Monday, April 1, 2013

Blog Tour & Giveaway with Laila Blake

1. When did you first start writing, and was there something in particular that inspired you?

I’ve been writing ever since I can remember. I switched genres a lot – from small little adventure stories in primary school to very angsty love poems dedicated to boys (and teachers) in high school, then came a long fan fiction phase – about celebrities, somehow I never was very good at or fond of writing someone else’s characters.

Really, I can’t remember anything specifically inspiring me; it was just always my most natural reaction to wanting to express myself. There are a lot of artists in my family and I tried drawing and different crafts, I like singing and playing guitar but nothing really makes me feel the way writing does.

2. What first attracted you to your genre when it comes to writing?

I don’t think I’d classify paranormal romance as my genre. I’m not exactly monogamous when it comes to that, I like to flirt a bit with most of them – just this very week, I worked on Erotica, YA and Post Apoc next to Fantasy Romance -- and can’t say I am anywhere near deciding where and if I will settle eventually.  What attracts me to speculative fiction in general are the possibilities for creating something completely new. I love world-building, always have ever since I was a child and there is something so interesting in coming up with cultures that are organized differently from our own, people and species with other characteristics and how that would support the plot of a story.
As for romance, that is very easy. I just like writing cute things – I can’t help it. I adore love stories.

3. In regards to your own characters, who is your favorite and why?

That is such a difficult question – I love them for different reasons. And without sounding half insane, I almost feel guilty raising one above their peers. I have that deep understanding with Moira. She’s actually a character who crops up in my writing from time to time – with variations of course. At the moment, I am planning a contemporary YA novel for example that features someone very much like her as a teenager in our world. I just like her, we understand each other and there is an ease in writing her that makes chapters just fly by.

However, there is something about writing newer, less understood characters. They surprise you and you have to work harder but they come with their own rewards. Of these, I think my favorite one is Maeve – especially as I have been writing the sequel over the last months. She makes me cry all the time. But I also really like the antagonists – I love Brock and I even like Deagan, I get him and I kind of feel sorry for him. So yeah, hard question :).

4. What other genres (besides your own) do you enjoy reading?

I mostly read mainstream, lit fic and classics and I deeply, deeply adore a lot of YA & Children’s fantasy, you know, J.K. Rowling, Madeleine L’Engle, Michael Ende.

In general, though, I tend to prefer character-driven genres over plot-driven ones. I have never found books that I couldn’t put out of my hands all that attractive. My favorite books are the ones, I have to put down because what I just read about a character touched me so deeply, I need to swallow and breathe and think about it before I can leave the moment behind and continue. Especially with my mother, I have had endless debates about the merits of character versus plot. She thinks all my favorite books are boring.

5. If you could not be a writer, what would you be?

Well, the reality of writing is that unless you win the publishing lottery, it seems that very few of can afford to be just writings. We have to be something else as well. And I have to be really honest with you, I am still figuring that out.

But if I could not be a writer at all – I don’t know, I’d still be a writer. As in I’d still write, that’s who I am. Now if I stopped having hands or a functioning brain we get into a territory where I am not sure what else there would be for me. I mean you need hands and a functioning brain to work in a wombat recovery station or to breed micro pigs in the country-side, right? ;)

6. As a reader I know how difficult it can be to name a ‘favorite’ book, would you mind listing your top three? (Past or present authors)

It is difficult – but I think I’m getting the hang of it, slowly. I should say that this changes a lot so, so it’s a momentary impression. So yeah, in no particular order:
Haruki Murakami - 1Q84
Nick Hornby - Juliet, Naked
Alessandro Baricco - Silk

7. What are some must haves when you sit down to write?

A Computer. Really that’s it. I mean I have this soda addiction I’m trying to kick but I can do without it. Sometimes I sit with my laptop in bed, sometimes on my desktop. It helps me full-screen the document and to have a clean desk but I’ve written with other stuff open and with my desk a total mess. Sometimes I absolutely require music at other times, I need total silence. So… yeah, the only must have is a computer, everything else varies.

8. If you became trapped as a character in a book or series, which would you choose and why? (Any book, any series, new or old)

Mmm. I assume I would be trapped as myself, turned into a character and not trapped in the body of one of the protagonists of said series. Which is a pity cause I think I’d be very much the same person I am now, which means I wouldn’t be the one doing most of the adventuring.

But I think, after long contemplation, I’d like to be stuck in the Thursday Next books by Jasper Fforde. That world is just so cool – I mean, seriously: Dodos, Neanderthals, riots over art movements -- plus I would require being capable of book jumping which seems to me like the most incredible thing to do. I’d make a great JurisFiction agent.

By the Light of the Moon:
Withdrawn and with a reputation for her strange, eccentric ways, young Lady Moira Rochmond is old to be unwed. Rumors say she has been seen barefoot in the orchard, is awake all night in moon-struck rambles, and sleeps all day. Some even claim her ghostly pallor and aloof manner are signs of illness, a curse, or insanity.

The hopes of the peaceful succession to her father’s fief lie in an advantageous marriage. Moira, however, has a hard time attracting suitors. When one does show interest, her family pushes for a decision.

Almost resigned to the fact that she has no choice but to play the part she has been given in life, Moira is faced with Owain, a member of the mysterious Blaidyn creatures and a new guard in her father’s castle, specifically tasked to keep her safe. He is different from other people she knows and when one night under the full moon she makes the acquaintance of the wolf who shares Owain’s soul, she starts to trust him and seek his presence. As he becomes one of the few individuals who doesn’t make her want to hide and retreat, she wants to learn more about him and they grow closer until they share a kiss one night under the moon.

Faced with feelings and desires that overthrow everything she thought she knew about herself, Moira knows non-the-less that they have to be kept utterly secret. However much they try, they continue to be drawn to each other until one night, Owain discovers something about Moira that shakes him to his core.

About the Author:

Laila was born in 1985 into a family of artists, hippies and individualists in Cologne/Germany, and creativity was fostered from an early age. Where her family focused mainly on visual art (painters, sculptors, her mother was a brilliant puppet player!), she soon started to discover her love for the written word and has been writing and reading ever since.

Getting side-tracked by school and getting a serious and reputable degree (an MA in Applied Linguistics/Specialized Translating), Laila only truly and honestly allowed herself to give writing a real shot in her mid-twenties. She grew up not only bi-lingual and interested in the creative professions, she also learned how dangerous it can be to place one’s trust on talent alone. Now that Laila has a somewhat stable job, she has been writing in every free minute, trying to put together a good body of work.

On the side, Laila also writes poetry, some songs, plays the guitar really badly and likes to play around with my beautiful DSLR. She has a little kitty called Nookie, and a long-distance girl-friend called Lorrie, to whom she owes the belief and motivation to finish my first book.

Find Lila:

Website | Series Site | Twitter | Facebook


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