Behind the Author: Where it Began

Insights into Layla Stone, her writing, her process and her imagination.

 

What do you do when you are not writing?

If I’m not writing, I’m probably at home, picking up toys, cooking, watching Spiderman with my son for the 100th time, reading to my daughter or relaxing with my husband.

Do you have a day job as well?

I have a day job as a conference room technician. It’s a good job with great pay so I would only leave it if I made more in book sales than I do as a technician.

When did you first start writing and when did you finish your first book?

Oh wow, I started writing scenes when I was a teenager. I completed my first futuristic romance book when I was twenty-four. Sent that to a few publishing companies. No one was interested. 

I really liked the premise and I may end up rewriting it to fit a book in my Science Fiction and Fantasy worlds.

How did you choose the genre you write in?

I think it was a combination of reading books by Laurann Donner, Cynthia Sax, Anna Hackett and C.L. Scholey. I feel in love with the futuristic worlds, aliens and interspecies relationships.

Where do you get your ideas?

My first book, and the start of the Unexpected Prize happened while I was reading a friend’s manuscript. The book was a lion shifter romance, but for whatever reason I read a line and my mind just stopped reading and suddenly, I was imagining a grey gladiator named Jarr-o who just found out he wasn’t being paid for winning the last fight, he was being given a Terran female….and he wasn’t happy about it.

The entire story and plot idea came from that moment. I put down my friend’s book to write out the premise and opening chapter. Then later that night I went back to my friend’s book and finished reading her draft because I knew the next day I was going to delve back into my idea and get it written.

Do you ever experience writer’s block?

Yes, there are days when I have a hard time writing. Those are terrible days, and even then I try to force myself to write something. Even if I know that I will delete it the next day, I still write something.

I also try to read something that will spark some kind of emotion. But to be honest, nothing works, I end up taking a mulligan for the day and hope that after a good nights’ rest I can get my head back in the clouds and write better scenes.

Sleep works wonders!

If you had to go back and do it all over, is there any aspect of your novel or getting it published that you would change?

Absolutely. I wish I could go back and re-work Unexpected Prize and made it book one in a series about gladiators from Angny. I could write his sister’s book and a few others.

I’m playing with the idea…we’ll see.

Can you tell us about your upcoming book?

Sure, I can tell you about the books I am working on this year and a half. Next month I will launch book one in the Lotus Adaamas series called Unintentional Addiction. The great thing about this book is it lines up perfectly to where Unexpected Demon left off.

In June, I will launch book 3 in the Unexpected Series called Unexpected Commander. This book’s timeline will pick up right after Unintentional Addiction.

After that I plan to launch book two in the Lotus Adaamas series called Unintentional Obsession. This will pick up after Unexpected Commander.

Next is book four in the Unexpected series called Unexpected Enemy.

Then I will launch the book five Unexpected Master and hopefully shortly after that I will finish the series with Unexpected Captain.

Following the end of Unexpected Captain I will complete Lotus Adaamas series book three. I don’t have a title for it yet.

What does your family think of your writing career?

My husband and sister are incredibly supportive. I love them for listening to my thoughts and complaints but the one person I owe my author success to is my amazing friend Melissa.

If it wasn’t for her, I wouldn’t be a published author. I would still write books for myself and headed nowhere.

She introduced me to my first editor in 2015. That editor introduced me to Amazon’s KDP and createspace.

I freaked out a little because I didn’t know the first thing about publishing. Melissa knew nothing about being a publisher either, but she has a better mind for business and an eye for detail. She urged me forward, gave me tasks such as setting up a website, a Facebook page, Twitter and Instagram.

After that I felt more confident as I researched more, learned about book covers, blurbs, copy writing and book formatting. Each step Melissa has been there to support me on whatever I was working on or struggling with. Many times she would walk with me as I poured out my frustrations. Then in true Melissa fashion she’d analyze the issues and solve the problems one by one.

She never did the work for me, but that was because she couldn’t. Melissa suffers from aphantasia. A condition where a person can’t imagine or visualize images in their mind. No joke, this is a real thing. So as you can guess she can’t help plot ideas, characters or help with book titles, but everything else she’s brilliant.

It’s a perfect working partnership.

Is there anything you would like to say to your readers and fans?

Without hesitation I need to express my gratitude for each reader/fan who has enjoys my stories. Writing is my passion, but it has not come easy. My betas and editor will know better than anyone how many times I’ve rewritten a story from scratch, revised and revised again. Doubted myself as an author and then woke up, shook off the doubt and got back to work.

Every time someone buys a book or reads it on kindle unlimited, I see that and it makes me smile.

Every time someone leaves a review, good or bad, I see that and I appreciative the time they took to let me know what they thought.

 

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