Joining me today to talk about her first book — hopefully one of many — is author Leeah Taylor. Thank you, Leeah, for taking the time to chat to me. Please sit down, get comfortable and let’s begin.
About Leeah Taylor
Leeah Taylor is an American paranormal romance writer. She’s been writing for nearly 18 years including, short stories, poetry and full length novels. Her love for the paranormal led her to write and publish her first novel, Surface Below: Dark Secrets in July of 2016. Leeah is a stay at home mom of two beautiful children, and a wife of 14 years. When she’s not writing, Leeah enjoys reading, crocheting and drawing.
What’s the name of your new book?
Surface Below: Dark Secrets
Tell us a bit about your book
When their paths cross, William Marks and Becca Lorde couldn’t help but feel like they knew each other. Their meeting, however, would set into motion the unraveling of 20 year old secrets. Secrets to protect them and their siblings until the time was right. To awaken the rightful Heir and Heiress of the Bottom World. Secrets, lies and betrayals leave the family divided. Giving an unexpected enemy, with a thirst for power, the opportunity to end it all.
If there was a film or TV adaptation of your book, who would you like to see play your characters?
I’ve actually given this a bit more thought than is probably normal. I suppose the idea of seeing a story you wrote with characters you created up on a big screen is pretty incredible. Although I haven’t given much thought to who would play the main female character in my book, I have for my main male. If I had the choice I would choose Joseph Morgan (Klaus, The Originals) to play William Marks.
Where do your ideas come from?
It takes the smallest notion to spark an idea in my head. Maybe a scene from a movie or TV show. Or even after reading a book, I may be struck with my own idea for a book. I’m good for one spectacular idea a year. Which means I will see the idea through to the end regardless of whether or not I publish it.
What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?
My greatest accomplishment would have to be publishing my first book. It took a lot of time, energy and sleepless nights to finally bring Surface Below to readers. There really were no words when that first copy sold. It goes to show that hard work and dedication pays off. Even if it takes blood, sweat and tears to attain it.
Have you always liked to write?
I’ve always loved to write. I started writing when I was about 14, at a time when I wanted to feel like I was in control of something. Writing gave me that. Creating stories with characters in a world that you have designed is liberating. To be in control of what happens next. And also knowing what happens next. I couldn’t imagine life without writing. It’s hardwired in me.
What writing advice do you have for aspiring authors?
Never give up and never let anyone tell you that you’re not good enough. Nobody is perfect when they first start out. Nobody. Writing is something learned over time. What you write today will be awful compared to what you write five years from now or even ten years. Trust me, I cringe when I look at older writing of my own.
What is your least favourite part of the writing / publishing process?
Least favorite part of writing? Probably when the story begins taking shape and your characters take on a personality of their own. Once that happens the story is no longer yours. Ha ha. Suddenly you’re writing their story and sometimes that story isn’t what you originally planned on.
Now publishing is a whole other beast. Editing and formatting and cover design. Publishing is all about making decisions and those decisions mean the difference between success and failure.
Is there a certain type of scene that’s harder for you to write than others?
Death scenes are tough for me to write. Usually I’ve become attached to the particular character and find myself mourning him/her once the scene is done.
How long does it usually take you to write the first draft of a book?
It depends on the story and how complex it is. Surface Below took me nearly one and a half years to finish. That was with support from other writers and endless sleepless nights.
What are you working on now?
Currently I have two projects. The first is a story that I am writing for Camp NanoWrimo titled, Night of Moons: The Hyrbid. It will later become the first book in the Night of Moons series, featuring alpha male Damien Frost. The second project is Book two in my Surface Below series, titled Surface Below: Rebirth. I hope to have this story finished and ready to publish in early January of 2017.
Can you give us a few tasty morsels from your work-in-progress?
Opening the door and hoisting her up to the passenger seat, he was overcome with excitement. Things kicked into overdrive. His hands moved over her body, under her sheer top. Something about the feel of a woman and how it had him on edge. But it didn’t arouse him. Not sexually at least. It was the life that he could feel beating against his palms that had him aroused. Nuzzling into her neck, he smelled that sweet aroma and kissed up the side of it to her lips. He crushed his against hers with urgency.
William’s hand grazed her neck and he pulled back to give her one last look before he took all of her. The rhythmic pulse beneath it made the inner Beast rear its ugly head. His eyes flared green with flecks of black. Long, sharp fangs protruded from his gums and they glistened.
How long have you been writing?
I’ve been writing for about 18 years, starting in 8th grade.
What would the main character in your book have to say about you?
Probably that I have a sense of humor.
Do you have a day job in addition to being a writer? If so, what do you do during the day?
I’m a stay at home mom of two children. Previously though I worked in retail for about 8 years. I can honestly say that I love having the opportunity to stay home with my children while doing something I love now.
Of all the characters you have created, which is your favourite and why?
William, by far, is my favorite. He’s sweet, funny, inspirational. I loved writing him. I never knew what he would do next until it happened. His passion for his family and Becca shine through him and I can’t help but admire him for it.
Are your characters based on real people, are they imaginary or a combination of both?
They start out imaginary, eventually taking on their own personalities. Later on certain characters may begin to remind me of real people. Their traits and quirks. It makes it easier to picture the character when you can associate them with a real person.
When you’re writing, do you listen to music or do you need silence?
I listen to music. It helps in drowning out the noise around me. Also, I will listen to specific songs depending on the type of scene. A love song for a love scene, rock for an action scene and so on. It helps set the stage for the scene and the mood.
Available formats: ebook, paperback and audiobook