Although a bit late, but the interview with Leila Adams is finally here and I hope you’re ready to get to know her a little more and have some fun with us!
May: Hi Leila, it is a great pleasure to be able to interview you. You are one of the authors on Wattpad that I hold in high regard. Your descriptions so far are unmatched and I applaud you for that.
I shall begin with easy questions and make them harder as we progress through the numbers. I fear that some of them may be too hard to handle and I hope you’ve got a steaming cup of coffee at hand, just in case.
Leila: I have my caffè mocha here and I’m ready when you are.
Q1. You write so well that it makes me wonder: when did you start writing?
Leila: In 2009. I only wrote occasionally back then. It wasn’t until about two years ago that I began writing seriously.
May: Oh, I started in late 2011 but mainly got serious after I finished my degree. It looks like we’re both quite new to the gig.
Q2. As a lot of people know by now, I started writing after the story for Helena’s series came to mind during meditating. But, what made you want to write?
Leila: I’m almost embarrassed to admit this, but after watching the movie Twilight, I came up with my story. I walked out of the theatre with an idea and, by the time I was home, I had many of the details sorted out. There was a story in my head I wanted to read. I told a friend about it and she said, “You should write that.” It was all the encouragement I needed to sit down at a computer and begin typing.
May: And I’m glad she encouraged you because, otherwise, we wouldn’t have you here and I would be lonely. Plus, there’s nothing to be embarrassed about. We, writers, can get our ideas from anywhere: newspapers, magazines, movies…a sign post. We’re a crazy bunch. I bet a candy wrapper inspired someone somewhere…
Q3. I mentioned this above, your descriptions are superb. Is there some kind of magical secret you wish to share with the readers?
Leila: This is a fun question for me. I’m the kind of person that looks up at clouds after a rainstorm and sees what the Renaissance artists painted on the ceilings of Italian churches. When I look at beautiful things a feeling of euphoria comes over me. Maybe that’s a bit overstated, but I think there’s a direct link between visual stimulation and the pleasure center of my brain. It’s always been that way for me. When I was a child, my favorite summer pastime was to wander through the halls of the de Young Museum in San Francisco.
Getting back to your question, I have a well-developed “mind’s eye,” probably because of the reason mentioned above. Even my dreams come through in Technicolor. When I write, I try to put into words what I imagine. To me, it’s not words on a page, it’s a movie in my head. I try to describe the scene through as many senses as I can. Sometimes it’s the tiny details that make the story come alive.
And when all else fails, or I’m looking for inspiration, I default to Pinterest for ideas.
May: That’s a lot of interesting ways to look at it. I think as I walk somewhere, I tend to look down a lot, which means I see the cobbled ground more than I do the actual streets *laughs*. But, if driving somewhere, I love staring out the window (I’m not the one driving here) to take in the scenery. It can be quite mesmerising. *Blushes* I loved studying Renaissance art in school.
Q4. It is time for a question outside the box: Have you ever hated one of your characters? If yes, why and who was the poor sod?
Leila: Yes, that would be the villain in my story, Erdo Speyer. He’s pure evil incarnated. The heinous things this vampire has done turns my stomach. He has a fascination, we could actually call it love, for a female vampire named Mariposa. He’s a sadist and uses her to vent his frustrations. Writing him gives me nightmares. However, there’s a new threat rising, István Vadas, and I fear he will be even more diabolical.
May: I had only one character that I regarded with pure hatred in Helena Hawthorn series and that’s ‘Andreaz’. The guy just made me nauseated and I wanted to punch him. Too bad no one actually punched him *sad face*. After him, although my readers would say Eliza is the next best villain that they hate, I don’t see her as ‘evil’. She’s someone who has too much responsibility and power on her shoulders while thinking she’s always in the right.
Q5. Do you happen to have any advice for the budding writers out there to help them improve their craft?
Leila: I like how you worded the question. Writing is a craft, and it takes work to become good at it. I would give the following three suggestions to new authors:
First: The best way to learn how to write is to read, read, read. By reading other authors’ work, you get a feel for how words fit together. For more than two years, I read about 20 books a month. I always kept a notepad by my side. I copied sentences and even paragraphs of passages I loved. I also kept a record of unfamiliar words that I came across and their meanings. I ended up with nine notebooks, and then moved to my tablet for easier recording.
Second: Write, write, write. Some authors keep a schedule and write every day. I wish I could do that. Instead, I sit down for long hours a couple of days a week and write a chapter. I’m in awe of you May for being able to produce on a daily basis. The point is—you need to write and practice your craft to get better at it.
Third: Edit, revise, and edit again. If you want your work to look professional, put in the time and effort to make it the best you can. Don’t settle for anything less.
May: I pretty much agree with everything you’ve said. All parts of writing are important, whether it’s reading, writing, practicing, or the torturous process of editing a manuscript. All those little things help us become better in the long run.
Q6. Your Urban Fantasy series involve vampires. Can you tell us why you chose to write about them any not any other paranormal creature?
Leila: I’ve always been fascinated by vampires. To me there is something dark and seductive about them. I fell in love with the book Dracula when I was a young teenager. In the past, stories portrayed vampires as creatures of the night that were capable of horrendous acts, and yet, somehow they managed to be sexy and alluring at the same time. How could you not love the beautiful bloodsuckers in Anne Rice’s Interview with a Vampire? Then Twilight came along and introduced us to a completely new breed. That’s when things fell into place for me. I saw my vampires living in our world, hiding in plain sight. The possibility that they could live among us was too irresistible for me not to explore.
May: I grew up with *snorts* ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ and ‘Charmed’. I fell in love with vampires, demons, and witches since. As a kid, I think I fell in love with horror and romance of it all. Paranormal creatures simply provide us with infinite amount of possibilities in our plots and researching how they came to be is just as fun.
Q7. Once more, let us dive into the depths of abstract. If you could only pick one fictional character to be your partner in crime, who would it be and why?
Leila: Maybe it would be Jason Bourne from the Bourne series by Robert Ludlum. You have to love a man that can handle anything you throw at him and still stay standing. Plus, Matt Damon is pretty easy on the eyes in the movies.
May: *Winks* yes, he is. I think mine would be Jack Sparrow, since he has an uncanny ability to get out of trouble and has great escape techniques.
Q8. Have you tried writing any other genres? Is there a chilling horror story or a lovey-dovey romance waiting to be uncovered somewhere in the depths of the internet?
Leila: I wish! Funny that you should mention horror and romance. I’m working on a YA horror story. I haven’t written much of it yet, but the plot is “percolating” in my mind. It’s just a matter of finding the time to get it down on paper. And I would love to write romance. Those are two genres I will definitely be exploring in the future.
May: I’m looking forward to seeing you taking on new genres. I’m sure your readers will be over the moon.
Q9. This is the most important question of them all. I cannot live without finding out the answer. What is your favourite movie?
Leila: I’ve been asked that question before. Unfortunately, there are so many great movies out there I couldn’t possibly pick just one. If I had to name one of my favorites it would be “Love Actually.” There are so many little vignettes happening all at once it’s a wonder everything comes together at the end.
May: I know what you mean. There are so many deserving movies out there. And, since I mentioned it before, mine would probably be the first “Pirates of the Caribbean” movie.
Q10. And we have arrived at the final question. Hope your brow is not sweating and the cup of coffee is not yet empty. Are you working on any projects right now that you would like to share with the readers?
Leila: I’ll finish Sacrifice, the second book in the Offering Trilogy, this month. I’m looking forward to writing those wonderful words “The end.” Then, I’ll continue with the third book in the trilogy, Redemption. I’m not sure if the horror story I mentioned will come first or Redemption. We’ll have to see which one calls loudest to me to be written.
Thank you, May, for inviting me to your blog. I’m looking forward to the special announcement we’re making this month. I can’t wait to share it with our readers.
May: It was a great pleasure to have you here!
Now then, this concludes another interview. I hope you’ve all enjoyed getting to know Leila and, while you’re still here, why not check out her blurb for “Offering”?
Olivia’s long-distance boyfriend is on a plane to San Francisco, and she can barely contain her excitement as she plans their passion-filled weekend. This could be the turning point in their relationship. Having spent a lifetime avoiding emotional entanglements, she is torn between her heart and her common sense. Lust she can handle; love is dangerous for someone who has secrets to keep.
On a cursed night long ago an ancient vampire made a terrifying promise to Olivia and then abandoned her in a world that was not her own. Forced to find a new way to survive, she has finally found peace in her life and hopes the pledge is forgotten. When a bouquet of black calla lilies appears outside her door, she knows her time is up and the vampire intents to keep his horrifying vow.
Unforeseeable complications from the blood star ceremony take Olivia in a new direction. She finds herself and those she holds most dear under attack. As her dark secrets surface the threads that bind her carefully constructed world begin to unravel. She must face the heartbreaking truth when the unthinkable happens. The choice she makes now will determine not only her fate but the fate of those she loves.