or making it perfect on the first go around. Just write. You can always go in after you finish to clean everything up and revise, but getting the words out is the most important thing. And even if you don’t like it after you’ve polished, revised, edited- that doesn’t mean your readers won’t love it. In fact, I guarantee that even if you can’t stand the book and see all its flaws they will still love it and think it’s amazing. Because YOU wrote it, and they love what you write!

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

I love love. I write and will always continue to write inclusive, diverse characters in my stories and represent all the facets of love I can. Whether that be F/F, M/M, MFM, MMMF, and others. I will always feature characters with complex backgrounds and plots, and will continue to write all steam levels. I will always write strong female characters as well as vulnerable and strong male characters and build the most vivid worlds I can for you to escape into.

Thank you Ariel Dawn for chatting with me! I will include her information down below. Preorder her upcoming release, Hecate today!

~Synopsis~

Sometimes you need to unleash the beast inside…

Cate’s solitary life as a goddess is turned upside down when she agrees to attend a speed dating event with her mortal friend. When she’s paired with Gunner—a shifter with an attitude—sparks fly, and she soon finds herself entangled in a fate she cannot fight. The night will not last forever, and she must find a way to set Gunner’s caged spirit free.

Can Cate fulfill her duty and link her destiny with his—before time runs out?

Hecate is book six in the Speed Dating with the Denizens of the Underworld shared world, filled with badass witchy goddesses, broody shifters, and more.

It’s always darkest before the dawn…

USA Today Bestselling Author Ariel Dawn grew up as an avid reader and is a creative soul.

Ariel writes plot driven paranormal romance, urban fantasy, and reverse harem and hopes to venture into many other genres in the future. When she isn’t writing, she can be found cosplaying, attending conventions, swimming with her mermaid tail, creating all sorts of artwork in her studio, or editing photos for her photography business. A self-professed geek and foodie, she loves hanging out with family and friends and playing video games and board games with her retro gamer husband.

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!

~Synopsis~

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.

Website: https://www.leilajames.biz

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/author.leilajames

Facebook Reader group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/leilaslovesandbullybadboys

Instagram: @author_leilajames

TikTok: @author_leilajames

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Leila-James/e/B08P2LJVRV

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/20933618.Leila_James

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/leila-james