MY INTERVIEW WITH LEIGH WALKER
What’s your name and what genre would you consider your books to be?
Hi Amy! Thanks so much for having me, I’m honored!
My name is Leigh Walker and I write Young Adult Fantasy.
Tell me about your book. How did you come up with that (story, angle, idea)?
My most popular series is called Vampire Royals, and it’s a romance a la “The Bachelor” meets “Twilight.” I love the idea of contest books, like “The Selection” and “The Hunger Games.” I thought it would be fun to have a book about a contest with a vampire twist!
How did you get interested in writing this particular genre (historical novels, mysteries, sci-fi, children’s books, etc.)?
Young Adult Fantasy is my favorite type of book to read. The “Twilight” series is my all-time favorite series, so I thought it would be fun to write a young adult, paranormal romance.
Can you tell me about your Series?
Vampire Royals is a five-book series. The first three books follow Gwyneth West and Prince Dallas Black through the contest. The last two books focus on Prince Austin Black and Blake Kensington, a contestant from the Pageant who’s been chosen to travel to the remote North with him.
Do you have a favorite book out of this series?
I don’t know! I sort of love Book 3, The Finale, the most because of what happens with Gwyn’s family. But I don’t want to say more than that and spoil anything!
Was it always meant to become a series?
Yes, and there are more books to come!
What’s a typical working day like for you? When and where do you write? Do you set a daily writing goal?
I’m a mom. I have three kids who are in 14, 12, and 10. During the school year I write from 9am-2pm while the kids are in school. I write in my office at home, usually wearing my husband’s sweatpants or my pajamas. J Yes, I try to have a writing goal of at least 2,000 words per day, Monday through Friday.
Writing during the summer… I just turned a book in (it’s July 22nd). That was hard. It’s hard to focus with the kids around. And then I feel guilty because we should be having fun, and then I feel guilty because I should be working more… You know, the usual mom guilt!
Do you have a new book in the making and if so, what’s the name of your upcoming book?
The third book in my Vampire Kingdom series, “The Claim”
And I’m happy to announce that I’m beginning to write a new Vampire Royals book. It’s part of a new trilogy that’s coming this fall!
How important are character names to you in your books? Is there a special meaning to any of the names?
I try not to get too focused on names, but I have to like them. I’ve written 25 books so sometimes I find myself having to check that I haven’t used names before!
Where do your ideas come from?
I have a very active (okay overactive) imagination. I always have. So I get inspired from all sorts of things—movies, television, books, my dreams, things people say. The back of my mind is always spinning, playing with ideas and scenes.
Is there a genre that you’ve been wanting to experiment with?
I’ve written contemporary romance in the past, and that’s super fun. I would love to write all sorts of things! Non-fiction, mystery, contemporary YA, women’s fiction—the list is endless! I’d love to write for television, too. The thing about writing is that you can always try something new. It’s fabulous.
What is the hardest part of writing for you?
I’m self-published so it’s important for my business to publish on a regular basis. I try to publish at least four novels a year, usually more. Sometimes I get run down, and that’s hard. It’s hard to be creative if your brain feels like mush. J That’s why I take weekends off and if I’m lucky, take a vacation sometimes.
What do you think of book trailers? Do you have a trailer or do you intend to create one for your own book?
I do have a book trailer for Vampire Royals! I think they are super fun.
What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?
Honestly, it’s not giving up. I wrote a novel about ten years ago that got rejected by every agent on the planet. But I always knew I was meant to be an author, and I kept going even when it seemed like every door was closed to me.
What’s the best thing about being an author?
The creative freedom and the ability to spread positive messages through my work.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Writing my 100th book and still getting after it, all of it. J
Have you always liked to write?
Yes, since I was a little girl.
What writing advice do you have for aspiring authors?
Finish the book. It can be very hard and daunting to finish something. It brings up all sorts of problems, questions and doubts that can be stifling. I remember another writer saying years ago, when I was just starting out, that “sometimes you have to write through the crap to get to the other side.” That is the truth. Just plough through even when it’s hard. Because when you get to the other side, you have a novel to work with! Then you can make it pretty, make it shine.
If you didn’t like writing books, or weren’t any good at it, what would you like to do for a living?
I’d love to be a singer! Too bad my voice isn’t that good.
Do you read reviews of your book(s)? Do you respond to them, good or bad? How do you deal with the bad?
Yes I read all of them. I don’t respond unless the reviewer reaches out to me, and then I always thank them. J With respect to bad reviews: they are going to happen. My work is not for everyone, and I accept that and don’t take it personally. If the bad review says something useful, I take it and use it to reflect. I try to see it as a positive!
Where did your love of books come from?
Growing up, reading was my favorite thing to do. It was my comfort, my escape, my opportunity to learn new things. I still get excited when I go to the library!
Do you have any favorite authors or favorite books?
My favorite series are Twilight and Harry Potte. I love anything by Jane Austen, and The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton. I also loved “Wild” by Cheryl Strayed. It’s just so raw. I love how honest she is, even when it makes her look bad. That is brave writing, the best kind!
I loved Stephen King when I was younger, but I’m too chicken to read him now. J
Of all the characters you have created, which is your favourite and why?
Oh that’s so hard! But I love Blake Kensington and Tamara Layne from Vampire Royals, and my character Jenny from one of my contemporary romances.
Does writing energize or exhaust you?
Both, every day.
Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
I aim for both. I like to have a structured story but let the characters have freedom within the structure to do as they please. And trust me, they always do!
If you were writing a book about your life, what would the title be?
That’s a great question! I’d have to know the ending, first!
Where can your fans find you and follow??
Thank you for taking your time to do this interview ❤️
Oh my goodness, thank YOU! I’m so thrilled that you asked me. Talking about this stuff is fun!