MY INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR ANGEL LEYA
What’s your name and what genre would you consider your books to be?
Hi, I’m Angel Leya, and I write clean young adult fiction with a kiss of magic. 😉 Basically, that’s anything and everything fantasy – paranormal, urban fantasy, high fantasy, etc.
Can you tell me about your Series?
Currently, I’m working with four other authors to release the Siren Prophecy, the first books in the Shifter Academy world we created together. I didn’t come up with the story, or the world, but I helped build it. It’s got a variety of shifters in it–from dragon to gryphon to mermaid to hound (werewolf)—vampires, and a coalition of humans called Hunters that want to eliminate all the paranormal beings from their world.
Book 1 is about Myreen, a teenage girl who doesn’t find out she’s a mermaid until she breaks her mom’s #1 rule (don’t go out after dark), and comes back to find her mom dead, killed by vampires. She’s whisked away to a secret school for shifters, where she’s to learn about her newly discovered powers. But there’s more to Myreen than she realizes, and both shifters and vampires want her for their cause.
What kind of research did you do for this book?
Most of my research has been in regards to Chicago, since the shifter school is located just outside of Chicago, at the bottom of Lake Michigan. It’s been fun learning about the city, and one day I’d like to go and check it out for myself.
Was it always meant to become a series?
Yes. We were originally going to all just do our own things, but Tricia Barr, who came up with the shared world idea, thought it might be good to do an initial series to set the tone for the world and introduce all our different characters.
There will be plenty more in this world, including series that predate the current story with shifter and vampire history, and stories into the future when the fight between hunter, vampire, and shifter take new twists and turns.
What’s a typical working day like for you? When and where do you write? Do you set a daily writing goal?
Typical day is whatever I can get. I try to work weekdays when my eldest son is at school, and late at night when all three kids are asleep. Being a mom of three littles (1, 3, and 6) is not always very conducive to productivity, but they definitely keep life interesting.
I write on my couch, where I can oversee what’s going on, and it makes it easier to put the laptop away when I need to intervene. I don’t have any writing goals except to write every day. Currently I’m trying to keep up with the shared Siren Prophecy schedule. We’re working on book 3 and need to have it done in time to release by the beginning of April.
Do you have a new book in the making and if so, what’s the name of your upcoming book?
Well, I’m working on book 3 of the Siren Prophecy.
I’m also working on my own Illumia series—book 2 has been kicking me in the butt, but hopefully once the Shifter Academy stuff winds down, I’ll be able to really dig in and get that finished.
I also have middle grade fantasy novel set in England that I’m cowriting with another author.
And I’m never at an end for ideas. 😊
Where do your ideas come from?
My ideas come from everywhere. Many of them come from dreams (my initial book idea was based on a recurring dream about meeting my true love), but I find inspiration all over the place. I’ve been inspired by songs (like Chase Holfelder’s cover in minor of Kiss the Girl), books covers, other stories, and even Animal Planet’s mockumentary, Mermaid: The Body Found.
Is there a genre that you’ve been wanting to experiment with?
If I want to experiment in a genre, I generally do. I recently discovered the gamer lit genre, and though I’m not hardcore with the stats, I thought it would be fun to do a short story. I’ve also got some light sci-fi stuff that I hope to get around to one day.
What is the hardest part of writing for you?
Trying to keep up with the stories is one thing. I have so many ideas and haven’t been able to get to a speed that I’m happy with.
My biggest glitches are plotting and major rewrites. I want to get to the point where my plots are so solid to begin with, my books only need minor revisions to get them publishable. It’s a goal I’ve been trying to achieve for about a year now.
What do you think of book trailers? Do you have a trailer or do you intend to create one for your own book?
Love book trailers! I have one so far, but hope to make more in the future. They’re not specifically helpful or necessary, though, so I have to wait for periods where I have the time and energy to devote to creating a video before I can do so.
Book trailer for Skye’s Lure: https://youtu.be/HTohSO9z1J8
What’s the best thing about being an author?
Telling stories that connect with readers and make their days brighter. Of course, they have to tell me that’s what happened, whether by review or messaging me, but those moments are precious. I hope everyone comes away not only entertained, but hopefully empowered as well.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Still writing, though maybe with more time to do so, lol. By then my kids will all be in their teens, I hope my author career will have really taken off, and I hope to have most, if not all, of my current ideas out in the world.
Have you always liked to write?
Yes! I wrote poems and stories and journaled as a child and through my teens. I dropped out of the literary world for a while when I became an adult, but a friend of mine encouraged me to write the story brewing in my head, and I did. I’ve been hooked ever since. 😊
What writing advice do you have for aspiring authors?
Learn, grow, keep writing, and find your tribe. Seriously, I wouldn’t be half the author I am today without my author friends. They’ve encouraged me so much through the years, and taught me so much. Not every author is your friend, but the ones who are are the best.
If you didn’t like writing books, or weren’t any good at it, what would you like to do for a living?
I don’t know if anything else would speak to me like writing, but I’ve always loved the creative arts. Graphic design is probably a close second, and I love creating book covers when my writing becomes stuck.
Do you read reviews of your book(s)? Do you respond to them, good or bad? How do you deal with the bad?
I like to read reviews when I get the chance, though it doesn’t always happen. I think the ones on Goodreads are the ones that often get away without my notice, but I stay pretty on top of my Amazon ones.
I don’t respond to reviews, as it’s generally considered bad practice. Readers are entitled to their opinions, good and bad.
And when I do get bad reviews (because not everyone is going to like my stories), I try to glean the helpful bits and not worry about the rest. I might also need a day and some chocolate to recover, lol.
What is your least favourite part of the writing / publishing process?
Definitely revising, though launching a book comes with its own stresses – like getting reviews and advertising and finding the right audience.
Where did your love of books come from?
Growing up, I always felt like a bit of an ugly duckling. I didn’t quite fit in with my own family, though they were supportive and caring, and I didn’t really fit in with my peers. I ended up hanging out with kids younger than me because of the validation that brought, and reading a lot of books.
I loved how books took me on adventures and brought me out of my shell. I loved the magic and new worlds they brought. I always came home from the library with a stack of books, and I always earned the pizza at the end of the summer reading challenge.
Of all the characters you have created, which is your favourite and why?
I absolutely adore writing Kenzie, the magic user/selkie in the Siren Prophecy! I wanted to create someone relatable, so I made her spunky and less than perfect in appearance. And I have a soft spot for the rejects of the world, so it made sense for her to be on the outside, of the shifter world but not quite in it. When I did a little research on selkies—or seal shifters—and their connection with the Tuatha Dé Danann, I knew I had what I needed. Magic. Kenzie is all that I dreamed and more, and some days I wish I were more like her.
What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?
There are so many.
Tricia Barr, Alessandra Jay, Joanna Reeder, and Jesse Booth are all from my Shifter Academy world, and they’ve been such an encouragement as I strive to keep up the crazy pace that has been the Shifter Prophecy.
Chrys Cymri, Sandy Stuckless, Olivia Folmar Ard, Becca MacLean Lyman, Drew Ferrell, and Rebecca Enzor have all poured countless time and resources into reading and critiquing my work. And I’m certain there are others, as well, but with three young kids, I’m afraid I have permanent “mommy brain”.
Where can your fans find you and follow??
Here’s where I hang the most
Shifter Academy: http://theshifteracademy.com
Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/AngelLeya
Facebook Group: http://www.facebook.com/groups/AngelLeya/
Thank you for taking your time to do this interview ❤️
Thank you for reaching out! 😊