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Monday, April 22, 2013

Meet the Author: Shayne Leighton.. Plus Trailers, & More!!

There is a lot going on in the World of Shayne Leighton these days. That's why I'm super excited that she's taken some time away from her busy schedule to talk to me about her books, her upcoming movie, and her life! 

authorHow long have you been writing? 
I have been writing ever since I can remember. When I was in grade school, I wrote a short story about what it was like to live inside of a bubble. (Still one of my favorites!) I started seriously considering writing when I was sixteen and started tinkering around with the concept of Of Light and Darkness when I was in high school. I fell in love and never looked back.
What inspired you to write The Vampire's Daughter?
My now-husband/ then-crush (haha) was the main inspiration. The tall, brooding man who hailed from the Czech Republic walked into my life and made my heart melt! He immediately became my muse and the cogs in my head started turning. I've always favored fantasy. I'm a huge Potter fan, so I wanted to write a story about what my life would be like if I lived in some magical world. I took people I know in real life and made them creatures in my head. And so the Of Light and Darkness series was birthed. 

What can you tell us about the sequel, A Vampire's Reflection?
The sequel is a lot darker and even more adult than the first. I've grown as an author and as a person since my debut release, so readers can expect something that is definitely more of a crossover. Some characters they thought were good, turn out not to be so nice in this one. The plot is filled with twists and it probably is not what they are expecting. Fair warning. But it's a lot of fun and very seductive. I had fun writing it. 

While writing A Vampire's Daughter, did you always plan for it to be a series?
Yes, from the beginning I wanted it to be a long series with many spin-off novels about the other characters. There are a lot of details. The story, I feel, is too intricate for just one book. It needs the space to grow and breathe and plus I'm just too invested in the characters to leave it alone. 

What is a secret about you that nobody else knows?
Probably, and not that this is much of a surprise, is that I am a total closet nerd. (Okay, maybe the closet doors were open on that one!) I work very hard, but at the end of the day when I just want to relax, I love computer games! (The old fashioned ones like Kings Quest lol) Some of my favorite movies are 'My Neighbor Totoro' and 'Spirited Away'. And I prefer drinking white wine over the much more seductive and lush red wine. (I knew you would expect me to be a red wine drinker! Muahaha). I like dark things, but overall I am a really bubbly, silly person. Picture a vampire who favors unicorns and glitter. And that's pretty much me in a nutshell. Also, the sound of my laughing has proven to carry three city blocks and up a four story building. It's THAT loud. That became a proven fact this past winter. 

If your real life was a fictional book, what would you, the main character, be like?
I imagine I would be a lot like my heroin, Charlotte. I am super naive and childlike, just like her, but when my spitfire needs to come out, she comes out. I'm pretty resilient. I've been knocked down a lot, only to get right back up again. So, I think I'd definitely be a fighter. (On the good side, of course!)

What book have you read too many times to count?
Honestly, 'My Fathers Dragon'. It's a children's book, but I read it a lot when I was a kid. It is still one of my favorites. That, and the obvious, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. And also Interview With A Vampire. Can't forget that one. 

What is the best piece of writing advice you ever received?
When I first began crafting The Vampire's Daughter, I got a lot of advice from my writing mentor and friend, Cynthia Leitich Smith (Tantalize). I sent her my manuscript and she sent it back all marked up in red, but also covered in smiley faces and stickers. (Gotta love it.) There were a lot of notes, but the main thing I took away from that experience was not to be afraid to tear right back into your story. Just because you THINK you are done, doesn't mean you are done. In fact, it took me five years to complete the first novel to the point of it becoming acceptable to submit. Take your time! Writing novels are running marathons. You need to let your ideas percolate like a good cup of coffee and don't rush things. You don't want to submit or publish something you will regret. 

If you could hop into the life of any fictional character, who would it be and why?
I definitely would want to lead the life of Hermoine Granger. I think she is such a bad ass. She gets to go to the coolest school in the world. She's an ace. She's brave as anything. And she's gorgeous. Plus, she's got Ron! She's definitely one of my all time favorites. Plus, if I went to Hogwarts, I would have enrolled in all of her same classes. 

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
I was most surprised at how truly difficult it is to construct something beautiful. Something that I could be proud of. I'm a stickler for eloquence, and sometimes it's hard to find the right words to say just what I want to say. Like I said, it takes time. It takes research and effort. I learned just how much blood, sweat, and tears authors put in when they right. And how gratifying it feels when you're finally done. 

What do you like to do when you're not writing?
When I'm not writing, I'm either working on something film related or I'm in the recording studio. I hate to sit still. My hands are always itching for a project and I always like to be working toward something. There's no other choice. This life goes so fast, if you want something, you have to make it happen! So no matter what, I'm always doing something creative. 

Are any of the things in your books based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?
A lot of the characters in my books are based on the people I know. Mostly, what they would be like if they were some magical creatures. But the situations are purely imagination.  

I understand that A Vampire's Daughter will be adapted into a feature film starring some familiar faces like Michael Welch and Cassie Scerbo. What can you tell us about the film?
The film is currently in development. We are already listed on IMDB and even shot an awesome concept trailer which you can find on YouTube. More info can be found by following us on Facebook. Also, Michael Welch looks great in a pair of elf ears!!!

The Movie Trailers:

About the Of Light and Darkness Series...

Genre: Young Adult (Paranormal Romance)
Date Published: June 26, 2011
Publisher: Decadent Publishing

The Blurb:
When one human stands before an army of impossible obstacles, the likelihood of overcoming them in this coming-of-age modern fairytale may result in war between light and darkness.

Abandoned as an infant in Prague, naive and strong-willed Charlotte Ruzikova was raised by one of the last Vampires left alive. As a human, she knows no other home than the one nestled deep in the woods of Eastern Europe, where Witches drew spells of enchantment, Phasers threw tea parties, and Elves are the closest in kin. Charlotte has lived her life in the dark with her Guardian, content to having him to herself and reveling in his attention, until she's realizes she wants more...

Resident medical doctor and Vampire, Valek Ruzik fears the day his ward would come of age and blossom into a fine woman, and he is forced to confront his own motives as time is of the essence once his past catches up to him, and their lives become endangered...

As genocide and war threatens their secret society, the dictator in power is ready to wipe out Valek's race, but Charlotte will not allow that to happen. Fighting for the only one she's ever loved and truly believed in, she will do whatever it takes to save their love...before the sun comes up and light takes over.
Check out my review of The Vampire's Daughter!

The Vampire's Daughter Book Trailers:

Genre: Young Adult (Paranormal Romance)
Expected Publication Date: July 2, 2013
Publisher: Decadent Publishing

The Blurb:
Months after their brutal victory over Aiden and his hierarchy of Wizards, Charlotte and Valek have returned from Prague to their home in the Bohemian Occult City. However, this time, they are joined by their new band of misfit, magical friends. In the light of day, all seems to be at peace now that the Regime has been toppled, and the coven of rogue monsters has finally found their freedom. But Charlotte soon discovers that much like her adopted Vampire family, she has developed a strange addiction of her own. Her new disease is destroying her from the inside out, and Valek finds himself at a loss as he defies all odds to save her life. Danger continues to lurk around every corner and they realize that their happily-ever-after has not ended so happily after all, in this highly anticipated sequel of the Of Light and Darkness series. Check out my review of The Vampire's Reflection!

The  Vampire's Reflection Book Trailer:

authorAbout the Author:
Shayne's first year out of high school (after meeting mentor, friend, and executive producer, Marcie Gorman), she penned, co-directed, and starred in the feature-length film, The Incubus a paranormal romance, which obtained distribution and opened in over fifteen theaters across South Florida among popular chains like Regal, AMC, and Cinemark. The Incubus has obtained a fan-base of over 60,000 girls online, and has garnered the attention of reporters from the Miami Herald, CBS News, and NPR Radio. Leighton also starred alongside Scream Queen, Tara Cardinal in the film, Legend of the Red Reaper. Now, 20-year-old Leighton is excited to release her debut young adult novel series, Of Light and Darkness, set in contemporary Prague as well as penning several other screenplays, a novel adaptation for Legend of the Red Reaper, an original pop/rock album, and acting in various film roles.

To learn more about Shayne Leighton and her books, visit her website and blog. You can also find the author on Facebook and Twitter.

The Giveaway!
One lucky person will win an ebook of The Vampire's Daughter by Shayne Leighton! Please enter the Rafflecopter form below. Open Internationally. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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