SC: I am so excited that you joined us to share your Court of Bones and Ash series! I tore through these books in only a few days. It was a pleasant surprise that you decided to continue the series beyond Fae King's Vengeance. I'm sure everyone would like to know more about you, so tell us a little about yourself.
LH: I’m a mom of three amazing human beings who keep me busy, so the struggle to juggle writing and real life gets tricky and I don’t always balance either successfully. Like this week, for instance, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
It’s hard to remember when I started writing. I remember writing short, whimsical stories as a kid. Growing up, English and History were always favorite subjects, but I never imagined I could carve a career in either. I worked full-time while pursuing my college degree at night, and wrote here and there. Mostly for school or work. It was always a dream to “write a book.” I was a huge fan of many eighties’ era historical romance writers like Kathleen Woodiwiss or Shirlee Busbee. My first manuscript was a historical romance I started at 18. I got three chapters into that story before life got in the way. This was the case for most of my adult life until 2016. That year, I crossed “write a book” off my bucket list, and I’m happy to say I published that book (a contemporary fantasy with a strong romantic arc) in 2018.
As for hobbies, like most writers, I’m a voracious reader. I can’t tell you how many nights I’ve lost to an exceptional book. I read every genre and go through book phases. Right now, I’m loving rom-com romance. For non-reading/writing activities, I’m a huge motocross fan thanks to my hubby who races. I love nature and hiking. I’m blessed to live near some beautiful trails and gorgeous beaches. I also live with a family of avid kayakers, so I’m slowly working through my fear of capsizing to join them in their adventures. ;-)
SC: Where does your inspiration come from?
LH: Great question. I honestly don’t know. It usually starts with a character or a voice that lodges in my head. Ha! That sounds a bit concerning, doesn’t it? I’m pretty sane—for the most part. LOL. But seriously, it’s true. And then the idea sort of germinates, growing and developing with all the what ifs rolling through my mind.
I do tons of research and love to draw from mythology for the worlds I create.
At other times, ideas strike at the strangest moments, like when I’m washing dishes or taking a shower, which normally means I have to hustle to write it down before it dissipates into the ether. I have a horrible memory. My kids are used to seeing notebooks, pencils, and scraps of paper lying around the house for that purpose
SC: How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
LH: I have written seven novels, a novella, and I’ve got another manuscript in a drawer that will probably never see the light of day.
As for a favorite, it is so hard to say. With each book, I go through a period where I think it’s awful—so much worse than the last—and then I round the curve and it becomes my all-time favorite until I start writing the next story. So I guess you could say they’re all my favorites at some point in time.
SC: What can we expect from you in the future?
LH: More Court of Bones and Ash. There are so many worlds in this universe I can explore once I’ve completed the stories for the main characters in the current series. Hopefully readers will continue to enjoy the stories.
I’d also love to write Alien Sci-fi romance. I’ve also got a storyline I’ve been dying to write. Maybe early next year. We’ll see. I don’t write fast enough to keep up with the ideas. LOL. I’d love to do some paranormal romance too. I have a loose outline for a shifter story with a sexy alpha.
SC: How can we contact you or find out more about your books?
LH: You can reach out to me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or Facebook. I respond to every email or post unless it gets lost in cyberspace. My Twitter and Instagram are pretty sparse, and I’m not as active on Facebook as I’d like to. I’m super shy, but I’m working on having more of a presence online. I’m not there yet, but hopefully soon. Baby steps, right?
How to find more from Layla:
Newest or upcoming release: Books 5 and 6 of the Court of Bones and Ash series, hopefully later this year if all goes well schedule wise.
Thank you so much for the opportunity to spend time with you and your readers. I really appreciate it. Take care and stay well everyone!
SC: Can you share a brief excerpt from your latest novel?
LH: Because the first four books are written in serial format, it’s so hard to provide an excerpt that doesn’t give away the plot for readers who haven’t read the series yet, so here’s an excerpt from the first book. I hope you enjoy it!
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