Leilani Lopez is a YA Paranormal Romance author. Her debut novel, The Devil's Heir, released the same day in October as my second book, and we put together a gift box bundle with two other authors. Sound familiar now?
Leilani lives in the Bay Area with her Doberman Pinscher named Koda (@KodaDobermanon Instagram) and Malitpoo, Casper. Her dream is to become a full-time writer.
How did you come up with the story concept for The Devil's Heir?
As cliche as it might sound, my original inspiration came from Klaus Mikaelson and Caroline from The Vampire Diaries! I loved how damaged he was and was positively devastated that she never gave him a chance! I just knew that I'd have to create my own misunderstood bad boy and someone who will give him a chance. And who better than the son of the Devil? Enter Luke Hale.
What do you love about writing young adult or paranormal fantasy? What do you hate or maybe just dislike about it?
Paranormal was my first love! I fell in love with writing and reading because of vampires so it was only natural for me to want to give it a whirl. I love the possibilities that paranormalcy has to offer, knowing that these creatures aren't real (or are they? ;)) makes them that much more alluring. One of the most difficult parts is trying to take your own spin on it! Are vampires afraid of the sun? Do they sparkle? Red eyes? Black eyes? Glowing green eyes? Or are they just all over awesome? You decide!
When it comes to world-building do you have any particular tricks or techniques?
I always try to vision everything like a movie. What does the scene look like, what do the characters look like. Especially when it comes to paranormal/fantasy, everything needs to be so visual that playing it out like a movie in my head is one of the most important processes. But, I write urban fantasy so it's definitely a little easier! Deciding how my paranormal creatures act is stressful enough, add building a totally new world on top is a little much for me! So I have major props to the true high fantasy writers!
What was the most difficult part of the publishing process for you?
For me, believing in myself was the hardest process! I'm such a perfectionist and a little paranoid that I was always so worried that no one was going to read my book or even like it. Which, to be fair, is something that every writer goes through! At the end of the day, you just have to remember that as long as you're proud when you press that "publish" button, that's all that matters and no one can tell you otherwise!
What does your writing space look like?
I write in my room! I have a single long white desk. I write on my laptop and have a small computer screen to my right. I use it for editing but mostly to watch movies as I write! I can't write in silence so I mostly watch reruns so it just becomes noise to me. Oh, and a candle! I have to light a candle before every writing session.
What are your tricks for juggling writing while maintaining a personal life?
Pick a specific time and stick to it! I write best at night so I do all of my week day writing sometime between 8-10:30pm. Every single week day without a fail. Even if it's only a hundred words, or plotting out the next chapter.
What's the best piece of advice you've received about writing?
The first draft is getting down the possibilities, everything else is the tune up. Even if nothing makes sense or you have to go back and rewrite the whole thing, just finish the first draft. Then, make a list of everything you need to fix and focus on one area per draft ie. voice, character development, dialogue, etc. Don't try to do it all in one run or else it'll never start to seem like something manageable.
What is the best book you’ve read recently?
Like most of the YA realm, I adored Serpent & Dove! I listened to the Audiobook and it started my obsession. The voice actors were phenomenal and I can't wait for the next one.
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